Review: Cultural Diversity in Health and Illness by Rachel E. Spector

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

For courses in Community/Public Health Nursing, Transcultural Nursing, and CEUs.

Promotes an awareness of the dimensions and complexities involved in caring for people from diverse cultural backgrounds

The ninth edition of Cultural Diversity in Health and Wellness examines the differences existing within North America by probing the health care system, consumers, and examples of traditional health beliefs and practices among selected populations. An essential for any health-care professional, this book sets the standard for cultural perspectives and more importantly HEALTH—the balance of the person, both within one’s being—physical, mental, and spiritual—and in the outside world—natural, communal, and metaphysical. (Terms such as HEALTH are written this way to emphasize holistic meaning.) An emphasis on the influences of recent social, political, and demographic changes helps to explore the issues and perceptions of health and illness today, while introductory and capstone chapters help place material within perspective.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Cultural Diversity in Health and in Illness by Rachel E. Spector was an interesting textbook to study. There were a lot odd cultural stuff that made me think, why people do them while others made sense. I was taken on a journey through each cultural group and explored their ways of religion, health, and illness. Most believe in evil eye. I do not. But how so many of them despite their differences that did was a curiosity to me. I had to buy this textbook for my cultural diversity class in health. There was plenty to discover, learn, and think about…the writer did an excellent job in portraying each ethnic group. Not all groups were included in this book. But a good majority were. It broke down the major minority and majority ethnic groups into sections for a student, like me, to learn. Odd but well-organized. Many old healing traditions stuck out to me as weird. For health professionals this is a great brief study in creative health culture diversity. The traditions and customs of most groups are explored. I was not going into a health profession but needed a health credit. Overall, it was an intriguing study.

Review: Trumpets of Jericho by J. Michael Dolan

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The Trumpets of Jericho is the first book, and only novel, devoted in its entirety to one of the more remarkable if lesser-known stories of the Holocaust–the defiant 1944 Jewish armed revolt at the Nazi death camp Auschwitz– and the just as inspiring account of the four young female conspirators arrested and savagely tortured by the Gestapo during the investigation that followed.

As one of the architects of the rebellion, the 22-year-old Roza Robota, arguably the greatest Jewish heroine to come out of the Holocaust yet little remembered today, is brought to vivid and long-overdue life. Meet her and the rest of the heroes, and villains, in this epochal saga that will both thrill and horrify you at the heights and depths our unpredictable kind is capable of reaching.

In Trumpets, the historian, J. Michael Dolan has produced a work that he believes will stir you as deeply as its subject has him. In conjunction with bringing this epic tale to light, he explores, among other themes, religion and the existence of God, the psychology of genocide, friendship and romantic love, sexual and other pathologies, the nature of good and evil, right and wrong.

Above all, he shows how the most monstrous crime ever committed was in the end no match for the indomitability, the grandeur of the human spirit.

“As moving as Schindler’s List, horrific as Son of Saul, heroic as The Grey Zone… an adventure of a book destined itself for Hollywood.” –Raja-Rao Literary Endowment

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Trumpets of Jericho by J. Michael Dolan is a fascinating account of World War II. The darkest time period in history. I am a huge fan on anything that shows me what it was like during that time era. The horrors of what people went through was an emotional journey unlike any other. I loved how historian, J. Michael Dolan, used both fictional and real characters for his book. It was easy to follow along. Loss, grief, and death followed every page. The plot was engaging. It portrayed a realistic telling of those events in 1944. I greatly appreciated how much history and research the writer did. It was like being teleported back in time. A  time full of dangerous, deadly, and intense situations. Danger existed everywhere back then.

Trumpets of Jericho, is a must read  for all. It is both an educational and entertaining story. S much history to relive and remember. Plus, there are some heroic figures I do not remember studying in school and have learned by reading this novel. One such heroine, was Roza Roberta.   I was able to connect with her immediately. She fought against the wrongs of this horror from the Holocaust. She was a strong character that I really liked. The story took me straight back to Auschwitz, known as the death camp. I cried reading this…It was well-told. I can see this historical novel being a bestselling movie one day. I would so watch it! There are multiple themes associated with the crimes committed during this era. It was interesting to read. Overall, I recommend this powerful story, Trumpets of Jericho, to all readers.

 

 

Review: The Space Between Words

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

 

 

“There were seconds, when I woke, when the world felt unshrouded. Then memory returned.”

 

When Jessica regains consciousness in a French hospital on the day after the Paris attacks, all she can think of is fleeing the site of the horror she survived. But Patrick, the steadfast friend who hasn’t left her side, urges her to reconsider her decision. Worn down by his insistence, she reluctantly agrees to follow through with the trip they’d planned before the tragedy.

 

“The pages found you,” Patrick whispered.

 

“Now you need to figure out what they’re trying to say.”

 

During a stop at a country flea market, Jessica finds a faded document concealed in an antique. As new friends help her to translate the archaic French, they uncover the story of Adeline Baillard, a young woman who lived centuries before—her faith condemned, her life endangered, her community decimated by the Huguenot persecution.

 

“I write for our descendants, for those who will not understand the cost of our survival.”

 

Determined to learn the Baillard family’s fate, Jessica retraces their flight from France to England, spurred on by a need she doesn’t understand.

 

Could this stranger who lived three hundred years before hold the key to Jessica’s survival?

 

Rating: 4-stars

 

Review:

The Space Between Words by Michele Phoenix is a stunning read. The themes explored are loss, grief, and fear. As the characters go through their journey, it was hard not to relate to them. I felt as though I were in their shoes instead of my chair at home. Readers, like myself, got a taste of reality. A young woman lies through a terrifying crisis. But it leaves her with fear. The type of fear the writer wanted to portray and actually portrayed differed. The protagonist didn’t quite meet with what the writer intended. Jessica with her type of fear should have wanted her parents near her. Yet she doesn’t. It felt strange. I haven’t come across too many protagonists that keep away from their family’s comfort during a tragic event. Knowing what happened to Jessica, it just felt like she and her family weren’t connected. The parents should have come to their daughter’s aid even if she said no. But they didn’t. The romance bit of romance  was good. I felt that there was some closure for the characters. Peaceful, engaging, and well-written. The intrigue of the historical past from papers found was what really caught my full attention to this book. It was exciting. Overall, The Space Between Words by Michele Phoenix was an entertaining read. I recommend it to readers everywhere.

Review: Shylock is My Name


Synopsis:

Man Booker Prize-winner Howard Jacobson brings his singular brilliance to this modern re-imagining of one of Shakespeare’s most unforgettable characters: Shylock

 Winter, a cemetery, Shylock. In this provocative and profound interpretation of “The Merchant of Venice,” Shylock is juxtaposed against his present-day counterpart in the character of art dealer and conflicted father Simon Strulovitch. With characteristic irony, Jacobson presents Shylock as a man of incisive wit and passion, concerned still with questions of identity, parenthood, anti-Semitism and revenge. While Strulovich struggles to reconcile himself to his daughter Beatrice’s “betrayal” of her family and heritage – as she is carried away by the excitement of Manchester high society, and into the arms of a footballer notorious for giving a Nazi salute on the field – Shylock alternates grief for his beloved wife with rage against his own daughter’s rejection of her Jewish upbringing. Culminating in a shocking twist on Shylock’s demand for the infamous pound of flesh, Jacobson’s insightful retelling examines contemporary, acutely relevant questions of Jewish identity while maintaining a poignant sympathy for its characters and a genuine spiritual kinship with its antecedent—a drama which Jacobson himself considers to be “the most troubling of Shakespeare’s plays for anyone, but, for an English novelist who happens to be Jewish, also the most challenging.”

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Shylock Is My Name by Howard Jacobson is a modern rebelling of Willian Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. I truly enjoyed reading this new literary novel. It was fascinating to follow. From the start to end I was enchanted with the characters. Especially, Shylock. There is so much depth to him. This character’s struggles are engaging. Some are easy to understand while others are more complicated. Both internal and external conflicts are shown throughout the read. The other characters, Strulovitch and Zionist add to the tale. Their roles are quite interesting. The modern twist and drama soak up readers into an entertaining adventure filled with humor, betrayal, grief and rejection. Howard Jacobson has indeed captured William Shakespeare’s tale and brought to life a brilliant new masterpiece. This satire will leave readers like myself begging for another book, told by this talented writer. 

Shylock Is My Name is a new compelling piece of fiction that’s fresh, exciting, and keeps readers guessing. The style of writing is easy to read. The pages seem to fly by as readers delve deeper into the story. What I loved about this book, was that Howard Jacobson brought in a culture and heritage that is popular even today. The Jews and hatred towards them. Then there’s the issues of those leaving behind their Jewish heritage. Today, we see a lot of that as well. Other topics like revenge and anger are displayed. Once, I opened this novel, I couldn’t stop reading it at all. Howard Jacobson has a way of drawing his readers to his characters and their lives. Beautifully woven. Overall, I highly recommend Shylock Is My Name to readers everywhere. 

Review: A Transcendental Yogi Life (With Eternal Stories)

A Transcendental Yogi Life: With Eternal Stories by [Singh, Sumit]

 

Synopsis:

Spiritualism is one of the greatest mysteries in life. But what does it even mean, How do we access it? What power does it hold? What is your purpose on earth? What is God like?Who is a yogi?

With A Transcendental Yogi Life, With Eternal Stories, you delve deep into the life of Yogi’s through short & legendary stories that have left an impact on us which would ripple throughout years to come. Through this book, you would experience if the transcendental life of these Yogi’s can answer the serious questions of life that plague us all.

With insights guided by enlightened souls like Gautama Buddha, Shri Paramahamsa Yogananda, Shri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Shri Ramana Maharishi, Swami Vivekanand & others, you will try and identify how they grew and overcome their day-to-day problems that we too face regularly. Their wisdom will allow you to reach new heights and bring you to a place you never before imagined.

This simple yet highly philosophical book aims to allow everyone—from every phase of life, every age group, and every nationality—to easily understand the beautiful & the peaceful teaching of our great Yogi’s. I am sure this book won’t be perfect, but it will always remain a guiding factor you can return to time and time again.

If read carefully and with an open mind, this book will change your life for the better.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Review:

A Transcendental Yogi Life: With Eternal Stories by Sumit Singh is an interesting book. The writer has put a lot of thought and effort into making this book the best for readers worldwide. I enjoyed reading pages. There are day-to-day issues that pop up regularly in my life. I take on that stress as a normal. When I look at others’ lives that I know, I see the differences. There’s wisdom passed on as readers progress further into the book. I think this is a great guide built for all people. No guide is perfect. However, this one provides the enlightenment, strength, courage, as well as guidance in making past life’s obstacles. Burdens, emotions, and outside environments can have our shoulders feeling heavy. But this read makes the heaviness feel lighter and in a way we feel more energized. A Transcendental  Yogi Life: With Eternal Stories by Sumit Singh is indeed a great read for all. I recommend it to readers everywhere.

 

Review: Gods, Empire, & Shifting Trade Routes

 

Synopsis:

In approximately 200 pages, this book seems to describe what 200,000 pages could not come close to adequately holding: the history of the world. Featured in this brief ride through the human condition: why over 40% of the world speaks in tongues descended from an obscure tribe called the Indo-Europeans, how political violence escalated in a three-part ancient republic, the African king whose massive wealth caused inflation when he traveled abroad, the probability that you are personally related to Genghis Khan, how the coming of Islam influenced Java’s shadow theater, how Sub-Saharan Africans were visiting Europe long before Europeans “discovered” Sub-Saharan Africa, the six foot eight giant who collected midgets while also making Russia a great power, Britain’s wars with China over their right to sell illegal drugs, the CIA intervention in order to secure a monopoly for a fruit company, Soviet jokes, and the African World War. Also mentioned is all the stuff you know already: the origins of the major world religions, Ancient Greece and Rome, Charlemagne, the French Revolution, World War One and World War Two, including the part of WWII between China and Japan that had a death toll estimated around 20 million.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Gods, Empire, and Shifting Trade Routes by Matthew Crowe is the book to read. It’s a small nonfiction book that contains history from the beginning to this very time period that we’re in now…Excellent way of condensing all of history into a brief easy to read style. I love the fact that readers can learn more and watch how the four major parts that created the world the way it is, evolve. These four areas are known as religion, politics, economics, and last but not least culture. All of these specific areas are the domination for wat made humans do what they did and still do today. It helped build the social institutions we know. Like our governments. Every part of the world there is some kind of government in existence. Another brilliant part of this book is that it answers the who, what, when and where questions. I love history and this is brilliant. I found words that pop up in my studies since I was in middle school to now in college. The writer, Matthew Crowe, goes on to explains these common terms that are essential to readers’ knowledge of the world and history. Third reason, I am enamoured with this nonfiction piece is that it takes readers deep into the world’s culture and environments. Can you imagine how some of the most magnificent architecture were built and why? Matthew Crowe had a goal in mind and he succeeded in doing just that. I was blown away by all the topics he managed to cover in this brief edition. I hope he creates another edition exploring other parts that were not highlighted within this one so as to cover all parts. Overall, as a history lover, this was one of the best condensed editions of history,that I have run across. Highly recommend Gods, Empire, and Shifting Trade Routes to all.

 

Review: Gullali of Panjshir Valley

 

Synopsis:

A POWERFUL TALE OF ADVENTURE, ROMANCE, AND ONE WOMAN’S FIGHT AGAINST GENDER BIAS IN THE NAME OF CULTURE AND RELIGION.

Panjshir Valley, eleven thousand feet above sea level north of Kabul–Afghanistan, is heaven on Earth. Gullali, an educated young Afghan woman, was raised by her liberal-minded family to believe women deserve the same rights as men, a belief that is vehemently condemned by Talibanised Afghanistan. With romance in her life, Gullali’s life is perfect until Afghanistan is invaded by the Soviet army on December 24, 1979, and her life changes overnight.

After ten years of occupation, the Soviets leave in defeat. Though a triumph, the tribes fight among themselves over women and pretty boys. Power turns to greed, and order in Afghanistan fades. Amid the turmoil, the Taliban gain control, over the country, and women are the first casualty in the name of Islam.

Rumors of a more tolerant Pakistan beckon Gullali and her husband, but tragedy strikes. Gullali comes to realize the Taliban is just as prevalent in Pakistan. Captive, she suffers both physically and mentally from gender bias and religious hypocrisy.

Fueled by the abuse, Gullali is determined to fight for women’s rights, education, and freedom from male abuse in the name of Muslim culture and religion. Using her story, she tries to create awareness among the women of Pakistan but faces death threats from the clerics. She fights back. What follows is a roller coaster ride of fights for women’s liberation and adventure, with passionate romance in between.

Rating: 5 stars
Review:
Gullali of Panjshir Valley by Zia Rehman is an interesting read. It brings to light the struggles of the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Women especially are brought into a chaos all because of the of Islam religion and men’s ideas of women. Women are treated as unequal. No education, as well as no rights, are given. This novel brings to life the struggles that women faced under the Islamic men’s rule. The danger was something that lied ahead for women as men didn’t take to them going to school lightly. The men wanted to be in charge. There seemed to be historical events planted within this fiction tale. Like the many different invaders to these countries and what happened each time. Every take over had an influence on the countries that these women lived within…I found myself curious as I read every page. The leading female character’s life went from good to horrifying fast. Her country was one that she wanted to leave. But the next one was just as bad as her own. Love, fate, and determination helped Gullali fight for survival. Her story is a journey many don’t want to miss.  War, terror, and abuse…and one one woman’s courage are themes that will entice readers to this brilliant piece. Overall, I recommend Gullali of Panjshir Valley to readers everywhere.

Review: How the Catholic Church Became Naughty…

 

Synopsis:

The cardinals and bishops of the Catholic Church have been naughty for centuries. Why can’t they practice what they preach?

At Christmastime 2014 Pope Francis scolded them for their vanity, hypocrisy, back-biting, gossiping, boasting, lusting for power and control, and acting like Lords of the Manor. This book is an expansion on Pope Francis’s admonition to his inner governing circle, the Vatican Curia, tracing this naughtiness from the time of Emperor Constantine who converted to Christianity in the early 4th century and gave the Church palaces, basilicas, riches, and a noble lifestyle. It is a short journey throughout the lascivious and corruption-filled history of these church leaders—their torture of non-believers, selling of indulgences and church offices, concubinage, partnering with evil kings and rulers—ending with the 20th century Vatican Bank frauds, the money-laundering for Mafia and Mason crimes, the betrayal of the Church, and the sexual abuse of children scandal.

These popes, cardinals, and bishops of the Catholic Church are and have been the Real Hindrance to Reform with their peculiar Vatican mindset of clericalism, arrogance, and exaggerated self-estimation of their superiority over everyone and everything. It has been evolving for 1700 years. This short book is not a denunciation of the Catholic Church, but a ray of hope that the Vatican will make the deep changes that are necessary for the survival of Catholicism.

Only a priesthood that includes married, celibate, male and female priests with a non-clerical mindset will bring about the needed reform of the Catholic Church—not the Pope alone, nor the regressive Vatican mindset of clericalism ingrained in present-day church leaders.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

How the Catholic Church Became Naughty by Jack Doherty is an insight into the Catholic Church’s dark past and current struggles with reform. What the Church needs to do to fix all these issues is, in my opinion, to come out and punish the ones who committed the crimes against the Chruch. By not coming out and punishing those who have committed horrendous crimes against the Catholic teaching and to its members, the Church has only spun an endless anger and hatred from those it has hurt. It also has brought on it own sour taste in a vast majority of its own members. The cost of their not going after the bad apples has cost them faithful servants or members of the Catholic faith. There is indeed nothing wrong with the Catholic faith as stated by the author, otherwise, he probably would never have been a priest within the church. The Catholic Church has come a long way from selling indulgences and has in a way improved itself. However, when people in the Church’s top circles commit such crimes the Church somehow believes that if they hide it from the public that it will end all the bad things or bad publicity for the Church as a whole. They think they are saving the Church’s reputation but, in reality, they are only making it worse each time. I agree with Jack Doherty that the Catholic Church needs a reform but in the way it handles the bad things that happen within the Church. The Catholic Church isn’t the only religion with bad history…they are many others who have committed same horrendous crimes that top officials from the Catholic Church have committed yet people only pay attention to what the Catholic church does wrong and not what it has done well. I don’t think that just because the Church didn’t listen to the writer, that he should give up being a priest. He should have kept going on with his duty and would have been an example, to all priest and those around him of what a priest and the Catholic Church should be. Instead, I feel that because they going got tough or that just because one way doesn’t work that the writer felt hopeless and gave up too easy. Look at Peter. His faith, at first, was strong but when tested he failed…and with that he soon changed and his faith grew with patience. Like Peter, we all shouldn’t give up on the Catholic Church. Just like with the rest of life the roads will be bumpy and difficult but that doesn’t mean we  refuse to listen to God or give up our faith or vows just because many won’t listen. Many have not listened to God, yet God spared Noah and his family…Overall, I recommend this book to readers everywhere.

Review: 144 Thousand & Speaking in Tongues

 

Synopsis:

This book is my translation of the Bible’s prophecy as well as how it ties into today’s events. It breaks down a couple of books within the Bible. It talks more about the 144 thousand. It gives the reader a clearer picture of who the 144 thousand are and it explains where they come from. This book is an attempt to help people to become more comfortable in reading the bible. You can read this book and follow along with your Bible. Follow along, read, and prepare for what’s coming in the future.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

144 Thousand and Speaking in Tongues by Melvin Winfrey is a unique book that is inspirational and a tricky way to get readers more familiar with their Bibles. I loved the goal that this writer had in mind to persuade his readers to read, analyze, and interpret the Bible. Following along this easy, to read book, readers will find the answers to questions like how the Bible mentions about today’s events, how we can prepare for the future, and what does it all mean for us. Inside 144 Thousand and Speaking in Tongues, readers will hear a lot about the 144 thousand.  Readers’ interest, into who the 144 thousand are and why the book focuses so much on them is answered by reading further.

Melvin Winfrey has brilliantly written a book that serves a guide that educates, informs, and inspires readers everywhere. There are many of us who have a Bible but hardly crack it open. I wasn’t aware of just how much I really didn’t know, about what’s inside my Bible until I have read 144 Thousand Speaking in Tongues. What’s wonderful about this book is how well researched the Bible quotes are and how Melvin Winfrey then explains each one to readers. The whole set-up of the book is easy to read,  follow and understand. Readers can follow the quotes and readings and use their Bibles to read the full passages from where all the quotes are taken from…This was my first religious book that I have read and I foud it quite intriguing. I definitely look forward to reading more books by Melvin Winfrey in the future. Overall, I highly recommend 144 Thousand Speaking in Tongues to readers worldwide. This is one religious book that readers will find fascinating and enjoyable to read along with their own Bibles…I don’t know of any other religious book that allows you to read along like this one does. Truly a remarkable nonfiction book to help readers read their Bibles more often.

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