-->

Monday, 31 August 2015

The Three Most Wanted - Corinna Turner - I Am Margaret Book 2


The Three Most Wanted
I Am Margaret Book 2
Corinna Turner
UnSeen Books an Imprint of
Zephyr Publishing, UK

Chesterton Press, US Edition
eISBN: 9781910806081
ISBN: 9781910806098


These books are so good it took every ounce of self-control to not pick up book 2 until after writing my review of book 1 - I Am Margaret. It was worth the wait. This book continues immediately after book one. The story in some ways has a very different pace than book one. But it is a very tight story. A story about resistance, about friendship, betrayal, faith and a journey of 2000 kilometers and above all hope. 

At the end of book 1 Bane has freed Margo and Jon and the other ReAssigness from the EuroGov facility. Now they are all on the run. They must cross the continent because their survival depends on it. And now they are the Three most wanted. The three are pretending to be new adults backpacking across the country. Being careful of who notices them, and how much they interact with others. But life trekking across the wilderness can end up being harder than expected. Especially with Margo recovering from the start of her collection. Jon being blind and hiking across the country and with needing to be extra cautious at every turn. 

The three friends encounter a wolf pack, up close and personal, a bear and experience betrayal more than once. Their journey seems to get harder at every turn. All of this while trying to make it to the Vatican free state.

Amazing story! Excellent writing. Some incredible characters who lay it all on the line. I cannot wait for book three to be available in North America and will be following Book 4's release in the UK. Great books give them a try.


Books by Corinna Turner:
I Am Margaret Series:
0.5 Brothers (Prequel)
5.0 Margo's (Attempted) Diary & Notebook
How Snakey Got His Name (Short Story)

Yesterday and Tomorrow Series:
Someday
Tomorrow's Dead

unSPARKed Series:
1.0 Drive!
1.1 A Truely Rapror-Ous Welcome

Other Books:
Elfling
Mandy lamb & the Full Moon

(Images on left are US Edition - right are European Editions)





















To purchase in North America contact Chesterton Press!
I Am Margaret
The Three Most Wanted

Saturday, 22 August 2015

I Am Margaret - Corinna Turner - I Am Margaret Book 1


I Am Margaret
I Am Margaret Book 1
Corinna Turner
UnSeen Books an Imprint of
Zephyr Publishing, UK

Chesterton Press, US Edition
eISBN: 9781910806074
ISBN: 9781910806067


Sometimes it really pays to follow authors you really like. Regina Doman recently posted about this book, and it caught my attention. To be honest I had never heard of the author or the series. I am so glad it did. This is one of the best books I have read this year and the best new Catholic fiction author I have discovered in years! This book was incredible.

I literally could not put this book down. Even though I had to be up early to travel I stayed up way way too late to keep reading. I could barely put it down the two times I had to take breaks from reading it. And each time all I could do was keep thinking about it. In fact it was so powerful even though I finished it two days ago I keep playing over parts of the book and wondering what will happen next. It was only towards the end of the book that I found out that it is part of a series. Something I am extremely grateful for.

For me there are a few hallmarks of great books:
1. I know I will read it again
2. I can't wait to share it with my children as they grow up
3. I keep sharing about it with others
This book meets all three of those categories. And it was one of the best books I have read in ages.

This story is set in the near future, much of the world's nations have amalgamated into regional entities. And all religions have been banned. Margaret Verrall lives in the EuroGov and at 18 there is the sorting test. Those who pass go on to productive lives in society and those who do not become ReAssigness and are literally recycled. They go to a facility and for the next 2 years are being prepared to be in prime condition for harvesting unless there is a specific need for their parts before then. But Margaret has two major problems first she is pretty sure she will fail the testing as she really struggles with math, and second she is part of the underground network of believers. But she is in love and Bane will not just let the government take her.


This story has incredible characters. Runs at a breakneck pace from start to finish. And is very very well written. Give this book a try it will enthrall you and leave you hungry for more of the story.






Books by Corinna Turner:
I Am Margaret Series:
0.5 Brothers (Prequel)

1.0 I Am Margaret
2.0 The Three Most Wanted
3.0 Liberation
4.0 Bane's Eyes

5.0 Margo's (Attempted) Diary & Notebook
How Snakey Got His Name (Short Story)

Yesterday and Tomorrow Series:
Someday

Tomorrow's Dead

unSPARKed Series:
1.0 Drive!
1.1 A Truely Rapror-Ous Welcome

Other Books:
Elfling
Mandy lamb & the Full Moon

Author profile and interview with Corinna Turner.

(Images on left are US Edition - right are European Editions)






















To purchase in North America contact Chesterton Press!
I Am Margaret
The Three Most Wanted


Monday, 17 August 2015

Beyond Engagement - Brady G. Wilson

Beyond Engagement
A Brain-Based Approach That Blends the Engagement Managers Want with the Energy Employees Need
Brady G. Wilson
BPS Books
ISBN 9781772360172
eISBN 9781772360189


Being in the middle of a yearlong leadership development course at work I have read far more business books this past year than in a while. And I must be honest and say this book was amazing. Brady writes in a very engaging manner. His text is clean, crisp and concise. He drives home each chapter with a case study from work they have done with other clients. In many ways reading this book was like reading John Maxwell, Patrick Lencioni, or Spencer Johnson. But there is a freshness or energy in Brady's writings that reflects what he is teaching.

Brady focus a chapter on each of 10 leadership principles and therefore sections in this book are:

1 Manage Energy, Not Engagement
2 Deliver Experiences, Not Promises
3 Target Emotion, Not Logic
4 Trust Conversations, Not Surveys
5 Seek Tension, Not Harmony
6 Practice Partnering, Not Parenting
7 Pull Out the Backstory, Not the Action Plan
8 Think Sticks, Not Carrots
9 Meet Needs, Not Scores
10 Challenge Beliefs, Not Emotions
Conclusion
Appendix / Wants vs. Needs

The purpose of this book is the help manager, leaders, and shapers within any organization see improvements in employee engagement. But not just in the short term, this book will help you find lasting changes and in some ways change how you do business. But if you follow the direction the business will do better and your people will be more satisfied and balanced. Brady does this by focusing on the connection between the brain and energy within the individuals that then rolls up to teams, departments and the organization as a whole.

One of the case studies Brady serves up to us is A Tale of Two Marathons and it is his story of two different runs at the Boston Marathon. Once you have read this story you will be hooked. Brady states: "Engagement is essential, foundational, elemental. But by itself it is insufficient. Without energy, it is simply unsustainable. Let's face it: it takes a lot of energy to sustain engagement." We have all see this in organizations and teams we have been on. Brady gives us the tools to provide fuel to the energy so that the engagement continues in not only a sustainable buy in a way where it can grow.

This book was an amazing read. I have already passed off my copy and mentioned it to numerous other people. Even if you are not a manager you will benefit from reading the book and applying the lessons to your own work and life. If you are a manager you can help take good teams and make them great> If you already have that great team this book will help you sustain their level of commitment. So pick it up and give it a try you will not be disappointed!

Books By Brady G. Wilson:
Juice: The Power of Conversation
Love at Work
Finding the Sticking Point
Beyond Engagement

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Stand Up! Stand Up! The Transition to Working at A Standing Desk


Stand Up! Stand Up!
The Transition to Working at A Standing Desk

There is a saying that 'sitting is the new smoking' and though I am not sure it is that bad, I do believe we in the developed world sit too much. I know many people that sit for an hour plus commute each way each day for work, sit for 8 hours at work then sit at home in the evening. If there are things we can do to change that we should pursue the change. And I have finally joined the ranks of those using a standing desk.

To be honest I have wanted a standing desk for a few years now. Yet when I first enquired about it there was some serious resistance. But after a trip to Phoenix where almost half the office has standing desks it was back on my mind. Then a few other people in the office started converting their cubicle desks to standing desks I asked my manager if we could look into it for me. Depending on the style of the workstation there were a number of different solutions. I am very happy with how mine worked out. We had originally ordered legs that would make the center piece of my desk adjustable manually. But the wrong one was ordered and could not go high enough as I needed at 42 inch high platform.

I have now been using the standing desk for 2 months and absolutely love it. It did take a while to get adjusted to it. I had some hip and lower back pain off and on during the first 2 weeks but after that it has been smooth sailing. And we are now up to about 20 people with standing desks in our office. A few have come by tried mine and made the decision to jump out of their chairs and join the ranks of us standing up.

And Mark Sisson from Mark's Daily Apple has written often about standing desk, two of my favorites are 15 Tips for Standup Workstation Users and How-to Guide: Standing at Work.

In fact the only thing that I think would be better than the standing desk would be the walking desk ala Arthur Slade, here, here and here.

For now I am very happy with my standing desk and the health benefits for not sitting all day long! And with an organization that not only allows but encourages healthy lifestyles.