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Reviews Written by
Steven R. McEvoy "MCWPP" (Canada)
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The Three Most Wanted (I Am Margaret Book 2)
The Three Most Wanted (I Am Margaret Book 2)
Price: CDN$ 4.33

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book and series!, Aug. 30 2015
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 fried 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.

I Am Margaret
I Am Margaret
Price: CDN$ 4.33

5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible read, riveting! Could not put it down., Aug. 22 2015
This review is from: I Am Margaret (Kindle Edition)
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.

Beyond Engagement: A Brain-Based Approach That Blends the Engagement Managers Want with the Energy Employees Need
Beyond Engagement: A Brain-Based Approach That Blends the Engagement Managers Want with the Energy Employees Need
Price: CDN$ 9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing resource., Aug. 17 2015
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!

The Ultimate Guide To Rebounding Exercise: How To Use A Mini Trampoline Rebounder To Transform Your Health And Fitness (rebounding, rebounding exercise, ... rebound exercise, mini trampoline)
The Ultimate Guide To Rebounding Exercise: How To Use A Mini Trampoline Rebounder To Transform Your Health And Fitness (rebounding, rebounding exercise, ... rebound exercise, mini trampoline)
Price: CDN$ 1.09

3.0 out of 5 stars There are better, July 30 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
To be honest this book was not bad, but it was not great either. After finishing it - it felt sort of ho-hum. Other than chapter 6 on Advanced rebounding exercises there was little in the book you could not quickly find on numerous websites with information on rebounding or use of mini trampolines. Other than this information being radially available on numerous websites the book also included no pictures. For a book on fitness practice I found this highly unusual and extremely disappointing.

The sections in the book are as follows:

Table of Contents
Introduction
Chapter 1 Rebounding Exercise
Chapter 2 Benefits of Rebounding exercise
Chapter 3 FAQ
Chapter 4 Tips
Chapter 5 Rebounding for beginners
Chapter 6 Advanced rebounding exercise
Chapter 7 Special considerations
Conclusion

I did give this book a 3 out of 5 stars even with my issues, that was in part because the writing is very good, excellent grammar and formatting. But as stated other than Chapter 6 it was really a waste of time. Comparing it to 3 other books I have read on this topic this was the weakest in terms of both content and delivery of that content the complete lack of photo's. The book reads as a collection of information gathered from other sources and with no photo's little effort or work was put into the compilation of the content. If I were you I would just skip this one and try one of the other offerings.

Miracles of Rebound Exercise
Miracles of Rebound Exercise
by Albert E. Carter
Edition: Paperback
11 used & new from CDN$ 3.80

5.0 out of 5 stars As Carter said you need to either prove, disprove or use the concepts presented., July 26 2015
It is strange how some books come across our paths. This book was given to me by my 72 year old mother in law. She has been using a rebounder daily for a few months now and wants to get one for us and the kids. But she wanted me to read the book first. And I must be honest going back and reading a fitness book from a fad from the 70's and 80's was a little different. Yet the more that I read the more interested I became. Since then I have read this book twice, looked at a few other books about Rebound Exercise, and yet this older book has some great material, excellent scientific research and I became more and more intrigued. Doing some research I came up with this timeline of rebounding:

1936 Nissen Corporation creates modern Trampoline
1975 Victor Green patented Small trampoline - Rebounder
1977 pamphlet "Rebound to Better Health"
1979 Albert E Carter publishes The Miracles of Rebound Exercise
1981 Dr Kenneth Cooper research rebounding get 25% more gains than jogging
1981-1985 The Far-Craze Phase of rebounding
1988 publishes "NEW Miracles of Rebound Exercise"
2005 Publishes "Rebound Exercise: The Ultimate Exercise for the New Millennium"

In this book Albert Carter goes through his own history and research and also shares numerous testimonies from people who have used the practice of rebound exercise to improve their lives. Now yes the book is dated and there are some newer versions but Albert and numerous other authors. For example on p. 85 it states "Although most of us have some hidden desire to be like Charles Atlas or Bruce Jenner, we recognize the improbability and are willing to settle for some exercise program that will merely help us endure to the end." Now today in 2015 I am not sure a lot of guys would want to look like Bruce Jenner, but the concept still holds. The other quote that really grabbed me was on p. 102 "Your challenge is to study the concepts of this book and either prove, disprove, or use these concepts for better health."

Table of Contents:
The Often Invisible Obvious
A Dream and a Dreamer
Discovery of a Void
Three Powerful Horses
Rebound Exercises - Past and present
Rebound Exercises and the Lymphatics
Rebounding - A Cellular Exercise
Rebounding to Muscular Strength and Physical Fitness
A Vital Exercise for Vital Organs
Aerobic is Necessary, but
A Safe Answer to Jogging
And The Eyes of the Blind Shall See
Startling Breakthrough in Education
Success Stories

Now having read the book through twice, now I will share my story. I tweaked my knee a number of weeks before writing this review. It was progressively getting worse. I was at my mother in laws and in a fair bit of pain and thought what have I got to lose. So I got on the rebounder in the living room, actually limping to it. Very gingerly I started with the Health Bounce feet not even leaving the surface. I did a hundred bounces very gently and then 100 more - more vigorously. Then I did 100 jumps and 100 twist jumps. When I got off there was no longer any pain. I slept through that night for the first time in weeks without waking up to knee pain. And it felt better for days after.

I am looking forward to getting our rebounder and maybe even one for my standing desk at work and getting on it the 3 to 5 times a day recommended and seeing what happens. As Carter said you need to either prove, disprove or use the concepts presented. My own limited use and my mother in laws testimony both prove it, so I suggest you track down one of his book read it and give rebounding a try! You really have nothing to lose but maybe your pain, your discomfort and you can gain greater health and wellness.

The only hard part is all of his book currently are out of print and no ebook editions seems to exist but we can hope for either a reprinting or ebook versions again soon.

Miracles of Rebound Exercise
Miracles of Rebound Exercise
by Albert E. Carter
Edition: Paperback
10 used & new from CDN$ 33.70

5.0 out of 5 stars As Carter said you need to either prove, disprove or use the concepts presented., July 26 2015
It is strange how some books come across our paths. This book was given to me by my 72 year old mother in law. She has been using a rebounder daily for a few months now and wants to get one for us and the kids. But she wanted me to read the book first. And I must be honest going back and reading a fitness book from a fad from the 70's and 80's was a little different. Yet the more that I read the more interested I became. Since then I have read this book twice, looked at a few other books about Rebound Exercise, and yet this older book has some great material, excellent scientific research and I became more and more intrigued. Doing some research I came up with this timeline of rebounding:

1936 Nissen Corporation creates modern Trampoline
1975 Victor Green patented Small trampoline - Rebounder
1977 pamphlet "Rebound to Better Health"
1979 Albert E Carter publishes The Miracles of Rebound Exercise
1981 Dr Kenneth Cooper research rebounding get 25% more gains than jogging
1981-1985 The Far-Craze Phase of rebounding
1988 publishes "NEW Miracles of Rebound Exercise"
2005 Publishes "Rebound Exercise: The Ultimate Exercise for the New Millennium"

In this book Albert Carter goes through his own history and research and also shares numerous testimonies from people who have used the practice of rebound exercise to improve their lives. Now yes the book is dated and there are some newer versions but Albert and numerous other authors. For example on p. 85 it states "Although most of us have some hidden desire to be like Charles Atlas or Bruce Jenner, we recognize the improbability and are willing to settle for some exercise program that will merely help us endure to the end." Now today in 2015 I am not sure a lot of guys would want to look like Bruce Jenner, but the concept still holds. The other quote that really grabbed me was on p. 102 "Your challenge is to study the concepts of this book and either prove, disprove, or use these concepts for better health."

Table of Contents:
The Often Invisible Obvious
A Dream and a Dreamer
Discovery of a Void
Three Powerful Horses
Rebound Exercises - Past and present
Rebound Exercises and the Lymphatics
Rebounding - A Cellular Exercise
Rebounding to Muscular Strength and Physical Fitness
A Vital Exercise for Vital Organs
Aerobic is Necessary, but
A Safe Answer to Jogging
And The Eyes of the Blind Shall See
Startling Breakthrough in Education
Success Stories

Now having read the book through twice, now I will share my story. I tweaked my knee a number of weeks before writing this review. It was progressively getting worse. I was at my mother in laws and in a fair bit of pain and thought what have I got to lose. So I got on the rebounder in the living room, actually limping to it. Very gingerly I started with the Health Bounce feet not even leaving the surface. I did a hundred bounces very gently and then 100 more - more vigorously. Then I did 100 jumps and 100 twist jumps. When I got off there was no longer any pain. I slept through that night for the first time in weeks without waking up to knee pain. And it felt better for days after.

I am looking forward to getting our rebounder and maybe even one for my standing desk at work and getting on it the 3 to 5 times a day recommended and seeing what happens. As Carter said you need to either prove, disprove or use the concepts presented. My own limited use and my mother in laws testimony both prove it, so I suggest you track down one of his book read it and give rebounding a try! You really have nothing to lose but maybe your pain, your discomfort and you can gain greater health and wellness.

The only hard part is all of his book currently are out of print and no ebook editions seems to exist but we can hope for either a reprinting or ebook versions again soon.

The Warden-Watch (The Annals of Myrtle and The Blood King Book 1)
The Warden-Watch (The Annals of Myrtle and The Blood King Book 1)
Price: CDN$ 4.92

5.0 out of 5 stars Great beginning, July 12 2015
I have read a few books by Anthony, A.R. Horvath over the last 8 years. I have always been impressed with his writings, but there is something about this one that really grabbed me as a reader and kept me glued to the pages. Also I am looking forward to sharing this book with my children when they get a little older.

This story may seem like a strange mash-up, it had Big Foot, Dracula, a young boy who gets caught in a great adventure, angels, demons, and the legacy of Jesus Christ. Casey is a young boy out exploring his back yard when he sees a shadow that does not make sense, using a bit of cunning, and a few ticks he has collected in his bag he ends up catching hold of a Big Foot, only to be whisked away into their realm. But even there things are not always as they appear.

This story is tightly written. Casey is an interesting young hero and his Great Great Great … Aunt Myrtle has a story most would not believe. The pace was great and it ends with a killer cliff hanger ending.

I do not know how many books Horvath has planned for this series but I can only hope it is a few because this one was a great read!

The Secrets of Droon #2: Journey to the Volcano Palace
The Secrets of Droon #2: Journey to the Volcano Palace
Price: CDN$ 3.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A great adventure continues, June 30 2015
I was right to be leery of starting a series with over 40 books! For now not only am I addicted to these books but my children are also. I am reading ahead of them and reading them a few chapters each night before bed. They love the story so far, and I am thoroughly enjoying it also. To be honest I have yet to read anything by Tony Abbott that disappointed. And going back and reading some of his earlier works has been a blast both for me and for the kids.

Droon is an interesting world to visit. For when we go there always seems to be a task for Neal, Julie and Eric to complete. And this time is no different. This time they join Princess Keeah, the wizard Galen Longbeard, and we meet new creatures the lumpies and go on an adventure. In the first adventure in Droon the Eye of Dawn a crystal that can control nature was lost to the evil Sparr. In this story our team of adventures head to his secret hideout inside a volcano to try and retrieve it. We also find out that not all things are as they appear, and some who work for Sparr might even be forced to do so. Can the team get into the volcano, can they find the Eye of Dawn, can they get back out again. Come read the story and find out.

Droon is becoming a fun place to visit time and time again. And this story has a bit of everything, a magic doorway, strange creatures, adventure, friendship, the desert, a secret lair and a hook at the end to bring you back again! As mentioned I am enjoying reading the stories, and my kids are also, and hopefully in a few years the younger kids will be able to reread these books to me. But for now Droon is a great part of family reading time.

The only real drawback is it was only after starting the series that I discovered that only the first 10 books are available electronically at the moment. I can only hope the rest become available quickly, especially at the pace we are reading them. This was the 17th book by Tony Abbott I have read, and a number of those I have read twice. His stories always entertain, and now my kids are at an age where I am starting to share his great book with them. Tony has over 100 books published so check out The Secrets of Droon of some of his other stories they will not disappoint.

The Secrets of Droon #1: The Hidden Stairs and the Magic Carpet
The Secrets of Droon #1: The Hidden Stairs and the Magic Carpet
Price: CDN$ 3.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Great beginning now 40 more to go!, June 25 2015
I must admit I was learn of starting this book. It is hard to imagine starting a new series with over 40 books in it that was started 16 years ago. I feared loving the book and being hooked for the whole series. And as much as I love most of Tony Abbott's books that I have read I also feared not liking it and being disappointed. With mixed feelings I must say it is the first. I now have a much bigger to read pile thanks to venturing into the world of Droon.

I find I go through spurts reading middle grade, young adult, and non-fiction almost alternately. I am really glad I picked up this book. My oldest two children are just at the point where they can read these books to me. It has been really fun going back and reading some of Tony Abbott's earlier works now that they are showing up in ebook formats. This book though simple, was very enjoyable and I know my children will love it. And the benefit is that being part of a finished series they will not have to wait for new books to come out.

This is an interesting fantasy story. For when Julie, Neal, and Eric are cleaning the basement they discover that when the door under the stairs is closed a set of steps appear leading down, those steps lead to another realm, the realm of Droon. They soon realize that Droon is a place in turmoil and after encountering red shiny men, flying lizards, And angry wizard named Sparr and some other fantastical creatures, and a princess that needs their help. And much more. Overall a great little read.

This was the 16th book by Tony Aboott that I have read out of his 100 published. It was a fun read and I look forward to where the series will go next. So give it a try and see, you just might fall in love with Droon also!

Hidden Strengths: Unleashing the Crucial Leadership Skills You Already Have
Hidden Strengths: Unleashing the Crucial Leadership Skills You Already Have
by Milo Sindell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 16.89
34 used & new from CDN$ 14.74

5.0 out of 5 stars Focus on that 70%, June 17 2015
This is a book designed to help you get the best return on your investment for personal leadership development. The main focus is finding the middle 70%, not the 20% of key strengths you already exhibit, nor the bottom 10% that are you main weaknesses but that middle ground that you can learn to make small changes at and focus on making changes there. Based on the studies they provide if you only focus on your key strengths you will become stagnant, and to quote Steven Brust:

"Failure leads to maturity
Maturity leads to success
Success leads to stagnation
Stagnation leads to failure!"

If you only rely on your strengths you will eventually either fail or become redundant. But on the other end of the spectrum if you try and change your greatest weaknesses, not only will it take a lot of effort but often there is very little return on investment. The amount you can make changes here is small. However on the other hand if you pick a skill or two in that middle ground and consistently work at you can turn them into key strengths. They will not take nearly the effort of your bottom 10% and the results will be much more dramatic.

The sections in the book are:

Introduction
Part 1 About Hidden Strengths
1. What Are Hidden Strengths?

Why Hidden Strengths?
The Risk of Focusing on Weaknesses
The Risk of Overrelying on Strengths
The Reward of Focusing on Hidden Strengths
2. The Four Principles of Hidden Strengths

Principle #1: Leverage Your Traits, and Develop Your Skills

Leverage Your Traits
Develop Your Skills

Principle #2: The Middle Is the Source for Development
Principle #3: Practice, Practice, Practice
Principle #4: Always Be Working on Your Hidden Strengths

Part 2 Uncovering The Gold Mine Of Opportunity
3. Identifying Your Natural Strengths, Hidden Strengths, and Weaknesses

The Twenty-Eight Skills
Leading Self
Leading Others
Leading the Organization
Leading Implementation

4. Reviewing Your Results

Your Hidden Strengths Report

Part 3 Harnessing Your Potential
5. Making Your Hidden Strengths Work for You

Hidden Strengths Development Plan
Step 1: Find Your Motivation
Step 2: Identify Your Goals
Step 3: Choose Your Hidden Strengths to Develop
Step 4: Turn Your Hidden Strengths into Learned Strengths
Step 5: Evaluate Your Progress

6. Leading Your Evolution

Sustainability
The Never-Ending Adventure
Share the Love

Appendix A: The Twenty-Eight Skills and Why They Matter
Appendix B: Hidden Strengths Development Worksheet
Notes
Accessing Your Free Hidden Strengths Profile
Acknowledgements
Index
About the Authors

This book was a great read and I have already recommended it to a number of people. It clearly lays out the why - focus on the middle 70%, and only focus on changing 1 or 2 at a time. The how - do the online survey, find your area's and work on them diligently. With the book you get access to the survey and can do it as many times as you need. After you get your results you apply Part three from the book and work on them and turn them into true strengths.

This is an excellent read and I highly recommend it and know I will be using the tools it provides to help me grow that middle 70% and you can also!

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