Book Review Club

Extended Stay by Bradley Cannon

Extended Stay by Bradley Cannon

Book Title: Extended Stay
Author: Bradley Cannon
Date: June 2014

Reviewed by: Jennifer Xue,

Extended Stay is a surrealist novel by Bradley Cannon. A master storyteller, Cannon weave stories about people, places, and their brush with life, death, uncertainty, and hope. It is a novel about people who live thousands of mile from each other, yet they are connected with invisible strings.

The story started with a chapter about tsunamis in Blitangan, Java. And setting of the main story is Chattanooga, Tennessee and surrounding areas. In September 2009, the local newspaper printed a blank obituaries section. Nobody and no animal died.

Natural and man-made disasters on various levels of magnitude do happen every day everywhere, such as in Atlanta, Georgia and Los Angeles, California. Good thing is, life is full of serendipities and second chances. After all, human beings make choices and we must live with the consequences: good, bad, or anything in-between.

So, what caused the death moratorium? Will everyone be undead in the end?

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Choose Yourself! Be Happy, Make Millions, Live the Dream by James Altucher

Choose Yourself

Title: Choose Yourself!
Author: James Altucher
Publisher: James Altucher
Pub Date: Unknown
Reviewed by: Jennie Bev of
Review Date: June 18, 2013
Rating: Recommended (3 of 5 stars)

James Altucher is a brave man. Very brave. He’s a confident self-made entrepreneur who was ready to make a change in his life. And he did. He was unsure, but he has passed that period and is now enjoying being in his own skin.

I have a similar life and business philosophy: creating my own pathway and making my own mark. I don’t wait for someone to pick me and make me a CEO. I started my own company and produced the products to be sold.

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Seven Men and The Secret of Their Greatness by Eric Metaxas

Seven Men

Title: Seven Men and the Secret of Their Greatness
Author: Eric Metaxas
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pub Date: April 30, 2013
Reviewed by Jennie Bev of
Review Date: June 3, 2013
Rating: Highly Recommended (4 of 5 stars)

In this time and age, we need heroes and role models to learn from. As author Eric Metaxas said, “This book doesn’t talk about manhood but shows the actual lives of great men.” Seven extraordinary men discussed were George Washington, William Wilberforce, Eric Liddell, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jackie Robinson, Pope John Paul II, and Charles W. Colson. They were “men” of men. They were men who were more than mere “manhood,” for they embodied ideal men, ideal fathers.

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Think Happy, Be Happy by Workman Publishing

Think Happy, Be Happy

Title: Think Happy, Be Happy
Author: Workman Publishing
Publisher: Workman Publishing
ISBN: 9780761177579 (0761177574)
Pub Date: October 2013
Reviewed by: Jennie Bev of
Review Date: May 11, 2013
Rating: Extremely Recommended (5 of 5)

This 400-page gift book is such a charmer. The pages are colorful and filled with quotes from famous people, short passages about happiness-related things, playlists of happy songs, cute drawings, whimsical names, and other feeling-awesome snippets of life and love. This book serves an important purpose: reminding readers to be happy by thinking about happy things. Happiness, after all, is all in the mind and heart.

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Tiger Writing: Art, Culture and the Interdependent Self by Gish Jen

Tiger Writing by Gish Jen

Title: Tiger Writing: Art, Culture, and the Interdependent Self
Author: Gish Jen
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674072831
Pub Date: March 2013
Reviewed by: Jennie Bev of
Review Date: May 9, 2013
Rating: Extremely Recommended (5 of 5)

In Tiger Writing, a memoir of art, culture, and interdependent self, author Gish Jen said, “Culture is not fate; it only offers templates, which individuals can finally accept, reject, or modify, and do.” Jen was born in the United States of immigrant parents who migrated from Yixing in Jiangsu province, west of Shanghai. The memoir is divided into three sections, which were presented as lectures at Massey Lectures in the History of American Civilization program at Harvard. It is a cultural memoir filled with beautiful passages of Chinese-American diaspora.

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Is College Worth It? by William J. Bennett and David Wilezol

Is College Worth It?

Title: Is College Worth It?: A Former United States Secretary of Education and a Liberal Arts Graduate Expose the Broken Promise of Higher Education
Authors: William J. Bennett and David Wilezol
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
ISBN: 978-1-59555-422-2
Pub Date: April 30, 2013
Reviewed by: Jennie Bev of
Review Date: May 9, 2013
Rating: Highly Recommended (4 of 5)

The premise of this book is, “The world’s most talented students will be successful no matter where they go to college or if they don’t go at all” (location 123 in the e-book version). Overturning the commonly held belief that everyone should go to college, the authors believe that not everyone should go to college. Success isn’t determined by the degrees one amasses, but by having the right skills and the right knowledge for the job at a certain time.

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