Archives for posts with tag: book review


I don’t know why I always have some skepticism for the bestseller lists, perhaps it’s my natural penchant for going against the grain, so books that have “More than one million copies sold” on their covers don’t really catch my interest that much.  However, being in convalescence, The E-Myth Revisited (Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It) by Michael E. Gerber was lent to me and when I had to stay away from fiddling with my smartphone and chatting with friends, I finished reading this book and I would have to say that it makes a lot of sense.

Perhaps if I hadn’t gone through the failure and subsequent of our small business this year I would not have appreciated the book as much since it seemed to be common sense and sound theory at best but having gone through the actual experience of starting a business and it not working out, I would have to say that the author Michael E Gerber shared nuggets of wisdom which I wish we would have known before even starting the business.  However, we cannot turn back time even if we wish to cry over spilt milk.

It is in this light that I wish to share that anyone who wishes to start a business with their talents and hard-earned money would benefit from reading this book as a primer even before starting out.  The instinctive mistakes many neophyte business owners commit are discussed in the book.  Most of the time when we start a business, we tend to be over-optimistic and let our dreams of success carry us away, and Gerber shares how we can fine tune our perspective and approach towards the business.

A must-read!

(c) Niconica 2015


ImageThis book contains a hefty amount of stories which fill our soul with wonder about the possibilities which are not immediately apparent and give us a sense that, as per the title, miracles indeed do happen.  I like the fact that this book contains a lot of stories–more than the average–and give us the Dr. Brian Weiss stories we enjoy learning and hearing about, I just wish that the format was more similar to his previous books instead of the current format which contains article type inserts in the form of letters from the readers.  I theoretically understand how having the letters of his readers/student/followers in the book would add a personal touch to it however, for some strange reason, I prefer it to be in the format where Dr. Weiss relates the stories to us from his point of view similar to Through Time into Healing or Many Lives, Many Masters.  This is, of course, just a matter of preference in terms of formatting and does not in any way detract from the content and substance of the book which I could barely put down.  I always enjoy books by Brian Weiss and look forward to more hefty volumes such as Miracles Happen which is filled with rich personal experiences and information.

(c) Niconica 2012

Dr. Mark Epstein’s Thoughts Without A Thinker discusses psychotherapy with a Buddhist perspective in a very coherent manner. It makes on appreciate the breadth of Buddha’s teachings as it extends towards ‘Applied Buddhism’ as it were.

When one removes the ceremonial trappings from Buddhism, it is essentially a study of how to contemplate upon, how to tame and to discipline, and eventually how to conquer one’s mind. What better discipline than to apply it with than psychology and psychotherapy.

Epstein’s book is a classic and an informative and thought-provoking intellectual read which expands our minds to an additional way of considering both Buddhism and psychotherapy.

I highly recommend Thoughts Without A Thinker.

(c) Niconica 2012

Mickey Pearlman and Katherine Usher Henderson have, in A Voice of One’s Own, presented interesting and insightful essays of their interview with a notable selection of America’s Writing Women.

It’s an enriching experience to learn the thoughts and personal histories of successful woman writers. Pearlman and Henderson have certainly given women writers the stage in this book, after duly noting that women are often featured as token women writers otherwise.

It is heartening to read and learn about the writing journeys of women writers which are often intertwined and inseparable from their personal lives and experiences.

It’s also encouraging to learn that they come from all sorts of walks of life and professionally pursued writing at different ages and due to different circumstances though all have enjoyed and displayed a knack for writing during younger years.

I highly recommend this book to all writers–especially to aspiring female writers.

(c) Niconica 2012


Before Young Adult literature was filled with stories about vampires, werewolves, and fairies, there was the Sweet Valley series and I am one among many in a whole generation of women who grew up with the Wakefield Twins and their friends.

Jessica and Elizabeth are practically our old friends and encountering Sweet Valley Confidential was definitely a very pleasant surprise.  It’s like running across some very old and dear friends and catching up with them ten years later to see how things have gone.

I am definitely very pleased that Francine Pascal decided to write Sweet Valley confidential.  I had been addicted to Sweet Valley High and Sweet Valley Twins books for years as I was growing up and I would actually consider them to be an integral part of my childhood–along with the Nancy Drew series.

Reading Sweet Valley, Sweet Dreams and Nancy Drew books is practically a right of passage.  I read Sweet Valley Confidential with nostalgia–and in one sitting.  I could not put the book down and savored every single word and delighted in the experience of coming in touch once again with a part of my youth.

I have to admit I was not too much of a fan of the Sweet Valley TV series–it did not seem to do justice to the scope and depth of the books.  However, after reading Sweet Valley Confidential–it makes me wonder whether a TV series might be a good idea but only after a Sweet Valley Confidential movie is shown to launch it–reintroduce it to the younger generation so to speak, and delighting longtime fans like myself.

The plot is not complicated… Sweet Valley Confidential reads more like a series of vignettes which takes us into 10 years into the future from where we left off over a decade ago.

It could have been more poignant, more complicated and more heart-wrenching (and longer) to appeal to now adult fans, but as it is, it shows the signature sweetness of Sweet Valley which we know and love.

A nostalgic treat.

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to image/s

When I came across this book, the cover called to me as though it was some top-secret manual from the future, and I was not disappointed. The Faith Popcorn Eve-olution book about the 8 truths of marketing to women really paints a different picture from the norm and it’s definitely, as my title goes, something to think about.

Connecting to the women clients and connecting them to each other is brought up as a way to encourage community.  For a woman, the truths brought forth in the book rings intuitively in our souls and it’s good to finally have a book such as Faith Popcorn Eve-olution validate our natural leanings towards connecting and community by merging business with personal matters.

If you’re interested in women’s studies or marketing to women, this book can be quite handy as it provides wonderful insights into how women think and what are the factors which should be considered when addressing them as clients.

(c) Niconica 2011*

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There are so many books about how to act or what to do to acquire or keep a relationship, but what these books fail to instruct us is that all the techniques are in vain if we fail to choose the right person to love.

How to Love by Gordon Livingston, M.D. is a veritable treasure and treatise on identifying the wheat from the chaff and this wisdom may be applied not only to selecting one’s romantic interests but also ones’ friends since as he points out, whom we choose to surround ourselves with is indeed relevant to our well-being.

In his conversational and easy to read manner, he conveys profound truths regarding quality traits of people whom it would be preferable to associate with, and also quality traits of people whom it would be a good idea to avoid since it might at best, be a waste of our time and at worst, cause our undoing.

I recommend this book as a must-read, not only to people who are romantically-inclined, but to anyone who values their well-being.

Double thumbs-up!

(c) Niconica 2011*

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Page One Bookstore @ Times Square @ Hong Kong

I visited Page One Bookstore @ Times Square (Causeway Bay, Hong Kong) today and browsed through their selection of English books and found a gem: How to Love by Gordon Livingston, M.D.

Boston Globe has hailed it “As gracefully written as Erich Fromm‘s classic The Art of Loving.” This is high praise indeed. I enjoyed The Art of Loving very much.

Though upon reading the first few pages of How to Love, I might actually say that this is even more gracefully written since the relevant content is conveyed in an updated conversational way without losing the essentials.

In the spirit of Dr. Livingston‘s international bestseller Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart, his humor shines through as he deftly handles what might be considered heavy topics in a light and skillful manner that it may not be too overwhelming while at the same time, ensuring that the message is not lost.

I have placed this blog post under the category of Book Previews instead of Book Reviews since I will be writing a separate entry when I’ve finished reading the book.

I am just so keen about this book that I wanted to blog about it upon flipping through the first few pages.  How to Love’s subtitle captures the nugget of wisdom perfectly “Choosing Well at Every Stage of Life.”

It would not be far-fetched to imagine that this book would soon be one of the classics in the category of relationship psychology.

Stay tuned for the review.

(c) Niconica 2011*

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I highly recommend “Who’s Pulling Your Strings?” to anyone who is struggling with manipulation.  It is indeed a how-to book on breaking the cycle of manipulation and regaining control of one’s life.

We might think we know how to deal with manipulators, but the experiential knowledge would do well by being augmented with Dr. Briaken’s advice.

For people who have a nagging feeling at the back of their minds that they are being manipulated – this is also a good book to help identify, confirm, or deny whether one is indeed being manipulated.

We’re not talking about criminal or illegal manipulation here, we’re just talking about the garden variety everyday life manipulation which include, but is not limited to, emotional blackmail, passive-aggressive behavior, and the silent treatment.

It would be safe to say that there is at least one (if we are lucky enough for it to be merely one)  character in our life – boss, family member, relative, business partner, romantic partner, spouse – who is prone to exercising tactics of manipulation.

It would also be safe to say that almost everyone has been or is a victim of manipulative behavior at one point or another in their lives.  If you are in such a situation, this book would be invaluable.

If you know of anyone else in this situation, it might be a good idea to share this book with them too.

After all, life is too short to waste being stuck and helpless under someone else’s thumb.

(c) Niconica 2011*

*Applies to the text and not the image of the post

Success has universal appeal.  Most people covet and recognize it; they admire the exceptional people who have managed to achieve exceptional success.

Malcolm Gladwell takes us further into the phenomenon of success and discusses the factors which are crucial for success – using real-life examples:  Bill Gates, the Beatles, and more.

He also writes about the 10,000-hour rule which stipulates that success or expertise is achieved after the 10,000 hour of doing.  He also discusses that timing is critical for success.

Interesting, isn’t it?  It’s a must-read for anyone interested in the inner workings of success.

(c) Niconica 2010*

*Copyright applies to the text and not the image of the blog post.