Category Archives: Books

Think and Grow Rich

Think and Grow Rich was written in 1937 by Napoleon Hill, promoted as a personal development and self-improvement book. Hill writes that he was inspired by a suggestion from business magnate and (later) philanthropist Andrew  Carnegie. While the book’s title and much of the text concerns increased income, the author insists that the philosophy taught in the book can help people succeed in any line of work, to do and be anything they can imagine.

The book was first published during the Great  Depression. At the time of Hill’s death in 1970, Think and Grow Rich had sold more than 20 million copies, and by 2015 over 100 million copies had been sold worldwide.  It remains the biggest seller of Napoleon Hill’s books. BusinessWeek magazine’s Best-Seller List ranked it the sixth best-selling paperback business book 70 years after it was published.  Think and Grow Rich is listed in John C. Maxwell’s A Lifetime “Must Read” Books List.

The text of Think and Grow Rich is based on Hill’s earlier work The Law of Success, said to be the result of more than twenty years of study of many individuals who had amassed personal fortunes.

Hill studied their habits and evolved 16 “laws” to be applied to achieve success. Think and Grow Rich condenses them, providing the reader with 13 principles in the form of a “Philosophy of Achievement”. Mark Hansen has said time has shown that two of the laws/principles are most important: 1) The MasterMind principle/process and 2) “Know very clearly where you want to go.”

The book asserts that desire, faith and persistence can propel one to great heights if one can suppress negative thoughts and focus on long-term goals.

The 13 “steps” listed in the book are: 1. Desire 2. Faith 3. Autosuggestion 4. Specialized Knowledge 5. Imagination 6. Organized Planning 7. Decision 8. Persistence 9. Power of the Master Mind 10. The Mystery of Sex Transmutation 11. The Subconscious Mind 12. The Brain 13. The Sixth Sense

There are several courses created from the Think and Grow Rich content and principles.

Earl Nightingale co-created with Napoleon Hill a 30-minute audio summary of the book titled “Think and Grow Rich: Instant Motivator”.

Think and Grow Rich was revised in 1960, and published by Crest Book, Fawcett Publications. The revised edition had a testimonial from W. Clement Stone on the inside front cover page: “More men and women have been motivated to achieve success because of reading Think and Grow Rich than by any other book written by a living author.”  In 1987, Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton hosted a TV infomercial that sold the 1960 version with an audio cassette version of the book (the audio cassettes contained an introduction and conclusion by Tarkenton and supplemental study guides). In the introduction, Tarkenton stated that he believed Think and Grow Rich to be “the greatest most honored formula for success that has ever been developed.”

Source:

  • Success Through A Positive Mental Attitude, by Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone. ISBN 1-4165-4159-4
  • Earl Nightingale Reads Think and Grow Rich [The essence of Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich], by Earl Nightingale. ISBN 1-4558-1011-8
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The Top Ten Best Books of all Time

The best books of all time have been highly rated by critics and readers. They have managed to display dynamics and events in society in exemplary ways. The books reveal the truth and describe scenes and chapters that readers can relate to. They can also be described as timeless as they accurately portray the society and project into the future. They include:

Hamlet by William Shakespeare- Best Books

Hamlet by William Shakespeare is believed to have been written between 1599 and 1601 (Shakespeare et. al., 1948). Set in Denmark, the play recounts how Hamlet, Prince of Denmark sets out to get revenge on Claudius, his uncle. Claudius took the throne by murdering the King, who is Prince Hamlet’s father. He then married Prince Hamlet’s mother, Queen Getrude. The story is filled with Prince Hamlet’s mission for revenge while the criminal King reigns secure (Feud 1900, 264-66).The play explore themes of revenge, moral corruption, treachery and incest. It outlines the course of real and feigned lunacy. The book has appeared in accredited lists of the best books of all times including Harvard’s Book Store and Bravo Magazine, amongst other famous lists.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald- Best Books

Written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby is an intricate tale of America following World War I. As such, it is among the twentieth-century’s great literature classics. The novel is one of the author’s highest achievements, and it chronicles the Jazz Age. The story features Jay Gatsby and his love for Daisy Buchanan, who the story describes as very beautiful, and their extravagant merry-makings on Long Island. The story is set when the world was recovering from the effects of the war and the American society was regaining its economic stability and enjoying prosperity. The New York Times marked this Jazz age ‘as an era where Gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession.’

Anna Karenina by Graf Leo Tolstoy- Best Books

Anna Karenina is the story of a doomed love affair. The rebellious and luxurious Anna refuses to bear the brunt of a loveless passionless marriage by having an affair with officer Count Vronsky, (Mandelker, 1993). The novel; an outcome of the author’s shocking and robust style of writing, is set in the nineteenth century Russia and its chronicles its seven major characters in the dynamics of rural and urban life as well as dissimilarities on love and family happiness. Due to difficulties in publishing the novel at the time, the book was published in sections from 1873 to 1877 in the The Russian Messenger periodical (Wikipedia.com).

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez- Best Books

Gabriel García Márquez is a Colombian born screen writer, novelist and short-story writer and an outstanding author of the 20th Century with the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature and the Neustadt International Prize for Literature awarded in 1972. One Hundred Years of Solitude is one of his best rated Novels of all times written in 1967. It is a story of the Buendía, a multi-generational family, whose headman José Arcadio Buendía discovers the town of Macondo, which means Cavanillesia platanifolia, the native name given to a tree found in the symbolic area of Colombia. The story revolves around the life of this family in their newly discovered town (Márquez & Newman 2001).

The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien- Best Books

The book portrays the enormous metaphorical, as well as literal loads, that American soldiers struggled with during the 23rd Infantry division. The “things” represented physical and emotional loads of grief, fear, guilt, longing and love. Tim O’ Brien, the narrator and protagonist of the novel reflects how soldiers deal with guilt and confusion of the inhumanity they witness at war. The Things They Carried was initially published by Houghton Mifflin in 1990 and is a distortion of fact and fiction with a collection of stories of soldiers involved in the Vietnam War. The book covers a landmark in American history by giving a glimpse of the situation as well as America’s involvement in the war at that time.

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy- Best Books

This is a story written from the perception of five Russian aristocratic families. It chronicles the unfolding of events that lead to the Napoleonic invasion of Russia as well as the effect of his era the Tsarist society( Tolstoy & Tolstoi, 2015). War and Peace was published in 1869 and presents one of Leo Tolstoy’s most accredited literary work of all times according to Encyclopedia Britannica. The book has also been listed in over 32 famous books lists as the best book of all times’ and was rated 2nd on The Novel 100: A Ranking of the Greatest Novels of All Time.

In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust- Best Books

In Search of Lost Time was first published in French as À la recherche du temps perdu from 1913 to 1927. It narrates the story of the author’s life as he searches for the truth. In Search of Lost Time is an outstanding French novel of the 20th century published in seven parts. The story represents three major characters and their influence on the main characters quest for truth. Proust manipulated and changed everything to reveal the truth (Proust, 2016).

To the Light House by Virginia Wolf- Best Books

The story is set in the pre-World War I and features Mr. and Mrs. Ramsay and their eight children in Hebrides summer home on the Isle of Skye’ in Scotland between 1910 and 1920 (Wolf 1992).The novel was first published in 1927 and presents and exemplary example of multiple focalization techniques in literature, where the author displays thoughts and actions rather than speeches. The book has been listed as number 15 by 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century by the Modern Library in 1998, as well as the one hundred best English-language novels from 1923 by TIME magazine in 2005.

Moby-Dick by Herman Melville- Best Books

Moby Dick is the story of a notorious white whale that bit off Ahab’s leg, a captain of the whaler known as Pequod. The story narrates the captain’s revenge to kill Moby-dick for taking his leg. Melville is the main protagonist in the book; Melville goes by Ishmael in the book. This book that chronicles his life and experiences at sea. The story ends by the sinking of the whaler by Moby Dick (Melville, 1959). The novel was published in 1851 and gained recognition by critics and readers alike after the author’s death in 1851. It was revised many times after that and has since been rated the best book of all times.

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes- Best Books

This novel is written by Miguel de Cervantes and was published in 1605 and 1615 as two parts. The story features Don Quixote a middle man from La Mancha, Central Spain who becomes obsessed and then goes crazy over tales he read about chivalry and knights. The name, Don Quixote, he gives to himself because he believes he is one of the knights he read about. He goes about behaving like a knight by riding with his squire in search for adventure. It turns to tragedy when he gets badly hurt by windmills he believes are giants sent to attack and later dies (de Cervantes, 1908).

Sources:

1. de Cervantes Saavedra, M. (1908). Don Quixote. J. Fitzmaurice-Kelly (Ed.). Insel-Verlag.

2. Fitzgerald, F. S. (1991). The Great Gatsby (1925). na.

3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Karenina

4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encyclop%C3%A6dia_Britannica

5. Mandelker, A. (1993). Framing Anna Karenina: Tolstoy, the woman question, and the Victorian novel. Ohio State University Press.

6. Márquez, G. G., & Newman, D. (2001). One hundred years of solitude (p. 36). Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind Tertiary Resource Service..

7. Melville, H. (1959). Moby Dick: Or, The Whale. Dell.

8. O’brien, T. (2009). The things they carried. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

9. Proust, M. (2016). In Search of Lost Time [volumes 1 to 7](Centaur Classics)[The 100 greatest novels of all time-# 13]. Marcel Proust.

10. Shakespeare, W., Olivier, L., & Simmons, J. (1948). Hamlet. University Press.

11. Tolstoy, L., & Bayley, J. (1978). The Portable Tolstoy (Vol. 1978). Viking Pr.

12. Tolstoy, L., & Tolstoi, L. N. (2015). War and peace. Random House.

13. Woolf, V. (1992). To the lighthouse. In Collected Novels of Virginia Woolf (pp. 177-334). Palgrave Macmillan UK.

Authors teach underprivileged kids creative writing

London, UK – On an east London high street, children flock to the Ministry of Stories, a place where they can hone their writing skills.

Nick Hornby, a best-selling novelist, is behind the mentoring programme.

“Every measurement of success and poverty indicators show that literacy is at the heart of it. We think we can improve the future lives of disadvantaged children,” Hornby said.

Novelists such as Zadie Smith and Sophie Kinsella serve as patrons for the programme.

The writing centre, hidden behind the quirky Hoxton Street Monster Supplies shop, provides after-school writing activities to children in the neighbourhood.

Many of the students do not speak English at home and come from low-income backgrounds.

“They may have a grandparent in Nigeria or … Colombia. They represent the rich tapestry of London life and they can draw on that,” said Emma Joliffe, the centre’s creative learning manager.

The idea has gained traction and, now, interest is pouring in from around the world, from groups hoping to set up their own ministries of stories.

Source:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/01/authors-teach-kids-underprivileged-creative-writing-170102084127443.html

THE SCI-FI AUTHOR BRIDGING AMERICA AND CHINA

Ken Liu says he could never miss the beginning of any story. So while growing up in China in the 1980s, he sprinted from school to his grandmother’s house each afternoon. She dialed the Chinese radio to the correct station, and the duo listened to tales of kingdoms and romance in the Pingshu tradition. When the shows finished, Liu raced through a couple of questions with grandma to clarify what went over his head. Then he’d run back to class.

Today, Liu knows what it’s like to be behind the scenes of a hit that titillates, just as those radio shows did. In his case, it’s sci-fi and fantasy novels. Liu is the translator responsible for bringing Chinese sci-fi authors to America — and is the writer of a few impressive books himself. He translated two of three books in Cixin Liu’s (no relation) science-fiction trilogy The Three Body Problem, which has garnered praise from both President Obama and Mark Zuckerberg. His translation was the first Chinese-to-English text to win the highest honor in sci-fi land, the Hugo Award.

That goes on the shelf next to prior Hugos for his own writing: best short story (“The Paper Menagerie” and “Mono No Aware”) in 2012 and 2013. “Ken exploded on the scene,” says Lightspeed magazine editor and top sci-fi anthologist John Joseph Adams. He thinks Liu may be the writer he’s accepted the most to his many publications, which form the constellation of the modern science-fiction canon. NPR’s book critic called Liu’s epic trilogy, The Dandelion Dynasty, “beautiful, nuanced, fierce, original and diverse.” Soon, Liu will be headed to the screen: TheGrace of Kings sold to the Chinese production company DMG in October 2016.

“I don’t particularly care about the kinds of things fantasy and sci-fi readers care about,” Liu says — though he says he finds his materials mainly in scientific papers. “I’m not interested in predicting the future.” He’s more interested in using metaphor to untangle our contemporary reality: In The Dandelion Dynasty, factions vie for power in a make-believe, rebellious, unstable empire. (Game of Thrones, anyone?)

In six years, Liu has published more than 100 short stories. In “Paper Menagerie,” a young Chinese-American boy’s mom makes origami that comes to life. “Single Bit-Error,” a tale of love lost after a car crash, uses programming language as metaphor. “Mono No Aware” tells the story of a Japanese boy who earns a coveted spot on an American evacuation ship from Earth (hit by an asteroid). “Everything passes, Hiroto,” the boy remembers his late father saying. “That feeling in your heart: It’s called mono no aware. It is a sense of the transience of all things in life.”

Liu references his heritage in The Grace of Kings not by writing characters of his ethnicity, but through the aesthetic of his futuristic world landscape — “silkpunk,” mixing Victoriana and East Asian classical antiquity. The world uses East Asian technological sources like bamboo, silk and wind power, while Liu drew from Chinese historical romances and foundational narratives well known in Chinese culture.

At first, most Chinese sci-fi was imported translations of authors like Jules Verne. In 1932, the same year as Aldous Huxley came out with Brave New World, Chinese author Lao She wrote a dystopian satirical novel set on Mars called Cat Country. But the communists pushed most sci-fi aside beginning in the 1950s.

Source:

http://www.ozy.com/rising-stars/the-sci-fi-author-bridging-america-and-china/74506

Ten authors coming to Kansas City area you’ll want to see

Melissa Hartwig

Sports nutritionist and co-creator of the Whole30 program will appear for “The Whole30 Cookbook.” 7 p.m. Jan. 19. Unity Temple on the Plaza, 707 W. 47th. RainyDayBooks.com, 913-384-3126

Sister Souljah

Author, activist, recording artist and film producer will speak as part of Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture Series. 6 p.m. Jan. 24. Swinney Recreation Center, UMKC, 5030 Holmes. UMKC.edu/diversity

Brit Bennett

One of the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 honorees for 2016 will appear for her first novel, “The Mothers.” 6:30 p.m. Feb. 15. Free. Kansas City Public Library-Plaza Branch, 4801 Main. KCLibrary.org or RainyDayBooks.com, 816-701-3400

Deepak Chopra

World-renowned speaker and author will address experiencing higher consciousness, transformation and healing in his discussion of his new book, “You Are the Universe: Discovering Your Cosmic Self and Why It Matters.” 7 p.m. Feb. 22. $45. Carlsen Center Yardley Hall, 12345 College, Overland Park. JCCC.edu/performing-arts-series, 913-469-4445

Stephen Kinzer

Journalist who worked more than 20 years as a foreign correspondent with The New York Times will speak on “America’s Misadventures in the Middle East: Is There a Way Out?” as part of Visiting Scholar Lecture Series. 7:30 p.m. Feb. 23. Arrupe Hall Auditorium, Rockhurst University, 54th and Troost. Rockhurst.edu/ArtsAndLetters, 816-501-4828

Alex George

Englishman who is a former corporate lawyer in London and Paris but now lives in Columbia will appear for “Setting Free The Kites.” 6:30 p.m. Feb. 23. Free. Mid-Continent Public Library-Woodneath Library Center, 8900 NE Flintlock. MyStoryCenter.org or RainyDayBooks.com, 816-883-4900

Jericho Brown

Winner of the Whiting Award and the American Book Award will appear as part of Midwest Poets Series. 7 p.m. March 2. $3. Arrupe Hall Auditorium, Rockhurst University, 54th and Troost. Rockhurst.edu/ArtsAndLetters, 816-501-4607

Julia Alvarez

Author of 19 books, including “In the Time of the Butterflies” and “Return to Sender,” will speak as part of NEA Big Read/Read Across Lawrence. 7 p.m. March 5. Free. Lied Center, 1600 Stewart, Lawrence. Lied.KU.edu, 785-864-2787

Henry W. Bloch and John Herron

Founder of H&R Block will discuss the new biography about him, “Navigating a Life: Henry Bloch in WWII,” with his co-author. 6:30 p.m. March 29. Kansas City Public Library-Plaza Branch, 4801 Main. KCLibrary.org, 816-235-1168 or 816-701-3400

Andrew McCarthy

Author of the bestselling travel memoir “The Longest Way Home” will appear for “Just Fly Away.” 7 p.m. April 18. Free. Mid-Continent Public Library-Woodneath Library Center, 8900 NE Flintlock. MyStoryCenter.org or RainyDayBooks.com, 816-883-4900

Here’s what it’s like to earn a six-figure book advance, according to bestselling author Cheryl Strayed

Cheryl Strayed, the No. 1 New York Times bestselling author of the 2012 memoir “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail,” is ready to talk about money.

In the new anthology “Scratch: Writers, Money, and the Art of Making a Living” by Manjula Martin, Strayed lifts the veil on her dire financial past.

“We almost lost our house before I sold ‘Wild’ [in 2009],” she told Martin in an interview for the book. “I think we had $85,000 in credit card debt by the time I sold that book. I can say that now because I don’t have any debt, but I was so ashamed of that.”

Strayed had already paid off a previous bout of credit card debt — around $50,000 — after signing the deal for her first book, “Torch,” in 2003, for which she got a $100,000 advance.

“It was November 2003 … and I distinctly remember yelling — shrieking — into the phone to my husband, ‘A hundred thousand dollars! A hundred thousand dollars!’ And we were both just flipping out. We were like, our life is changed,” Strayed recalls.

But after a 15% agent fee, Strayed said she was left with just $21,000 annually over the next four years, paid out after reaching milestones like sending the book to printing, hardcover publication, and paperback publication. And a third of those paychecks then went to the IRS.

“Don’t get me wrong, the book deal helped a lot — it was like getting a grant every year for four years. But it wasn’t enough to live off of,” Strayed said. She supplemented her income with teaching college writing courses and freelancing, but with two kids under the age of two, Strayed says it was near impossible to make ends meet.

By the time she sold “Wild” to her publisher in 2009 — for a much larger $400,000 advance — she was up to $85,000 in credit card debt and still had lingering student loans.

“So here I was trying to write my second book with two babies, and we were just busting our a–es. During those years we were spending more on childcare than I was making,” Strayed said. “And we would always be so broke and ashamed and putting things on the credit card. Really getting into trouble.”

She continued: “Here’s another thing that’s so interesting about money that people never talk about: There are all these invisible advantages and privileges people have. Parents who help out with a down payment, or a grandparent who takes the kids every Tuesday. Parents who pay for college. We didn’t have any of that.”

With her first “Wild” paycheck, she paid off her student loans and the $85,000 debt. “We went out and had sushi. But our life didn’t change. We only got out of credit card debt. But it changed in that way, trust me. As anyone who’s been in severe credit card debt knows, it was a nightmare.”

Even after “Wild” was published three years later, Strayed, a newly minted bestselling author, was still broke.

“[I]n April 2012 the book had been out a month. I was on my book tour, and I was traveling around, and everyone was treating me like this big glorious bestselling author, and my husband texted me saying, ‘Our April rent check bounced. Why did it bounce?’ And I replied, ‘Because we don’t have any money in our checking account!’ And we laughed until we cried,” she said.

By January 2013, Strayed began earning royalties for the book’s global success: “So it was almost a year before my life actually changed,” she said. The following year, “Wild” was adapted into a film starring Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern, who both earned Academy-Award nominations for their performances.

Source:

 

Children’s Book Authors Protest Milo Yiannopoulos Book Deal

More than 160 children’s book authors have sent a letter to Simon & Schuster protesting the publishing company’s recent book deal with Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos.

The letter was sent Thursday to S&S CEO and president Carolyn Reidy and comes two months before Yiannopoulos’ upcoming book, “Dangerous,” is set to hit bookstores.

Yiannopoulos made headlines when he was banned from Twitter last summer after a feud with comedienne Leslie Jones that led to a groundswell of online harassment targeting the “SNL” star. After the book deal was announced, Jones criticized S&S on Twitter, saying the book would “help them spread their hate.” Other celebrities, such as Judd Apatow and Sarah Silverman, joined Jones in protesting the deal.

The letter by the group of children’s authors called Yiannopoulos “a man who routinely denigrates, verbally attacks, and directs dangerous internet doxxing and hate campaigns against women, minorities, LGBTQ individuals, Muslims, and anyone he chooses to target who supports equality and human decency.”

“This is not an issue of advocating or suppressing free speech, as Mr. Yiannopoulos has a broad internet broadcasting platform,” the letter read. “His voice is certainly being heard, and it is a voice of hate that stirs its followers to emotional, verbal, and physical violence directed at anyone who disagrees or speaks to the contrary.”

 

Among the letter’s signees are “Mortal Instruments” author Cassandra Clare and Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, Arun Gandhi. The letter can be read in full on Publisher’s Weekly.

Source:

 

The 10 Best Self-Help Books You’ve (Probably) Never Heard Of

The self-help industry today generates literally thousands of books, seminars, and audio programs, on which Americans spend more than $11 billion yearly. Most self-help programs are based in “positive thinking” – the principle that your thoughts shape your destiny. This message grew out of mental-healing and Transcendentalist tracts of the mid-nineteenth century, and attained mass appeal in works such as Norman Vincent Peale’s 1952 The Power of the Positive Thinking.

Critics generally view positive thinking as namby-pamby nonsense. But the philosophy has produced ideas that are deeply useful, even profound. You probably believe some of them already. This list considers the most compelling and overlooked expressions of this practical philosophy. While many of these books proved too esoteric in tone to attain the mass appeal of Dale Carnegie and Joel Osteen, they are a treasure of serviceable ideas and are all still available today.

1. The Strangest Secret by Earl Nightingale (1956) — The radio presenter and entrepreneur Nightingale possessed an unfailingly dignified and measured manner, which he used in this recorded lecture to distill the positive-thinking philosophy into a neat 30-minute capsule. He emphasized nonconformity and self-education. The Strangest Secret became the first spoken-word record to go gold, and helped launch the fields of business motivation and audio publishing.

2. The Power of Your Super Mind by Vernon Howard (1967) — While not a positive-thinking book in any strict sense, Howard saw the aware mind as providing a channel for awakening men and women to a higher power and purpose. The practical philosopher called for eschewing worldly ambition in favor of living by an inner knowing available to all people. Howard was one of the most compelling and unclassifiable voices to emerge from the American metaphysical scene.

3. Self Mastery through Conscious Autosuggestion by Emile Coué (1922) — A French hypnotherapist, Coué was the target of endless mockery for prescribing anxious modern people with a simple daily affirmation: “Day by day, in every way, I am getting better and better.” What critics missed, and what is on display in this finely reasoned and sprightly book, is that the self-taught healer and therapist possessed a keen understanding of the subconscious mind and the mechanisms by which his seemingly simplistic mantra (and other affirmations) could be used to bypass our self-limiting personal conceptions. Coué’s work ran deeper than is commonly understood and warrants rediscovery.

4. Know ThySelf: Secrets To Success In Life & Business by Adidas Wilson

Stay away from toxic and negative people. These are called vampires of dreams. They will do everything in their power to stop you. I fell asleep and drove off a bridge in an 18 wheeler. Landed on the tracks and was hit by the train. I ended up breaking my back on crutches for two years. But I still did not give up! Sometimes our goals will take five years or even ten years. But eventually your dreams will become a reality.

Success is like the most potent drug on earth. I want to be successful so bad I can literally taste the stars! A job is just over broke, I’m not comfortable working for someone else, I’m not comfortable clocking in for someone else. It’s a mind-set, whatever’s inside you must push you to become the “Master of Thyself”. “Man, know thyself, and you are going to know the gods”. Egyptian Proverb
“When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.

Eric Thomas

 

5. The Power of Awareness by Neville (1952) — Neville Goddard (who used only his first name) was an extraordinarily original metaphysical thinker who, from the late 1930s until his death in 1972, argued elegantly for one radical concept: the human mind is God. Our mental and emotive images, Neville maintained, literally create the surrounding world we experience. While Neville is the kind of figure that serious people immediately want to dismiss or argue with, the West Indies-born author wrote with remarkable vigor and persuasiveness. Neville may be the positive-thinking movement’s most radical and subtly influential voice.

6. The Science of Mind by Ernest Holmes (1937, revised edition) — The first forty pages or so of this voluminous work laid out the mind-over-matter philosophy of California mystic Ernest Holmes, which became a major influence on New Age spirituality. Holmes was a broad thinker and his work reflects a wide variety of influences, from Emerson to Christian Science founder Mary Baker Eddy. Holmes never became widely known but influenced many who did, such as Norman Vincent Peale. His books could be found in the libraries of George Lucas, Elvis Presley, and scholar of myth Joseph Campbell.

7. The Mental Cure by Warren Felt Evans (1869) — This pioneering work written by a Swedenborgian minister and early experimenter into the healing properties of the mind (he worked with the influential mental healer Phineas Quimby) helped lay the groundwork of affirmative-thought philosophy. While it is little read today, the book possesses a surprisingly modern tone. Evans gave early expression of the essentials of positive thought, including the use of affirmations, visualizations, and healing prayer. He was probably the first figure to use the term “New Age” in its current spiritual-therapeutic sense.

8. The Edinburgh Lectures on Mental Science by Thomas Troward (1909 revised edition) — Troward, a British judge, attempted to work out a persuasive and sturdy philosophical proof for the causative powers of the mind. In my view, he does not succeed (he leaves too many internal contradictions and dangling questions); but his effort represents one of the few truly ambitious attempts to create a structural reasoning behind the use of positive thinking. Troward was a major influence on Ernest Holmes.

9. The Kybalion by Three Initiates (1908) — Pseudonymously written by Chicago lawyer and publisher William Walker Atkinson, this work somewhat histrionically presents itself as a record of lost Hermetic wisdom. Nonetheless, it does locate some legitimate and poignant correspondences between modern positive thinking and ancient Hermetic philosophy. The chapters on “polarity” and “rhythm” offer a compelling spiritual psychology. Strange-but-true fact: This underground classic was beloved by actor Sherman Hemsley, aka “George Jefferson.”

10. How to Attract Good Luck by A.H.Z. Carr (1952) — A diplomat, journalist, and economist, Carr was the furthest thing that one could imagine from a starry-eyed spiritual dreamer or a promulgator of superstition. Carr eschewed all forms of ponderous or magical language — yet he also believed in a clear and concrete set of methods for attracting and building upon the fortuitous chance occurrences that crisscross our daily lives. He was an ardent believer that good ethics bring “good luck.”

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5 Ways to Make the Most of Kindle Unlimited’s 600,000 Books

SO, YOU’VE SIGNED up for Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited service and now you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by what’s on offer? That’s OK; it’s not often that you’re faced with the sudden availability of over 600,000 digital books to sample at once. If you’ve spent the weekend scrolling through your reading options in a nervous haze, unsure where to start reading, we’ve come up with five possible methods to get you on your merry reading way. No need to thank us. We know you’ll be too busy curling up with a good book—or several.

Binge-Read Some Old Favorites

Sure, you’ve read the Harry Potter books, Hunger Games trilogy, or Lord of the Rings cycle before, but now that each series is waiting for you in digital format—conveniently no larger nor heavier than your mobile reading device of choice—you finally have the chance to dive back in without fear and revisit some old friends. (Other series are available on the service too, of course; maybe it’s time to binge-read Hugh Howey’s Silo Saga books, or dive into Donald Westlake’s Dortmunder capers.)

Catch Up on the Classics

Alternatively, maybe it’s time to read all those books that you’ve meant to get around to but never quite found the time and/or inclination to read. Finally, this is your chance to pick up Life of Pi and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close! Or maybe get into Michael Chabon at last! Stop having to lie about having read Kurt Vonnegut for years! Hell, you could even enjoy the complete works of Jane Austen while you’re at it, maybe with a George Orwell chaser.

Indulge Some Guilty Pleasures

Perhaps the classics are too heavy, and you prefer something a little lighter. Kindle Unlimited has you covered there, as well, with all the romance, science-fiction, and mystery books that you could possibly crave, from work by up-and-coming authors through to some more familiar titles and writers. Don’t worry; we won’t tell.

Learn a New Skill

There are those for whom reading is far too passive an experience, which is why someone invented cookbooks, sports books, and other hobby books. If you’re not feeling in the mood for fiction, perhaps it’s time to give them a whirl. After all, these are books created to be the prelude to something practical, as opposed to pleasure in and of themselves; things that you read before you go off and do something. Think of them as the adverbs of the literary world.

Stop Reading

Yes, there’s something particularly contrary about suggesting that you should stop reading after signing up to a service where you have access to more than half a million books, but why not let someone else read to you for a while instead? In addition to a three-month trial subscription to Audible that comes as part of your Kindle Unlimited subscription, you’ll also have access to Whispersync for Voice on more than 7,000 titles, allowing you to switch between reading for yourself and enjoying an audio version of the same text. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily help you with the question of what to read, but if you’re still wondering about that, just scroll up.

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Listen to audiobooks to Make the Most of a Long Commute

1. Listen to audiobooks.

Audiobooks are one of the best ways to multitask while driving, especially if your commute is fairly boring. But be aware that audiobooks can be distracting, especially if you choose a compelling work of fiction. To minimize your risk of an accident, choose a nonfiction work such as a self-help book. You’ll avoid getting lost in a story while also gathering information that can make you an emotionally healthier, more productive worker.

2. Relax with classical music.

Music has been proven to reduce stress, especially soothing tunes like those found in the classical music genre. Find a classical music station or download your favorite songs to your device to listen to during your commute each day. You’ll likely find that you’re better able to avoid the stresses that put your mind in the wrong place for the first hour or two of your day.

3. Set goals for the day.

A long, boring commute is usually the best time to think about what you’ll do when you finally arrive at work. Focus on what you hope to accomplish that day and, on your commute home, evaluate whether you reached those goals or not. This isn’t the time to make a to-do list with plans to check items off throughout the day. Instead, look at the bigger picture of what you hope to accomplish during those eight hours to make the most of them.

4. Catch up on the news.

That endless chatter coming from your local radio stations can actually prove useful during your day. Listening to the news, sports, and even the weather forecast can give you material for small talk throughout the day. You never know when you’ll be seated next to a client who wants to discuss the latest big news story. If you can engage in the conversation, fully informed, you’ll be much more likely to make a good impression than if the conversation fizzled because you hadn’t listened to the news recently.

5. Be a passenger.

You may be attached to your car, but being behind the wheel limits you substantially. If you take the subway, train, or carpool with others who work near your building, you can use the commute to catch up on emails, sort through paperwork, or organize your day. This will give your workday a jumpstart, ensuring that by the time you arrive at work, you’re ready to start checking items off your to-do list, giving you an edge over other professionals in your field.

Often getting to work each day can be so grueling, it makes it difficult to focus once you get to work. If you can somehow put that time toward more productive activities, you may be able to start your workday on a more positive note. You may also find that you start to look forward to your commute as a way to relax and spend some time thinking.

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