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Sadly, I was disappointed with the convoluted advice and the book’s organization. Every other paragraph referenced a different scripture rather than focusing on one incident at a time, which didn’t allow for continuity of thought while reading. It was as if the author wanted to impress with his scriptural knowledge rather than offering biblical guidelines. Then there were references to unrelated topics, a whole section on how guns are not amoral, Karl Marx and Margaret Sanger immorally used their knowledge to destroy society, and some story about Abraham showing a rich fool his hovel in heaven, which was certainly not taken from any version of the bible I’ve read.
As I mentioned, the bible is full of helpful guidance about money matters, and most of those are mentioned at some point in this book. So in that regard, Christians might find Your Finances God’s Way a useful introduction to finances in the scriptures.
However, I found much of the writing superfluous rather than feasible. Perhaps I was looking for something other than a sermon based on the title. I wanted something more than generalities. I wanted a guidebook on how best to invest my resources as a Christian and the biblical support for those actions. Although there was much written about the scriptural interpretation of money and a few examples of what the author himself did, this book failed to provide meaningful steps to obtaining financial stability for me.
I received an ARC from Reedsy Discovery. You can read my review here.
Although the title suggests that the ideas in this book could be applied to other professionals, the metaphors, examples, parables, and situations are tailored to accountants. It is masterfully crafted in that regard. The challenges unique to financial tasks, including stress during tax season, working with demanding clients, and the accountant’s own personal baggage regarding money, were addressed.
There are biblical excerpts, quotes from famous people like Einstein, and short poems that the author wrote to aid readers in finding inner peace through mindful activity. In addition, there are some links to the author’s YouTube channel for further guided meditations, while others are written out for the reader.
I’m not sure that I could pick my favorite part. I enjoyed the meditation exercises. I loved the short poems. I chuckled at the conversation between the accountant and their friend (a reminder to be kind to yourself). The information about the practical application of mindfulness, both in professional and personal lives, resonated with me. The Mindfulness at Work Questionnaire for Professionals was beneficial in pinpointing how I could become more present. I thought the Thirteen Qualities of an Awakened Workplace was a helpful guide in helping employees determine how healthy their work environment is. I especially liked the section about the Money Attitude Scare (MAS) and how mindfulness can change how I look at money and financial planning. As you can see, this book is jam-packed with mindful goodies!
Beyond Balancing the Books should be on every accountant’s required reading list. Other professionals may also find it useful, disregarding the extreme CPA focus. People who are not ready to start down the mindful living path will probably find this book not as helpful. It’s a longish book, so not something that could be read in one sitting. However, that’s the point of being in the present, taking things as they come, isn’t it?
I received an ARC from Reedsy Discovery. You can read my review here.
I have to admit that I’m somewhat of a fanatic of post-apocalyptic survival books. I can’t say precisely what it is about the genre that appeals to me, perhaps the promise of a new beginning, but whatever it is, The Upside of Down: The Sky Above and The Mud Below by Joel Bernard fit the bill.
The story is written from the perspective of the characters in a somewhat futuristic but not too distant future when climate change has caused a global catastrophe. Wildfires, storm surges, flooding, drought, superstorms, tornadoes, and the like were catalysts to a vast migration. People from the southern US were moving North, and those from the coasts were moving inland.
Although I enjoyed the book, there were some issues. The first drawback I found was that the sheer number of characters was overwhelming. Constantly switching back and forth between characters, perspectives, and even storylines, made it difficult to form an attachment to some individuals. Then some of the characters were dead, and we only hear from them after they are dead, which does very little to advance the plot since all they can talk about is being dead.
There seemed to be some vagueness about what happened to Moses, a likable character that lived in a church and could “get things.” It appeared that he had become an integral part of one of the wandering groups but then was killed, and there was a ceremony of some sort to mark his passing. However, none of these events are presented to the reader directly. I’m not sure if the chapters were edited out or the author didn’t smooth the plot development out quite right, but Moses got lost in the story.
I believe the author meant this novel to be a morality tale. The situations presented and the scientific information presented in hindsight musings told the story of a civilization that did not heed scientific warnings. The result was this calamitous new world humans struggled to survive in. Unfortunately, the story lacked immediacy. There was a lot of cloud gathering and navel-gazing by the characters, who realistically would be more focused on adapting to their harsh surroundings as they exhaustingly traveled hundreds of miles on foot to their hoped-for destinations.
Amazon has started offering hardcover publishing on KDP. This is a nice feature for select books as you don’t need to pay anything up-front and you earn 60 percent royalties after the printing costs are deducted. Not all books are worth the conversation to hardcover. However, children’s books, photo books, and a well-selling fiction or non-fiction manuscript will look spectacular in hardcover.
Amazon’s hardcovers do not come with a dust jacket and some have said the quality isn’t what you might find at a traditional publisher. On the other hand, I was delighted with my children’s books.
So here’s how you get one of these lovely babies via KDP.
Once you select “create a hardcover” from your KDP dashboard, the process is fairly straightforward. The hardcover details are automatically transferred from your paperback/ebook setup.
Under the tab “Hardcover Content” add your ISBN if you have one, otherwise, Amazon can assign one to you that you can use on its platform. Choose your print options and size. Upload your manuscript and create a cover.
And that’s it. Really. The printing costs, of course, will be much higher than the paperback version, so the price you set for your book should reflect that. Check it out! It might be just the thing for your manuscript or children’s story.