Talk Like Ted by Carmine Gallo

Talk Like Ted by Carmine Gallo

Do you want to improve your presentation skills and ability to talk in the public? Then you have to read this book. 

Have you heard about those Ted talk presentations on Youtube with millions of views? This book is an in-depth analysis of some of the most compelling and captivating topics given on Tedx.   The author closely examines each of these highly viewed presentations to find out what strategies the presenters incorporated.   

 I enjoyed the discussions about some of the riveting  presentations on Tedx.  One of the things that struck me is the account on how one could fit a whole grand idea into 18 minutes which is what the presenters on are limited to.  Who doesn’t want to learn from the best? By analyzing some of these great speeches, the author presents practical guidelines on which you can draw inspirations on how to give your next spell binding  argument such as – building connections with the audience, story telling, using analogies, and how to generally remove boring elements from your speech.  In addition, the book lays strong emphasis on practice, practice practice – no more rambling and going off topics!

I found the topics in this book very useful and very educational especially the part about neurology, how our  brain functions and its relationship to our communication.  She further goes on to break down  the science behind creating and giving an effective presentation, which I found very eye-opening!  Talk Like Ted shares very detailed and very useful ideas and strategies on creating a concise speech, that would draw in your audience right from the start.  Another take away from this book is that the author listed a couple great speeches that has gained millions of views so far. This would allow anyone to go on Youtube and actually watch these presenters that he has analyzed!

If you want to be a great communicator and presenter,  then you have to read this book!!

About The Author:

Carmine Gallo

Carmine Gallo is the author of 7 business books including the international bestseller The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs, the award-winning The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs and The Apple Experience, the first book to look behind the scenes at the world’s most successful retail store. His books have been translated in over a dozen languages. Continue reading

The Cairo Affair by Olen Steinhauer

This a fast-moving thriller with an intricate plot about espionage, the FBI and political games as played out in the 90’s among foreign diplomats for the governments of Libya, Egypt, and the USA. The story is centered around Sophia Kohl the wife of Emmett Kohl, a mid-level diplomat at the American embassy in Hungary. Her husband is shot dead by an unknown gunman right after she confesses to him about having an affair. The story then follows as Sophia goes awol with a determination to find out who killed her husband and why. Her unauthorized and secretive quest set in motion an inquisition that threatens to expose years of deceit, lies, murders and cover ups.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Cairo Affair. This book starts off at a breakneck speed, and builds up intensity as the story progresses. It is a complicated and layered plot which makes it even more exciting!

This is one of those books you can’t put down because of the eye-opening discoveries that you make as you get deeper into the story. There are themes of evil schemes, betrayals, rivalries, backstabbing and deceptions all interwoven in this intricate plot.

Set in North Africa, from Hungary to Libya, Yugoslavia to Egypt, this story offers great insights into new places, people and cultures. I especially love stories that take you through foreign lands where you can learn a thing or two – this book does just that.
Pick up this book – It’s well worth your time!
Similar books – The Hidden Man by Charles Cumming, A Cold War by Amelia Levene, and The English Girl by Daniel Silva –

About The Author

Olen Steinhauer grew up in Virginia, and has since lived in Georgia, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Texas, California, Massachusetts, and New York. Outside the US, he’s lived in Croatia (when it was called Yugoslavia), the Czech Republic and Italy…Read more from Amazon

Drunk Mom by Jowita Bydlowska

Three years after giving up drinking, Jowita Bydlowska found herself throwing back a glass of champagne like it was ginger ale. It was a special occasion: a party celebrating the birth of her first child. It also marked Bydlowska’s immediate, full-blown return to crippling alcoholism.” ~Book blurb.

I picked up this book from my library based on its popularity, and great reviews.

This story covers a brief period in Jowita Bylowska’s life as she struggles with her addictions. I applaud Ms Bylowska for the courage to write such raw and open exposé’ about this dark period of her life. We follow as she tries to fend off her demons and at same time fight to be a relevant mother to her son. Despite the gloomy and dire nature of theme, the writer is able to convey the story in a funny, witty and upbeat style. To most people, this is an eye-opening, educational and informative story about dealing with addiction.

On the flip side, in as much as it is hard to include everything in a story, the account of some events seems rushed, possibly causing for there to be holes in the story line as to when and how certain events really occurred. Otherwise, Drunk Mom is a compelling story of redemption and a strong testimony of the resilience of the human spirit.
This an inspiring memoir that would appeal to everyone especially anyone struggling with addiction.

Author – Jowita Bydlowska
Publication Date – May 27, 2014
Pages – 320

About The Author:

“I was born in Warsaw, Poland. I moved to Canada as a teenager. I live in Toronto with my little family in a little house. I write, write, write (compulsively, happily, unhappily, obsessively). I wrote a book about drinking, published by Doubleday Canada and HarperCollins Australia…” Read more from author’s website

The Innocent Man by John Grisham

John Grisham writes his first nonfiction novel. This is one of the best nonfiction stories I have read. This novel is also a legal thriller just like most of his books. I couldn’t wait for the story to unravel – I was completely blown away!

This story follows Ron Williamson, an upcoming and ambitious baseball player widely expected to make the big leagues. Ron’s hopes into the big leagues crashes upon sustaining an arm injury. Consequently, he is dropped by his team – the Yankees. Roy returns home to small town Ada, and while not having anything to occupy him he starts to live the wild life – chasing women, booze and staying out late. Slowly Roy starts exhibiting some form of mental instability and soon, he is diagnosed with some form of mental illness.

Fast forward – Roy Williamson turns into a local bum and when an eighteen year old girl is found murdered, Roy and his friend Fritz are questioned, and with no physical evidence linking them to the murder are charged and found guilty for the crime. Both men are sent to death row where they serve 11 years but later exonerated by DNA evidence and thereupon released.

Grisham writes in compelling detail about the entire legal process. He delves into the intricacies of our legal system in a very engaging style that fans of legal thrillers would find it hard to put the book down. This enthralling true story explores wrongful convictions, criminal injustice, and police incompetence as show cased in the Roy Williamson tragic story.

The Innocent Man is a deeply researched and well written book. This book is a scary reality of how easily and how frequently – in our society innocent people are convicted for crimes they did not commit.

Author – John Grisham
Genre – Nonfiction
Publication Date – 2012
Pages – 448

About The Author:

“Long before his name became synonymous with the modern legal thriller, he was working 60-70 hours a week at a small Southaven, Mississippi, law practice, squeezing in time before going to the office and during courtroom recesses to work on his hobby—writing his first novel…” ~ More

“The Blackhouse” by Peter May


I found this review highly interesting, sounds like a great read – enjoy!

Originally posted on :

They say that reading is the cheapest form of travel.  In this case it was a wonderful trip.   “The Blackhouse” by Peter May is the first in a trilogy of novels set on the Hebridean Isle of Lewis. The setting was a major factor in the story and the author’s skillful writing transports the reader to Lewis with it’s rich culture and long history."The Blackhouse" by Peter May

However, let us not forget that this is a murder mystery. The protagonist, Fin Macleod was born and brought up on Lewis. He is now a policeman working out of Edinburgh. Fin is very vulnerable as he is in mourning for his broken marriage and for his young son who perished in a hit-and-run.  When a murder occurs on Lewis that resembles one that he is working on – his superiors send him to Lewis to aid in the investigation.  Fin has not…

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He’s Come Undone by Theresa Weir

Set on a a college campus in Minneapolis, three female college students decide to take out revenge on a guy who had broken their hearts at various points. Eileen is chosen as the tool for this revenge but the plan might not necessarily play out as planned. When things start to get out of hand, Eileen is no longer convinced she wants to continue with the arrangement but she had signed a contract with the girls or – is she still able to get out of it?
He’s Come Undone is a sweet romance with a modern twist. A very short light-hearted plot about ‘boy meets girl’, but in this case the reader already knows it is a set up mixed with deceit and vengeance. The story is written from the perspectives of the three main characters Eileen, Julian and Valerie. Each chapter is dedicated to a character as they tell their side of story. As the story unfolds, bold and unexpected events develop adding interest to the plot.

I find the premise of the story very interesting and something to look forward to. It is warm and fuzzy for a good romance novel. But this book could be richer and mind-blowing with some more detail and a deeper exploration of the characters. Eileen started out as a sympathetic character but I couldn’t fully appreciate her for lack of enough information on her. I also didn’t find a solid conflict and enough suspense in the plot to intrigue me.

However, this is a quick and easy read for a nice day (215 pages). I liked it but didn’t particularly fall in love with the story. I’ll describe it as heartfelt, romantic and cozy. I will definitely suggest this title to readers who enjoy sweet romance – and this one is really short too!

I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley for an honest review.

Author – Theresa Weir
Publication Date – February 25, 2014
Pages – 215
Setting – Minneapolis

About The Author:

Theresa Weir (a.k.a. Anne Frasier) is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty-six books and numerous short stories that have spanned the genres of suspense, mystery, thriller, romantic suspense, paranormal, fantasy, and memoir.
Read more ~Blurb and img from Amazon

Fox Hunt by S. M. Stelmack

Brian Chanse a high adrenaline stunt guy picks up a hitchhiker on the highway who looks almost dead. Out of compassion, he revives her and is curious about her story. Delta (alias Fox) is running for her life from underground gangsters. Not having any cash on her, she’s hitchhiking her way back to L.A. to investigate who wants her dead. Meanwhile, Brian is much fascinated by the girl and offers to help her which she refuses. Much later in the story, their paths cross again, with a hired assassin on their trail…

Fox Hunt is a fine blend of romance, mystery and suspense. The beginning chapters are gripping and fast paced urging the reader to look for more. A well thought out plot and heavily developed characters. However, on getting to about 3/4 of the pages, I found the story losing some steam and a couple irrelevant details added towards the end. The fireworks between Brian and Delta got unnecessarily long. I found the car chase a little muddled and the art of weaving in flashbacks became somewhat clumsy. At a point, it started to seem as though the author was looking for ways to stretch out the story as much as possible. I am not one to give up on a story, so I prodded on to the end.

This book has a fascinating story line but would do better with more compelling elements throughout the book to sustain readers’ interest.
I give it 3 Stars.
I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley for an honest review.

Author – S. M. Stelmack
Publisher – S. M. Stelmack; Second edition (November 13, 2013)
Pages – 306 pages
Location – L.A.

About The Author:
S. M. Stelmack is our pen name, short for Serge & Moira Stelmack. We aim to give what we like in a story— gutsy men and women, high stakes and LOL lines. Serge is the storymaster who blasts out the beginning, middle and end. Moira comes behind, clucking and hemming, as the story undergoes countless rewrites till it meets our vision…More @