Book Review: Israel – Island of Success by Noga Kainan and Adam Reuter

Title: Israel – Island of Success
Author: Noga Kainan and Adam Reuter
Genre: Business & Economics, Non-Fiction
Rating: 3,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the publisher exchange for an honest review.

Israel – What is it really all about?
What is the mechanism behind the incredible success of Israel? How can one small country in the turbulent of the Middle East, be such a success story?
An intriguing – best-selling book, combining first hand experiences and stories of many Israeli leading figures, OECD and UN findings as well as statistical figures and data.
A book that will reveal the truth about Israel’s success story!

  • #1 in Cyber Security
  • #1 in waste-water recycling
  • #1 in Nobel Prize winners per capita
  • #2 in the world level of innovation scale
  • #3 in the world level of education scale

A book that will shatter your axioms and answer your questions!

  • Is the Israeli economy really prosperous?
  • Does Israel have a shortage of water?
  • Is the cultural and economic boycott working?
  • Is the US security aid for Israel’s military expenses, bad for the American economy?

In Israel – Island of Success, the author duo explores the reasons why Israel is a successful, booming economy, and all that in a relatively short period of time. If you’ve ever wondered how that is even possible, then this book can certainly open your eyes.

For me, I enjoyed most of the book, but some parts went over my head – I’m not very well-versed in economics, or the military situation, and I sometimes struggled to understand all those parts, and they didn’t quite interest me as much as the rest of the book either. I much preferred the parts that spoke about business and science.

I also thought the title was quite clever: although Israel isn’t an island as such, it is an island in the sense that it stands alone, as an unique country in the Middle East.


Book Review: Leave Me Alone by Orit Yogev

Leave Me Alone
Author: Orit Yogev
Genre: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Non-Fiction
Rating: 4,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Can you begin to imagine the anguish and shame of being morbidly obese?

“I can’t go out with my daughter. It’s like walking around with an elephant. People stare daggers and wonder how I let it happen!” Honestly, who has not looked at obese people with feelings of disgust, anger, and maybe even aggression?

Discover what lies behind the daunting angst of morbid obesity

No one chooses to be fat. Many morbidly obese adults and children would willingly give a hand or foot to reduce their body size. Yet they continue to devour endlessly. What is behind this insatiable hunger? Readers will be stunned by chilling, real-life stories of unhappy family relations, violent divorce, injury, and life-changing loss, all intertwined with the unremitting struggle to fit into the right size. This is a rare document that reveals a different perspective on the urge to eat oneself to death. It is also a valuable tool for practitioners and is included in many Israeli academic institutions as compulsory reading in the study of eating disorders.


Leave Me Alone is a powerful book, and one that, at least for me, strikes closely to home. As a child, I was overweight – not obese, but overweight, and weight struggles have continued to haunt me ever since, even until this very day. Of my female friends, about 90% is on diet. Dieting, losing weight, obesity, it’s something we see every day and deal with on a daily basis as well. Now, it’s no longer sufficient to go to work for eight hours a day to make a living – you also have to combine this with a healthly lifestyle and diet, regular workouts, and so on.

Yet, as the author describes in this book, no one chooses to be obese. Even people who binge on food, who devour so much food it’s no longer healthy, they don’t do it by choice. They do it because something stronger than themselves is making them do it. Unsolved family traumas, troubling relationships, stress, you name it.

An interesting book, and one that I would recommend to everyone who struggles with obesity, has struggled with it as some point, or just genuinely wants to understand why some people are compelled to eat, even if it’s not healthy for them, or for people who are or know someone who is struggling with an eating disorder in general.


Book Review: To Know Torah Vol. 1 The Book of Genesis by Ephraim Chamiel

Title: To Know Torah Vol. 1 – The Book of Genesis
Author: Dr. Ephraim Chamiel
Genre: Spirituality, Judaism, Biblical History
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Dig deep into the plain meaning of the Bible’s stories and commandments

Would you like to know what the Old Testament (Pentateuch) is all about from a Jewish point of view? This book reveals the morals, ethics, and ideas behind the stories and commandments of one of the oldest books in the history of mankind – a book that serves as the foundation of Jewish and Christian religion. Given the difficult Hebrew in which the Old Testament was written and how challenging it is to translate and to explain, the author wanted to offer to the reader the simple meaning of the text (p’shat) in accessible and friendly language.

The Book of Genesis is opened before you – from a Jewish perspective

The series includes 5 books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Book 1, Genesis tells the stories of the Creation, the Garden of Eden, Noah’s Ark, the three patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) and their families, and their journey from Canaan to Egypt.


I have to say that I never expected I would read a book like To Know Torah – I’m not Jewish, I don’t really know anyone who is Jewish personally, and while religion has always interested me up to some point, I didn’t think I would one day explore the Book of Genesis, and from a Jewish perspective at that.

In this book, Dr. Ephraim Chamiel exlains how to approach the Torah from this perspective, it explains the morals and ethics behind the stories in Genesis, and how to interpret the ancient Hebrew language in which it was originally written.

It’s an intriguing read, especially for people interested in religion or broadening their own world view. It’s a book you need to take your time for, and rather than rushing through the pages to get through the end as soon as possible, readers should take the time to let it all sink in.

Book Review: It Feels Good to Feel Good by Cheryl Meyer

Title: It Feels Good to Feel Good
Author: Cheryl Meyer
Genre: Non-Fiction / Health
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Got Pain?

This book is for anyone with chronic pain looking for answers. It will give you a place to start. You don’t have to resign yourself to a life of pain and pills.

In this book you will learn:
* What is causing your pain and how to eliminate it.
* How to find a practitioner that will help you gain back your health.
* What’s in your food? Organic, conventional, GMOs processed, fast, canned, dairy, factory farmed meat, soy, water.  Identify your sensitivities and heal your leaky gut.
* Identify the toxins in your life. in  your cosmetics, over the counter drugs,in you kitchen, in your body. Learn how to purge them.
* 34 stress busting ideas, and four simple exercises to reduce your stress.
* 32 suggestions from leading functional experts on how to get a good night’s sleep..
* How to recognize a toxic relationship and make it work or walk away.
* How to tame Anxious Negative Thoughts “ANTs”.
* The importance of movement, even for people who don’t like to move
* How to take control of your health, reduce your inflammation and feel great again!

In It Feels Good to Feel Good, author Cheryl Meyer talks about how to eliminate toxins from your life, how to (hopefully) avoid chronic pain, how to burst stress and get some good night’s sleep. In short, how to live a healthier life. Cheryl Meyer knows what chronic pain is, having suffered through it herself, and wrote this guide because she wished that when she first suffered from chronic pain, a guide like this would be available to her, yet it wasn’t – so, she wrote it herself. All the tips and tricks, guidelines and information she uncovered over the years on how to live with pain, how to diminish your pain, and erase toxins, is all combined in this one book.

The book talks about what is causing your pain, how you can eliminate it, how you can eat healthier and avoid toxins, how to lower your stress levels, how to get a decent amount of sleep. The book is filled with valuable information that will come in handy for anyone, whether you suffer from chronic pain or not. A very valuable resource, marked down in chapters so you can easily go back to the chapters you need or the information you’re looking for.


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Book Review: Did I Ever Thank You, Sister?

Title: Did I Ever Thank You Sister?
Author: Sal Di Leo
Genre: Nonfiction
Rating: 4,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Sal Di Leo returns after 30 years to the Catholic orphanage outside Chicago that he and his siblings called home in 1963. This is the beginning of a journey of discovery and remembrance as Sal is forced to reconstruct his life as it really happened, including some of his most difficult years at Boys Town in Nebraska. As an adult, Sal tried to rise above his turbulent past in an aggressive quest for power and money. Successes soon led to failures. Eventually, a wise friend convinces Sal to go back to his roots and look for the good experiences and valuable lessons he learned as a nine-year-old orphan.

Did I Ever Thank You, Sister? is a heartwarming story of human triumph, of surviving against all odds. It’s a journey of self-discovery and remembrance. Sal Di Leo grew up in an orphanage outside Chicago, and had a troubled childhood that led him to make some wrong choices as an adult. His childhood scars put him on an aggressive quest for power and money as an adult, and this all soon led to failures, until a friend convinced him to go back to his roots, and the life lessons he learned despite his struggles as a child.

The book often brought me to tears because of how many challenges Sal and his siblings had to face in their youth. Reading about Sal’s dreams, tribulations, and how he grew and changed as a person was very inspiring.


Book Review: Something Wicked by Debi Chestnut

26796654Title: Something Wicked
Author: Debi Chestnut
Genre: True Haunting, Ghosts & Hauntings, Non-Fiction
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 1 star
Purchase: Amazon

Forget what you know or think you know about negative entities. Unless you are one of the few who have encountered a demon, it’s almost impossible to grasp the depth and scope of such pure evil and how these creatures can enter someone’s life and completely turn it upside down. Something Wicked explores the topic of negative energies, dark forces, and exorcisms with fresh eyes so that you may come to your own conclusions.

I read a few books by Debi Chestnut already, and usually I find them quite enjoyable. However, Something Wicked missed the ball for me. I didn’t enjoy the book at all. From the synopsis, I thought the author would give an explanation about negative entities, more in particular demons, and then would go on to detail some cases she worked on. While the author does mention some cases, it’s rather vague, and doesn’t give out a lot of details, making it rather boring.

I understand the need to protect the people involved, but still, if you don’t give out any details whatsoever and just a basic rundown, then it makes for rather boring reading. Also, the book was very, very repetitive. It paraphrased sections from what the Vatican said about demonic possession, for example, and then underneath, explained the already paraphrased sections again.

It just felt as if someone without any experience could’ve written the same book. It all stayed very much on the surface, rephrasing knowledge already known to most people with an inkling of interest in the paranormal world. The writing was dull, and it’s more than a manual than anything – except not a very enjoyable manual to read.

I have to say it was a dissapointment, and I expected more. I read it to the end because I forced myself to, but I didn’t enjoy it at all, in fact, I was bored ofr most of it. I would muh rather recommend “Stalking Shadows” or another book by this author.

Book Review: The Productivity Book by Michael Brecht

TheProductivityBook_frontcoverTitle: The Productivity Book
Author: Michael Brecht
Genre: Non-Fiction / Time Management
Age Group: Adult (18+)
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

At Doodle, we understand that productivity isn’t how much you’re doing, it’s how much you get done. So, we spoke to 30 productivity and time management experts to figure out just how they do it. The result: The Doodle Productivity Book! It can’t make more hours in the day. But, it will show you how to get the most out of the time you do have, so you can work smarter, and not harder. Filled with personal stories, insightful anecdotes and sound advice, this book is a fresh examination of the habits that shape us—and how others have managed to break free of them.

In The Productivity Book, 30 professionals give tips for time management. Put together by the CEO of Doodle, one of the experts on time management, this is definitely an intriguing read. As an entrepreuneur, author, blogger, editor and publicist, I’ve often struggled with managing time – and finding some time for spare time activities! I even have to book in time for spare time activities nowadays.

The interviews definitely give a lot of materials to think about. Some tools sounded like they could help me, others didn’t apply so much to my situation but I’m sure will help others. The author did a great job compiling all the information in this book and making it easily accessible. I won’t implement all the tips, but I’ll certainly try some of them.

Book Review: Incarnational Wonder by Danny Kinane

9781742845487_Cover_FrontTitle: Incarnational Wonder
Author: Danny Kinane
Genre: Religion / Spirituality
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon

 Incarnational Wonder, even though written in old age and through a bout of severe sickness, has been very revealing on a personal level. Its writing has brought me to a clarity, more than a conviction of mind, something deeper, of what it means to be a human being, at the heart of which is spirituality. Its main focus is to, initially, isolate spiritually and see it what it really is: the bedrock not only of personal reality, humanity, but indeed of all reality. This foundation is found not so much in sacred documents such as the Bible or the Quran or in churches dogmatic teachings but in the human spirit itself in its everyday dialogue through experience. Experience is at the heart of the book, an in-built director of where our lives are going – and why and how. Academic disciplines such as theology and biblical studies take a secondary role. Today’s spirituality is saying to us we must find meaning within ourselves, our own spirits, if we are to thrive in, and indeed survive, modern life.

Spirituality is often lacking in nowadays’ busy life, filled with plans and scheduling and what not. We often don’t find time for it anymore. Heck, we barely find time for religion and sometimes spirituality goes deeper than that.

Incarnational Wonder is an inspiring read about what it means to be human, our own spirituality, who we are, as persons, as a species. The book focuses heavily on experience, our interaction with other people.

Despite that, the book doesn’t come across as preachy and it’s written in a down-to-earth style, which I found uplifting and inspiring. The message is certainly a hopeful one, and might allow the reader to find deeper meaning in their lives.

Book Tours: Starter Day Party The Productivity Book


I’m hosting the starter day party today for the book tour for non-fiction / time management “The Productivity Book”. Stay tuned for my review, and in the mean time, visit the other tour stops.

There’s also a giveaway for 5 Doodle Premium accounts. Scroll down to participate!

Tour Schedule

February 1st: Starter Day Party @ I Heart Reading

February 1st: Promo Post @ Stormy Night Reviewing

February 4th: Book Excerpt @ I’m an Eclectic Reader

February 7th: Book Excerpt and Author Interview @ Author C.A. Milson’s Blog

February 9th: Author Interview @ The Single Librarian

February 10th: Book Review @ The Single Librarian

February 13th: Book Excerpt @ The Reading Guru

February 14th: Author Interview @ Majanka’s Blog

February 15th: Book Excerpt @ Cassidy Crimson’s Blog

February 16th: Book Excerpt @ Indy Book Fairy

February 18th: Book Excerpt @ The Book Daily

February 20th: Book Review and Author Interview @ Mary Blowers Blog

February 22nd: Book Excerpt @ Bookaholic Ramblings

February 26th: Book Excerpt @ Maari Loves Her Indies

February 28th: Book Excerpt @ 365 Days of Reading

March 1st:Book Excerpt @ Kovescence of the Mind

March 4th: Book Review @ Bedazzled Reading

March 8th: Book Excerpt @ Archaeolibrarian

March 10th: Book Excerpt @ Hollow Readers

March 15th: Book Review and Book Excerpt @ Books Direct

March 18th: Author Interview @ Bedazzled Reading

March 22nd: Book Excerpt @ Bookish Madness

March 24nd: Author Interview @ Books are Forever

March 25th: Book Review @ Books are Forever

March 30th: Book Excerpt @ The Book Gazette

April 1st: Book Review @ I Heart Reading

About the Book

TheProductivityBook_frontcoverTitle: The Productivity Book

Author: Michael Brecht

Genre: Non-Fiction / Time Management

At Doodle, we understand that productivity isn’t how much you’re doing, it’s how much you get done. So, we spoke to 30 productivity and time management experts to figure out just how they do it. The result: The Doodle Productivity Book! It can’t make more hours in the day. But, it will show you how to get the most out of the time you do have, so you can work smarter, and not harder. Filled with personal stories, insightful anecdotes and sound advice, this book is a fresh examination of the habits that shape us—and how others have managed to break free of them.

Author Bio

  • Michael BrechtSince 02/2014 Doodle AG, Zurich/Berlin
  • Since 2009 Founding Partner Tropfenjaeger
    Online WineClub for selected clients in Europe.
  • 3 years Founding Partner 52weine Wine Shopping Club
    Exit to strategic Investor Pallhuber in Germany
  • 5 years Goodingoo Media, Australia
    Online Media, Marketing & Export Consulting Firm for Australian Businesses working in Asia
  • 3 years knowledgeTools, Berlin
    Strategy Consultant and Acquisition of Growth Capital for Founder
  • 3 years Founding Partner and CEO of
    Leading family portal for the young family in Germany (today part of German Media company Gruner & Jahr)
  • 2 years Board Member GE Capital IT Solutions, UK
    Restructuring and Integration of UK subsidiary in European parent company, further growth with two acquisitions in the UK
  • 7 years Managing Partner CompuNet, Berlin/Leipzig
    Grew business from 5 to 300 employees in Berlin and former Eastern Germany, Exit to GE Capital subsidiary
  • 1984-89 WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management
    Focus on Entrepreneurship, Finance and Marketing
  • 1982-84 Trainee at Deutsche Bank AG in Duesseldorf



Buy the book on Amazon


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Mini-Reviews: Convalescence, The Lives Between Us, Your Heart & Mind


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.


Tite: Convalescence

Author: Maynard Sims

Genre: Horror

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Who will protect the children?

Fourteen-year-old James has seen his family wiped out by tuberculosis in the England of the 1960s. When he is sent to the country to convalesce with his Uncle Thomas it seems a welcome respite. But his uncle is strange, and clearly has a dark secret. The huge house is secretive too, with whispers and cries in the night. Gradually James meets other children, some real, some apparently ghosts, but all of whom have been hurt by the uncle. Will James be next?

In an eerie novella of repressed depravity, Maynard Sims conjures nightmares from the fears of childhood.

Review: An excellent haunted house story. I felt sorry for James, who has been through so much already, and then is put through even more when he meets the kids that haunt his uncles home. I liked the depravity angle, the summer house having secrets too, and the gothic feel that hid in this novella. A quick, suspensful, chilling story.

Your Heart and Mind

Title: Your Heart and Mind

Author: C.J. Maritz

Genre: Non-Fiction, Self Help

Rating: 2 stars

Purchase: Amazon

A reader-friendly self-help guide rated 5 stars by Readers’ Favorite. This thought-provoking book is about the choices and opportunities inherent in the human condition.

You, and your life, are the products of decisions made in the past. You made some of those decisions, and some were made by others. The effect of poor decisions would have compounded and diminished your greatness and state of your life.

In order to improve your experience of your life, you should focus on those decisions that are within your control. Your decisions on time, loyalty, reinvention, support, willingness, simplicity and other aspects can radically improve you and your life experience. You want to steer yourself in the direction that satisfies your heart and mind, and ensures contentment.

The book’s messages are to the point, impactful and powerful. The book is the second in the series. The first book is “YOUR Heart & Mind: 11 Tools To Improve Your State of Being, for Yourself & Others”.

Review:  I struggled to finish this book mostly because I felt like it didn’t give me any insights I couldn’t have already figured out myself. The arguments aren’t very deep, and the writing isn’t coherent either.

The Lives Between Us

Title: The Lives Between Us

Author: Theresa Rizzo

Genre: Romance

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

How far would you go to save the one you love?

Reporter Skylar Kendall has run from commitment all her life, pushing people away before they leave her, until her niece worms her way into Skye’s heart and settles in tight. Skye relaxes into a career she enjoys and relishes being a doting aunt.

Then her niece becomes gravely ill. Unable to bear yet another loss, Skye is determined to find a cure, but the girl’s only hope lies in the embryonic stem cell therapy Michigan Senator Edward Hastings repeatedly opposes. When Skye fails to find alternative treatment in time, she vows to end the senator’s political career.

Curious about the woman behind the scathing articles on his best friend, Mark Dutton pursues Skye. Dating Mark gives her access to Hastings’s life and secrets that would launch Skye’s career and satisfy her need for retribution… Only she hadn’t counted on falling in love.

Can she avenge the lives lost to politics at the expense of her new love and friends?

Review: The main character comes across as very selfish at times, and it’s hard to relate to her or understandh er point of view. The whole debate about embryonic stem cell therapy was interesting for a while, but got boring toward the end. I did enjoy the romance part, with Skye and Mark. Overall, not too bad, but I didn’t love it.