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DISROBED: How Clothing Predicts Economic Cycles, Saves Lives, and Determines the Future ~Syl Tang

December 11th, 2017

I am passionate about the book DISROBED, it is just the perfect read and by a futurist so for me it is also an informative read.  It is only 124 pages in the hardcover book; each page is packed with information that made me want to know more.

DISROBED is cleverly organized to introduce the reader to first one idea, expound and discuss in full chapter.  The next chapter introduced a new idea, expounds and then connects one to the early concept and discussion.  There is a building onto the idea and it makes one feel very wise and smart about the economic trends that are happening in relationship to the ideas.

First idea is based on how clothing predicted the current President’s win.  What were the trends in clothing and tattoo art before Obama won his election?  Clothing tells us what large groups of people are thinking, even before they know for themselves.  So how do we become a knowledgeable person about trends and clothing?  What are people really purchasing and wearing and how naked are women becoming to follow the fashion quirks?

Big question right now for me:  Why do so many young women and a few young men take naked pictures of themselves and then post them to their friends?  Why soon afterward do they commit suicide?

We already know what is fake it just takes a bit of putting ideas together to realize that we do know.  Real Prada or a great knock off?  We like to identify with groupthink and belong, so how does that show what we are thinking and how we manifest our current values?  How are banker’s wives becoming recession proof and how do they predict a recession?   How could not shopping save the planet?  Is your cotton shirt causing starvation or will clothing save the lives of lots of people?  All interesting questions to ponder and to discover in these essays – fascinating.

I learned so much about the crisis we are in with regard to water and how clothing is a huge part of the problems with water.  I see in the paper that Nestle’ is trying to takeaway the whole water supply of a small town in Oregon and I know most of the world does not have clean drinking water.  People are interested in the environment; farm to table food, reusing fabric and thread is becoming a big business in my own city.    I am aware of minimalism becoming a huge trend in my own community and are you aware of the tiny house movement?

The book ends with discussions of how clothing is a weapon in the war against terrorism leading up to looking at the power to change –everything.

I read each chapter twice as I went along so that I could comprehend and become more fluent in the idea being introduced and then to track the way the threads were being bound together to get a very large picture.

Fascinating book and I will read it again.  I am asking my one book group to read it before they head to a plastic surgeon’s office or purchase 10 more things off the rack.    Powerful read.  Good read.  Fun read.  Wise read.

Syl Tang

Syl Tang is CEO and founder of the 19-year old HipGuide Inc. A futurist, her focus is how and why we consume, with an eye towards world events such as natural disasters, geo-political clashes, and pandemics. She has written hundreds of articles on the confluence of world events and soft goods for the Financial Times, predicting and documenting trends such as the Apple watch and other smart wearables, lab-made diamonds, the Department of Defense’s funding of Afghan jewelry companies, the effects of global warming on South Sea pearls, and the unsolved murder of tanzanite speculator Campbell Bridges. Her brand consulting work focuses on helping companies including Diageo, Revlon and the State of Michigan. She is behind the launches of some of the most well-known beauty, beverage, automotive and urban development efforts including category changers such as frozen alcohol and mineral makeup. In addition to developing her site, in 1999 she created the first mobile lifestyle texting product in the market and predicted mobile couponing, as it exists today. Her company HipGuide is a case study taught in universities around the world, from Dubai to Nova Scotia to Purdue, through a textbook series. (TLC BOOK TOURS)

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A HUNDRED SMALL LESSONS: A Novel ~Ashley Hay

December 4th, 2017

A HUNDRED SMALL LESSONS is set in Brisbane, Australia and it is a combination of words that are at once poetic, descriptive, psychological and commanding and they draw the reader into a wonderful story, which holds the mind and demands attention – softly.  The main character truly is a house and it tells the tale of the two women who have lived there and their lives.

Elsie Gormley was the first resident of the little house with the huge backyard that touched a swamp and a park.  She was newly married and was delighted with her house and her husband.  She was the mother of Don and Elaine, twins.  Elsie loved her role as a mother and took it very seriously not without some worry and stress but she felt called and safe in that task.  She also had quite a relationship with the birds that came to her feeder and felt they were omens of good.  Her partner was a good man and took care of the yard, the house, and wallpapered every room with a different paper.

Lucy Kiss, her toddler Tom and her husband Ben have just purchased their first house after travelling for years.  For Ben it is coming home and he remembers being with his single mother in Brisbane and how hard it must have been for her and how terrific she was as a “mum”.  As he travels he worries about Lucy and her beautiful parenting and then her irritations.  Lucy is new here and has no friends yet and is isolated in her new house.  She is comfortable with being a mother and yet she is trying to hold on to her “self” in this new circumstance and situation.  She has mother worries and sometimes does not feel safe.  She thinks about Elsie a great deal.

Elsie has had a stroke and is confused so her children pack her up and move her to an apartment in assisted living.  Her story is the most complete as it weaves through Lucy’s in the house.   Lucy and Ben are busy planting trees in her backyard, lots of trees; Clem would not have liked this at all.

Birds and water play the game of connective tissue in this well written story.  If you have the opportunity to curl up and just savor and enjoy this read, I would put it very high up on your reading list.  A HUNDRED SMALL LESSONS is a top of the line read.

Ashley Hay uses her “lyrical prose, poetic dialogue, and stunning imagery” (RT magazine) to weave an intricate, bighearted story of what it is to be human. (TLC Book Tours)

About Ashley Hay

Ashley Hay is the internationally acclaimed author of the novels The Body in the Clouds and The Railwayman’s Wife, which was honored with the Colin Roderick Award by the Foundation for Australian Literary Studies and longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award, the most prestigious literary prize in Australia, among numerous other accolades. She has also written four nonfiction books. She lives in Brisbane, Australia.

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TRANSFORMED POTUS: A Quirky Queer Spy Novel ~Susanne Falter & Jack Harvey

November 27th, 2017

I was requested to review TRANSFORMED POTUS by the author; Susanne Falter and she had her team send me a PDF file of the book.  I see that the book is still free on KINDLE on this day in October when I am reading and writing this review.

Now TRANSFORMED POTUS is not a very lengthy book and maybe we could just call it a very long short story that is upbeat and fast- paced and really rather a fun read.  Chance Vaughn is the newly elected President after Trump and he is a single, 40 something year old tech wizard billionaire that folks thought would make up for the mess that Trump made while in office.  The President heads to Las Vegas every chance he gets because his mother is First Lady and holds a tight rein on a tight ship. This story is about the clumsy, distracted, unfocused President when he lands in Vegas and all the people assigned to keep track of him while he is there.

Oh No! The President has lost the “biscuit” with the nuclear codes!

“The first post-Trump President is a POTUS who can’t keep his pants on and loves to hang in Vegas. Undercover agent Charley MacElroy is called in to vet his possible flings just as a bad actor tries to infiltrate. But then Charley’s dominatrix fiancée, Electra, shows up … Is she the one who will take this naughty President in hand? “Join the romp in Vegas when the President finds out Charley’s about to marry Electra.”

About the authors:

“Susanne Falter is a writer and a speaker who tells highly vulnerable essays about grief and joy at her blog, http://suzannefalter.com/blog. Her novels are about uncommon heroes who overcome the odds. She is currently at work on a memoir about finding her way back to happiness after the sudden death of her daughter Teal. Suzanne also speaks to audiences about self-care and her experience as a donor mom in the world of organ donation.

“Her online writing and videos can be found on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest. She is the author of the book, Surrendering to Joy as well as How Much Joy Can You Stand? and Living Your Joy (both Ballantine.) She is also the author of several novels, Doin’ the Box Step (Random House) and most recently, Transformed: San Francisco and Transformed: Paris, which she co-wrote with Jack Harvey. Transformed: San Francisco was recently named Runner Up in the prestigious Rainbow Awards.” (From Amazon page)

Jack Harvey’s Amazon page

Truly a fun read and quite a romp around the Strip and some very good descriptive sections on hikes in the desert, including some very strange characters and classic characters.  Everyone is tempted and I think most readers would be too!   I enjoyed this read and will share it with you.

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THE AUSTEN ESCAPE: A Novel Novel ~Katherine Reay

November 20th, 2017

Falling into their past will change their futures forever

Do you love reading Jane Austen?   Then I cannot encourage you enough to read THE AUSTEN ESCAPE.  A wonderful book and a most enjoyable read.   I have now read it 2 times and I am taking it on a small vacation with me.   Reay has captured Austen’s conversation style and the format of the book deals with conventions, economics, and circumstance that are abundant in our current times. The story builds and flows as though Austen is writing it herself.  Wonderful read.

About the author:
Katherine Reay has enjoyed a life-long affair with the works of Jane Austen and her contemporaries—who provide constant inspiration both for writing and for life. She is the author of three previous novels, and her debut, Dear Mr. Knightley, was a 2014 Christy Award Finalist, winner of the 2014 INSPY Award for Best Debut, and winner of two Carol Awards for Best Debut and Best Contemporary. Katherine holds a BA and MS from Northwestern University and is a wife, mother, runner, and tae kwon do black belt. After living all across the country and a few stops in Europe, Katherine and her family recently moved back to Chicago. Visit her on line at katherinereay.com.

Mary Davis is a design engineer working at her “perfect” job although she has a new supervisor who is critical and negative about her work.  She likes control and her set patterns in life while doing everything herself.  It is proving hard to go into work and her love interest is a consultant who is moving onward and does not seem to know that she is interested.

Isobel, Mary’s best friend since second grade, is working on her Doctorate on Jane Austen and her books.  Isobel’s mother left when she was young and her father never had time for her so Isobel adopted Mary’s family as her own.  Isobel is going to a two week retreat to Bath, England to live out a complete experience of being in Austen’s time period and she is insisting that Mary take some time off from her work frustrations and come to the retreat with her.  The trip is all paid for and Mary’s father insists that it is a good idea; she has not taken a break since her mother’s death.  Mary decides to attend and starts re-reading the Austen books.

The English Manor House where the retreat is held is stunning and the other guests on the retreat very interesting indeed.  The reproduced clothing is elegant and refined and they all pick an Austen character to enact for their stay.  Isobel’s father chooses this moment to overwhelm her with awful news and causes Isobel a small mental breakdown and truly believes she is in Bath and that she has become Emma.  Mary is left to guide her back to herself and in the process makes some terrible discoveries about their relationship, which entails some major working through – including working out her “perfect” job problems and making changes.

The book is most interesting and carries through the story line well and with great Austen-like aplomb.  I am sure my daughters would enjoy this book to the max.   I can highly recommend it and I am so happy that THE AUSTEN EXPERIENCE was sent to me for review.

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