BOOK RECOMMENDATION: The Way by Kristen Wolf


If Oprah likes it, it’s got to be good!

Anna is a striking and spirited young girl living in ancient Palestine where being a daughter is a disappointment. While her father excitedly anticipates the birth of his first son, the invisible Anna endures a life of drudgery. One bright spot in her world is the crippled old woman living by the village well who declares that the headstrong girl possesses a powerful destiny. But before the elder can reveal her prophecy an unexpected tragedy strikes Anna’s family and her father—dressing Anna as a boy—sells his daughter to a band of wandering shepherds.

Abandoned and armed with only bravery and wits, Anna must learn to survive the harsh desert and unruly men. Yet just when she masters her bold life of disguise, she stumbles upon a den of mysterious caves and is captured by the secret band of women living inside. Unable to escape, Anna soon discovers that the sisterhood’s mystical teachings and miraculous healing abilities have forced her to question everything she’s been told to believe and—to her amazement—unleashed an astonishing power within her.

But when violent enemies opposed to the women’s ways threaten to destroy them, Anna vows to save her mentors and preserve their powerful wisdom. Forced again to leave home and loved ones behind, a transformed Anna returns to the world of men—as only she can—determined to unfold a daring and dangerous mission: One that will put everything she’s become to the test. Will she succeed…or be condemned?


“The Way is a daring and passionate debut from an author to watch in the future.”

– Historical Novel Society

“Wow, is all I can say. This novel blew me away!”

– Book Pleasures

“THE WAY is a magical, evocative first novel that I plan to buy a carton of to give to my family and friends. This message of compas­sion, healing, and respect for women could indeed transform our world.”

–Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., author of A Woman’s Journey to God

“A young girl in ancient Palestine struggles with her calling as a spiritual leader in Wolf’s audacious, deftly woven debut.”

–Publishers Weekly

“This book took me on a journey… I was surprised in more ways than I ever could have imagined. THE WAY is one of those rare novels that makes you think.”

– Javier Sierra, New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Supper

“Remarkable story, beautifully told.”

– Mary Johnson, New York Times bestselling author of An Unquenchable Thirst

“…sure to be a book-club darling.”

– Booklist

“The Way is a unique and ambitious debut novel, certain to provoke passionate discussions.”

– John Shors, bestselling author of Beneath a Marble Sky”

“This imaginative novel may make you a believer.”

—O, The Oprah Magazine

Purchase book through Amazon.

Author Bio:

KRISTEN WOLF is an award-winning author, creative and wondernaut living in the Rocky Mountains. Her debut novel, THE WAY, was hailed by O, The Oprah Magazine as “A Title to Pick Up Now!” Her second novel, ESCAPEMENT, won a 2018 IndieReader Discovery Award. A graduate of Georgetown University, she was nominated to the Phi Beta Kappa honor society and holds an M.A. in creative writing from Hollins University.

BOOK RECOMMENDATION: Our Own Little Fictions by Ron Rhody

Our own little fictions cover

Learn what happens you take the road not taken

This is a story about a slice of time, and a place, and cluster of people worth remembering. It begins in a small river town in the Bluegrass of Kentucky and concerns itself with beginnings and becomings, with home places and who you can count on, and where untaken roads lead. A few early readers comments “A beautifully written remembrance of a young man lifted and loved through the sheer ordinariness of family and coming of age. Well worth the read.” – Cynthia Kasabian, CKB Consultants, San Francisco. “An unconventional book but strangely engaging. Not a ‘must read.’ But definitely a ‘glad I did read.'” – Annette Bowen, Inside/Outside, Atlanta. “Fascinating! This book is like a conversation on paper.” – Charlie Baglan, Kentucky Afield radio, Frankfort, Ky. “Deeply personal, often moving.” – Bob Irelan, author, Rancho Murrieta. Ca. “Thought provoking. It causes readers, especially in today’s all-consuming digital world, to reflect on how memories have shaped their lives.” – Joseph Piedmont, Gallatin Public Affairs (Ret.) Portland, Or. Each life is a story. Each story is unique. If we don’t tell each other our stories, how will we know what life is all about? Pretend you’re listening.

Review from San Francisco Book Review:

According to Ron Rhody’s wife, he is not eligible for authoring a memoir. He hasn’t won an Oscar or an MVP or a Nobel prize. And yet Rhody has a story he wants, needs, to tell. His story. And so that’s how he will tell it to us: as one of Our Own Little Fictions.

Reminiscent of Sarah Polley’s documentary Stories We Tell, Rhody meanders through his memory and down the real roads he’s traveled all over the U.S., from his beloved Frankfort, Kentucky, to California and back (via Florida and Alabama) and then back out to California. Along this circuitous route through his youth, manhood, and ancestry, we encounter all sorts of colorful characters, historical events, family triumphs, and tragedies, which in large part amount to the man whose story we’re being told.

The place closest to Rhody’s heart is clearly Frankfort, Kentucky. It is there his father, a newspaperman, fought for civil rights and to put down roots for his forward-thinking family. Though a wanderlust would uproot the Rhodys and send them all over the U.S., Kentucky kept calling them back to the heart of the heart of their country. In Our Little Fictions, Frankfort is origin and refuge, and it serves as the Ithaca of the author’s Odyssey.

These chronicles of Rhody contain all the joy and pain of an American life that spans the Cold War to the present. We meet his parents, grandparents, wife and children, friends and mentors. From animated anecdotes of a hard-nosed football coach doling out life lessons to the memorial for a dear friend and author of “sixteen erudite books,” we witness a life pass in time-lapse frames of laconic, Hemingwayesque prose.

Hemingway and his suicide haunt the narrative beginning to end. On a road trip from California to Kentucky, Rhody and his son make a scheduled detour to Hemingway’s home in Idaho (where he’d put the shotgun in his mouth).

“It seemed wrong that Hemingway had killed himself.

Nature should have gotten him.

Or chance.”

Later in the narrative and earlier in time, news of Hemingway’s suicide reaches Rhody, and he reflects on the premature tragedy, as well as his own (missed?) calling. These two time periods intermingle, and Rhody leaves Idaho with “an answer to a question I hadn’t known I’d asked.” Authorship was an alternative path he’d bypassed only to embark upon late in life.

Late in life, indeed. The long road approaches its end and the loss of loved ones is an inevitability. Each story has the same conclusion, alas, and many of the characters we encounter in this Appalachian saga pass on in heartrending deathbed scenes and austere funerals. The depiction of these tragedies is sentimental, even cliched, but anything less/more would not be true to life. It is the commonality of these cliches that arise in endless variations, like updates of Shakespeare.

No, Ron Rhody is no Prince Hamlet, nor was he meant to be, but his story of “becoming,” with its conduplicatio, terse punch-lines, and homespun wisdom, is one that will always be in need of telling and retelling.

Reviewed By: Steven Felicelli

Purchase book through Amazon.

Author Bio:

Ron Rhody has been a reporter, a sportswriter, and a broadcast journalist before morphing into a career as a corporate public relations executive. He’s done four novels. This is his first stab at a “sort-of-memoir.” Find more info at   

BOOK RECOMMENDATION: Influencer Fast Track by Gundi Gabrielle

influencers fast track_cover_small

Be the right kind of influencer

Gundi Gabrielle is the bestselling author of beginner internet marketing guides in the  SassyZenGirl series offers a new, no-nonsense advice for coaches, consultants, professionals, and entrepreneurs to go from unknown players to well-known and respected influencers in very little time. Her 2018 guide Influencer Fast Track-From Zero to Influencer in the Next 6 Months offers readers a blueprint for establishing themselves in their niche, making their name known, and becoming a trusted authority in their field.

Review from San Francisco Book Review:

Author of the bestselling beginner internet marketing SassyZenGirl books series, Gundi Gabrielle offers no-nonsense advice for coaches, consultants, professionals, and entrepreneurs to go from unknown players to well-known and respected influencers in very little time. Her 2018 guide Influencer Fast Track-From Zero to Influencer in the Next 6 Months offers readers a blueprint for establishing themselves in their niche, making their name known, and becoming a trusted authority in their field.

Influencer Fast Track is a quick, conversational read full of valuable information. Learn what makes one an Influencer, marketing secrets, and how to use the power of the internet, social media, networking, and digital publishing to grow your brand. It took Gabrielle 30 days to become an Amazon bestselling author, and she believes that “bestselling publishing” is the fastest way to add authority, a following, success, and traffic to your brand.

“Publishing a nonfiction book is not a herculean task, but can easily be achieved within the next 30 to 90 days,” Gabrielle writes, “For marketing, there is a proven, simple, step-by-step system that can easily get you to bestseller status, possibly even a #1 Bestseller.” Gabrielle includes a link to a free 1-hour training video, “7 Steps to Your First Bestseller.”

Gabrielle’s 7 Step Formula, or the Influencer Fast-Track, provides readers with an incredible wealth of information. From designing a great brand to connecting with the major players in your niche to making a solid growth strategy to growing your customer/ reader base, this book gives you a multitude of business tips you can implement today. Gabrielle recommends additional resources and provides free training videos along the way. One can’t help feeling empowered.

While I was initially skeptical of Gabrielle’s claims, I read this book through to the end. She made a believer out of me. I have yet to try her “30 days to bestseller” advice, but I love the straight-forward way she lays it out and her helpful training videos. I learned a ton about marketing, how to find influencers and trending topics, and how to become influential in your field rather than lost in the crowd. No matter your business, Influencer Fast Track will provide you with fresh ideas to build your brand. It inspired me to check out the rest of Gabrielle’s marketing series and her Facebook group, SassyZenGirl. If you’re a woman with an idea, coaching or consulting firm, business, or you’re a professional in any field, read this book today. Gundi Gabrielle is about to change your life.

Reviewed By: Jennifer Melville

Purchase book through Amazon.

Author Bio:

Gundi Gabrielle, aka SassyZenGirl, loves to explain complex matters in an easy to understand, fun way. Her “The Sassy Way…when you have NO CLUE!!” series has helped thousands around the world conquer the jungles of internet marketing with humor, simplicity and some sass.

A 10-time #1 Bestselling Author, Entrepreneur and former Carnegie Hall conductor, Gundi employs marketing chops from all walks of life and loves to help her readers achieve their dreams in a practical, fun way. Her students have published multiple #1 Bestsellers outranking the likes of Tim Ferris, John Grisham, Hal Elrod and Liz Gilbert.

When she is not writing books or enjoying a cat on her lap (or both), she is passionate about exploring the world as a Digital Nomad, one awesome adventure at a time. She has no plans of settling down anytime soon. Find more information about Gundi Gabrielle and her books at

BOOK RECOMMENDATION: Every Night’s Friday Night: Time and Freedom for the Rest of Your Life by Andrea R. Huff

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Retirement is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make in your life, so make sure you have the correct tools to do it

Are you ready to transition from a full time career into active retirement? It’s a wonderful opportunity to shift gears and focus on what you want to do, and who you want to become. So many retired people say they are busier than when they were working. The question is, are you following your calling and living life on your terms? Do you know who you really want to be at this stage of your life? Do you know what will give you the greatest sense of purpose and satisfaction?

The third stage of life is an opportunity to shift gears and focus only on what you want to do and who you want to become. Some people have it figured out, but many don’t, and end up feeling like they’re spending time on busywork, property maintenance, appointments, or whatever activity demands their time. Leisure is fun for a while, but even people who didn’t like their jobs much find that they miss working. They haven’t found a roadmap to transition to a new life of purpose. Every Night’s Friday Night is your guide to creating that roadmap.

Review from San Francisco Book Review:

What do you do when you can’t find a book that addresses the issues you want to hear about? You write it! Author Andrea R. Huff’s book Every Night’s Friday Night is a book about the third stage of a person’s life when they are about to retire. Retiring can be a scary thought for some people. What am I going to do with all that spare time? How do I know if I have enough money saved up to retire? What do other people do after retiring? All of these questions are addressed in this book. A fascinating group of people was selected by Huff to be interviewed about how they prepared (or didn’t prepare) to retire and the tips they would give others who are retiring. Huff gives the reader several resources so that he or she can research the suggestions given by her interviewees. I found this book to be extremely informative and loved the ideas of downsizing and traveling the world on a simple budget when retiring. All of the interviewees were so different, ranging from an attorney who never planned for retirement at all and who considers himself a “lucky pessimist” to a corporate bigwig who retired to become a civil volunteer. The author herself was a coach and consultant by trade who found that, among other things, she loves to repurpose jewelry both for herself and others. She addresses the importance of having your partner on the same page to make things a lot easier. As someone in the fitness industry, I loved that the author talked about the importance of staying healthy and fit as we age. There are several books that the author listed that I will be reading, such as Pain Free by Pete Egoscue. A book for all ages, even those who are not in the third stage yet.

Reviewed By: Kristi Elizabeth

Book may be purchased at

Author Bio:

Andrea Huff is an expert coach and consultant for people entering the third stage of their lives – ages 50+. From her background as an Executive Team member and the founder of the Executive Coaching practice for the global career and leadership consulting firm, Lee Hecht Harrison, she coached thousands of clients to identify the next stages of their careers. Now in her own practice, Third Stage of Life Consulting, she created a holistic process to help people prepare for an active retirement outlined in her book, Every Night’s Friday Night: Time and Freedom for the Rest of Your Life.

BOOK RECOMMENDATION: A Tool Case For Language Learning: 40 Tools to Become a Top-Notch Language Learner by Nagi An

A Tool Case For Language Learning:
40 Tools to Become a Top-Notch Language Learner
by Nagi An

toolcase for language learning cover

Learn how you should be learning a language the right way!

You can approach language learning from many different perspectives. You may think that the best way to learn is through immersion and seek an opportunity to live in a foreign country for a while. Maybe you are good at memorizing lists and therefore tend to learn best by applying mnemonics techniques. Some learn via song, some prefer flashcards, and others learn by watching movies with subtitles. Other approaches include keeping a diary to reflect upon your performance and reading a lot of material in the target language.

Until we know what other techniques or tools exist beyond what we already know or apply, we can’t be sure that we are learning in the way that suits us best. It’s essential to experiment with tools we haven’t tried before to determine the most effective ways for us to learn.

In this book, there are 40 such tools for learning languages. The aim is to show you why, how, and when certain tools work, and to give you a thorough understanding of the techniques you can employ as you are learning languages.

Try them all, experiment with them, and mix and match to create a personalized process for yourself.

You are different from other language learners. That’s why your learning path should be different, too.

Build a language learning path that is right for you.

From the San Francisco Book Review:

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, especially when it comes to how we approach learning new things. Yet if we do not experiment with learning methods, how can we truly know that we’re getting optimal results?

In A Tool Case for Language Learning: 40 Tools to Become a Top-Notch Language Learner, author Nagi An provides readers with a wide variety of tools to utilize when learning a new language. “People learn in different ways and for different reasons,” An writes. “Until we know what other techniques or tools exist beyond what we already know or apply, we can’t be sure that we are learning in the way that suits us best.”

The first part of this reference guide is designed for beginning language learners, focusing on vocabulary acquisition, and the second offers more advanced speakers ideas for improving their reading, writing, and conversational skills. The tools and techniques are based on what the author used as she was learning German, Spanish, English, and Japanese.

The author offers sound advice and backs it up with scientific studies as well as useful examples. And she advises learners to try a variety of tools and to mix and match them in order to create a personalized learning process. In Utilizing Tool Number 1, An recommends looking for ways to group vocabulary words by theme or family. Smaller chunks are easier to memorize than long lists.

The Feynman Technique, Tool Number 15, is brilliant. Choose a topic, learn about it, then articulately explain the concept to yourself or to another person in clear, straightforward language. If you’re unable to do so, you do not thoroughly understand the subject and need to learn more. The process starts again.

Tool Number 35 is one of my favorites: making mistakes as a speaking technique. “If you want to become fluent, perfectionism can be your enemy,” An writes. “Start making mistakes as early as possible, as this will allow you to get early feedback to learn from.”

A Tool Case for Language Learning offers helpful advice for anyone learning a new language. While some professional formatting and copyediting are suggested, it’s an easy read offering excellent advice. I would recommend it to students and teachers alike, as it significantly expands the memory tools available to them at home or in the classroom. An’s techniques are useful and scientifically sound. One could take these tools and successfully master any new subject they set their mind to.

Reviewed by Jennifer Melville

Purchase book through Amazon.

Author Bio

I’m committed to understanding how we learn and create in adulthood. On the one hand, by increasing awareness of effective learning strategies, we can learn faster. Experimenting with different tools allows us to unleash what works best for us. On the other hand, the most desired outputs of learning are exploring and creating. That’s why I do research in both areas – how knowledge building and understanding work, and how we can improve skills like ideation, analyzing and evaluating – so that we can be more productive and creative. I write books and design courses based on the findings of my research, trips I take and experiments I carry out on my small business. To read nuggets of my current work, you can visit