The Alchemist

By Paulo Coelho

the alchemistThe Alchemist : It is one of those “esoteric” feeling books that makes you feel like life is vivid again.It certainly plays on the feeling that “there is something more” that you’ve forgotten and the thought that you are part of a bigger plan.As you follow Santiago, the shepherd boy on his adventure, you will automatically question your own adventure in life; are you living up to your higher purpose? Why have you forgotten your way?

What else is out there that you should be doing? Have you betrayed what you were meant to do with your life?Asking questions like this…feeling the feelings that go along with such questions…it really is a wonderful way to live. For the short time that you read this book, you will feel more alive. You will feel more in tune with “the universe”. You will feel that wonderful 1-in-the-morning-stare-out-the-window-and-listen-to-the-wind feeling…that is…unless you don’t know what that feels like.

Santiago follows his dreams, which take him from Spain to Morocco and then Egypt, all in search of a special treasure. During his travels he learns lessons from messengers that seem placed in his path at the right moment, just when he needs them.The author, Paulo Coelho, is a Brazilian

writer who is very well-liked. I heard that Madonna loves him. I have read several of his books, but I think this is the best one. He has churned out quite a few more books in the last few years that I have not read yet, so it is certainly possible that he has outdone The Alchemist.

I’ll check it out. A few of his books have been non-fiction and about his own life. From what I can piece together, Paulo is a member of a little-known Mystic Catholic sect which seeks after spiritual growth. They assign previously unknown international mentors to their members…older men who have attained a high degree of spiritual power (and worldly success?). I won’t even go into some of the weird stuff they do, but if you want to an idea, pick up “The Pilgrimage”, also by Coelho. But do read The Alchemist; it is just such a good book.

It will definitely give you a wisdom-buzz…or an “esoteric-buzz”.Today I was reading an interview with Paulo, in which he talked about watching for “Omens” in your life that only you will recognize. It’s a language the “Universe” speaks to you through…like coincidences, songs, feelings, synchronicities. This is a theme he definitely speaks a lot about in The Alchemist.

Some people complain that the book is too simplistic, that you would be stupid to believe that there is some “plan” for your life that you should have followed; that you should wake up, take your head out of the “touchy-feely” clouds and get back to work. If you are prone to such thoughts, perhaps this book is not for you. However, if you enjoy waking up your soul from time to time, there is no better place to do it than in the clouds. Read More Reviews Here…

 

Healthy Beef Cookbook

By American Dietetic Association (ADA)

The Healthy Beef CookbookHealthy Beef Cookbook: Steaks, Salads, Stir-fry, and More – Over 130 Luscious Lean Beef Recipes for Every Occasion : A delicious and nutritious way to add zinc, iron and protein-zip to a salad is to add some beef tenderloin. Not only is beef tenderloin an excellent or good source of nine essential nutrients, but it is also one of 29 lean cuts of beef.

Nutrient-rich lean beef is a complete recipe for better health, with essential vitamins and minerals and great taste.

To help you prepare delicious lean beef, “The Healthy Beef Cookbook” is now available wherever books are sold and on www.amazon.com and www.BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com.

The cookbook is a collection of more than 130 lean beef recipes, nutrition tips and culinary techniques. The delicious recipes are satisfying for people watching their weight and contain many essential nutrients in fewer calories. In fact, nearly 75 percent have less than 400 calories per serving and more than 50 percent incorporate all food groups.

Tenderloin Cranberry and Pear Salad with Honey

Mustard Dressing

Prep Time: 25 mins, Serves 4

4 beef tenderloin steaks, cut 3/4 inch thick (4 ounces each)

1/2 teaspoon coarse grind black pepper

1 package (5 ounces) mixed baby salad greens

1 medium red or green pear, cored, cut into 16 wedges

1/4 cup dried cranberries

Salt

1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted

1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese (optional)

Honey Mustard Dressing

1/2 cup prepared honey mustard

2 to 3 tablespoons water

11/2 teaspoons olive oil

1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

1/4 teaspoon coarse grind black pepper

1/8 teaspoon salt

1. Season beef steaks with 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Place steaks in skillet; cook 7 to 9 minutes for medium rare to medium doneness, turning occasionally.

2. Meanwhile, whisk Honey Mustard Dressing ingredients in small bowl until well-blended. Set aside. Divide greens evenly among 4 plates. Top evenly with pear wedges and dried cranberries.

3. Carve steaks into thin slices; season with salt as desired. Divide steak slices evenly over salads. Top each salad evenly with dressing, pecans and goat cheese, if desired.

Nutrition information per serving: 321 calories; 14 g fat (3 g saturated fat; 7 g monounsaturated fat); 67 mg cholesterol; 434 mg sodium; 21 g carbohydrate; 3.3 g fiber; 26 g protein; 7.6 mg niacin; 0.6 mg vitamin B6; 1.4 mcg vitamin B12; 2.4 mg iron; 30.0 mcg selenium; 5.1 mg zinc.

This recipe is an excellent source of protein, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, selenium and zinc, and a good source of fiber and iron. Read More Reviews Here…

Search Engine Optimization For Dummies

By Peter Kent

Search Engine Optimization For DummiesPeter Kent: Search Engine Optimization For Dummies : Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a field overshadowed by sensational claims and sometimes dubious practices. If your business has a website, you naturally want it to obtain high rankings in the major search engines so that potential customers can find you. Yet you might be suspicious of companies that promise to catapult your website to #1 ranking in almost no time to announce that they will submit your site to thousands of search engines and web directories.

Peter Kent’s book in the For Dummies series offers a useful introduction to search engine optimization. He starts out by surveying the various search sites and search systems and explains who gets results from whom. He then suggests how yo give your website a quick makeover to give it greater visibility.

Throughout the book, Kent repeatedly emphasizes functionality over slick web technologies that might actually hinder search engines in finding your site. His second emphasis is on content as a lure for search engines.

Kent uses a fictitious website on “rodent racing” to give the reader very specific advice on picking the right keywords, getting into search engines, optimizing code, finding specialized directories, and much more. With over 350 pages (and a detailed index), this book offers you a wealth of suggestions and useful advice, whether you want to improve your website’s ranking by yourself or hire a SEO firm to do it.

While the “For Dummies” series of books varies quite a bit in quality, this volume can be recommended. What is particularly useful is the associated website that contains all the links mentioned in the book. Read More Reviews Here…

Sledgehammer

By Paulo J. Reyes

SledgehammerSledgehammer : Looking for a good fiction book to read? Look no further. This medical thriller will have you glued to every page as the drama unfolds and an ER doctor must stop a biochemical nightmare from happening.

6 days … 6 days to stop an epidemic and convince the government that terrorists have indeed used smallpox as a weapon against us. When one of the terrorists shows up in the ER with symptoms, time is of the essence to convince higher ups and the government that indeed this is the dreaded once thought eradicated disease smallpox. If not for the quick action and prior medical expertise of the main character, Dr. Max Kroose, fatalities could be in the millions.

What makes the book even more interesting is that the events unfolding in the ER symbolize real events that occur in emergency rooms daily. The author, Dr. Paulo J. Reyes, is a practicing Emergency Room Doctor and First Responder to disasters in Los Angeles, California with a medical career spanning 25 years. His medical expertise helped to create a medical environment that medical personnel, fans of medical TV dramas, as well as all science fiction fans will enjoy. Added to that, the characters are well developed and passionate in their quest for answers. Although the book is fictional, it’s based on extensive research and leaves you questioning-could it happen today?

With today’s ongoing terrorists’ threats, the growing concern of a biochemical attack, and the fear of a global pandemic, this book shows you how situations like this would be handled. Would the government be prepared? Do we have enough vaccinations for everyone? Should we have voluntary vaccinations now? Questions you will want answers for.

The book sells at Amazon and iUniverse as well as other leading online bookstores. Also, sign up to be an affiliate and start selling Sledgehammer on your site now. Science fiction at its BEST! This book has gotten numerous 5 Star Reviews. Get it now and see why. Read More Reviews Here…

The One Minute Millionaire

By Mark Victor Hansen and Robert G. Allen

One Minute MillionaireThe One Minute Millionaire: The Enlightened Way to Wealth : We learn it in kindergarten: You should always share. But somehow, on the way to adulthood, we lose our desire to share, especially when it comes to money.

When there is an abundance of anything, sharing is not an issue and a rich person is one who has more than enough. We want to get you started on having more than enough money by providing the tools and a path (our system) that can help you achieve your financial goals. Our desire is to provide you with solid building blocks for the abundant life that you were meant to have. When it happens to you, we believe you will naturally want to share with others.

When you share your wealth, you are acting like a honeybee, whose primary objective is to obtain nectar to make honey. While in the process of going after the nectar, the honeybee is actually involved in a much larger purpose, cross-pollinating the rooted botanicals. This cross-pollination, or sharing, is far more important than making honey because it results in a beautiful, bountiful garden.

By sharing your wealth, both in knowledge and in cash, you

become an enlightened millionaire. Like the honeybee, you can actually affect positive change in the world for the benefit of all humankind.

So how do you begin building wealth? Our best-selling book, “The One Minute Millionaire: The Enlightened Way to Wealth,” will start you on your way to having more than enough money so you can give back and help others succeed along with you. It will teach you to:

* Create wealth, even when you have little or nothing to start with.

* Use the power of leverage to build wealth rapidly.

* Overcome fears so you can take reasonable risks.

* Use “one-minute” habits to build wealth over the long term.

The One Minute Millionaire is a revolutionary approach to building wealth and a powerful program for self discovery as well. Read More Reviews Here…

Fix It And Enjoy It Cookbook

By Phyllis Pellman Good

Fix It And Enjoy ItFix It And Enjoy It Cookbook : Many cookbooks these days are long on dazzle and flash, and short on good recipes that we can instantly trust and love.

New York Times best-selling author Phyllis Pellman Good gives us recipes that include ingredients we already have on hand or can easily buy-recipes that are easy, foolproof and will make our families smile.

Good’s series of slow-cooker cookbooks, “Fix-It and Forget-It,” sold more than 6 million copies! Now, her new “Fix-It and Enjoy-It! Cookbook” (Good Books, $15.95) offers readers even more tried-and-true, welcome-home recipes for stovetop and oven cooking.

A collection of more than 675 recipes submitted by at-home cooks from around the country, the “Fix-It and Enjoy-It! Cookbook” features mouthwatering favorites such as “10-Minute Meatloaf” and “Frozen Mocha Cheesecake.” Each recipe includes its prep and cooking times.

Here’s an appetizer recipe taken from the new book:

Cheese and Shrimp Strudel

Makes 16-18 slices

1 half of a 17.25-ounce package (1 sheet) frozen puff pastry, thawed

11/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion

1 cup (4 ounces) cooked shrimp, chopped, or 4.5 ounces canned shrimp, rinsed, drained and chopped

1 egg, beaten

On a lightly floured surface, roll the thawed puff pastry to a 10″ x 18″ rectangle.

Place rectangle of pastry on a lightly greased, large baking sheet.

In a medium-sized bowl, stir together cheese, sour cream, onion, shrimp and half the beaten egg (about 2 tablespoons).

Spread the mixture length-wise down half of the rectangle. Brush edges of pastry (using pastry brush) with some of the remaining beaten egg.

Carefully fold dough over the filling and seal edges with the tines of a fork. Brush top and sides of strudel with remaining egg.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove from oven and cool 20 minutes before slicing. With a very sharp knife, slice slightly on the diagonal.

A cookbook with detailed directions, including prep and cooking times, can help even novice cooks navigate the kitchen with confidence. Read More Reviews Here…

The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe

By C.S. Lewis

The Lion The Witch The WardrobeThe Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe : It has taken me decades – literally – to finally pick up another C.S. Lewis book and read it. In high school I read Lewis’ book, “That Hideous Strength” and completely missed Lewis’ message. One decade later I read Lewis’ “Mere Christianity” and fully understood what Lewis was saying. With The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, part of C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia series, the gospel message is clearly made evident in an allegorical/mystical style. Lewis used the Narnia series to explain Christ’s love for humankind to children, who are the series’ principal readers.

This first novel in a series of seven books is currently a major motion picture now completing a successful run on theatre screens across the U.S. I have yet to see the movie, a Disney production, but I understand that it holds very true to Lewis’ storyline. I expect to see the movie before it leaves theatres later this month; it will become available on DVD this April.

Back to the story! The theme of “The Lion” centers around four children, the Pevensie siblings, who get caught up in a land of magic. Entering “Narnia” through a wardrobe (a tall cabinet that holds clothes) — located in a home where they are boarding — the children enter a land where it is always winter, but never Christmas. Under the spell of the White Witch, Narnia is forever in the grip of evil. The land is occupied by talking animals (beavers, for one), spirits, goblins, sprites, but no humans. That is until Lucy Pevensie shows up followed by her brother Edmund and, later, Susan and Peter.

Quite obviously the White Witch a/k/a the Queen of Narnia is most interested in humans so she resorts to all sorts of magic and trickery to lure them in. Edmund, the most impressionable of the siblings, is quickly captivated by the White Witch and then sets out to betray the others.

Without giving away the storyline, the theme of Narnia clearly reflects the captivity of this present world under Satan, but its past and future deliverance through Jesus Christ. In the form of a lion, Aslan, Lewis brings a savior to Narnia who eventually releases the land from its winter grip and vanquishes the White Witch.

For those unfamiliar with the gospel message, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe may be hard to follow. However, Lewis wrote the book in 1950 immediately after the horrors of Word War II and with the Nazi air battle for London fresh in the minds of British citizenry. Lewis may have been responding to a strong spiritual hunger of his time when he wrote the series as “Narnia” successfully points seekers to Aslan, much as the Bible points readers to Jesus Christ.

I am not sure if I will read the remaining six books in this series, but I am definitely interested in exploring several other writings of Lewis.

C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Charles Williams were contemporaries who were a part of a group of writers and intellectuals known as The Inklings who met during the 1930s and 1940s at a public house in Oxford. Tolkien, like Lewis, used Christian allegory in many of his writings including, The Lord of the Rings, another series of books that was recently released as a major motion picture.

Clearly, the renewed interest in C.S. Lewis’ works is a positive step especially for a generation of children not familiar with the gospel message. Disney, for their part, is interested in developing the remaining six books of the series into individual movies. So, expect Narniamania – as some have called it – to continue unabated for many years to come. Read More Reviews Here…