I have a particular interest in self-awareness, so reading this book is for pleasure and professional purpose.
Title: Insight: The Power of Self-Awareness in a Self-Deluded World Author: Tasha Eurich Publishers: Macmillan Format: Paperback Pages: 357 Genre: Non-fiction, Psychology, Self-help
What’s it about?
Author, Tasha Eurich, begins with a lament on the self-delusion of today’s people, identifying blindspots to how well we know ourselves.
An organizational psychologist by profession, Eurich claims self-awareness is THE meta-skill of the 21st century for success. In a world of operating in the shallows and privileging opinions of the external world, self-awareness separates the achievers and mediocrity. She referred to studies which showed self-awareness to be lacking despite claims by many leaders to the contrary. The “cult of self”, Eurich states, prevents us from approaching with humility and self-acceptance to truly seeing ourselves.
Insight expounds what insight is, referring to internal self-awareness and external self-awareness, and strategies to survive in a unaware world. Eurich differentiates insight from introspection, stating that introspection does not a self-aware person make. “Thinking isn’t knowing” as a heading to one chapter says.
Being self-aware, or having insight of ourselves, helps us make better decisions in aspects of our lives.
Insight puts forth that no one will ever be entirely self-aware. It is an ongoing process and one which requires us to let go of the search for absolute truths.
This book feels like a self-help book and yet at times, disguising itself as a theoretical text, or vice-versa. On occasions, the flow is interrupted by anecdotes from Eurich’s professional life.
Would I recommend it?
Yes. It is an interesting read on how we delude ourselves, in our personal and professional lives.
For those who want to better engage and relate with others say, within their organizations, this is a worthwhile read.
I was provided a complimentary copy of this soon-to-be published book in exchange for an honest review.
Title: Awaken A New Myth: Goddess Warrior on the Hero’s Journey Author: Karen La Puma To be published: Soul Source (10 Jan 2018) Format: Paperback Pages: 204 Genre: Non-Fiction – Spiritual
What’s it about?
“Awaken a New Myth” is the first of 10 spiritual books (A Toolkit of Awakening Series) Karen La Puma has written after nearly 3 decades as an astrologer, hypnotherapist, reiki master and spiritual counsellor.
Weaving the work of Carl Jung, particularly of the Collective Unconscious and archetypes, and Joseph Campbell, in his mythological exploration of the hero’s journey, Karen La Puma proposes a new way of being.
“Awaken a New Myth” entreats readers to discover our light, to have courage to take this journey of discovery. It is premised on our belonging together as a greater Whole. The book is divided into 4 parts (Overviewing the Journey, Answering the Call, Appreciating the Positive and Discovering Purposeful Living) which mirrors the 12 stages of Joseph Campbell’s mythic structure of the Hero’s journey, the journey though taken embodied as the Warrior Goddess.
The abstract language La Puma used can be inaccessible to readers new to the spiritual path, predominantly undefined terms except for the Glossary towards the end.
The use of italicized words and capitalized abstract nouns (eg. Archetypes, Source, Essence, True Nature, Love, Divine, Being) are distracting and confusing, as I attempted to fully grasp their meaning as La Puma intended them. Perhaps it is La Puma’s intention to leave her message abstract and open to her readers’ subjective interpretation?
Awaken a New Myth is a book of ideas, rather than a theoretical exposition. It is a book with heart, and to engage the mind, greater depth is required. Nevertheless, La Puma puts forth her model of the “Goddess Warrior Magnetically Creating the Hero’s Journey” as the “answer for these quickening times, because we now have the ability, the map, and the keys to awaken and co-create a better world”.
Despite the language perhaps more suited to those already on spiritual and mythical paths, the message is a call to live authentically with a willingness to step up to our best self.
As a self-help book, Awaken a New Myth poses many reflective questions to guide readers on the Warrior Goddess’ Hero Journey which readers dedicated to the practice will find insightful answers, and for whom this resonates, a new way of being.
I promised I’d bring you another interview with an author who’s well known for his books in Spanish. Although to tell you the truth, our guest today, Enrique Laso, is well-known everywhere, as he’ll explain himself. He’s a very driven author and when I met him I was sure he’d be a fascinating subject for an interview. I also asked him to talk to us about his most recent novel available in English. So here he is.
I was born in Badajoz in 1972.
I have lived in Badajoz, Murcia, Valencia, Barcelona and Madrid. Thanks to my profession and to an eagerness to travel that has been a part of me since my childhood I have had the chance to visit more than thirty countries in the five continents.
After a break of 10 years, having won several awards as a teenager and having published three books then, in 2005 I resumed my literary career. That year I published a novella ‘Desde el Infierno’ (From Hell), adapted for the cinema in 2014 by Luís Endera, I wrote some special collaborations sporadically for newspapers and several magazines, and I created my first blog (http://www.owachy.com/).
At the moment I’m busy with several projects, of which the most important are the novels, Cataclismo, The Tesla Mystery and Heaven of Happiness. My latest novels have been published under several pseudonyms, the majority unknown to the big public. The only one I’ve revealed to this date, and therefore I don’t mind mentioning, is Henry Osal, whose writing is focused on self-help manuals and personal development.
My most successful novel, El Rumor de los Muertos (The Rumour of the Dead), with more than 130000 digital copies sold, is available in paperback in all big bookshops since the autumn of 2014, published by MR (Planeta). It has been recommended by writers such as Juan Gómez Jurado, Bruno Nievas or Blanca Miosi (yes, our guest last week!).
I have sold, to this date, more than 300000 books, many of them available in Spanish, English, French, Italian and Portuguese (I’ve been translated to 12 languages, including the books written under pseudonym), I’ve won a large number of literary contests and I’ve published over fifty newspaper articles.
How and when did you start writing?
When I was eight years old. I was an avid reader, and a slightly introverted boy. I wrote a novella called ROCA (Rock) about a young lad who wasn’t able to communicate and ended up becoming a rock. It was a way of expressing myself and communicating my feelings better.
Describe briefly your experience as an independent writer.
Fantastic. The truth is that although I’ve published with four different publishing companies, I carry on publishing independently. I have received many offers to sign long-term writing contracts, but I think I’m better off free. Nowadays an author has many more possibilities and more strength when it comes to negotiating.
What’s the moment you remember more fondly (so far) of your experience as a writer?
There are many. But I think the day when I found myself number 1 in Amazon.com for the first time it was the most emotive, because of what it meant (and, in truth, from that moment on my life changed for the better).
What made you decide to get your work translated?
Amazon encouraged me, and also many of my readers from the USA did the same. They thought my novels would be very successful in other languages and they weren’t wrong. I’ve been N.1 in several categories in Amazon, iTunes, Google Books, and Barnes and Noble, in English, French, Italian, German and Greek!
Tell us something about your book
THE BLUE CRIMES is a thriller, police procedural story, full of intrigue. From its inception I thought about the American market, and in just a month I’ve sold hundreds of copies and it has received 7 reviews (all very positive), among them one by one of the TOP-100 reviewers. Set in the ‘deep America’ it tells the story of the investigation of the murders of two girls, who are found near a lakeside by a promising agent of the Unit of Behavioural Analysis of the FBI. It has been compared with successful TV series such as CSI, Criminal Minds, Twin Peaks or True Detective, and that’s fantastic.
Andy advice for your fellow writers (and especially for new writers)
They are very typical, but the truth is that they work.
-To trust in themselves
-To persist, persist, persist
-To never stop reading and learning
-To accept the help and advice of professionals
-To not dismiss marketing or think it is not part of the job.
Don’t forget to check his blog (see link above) and here I leave you his Amazon page:
A SUPERB CRIME NOVEL. GRIPPING FROM START TO FINISH.
‘And so proceeds Enrique’s THE BLUE CRIMES and the manner in which he places Ethan Bush and team in the resolution of crime is tense, suspenseful, and at all times involving. This is quality mystery writing by a voice new to most of us – a welcome addition to the thriller genre’
Grady Harp, TOP-100 Reviewer/ Hall of Fame/ Vine Voice
_________________________________________________________ Two bodies found in a lagoon.
A promising FBI special agent.
A crime that occurred almost twenty years ago.
A convoluted mystery novel that grabs you.
If you enjoyed novels like ‘The Silence of the Lambs‘ or TV series as ‘Twin Peaks‘ or ‘True Detective‘… this is the story that you have been waiting for.
_________________________________________________________ FROM CHAPTER I By the time they called me, a whole week had passed since the second body had been discovered. This was a setback as much of the evidence would have disappeared by now and I’d have to work with what little evidence the local police, unaccustomed to these types of crimes, would have been able to collect. Luckily I had been allocated a competent enough CSI unit and as we flew from Washington to Kansas City International Airport, we imagined, quite rightly as it turned out, that the crime scene will have been spoiled by dozens of well-meaning but clumsy Deputies.
Liz, who I already knew professionally from the only case that I’d worked on up to then, handed me a folder containing photos; the cyanotic bodies of two naked girls, abandoned in a lagoon, like the unimportant remnants of a quiet morning picnic. I was staring into the open eyes of one of the young girls, who could not have been more than twenty years old, when I was struck by her plea: “You must find who did this to me.”
This review is from:THE BLUE CRIMES (Kindle Edition)
Enrique Laso was born in Badajoz, the capital of the Province of Badajoz in the autonomous community of Extremadura, Spain, situated close to the Portuguese border, on the left bank of the river Guadiana, in 1972. Although professionally he has always been linked to the world of marketing and communication, literature is his true passion. He began writing in his teens and in 1994 won the Murcia youth national prize for his poetry collection ‘Lost children’. In 2005 he published the short novel ‘from hell’, adapted to film in 2014. He has published several novels under pseudonyms, the only one revealed by the author is Henry Osal who has signed several self-help manuals. ‘The sound of the dead’ is the novel with which he has had more success. It has sold more than 250,000 books and has been translated into 12 languages. He has won numerous literary competitions throughout his extensive literary career. For personal reasons, he did not write for almost ten years, until in 2005, when he revived his passion, and since then he has dedicated himself to writing whole-heartedly.
Enrique knows his way around mystery thrillers and of interest this Spanish author has placed his current story in the heartland of the American Midwest. He opens his story with a rather gruesome setting: `By the time they called me, a whole week had passed since the second body had been discovered. This was a setback as much of the evidence would have disappeared by now and I’d have to work with what little evidence the local police, unaccustomed to these types of crimes, would have been able to collect. Luckily I had been allocated a competent enough CSI unit and as we flew from Washington to Kansas City International Airport, we imagined, quite rightly as it turned out, that the crime scene will have been spoiled by dozens of well-meaning but clumsy Deputies. Liz, who I already knew professionally from the only case that I’d worked on up to then, handed me a folder containing photos; the cyanotic bodies of two naked girls, abandoned in a lagoon, like the unimportant remnants of a quiet morning picnic. I was staring into the open eyes of one of the young girls, who could not have been more than twenty years old, when I was struck by her plea: “You must find who did this to me.” Horrified, I turned the photos over and looked out the window of the small Gulfstream III; we were already over the state of Illinois.’
We meet Ethan Bush, and FBI agent, haunted by the fear that his initial success with the FBI may not be reproducible and that he may be destined to fail. But he is assigned a cold case – in addition to the two cyanotic girls mentioned earlier, there is Sharon Nichols who was not exactly killed yesterday. Her lifeless body appeared in the same place as the other two unfortunates, but in 1998, that is … almost 17 years ago. It was a case that went unsolved and was eventually shelved, like many others. This is the reason we needed you. We fear that we are facing a serial murderer who has returned to the area … Who can tell how many victims he might have claimed during the last nearly twenty years!’
And so proceeds Enrique’s THE BLUE CRIMES and the manner in which he places Ethan Bush and team in the resolution of crime is tense, suspenseful, and at all times involving. This is quality mystery writing by a voice new to most of us – a welcome addition to the thriller genre. Grady Harp, March 15
Thanks to Enrique for agreeing to come and be interviewed, thanks to all of you for reading, and you know what to do, like, share, comment and CLICK!
RW: Where did the Isaac you describe in I Love Anger, that grew to love anger come from, that younger version of you, that world?
ISAAC: In the introduction and angry roots I describe how anger began to grow in my life from a youth to an adult. Living in a world of no hope and no light can be difficult to function in. It is not a world I would want anyone to experience.
RW: Though you went through a lot, and I mean a lot, growing up, you’ve obviously chosen to take your life in a different direction. The book obviously pulls from your experiences, I mean this is your story, but you also have experience in Anger Management. Would you tell our readers something about that?
ISAAC: I wanted this book to be a personal and clinical approach towards anger. I wanted the reader to understand through my pain so they could see the trials and triumphs through me. If I gave them anything less than that, I would probably rob them of a true self help experience. I didn’t want them to feel alone, in the book we walk through anger management together.
RW: Excellent, so you have the true story and life experiences COMBINED with the training to truly put it all together for us to share. Were you encouraged to share this story with others because of that combination? I mean only YOU could tell this story and the way to where you are now.
ISAAC: At first the book was for me, I began writing down my thoughts and to help me see what was inside me. It was therapy for me. As I continued to write I felt like this could help others so I turned it into a book. I wanted to give a real life, no joke approach but also give a clinical side for balance.
RW: I have to say, the story of you growing up, I can connect to some of it. My situation wasn’t quite like that but there were moments and a lot of my family members had lives kind of like that. One died in prison. Looking at his prison picture I could see the anger in him. What would you say to my relative, if he were alive and it was the day before he stole that last time that got him caught, what would you tell him that was in I Love Anger that could help him find his way out?
ISAAC: I would ask him “What’s up? Why are you really angry? There is a reason behind this behavior. This ain’t you! Keep telling yourself you good and that you straight but you and I both know that it’s something deeper than that! This lifestyle only ends up two places, dead or in prison wishing you was dead. But hear this from me! it’s not worth it! You are worth more than this! Its okay to feel how you feel right now, but how you react versus respond to how you feel kinfolk will destroy you. This is real talk, know that I care about you! Hear me, I Love YOU! If you think your mom, dad or nobody loves you, know that I love you unconditionally right where you are! I’m here with you, if you want to change, it can start right now! The choice is yours! It’s all on you!”
RW: You know, you nailed a few things there that I think would’ve helped. One thing our readers should know is, this book ain’t sugar coated to make everyone feel all warm and fuzzy about the end. You tell it like it was as you go along. What kept you focused on being certain your story was as it should be and not a motivational speaker book?
ISAAC: The reader needs something authentic and something they can relate to.
RW: Was there a moment where you were in a place of not going to finish this book, it’s too much, and I just want to forget all of this that’s happened?
ISAAC: Yes, I stopped for weeks but I got more and more insight for the book and at that point I knew that I had to complete it for my readers, it was much bigger than me.
RW: Where are you in your head these days and your heart?
ISAAC: My Faith in God, Family and Ministry.
RW: I knew that answer before I asked. It was a set up. You’re living it. Do you have a particular story of where your book has touched someone, helped them, where they’ve written to you or even come up to you and just shared what your words have helped them with?
ISAAC: I have had someone come up to me and tell me that if they went through what I went through they probably wouldn’t be alive. I realized at that moment, I am a survivor and I want people to turn their pain into purpose like I did.
RW: I like that. You keep getting out of what you’ve given to others. I see you do book signings and things of that nature in the Austin area and parts of Texas, are you open for speaking engagements, perhaps through Skype if anyone reading would be interested in your services? I mention Skype because I am sure it might be difficult to travel to Canada and back before work calls to find out where you are.
ISAAC: Yes I do book signings in my region and I am always open to speaking engagements because knowledge is power, if you know better you have an opportunity to do better. Yes, I currently provide online coaching and mentorship through Skype.
RW: How about for any other sites out there who would like to have you perhaps do a guest article for them, are you open to that and if so how would they go about contacting them? I mean your subject covers the world. There is no boundary that anger doesn’t cross and no person it doesn’t touch.
ISAAC: Yes, inquire at firstname.lastname@example.org
RW: Is there a way our readers could order a signed copy of I Love Anger? I know how what I will call bookies love real paper and like to have that personal touch if they can. Yes, if people who love food can be called foodies, I can call people who love books bookies.
ISAAC: Yes, inquire at email@example.com
RW: Okay, we’ve been serious. Now let’s go into the areas I like to go to in order to find out about who you are. What ice cold drink do you like with your meal? And for that matter, tell us what your favorite meal is, and your wife is watching, so the Queen will know.
ISAAC: Strawberry Lemonade, Ugali (African dish) white corn meal, greens and chicken.
I looked up Ugali, they call it the Kenyan Running Superfood. If it’s made of cornmeal it’s got to be good.
RW: I think you just described the perfect meal for a man that just got out of the hospital, that being me. You’re a Texan so, Spurs or Rockets, and why not go ahead and choose Cowboys or Texans?
ISAAC: I support all Texas TEAMS but Spurs and Cowboys for sure!
RW: If you could go to one place in the world, where would it be and why? And we’ll say the Queen isn’t looking, but remember she’s going with you.
ISAAC: Africa because I want to connect with my roots and learn from the people.