BUDGETING, an e-book published, copyright and written by Noel Bradshaw.

Subtitled “How to take control of your money, reduce debt and start living” the book then presents a legal notice declaring copyright, a disclaimer notice declaring innocence of any expressed or implied warranties and non-responsibility for any losses incurred from reading the document. There follows a Table Of Contents, an Introduction, 6 pertinent chapters and a conclusion. The introduction acknowledges the complexity and extensive range provided by the subject but indicates that the basics are the subject of this book. Chapter One then explains that a person must begin “to first get a big picture what it (the budget) is part of, which is personal finance management.” It continues by discussing “needs”, “current position” and “future needs”, explains “cash flow” and elements affecting it and introduces “Budgeting”. Chapter Two explains differences between “good” and “bad” debts and “Budgeting and Debts”. Chapter Three details the importance of having a plan and the importance of “mindset”. Four concentrates on minimizing expenses, expands on the importance of mind set, stresses the need to set goals and stick to them, discusses the difference between needs and wants and suggests alternative means of saving/gaining extra monies. Chapter five is about “Investing in Your Future” specifying simple formulas for saving for the future and risk factors to be considered. Chapter Six considers the subject of “Bad Debts”, the need to address them, how best to handle them and considerations for gaining additional income. The Conclusion offers hope that the author’s suggestions will be helpful to the reader. Two Annexes are provided – A: “Sample Contingent Savings Approach Budget”; B: “Sample Prioritized Savings Approach Budget”.

Discussion/Conclusion: The author, as indicated, has attempted to provide the basics of ‘Budgeting’ in a quite simplistic manner directed toward the neophyte and/or the individual who is prone to ‘let things slide’ and/or the one who may be inclined toward being overly influenced by action of peers.

4* Simply presented discussion probably helpful for targeted audience.

The End of Suffering

The End of Suffering, an e-book published, copyright and written by Chuck Comstock.

Subtitled “How Making Peace with Depression and Anxiety Leads to a Life of Connection and Joy”, the book first states “the material in this book is intended for educational purposes only” and follows with an understandably well-worded disclaimer and brief statement of the author’s own struggles before devising the method he sets forth. The substance of the presentation starts with “The Beginning” where his personal problems are further explained followed by a section entitled Hairballs and Why They Must be Regurgitated that explains how the problems are like a cat’s and must be eliminated for health reasons. Incidentally and somewhat amusingly perhaps, he states: “ultimately this book is for me” and “sorry to disappoint anyone reading this. This being said, take this up as a challenge if you wish. Read this for you. Not for your wife or husband, not for your son or daughter, not for your mother or your boss or your friend, but for you.” The actual material to be set forth is divided into 3 sections – Section One: “What Happened” is followed by 3 chapters that present the numerous pertinent factors and how they originated. Applicable quotes are provided in the second chapter from Rowling’s Harry Potter, the Gospel of St Luke, Buddha, Tao Tee Ching and finally from the Wizard of Oz “Toto, I’ve a feeling we aren’t in Kansas anymore”. Number 3 sums up the section by declaring “The bad news is you can’t make your suffering go away” and offers “Both this book and its companion course include real life, practical ways to notice, discover and live in the beautiful world that you have so carefully hidden, it exists right under your nose.”

Section Two provides The Dilemma and the Key and contains 5 chapters explaining What Suffering is Not; What Suffering Is; 6. And 7, How Did All This Happen? Part 1 and 2; and Chapter 8. The Opposite is True, where he explains that “There never has been anything wrong with you” and “if you absorb this one key, you open the door to self-love, self-respect, self-nurturing and a deep sense of connection to everyone and everything in this world” because “Who you are is beyond what your mind currently believes and is capable of seeing.” Then Section Three: The End, includes chapters 9 – There is No Cure for Suffering with a reference to Kung Fu Panda and a statement: “truly facing reality and getting it deep inside your bones is the only way to be able to live on the other side of suffering”; 10 a and b discussing “Painful Dose(s) of reality and Practices for Discovering Reality; 11 Whose Fault is This, Anyway? that explains the need to find corrections in your thinking arising from those initiated in childhood; 12 where he offers An Optimal Method and finally Chapter 13 where he explains that it “took me over forty years to finally begin to end my internal war with myself” and admonishes readers to “Relax, take it easy, this isn’t your fault, try to enjoy the ride.” The Afterword, The Strangest Secret and Discovering Your Connection provide further summary-like material. A few references are added.

Discussion: It would appear that the basic theme of this book is that life is subject to many unknown factors over which an individual has no control. They in turn, often provide thoughts much at odds with how the mind has been taught one must act or react when such circumstances occur. These facts should be accepted as beyond our control so as not to fall into depression such as experienced for many years by the author. The book is the first of a series, and along with a course being provided is to teach this to prospective students. In other words, he is suggesting that he can induce the depression sufferer to experience a Gestalt-like experience that will illuminate the basic cause of the suffering so as to acquire a better, depression-free life.

Summary: The author has described the well-accepted concept of mental control and its effectiveness and suggested a procedure he believes is a viable means of gaining such understanding. However, he also has opened his method of Gestalt-like attainment to some degree of implausibility by a quote he previously has provided – “My goal is not to convince you scientifically. If you need that, you will have to do your own research.”

3* Method of depression elimination offered; cogent caveat suggested.