AmerICAN ISBN: 9781629212852, first published by Dwyers Pacific Press 2000, this e-book edition published 2014 by Leonard Ryzman.

The author has provided a book apparently directed to the American market. It is well written and certainly an excellent motivational tool that assumedly had been successful in Australia. In large part it is rather repetitious of his book Make Your Own Rainbow, sub-titled ‘You Need Never Again be a Victim of Your Emotions’, Library of Australia ISBN: 187562783. (This new edition published 2014, previous editions 1990, 1996). In both this and AmerICAN, a Prologue is followed by THE END which in turn, is followed by an Introduction that recounts what was once a well know story. Ed Furgol, a golfer with a withered left arm that was eight inches shorter than the right one as a result of an accident at 12 years of age, went on to attain the height of golfing success – the 1954 U. S. Open Golf Champion. Following this short prologue, THE END is presented with a following introduction that sets forth the author’s distinct admonition: “I want you to stop and realize something powerful. For you this is the end – the end to thinking “I do not know how to lead a more fulfilling, successful life’.” From this point on, the author presents his Dynamic Emotion program that “provides you with alternative ways of viewing your life and offers simple techniques for improving it in a dramatic and permanent way”. Thus, you can experience “the thrill of living and achieving” and “become a happier and more successful person at home and at work.” Twelve chapters follow with suggestions as to: Why dynamic emotion is the key; how the mind works – and how to improve its performance; an amusing chapter about “The Benefits of Worry” which contains NO pages; how to successfully use your emotions and more highly motivational topics filled with excellent suggestions. Each of these chapters lists a number of persons who provide specific examples to illustrate the effectiveness of the point being made within the chapter. Specific examples of success over incredible odds include a range of such persons from James Benson Irwin, Apollo 15 Lunar Pilot, seventh man to walk on the moon; Danny Clark, Olympic swimmer; Estee Lauder: Robert Redford; Motor-racing driver Peter Brock and Comedian George Burns to other lesser known individuals such as a former gang member who became a prominent juvenile judge, a paraplegic who managed huge farm sections in Australia and many more fascinating individuals who so perfectly buttress the author’s Dynamic Emotion program. The author also includes some interesting observations: “Voltair once described someone as being ‘like a warming oven – always heating but never cooking anything’. When you start coking you will be surprised by the hidden abilities you have. So many people just go through the motions in their work. But as Sam Goldwyn observed: ‘No person who is enthusiastic about his work has anything to fear from life.’” He ends his presentation with “But if you are an American, you are in a special position to link the riches of the past with the promise of the future. Your heritage is a tradition of saying ‘I can’. Remind yourself of this each time you see the word ‘America’. AND: “The next time you wonder “Can I?’, reverse the words, turn the question mark into an exclamation mark, and, with the Dynamic Emotion techniques, at your disposal, confidently proclaim, ‘I CAN!’”

5* Highly motivational material seemingly first offered in an Australian publication.

Stones in the River

Stones in the River, Vol. 1, is a short story in e-book format by Jason Tucker.

Plot: Jamie was sitting on his couch enjoying a beer and half watching TV news after a long shift at the factory. An announcement from the Lottery headquarters began and listed a number that sounded like the one he had just purchased. He checked, was right and went quietly bananas. It seems he was the lone winner of 33 million dollars. He thought of calling Stephanie a bartender he had seen a few times, but thought better of it. But he didn’t know who to call? Living in a small mountain town was tough. If it was the wrong person, everybody would know. A call to his parents would bring aunts, uncles, their kids, etc. and besides he had to work in the morning. Finally, he called his grandmother and told her he thought he won some money. She thought that was nice but he should not drink any more beer and go to bed. At this moment he knew he would never change. He would be the same old Jamie – send his family on vacations, buy grandma a new car, nieces and nephews stuff they wanted, get the Jeep he had been wanting. In other words he would be generous but not showy. “He would go to work, pay his bills and save money. It was a shame about Stephanie, but he’d meet some nice southern girl who wasn’t wowed by money, they would have three kids and send them all to college.” Unfortunately, this is NOT what followed his winning of the lottery. Instead, as the story unfolds, the Lottery insists upon wide dissemination of the knowledge of his win, Stephanie sues him for several million, his job is given to ‘someone who needs it’ and other occurrences have him leaving for an Alaskan fishing trip that provides an interesting twist to the tale.

Discussion: This is a short story by a newer author that offers an appealing approach to a timely subject. The presentation of the story line is interesting, the pace is good and characterization is a bit sketchy, but adequate. A shift from pure narrative to a conversational approach, in the reviewer’s opinion, would have added greatly to the book’s enjoyment.

3* A short story providing a fine basis for those volumes that follow.