Review of ‘The Book of Five Rings’

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The art of Japanese sword fighting is as much Zen as war, and the principles can be applied to the boardroom as well as the battlefield. The 17th century classic, The Book of Five Rings, by the legendary Japanese swordsman, Miyamoto Musashi, details the techniques that must be mastered if one is not only to master the art of battle, but, one’s self.

Translated, and reissued by XistPublishing in e-book format, this short book offers techniques—albeit not in exhaustive detail—for becoming a master strategist. These techniques can be applied to any endeavor, and, with practice, can lead to a significant change in outlook and outcomes.

As a bonus, the last third of the book is a guide for book clubs, that can be used in evaluating book club presentations. This guide is, believe it or not, also useful for authors, regardless of skill level, as a means of improving their writing.

This version had a number of typos that were missed in proofreading. I give it four stars.

Review of ‘The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes’

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As a youngster, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Edgar Rice Burroughs were among the first authors I read. I was overjoyed, therefore, to receive a free review copy of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This volume, however, is a book with a difference. First published in 1892, the famous detective is back, thanks to Story Cartel Classics, with endnotes and articles showing how the stories offer life lessons that we can all benefit from.

So, not only do you get to read some of Doyle’s best Holmes’ stories, but at the end you’re offered examples of how the story can relate to your present circumstances – and improve them. And, as an added bonus, the e-Book has interactive links to enable readers to talk about the lessons and discuss them with other readers on the Story Cartel blog. Now, how neat is that, folks?

Take for example, the first story, ‘A Scandal in Bohemia.’ The story of the King of Bohemia who comes to Holmes for help illustrates five paths everyone can follow for a better life:  1) pay attention, 2) don’t make assumptions, 3) be authentic, 4) laugh a lot, and 5) prioritize things in your life.

This is an easy book to like, unless you just happen to be among that miniscule percentage of people who don’t like Sherlock Holmes. Actually, even if you’re not a particular fan, you’ll find it a different kind of self-help book, so give it a read anyway.

I can’t say enough good about it, so I’ll stop and say, read it, Read It, READ IT!