Category Archives: Book Reviews

Using Blogs, Podcasting, News Releases, Viral Marketing

The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use News Releases, Blogs, Podcasting, Viral Marketing, & Online Media to Reach Buyers DirectlyThe New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use News Releases, Blogs, Podcasting, Viral Marketing, & Online Media to Reach Buyers Directly by David Meerman Scott

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a great read for understanding the new rules of marketing today — use the internet.

It is important to have a hard copy of this book because of all the tips and web sites that it mentions. But I would also like to listen to this book because I didn’t have time to sit down and read all of it.

Also, my experience is that if you are marketing to the local community — besides the internet, put ads on TV during the local news. All the other time slots seem to be a waste.

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Review of the Series of Books, Fablehaven

I like reading my self-help books in the form of Novels. That way I don’t get bored. There is nothing like a good story to drive home a point. It’s like a spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down.

At times I did wonder if I was wasting my time reading these books. There are five books. It was too interesting, these magic tools that were introduced. But the books did me good because it was a way to force those old neurons in my brain to think outside of the box. Also there were a few real life tips that helped me.

The story is about two siblings, 13-year-old Kendra and 11-year-old Seth Sorenson, who visit their grandparents’ huge estate. They find out that their grandparents are caretakers of preserve. The preserve contains about every kind of mystical character you have ever read while growing up: fairies, witches, demons, goblins, etc. These creatures are not nice, most of them. Seth keeps breaking rules or getting suckered into some scheme by these creatures and causes huge huge HUGE problems! But then sometimes he does some risky things that end up saving the day. I’ve done that. I mean I’ve trusted in the wrong people and have ended up causing huge problems.

“Shake it off,” the friends of Seth say. Don’t beat yourself up. It was not all your fault. So Seth would formulate a plan and go on living his normally happy boy life, a little wiser and more respected by the demons in his life.

The coolest magic tool came in the last book, Keys to the Demon Prison.

Cover of book, Keys to the Demon Prison

Cover of book, Keys to the Demon Prison

Seth got a sword that, when he wielded it, infused him with invincible courage and strength to cut through any demon that stood in his way so that he could reach the really big bad guy and destroy him. I thought, hmmmm, I’m going to imagine I have a sword like that and lose my fear and just do what I need to do and get past the demons that are holding me back and start getting things done.

Fablehaven was written by a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sometimes known as Mormon, after an ancient Prophet in about 500 A.D. somewhere in the America’s.

Because many of the truths taught by Christ were lost during the dark ages, and because people are taught line upon line until they are ready for more knowledge, God has again called prophets. He has organized his kingdom. He has revealed wonderful truths that are like that sword mentioned above. We are taught that we are children of God, created in his image. Before we were born we were spirit children of God, and walked and talked with God, and he walked and talked with us. We saw that he had a body of flesh and bones, and we desired to be like him and took the risk to be born and lose our memory of our past life so that we could learn to grow through faith.

Because we are children of God, we have our agency to progress and learn to live in harmony with others and to become like him.

God has restored the power of the priesthood. Everyone is called to serve if they wish to. It is a way to help us to learn as we serve others. It all is a great way to raise a happy family in these troubled times, while making a positive difference in the world.

Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

I read the audio version of this book. It was read by Joss Ackland. I wish I had the time to read a hard copy instead of an audio copy, because it was very hard for me to follow. I kept having to rewind and re-listen.

This book is a series of letters written by a senior tempter — you know one of Satan’s angels — to a junior tempter. It is a compendium of letters illustrating how to get a new Christian convert to stray from various virtues and turn into a ho hum garden variety Christian.

For the person who is trying to better him/herself, this is a great book. For those who really don’t care about excellence, or why they are here or where they are going after they die, this may be a boring book.

In my opinion, because of the reader, the old school flowery speech, and the abstractness of this book, one must sit down and study this book, not listen to it. You must constantly remind yourself that you need to do the opposite of what Screwtape wants you to do, unless of course you want to become a bum and not really accomplish anything worthwhile in this life.

Yesterday I finished reading a similar book that seemed to be easier to understand. It is called The Brothers: A Novel (The Great and Terrible, Volume 1 — Prologue) . This novel gives a plausible history of Satan. More importantly it shows how Satan (aka Lucifer, Son of the morning, etc) can use his logic to bring someone over this his side.The Brothers:  A Novel (The Great and Terrible, Volume 1 -- Prologue)

In my opinion one of Satan’s best tools to cause non-peace is this: Every one wants to feel that they are doing the right thing, and that the sacrifice that they put in is respected by their peers. No one wants to be told that they are not as loved.

Does this sound too simplistic? Here are some examples. Here’s the first. Cain and Abel are supposed to sacrifice the firstlings of their sheep flock to God. Well, Cain is a farmer, and doesn’t happen to have a sheep ranch. He has to go to his brother to get a sheep to sacrifice. So he bends the rules and offers the produce from his farm. Well, God shows them that he accepts the sheep but not the produce from Cain. Cain is mad. So Satan says to Cain, “Hey you know, all you have to do is to slay your brother Abel, then those sheep will be yours and you don’t have to grovel to him to get your sacrifice.”

Another case, Joseph gets these dreams from God, showing his brother’s corn worshiping his corn. Another dream shows his brothers’ and parents’ stars worshiping his. To compound the problem his dad gives him the multi-colored coat, plus the dad loves Jospeh’s mother more; she is a lot prettier too.

The bothers don’t like this. They work hard than Joseph. Were they not born first? So they sell him as a slave.

Satan uses that to get people to do all kinds of mean things.

Well, anyway, there is a Satan. There is a God. They both inspire us to do bad or good. It is part of the plan. It gives us our free agency to choose. One of the reasons we are here on this earth is to prove ourselves by the choices we make. We cannot remember our life as spirit children of God. This is because we are here to be tested. If we grow toward the light of God and keep his commandments, then we will qualify to live with Him again.

The Brothers: A Novel (The Great and Terrible, Volume 1 — Prologue)

Conversations—Elder Dallin H. Oaks and Sister Oaks

Mon, 08 Feb 2010 This episode of “Conversations” features an interview by host Sheri Dew with Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He is joined by his wife, Kristen. They discuss their life, marriage, teachings, and ecclesiastical service.

via Conversations—A Mormon Channel Original .

It is always very enlightening to hear an interview with an apostle of the Lord. I listened to this about two weeks ago, and I only recall a few interesting things.

Oaks (far right) with LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson (left) and US President Barack Obama (center) in the Oval Office on 20 July 2009, presenting a personal volume of President Obama's family history as a gift from the LDS Church.

Sheri Dew is always a great interviewer. She is 56 years old (born November 21, 1953) and has written biographies on people like President Hinckley. She is also past President of the Relief Society (a women’s organization within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) and currently runs Deseret Book. It is a mystery why she has never been married.

Sheri L. Dew

To me, there seemed to be a bit of tension in this interview between Sheri Dew and Sister Oaks, who married later in life to the much older Elder Oaks, who was then a widower. At one point, Ms. Dew directed a question to both of them, and when Sister Oaks mimicked her husband’s answer, Sheri called her on it.

In this interview we learn about the life of the apostle, Elder Oaks. He was raised by his mother. He learned to work at an early age. He went into law and enjoyed it. He became the President of the Brigham Young University when Sheri started school there in 1971.

Elder Oaks is known to tell people what they need to hear even if it is not very popular. With his law background he knows that members of the Church need to stand up for what they believe because we have a right to. For example, God has taught through his prophets:

The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.

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Interview by Sheri Dew with Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

This episode of “Conversations” features an interview by host Sheri Dew with Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He is joined by his wife. They discuss their life, marriage, teachings, and ecclesiastical service.

via Conversations—A Mormon Channel Original.

Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

I listened to this interview a few days ago. I love the interviews from Sheri Dew because for some reason she has not been able to land a husband and maybe because of that she picks people’s brains about their marriages.

Well this is great for me because I need all the help I can get. I figure that every team needs a coach. In this life, the teams that really count are the family teams. The Ballard’s are as good as it gets as far as coaching family teams.

The Ballard’s talk about what they say in family prayer, about how the man should seek and heed advice from his wife, and how the wife notices things that are not always apparent to the husband. The wife should also take advice, if she ever happens to need any!

Other things in the interview:

  • Listening to advice (like when he got involved in the Edsel Car dealership).
  • Life is not always cushy for Apostles. They need family and friends to rally around them too.
  • It has been a sacrifice for him to always be on call to serve in the church, but that is what life is about.
  • People need to share the Gospel with their acquaintances. It is so simple. Elder Ballard suggested that we at least read chapter 3 in Preach My Gospel. The Gospel is this: That Jesus Christ organized his church when has on earth. He died for us so that through repentance and following him we can return to our Heavenly Father. After his apostles were killed, his Church fell away from some of his original teachings. He has restored his Church and Priesthood on the earth again and is gathering Israel to Zion and to her stakes throughout the world. The blessings of the temple have been restored. (That’s not an exact quote, but hopefully it is close).

It was good to listen to this interview. The powerful counsel for husbands and wives is priceless.