Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Kings Christmas List by Eldon Johnson, Illustrated by Bonnie Leich

When a parent's love is woven into the wood and paint of a playhouse............-a door is opened


Characters :
Emmy-Chhotta baccha ( a small child )
Shu Shu- a Dog (Emmy's Companion)
The King
The Horse- (of the Kings Carriage)
Cherry Bear- A teddy
A Boy and his Grandma-( Angels disguised as....)
A Small Child and her parents-( Angels disguised as.... )

Review
A golden Glow and that's all
In the Book Emmy is a girl who is very kind to give her cake made for the king to a boy and his Grandma.
She also gives her Teddy to a girl who lost her's. This book is very great for kids to know about sharing.
Its great for kids from age 5-10.The illustrator gets a hats off from me.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

A R Rahman The Musical Storm by Kamini Mathai





Book Cover and inside flap


Writing about Allah Rakha Rahman requires one to be a hound rather than a fox, a sleuth rather than an artist. And yes, it requires the patience of a saint to wait for hours at his Kodambakkam home along with directors, producers, wannabe singers and his large and ever-growing staff. The genius, when he appears, is chatty, cheery and charming enough. But he is not given to revealing too much about himself, whether it is about his faith or the way he works.

The best way to get to know him is to speak around him, which is exactly what Kamini Mathai has done. So yes A.R. Rahman: The Musical Storm may look like a quickie and even smell like a hard-headed business move rather than a long-nurtured editorial decision but it is still enlightening about one of India’s most private public figures, who began by earning Rs 50 as a record player operator and can now put any figure on desperately preferred bank cheques.

What it is rich in is a lot of trivia for Rahman's fans. Of how he was about to go to the Berkeley School of Music before Mani Ratnam offered him Roja or how he made Subhash Ghai stay up for 58 nights in a row while working on Taal or how he once dyed his ponytail red or even how the K.M. in his K.M. Music Conservatory stands for a 16th century Sufi saint, Khalishah Mastan, who had the same name as Rahman’s mother’s guru, Kareemullah Shah Qadri.

Mathai does have a muckraking sort of sensibility but clearly Rahman is the wrong guy for it. The vilest thing that can be said about him that he would sometimes have a beer when he was young while jamming with a series of rock groups or that he still often consults an astrologer.

Those not of a gossipy bent of mind and not particularly interested in his clashes with Ilaiyaraaja and his differences with Vairamuthu will not be too disappointed. There’s a lot the book says about his unique working style, from the experimentation he encourages in his singers to the absence of a full blown orchestra.

Rahman’s universe is closed, even as it is cordial, so some of what Mathai writes will be news to those who follow his work. For instance, how he recorded Lata Mangeshkar while she was rehearsing Jiya jale or how he ended up composing for Ram Gopal Varma in Rangeela—only by being whisked away to Goa. Of his contribution to Indian music, she has written well: from his crediting even chorus singers on the album to his more relaxed approach towards the Tamil language.

There is a lot about his gradual conversion, some of it surprisingly emotional, especially when he talks about his father’s fatal illness: “They used the same Hindu gods my father was worshiping to kill him. The more he worshiped, the more he was harmed.”
The book though does tend to be like a cut-rate crème brûlée, crunchy on top and not gooey enough inside. There is a tendency to hang quotes like on an untidy clothesline. Clearly there is another book out there waiting to be written on the man who is now the stuff of legend and surely the contracts are being drawn up even as we speak.

Because while there is much about his outer universe in Mathai’s account, there’s not nearly enough about the inner world of A.R. Rahman. A man at ease with his laptop and his prayer mat, a man who always travels light but thinks big




Tuesday, June 22, 2010

After The Hangover



Emmett Tyrrell tells the history and perspectives of the conservative movement in the US through the personalities involved. After the Hangover shows that these thinkers, originally a tightknit group fighting against the tide of big-government Liberals in the 1950s and after, changed the political landscape in the country, eventually leading to the Reagan years.


Readers get a strong sense of the major ideas of conservatives, including the belief in individual freedom, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. For conservatives, the human is a mixture of good and bad, perfectly capable of choosing virtue yet easily swayed in the other direction. Government cannot legislate virtue. If someone is forced to do good deeds, rather than freely from his heart, it is not virtue.

Tyrrell calls on conservatives to quit the careerism and backbiting that became pronounced, he argues, during the Second Bush years. As one way to avoid this, conservatives must continue to work at changing American culture, and not only politics. The author fears many of the projects, including Obamacare, that are currently remaking America. Yet he confidently believes that conservatives are in or near the center of American life, even if the Liberals control the media and universities.

Aside from a few swipes at conservative personalities such as William F. Buckley's son, which tend to be confusing rather than informative, Tyrrell offers a solid introduction of the main beliefs and characters of American conservatism from the mid-twentieth-century onwards

Friday, May 28, 2010

Dork: The Incredible Adventures Of Robin 'Einstein' Varghese

                                                                                      
There are two reasons why you should read this book:

- It doesn't make heavy demands on your pocket

-It doesn't make heavy demands on your time


I read it purely because I expected some thing really funny. Realized that the kind of humor that works on a blog may not really work in a book. A lot of pieces can be independently enjoyed as blog posts. There are very few moments when I really laughed out loud and the hypocritical dialogues become a bit too much most of the times.

Overall, didn't work for me perhaps due to my high expectations, but I don't regret reading it purely because it was a such an easy read.

Look hard enough within this book and examine your own life with an un-jaundiced eye and I m pretty sure you will find certain similarities in circumstances/ reactions/ behaviour!

BUT I CAN GIVE THIS BOOK A RATING OF 4OUT OF5.



Monday, March 22, 2010

Water Stories from around the world by Tulika Books

This is a Slideshow about the book




    I just heard about this book and The publisher accepted activities related to water.This is a book about water which releases today In Kolkata (Calcutta) today and the release date coincides with the World Water Day (March22). This book is a collection of folktales around the world about water.

I have interacted with many children and askes some questions.
Here are some of them
1) Who owns water?
Ans1- The Hindu Rain God(Indra)
Ans2-The People living on the earth
Ans3-Clouds
Ans4-Water Animals

2) How can we save water?
90% of the answers were "By harvesting rainwater" ant the remaining 10% was by checking for leaking in taps and Making sure all the taps were closed.

3) How is water sad?
Most of the answers were because of Pollution

After this there were some Video's about water, Pictures of Water Pollution,Drawing contest
(Unfortunately the Drawing were taken back by the children to show it to their parents)

LAST BUT NOT THE LEAST WE CALLEN ANY CHILD TO COME FORWARD AND SING A SONG ABOUT WATER

Then a Child came and Sang
'Water water everywere but not a drop to drink'
Even We can understand it
ARE WE GOING TO LEAVE A BARREN, DRY LAND FOR OUR FUTURE GENERATION
?


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Interview with The Horse Whisperer

Interview with Lew Sterrett

1. HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INVOLVED WITH HORSES? AT WHAT POINT DID IT BECOME YOUR LIFE’S PASSION?

I was but eight when my neighbors got horses and then my sister followed suit. Somehow it struck a chord with me, for I had already been infatuated with the likes of Roy Rogers, Stony Burke, the Rifleman, etc. I rode my sister’s horse looking more like a peanut on an elephant than a cowboy on his steed, but I was hooked. From that time on this fantasy began to become a reality. When I was 14, I was asked to train for someone else. It was all downhill after that. In part because of my intense enjoyment of horses, in part it was my safe place from family issues, and in part because I began to experience affirmation from others in what I did.

2. YOU LOST YOUR DAD AT A PRETTY EARLY AGE. HOW DID THIS AFFECT YOU? YOUR FAMILY?

To be honest it affected me so significantly that even this week – some 52 years later – I am learning to embrace it and benefit from it. Loss and grief are not always issues understood by the mind. God gives us grace to cope with pain as a child, but eventually He wants us to process it with Him, in Him. In order for us to become fully alive, God must be allowed to touch such pain. Like a horse, we need to yield it to Him, so He can turn a potential defeat into power that will eventually be harnessed for good works. This is the very process of turning an angry defeated man like Moses into a meek or powerful man of God. He truly becomes a Father to the fatherless!

3. THE TITLE OF YOUR THIRD CHAPTER IS 'ANYTHING WORTH DOING IS WORTH DOING POORLY' – WHAT DO YOU MEAN?

Of course this statement opposes the more popular line that 'If anything is worth doing, it is worth doing well'. However we must understand that no one ever starts anything at the top of their game. Starting is often clumsy, messy, and many times, embarrassing. The key is 'get started' for you will never learn any younger, and you really have no place to go but up! The emphasis here is to learn how to take the initiative and to keep getting up when you fall.

4. YOUR EARLY YEARS AT MMR WERE DIFFICULT. WHAT DID THAT EXPERIENCE TEACH YOU ABOUT LEADERSHIP? WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO CONTINUE?

The very nature of the work at MMR is 24/7/365 and mandates living in a fishbowl. I soon discovered that leadership is more about responding responsibly to crisis than about position or perks. Reading II Corinthians 10:8, 13:10, I learned that the authority the Lord gave me was for building up and not for tearing down. I began to realize that when we face resistance or criticism from either an animal or person, it is a great temptation to react and use whatever power or position we have at our disposal to protect or save ourselves first. The result is usually unsavory both to our own palate and to others. Leadership is all about crisis and the more prepared we are for win-win results the more satisfying the job. Though often tempted to quit, I am still integrity bound to a “response-able” mandate.

5. HOW DID SERMON ON THE MOUNT (SOTM) GET STARTED? WHAT IS YOUR MISSION WITH THIS ORGANIZATION?
At first it was simply God dealing with my own heart as I saw my own values and character mirrored in the horses I worked. Then I began to accumulate small insights that helped others see a clearer picture of God’s good purpose for their lives. However, as with the collection of small amounts of gold dust, soon the wealth and riches of God's Word became clearly evident to all through SOTM. As the word got out, invitations came from all over the country to come and share it with others. Our mission is simple: to teach and illustrate through the horse/trainer relationship both God’s plan for redemption and abundant living. It is our belief that God has just begun to use this tool and that a global opportunity is yet before us.

6. IN CHAPTER SIX, YOU MEET BERRY AND DESCRIBE HIM AS “THE HORSE THAT WOULD CHANGE MY LIFE.” HOW DID HE CHANGE YOU?
Berry, though outwardly beautiful and inwardly kind and cooperative, came to a place in his training that seemed impossible to surpass. As chapter 6 tells you, we thought Berry had reached his pinnacle. Finally, instead of trying to force the issue, I went back and started some basic training to increase his flexibility. Eventually, he overcame the physical challenge that was holding him back before. What I learned from him impacted me. Character is a reflection of the heart and will always surpass natural beauty and talent in the long run.

7. WHAT IS THE “10,000 HOUR RULE?”
When I use the phrase “It'll take a lot of wet saddle pads” my coaching audience looks baffled. However when I tell them that the only thing their team lacks is sweat equity, then the lights go on. I am very quick to emphasize that practice never makes one perfect. Otherwise we would not repeat the same dumb arguments with our spouse or kids. But it is essential to rehearse repeatedly in order for us to react automatically in crisis...kind of like forgiveness.

8. WHAT IS A SOFT ANSWER? HOW IS IT USED IN HORSE TRAINING? CAN WE USE IT IN OUR LIVES?

Often an action provokes a reaction, such as a harsh reaction to a harsh statement. It would be like jerking the horse’s mouth because he doesn't respond well. Whenever a trainer or parent reacts to an immature action he or she loses perspective and becomes childish. Soon the child or animal begin to push the buttons of the authority and thereby exert their will over the parent. A soft answer is not one of low volume; rather, it is a response to the need that keeps the real objective in view. It actually turns away wrath and provokes a responsible response. It includes seeing and responding to the need and not merely reacting to the words.

9. IF THERE IS ONE MESSAGE YOU WANT READERS TO TAKE AWAY FROM YOUR BOOK, WHAT IS IT?

Every trainer wants a relationship with the horse. Man’s ways are opposite to God’s—we are deceitful and addictively self-absorbed—but God wants a relationship with us. To get there, God often has to corral us and get us to face the futility and deception of our own reasoning. Like the horse, we can’t 'save ourselves.' The story of this book is that not only does God want a relationship with every reader, but He has already sent the trainer, the Lord Jesus Christ, into our arena to speak our language and to elevate us to fellowship with him. It is our privilege to respond to Him in humility (repentance) and trust (faith) in His offer of forgiveness and eternal life to all who believe in Him for salvation.

















Saturday, February 27, 2010

Plain Pursuit




Another wonderful book! Okay, okay, I know I say that about a lot of books that I read. This book was one of those page-turners that you just can't put down. It's about a young woman named Carley, who finds herself very discontented with her life. She takes a month vacation to visit her Amish friend in Pennsylvania. Plain Pursuit is the story of her journey throughout that month. Wiseman does an amazing job of making you feel like you're right there in the story. The characters are well developed and story is easy to follow. When I first picked up the book, I thought to myself that this would be one of those books my mom would like - a typical romance story with some other stuff in between. It turned out to be so much better than that, and I can proudly say that I enjoy the same books as my mom. :)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Life Lessons from a Horse Whisperer



ABOUT THE BOOK


A champion trainer and true horse whisperer, Dr. Lew Sterrett has used patience and a firm but gentle hand to earn the trust of more than 3,500 horses. In this book, Lew tells the stories of his work with these horses and the lessons each one has taught him. Sometimes heartbreaking and often uplifting, Lew has condensed his lifetime of learning into messages for the Christian life. Today, Lew shares these messages with more than 50,000 people each year through horse training presentations at Miracle Mountain Ranch and nationally through his Sermon on the Mount Ministry.

The author's engaging style and adroit mixture of well-tested anecdotes and thoughtful instruction make this a winning read-and not just for horse lovers.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A champion trainer and true horse whisperer, Dr. Lew Sterrett has used patience and a firm but gentle hand to earn the trust of more than 3,500 horses. Dr. Lew Sterrett (Ph. D) had little idea that his boyhood interest in horses would open doors internationally for speaking and training. During his years in 4-H, he savored many opportunities to train and show horses and earn national recognition. As a student leader at Penn State University he benefited from many mentoring relationships from which he received valuable training, experience and honors. This foundation provided a basis for an extensive horse career with a unique emphasis on training youth and community leaders.

Lew has served as the Executive Director of Miracle Mountain Ranch Missions, Inc. (MMRM) since 1977. MMRM, located in northwestern Pennsylvania, is home for a summer youth camp, and a leadership training center for youth, adult, and family groups. He has also promoted safety in public riding programs, serving as President of the Certified Horse Association for 7 years. A licensed pastor, certified Youth, Marriage and Family Counselor, he earned his PhD from North Tennessee Seminary in 2007.




In this video Lew Sterett says about team work


Review:
Who doesn’t love horses? Who hasn’t faced adversity? Who couldn’t use a word or two about discipline and training?


The answer to these questions is, of course, no one. Dr. Lew Sterrett’s book ‘Life Lessons From a Horse Whisperer‘ addresses all three with the focus being a warm and genuine look at what he has learned working with more than 3,500 hundred horses.

In this book you find that the approach to working with horses is not that different that working with people. The first Chapter reveals the whole basis of how we must approach our relationships with others.

Chapter One is entitled ‘Do You Trust Me?’ This chapter caught my attention because of the foundation of trust that must exist before any progress can be made in any relationship.

Chapter Five was the section of this book that stuck with me. Entitled ‘God and a Girl’, this chapter really spoke me about how we all approach life with gutsy and grand ideas of how our lives should unfold only to be come face to face with the reality that God has ordained for us.

‘Whispers are stronger than shouts’, Dr. Sterrett writes, and it is quite true.

This is an inspiring book filled with genuine life lessons of encouragement, of rebuke, of leadership and of hope. This was quite and enjoyable read suitable for an evening of reflection.

I recommend this book highly for those who might struggle in leadership or in relationships. You’ll encounter God-granted insights and inspirations illustrated by Dr. Sterrett’s personal life lessons.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Beautiful Mess by Diamond Rio




Beautiful Mess is the story of six very different musicians who come together as one unit yet remain individuals. Through all of the ups and downs that effect each of their lives, the one thing from beginning to the present is their faith. Each of these guys acknowledge that God helped them get started and will continue to be their leader. As each band member tells their own story it is easy to see their love for God, family, friends and each other.


This is a very heart warming story that will at times have you shaking your chair with laughter, then reaching for a box of tissues to dry your tears. Be warned… there will be plenty of tears of joy and laughter as well as sadness.

Diamond Rio has come a very long way in the past twenty years together, from their beginning as The Tennessee River Boys playing at the Opryland Amusement Park to the present. Life hasn’t been easy for these fellows and their families, but they all respect each other and give credit to the main person in their lives…God.

I recommend reading this book even if you are not a ‘country music’ fan because it will inspire you to do just as Diamond Rio has done, and that is to give God the glory for the bad as well as the good in your life. “Meet in the Middle”, remembering that God gives you “One More Day”, and “I Believe” you will enjoy “Beautiful Mess”, The Story of Diamond Rio.

I would like to thank Thomas Nelson Publishers for providing this book for review.