Saturday, August 30, 2014

App Time!


            This is the ultimate app for Book nerds. I like to call it Netflix for the intelligent individual. But whatever you call it, it is amazing. Basically it is a digital book catalogue. There are several places within the app to discover new books. There are some unique categories of books that are constantly changing such as Dystopian YA or Best YA Fiction. They also have the typical biography, fiction, cooking, arts, and much more. My favorite section is Classic. I have found so many good books there.
            My favorite part about the app is the fact that it is not just a catalogue. You are encouraged to rate the books by giving them stars and writing reviews about them. (I usually don’t write there because I post reviews here!) It is also nice to read what your friends or other authors and experts have to say about a book you are thinking of reading.
            The reason I compare Goodreads to Netflix is the instant queue. Just like Netflix you get to customize your list of books by marking books: Read, To-read, and Currently reading. But you don’t only have those lists, you can make many more to get a high level of personal personalization. Some of the ones I have on my account are To-re-read and school, plus a number of traditional categories.
            The final feature I would like to highlight is the challenges. This is a newer feature I believe, but I am thoroughly enjoying it. This year I am working on the 50 books in one year challenge. I’m just about halfway done, but I hopefully can get cranking and knock out the last 25 books.
            Well I hope this has been a help to you! I know I love Goodreads and I hope you will too. It is the perfect app to organize and prioritize your reading list.

Until Again,

         Lance Fillmore

Think Smart

It is said that the human brain is only able to access 10% of its capacity imagine what you could do with 100%. Just kidding the book that I'm reviewing isn't about being able to stop the world or learn Chinese in five minutes or anything like that, but it is about neuroscience so lets get started.
 Think Smart is written by Richard Restak M.D. and let me just start out by saying I really did like this book. Its purpose is to give a prescription for improving your brains performance. It lays out different strategies for helping to improve your brain. Now some of you may be thinking that this sounds boring, but it is actually a quite enjoyable read, granted I personally am fascinated by the study of the brain and cognitive development so I especially found this book intriguing. But even if you are not super into neuroscience this book is still enjoyable, mostly because of the writing style. Richard Restak does an excellent job of combining easy to understand vocabulary and really good information. Overall it is a well written, informative book, I would highly recommend it to any one.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Go Get 'Em!

We are living in a time where being lazy is normal. It's not even that were always lazy. We're just not always Go-Getters. I heard about The Go-Getter from Dave Ramsey. He said it was a required read for the members on his team so I decided to give it a shot. And let me tell you I was not dissapointed! Peter Kyne, the author, was very popular when he was writing in the early 1900's. He is well known for his book about the three wise men translated into a wild west tale, but he is perhaps most famous for his short story character Cappy Ricks and how he finds a Go-Getter.

This is a very short story with some very powerful principles. I really don't want to tell you much about the parable because it is so short, but I will tell you you don't want to miss reading this! And right now you can get The Go-Getter from Dave Ramsey's store for only $5.00! It's normally $15 so you don't want to miss this deal! Whether your young or old all of us can learn so much about how to do more and be a Go-Getter!

Until Again,
Lance Fillmore

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Phantom Tollbooth

A while back I was listening to the quiz show Wait, Wait Don't tell me and I heard an interview with the author Norton Juster. The Book he was discussing was called The Phantom Tollbooth and it sounded fascinating! I decided then that I wanted to read the book, but I had a hard time finding it. Well this year we moved to another city and that meant another library to scour. The first book I checked out - Well one of the first. Who goes to the library and just checks out one book?- Anyways the first book I checked out was The Phantom Tollbooth. So after years of waiting I finally read it. So let's dive into the content.
The Watchdog

The story is about a little boy named Milo, who never wants to be where he is, but never cares to go anywhere else. One day he finds a toy toll booth in his room that transports him to a magical land filled with all sorts of amazing creatures. There is a WatchDog, Spelling bee, Math-a-magician and many other people. Milo sets off on a quest to rescue the princesses Rhyme and Reason. Along the way he encounters many perils and learns to use all his senses. He discovers that there are many wonderful things in the world and he can explore them all. It is a delightful  story and masterfully executed.

The book focuses on wordplay and is very fun to read especially if you enjoy a good pun. There are many quotable lines throughout the story and some very thought provoking statements. One of my favorite lines from the book is said by Princess Reason, "What you can do is often a matter of what you will do." Another one by the same person is, "You often learn more by being wrong for the right reason than being right for the wrong reason." Both statements are simple yet so profound. Though it is a children's book, there are many lessons for adults to learn as well.

Stylistically the book is crafted well. The use of many adverbs really gives you the feel of being in the new land. The dialogue is well written and like I said the use of words is very appealing. Milo, himself, develops much throughout the story, but the rest of the characters are fairly flat and static.  But I think you'll find that doesn't really matter much especially as you approach the end of the book.

Over all I was very impressed. I half expected to find a cheesy kids book, with juvenille jokes, but I am happy to say that I was wrong. The humor is elevated making this book a wonderful read for children and adults alike.

 Until again,
Lance Fillmore

You can grab your copy of  The Phantom Tollbooth here.