Tiny Thought Guy Book Reviews: Page 7

A few points about this book review page:

1) Some of these covers have changed over the years, so they might not appear the same as the current covers.

2) All of the books that you see here have a positive review, if you want to know why this is so, please refer back to page 1 of the reviews.
3) If you click on the image of the book it will take you to Goodreads.com or Shelfari.com
Unlikely Friendships: 47 Remarkable Stories from the Animal Kingdom - Jennifer Holland
ISBN-13: 978-0761159131

Looking at the majority of reviews on this website you will quickly notice that, “One of these books is not like the others” and rather than make you guess which one it is, I will share the secret: it’s this book =:0)


Unlikely Friendships shares 47 amazing accounts of animals of different species who have formed bonds with one another. Granted, some of the animals pairing might not seem outlandish, like a rabbit and a guinea pig;  however, a pit bull, cat and baby chicks or a leopard and a cow make for very uncommon friends. Some of the animals are cute and cuddly, some of them are large predators, some are basic domestic pets and others are traditionally found in the wild, yet all of these creatures have formed inspiring bonds with fellow members of the animal kingdom.


Regardless of how one defines a “friend” these creatures are proof that the desire to have a companion, the ability to show compassion and the ability to go beyond appearances, or any physical boundary for that matter, transcends logic. As is often the case, humans can learn a great deal from these compassionate companions – if we look with our hearts.


If the stories in this book don’t put a big grin on your face or give you a big bucket of “awww’s” then the lovely photos that go along with the stories will likely give even the most ‘hard-hearted’ a reason to smile.
Who Switched Off My Brain?: Controlling Toxic Thoughts and Emotions - Caroline Leaf
ISBN-13: 978-0980122329

If I were to summarize “Who Switched off my Brain?”, in one sentence, it would be that: toxic (negative) thoughts, and the emotions that they are associated with, will physically alter the human body in a harmful way and by becoming aware of this process we can implement strategies to reduce negative thinking and moderate the corresponding chemicals that harm us.

 

At a more in-depth level, Dr. Caroline Leaf starts the book with an explanation of the physical process that takes place in our brain as we have thoughts and generate emotions. Not having had any education in the field of biology I may not be a good indicator of how technical/complex a discussion on brain function and chemistry should/could be; however, while I did find myself rereading several of the paragraphs, from a laypersons perspective the information was still basic enough that I could grasp the concepts. For example, Dr. Leaf explains that, “What you think and feel prompts your hypothalamus to begin a series of chemical secretions that change the way you function. The hypothalamus also directly influences the pituitary, another major gland within the brain. In this way, the hypothalamus gland is definitely warm actually the facilitator and originator of emotions and responds to life circumstances, such as fear, anxiety, stress, tension, panic attacks, phobia, rage, anger and aggression.”

 

Dr. Leaf goes on to explain that, “Thoughts that you don’t deal with properly become suppressed and can cause emotional and physical harm.” In other words, the negative thoughts we hold onto eventually cause a negative chemical response in our bodies that have a long-term, disastrous effect on our well-being. Fear, in and of itself, has vast and far ranging implications for our physical condition, “Research shows that fear, all on its own, triggers more than 1400 known physical and chemical responses and activates more than 30 different hormones.”

 

If we are feeling guilt, anger, resentment, self-doubt, cynicism and any other negative emotion we can think of, it is easy to see that our body eventually starts to rebel with digestive disorders, muscular tension, stunted growth in children, and a whole host of life threatening diseases

 

In spite of all the adverse effects of holding onto negative thoughts and emotions, Dr. Leaf uses the latter part of the book to present ways in which individuals can “detox their brain” and bring better health and harmony into their lives. Just as our thoughts can cause illness and disease, so too can they rejuvenate and restore health - but it all starts with awareness and the desire to break old habits and consciously create new, positive ones. Some of the steps to wellness include: consciously controlling our thoughts, expressing our emotions, taking responsibility, learning forgiveness, and various other practical actions we can take.

When we consider that, “87% of the illnesses that plague us today are a direct result of our thought life… what we think about affects us physically and emotionally. It’s an epidemic of toxic emotions.” then reading a 140 page book filled with information on how to reduce, or even eliminate, those toxic thoughts and emotions seems like the deal of a lifetime - and for many of us it might just be.
Random House Webster's Wit & Humor Quotationary - Leonard Roy Frank
ISBN13: 9780375709319

A superb book for the casual reader and for those looking to gather quotes from specific people or on specific topics. This book is very easy to use and it contains a vast amount of quotes.

 

After having purchased this book I bought several others from Leonard Roy Frank and they are all equally as good. I can't imagine how much time and effort went into creating this book; however, I am grateful that this book was created. This book is a real treasure and if you like reading quotes you will enjoy this book immensely.
Wisdom of the Peaceful Warrior: A Companion to the Book That Changes Lives - Dan Millman
ISBN13: 9781932073218
Having read several of Dan’s books, The Way of the Peaceful Warrior and The Sacred Journey of the Peaceful Warrior being two of them, I am reasonably familiar with Dan’s journey; however, like many readers it seems, I was curious about some of the questions that had gone unanswered. This is not to say that the aforementioned books were not complete in and of themselves, just that the books do not explicitly share some of the background information from Dan’s time with Socrates. This book, Wisdom Of The Peaceful Warrior, goes a long way in answering some of the remaining questions that I had as well as clarifying some of the passages from the original Way Of The Peaceful Warrior book.


Dan quotes various paragraphs and sections from the original book and then he shares his thoughts about those passages: both from the viewpoint of when he originally wrote those words as well as his more recent thoughts. Sprinkled throughout Dan’s explanations are numerous quotes from wise scholars and historical figures,which serve to further clarify Dan’s views.


The quotes themselves are very enlightening and they also add some interesting perspective to illustrate how one’s spiritual journey can be similar to ours, regardless of what era they are from. It should be noted though that several times Dan shares the sage advice that reminds us to, “Listen to the counsel of the wise, but as in all things, experiment and see what works best for you.” Dan does not profess to be some enlightened guru that people should worship, rather his sharing is well-grounded and humble.


Some additional quotes from Dan that I found profound include: “Stress happens when the mind resists what is.”; “Our struggles provide the best times of learning.”; “Seeking inner experiences as evidence of progress can become another search for achievement and status, only in a different arena.”; “No praise, no blame. Just living and learning.” and one of my absolute favorites, “This moment may be all there is. But this moment is enough.


One finds similar sound advice throughout the entire book and this means that even if readers have not read the original Way Of The Peaceful Warrior book (which I certainly recommend) they will undoubtedly still benefit from what Dan shares in this book. **For those that are not aware, Way Of The Peaceful Warrior was also made into an enjoyable movie, with the same title, and it stars Nick Nolte as Socrates.**
Grist For the Mill - Ram Dass
ISBN-13 978-0890874998

Truly one of the great spiritual voices of the past 50 years, Ram Dass, shares some of his life experiences, anecdotes and beliefs in this enlightening and powerful book. Very little is mentioned from his years as a Harvard professor or his earlier life as Dr. Richard Alpert, the primary focus of the book is the transmission of his experiences to assist the reader in their journey towards awareness/enlightenment. The information that is shared with the reader is merely meant to be a tool, the road on which we travel, as we develop our own inner awareness. Ram Dass has a very compassionate and empowering style that seems largely devoid of ego: he truly seems to have selfless intention in sharing this information.


If you are sincerely interested in becoming more enlightened/aware this book would very likely contain information that will benefit you on your journey. Certainly there are the enlightened few, those that have mastered this journey,  and I imagine that those individuals would already be familiar with some, much, or even all of the information contained in this book; however, I also believe that if you are here reading this review then chances are you have yet to reach perfect “being –ness” and thus could benefit from these words. Although this book has not been in print for many years, used copies can be found quite readily.

The Game of Life and How to Play It - Florence Scoval Shinn
ISBN: 978-0486461878

With all of my lengthy reviews thus far, I think it is time to make one short and sweet, well at least short and not bitter=;0)

Written in 1925, by one of the few females in the New Thought/New Age/Self-Help genre at the time, Florence Scovel Shinn’s first book, “The Game of Life and How to Play It” made for an informative read. Certainly, some of the examples and societal norms have changed in the 90 years since it was written; however, the wisdom contained on the pages of the aforementioned title still applies to this day.

In a style that is exuberant and easy to read, Florence advocates that, “…what man images, sooner or later externalizes in his affairs” and that in order to ensure success in this outer world/physical world, in the “Game of Life,” a person needs to have a knowledge of the inner world, the world of the spiritual.

Our thoughts, positive and negative, go out into the world and manifest in kind: thoughts of fear and worry materialize undesirable conditions and events while positive thoughts serve to improve our well-being. In her words, “The Game of Life is a game of boomerangs. Man’s thoughts, deeds and words, return to him sooner or later, with astounding accuracy.”

Florence goes on to blend the concepts of the conscious and subconscious minds with frequent references to Scripture, more so than any of her contemporaries that I have read to date. I did find some of the perspectives intriguing, for example when Florence states, “The fear of the Lord (law) is the beginning of wisdom. If we read the word Lord, law, it will make many passages in the Bible much clearer.” I would concur with her assertion, yet the frequency of Biblical references in this book was a little excessive for my tastes. I realize that this is just a personal bias and some readers might find this aspect of her writing to be the most poignant: Amen.
Thirty-Day Mental Diet: The Way to a Better Life - Willis Kinnear
ISBN13: 9780875166247

The idea behind the 30-Day Mental Diet is that, “Controlled diet, either of food or thought, cannot but help result in control of what we experience.” In essence then, just as important as the physical foods we feed to our body, so too are the thoughts we permit to feed our mind.

Unlike many of the books in the New Age/Power of Thought genre, this particular book is deliberately designed to provide the reader with daily mental nourishment over the span of 30 days, rather than to be read from cover to cover. As the author states, “The value to be gained from any 30-day program cannot be achieved by doing everything in one day. The ideas you will find here might be compared to a bottle of vitamins; if you are supposed to take one a day, which is all you can absorb, then it would be useless to help them all at one time.”

In order to facilitate the reading of this book on daily basis, Willis Kinnear has conveniently provided a place to record the time and date for the reader to keep track of this information because, as with any physical diet, is important to consistently apply the information faithfully.

In the theme of consistency, the book is organized in such a way that the information for each of the 30 days is presented in precisely the same manner. The first component/section, which is generally two pages in length, discusses the main topic of the day and include: “How to Remove Limitations”, “Discover a New Joy of Living”, “Ways to Increase Your Vitality”, “Learn to Avoid Stress and Anxiety”, “Using the Power of Love”, and 25 additional discussions on ways to improve your life.

Following this initial section there is a section titled, “Mental Stimulants”, which uses three quotes-one from science, one from religion, and one from philosophy-to provide additional views on the topic being discussed.

After the “Mental Stimulants” section the reader will find the component titled, “The Diet.” In this component, in which the author writes in the first person, the reader is essentially provided a paragraph of affirmations that serve to reinforce the primary diet/concept of the day.

A subsequent section, known as the “Capsule Supplement”, is an “add-on” to the previous section and it provides a very synthesized, one sentence, affirmation that can be more easily remembered throughout the day.

The final section prompts the reader to apply the concept of the day to their specific life and a small amount of space is provided to permit the reader to record how the information will applied to specific situation in their life.

The author also understands that people read and interpret information differently and therefore suggests that readers use the terminology/linguistics that they personally prefer; provided that the central idea remains consistent.

Regardless of what diet a person chooses, and whether the diet is mental or physical, it will only work if the dieter chooses not to binge during the rest of the day. This is to say that it makes little sense for the dieter to engage in the healthy, desired behavior for a few moments and then proceed to negate that beneficial behavior with contradictory actions. It makes little sense to eat carrots for breakfast and then eat cake or junk food for the remainder of the day, just as it makes little sense to read inspirational/educational/transformational material for six minutes in the morning (which is roughly the time required to read the daily diet) and then fill the rest of your day with contradictory thoughts of jealousy, anger, gluttony etc.

Certainly, the idea behind any diet is not to expect the old ways to be immediately eliminated; however, the desire must be there to deliberately transform one’s self in to a higher ideal and I believe that anyone wishing to reshape their mental world, the world of the mind, will find a storehouse of food-for-thought in this book.
Science of Mind (For the millions series) - Heather Buckley
ASIN: B0006C5F6G
I came across “Science of Mind”, by Heather Buckley, at the hospice thrift store and it was only after I started to write this review that I realized how obscure this book seems to be. Many are familiar with, “The Science of Mind” by Ernest Holmes, which I have yet to read, so I cannot make any comparisons between the two books other than to say that Heather Buckley does mention on the back cover that she “…has made this book the most meaningful primer to Science of Mind in print today…” and her 143 page book was published in 1970 while Ernest’s book, of almost 700 pages, was originally published in 1938.

Regardless of how close the information in Ms. Buckley’s book resembles the classic by Ernest Holmes, I found “Science of Mind” easy to follow as well as informative. The main principle behind Science of Mind is that each and every one of us is a creative energy and an eternal part the divine, “Science of Mind teaches that there is one creative power in the universe, the prime unformed creative energy that we call the first principle, divine cause, divine Mind, or God.”

Our connection to this divine mind, whatever label we choose to give it, is through our mind which is, in essence, our thoughts; therefore, what we choose to focus our thoughts on is what we create. “Man is what he thinks, not what he thinks he is, but what his mind dwells on. He may try to hide behind a big ego but what he really thinks, believes in his heart, his inner being, makes him the person he is.” While this concept may be difficult for many of us to accept, it applies uniformly to everything in nature because everything creates after its own kind, “If you plant the wrong seeds in the earth, the earth still produces according to the nature of what was planted. Why should the life of man be any different? Man plants with his thoughts, his feelings. He reaps what he sows.”

In accordance with our pre-conceived notions, when the idea that ‘we reap as we sow’ benefits us we tend to believe it; however, when the results are less than, or even contrary to, our desires, we have a tendency to dismiss this idea. The key point is to remember that, “Universal law is. It is neither good nor evil. Man can use it either way.” While this may be frustrating when we observe the negative consequences of our thoughts, it is perhaps more important to remember that this same fact is what empowers us to make a positive changes we wish to see in ourselves and in the world.

Other key ideas that one finds in this book, that are also quite common throughout the New Age/New Thought/Personal-Empowerment genre, are: “Healthy emotions are necessary for a healthy body.”; “To receive love you must give.”; “In reality there is only the Now.”; “Emotion is the spark plug that activates thought, puts it in motion.”; and that, “The only permanent thing in the world is change. Everything is always changing, becoming something else. It is true that a growing plant shows a more perceptible change than a rock, but both are changing.

While “Science of Mind” is a little more obscure and harder to come by then many of the other books in the genre, in the event that you do come across a copy, I would wholeheartedly suggest obtaining it. While there is no ISBN mentioned in the book, Amazon does have an ASIN for it: B0006C5F6G and the name of the publisher is Sherbourne Press Inc., located in Los Angeles, California.

Choices and Illusions: How Did I Get Where I Am, and How Do I Get Where I Want to Be? - Eldon Taylor
ISBN-13: 978-1401918538

It was relatively recently that I came across Eldon Taylor’s work and I must say that I have enjoyed both his writing style as well as the information that he presents. In this book, Choices and Illusions, Eldon once again relies on his vast knowledge of the mind and his own personal inquisitiveness to present information that the reader can use to analyze their own thought patterns and ultimately improve the quality of their lives. Eldon discusses numerous topics related to the mind in a manner that is interesting and informative. I particularly enjoyed the section on optical illusions and subliminal messaging and Elden was gracious enough to provide numerous websites where more of these mind-bending images can be discovered.


There's a great deal of information crammed into this book and through it the reader will gain a better grasp of a most important subject: oneself.

The Science of Being Great – Wallace D. Wattles

ISBN-13: 978-1585426287

 Although the words in “The Science Of Being Great” were penned over 100 years ago there are many truths that still apply to this day. Wallace D. Wattles shares his views about the importance of following your own truth and he emphasizes that our thoughts play a significant role in determining our level of greatness.


By thinking for ourselves and by visualizing what we wish to see in reality we become the master of our thoughts, which in turn become our reality. Wattles asserts that greatness is not only for a select, privileged few, but that every person has within themselves the power and faculties to become great in their own right.  Indeed, Wattles believes that “Greatness is equally inherent in all, and may be manifested by all.”


** The one shortcoming with this book, if one can call it a shortcoming, is that the title uses the word, “Science” and while this term may have been appropriate at the time this book was written, there is no scientific exploration in this book. Personally, I am very grateful for the information that the author shared and I was not disappointed that this book was not based in science; however, for those who prefer a more scientifically oriented literature, I do not believe that this book would meet your requirements.

What I Know For Sure - Oprah Winfrey
ISBN13: 9781250054074
Having not watched very many episodes of the Oprah show and not having read the “O” magazine more than a few times I wasn’t too sure what to expect from Oprah’s latest book, “What I know for Sure”; however, being interested in this genre I thought I would give this book a try and see what insights I could glean from within.

Perhaps those that are more familiar with Oprah’s life, or her writing style, would expect the first pages to be written as they were - very much like a, “Day in the life of…” - and this led me to think that “What I know for Sure” was just going to be a tale of slumber parties and somber moments. Thankfully I read on though because there are some very interesting and insightful thoughts shared on the later pages.

Oprah openly shares some of the major challenges she has faced, some of the wonderful people she has met on the journey and the some of the inner ‘A-ha’ moments – the real gift that this book provides to the reader. While I understand that some readers will enjoy hearing about the other people in Oprah’s life, Oprah’s introspective moments are what resonate with me.

During these times of introspection and discovery Oprah comes face to face with universal truths that include: how our challenges often create our best opportunities, ‘Anything can be a miracle, a blessing, an opportunity if you choose to see it that way’; the importance of gratitude, ‘Gratitude can transform any situation. It alters your vibration, moving you from negative energy to positive’; the power of choice, ‘Right now, no matter where you are, you are a single choice away from a new beginning’; the need to love who we are, ‘Look inward-the loving begins with you’ and many more philosophical maxims that are relevant to all of us.

Oprah’s book reminds us that regardless of where we were born and no matter what road we travelled to arrive at our current place in life, it is all part of the human condition. The challenges we have faced can’t be undone, yet we have the power to change our perceptions of the past and we have the ability to create a future in line with our desires. It seems that Oprah’s life, a life of one of the most recognized and successful personalities in her profession, is shared in this book to show the reader that no matter who we are, our struggles aren’t unique and WE ALL have the power to make positive changes.