May Book Haul 2017 | #SmartReads

MayBookHaul

TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
June 14, 2017

Though a busy and tiring month it sure was, there was still a lot of time to feed the old addiction in May.

And as addictions go, they need sustenance.  What follows are my chosen literary drugs of choice, with some new literary spices to add additional flavor.

The Art Of Non-Fiction by Ayn Rand

Having read two books by Rand, and having them offer much for rumination, I got The Art Of Non-Fiction to dig deeper into Rand’s process of writing.  Thankfully, book offered much to glean from, and it showed what Rand’s latitude and precision can accomplish in works of non-fiction.  A review of it can be read here.

Bradbury Stories – 100 Of His Most Celebrated Tales by Ray Bradbury

Short stories are not something I usually read, although have always held an interest in.  Having ruminated upon that, the work of Bradbury, which I had held in high esteem for some time, seemed like a great place to dive in.  I am only a handful of stories in, but the book is vintage Bradbury in bite-sized chunks.  It’s definitely a book that I will take my time reading given its colossal size.

Strange Candy by Laurell K. Hamilton

Along the same lines as the Bradbury book, this book is also features short stories.  The topics of this book are considerably different – being sci-fi, paranormal, and fantasy – but still hold great interest to me.

Maximum Achievement by Brian Tracy

This book is about maximizing efficiency.  Wanting to get more done on a daily basis, centering upon Maximum Achievement was a straight forward choice.  The book was excellent for my tastes; here is a review of it.        

Getting Things Done by David Allen

Following the notion of maximizing efficiency, this book followed the same previous thread.  That said, taking a look at the title, it’s easy to be skeptical considering many books make claims but do not deliver.  Thankfully, this book was worth the effort.   With that in mind, there are various editions of this book, and after doing some research, for my purposes the first edition of the book seemed best given it covers the nuts and bolts process.  Later editions change a bit, while also adding a lot of seemingly unnecessary information.  That’s merely what I learned from reading reviews.

What I can say for sure is that the first edition offered much purchase.  Some of it common sense, but quite easy overlook as well.  Since adding more efficiency to my daily routine is paramount, this book was another no-brainer.

As A Man Thinketh by James Allen

The work of James Allen was unknown to me up until a few weeks ago.  Synchronicity being what it is, ‘out of nowhere’ the book popped up in my radar and quickly seemed like something that I was meant to read, as uncanny as it sounds.  Fortuitously, Allen’s words are not only brilliant, but they are insightful, and even poetic in a way.  I have never read a writer like him.

The book focuses on mindset and the thoughts one harbors.  Although overlooked by some, a lot of evidence is beginning to show that whatever intention and thoughts people hold in their mind does have a conscious effect on our environment.  Books like The Biology Of Belief by Bruce Lipton Ph.D., Lynne McTaggart’s The Intention Experiment, The Field, as well as many other books cover components of this idea.

In any case, Allen merely espouses being a master of the self and of your thoughts.

A dash of his work follows:

“Every thought-seed sown or allowed to fall into the mind, and to take root there, produces its own, blossoming sooner or later in act, and bearing its own fruitage of opportunity and circumstance.  Good thoughts bear good fruit, bad thoughts bear bad fruits.”[1 ]

Most people including myself have seen this play out on a daily basis once my attention was focused precisely on it.

Beyond that, though, the work of the author was so sensible and mindful that I sought out more of his work.  However, before purchasing one of his other books, I luckily stumbled upon a book called Mind Is Master.  This book happens to be a collection of all of the works of the author and sure saves a lot of money if one was planning to buy all of his books.  That will be featured in next month’s book haul.

Star Wars Rebel Rising by Beth Revis

Being an avid fan of Sci-Fi and Star Wars, I bought this book wanting to examine where the franchise is going considering the considerable increase in Star Wars books over these last few years.  I have attempted starting it twice, and the second time got slowly into it, only to get bogged down early on.  This book just isn’t as engaging as the other ones.  I will read it, but after a few samplings I’m not holding my breath.  I hope I am wrong though!

The Art Of Description by Mark Doty

The Art Of Description popped up within one of my streams on social media, and having liked the blurb, I got one at AbeBooks.  It is short but engaging book, and having now read it I really enjoy and appreciated the author’s unique method of examining a wide array of descriptive examples.  A review for this book will soon follow.

Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg

A few trusted friends suggested this book.  Given my penchant for wanting to know more about history, and fascism in particular (given its considerable increase over the years) this book seemed to be a great place to go to task.   Witnessing the evolving political climate over the last decade, the information in this book is becoming even more important for the future, which was also one of the leading reasons for wanting to research this further.

Fat For Fuel by Dr. Mercola

Fat For Fuel is a veritable treasure trove of information about health that’s written in a cogent and accessible manner, that also outlines the many benefits of healthy fats.  Its in-depth approach helps individuals come to terms with many of the myths that have been expounded by mainstream press and Big Pharma.  The book also offers some solutions for those with significant health problems such as cancer.  It really is a great book, and anyone with any type of disease should contemplate on reading it.  A review of this book can be seen here.

The Vanishing American Adult by Ben Sasse

This book is a dire warning of what the future holds. The author examines many of the causes that have increasingly brought about less capable younger generations than their forefathers.  Not only is there a decline in education, but self-sufficiency is nigh non-existent; the newer generation just isn’t as robust as prior ones.  That’s only the beginning, though.  There are many other disturbing considerations.  Thankfully, the author also ruminates upon some solutions as well.  A review of this book can be seen here.

The Virtue Of Selfishness by Ayn Rand

As a strong proponent of individuality, Ayn Rand stands unlike none other.  Rand was rather outspoken in her views of the Individual against the Collective that pushes conformity.  This book examines those circumstances and analyzes them from various viewpoints.  Only about a quarter of the way through the book, but it’s been vintage Rand as one would expect.

The Romantic Manifesto by Ayn Rand

In this particular piece Rand delves into what she believes are the key tenets of art and its role in life.  Having never read nor found anything of substance regarding this topic in Academia, I am hoping this book leaves much for rumination.   Haven’t had time to delve into it though.

Why I Write by George Orwell

This book has four parts, and only one held great interested me, which was Orwell’s insight into Politics and the English Language.  The others were useful, just not as intriguing.  The language part alone was worth the price, which wasn’t much.   Although the section wasn’t long, it was still great on substance, like one would expect from the father of DoubleThink.

Last Words by George Carlin & Tony Hendra

Throughout his life, George Carlin was known for his no-nonsense straight forward approach to various subjects.  This is one of the main reasons why I wanted to learn more about him, especially given that this approach in life is rarely seen, although it’s much needed.  A review of the book will be posted sometime in the future after having read the book.

Like last month, a handful of books were found at garage sales, which cost next to nothing.  This month also featured some rather fortuitous finds as I was able to find George R.R. Martin’s A Dance With Dragons and James Patterson’s Beach Road for mere pocket change.  There was another book, but that was commandeered by a friend.  What’s up with some people?  Sheesh.

All things considered, though the month had its fair share of obstacles, I was still able to have enough time to read quite a bit.  I am certainly looking forward to finishing these books.

In any case, how was the month for the rest of you?  Found anything intriguing and portentous lately?  Feel free to share any recommendations or insights below.  Be well!

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[1] James Allen, As A Man Thinketh, p 14.
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If you find value in this information, please share it.  This article is free and open source.  All individuals have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
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About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, inquirer, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, and freelance writer who studies and mirrors regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His other blog, BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com features mainly his personal work, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information nigh always ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

Book Review: On Writing Well by William Zinsser | #SmartReads

OnWritingWell
TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
May 22, 2017

“Writers do not merely reflect and interpret life, they inform and shape life.”
– E.B. White

“Writing is the geometry of the soul.”
– Plato

In On Writing WellThe Classic Guide To Nonfiction, William Zinsser writes an easy-to-follow no-nonsense approach into the core essentials of writing.

Providing a smattering of meticulous examples, On Writing Well does a lucid job of clearing up some of the confusion writers might have about style, methods, leads, endings, et al., while setting the foundation for a stronger individual repertoire.

In fact, regarding this, Zinsser speaks about the importance of everyone to have good writing skills given today’s newfound environment where a lot of communication takes place through the emails, the internet and so on.  This is crucial since most of us employ the tool of writing in a daily fashion.  Zinsser urges individuals to seek to sharpen their skill set in order to become better communicators simply by employing tenets  in this book.

As hinted to before, Zinsser also make incisive use of many salient examples throughout the book by breaking them down and suggesting some writing tips in cogent fashion.  Within these examples the author covers people, places, science and technology, writing within a job, writing about sports, and more.

Broken down into four parts, the book covers [1] Principles, where notions such as clutter and style are covered, [2] Methods, where leads and endings are covered, [3] Forms, where various forms of nonfiction are explored at length and [4] Attitudes within writing, which is self explanatory.  All parts offer ample insights, many of which would be useful to nigh all individuals nowadays, especially if you have to write anything on a daily basis, whether it is emails, memos, etc. and are new to writing.

To accomplish sound things in life, one needs an ironclad scaffolding upon which to set oneself in.  Writing well is no different.  The insights provided by this book will help those that employ them. Couple the tenets in this book with those of those within The Elements of Style, and one has the recipe for success.  Both have helped me quite a bit, as I hope they help you.

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This article is free and open source.  All individuals are encouraged to share this content and have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
___________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies and mirrors regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His other blog, BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com features mainly his personal work, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information nigh always ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

Book Review: The Art Of Nonfiction by Ayn Rand | #SmartReads

TheArtOfNonfiction
TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
May 19, 2017

Collated from prior presentations that Ayn Rand undertook, The Art Of Nonfiction is a straight forward foray into Rand’s considerations, techniques and process of writing nonfiction.

Written in a cogent and methodical fashion, some of the main points Rand addresses are (1) subject and theme, (2) creating an outline, (3) writing the draft, (4) editing, (5) style, which is addressed at length, and even (6) writing books as well.  The prior list is not exhaustive, but merely a sampling of the range of ideas Rand undertook.

While some of the rules Rand expounds upon could be seen as mechanical if acted upon rigidly, they need not be.  Writing is as much an art as it is a science; using the rules she suggests as guidelines will certainly help one’s writing in a sound manner, as long as one doesn’t fuse themselves to a mechanistic process.

Be that as it may, two of the main points which Rand stressed considerably were that of clarity, and the importance of an outline.  These are two parts of writing which all writers struggle with sooner or later, but they are also components that will net some of the greatest benefits if one executes them properly.

On the point of clarity, Rand elucidates:

“If you cannot write something down clearly and objectively, then you do not really know it.  Any vagueness or indecision on any fundamental aspect of your article will be disastrous.  That which you cannot name you know only approximately.”[2]

Translation: Know what you know, know what you don’t know, and be crystal clear and precise about it.

Along the same avenue, on the point of outlines, Rand states:

“The Outline’s level of detail depends on how clear the subject is in your mind, and how complex the article is.  I suggest the following test.  If in making an outline you feel vaguely that some point is difficult to formulate though you “kind of” know what you mean, then you need more detail.  On the other hand, if you begin to feel bored – if all you need are a few lines on some point but you are writing a volume – then you are being too detailed.  As in all mental activity, you are the only judge.”[2]

For a book whose information wasn’t meant to be part of a book at the outset, it flows seamlessly.  Given that The Art Of Nonfiction was collated from a set of oral lectures, the editing done by Robert Mayhew is extremely precise, and Rand’s thoughts are easy to follow.

For good measure, the book even includes selected outlines used by Ayn Rand in some of her articles.  This helps the reader view an outline through Rand’s eyes.  Though this section isn’t lengthy, the precision in execution is flawless and aids in the reader setting their crosshairs on what a correctly created outline format will look like.

In light of the breadth and scope of information provided in such a small package, The Art Of Nonfiction would be a mainstay in any nonfiction writer’s arsenal.  Incisive individuals who wish to apprise themselves of sound writing tips that will be guideposts for their writing endeavors would be wise learn the tenets in these books, for they are as important as they are timeless.

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Footnotes:

[1]  Ayn Rand, The Art of Nonfiction, p. 17.
[2] Ibid., pp. 44-45.
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This article is free and open source.  All individuals are encouraged to share this content and have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
___________________________________________________________

About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies and mirrors regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His other blog, BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com features mainly his personal work, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information nigh always ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

April Book Haul 2017 | #SmartReads

BookHaulApril2017

TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
May 8, 2017

“You cannot open a book without learning something.”
– Confucius

“The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Another month, another book haul.

What follows are this month’s pickings.  Being the bibliophile that I am, a couple of patterns will be quite evident, which thankfully led to some intriguing reads when time was available.  There were even some fortuitous garage sale finds which were a pleasant surprise.

All in all, it was a solid month of reading, although didn’t read as much as I would have liked due to unforeseen circumstances.  That said, life will be life, and books certainly help through the journey in myriad ways.

The Mindful Writer by Dinty Moore

Looking for a source of inspiration to summon the muse more often, The Mindful Writer seemed like a sure bet.

In similar footsteps to the War Of Art by Steven Pressfield where the author dabbles within aspects of the writer’, The Mindful Writer was even more inspiring then conceived at first blush.  Not only is the book a lightning quick read, but it also features a mindfulness approach that other books could feature but do not.

If you’re looking for a book that dabbles in quotes that are thought-provoking, employs writing that is purposeful and inspiring, while echoing the Zen point of view if mindfulness, you’ll definitely enjoy this book.

Magicians Of The Gods by Graham Hankcock

Graham Hancock has been researching Ancient Civilizations for a few decades, with his landmark piece Fingerprints of the Gods which is easily his magnum opus.  Magicians Of The Gods is the sequel to that touchstone of alternative history research of ancient civilizations.

Fingerprints Of The Gods was one of the first books I read about alternative history and it was as in-depth as it was thought-provoking.  It captivated me for various reasons, not the least of which was the author’s methodical and thorough research of verifiable sourced materials which broadened the alternative history perspective considerably.  Without a doubt, Hancock’s research set the bar high for the author’s future work, and because of that, Magicians of the Gods will be expected to deliver in similar sound fashion.

Although I haven’t had the time to read this book, really hope that over the next month or so I will be able to read it.  Either way, a review will promptly follow after the book has been thoroughly read.

Curiosity by Alberto Manguel

As an avid reader, and someone who has spoken about the importance of curiosity, finding out about this book was like a child finding a gift on X-mas morning.  That said, I actually have not read this book, but plan on within the next month.

Curiosity is one of those indispensable qualities that are important.  Unfortunately, this s also why modern public schooling seeks to stamp it out while they wish all to conform and make individuals manageable.

As award winning teacher and 30-year veteran of the public school system, John Taylor Gatto stated in the Weapons Of Mass Instruction, the true purpose of public schooling is simply to engineer division, conformity and control.  In fact, these are some of the reasons why Gatto quit teaching within the corrupt schooling system and began speaking at length about these pervasive issues.

For all those reasons, and more, I am really looking forward to reading this particular book.

The Library At Night by Alberto Manguel

Another great book authored by Manguel, this book was purchased having not only had a great respect for libraries, but also because libraries are one of those places where many unexpected and yet life changing circumstances took place.  To not get this book and read it would be a crime!

I can definitely say the book was everything expected and a bit more.  For what it’s worth, the review for this book just got published today.

A History Of Reading by Alberto Manguel

Wanting to do a little bit of research on the history of reading and books, this book felt like a natural place to begin that adventure.  Learning the author was a lover of books simply sealed the deal.  Now having read it, the book was definitely worth the time.

If you appreciate reading and books, you will love this book.  The review for this book was written a few weeks ago.

The Elements Of Style – Classic Edition by William Strunk Jr. Edited By Richard A De A’Morelli

Having read The Elements Of Style 4th Edition by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White, this book seemed like a natural addition to avail myself of some writing tips.

Unfortunately, the book was a huge let down for reasons mentioned in this review.  Needless to say, although the book had some noteworthy points, it was a huge fell quite short from what was expected.

Origins Of The Sphinx by Robert M. Schoch Ph.D. & Robert Bauval

This is a truly scholarly dissertation into a more precise dating of the Sphinx that makes a lot more sense than the mainstream explanation.  In any case, Origins Of The Sphinx samples a wide array of data on a redating of the Sphinx – enough for the layman, and plenty still for the academic.

More can be read about this book in this review.

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

In one of his recent posts entitled Ayn Rand Reconsidered, Jon Rappoport from [JonRappoport.wordpress.com] spoke at length about Ayn Rand, her characters and her work in respect to Individuality.  This quickly became the impetus for me purchasing the book.

Since I respect Individuality a great deal, getting this book was a no-brainer.  Read the book right after receiving it, and it’s hands down one of my favorite fiction books without a doubt.  There really is no other book like it.  A review of it can be read here.

How To Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie [Miniature Edition]

Having read this book in college, thought it practical to get this brief synopsis of that work.

Curiously, the book’s size shocked most people even though it was stated as “miniature”.  There might have been some tampering with the description according to one reviser.  However, when I myself read the description it was stated as a Miniature Edition, and saw nothing wrong with it, especially since the book only cost $5.  I really wasn’t expecting much more than what arrived.  That said, I do understand some people having wanted a larger book however, so I can empathize with their plight.

Goddess Of The MarketAyn Rand & The American Right by Jennifer Burns

After reading The Fountainhead, I made it a point to seek out as much of Rand’s work as possible.  Although a lot of what she states I am still ruminating upon, regardless, I still very much appreciate her point of views, especially about individuality.

Whether I agree with her, or anyone else, matters not.  What matters is what I can learn from said individuals, and there’s much to learn from Ayn Rand.

Being able to gaze through the eyes an intellectual from decades ago is definitely something I intend to do more of, and thought it sensible to follow suit with more of Rand’s work.

On Writing Well by William Zinsser

Along the same lines as Elements of Style 4th Edition, On Writing Well is another salvo into my self-directed learning process about writing.  The book was worth every penny, and made me consider writing in ways I had not previously thought of.

Veterans of the craft will know many of the tenets, but for me, being a neophyte, it offered much for contemplation.

The Chicago Manual Of Style 15th Edition

Mirroring the above book, this book was purchased to serve as a reference for particulars rules about writing.

This is not in any way to make writing mechanical, but to makes sure some of the simple mistakes that can be glossed over are swept away from the page before they arrive at writer’s row.

The Art Of Fiction by Ayn Rand

Having thoroughly enjoyed Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead, which is a veritable crashcourse on all things individuality, and having read nothing as meaningful in fiction from anyone else with such depth, The Art Of Fiction became a natural target for my curiosities on Rand’s point of view on writing fiction.

Unfortunately haven’t read it, but will do so within the next month or so and a review will certainly follow.

Phenomena by Anne Jacobson

Having experienced some paranormal circumstances in the past prompted me to search for answers.  At the time, this led me to read books on remote viewing and extra-sensory perception.  After reading many significant books on the subject and finding much purchase in most of them, seeing Phenomena available piqued my curiosity on the psi phenomena considerably.

Unfortunately, for many reasons this book was an absolute failure, which can be read about here.  There are much better books out there to say the least.

Battlefront: Twilight Company (Star Wars)

Needing a hiatus from all the non-fiction books I’ve been reading, and being a veritable Sci-Fi junkie and avid Star Wars fan, my sights were set on this particular book.

So far I am only a fourth of the way through the book, but it’s been rather engaging, intriguing and consistent on all areas.  I might review the book if time permits, time will tell.  Regardless, unless the story drops off a cliff or something unexpected takes place I cannot see myself not enjoying the book.

As far as unplanned purchases are concerned, at a  garage sale, James Patterson’s Private Berlin and Max were found, as well as Robert Ludlum’s The Rhine Exchange & John Grisham’s The Whistler.  All of these totaled a whopping $2 collectively.

How was the month for everyone else?  Any of you read anything enjoyable and/or intriguing lately?  Were there any hidden gems that shone fortuitously on your path?  Feel free to share them below, for I would really enjoy hearing what other people are reading about and finding intriguing.

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This article is free and open source. You are encouraged to share this content and have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.

___________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies and mirrors regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His other blog, BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com features mainly his personal work, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information nigh always ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.