The Automatic Diet

By Charles Stuart Platkin

The Automatic DietThe Automatic Diet : Trying to lose weight? Here’s some food for thought. What if Americans were as conscientious about “spending” the calories on their bodies’ daily budgets as they are about spending their hard-earned dollars?

According to Charles Stuart Platkin, author of the new book “The Automatic Diet”, there is a set number of calories in the body’s budget for the day. So how do we make the most of our “finances,” calorie-wise?

The answer lies within the pages of “The Automatic Diet,” where readers discover that all successful dieters share a common secret to consistently maintaining their weight: They do not have to think about what they are doing. Their food choices are automatic; they already know what to eat to keep off the weight.

One of the key secrets is “calorie bargains”: foods that are low in calories but still taste great and satisfy our strongest urges. They are substitutes for the “higher-priced” foods we tend to eat.

Here are a few of Platkin’s picks:

* I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! Spray (5 sprays: 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 carbs).

This spray is a great way to accent food and is a tasty alternative to both butter and oil.

“You can spray it on toast, popcorn, vegetables. I use it on almost anything,” Platkin says. It is easy to control portions and even if you get up to 25 sprays (more than enough for a baked potato), it is still a clear calorie bargain and has no trans fats. Conversely, 2 tablespoons of butter have 204 calories and 23 grams of fat.

* Jolly Time Yellow Pop Corn (5 cups, popped: 100 calories, 1 gram of fat, 24 grams of carbs, 6 grams of fiber).

Popcorn that you pop yourself is a perfect high-fiber snack – you get loads of food, yet it is still low in calories.

* Miss Meringue Sugar Free Vanilla Meringue Cookies (13 cookies: 35 calories, 0 grams of fat, 9 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber).

Have a sweet tooth? These are a good guilt-free alternative. They have no fat, trans fat, cholesterol or lactose.

* Low Fat Kettle Krisps Hickory Barbeque Chips (1 ounce: 110 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 22 grams of carbs).

With 40 fewer calories than regular chips, these are a great alternative for chip lovers. – NU

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Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia

By C.S. Lewis

Prince Caspian The Return to NarniaPrince Caspian: The Return to Narnia : If you recently watched the very popular Disney movie “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”, you might be aware that C. S. Lewis wrote a total of seven books about Narnia. These are, in order of the internal chronology of events:

1 – The Magician’s Nephew
2 – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
3- The Horse and His Boy
4 – Prince Caspian
5 – The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
6 – The Silver Chair
7 – The Last Battle

The novel “Prince Caspian” begins one year after the events told in “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” on a railroad platform where Peter, Edmund, Susan and Lucy are waiting for trains that will take them to their boarding schools. Suddenly they feel themselves transported into another world, and after a few hours of wandering about they realize that it is Narnia, where many centuries have passed in the meantime.

The second plot line involves young Prince Caspian, heir to the throne of Narnia, who has to flee from his usurping uncle Miraz. Deep in a forest he discovers some of the “Old Narnians” – talking beasts and dwarfs – and later decides to challenge his uncle for the kingship.

Soon, though, the military situation deteriorates for Caspian and his small army, and they end up besieged on Aslan’s How, a hill built over the site of the stone table that played a crucial role in “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”. When things look utterly bleak, Caspian uses his most precious object, Queen Susan’s Horn, to summon help.

This review does not try to give away too much more of the plot and spoil the reader’s enjoyment, so let me just say that the two plot lines intertwine, there are thrilling battle scenes (including a duel) and a wonderful celebration at the end.

Lewis does a good job of showing the gradual re-transformation of the four children, who once again turn from being English schoolchildren to becoming Kings and Queens of Narnia.

To me, “Prince Caspian” is one of the three best books in the Narnia series, together with “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” and “The Magician’s Nephew”. In many ways, it repeats themes from “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”, but adds an interesting perspective by having the events of the earlier book become the stuff of legend.

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Condi: The Condoleeza Rice Story

By Antonia Felix

Condi The Condoleeza Rice StoryCondi: The Condoleeza Rice Story : I had the satisfaction the other day of having finished a book. Yes, you would think that those of us who write for a living would be great readers. Some of us are, some of us aren’t. I probably am fairly well read overall, but that covers magazines, newspapers, articles, and the like for the most part…especially if they can be found online!

My wife picked up a book for me this past Christmas and she hit it right on the mark — Condi: The Condoleeza Rice Story. Written by Antonia Felix, the book traces the remarkable life of now Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice from her days living in highly segregated Birmingham, Alabama during the 1950s and 1960s through her years as an academic scholar, college professor, and university provost, all the way up to her present work with the Bush Administration. Written in 2003, the book still has Condi as National Security Advisor to the president, but in 2004 Condi replaced Colin Powell as the Secretary of State.

The book delves into Condi’s life and doesn’t hold back on much. No, not much to criticize about this consummate overachiever, rather plenty of praise for a role model who has triumphed in the face of overwhelming odds, let alone overwhelming adversity.

Condi is not just a leading scholar, but she is an expert in Soviet {Russian} affairs, an accomplished pianist, and an avid football fan. Driven? Oh, yes! But, not in the “possessed” or “obsessed” sense of the word. As a black woman working in a mostly white male environment Condi has established herself on her terms and not on someone else’s. “Twice as good” was the mantra passed down to Condi by her parents who believed that black children had to do everything twice as well as white children in order to be considered equal in a segregated society.

I won’t give all the details of the book away, but there are some highly interesting aspects about Condi that some people probably just don’t know. Personally, I don’t think Condi will run for president on the Republican ticket in 2008 as some desire — instead, she aspires to be president of the NFL — but whatever Condi chooses to do beyond her time working with President Bush will more than likely include breaking new ground and setting the trend for all who come behind her.

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I’m Not The BOSS, I Just Work Here

By Howard Jonas

Im NoT The Boss I Just Work HereI’m Not The BOSS, I Just Work Here : Howard Jonas, founder and chairman of IDT Corp., was 14 years old when he started selling hot dogs on a street corner in the Bronx. Today, he runs a multibillion dollar telecommunications company that is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. What is the secret of his success?

The answer, he says, is in his religious commitment and the title of his most recent book, “I’m Not the Boss, I Just Work Here.”

Jonas recalls that as a little boy his father told him how the biblical Joseph, a slave of Egypt, rose to be a master of Potiphar’s house.

Potiphar was the prime minister of Egypt. Joseph, a lowly Hebrew slave, had one of the simplest jobs in the household – sweeping the floor. Yet, taking a break when more work could be done didn’t seem right to Joseph.

One day Potiphar showed up particularly late and all of the servants had left, except for Joseph. Joseph was sweeping the floor just one more time. Potiphar realized that Joseph was a man he could trust because if this slave wouldn’t “steal” a moment’s rest from him, he certainly wouldn’t steal from the household.

“I’ve kept this Joseph story in mind as I’ve built my company,” Jonas writes. Jonas believes that people who not only accept but embrace life’s challenges are truly actualizing God’s will for humanity.

Personally and professionally, Jonas has had enormous success. “Success is not a reward,” he writes. “Sometimes it’s just a sign of having tried hard and often.”

But he also has had more than his fair share of failures as he reveals in “I’m Not the Boss, I Just Work Here.” Jonas candidly shares with readers a time in his life in which he struggled with severe depression. Jonas says he wrote this book hoping to inspire and encourage others by the example of his response to adversity and the strength of his relationship with God.

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Start Your Own Business

By Rieva Lesonsky

Start Your Own BusinessStart Your Own Business: The Only Start-Up Book You’ll Ever Need If you want to start a business, but don’t know where to start, then the place to start is with “Start Your Own Business: The Only Start-Up Book You’ll Ever Need” by Rieva Lesonsky. The book is put out by Entrepreneur Press and is essentially a compilation of Entrepreneur Magazine’s large knowledge database regarding starting a business.

The book literally takes you through the entire business process – from determining if you really have what it takes to run a business to how to deal with failure if your business doesn’t work out, and everything in between. The best part about the book is that it covers nearly EVERYTHING in some capacity. If you need more information, it does a great job of suggesting further reading and pertinent web sites.

The book is broken down into seven sections, each with several chapters. The first section, ‘You Gotta Start Somewhere’ covers determining if you can be an entrepreneur, how to come up with an idea for your business, and whether you should launch your business part time or full time. Most people who buy the book will already have answers to these questions, but going through the exercises in the book can still be helpful.

The second section of the book is entitled ‘Building Blocks’. It covers how to name your business, choosing a business structure, creating a business plan, and how to hire a lawyer and accountant. I think that this is the most valuable section of the book. These are the things that most entrepreneurs either struggle with or ignore. The “Naming Your Business” chapter in particular helped me a great deal. Naming your business is not nearly as easy as you think – you need to consider all registered trademark names, registered domain names, and names that are being used but not trademarked. One of the worst things that you can do is to pick a name that is already being used by someone and face a legal battle down the road.

The third section covers financing including where and how to get money to run your business. The fourth section, ‘Setting the Stage’ is absolutely massive and covers numerous important things such as choosing a location for your business, creating a professional image, offering customers credit, hiring your first employee, and business insurance. Needless to say, all of these things are extremely important to every business owner.

The fifth section covers buying company computers, cell phones, and cars. These things probably won’t be very difficult for most business owners. The sixth section, however, covers one of the hardest thing every business owner faces – marketing. The section is nearly 100 pages about advertising, marketing, and public relations. It also briefly touches on web-marketing but those looking to seriously profit online will need to look elsewhere because the book is a little thin when it comes to e-commerce.

The final section, entitled ‘By the Books’ goes over every entrepreneurs favorite things – accounting and taxes. It gives solid advice regarding basic bookkeeping, financial statements, budgeting, and taxes. For most business owners this section and the web resources listed should be more than enough to get them started on keeping their business legal.

I can’t overemphasize how important I think it is for every business owner to have this book. It is a mini-encyclopedia (ok, so 800 pages isn’t THAT mini) for everything business related. Having this book on your shelf will save you countless hours. I read it from cover to cover when I got it and I constantly refer back to it. I have recommended it to every person I know that has talked with me about starting a business. Each and every one of them bought it, and each and every one of them came back to me raving about it.

For the amount of depth that is covered in the book, Start Your Own Business: The Only Start-Up Book You’ll Ever Need by Rieva Lesonsky is an amazingly easy read. Anyone over the age of 16 will be able to comprehend the simple nature of the book. Reading this book won’t guarantee your success as an entrepreneur, but it will help reduce the risk of starting a business by providing you with a sound foundation to build upon.

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Chatterbox

By Michael Uslan and John Steven Gurney

ChatterboxChatterbox – The Bird Who Wore Glasses : Remember the Batman movies? Well, the movie producer of successful movies like these and entertaining children’s television shows such as Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego?, Michael Uslan, has released this adorable children’s book. Chatterbox – The Bird Who Wore Glasses is available in a durable, hard-cover format with a lovely cover sleeve that will help prolong the life of the book.

At 40 pages and full of excellent illustrations, this book is sure to entertain children.Sad, red-headed Nancy doesn’t fit in well with the other kids who call her “Nancy Nobody”. She wished and wished for a new friend and one day the dream came true when a feathered, sight-challenged friend flew her way.

Nancy felt needed, she was loved, and her world was set right by her new funny bird.John Steven Gurney, a very successful artist and illustrator, colorfully illustrates the large pages with plenty of things to look at. Written in playful, light verse the author does mention things like prayer and “God’s love”, there fore it may appeal to a religious audience.

The book includes a CD with 2 songs and the orated version of the story by actress Brittany Murphy (voice of Luanne on King of the Hill, also known for her parts in Clueless and Up Town Girls). This could certainly appeal to the independent child who wants to “read” the book themselves. As well, the CD option may provide a few extra minutes for busy caregivers. The bullying shown in the beginning of the story, though very minor, may be useful for building empathy in the classroom for lonely and segregated individuals. Children with family pets, especially birds, would definitely enjoy this book.

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50 Things Every Guy Should Know How to Do

By Daniel Kline and Jason Tomaszewski

50 Things Every Guy Should Know How To Do50 Things Every Guy Should Know How to Do: Celebrity and Expert Advice on Living Large. The life of a guy is not as easy as it looks. It’s not just about holding down a job or being a father figure to his kids. It’s throwing a football, grilling a steak, fixing things around the house and coaching sports teams. It’s telling jokes, playing golf and picking a beer. And it’s easy to get lost.

Now there’s help. “50 Things Every Guy Should Know How To Do: Celebrity and Expert Advice on Living Large”, edited by Daniel Kline and Jason Tomaszewski, provides hints and tips on those essential guy skills and more-including tricking out your car, playing poker, dressing for a date, lasting in bed and even starting your own business-from knowledgeable people including “Queer Eye”‘s Carson Kressley, poker legend Amarillo Slim, comedian Carrot Top, movie critic Leonard Maltin, former Cleveland Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar and “The Surreal Life” producer Mark Cronin.

This book is an all-in-one resource to help you handle all the demands made on men in modern life. It makes a great gift for any man who wants to know how to weather life’s tough spots and enjoy the pleasures of manhood.It takes more than combat gear to be a man… it takes the advice in this book.

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