Archive for April, 2013

A Quick Overview of the Bible: Simplifying Your Search

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Guest Author: Douglas Jacoby

Like most of you visiting the Printsasia website, I’m an avid reader. (Maybe, like me, you find yourself tackling multiple books simultaneously: one in the study, one in the bedroom, another on CD in the car…) Though I’ve read thousands of books, including the scriptures of all major world religions, for me the Bible is in a class all its own. The Bible has been a daily companion since I came to faith in 1977, and I continue to stand amazed at its depth; and even today, it challenges me to the quick. Of course, we all have our own biases and none of us can (in humility) claim total objectivity. But this is what I have experienced. The most dynamic book in the world stands uniquely amidst its rivals. I urge everyone I meet to engage (preferably daily), in order to discern God’s voice. That is why I’ve read the New Testament in a dozen languages, and the entire Bible over 50 times. This is because I am convinced that no other book is remotely as deserving of a lifetime of study.

But aren’t there countless interpretations of the Bible, touted by endless church denominations? What hope do we really have of understanding it, let alone unity with other seekers? Some resist going deeper for fear of confusion, disappointment with God, or insufferable “rules.” Others may have had faith, but it has withered—perhaps under the critique of a college religion professor—and long to rediscover what is true in the Bible. For most, it is difficult to pick up a Bible, start reading, and feel completely at home. We know little of the lands, empires, and issues around which the biblical story revolves. Further, there is an enormous gulf between us moderns and the people in biblical times. Society, dress, customs, language, attitudes—all are different.

In short, we may think we understand what we’re reading, yet the chasm between our time and theirs, our culture and theirs, is considerable. Even most dedicated Bible readers aren’t quite sure how all the pieces fit together: the books, chapters and verses; prophets, priests and kings; history, geography and archaeology. The Quick Bible Overview seeks to make this task easier.

Author’s bio: Douglas Jacoby is a graduate of Duke University (history), Harvard Divinity School (New Testament), and Drew University (ministry). After 20 years of Christian ministry, Douglas has worked as an independent teacher for 10 years. A popular speaker, he has appeared on the programs of colleges, churches, clubs, radio stations, and other organizations in over 100 nations. For know more about the work of Douglas Jacoby go to http://douglasjacoby.com.

Dr. Jacoby is a professor of theology (Lincoln Christian University), consultant, and tour guide. He has debated a number of prominent atheists, agnostics, and representatives of other world religions, and is visible at YouTube. His first book was published in 1986, with his 25th coming out in March 2013. The Jacoby’s have three grown children, and reside in the Atlanta area.

Earth Day 2013 : Books Shed light on Climate Change

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

Globally on April 22 each year, Earth Day is celebrated. The origin of Earth Day is credited to Gaylord Nelson- an environmental and conservationist activist who wanted to promote the idea of ecology, to encourage respect for life on Earth.

 

For the 2013 observance of the day, Earth Day Network has chosen a theme “The Face of Climate Change,” because of the need to emphasize the rising impact of climate change on the lives of thousands of people around the globe.

Dedicated to this day and based on the current year’s Earth Day theme,  we have compiled here a list of books presenting groundbreaking ideas and convincing investigations on ecological problems- whether climate change, ocean pollution, global warming, or poisonous chemicals that will inspire readers to take their own stand to fight against climate change. Here goes the list:

 

Oceana Our Planet’s Endangered Oceans and What We Can Do to Save Them

by Ted Danson

Oceana is a great and informative book written by Ted Danson- the star of the former hit TV series “Cheers”- explaining the crisis in oceans and what actions we can take about it. The facts in this very plainly written book laid out in a very clear fashion with stuff like charts to help an average person to understand the figures behind everything presented. Ted who has been working on this issue since 1980 says that overfishing is obliterating fish populations, but if such practice is restricted, he is hopeful things can improve.

 

Nature’s Fortune Why Saving the Environment is the Smartest Investment We Can Make

by Jonathan Adams and Mark R. Tercek

 

In Nature’s Fortune, the authors say governments and businesses need to invest in nature as it is not only the foundation of human well-being, but also the smartest commercial investment any business or government can make. Moreover, this smart financial move will reduce costs and protect assets. With stories from the South Pacific to the California coast, from the Andes to the Gulf of Mexico and even to New York City, Nature’s Fortune shows how viewing nature as green infrastructure allows for breakthroughs not only in conservation—protecting water supplies; enhancing the health of fisheries; making cities more sustainable, livable and safe; and dealing with unavoidable climate change—but in economic progress, as well.


The Long Emergency Surviving the End of Oil, Climate Change, and Other Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century

by James Howard Kunstler

 

James Howard Kunstler’s The Long Emergency  is an indictment that brings new importance and accessibility to the vital issues that will shape our future, and that we can no longer afford to ignore. His shocking vision for our post-oil future caught the attention of environmentalists and business leaders and was the subject of much debate, stimulating discussion about our dependence on fossil fuels.

Overheated The Human Cost of Climate Change

by Andrew T. Guzman

 

In Overheated, Guzman, a law professor at the University of California-Berkeley, takes climate change out of the realm of scientific abstraction to explore its real-world consequences. He takes as his starting point a fairly optimistic scientific prediction that what will happen if the world warms by 2 degrees Celsius. He shows in vivid detail how climate change is already playing out in the real world. Rising seas will cause island nations to disappear; coastal food-producing regions in Bangladesh will be flooded; and compel millions of people to migrate into cities or possibly “climate-refugee camps.”

 

Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1,500 Years

by Dennis T. Avery and Fred S. Singer

Singer and Avery offer convincing evidence on the concept that global temperatures have been rising mostly or entirely because of a natural cycle. Using historic data from two millennia of recorded history combined with the natural physical records found in ice cores, seabed sediment, cave stalagmites, and tree rings, Unstoppable Global Warming argues that the 1,500-year solar-driven cycle that has always controlled the earth’s climate remains the driving force in the current warming trend.

The Weather Makers: How Man Is Changing the Climate and What It Means for Life on Earth

by Tim Flannery

 

The Weather Makers is both an urgent warning and a call to arms, outlining the history, current status and future impact of climate change. Originally, somewhat of a global warming skeptic, Tim Flannery spent several years researching the topic and offers a connect-the-dots approach for a reading public who has received erratic or ambiguous data on the subject. Pulling on his proficiency as a scientist to talk about climate change from a historical viewpoint, Flannery also explains how climate change is interrelated across the planet.

In an effort to lend our hand to this global awareness campaign for climate change, we’ve mentioned above some books that are full of relevant and essential information. In doing so, we hope these titles encourage our readers to intensify their efforts in the fight against climate change.

Happy Earth Day, everyone!

5 Essential Books to Prosper in Your Family Business

Friday, April 19th, 2013

Author: Sherry Helms

Family businesses can be seen active in every sector of commercial world. From small stores to giant multinationals, family owned businesses continue to lead the world economy. Their special strengths lie in the fact that they thrive best where their good worth can be fully exploited. However, regardless of size, running a successful family business exposes unique challenges, which lead many to failure of surviving the transition to the next generation.

If you run a family business, and wish to pass on it to your coming generations then what you need, as I determine after making a thorough online research on family business, is to keep the flag up by being in regular consultation with some experts for the internal and external planning & management for your long run or newly fangled family firm. But, your hectic schedule, as obvious, aren’t allowing you the way to such meetings. Don’t worry. Here I’ve an alternative solution for this. You can possess books written by some family business experts that you may curl up with every night for at least one hour. Also, books have an added advantage that you can carry them during your business trips and utilize your boring traveling time to pull up some useful information from them.      

 

The very first book I would like to suggest you to go for is Family Businesses: The Essentials written by the expert Peter Leach who has pioneered family business research in the UK and is the founder and chairman of the Stoy Centre for Family Business. This is a comprehensive guide offering insight on every aspect of managing a family-owned firm–from day-to-day issues to long-term set up for future generations. So, this would be a great pick for you.

 

With the same intent as Peter Leach, the acclaimed professor of the Global Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise, Ernesto Poza has compiled a book with the title Family Businessthat provides the next generation of family business owners with the knowledge and skills needed for the successful management and leadership of the family enterprise. So, you can possess it for yourself and your coming generations as well. What distinguishes it from others is that Prof. Poza uses both text and cases to explain to the readers a diverse set of family firms, assessing the interrelationships between the owners, the family, and the management team.

“Precaution is better than cure”– so, learn about what can be fatal to your family business with the Quentin J. Fleming’s book, Keep the Family Baggage Out of the Family Business. Fleming has identified and shared in this book the Seven Deadly Sins that are invariably responsible for the demise of a family business. If you’re an average family business owner, this handy guide is perfect for you.

Next, what you need is a book dealing with the strategic planning for family businesses. So, here you can go for the title Strategic Planning for the Family Business, which is a joint effort of family enterprise professors Randel S. Carlock and John L. Ward. This practical, comprehensive guide will help you ensuring success through effective strategic planning laid out by the expert authors. Filled with real world examples, case studies, checklists, and planning worksheets, this book is a wealth of tested, easy-to-follow tools and techniques for mastering strategic planning for family-owned firms.

Last but not the least, you must be familiar with relevant laws and constitutions, if you seek everything fair within your family business. The family agreement should be one of the prime objectives for a family firm in order to climb the success ladder. So, here is a special book The Family Constitution: Agreements to Secure and Perpetuate Your Family and Your Business Designed “ that will be pretty helpful for the families planning to draft such an agreement, families deciding whether or not to begin the process, and those that have already established a family agreement.

 

Top Five Travel Books

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

Guest Author: Caelyn Woolward

Books have the potential to have a profound impact on your life. They can persuade you to change your mind, push you to make a choice, motivate you to work harder or trick you into staying under the blankets longer. But what about those that make you want to get up, pack your bags and explore the world? Some of them are inspiring while others make you sit back and reflect on something far bigger than yourself. We’re looking at five books that have a bit of both, and if it doesn’t make you want to get up and do something, then you need to read it again.

Into The Wild, Jon Krakauer

Most people know Into The Wild as that movie about the philosophical college graduate who has everything, but throws it all away to go an adventure that ultimately ends in tragedy (I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t had the chance to watch it). The true story is written by writer and mountaineer, Jon Krakauer who tried to understand and gain insight into why Chris McCandless, a gifted student, carefully disposed of all his possessions and walked away from his life. As an explorer, Krakauer understands the thirst for adventure and as he tells the story, we go with McCandles on his journey through the wilderness and the bitterly cold Alaskan Wilderness. Krakauer manages to portray freedom and the pull of nature in a way that is both exhilarating and frightening. It’s a book that will not only make you aware of the beauty and power of Mother Nature, but also forces you to contemplate the complexities of the human mind.

Coasting, Jonathan Raban

There’s a common denominator between the books on this list; all the characters are barking mad. Instead of stepping on a plane with too much luggage, checking into a four star hotel in the Maldives and spending ten days swimming, these characters climb mountains, wade through icy waters, hitchhike in the middle of nowhere and camp out under the stars. Let’s be honest, the latter may be daring, but it’s also a lot more fun. Coasting, set in 1982, is a travelogue covering Jonathan Raban’s 4,000 mile journey around Britain, which he made on his own with just a compass for navigation. His only companion was a restored 32-foot ketch that took him across the freezing waters of the North Atlantic Ocean. The physical voyage runs alongside the journey that his thoughts and memories take as they digress into his childhood (he’s the son of a vicar of the Church of England) and the state of Britain under Margaret Thatcher during the Falklands War.

Notes from a Small Island, Bill Bryson

Diverging somewhat from the seriousness of one man who gives up everything and another who contemplates life, war and politics, Notes from a Small Island is an amusing, irreverent travel tale told by a man who is equally as funny and batty. After spending almost 20 years in Britain, Bryson (bestselling author of Made in America) decided to go back to his home country. But before leaving, he sets off to explore the UK, the country that has become his home. Amidst the jaunts and hilarious social commentary, there are important moments of nostalgia that allow readers to see just how much Britain has to be proud of – even if we have places named Shittington and Upperthong. Notes from a Small Island will simultaneously have you in stitches and appreciating the country that gave the world zebra crossings and Shakespeare.

Clear Waters Rising, Nicholas Crane

No Best Travel Book List would be complete without Clear Water Rising. Nicholas Crane undertakes an unlikely and extraordinary journey: a 17-month trek along the string of mountains that stretch from the Atlantic in Spain to Istanbul. It’s a different kind of travel story; you get an inside view into the will and determination needed to endure intense cold, hunger and loneliness, and you also get a view of the freedom and independence that comes with connecting with nature so intimately. So why would a married man with a stable life do something like this? Crane says that he wanted to explore Europe’s last mountain wilderness and meet the people who live far away from the modern world.

The Snow Leopard, Peter Matthiessen

Believe it or not, this book isn’t on the list because the snow leopard is one of the rarest and most beautiful creatures to ever walk the Earth. It’s here because this beautifully written piece encompasses both the natural and spiritual world and shows how the two intertwine. Author Peter Matthiessen and field biologist George Schaller journeyed into the depths of the remote mountains of Nepal to observe the Himalayan blue sheep. They were also hoping to catch a glimpse of the seldomly-spotted snow leopard. Their journey also takes a spiritual path when Matthiessen, a student of Zen Buddhism, embarks on a quest to find the Lama of the Shey at the shrine on Crystal Mountain. They undergo a spiritual awakening about reality, nature and power. And do they ever spot the snow leopard? Well, you’ll have to read the book to find out.

Author’s Bio :

Caelyn Woolward is a writer for Essential Travel Magazine and Blog, an online UK publication, which explores the exciting world of travel and the benefits it brings to people who want to open their minds and broaden their lives.

 

Five Must Include Historian’s Books To Your Reading List

Friday, April 12th, 2013

 

Author : Sherry Helms

History is all around us that continues to be made, still fascinates those who write it, and allows the modern being to take history on its surface for granted. You may have heard the name of Herodotus, “Father of History” who was the first historian collected his resources and assemble them in a well-built and vivid narrative, and whose perspectives formed the basis of ancient Greek and Persian historical civilization. Around the world and down through the ages, thousands of self-made and qualified historians have presented their exceptional perspectives on what’s happened and why it’s happened.

History is still filled with significant dates and accomplishments of dignified men and women who are more educated or many just have a better vantage point to trace history. Today our editorial team has selected five among the very best historians who bring their own compelling viewpoint on various subjects through their extremely fascinating, yet profoundly written books.

 

Robert Marshall Utley:Robert M. Utley

An American author and Historian, Robert M. Utley has  written sixteen books that are based on the history of the American West. An ex-chief historian of the National Park Service, Utley is now live with his wife Melody Webb, historian and a published author, in a retirement community in Scottsdale, Arizona. His second book, The Last Days of the Sioux Nation (1963) is a heart-touching book about the confrontation of the Sioux tribe and Army at the Battle of Wounded Knee Creek. For those who want to know more about his life and experiences can read his memoir Custer and Me: A Historian’s Memoir.

Stephen Ambrose: Stephen Ambrose

Stephen Ambrose was a major American historian and biographer of 20th century who wrote a wide variety of books, most of which centered on the soldiers themselves. His belief that the history should be exciting and accurate made him a famous writer. In addition of writing books regarding soldiers of Civil War, he initiated the National D-Day Museum in New Orleans for giving tribute to the people who fought in the war. Best-known for his book on World-War II, Ambrose also written various other popular books such as “The Wild Blue,” Undaunted Courage,”- to name just a few.

Ralph Waldo Emerson:Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson is an American essayist, Unitarian minister, philosopher, poet and historian whose own feelings on Nature, Politics, Self-Reliance, and Experience made for great essays. His first published work, Nature, is the result of his soul-searching and intellectual study in the fields of philosophy and religion. Leader of the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century, Ralph was seen as a champion of individualism and a prescient critic of abolition and the countervailing pressures of society, and he spread his perspectives through dozens of published essays and over 1500 public lecturers across the US. Emerson emerged as one of the original thinkers of his age whose essays and lectures offer models of style, clarity and thought that had a profound influence in 19th century American life.

Patricia Nelson Limerick: Patricia Nelson Limerick

Born in the year 1951in Banning (California), Patricia Nelson Limerick is an eminent scholar, sophisticated American historian, brilliant teacher, and well-known author. She is a professor of history and chair of the Board of the centre at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Her sharp and insightful thoughts greatly change how we visualize the history of the American West. She has published a large variety of books, articles and reviews. Recipient of numerous awards and honorary appointment, Limerick is best-known for her 1987 book The Legacy of Conquest in which she offers the earthy and uncomfortable reality of a living west.  Along with several book reviews and scholarly articles, she writes many op-ed pieces and columns for “The Denver Post”, “USA Today,” “The New York Times,” etc. Her other books comprises “Something in the Soil,” A Ditch In Time,” The Atomic West,” and many more.

David McCullough: David McCullough

Widely acclaimed as the master of the art of narrative history, McCullough won two Pulitzer Prizes for his books on two U.S. Presidents that were later made into an HBO film and miniseries. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, McCullough is also the recipient of the Presidential Medal for Freedom and a twice winner of National Book Award, which is the nation’s highest award a civilian can achieve. His work “John Adams” published in 2001 was the widely read and highly praised American Biography of all time. The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris is his most recent book, which has been named “an epic of ideas,” …”dazzling” has become the number one New York Times bestseller.

While there are plenty of other historians, who continually are writing about all things present in actual time, these five historians as well as writers have done a great job in commenting on the moment and offering insights in spectacular clarity.

 

 

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