Welcome to Issue 77 of the SUPERIOR BOOK PRODUCTIONS newsletter!
Welcome to summer, everyone. Nothing’s better than lying on the beach or curling up in a hammock with a good book on a lazy summer afternoon, and this month, as always, we have several books for you to choose from.
But first, I’m pleased to announce that issue 3 of the U.P. Reader is now available. This issue contains a wide range of poetry, essays, and short stories by eighteen different authors from Upper Michigan. Included is my short story “Summer of the Yellow Jackets,” a fictionalized version of a true experience I had when yellow jackets decided to make a nest in my home one summer.
If you love the U.P, you’ll love the variety in this book—and good news: Issues 1 and 2 are still available.
You can learn more about the U.P. Reader at www.upreader.org.
Happy Fourth of July to my American readers, Happy Independence Day to my Canadian readers, and happy summer to all of you (except for my Australian and New Zealand readers, whom I hope are enjoying a pleasant winter)!
This Month’s Great Book Quote:
“I cannot live without books.”
— Thomas Jefferson
In Life Between Two Gardens, Dr. Steven Edgley shares the inspiring story of how he has learned to live a fulfilling and purposeful life after experiencing a stroke at age twenty-eight. Edgley had just graduated from Loyola Medical School when his life was devastated by a stroke that left him unable to speak for days and required months of physical therapy. However, Edgley, as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, had a strong faith to sustain him, as well as family and friends who never gave up on him. In this book, he reveals the tender mercies he has been granted along with his stroke, including a rewarding career as a doctor who helps other stroke patients.
The two gardens referenced by the book’s title are the Garden of Eden and the Garden of Gethsemane. The Garden of Eden is where humanity first had its fall into sin, which led to our current state of existence, and the Garden of Gethsemane is where Jesus committed himself to dying for our sins. Edgley believes both gardens can be meaningful to us, both in our times of trial and in our everyday lives.
To read more, visit Life Between Two Gardens.
Eric Bloom’s Office Influence: Get What You Want, From the Mailroom to the Boardroom is the perfect book for anyone in the workforce, from an entry level job to the CEO, who wants to have more influence and overall say about their work. As Bloom states in the introduction, “Every interpersonal endeavor includes an aspect of influence. In negotiation, you’re influencing someone to move closer to your point of view. In change management, you’re influencing someone to do something differently. In conflict resolution, you’re influencing people or organizations to resolve their issues and get along. The list goes on and on.”
Bloom knows how important influence is, especially having the right kind of positive influence. He knows because he has spent years designing and teaching classes on various types of interpersonal communication, including negotiation, change management, conflict, leadership, difficult conversations, motivation, requesting approval, and delegation. For all of these activities to be effective, trusting relationships must be established with the individuals you are working with, and in these pages, Bloom will show you how that trust can be achieved so that people are willing to listen, respect, and when needed, follow you. One of my favorite statements Bloom makes is “Generally speaking, people are not against you; they are for themselves. Understand their reasoning and you can find strategies to gain their support.”
To read more, visit Office Influence.
Christine Gail’s Unleash Your Rising will have you ready to embrace new purpose and meaning in your life. This book is packed with tools and stories for how to set your intention for what you want and then achieve it. In fact, stories are at the center of this book—namely, your story. Gail teaches readers how to turn their stories around to find the positive in them, to gather strength that will help ignite a fire in them to move forward and achieve the lives they want.
“Unleashing your rising” can mean whatever you want it to mean. It might mean that you will free yourself from a painful past or from feeling stuck in a recurring pattern; it might mean finding more meaning in your life; it might mean igniting your creativity, or embracing your role as a leader, or beginning to transform yourself and your world. Whatever it is you wish to become, Gail provides advice relevant to your journey. Topics covered include leadership, relationships, health, brain empowerment, creativity, abundance, and your story of intention. Most importantly, you have control over how you will bring about your transformation. As Gail tells us, “everything you do, everything you say, and every experience and interaction you have is a creative act, it changes everything. Everyone can be creative using the tools in this book.”
To read more, visit Unleash Your Rising.
Chuck Oslund’s The Chainsaw Safety System is more than just a safety handbook. It’s a philosophical treatise on the importance of safety and the realization that there are three elements involved in cutting down a tree—you, the chainsaw, and the tree. You must show respect to both the tree and the chainsaw. As Oslund states early on, this book and the methods it illustrates are “not just an understanding of how the saw works; it’s about how it works when combined with the unique tree you are cutting, and the individual state of your attitude. This is the reason for this book; the CSS [Chainsaw Safety System] is that ‘something more’ you need to be a safe, productive, and confident operator.” Not only will it keep you safe, but the CSS will ensure everyone else involved is safe, including your designated safety person, since there should always be a safety person involved whenever using a chainsaw.
Why? Because, as Oslund states, “Trees kill more people in catastrophic weather events than any other cause” and in 2013, there were 36,000 emergency room treated chainsaw injuries. This book not only teaches proper chainsaw use, but it teaches people not how to step outside their comfort zones but how to expand those zones.
To read more, visit The Chainsaw Safety System.
Dlana Hall Bodmer’s The Miraculous Journey is unlike any book you have read before. It’s a blend of true crime and spirituality that will have you cringing, angry, outraged, and then overcome with amazement and a new faith in God. Few books have been so cathartic for me to read.
The story begins with the real-life murder of the author’s sister, Gina Renee Hall, in 1980. When Gina did not come home that night, the search began… Although Gina’s body was never found, all evidence pointed to Stephen Epperly, who was convicted by a jury for Gina’s murder.
Since then, Dlana has had to deal with the anger she felt toward Epperly, anger that has been exasperated by his being up for parole every year or two and her efforts to ensure he is not released.
Dlana’s family was devastated by Gina’s loss, and that pain has never completely gone away. The family and authorities searched for months for Gina’s body without success, and Dlana and Gina’s father went to his grave never knowing what had become of his daughter.
Then in 2016, Dlana began having strange experiences that inspired her to resume the search—and so the miracles began.
To read more, visit The Miraculous Journey.
Toie Martin’s Living Your Life With Possibilities begins with Toie recalling how a friend once rocked her world by asking her, “What would your perfect life look like?” She had been so busy running on auto-pilot and just doing and surviving that she’d never taken the time to consider that many possibilities existed for her life and what she really wanted her life to be. It’s a situation too many of us fall into as life keeps happening and we find ourselves responding rather than planning. Fortunately, Toie took the time to think through and answer that question, and in these pages, she shows us how we all can do the same.
Early on, Toie answers the question for us by saying, “To me, living your life with possibilities means feeling confident about who you are and what’s important to you; having the courage to push yourself out of your comfort zone to learn, grow, and experience new things; and leading yourself and others with grace to promote an environment where creativity, innovation, and growth can thrive. Achieving all of these goals requires some kind of change, yet most of us never get any formal or informal education on change. Our schools and jobs are measuring how well we add, subtract, read, and work, but not how well we are thriving.”
To read more, visit Living Your Life With Possibilities.