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Reviews

NOT "Just Friends"
Shirley P., Glass, Ph.D
The Free Press
ISBN: 0-7432-2549-X
$25.00

David Leonhardt
Reviewer

Shirley Glass is a relationship counselor and psychological researcher with 25 years of professional experience to her credit. NOT "Just Friends" seems to be the culmination of a life's work.

Glass combines personal observations with a well-documented trove of scientific sources to provide a "prevention manual and survival guide". It is on the basis of her own experience and the many other well-documented sources that the book stands as credible.

Although based on a strong academic foundation, the book is made easy to read by numerous stories and examples, by several quizzes, and most of all by following a single couple through the entire betrayal and recovery process.

Perhaps the strongest point about NOT "Just Friends" is that Glass is careful to address the issues and feelings of all concerned parties, those who have been unfaithful, those who have been betrayed, and also the betrayal partners. She debunks several myths about infidelity, explains how today's affairs differ from those of the past, and draws us inside the various players to understand their fears, their pain, and their motivation at each step along the path.

Prevention and survival are not necessarily the same thing, of course, as the markets for the two are quite different. In fact, the weak point of this book may be an attempt to include too many ideas into one volume. I could easily recommend the prevention chapters at the beginning to anyone in a marriage, but I doubt they would be interested in reading the majority of the book, which focuses on coping with an affair. Similarly, someone looking for advice on how to cope with a fair is unlikely to want to read through the prevention aspects.

This is a sensitive, well-founded, easy-to-read book, but make sure it is for you before buying it.

The reviewer is David Leonhardt, author of Climb your Stairway to Heaven: the 9 habits of maximum happiness. http://www.TheHappyGuy.com


Depression Fallout
Anne Sheffield
Quill
ISBN: 0-06-000934-9
$13.95

David Leonhardt
Reviewer

It is no pun to say that reviewing a book such as this is depressing. However, that won't stop me from saying a few positive things about Depression Fallout.

Unlike many books on depression, including Anne Sheffield's previous works, Depression Fallout is written for the oft-forgotten spouse of a depressive rather than for the victim of the disease itself.

Sheffield draws on her own experience as a depressive, as well as on thousands of postings to a message board on her web site. It is this interactive nature of her research that brings a unique vigor to her subject. These combined experiences provide the fodder for coping strategies she offers spouses to get past feelings of confusion, guilt, frustration and anger.

The writing is boring, which may be comforting to someone coping with depression but perhaps less so to a spouse, although it is clear and free of excessive jargon. Those who know they are suffering from depression or depression fallout will find this book useful. However, as Sheffield herself points out, most depressives and spouses do not recognize depression, so those who could most benefit are unlikely to seek it out.

It is hard to recommend this book, mostly because it is hard to find or define the prime audience. However, professional therapists and personal coaches might find it very helpful for their practices.

The reviewer is David Leonhardt, author of Climb your Stairway to Heaven: the 9 habits of maximum happiness. http://www.TheHappyGuy.com

David Leonhardt
The Happy Guy
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Wildflower
Carl Rafala
Great Unpublished
http://www.greatunpublished.com/
ISBN: 1-588-98-098-7
$15.00

Reviewed by David Leonhardt

If you like avant guard writing and enjoy sci fi, pick up a copy of Carl Rafala’s anthology Wildflower. Each of the 11 short stories is imaginative, and no two are similar in style.

Rafala’s world – or should I say worlds? – teems with biobots, methane clouds, electronic eyes, space crafts, and genetic regeneration. His tales emit a darkness, a sense of hopelessness. While his heavy use of futuristic techno-lingo displays a fascination with humanity’s future, his plots betray a deep mistrust and desperation for where technology might be leading us.

In Wildflower, soldiers hunt down protesters, people drive creatures to extinction on planet after planet, and it gets harder and harder to define the boundaries between humans and machines.

Each of Rafala’s tales keeps readers in suspense, some with surprise endings, some with a gradual realization of where the story is headed. Not surprisingly, Philip K. Dick is one of his influences, because “Things are always dark and uncertain with Dick, and I love that.” Unfortunately, Rafala also keeps us in the dark about some details that could help us better follow the story.

Another strength, Rafala’s fantastic imagination, becomes a weakness through excess. Like the movie director who tries to impress with special effects, Rafala’s techno-lingo overshadows some truly enjoyable stories. Rafala is a good enough writer that he does not need to distract us with razzle-dazzle.

Wildflower’s weaknesses can be attributed to a young writer who has yet to come of age. I look forward to his next book – to seeing a Rafala confident enough to use both suspense and techno-lingo without overusing them.

Until then, enjoy Wildflower.

The reviewer is David Leonhardt, author of Climb your Stairway to Heaven: the 9 habits of maximum happiness. http://www.leonhardtonline.com

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Don Tipton

Born in Pawnee Oklahoma, raised in N. California, he joined military reserves in 1948, was trained in photography, military intelligence, space photography and Morse code. In 1965 he made 2 missions to the Soviet Union, plus he also traveled to the Middle East and interviewed two editors of the Dead Sea Scrolls. He is presently retired in Fredericksburg, VA.

He tells us that: "Of my three books in print, A Tale of Genesis is my favorite and the first chapter demonstrates how the Hebrews originated according to their ancient tradition, from Adam and Eve."


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