The Quarter Note Tales by Arthur Wenk

Despite his calm and composed writing style, Arthur Wenk redefines suspense for the contemporary reader who will enjoy the holistic experience of Wenk’s eye for detail with several smashing sub plots that dissolve and quickly emerge into the major plot without ever losing track of the main theme.

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Title: The Quarter Note Tales

Author: Arthur Wenk

Publisher: Wingate Press

Date of Publication: 24 April 2006

Genre: Novella

Rating: 4.5/5

A spell binding collection of three novellas skirting between the power play within the scholarly realms of Academia and the quiet spirituality of the Church.

A scandalous professor of the English department has committed suicide at Chihuahua State College. His suicide becomes headline news when his suicide note gets published in the college’s student newspaper, The Bowser. Musicologist Axel Crochet gets surprisingly tangled in a fag at this new workplace when he figures out that his colleague from the English department may have in fact been murdered. Astonishing facts and mysterious characters crop up in an endless array of twists and turns as the plot gets murkier each working day. Grant Jarman’s suicide note is not a letter but a poem. Just as Axel is about to unbolt the poetic mysteries gnawing at the throat of departmental politics and murdered colleagues, news breaks out about the death of the female student Jarman had been romantically involved with. She falls off the college roof while trying to click her own picture. Accident, murder or suicide?

The heart of any university, other than in the cafeteria, can be found underneath the piles of books at the university main or departmental libraries. As Axel enters the library to find some bibliographical information that he has received at an event from a friend regarding musicology; his eye falls upon a student newspaper clipping that reports the murder of the Music Department Chairman Edgar Frost. The department’s vocal instructor Viola Mordant is in police custody. The suicide of a student whom Professor Frost had terribly belittled gives rise to an altercation between Frost and Viola. Is that reason enough for murder?

Beginning at a more sombre note in what constitutes the precipitous haste for Christmas service at the Allegheny United Church, Axel is given responsibility for playing hymns and conducting the Junior Choir. Reverend Armstrong rubs his fingers to his forehead, squints his eyes as if in excruciating pain and collapses behind the pulpit vomiting blood across the chancel carpet. A physician from the Senior Choir rushes up to the pulpit and orders the others to call for an ambulance. But John Armstrong is dead. “The dictatorial leadership style that might have suited the small churches that he served earlier in his career brought muffled complaints from some parishioners at AUC.” Shirley Bellinger, a soprano at the Senior Choir and a friend of Axel’s, discloses information about her turbulent marriage with husband James while she’s been seeing another man all along. In the fear of being caught she names John Armstrong as her beau in lieu of his reputation as a lady’s man. James is in custody for alleged charges of murder. But autopsy reports claim Armstrong’s death is caused by drinking Compound 1080. Did he obtain the banned substance all by himself or was he intoxicated? As more people get added to the ‘suspects’ list, the means of acquiring poison remains deluded and the exact manner of death vaguely understood.  Will this mystery ever find a solution or will it jeopardize the reputation of the Church forever?

The Quarter Note Tales is a wholesome read with a bunch of topsy-turvy twists accompanied by a dark sense of humour that never lets the suspense drown. At any moment if the reader feels he can guess the criminal, the narrative only bends to reveal newer confusing information. It is not too often that one gets to read about the more honest aspects of life as an academic specially in a poorly funded institution and its challenges along with tackling a student community that is not up to the mark. Throughout the three tales, the protagonist Axel finds responsibility thrust upon him while he is merely going about his everyday duties. The events shake him up more than any other character but it is his presence of mind and patience that makes others count on him to get them all out of the mess. Speaking as the first person narrator, Wenk provides oodles of information through Axel about each and every incident that unfolds. Constantly moving to and fro between the past and the present gives the stories an added dynamism but requires readers to effectively use their capacity to remember and recall the details and characters as and when the narrative requires. Hence, though the factual data at times lengthens and drags the stories causing a monotony which only pushes the reader to want to know exactly how they will end. The tales are very realistic with an exceptionally honest tone and thoughtful manner of story -telling. Despite his calm and composed writing style, Arthur Wenk redefines suspense for the contemporary reader who will enjoy the holistic experience of Wenk’s eye for detail with several smashing sub plots that dissolve and quickly emerge into the major plot without ever losing track of the main theme. The tales are predominantly alarming but they are Gothic to the extent of being intellectually puzzling and not exactly hair-raising scary. The narrative flair is candid and doesn’t leave out any point that is relevant in keeping readers on the edge by creating a vibrant atmosphere in the backdrop of grim incidents. The Quarter Note Tales comprising the three novellas An Unfaltering Trust, Murder in the Music Department and Murder in the Pulpit is a chilling weekend read for all lovers of thrillers, murder mysteries and uncanny short stories.

Unconventional, suspenseful and un-guesstimatable.

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New Age, Bundle 1: Mediumship, Auras (New Age Series) by Tabitha Zalot

Zalot is highly informative and organised. But it may take quite some more convincing to get people to practice this less traversed road. It may seem very easy to talk about it but the practices are not and readers should not be misled into believing that they can endure it all by themselves without any professional help.

Title: New Age, Bundle 1: Mediumships, Auras (New Age Series)

Author: Tabitha Zalot

Publisher: Amazon Asia-Pacific Holdings Private Limited

Date of Publication: 6 October 2017

Genre: Self-Help

Rating: 4.7/5

A dimly lit alley ends into the open doors of what looks like a very spooky shop. Entering inside reveals a whole new world of crystal balls, lucky charms and coloured stones. A queerly dressed woman appears out of nowhere, grabs you by the hand and seats you before a crystal ball that starts to emit smoke of varying colours. You don’t know if you are bewildered by the events or the lady herself. What did she say her name was again? You just want to run out but the doors have shut you in and the chair seems to buckle at your waist to the extent of asphyxiation. You must be out of your mind but it is your mind that she seems to be interested in. She wants to read it. She knows everything about you though you don’t remember introducing yourself and her crystal is glittering with news about your future endeavours. Do you stay or do you leave?

If you’ve never had such an experience or are too cynical about having one, then Mediumships is the book to guide you through towards what it claims to be your next psychic experience. The book states that while mediumship is something fun to read and learn about, it comes with a lot of responsibilities and errands. It is clearly not a game for the frivolous minded. While connecting with angels, deceased loved ones and personal guides may seem a great way to get answers to the questions that run about your mind but this access to a support team can come at a cost to those who do not know how to appreciate them properly. It involves developing a sound judgement. The book elaborates on the various types of mediumships including both physical and mental and explains their attributes briefly. Some myths are busted while shedding light on the nature of these interactions. The guide also suggests ways to improve one’s communion with the spiritual world for after all the desire to have a proper interaction can be fulfilled only by making oneself fit for such sessions.

The book has all the information needed to hone one’s skills and sharpen them to become a medium, learn more about the benefits of honing psychic or mediumship abilities including ways to decipher messages of the dead. It claims to make people one of the best mediums in the world to enjoy a journey of spiritual awakening.

The tone of the book is highly persuasive but it’s not about trying a trick or pulling off a few feats. Zalot seems to try to induce the reader into taking it up more seriously as an out of the body and out of the world experience. The book mentions the types of encounters and their consequences but what the book doesn’t do even for once is that it never doubts the existence of a spiritual realm that is parallel or dissecting with the human world and is unseen by the naked eye. It begins and ends with the view that there is nothing more natural than the supernatural. Zalot is highly informative and organised. But it may take quite some more convincing to get people to practice this less traversed road. It may seem very easy to talk about it but the practices are not and readers should not be misled into believing that they can endure it all by themselves without any professional help. Addressing the readers as “you”, Zalot’s narrative is spontaneous and informal. If not anybody else, but Zalot seems highly experienced in all of it and willing to take the reader by the hand. However, this is clearly not a book for the faint hearted.

At a more personal level, the next book in the bundle deals with auras and personal energies. Zalot begins by talking about the psychic development and the qualities granted through it. Intuition is the closest that we come to any psychic ability in our daily life and is known as the sixth sense. Though it is attributed more to women, it is nothing less than a hunch, gut feeling or lucky guess. It is something possessed by all but harnessed by few. The same goes for clairvoyance. The book deals extensively with energy fields or auras that do not actually exist but are reflections of human emotions, mental and physical states. Distant energy healing unlike Reiki healing can help to change the course of the chakras and lead to heal a person affected by over activity or a mood downturn. The bonus exercise section helps to get the reader involved in understanding their auras and be able to better navigate them. The book elaborates further on the 7 chakras present in the human body and the meanings of the colour of auras. The chapter titled Hidden Secrets is perhaps the most interesting as it gets hands-on with the topic and asks the reader to follow the steps to feel their auras. The do’s and don’ts provide ample advice on the things that need to be kept in mind about the astral plane. This is an extremely interesting book and an exciting read for self -improvement.

 

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Religion: History of Religion, Christianity (Worlds Religions Series) by Michael J Stewart

It also creates room for mutual understanding though one can still remain in disagreement with the others but be at peace together. Yet, Stewart does not seek to validate or negate any ideas no matter how absurd the practices.

Title: Religion: History of Religion, Christianity (World Religions Series)

Author: Michael J Stewart

Name of Publisher: Amazon Asia-Pacific Holdings Private Limited

Date of Publication: 6 October 2017

Genre: History/Politics

Rating: 4.5/5

Derived from the Latin word ‘religio’ meaning ‘restraint’ or ‘relegere’ which means ‘to show respect’, religion is a form of social consciousness that has been present since time immemorial. The book defines religion as “a set of beliefs and practices centered around the idea of, and worship of, one or more supernatural powers.” In an age of ever-increasing connectivity where we are more often to come across people of varying cultures and religious practices, this book becomes an important step towards creating an inter faith dialogue to ease tensions and differences. This in turn creates healthy inter- personal relationships that aspires to create a more peaceful world with mutual cooperation.

Beginning with explaining the differences between polytheistic and monotheistic religions, Stewart extends the idea that early religion was only polytheistic as it was nature oriented. Monotheistic religion has a tendency to spread across the world and more modern day religions are monotheistic for their global nature. This is very different from ‘myth’ which is a pre-logical moment of philosophical and scientific awareness. One theory about the origin of myths is ‘Euhemerism’ which is contradicted with personification. Myth is also said to precede religion and philosophy and belongs to a very uncritical stage of human psychological development. Yet, it is an essential part of human civilization seen in the incarnations of Gods in temples of ancient Mesopotamia or the Totemistic beliefs of Egypt.

But with each passing view people have only been seeking the same thing: an attempt to understand where they came from and where they will go to. Archaeological remains have been very helpful in studying all these. The book also explains the various historical events that led to changes in people’s beliefs from the Homeric to the Hellenistic Roman age and then a drastic shift to a modern mechanistic world. Human thought does not exist in the void but in connection to other happenings. A list of Greek Gods with their unique individual attributes is provided in brief. The book charts all major religions like Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Chinese beliefs based on I Ching, Mayans, Aztecs till the coming of monotheism through the Abrahamic league of religions. It is very well researched and chronologically compiled. The sense of balance and sensitivity given to the topic brings an added maturity. Interestingly, Stewart also features the darker sides of human psyche that has put efforts into constructing some occult practices and institutionalizing them under the banner of mass religion such as Satanism, People’s Temple, Heaven’s Gate, Church of Euthanasia and Aum Shinrikyo. On the contrary some parody religions desire to mock spiritual beliefs on the whole and their practices are strangely hilarious.

The inclusivity of the book is commendable. In very few pages it has been able to condense many things under the sun without neither gliding over nor getting caught down in the controversies or arguments that researchers, social scientists and academics usually put forth. It provides a very balanced outlook into the variety of religious thoughts available and doesn’t demean or glorify partially. It is amusing to note the evolution of human thought from the ancient ideas to the present day where religion is gradually and deliberately being replaced by science and technology and any form of religious practice is considered backdated and primitive. Though highly informative, it is a lot to take in all at one time. The book, however, stays away from any sectarian political misunderstandings and tensions existent within most major religions. It also creates room for mutual understanding though one can still remain in disagreement with the others but be at peace together. Yet, Stewart does not seek to validate or negate any ideas no matter how absurd the practices.

Rooted in Israel at the once known cross cultural hub of Judea about 2000 years ago, Christianity originated with Jesus and his faithful group of followers, the Disciples. And how did the followers of the Judaic faith relate to Jesus? The book gives a very detailed idea of the position of the Jews before receiving the message of Christianity and their reaction to it which showed a lot of resistance initially. To them following Jesus meant denying the Mosaic Law.

The turning point is on the road to Damascus when St. Paul has a change of heart as he sees a vision of Jesus face to face. The fall of Jerusalem(70) and Hadrian’s exclusion of the Jews from the city leave a noteworthy decline in the numbers of Jewish Christian community. Each chapter ends with Common Misconceptions About Christianity and Interesting Facts that only go on to shed more light on the topic. If the Choice Were Yours section asks the reader to place themselves in the historical events and question if they would have converted to the new message placed forth by the Messiah. It is thought provoking to wonder about the dilemmas and confusions that people had faced at that time when the religion was relatively new and not in trend, whose principles were highly contested and the plight of those who became Christian at that time.

The book further delineates the development of the early Christian Church and the clashes with the Roman Empire. Positioning itself deeply in the real historical facts, the book comprehends for the urban reader, the cultural context that led to the rise of Orthodox Christianity, the Church of Imperial Byzantium and the relationship between the Church and the State. It also draws on some extreme practices of denominations like Jehovah’s Witness and the differences they have with one another. Though it comes a little later in the book, but the chapter on Jewish culture helps to set things straight chronologically in terms of contextualizing Christianity and the situation in which it had been put. Stewart charts down very well some common misconceptions held about Judaism in the public domain. Similarly, learning more about people in history who defined Christianity and helped take its message forward only shows the global reach that it has received as a message due to those who worked philanthropically in setting up charities besides translating ancient scriptural texts and creating newer Christian literature. Though their work and lives are mentioned in short 10-12 lines passages but it’s an insightful overview.

Christianity found itself in a similar situation (as Judaism had previously) with the rise and spread of Islam. The chapter on the Crusades forms a major turning point in the narrative as the circumstances and situations that set events turning forth are pointed with finesse. It is an honest and fair attempt at trying to explain the difficult situations. Though the ideas are factually apt, however, it is not exhaustive like The Crusades; The War for the Holy Land by Thomas Asbridge which is a far more stirring, illustrative and extensively researched account. While Stewart clarifies that the Muslims in no way triggered the Crusades neither were the Christians greedy but it was more about the rising power of the Golden age of Islam that automatically caused an Islamic expansionism and rapid proliferation in terms of astronomy, humanities and other sciences. This age saw the broken down European nations (Dark Ages for them) constantly bickering amongst each other. The constant domination felt by Christianity which was also as relatively new a faith, led to exploits in the Middle East that surprisingly saw Jews and Muslims ally together to defend themselves and their land. Though largely the wars were a counter attack to the expansionist process undertaken by Kurdish leader Saladin but the complicacies of the events and their after math perhaps being felt even today in the ongoing brittle situations of what comprises the modern day Middle East, are not elaborated in detail. Stewart glides through but maintains the unbiased balance that historians ought to keep. Understandably, such a complex topic cannot be done justice to in so few pages. But what Stewart does bring out of it all is that neither was Christianity spread by the sword nor Islam.

With only one life to live and rejecting the idea of reincarnation, it is the afterlife that is held as perpetual and the real goal to be worked towards. The book leaves the reader to decide and dwell on the concepts of Heaven or Hell and whether to believe in them or not. Stewart argues that this ancient faith has withstood the challenges of time and agrees to the existence of one true God and man’s purpose of being put on the Earth is to serve Him. He leaves the final decision to the reader and the book is in no way evangelical, puritanical or cajoling readers to accept its views for the characteristic of true faith is honesty and that should come from the heart’s core. It makes a highly enlightening read for Christians and non-Christians alike.

The bundle as a whole is an enriching read for people of all religious backgrounds, agnostics, atheists, naturalists, conservationists, science buffs, obstinate arguers and definitely to believers of Humanity as the greatest religion.

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Copywriting: A Beginner’s Guide On How To Write Creative Copy That Sells (Copywriting, Advertising, Sales, Freelance, Creative writing, online marketing, Content Marketing) by James Thomson

Set at a length of 75 pages and in a simple language it is an easy, on-the-go read that can be easily covered in a single sitting.

Title: Copywriting: A Beginner’s Guide On How To Write Creative Copy That Sells( Copywriting, Advertising, Sales, Freelance, Creative writing, online marketing, Content Marketing)

Author: James Thomson

Publisher: Amazon Asia-Pacific Holdings Private Limited

Date of Publication: 23 March 2016

Genre: Self-Help

Rating: 5/5

In a lucid manner Thomson provides the a-z of the art of writing near perfect copies just like a pro. Copywriting as a formal profession has existed since people started selling things for currency. As an inadvertent part of the advertising business, a good copy of a product is a great tool for any advertiser. Simple hand written placard notes hanging outside shop doors are rudimentary versions of copies that are elaborated during an ad campaign. Effective advertising is the key to improving product sales and reaching wider audiences. The book explicates the uses of copywriting that is not only restricted to ads but also used by politicians to grab the attention of voters and earn more votes.

The book offers a lot of information about the purpose of copywriting, places it is used and the role of copywriting in media. It is presented in a mini workbook pattern. Chapters end with ‘Activity’ sections that ask the reader to jot down certain answers to questions posed about their ideas regarding a particular copy. The factors that change with each advertisement medium only goes on to show the importance of the viewer in case of all ad campaigns and target audience. Copies depend on reader behaviour, amount of space available, budget of ad campaigns and competition. Thomson makes it clear that understanding the industry becomes the most important task in the becoming an effective copywriter. The ultimate purpose of a good copywriter is in being able to sell the product along with the ideas that the product stands for or rather endorses. This cannot be achieved without proper knowledge about the customers. He further elaborates the parts that make an ad and the copywriting process in detail. The book is straight forward and to the point. Thomson dives to the main points and works on them elaborately without wasting any time. It will come across as a valuable read for people in the media and advertising industry, bloggers, and copy writers. It is a good introductory book for those who have no idea about the field. Set at a length of 75 pages and in a simple language it is an easy, on-the-go read that can be easily covered in a single sitting. There is important information on the tools of a copywriter, the language to be used, effective writing styles and tips on useful headline framing.

Full of positive impetus to continue your full time writing job.

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Etiquette: Etiquette, How to Be a Gentleman by Niel Schreiber

Schreiber calls etiquette a “social vaccine” that needs to be administered in order to avoid any faux pas.

Title: Etiquette: Etiquette, How to be a Gentleman

Author:Neil Schreiber

Publisher: Amazon Asia-Pacific Holdings Private Limited

Date of Publication: 29 September 2017

Genre: Self-help

Rating: 5/5

Etiquette has been known to imply the British Elizabethan Era starched white collars and feminine curtsies. Empirically, it is far from a lost art from across the pond, it is more casually referred to as manners in most current conversations. Schreiber delineates the nooks and crannies of this crucial task effortlessly in this condensed and useful manual.

According to Professor Pier Forni of John Hopkins University, “The rules of good manners are the traffic lights of human interaction.” Traffic lights not only pave the way that needs to be followed but it also controls and sets the direction of movement. Similarly it has become more important in a post globalised world when masses of people are interacting and trying to make meaningful exchanges that some of them fail to realise that there is a need for some common rule to better shepherd these masses of intermixed cultures easily without causing offence. Schreiber calls etiquette a “social vaccine” that needs to be administered in order to avoid any faux pas. The tone of the book is endearing and encouraging. It does not restrict itself to the usual strictly disciplinarian voice of authoritative obligation. It provides valuable advice for both those who may often attend high profile social gatherings and for others who don’t or may never will need to. Yet, it is advantageous to learn and implement it in order to become better human beings. The book begins with the trifecta of table manners that deals with table settings, behaviour at the table with regard to chewing food, passing dishes around the table, sipping beverages, seating arrangements, postures and  table conversation. Next comes the restaurant rulebook with detailed advice on planning the outing, choosing dishes, billing and tipping. This is followed by the protocols of hosting private parties. The book is formatted in an unconventional manner with interesting headings such as “pre party panache” and “party post partum’s.”

The social niceties don’t just end there. Schreiber encourages readers to revive old traditions (despite living in the age of hashtags and Facebook status updates) at weddings and funerals which are often occasions of large social gatherings of a mixed type. This chapter forms the crux of the book which deals with what needs to be worn, served and accommodated. It is a great guide for anyone who’s new to hosting parties. What is interesting is that though the book is highly informative it does not delve in a black and white frame of recommendation. A proper guideline is provided but there is still room for experimentation. A lot of these rules regarding behaviour are already known to most people but it is their ability to remember and use them at the right time that will ultimately show their sense of modesty. With its helpful style of peer advice, the book is bound to turn one into an ideal socialite. Most interestingly, Schreiber completely wipes out the stereotype that politeness is a weakness or a sign of the ignorant.

Another extremely informative book is this guide to becoming a gentleman which begins with dissecting the implications of the word gentle. Being a gentleman is about finding the right balance between being chivalric and being nice. Sadly, the word “nice” used to mean stupid in Middle English during the 12th and 15th century. The main purpose of the book is to help develop the traits of a real gentleman and to become a respectable member of the society. However, this is not a choice that can be imposed upon any individual. It has to be an individual’s decision and they need to realise that this will help in their personal growth and development apart from being socially beneficial.

The book has each chapter named with a courtesy word that can be derived from the letters of the word “gentleman” such as g for generosity, e for etiquette, n for no’s, l for literacy and so on. Every chapter then begins with a profound and appropriate quotation that goes on to explain in detail all that is essential to follow in order to fulfil the requirements of each ‘quality’. With examples from fictional characters and literary anecdotes, these ideas are brought out exceptionally well. It is easy to read and very interesting. Again, the advice is friendly but not overbearing. The eye for detail is remarkable and will leave the reader feeling qualitatively enriched with newer knowledge. The book guides the reader not just through the makeover that will be visible in their outer appearance but also raises awareness about inculcating the need to be consciously well mannered. It also attempts to address the ways to manage one’s emotions properly. It is a highly practical and matured advice that the book provides both for laymen and professionals. Most importantly being a gentleman is about maintaining a healthy mental outlook and being a good human being. The chapter on do’s and don’ts is some really heart touching counsel. Surprisingly, it is a great book for both men and women. The book encourages men to break away from the fashion and societal trends to contemplate on their personalities instead of getting lost in the crowd and to better their identities for a holistic progress.

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World’s Best Drinks, Bundle 1: World’s Most Popular Drinks by Tadio Diller

Complementary recipes that go with the tea are quintessential to good tea parties such as sandwiches, scones, tea cakes, buns, biscuits, and cookies. The book provides a list of the ingredients along with the recipes in a cookbook format.

Title: World’s Best Drinks, Bundle 1: World’s Most Popular Drinks

Author: Tadio Diller

Publisher: Lean Stone Publishing

Date of Publication: 29 September 2017

Genre: Self-Help

Rating: 4.5/5

“Today I’d like to sit and sip,

Forget the world a little bit,

Ignore the things I have to do

And just enjoy a cup or two”

(Anon)

Inspired by the English afternoon tea, Diller presents the proven steps and strategies for hosting a proper afternoon tea service just like they do on Downton Abbey. Afternoon tea is supposed to prevent lethargy, making people work more efficiently. It was first done because a noble woman felt too tired in the middle of the afternoon only to find out that it was because of not having consumed anything for a long time after breakfast. But the ritual made its way and has found its place in daily living. The book explains the difference between high tea and low tea. Amidst the thousand types of teas available it is important to choose the kind of tea. Diller elaborates on the various types such as Earl Grey tea, Assam tea, Ceylon tea, Gunpowder Green Tea, Lapsang Souchong and Darjeeling tea along with their ideal steeping times. Complementary recipes that go with the tea are quintessential to good tea parties such as sandwiches, scones, tea cakes, buns, biscuits, and cookies. The book provides a list of the ingredients along with the recipes in a cookbook format. Next comes the dos and don’ts of how and where to serve it. Choosing the right tea set depends on how many guests one will host, their budget, ease of care and maintenance. The materials used to make the tea set include glass, ceramic, porcelain or silver. The chapter on proper etiquette of conducting oneself during tea on Downton Abbey is of utmost importance and highlights oft made mistakes by newbies with regards to tea stirring and dressing up for the tea party.

If you have queries whether the milk should be poured in first or the tea or need information regarding the options available for those who like their tea black then this handy guide is your one stop destination to find out everything for serving the best brewed tea at your next in house tête-à-tête. This short and useful guide asks the reader to go and fetch all the ingredients and keep consulting the book as often as required till their tea tastes nothing less than perfect.

Simply tea-rrific!

“There is no bad whiskey. There are only some whiskeys that aren’t as good as others.”- Raymond Chandler

Reigning in the world of drinks with a top notch reputation, whiskey is considered to be a real man’s drink. It is one of the most popular but also the most intimidating to those yet uninitiated to this world. Diller begins with the etymology of the word whiskey which is quite a snag in and of itself. But how exactly is it different from other kinds of liquor? The book elaborates the various types of whiskey such as scotch, bourbon, rye whiskey, Irish whiskey and so on that are available for consumption. It also talks about the sub types and their unique qualities. Though all whiskeys are similar they have humongous taste or flavour differences. The high alcohol content makes whiskey a rough drink on the taste buds when taken for the first time. Yet it has gained high popularity.

The section on scrutinising the whiskey is attention-grabbing as it talks about the colour, smell, taste and what exactly to look for while purchasing a bottle. The chapter on the history of whiskey is highly informative with very new and intriguing information. The ‘Whiskey Rebellion’ is one such point in stance that expounds on an event that had worked around whiskey or with whiskey as its very basis. ‘Things you may not know about whiskey’ is another highly enlightening segment which presents some hilarious, surprising and exciting facts.

Things took a sharp turn with the advent of the internet as sellers started to trade in whiskey by selling fake whiskey online. The author provides some useful tips to keep in mind while buying whiskey online. This is followed by some whiskey cocktail recipes such as Rye Manhattan, Old Fashioned, Jack and Coke, Mint Julep, Rob Roy etc. The book is a great read for connoisseurs of whiskey, those who have or want a bar in their house, those who wish to be the best hosts of cocktail parties or want to gift vintage alcohol at the next invitation they attend. It can also be read for leisure by those who do not drink, have never tasted alcohol and may never will. The book, however, does not come with any statutory warning about the (health) hazards of excessive drinking let alone excessively irresponsible drinking.

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Resume: Writing a Resume That Stands Out From The Crowd (Resume writing, Resume Templates, Vocational Guidance, Summer job, Career change, How to write a CV) by James Thomson

The book offers vital tips for crafting a good resume for one’s first job and also gives important guidelines to be kept in mind while building an outstanding resume. The information provided is brief and beneficial for both  who know how to write a resume and those who’re new to it.

Title: Resume: Writing a Resume That Stands Out From The Crowd (Resume Writing, Resume Templates, Vocational Guidance, Summer job, Career change, How to write a CV)

Author: James Thomson

Publisher: Amazon Asia-Pacific Holdings Private Limited

Date of Publication: 23 March 2016

Genre: Self-Help

Rating: 5/5

In yet another comprehensive guide, Thomson provides detailed guidelines about the dos and don’ts of writing a good resume. Understanding fully well the difficulties that young graduates face in finding jobs that suit their talents and match up to their educational qualifications in an ever competitive job market, this book provides an insight into the art of writing good resumes that will in turn help employers pick the right professionals and ease the recruitment procedure. So, what exactly makes a good resume?

Thomson begins statistically by explaining that for every two hundred resumes only one interview comes along. This makes the resume a crucial part of the decision making process for employers who are looking out for loopholes in order to reject aspirants that do not seem to fit with their company ethics. Hence, care should be taken in being precise rather than boasting or lying about achievements. He provides some valuable tips about the points that need to be kept in mind while writing the resume that include chronological and functional aspects. A good resume not only informs but also advertises the qualities of the applicant. It should cater to defining the person individually (through their hobbies, extra- curricular activities and volunteer work) and professionally (through job experience in their respective industry). The book offers vital tips for crafting a good resume for one’s first job and also gives important guidelines to be kept in mind while building an outstanding resume. The information provided is brief and beneficial for both  who know how to write a resume and those who’re new to it. Some resume samples are provided to further highlight Thomson’s main points. Thomson also brings out the pros and cons of using a resume template along with the essentials and purpose of a cover letter in simple bullet points. Again, prime examples of sample cover letters are provided to enhance clarity of understanding.

An old resume needs to be updated from time to time as one goes on to progress professionally and their career goals can and should be further boosted by a proper social media presence. The book is short (about 72 pages) and easy to read but the information provided is indispensable especially to young graduates who are on the threshold of entering the job market or professionals who are seeking a promotion in their careers or looking to switch jobs. Most of the information presented is never really taught at schools leaving novices scampering for last minute help.

Succinct, instructive and useful.

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