Thursday, July 29, 2021

Guest book review - A Pizza The Action: Everything I Ever Learned About Business I Learned by Working in a Pizza Stand at the Erie County Fair by Christopher Carosa

Remember when you dreamed of running away with the circus? Remember when you fantasized becoming rich enough to exceed your wildest wishes? Imagine a place where those desires come true… A Pizza The Action takes you to that place and beyond. 

You know how it amazes you that, living only on loose change, carnival barkers can stay in business? It makes you wonder. You really want to know what their secret is and, just maybe, how you can use it to achieve your own ambitions. A Pizza The Action shows anyone selling anything for the first time or a long time how to capture that mysterious drive that will increase wealth by revealing the real truth behind the Carney Code. Spoiler Alert: Wealth is more than making money, although making money is part of being wealthy. 

A Pizza The Action takes you into the very cauldron of a successful working business by telling the authentic true story set in one of the last remaining bastions of wild west capitalism: the county fair. And not just any county fair – the Erie County Fair – one of the largest and longest running expositions in the United States. 

In these well-organized pages you’ll quickly discover more than a dozen rules exposing 54 vital lessons as told through a series of spell-binding real-life dramas of a young man who becomes a young businessman as he works in his grandparents’ pizza stand at the Erie County Fair. How useful are these lessons? Well, today, the businesses that young man has created have produced millions of dollars – all based on these easy-to-use rules and common-sense lessons! 

But A Pizza The Action is no mere business book. It is an entrepreneur’s how-to manual wrapped in a “slice of life” memoir. As you read the decade of adventures from long ago, you’ll immerse yourself in the sounds of the dazzling midway, the smells of the sizzling foods, and the sights of the amazing performances. You’ll yearn once again to become a carney, but understand you don’t need to be a carney to enjoy the fruits of all that you learn from reading A Pizza The Action

And when you get to the final lesson, you’ll know why it brought a tear to the eyes of so many. 

Only then will you truly see the wealth that is yours to be had.

Available to buy from the following sites...
Kindle   Amazon Paperback   Barnes and Noble 

“As he makes clear through his lively prose,… Chris utilizes a series of vignettes to provide, in a self-effacing style, very thoughtful examples of how hard work, coupled with solid personal, family, community, and business values, are the basis from which strong managers and entrepreneurs can succeed… Chris not only tells some wonderful stories, but for many of us, he brings back some long lost memories.” – Jeff Glajch, Chief Financial Officer, Graham Corporation (from the Foreword)

Scenes from an Italian Entreprenuer 

Even the simplest of life’s activities can build the most enduring memories. More important, in subtle ways they can offer lessons that stand a lifetime. When fully absorbed, these lessons can yield powerful results. In his book One Up On Wall Street, Fidelity’s superstar investor Peter Lynch explains how everyday investors can profit just by paying attention to the companies in their own backyard. Similarly, it is these same “backyard” (and sometime front yard) experiences of our youth that provide the lessons needed to reach the highest of heights in the business world. Much has been written of the proverbial lemonade stand and how it teaches budding entrepreneurs the meaning of business. This book takes place in the real-life world of a small family-owned and operated pizza stand in one of America’s most popular and prosperous annual fairs – the Erie County Fair – and follows through the events that led a young adult to learn invaluable lessons that, in the future, would help him become a successful entrepreneur. 

Chris Carosa takes a series of mundane, everyday events not unlike what many experienced growing up – if they grew up working in their grandparents’ pizza stand at the Erie County Fair! What’s amazing is he takes these vignettes of his life as a Carney and connects the dots to come up with more than a dozen general rules – told through 54 specific lessons – he’s followed in all his entrepreneurial ventures. Mr. Carosa tells these stories through the same conversational and, at times, self-effacing style his readers have become familiar with. 

Among the 54 Fascinating Lessons, You’ll Discover: 

  • The Four Fundamental Basics of a Winning Business 
  • What Always Comes First (despite what you might think!) 
  • The Only Color that Matters 
  • Why the Odds are Never in Your Favor (and how to change that) 
  • What You Must Do if You Really Want Something 
  • The Two Secrets of Making Memorable Presentations 
  • How Exactly the Peloponnesian War Ties Into a Pizza Stand at the Erie County Fair 
  • The One Concept All Successful Businesses Must Embrace 
  • The Six Rules of a Good Carney 
  • The Relationship Between Good Marketing and Good Engineering 
  • If You Loved the Peloponnesian War Reference, You’ll Treasure the Thermopylae Metaphor 
  • Why You Must Have a Plan C 
  • And, Finally, Why You Must Always Think Outside the Pizza Box!
More books by the author

Guest book review by Carly Louise Wilson
A Pizza The Action by Christopher Carosa, is an entertaining account of one mans journey to success in the business world. Initially, I didn’t think I’d like this book as I’m not usually a one to read books about business or management etc, but I was pleasantly surprised.

What Carosa discusses in his book is built upon his wealth of experience and lessons handed down from previous familial generations. I’m a strong believer that learning business acumen and management comes from on the job experience and training, and not usually from manuals or business books for dummies, but this book taps into that experience side and Carosa’s findings are relatable and you can draw parallels from them into your own working life. I also enjoyed his easy way of telling these stories to you, and it made the book entertaining and captivating in its own right.

I would recommend to those who are thinking about starting their own business, or own an independent business and are looking for some real-life to the point guidance. It is a worth the while read, and it’s made me less afraid to look at books of this style.

This is the perfect account of one mans journey to success.

4 Stars

About Christopher Carosa
Christopher Carosa was born on the third floor of Mercy Hospital in Buffalo, New York on a hot summer morning in mid-July, 1960. Barely a Kindergartner, he and his younger brother produced a daily newspaper (for just one day, and mainly as an excuse to type on their mother's vintage typewriter). He conducted his first public reading in first grade at the age of six, where he read a story he wrote about "Herbie the Helicopter" (sort of like "the little train that could" except with rotors instead of wheels). 

Later, as a teenage rebel who detested all things literature and English class, he once joined with a small band of classmates in tenth grade who refused a class assignment to read a novel and write an analysis of it. The teacher gave each of the renegade students a stern choice: "either do the assignment or write your own novel." While all his friends bowed to their instructor and did the assignment, Mr. Carosa held firm. He wrote his first novel "Armageddon" (a geo-political sci-fi epic set in the not-so-distant future). His teacher gave him an "A" and went so far as to suggest the budding scientist might have a dual career as a writer a la Isaac Asimov. 

The young Carosa laughed at the suggestion, but remained a closet author, coming out rarely and when it was least expected. He agreed to serve as treasurer of his high school literary magazine Equinox, but only if the editors agreed to publish his sophomoric send-up of Star Trek. They reluctantly acceded to his demands. He went on to oversee a then record-breaking sale of the flimsy carbon-copy annual, mostly by offering to personally autograph every copy sold ("You never know," he told unsuspecting buyers, "I might be famous some day.") 

Despite his best efforts, such as organizing a union of AP English Students (U.A.P.E.S.) and leading a "strike" where the entire class skipped one day, he passed his English classes. He found his antics fared no better in college, where his mocking essays failed to incite the professor, who instead enjoyed them for their "change of pace." 

Now a full-fledged adult, Carosa began writing in earnest the last few weeks of his college career. With hours of computer time left in his account and his senior thesis complete, he spent his remaining time using an archaic word processor to create entertaining tidbits for his friends. 

And that was it. 

The author within him went into hiding. He still wrote, but no one knew. He accumulated pages and pages, then floppy disks and floppy disks and then finally hard drives full of creative content. Some of it will never see the light of day (and probably shouldn't). Some of it you see here and will continue to see. 
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Monday, July 19, 2021

Guest book review - Harvey the Hippo; A Tale of Good Food Choices by Abby Pete (Author), Leslie Pontz (Illustrator)

Up in the sky... Is it a bird? A plane? No, it's Harvey the hippo floating by! 
As all hippos do, Harvey liked to eat a lot of food. But, unlike other hippos, Harvey liked to eat all kinds of food, especially treats and he liked to eat a lot of them. He ate so many treats that he floated up to the sky and around the world. He got to see many interesting sights but after a week of fun travel and not eating a thing, he got so thin he floated right back into his zoo where his family and friends, and a mound of lettuce, were waiting for him.

"Harvey the Hippo brings new delight to the body of read-aloud literature for young children. The rhythm of the poem is sure to engage the ear of many a three to six-year-old, and the vibrantly tinted illustrations are pure confection to the eye. Thank you, Harvey, for nourishing the inner life of the young child!" --Toni Seidl, child psychotherapist 

"As a pediatrician, I see the effects of unhealthy food choices on children every day. Harvey the Hippo is a fun, beautifully illustrated story that opens the door for families to discuss with young children how food choices affect their bodies". --Jamie Pinto, pediatrician 

"Our daughters loved the rhyming words, illustrations, and lessons learned about eating well in Harvey the Hippo. It was fun to join Harvey on his trip around the world. We were able to discuss geography, different cultures, and foods. This book will serve as a touchstone for our family to remind all of us to eat well and only enjoy treats in moderation." --Martha and Paul Sharkey, Founders, Today Is A Good Day 

From the Growing With Love Series from Loving Healing Press 

Available to buy from...

Also available in audio!

Enjoy these excerpts...

Guest book review by Carly Louise Wilson
Harvey the Hippo: A tale of good food choices, is well illustrated rhyming children’s book to discuss and stress the issues of relationships with food and the dangers of having an unhealthy diet.

It is put in a funny and entertaining way, to make light of a fundamental issue. It shows what can happen if you eat to excess and what happens if you eat a balance diet. The only thing I didn’t like was it potentially highlighted a binge/starve mindset depending on interpretation, but the overall message was important and vital in promoting how eating less and well can boost energy, mood and also ensure you are more active.

I thought it was a clever way to make children think about their eating habits, and also help pinpoint the importance of nutrition.

Engaging, well-illustrated and the rhyme helps add a bit of entertainment and help with child engagement.

4 Stars

About the author
In a time long ago, Abby Pete retired from teaching English and started a family and a catering/takeout food business in central Pennsylvania. Years passed and she moved to Philadelphia, bringing her family, but not her business, with her. There she decided to pursue another of her interests, animals, and became a docent at the Philadelphia Zoo, where she can happily talk about hippos as well as the other animals in the collection. She has never actually seen a hippopotamus fly. She has four grandchildren, two of whom eat well and two do not.

 You can also follow the author here...
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About the illustrator
Leslie Pontz is a fiber sculptor with a masters degree in Fine Arts from Syracuse University where she did her thesis on children’s art, and was the recipient of two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts through the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts as an Artist-in-residence. Leslie has shown internationally in invitational and juried exhibits in France, Brazil, Ireland, and Venezuela as well as throughout the U.S. She is the recipient of several awards for her work, which is featured in many private and public collections including but not limited to the Kamm, Best Western, Chestnut Hill Hotel and Philadelphia Museum of Art collections. Leslie lives with her husband Curt in Philadelphia, PA. Their five grown children have given them eight grandchildren.

 You can also follow the illustrator here...
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Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Guest book review - The True Nature of Tarot: Your Path to Personal Empowerment, 10th Anniversary Edition by Diane Wing

Learn the Tarot to Bring Divine Guidance to Your Daily Life 
Tarot empowers those who connect with its wisdom. As a tool of enlightenment, it guides, reveals hidden insights, and reflects the hopes, fears, and energies of the practitioner and seeker. Based in Universal Law, the cards form a book of metaphysics. Their interpretations change with your level of understanding to help you navigate your life path and generate alternatives. It is a boundless tool that allows you to tap into ancient wisdom that promotes deep transformation of the self and the way in which you experience interactions with the physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental realms. 

The True Nature of Tarot dispels the myths and negative connotations that surround the tarot by sharing the personal experiences of the author, Diane Wing, a tarot reader with 30 years of experience. Tarot is discussed as a tool of enlightenment and understanding. Diane Wing shares intuitive techniques for reading that take you beyond the conventional card meanings and deep into tarot as a tool to channel energy and increase psychic sensitivity:

- Develop your own style of reading tarot, from choosing your deck to pulling information from the cards. 
- Learn how a reading is experienced from the perspectives of both the reader and the inquirer. 
- Understand the variables that impact the accuracy of your reading. 
- Discover ways to increase the amount of information pulled from the tarot. 
- Become expert at grounding and centering to maximize your energetic stability on a daily basis. 
- Learn powerful spreads that give you ways to see interactions between the cards. 
- Increase your awareness of the ethics of imparting information 

Available to buy from....

"The True Nature of Tarot is expertly crafted to demystify common misconceptions and empower the reader to discover and explore the truth of tarot traditions for themselves. This book is a profound tool not only for increasing one's knowledge of this discipline, but for ushering the reader confidently and curiously along on their path of personal expansion and even enlightenment." -- Kaí Henderson, host of Our Daily Magic podcast 

"The True Nature of Tarot is the book to read for anyone interested in tarot as a hobby or as a professional. You will be inspired to be best in these pages and become an A+ tarot reader by following Diane Wing's guidance. Diane infuses kindness and spirituality into her work and shows the reader how easy it is to be helpful even when turning up a card that could have negative interpretations" -- Kac Young PhD, ND, DCH, author of Essential Oils for Beginners 

"For the beginner or advanced student, Diane's book is a wealth of information, direction, and application of the Tarot. She teaches through extensive principles for understanding while still inviting the reader to play with their intuitive abilities and unique disposition. Starting with grounding to begin, through to contemplation ideas after each card, Diane sets the foundation for true tarot interpretation ." -- Lyn & Erika Hicks, The Magical Healing Arts podcast (YouTube) 

Read an excerpt

Guest book review by Carly Louise Wilson
If you have ever had an interest or intrigue in the art of Tarot, then ‘The True Nature of Tarot’ by Diane Wing is the perfect guide for all those wishing to explore it more.

Wing provides a comprehensive guide on the purposes of tarot, reading outcomes and what each card within a deck represents and can mean in varying scenarios.

I’ve always had a fascination with spiritualism and tarot reading was something I looked into in my younger years, so I was familiar with some of the representations and cards. It makes for an interesting read whether you are a skeptic, someone who is simply intrigued, or those who wish to pursue it in more depth.

An easy read with extensive knowledge and teachings for people of all ages and those who would like to begin their tarot journeys. A book that you will definitely need to refer back to time and time again, but showed deep research, and a clear knowledge of the art.

About the author
Diane Wing, M.A. grew up in a household where her vivid imagination could thrive. Crafting short stories and poetry from an early age, writing remained part of her life throughout her 25-year corporate career. Her training in clinical psychology shows up in her characters' struggles and in her non-fiction books about energetic consciousness, tarot, and happiness. Diane seeks to help the reader find the flame of their own unique path sparked by her stories and insights for personal growth.

Diane is an avid reader, bibliophile, lover of trees and animals, and a lifelong learner. She and her husband are pet parents to a sweet little Shih Tzu.

 - Find out more, listen to Wing Academy Radio, and take the Vibrational Quiz at

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