Book Reviews

Book Reviews

Tsunamis: Detection, Risk Assessment and Crisis Management

“This book covers a wide variety of aspects related to the tsunami hazard, vulnerability, and risk mitigation. The collection of papers in the text is very well organized and all the contributions are very well written and easy to understand even by people who are not experts in the field of tsunamology. The book, therefore, is a must-read for catastrophe modelers, risk managers, urban planners, civil engineers, and seismologists alike.” – Dr. Peter Sousounis, Vice-President, AIR-Worldwide, Boston, MA

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Heaven on My Mind

“The first, and only, serious study of religious development across the entire lifespan. This book sets a new benchmark for the science of spirituality.” – Dr. Martin E.P. Seligman, Zellerbach Family Professor of Psychology, Director, Positive Psychology Center, University of Pennsylvania

“What a fabulous use of the world renowned Harvard Study of Adult Development, an investigation begun in 1939. For many years and until recently, this project was directed by one of the premier psychiatric and humanistic researchers of his generation, Dr. George Eman Vaillant, MD, of Harvard Medical School. Over the last two decades, Dr. Vaillant has been a leader in the positive psychology movement, and now draws on the Harvard Study of Adult Development to examine the extent to which belief in an afterlife influences well-being and survival over the course of a lifetime. This is the one and only prospective longitudinal study ever conducted on this topic. Every six years, for the better part of four decades, Dr. Vaillant has asked subjects about the degree and depth of their belief in life after death. Heaven on My Mind is a brilliant, deep, and revealing study that reveals scientifically for the first time that there is more value in keeping heaven on one’s mind than most researchers people realize, and indeed this may be why it remains important in many lives. A truly creative and even magnificent book, everyone interested in “Prospection” as a state of mind should read this, as should anyone interested in spirituality and well-being.” – Stephen G. Post, PhD., Director, Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care and Bioethics, Stony Brook University School of Medicine, President, Institute for Research on Unlimited Love

“This heartfelt book weaves together moving stories with data from a groundbreaking longitudinal study that tracked Harvard graduates over the course of their entire lives. Intimate interviews combined with mental and physical health records over decades of time illuminate how our lives are profoundly influenced by the nature of our relationships in the present and our sense of hope for the future. Dr. George Vailllant is a wise and eloquent guide to living well at any age.” – David Bryce Yaden, Research Fellow, Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania

“Drawing on the Harvard Study of Adult Development (“The Grant Study”), lead researcher George E. Vaillant, M.D., examines the extent to which a belief in the afterlife influences well-being and survival over the course of a lifetime. Using spiritual and religious biographies of the men in The Grant Study, Heaven on My Mind shows us the significance that faith and hope for heaven have on our everyday life and well-being. The book ultimately reveals that there’s more value in keeping heaven on your mind than you might realize.” – Sandra Bilbray is a contributing editor for Live Happy, and the CEO and owner of

For more information about this book, please click here.

Essays on the Philosophical Nexus between Religion and Politics. Volume 1

“True to form, my fellow Yale alumnus Dr. Emanuel L. Paparella has once again come out with a brilliant book of essays. This one deals with the thorny but perennial theme of the interface between Religion and Politics, two human phenomena which have had a love-hate relationship from time immemorial within the history of civilizations. Indeed, the nexus religion-politics has constituted a passionate scholarly concern of his for several decades. It appears not only in his Ph.D. dissertation on the Concept of Providence within the philosophy of history of Giambattista Vico, presented in the late 80s at Yale University, but in just about all of his extraordinary books within the field of cultural anthropology. Dr. Paparella has been reflecting long and hard on this thorny subject. This book will delight readers interested in the history and development of civilizations. It is replete with original insights and is nothing short than the distillation of years of reflections on the subject. Those reflections will prove essential to any contemporary attempt at rescuing our troubled Western civilization which Dr. Paparella describes as a civilization in search of its soul.” – Dr. Michael Vena, Professor Emeritus, Southern Connecticut State University

“Emanuel L. Paparella has for many years researched the hot theme of the nexus between religion and politics, or religion and democracy. He has done so on a purely theoretical level but also on an historical level, thus exploring a vast field of knowledge. He possesses a consummate ability to relate to each other different cultural traditions from which he is able to derive original points of reflection. The theme of the nexus religion and politics, given our current philosophical confusion on fundamental values, is, in my opinion, central for the construction of a society which remains free and just, as professor Paparella certainly augurs.” – Professor Ernesto Paolozzi, University of Suor Orsola Benincasa, Naples, Italy

“Dr. Paparella’s choice of subjects is wide and varied, reflecting on problems both old and new, and makes for engaging, thought provoking reading. Though it has been said there is nothing new under the sun, reading Dr. Paparella’s work gives one a new understanding and appreciation for the great philosophers through the ages, and an invigorating direction for the future.” – Professor Michael Newman, Broward College, Davie, FL

“Democracy is not a political concept but it is a way of life. It is a fundamental axiom of a healthy society. The conversation between life and democracy is a constant process and includes the nexus between democracy and religion. Professor Paparella’s essays on the nexus between Democracy and Religion, masterfully unveil the truths in this nexus, without avoiding ideological, theoretical or political conflicts. They search in depth, under the surface of contemporary practices and events, for true relationships and communications between religion, democracy and a healthy society.” – Thanos Kalamidas, Chief Editor Ovi magazine & Ovi Project

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The Psychological Context of Labour Pain

“Two Czech psychologists joined their forces to create an international team and their joint effort resulted in a publication small in size (94 numbered pages), yet offering a unique content. On the book’s back cover, Professor Giustino Varrassi mentions (inter alia) two significant aspects of the book. One is the scientific approach and the other is the constant reference to the exceptionally human side of the topic. The reader must agree. It is not just about pain, however intimate the experience of pain may, undoubtedly, be; the book focuses on pain connected with the delivery of new life, i.e. pain related to birth (as the book’s title suggests).

The structure of the work is well selected and helps to improve clarity and understandability. The preface already contains a brief summary of everything the reader may expect to find in the book. The reader may then choose specific chapters based on their personal or immediate interest. Each chapter is introduced by an abstract, which again helps the readers to find their way through the text. In several chapters, the female authors (yes, all team members are women) cover the social and cultural context of perception of labour pain, and continue with the psychological aspects of labour pain and related coping strategies and fear connected with these aspects and with childbirth in general. A separate chapter is devoted to cesarean delivery on maternal request. Certain parts of the book tend to be more general, providing an opportunity to think in a wider context. This is the case of e.g. pain components. Briefly, yet clearly, the emotional, behavioral and cognitive components are covered, including possible tools and methods of their recording and measurement. Pain has always been a complex phenomenon that is determined by our experience, expectations and personal and social environment.

The authors present the conclusions of a number of international studies on the differences in experiencing pain, comparing cultural and ethnic differences, as well as education, age, expectations, etc., of women in labour. All the empirical research which is based on very specific data shows something of fundamental importance: rather than suppressing pain connected with new life, or down playing pain as something uncomfortable, unwanted, yet unfortunately inevitable, we need to allocate certain purpose or meaning to the experience of pain and the related manifestations and cognitive processes (ideas, fantasies, etc.). A meaning that is part of human life helps to endure pain or discomfort and prevents the experience of suffering. As a man who does not undergo the test of labour pain, I can afford a rather detached, philosophical view and a wish that the arrival of a human being to this world be connected with pain that is meaningful and intertwined with hope and dignity.

The publication in question is successful both for its content and for being published in English which makes it widely available. I recommend this publication for reading and further reflection to professionals of various specializations and to all those who do not consider childbirth and everything related to childbirth a mere routine medical procedure.” – Prof. Ph Dr. Jiří Šípek, CSc., Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic

“A slim book on the psychological context of labour pain (The Psychological Context of Labour Pain), edited by Jaroslava Raudenská and Alena Javůrková, and published by Nova Science Publishers, Inc. in New York in 2016, is a concise, yet information-rich overview of significant topics covering both science and medical practice or clinical psychology practice in the given area.

The book covers a wide range of topics, from pain prophylaxis to a deeply human, spiritual experience of childbirth; from self-help options to exclusively expert medical interventions; from a single expert to a multidisciplinary team; from the mother and child to the family context or wider social context; from anxiety and fear, psychologically conditioned, to the phenomenon of pure physiological pain and methods of coping with such pain.

A separate chapter is devoted to cesarean delivery (sectio caesarea): the related statistical data, the circumstances of personal or professional choice of cesarean delivery and the broader philosophical context and human and professionalaspects of the surgery.

The book attempts to open the imaginary door to interdisciplinary collaboration. Although a multidisciplinary approach in obstetrics as proved efficient, it is still not widely used. Thus, the book may benefitall those involved in antenatal preparation, childbirth and postnatal care. The book contains useful information for physicians (especially gynaecologists, neonatologists, anaesthesiologists and psychiatrists), physiotherapists, clinical psychologists and psychotherapists, nurses and social workers and may also bring inspiration to students of the above branches.

The editors are well aware that the size of each chapter did not allow for an exhaustive scientific paper on such key phenomena of human life as birth and pain; nevertheless (or, perhaps, therefore) the book may be used as a “springboard” for further study of the topics (the book itself providing an extensive list of sources) and as a practical guide to integration of various disciplines for the benefit of life. Life from its very beginning, life in its deepest human nature – through mother and child and their co-experience.” – Pavel Humpolíček, Institute of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, Brno Masaryk University, Czech Republic

For more information about this book, please click here.

Essureal Journey: Concepts, Concerns and Considerations for Hysteroscopic Sterilization

“When the Essure permanent birth control system hit the market in 2002, the medical community viewed it as an innovation in permanent female sterilization. Because of its first-in-class design, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration classified it as a high-risk device. This protects the manufacturer from liability. Now, more than a decade after its release, thousands of women who suffered adverse events after implantation demand a ban on the device and the ability to sue for damages.” READ MORE…Michelle Y. Llamas, senior content writer at Drugwatch

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Fundamentals of Fuel Injection and Emission in Two-Stroke Engines

“Fundamentals of Fuel Injection and Emission in Two-Stroke Engines is a very timely contribution to the world-wide research and development of new generation of two-stroke engines, particularly those for vehicle use. Progress in direct fuel injection technologies make it increasingly possible to offer the simplicity and high intensity power of two-stroke engine while avoiding the penalty of high emissions and fuel consumption. Advanced studies and simulations of charge and spray motion and of combustion are extremely useful for further developments, also in direct injection four-stroke engines. Author’s own expertise and experience in experimental studies and modelling of two-stroke processes give the book an additional level of usefulness to all levels of readers – from students to high-level designers.” – Miroslaw L Wyszynski, MEng, PhD, MIDGTE, MSAE, MSIMP, Professor of Thermodynamics, School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Birmingham, UK

For more information about this book, please click here.

Creating Systemic Innovation: A Process-Oriented Systems Research

“The concept of system has effected a deep change in the way we deal with the problems due to our world’s complexity. We have to be alert, however. The concept has to be adapted to new circumstances: Jae Eon Yu presents a powerful new approach, i.e. process-oriented systems research. His focus on the process of civilization provides an intriguing and applicable combination of the best systematic insights from different cultures.” – Gerard de Zeeuw, Professor Emeritus, Founder of International Federation for Systems Research (IFSR), The University of Lincoln, UK

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Marketing Research: Fundamentals, Process, and Implications

“Understanding markets is fundamental for company growth. Professor Rajagopal’s book provides a rigorous, relevant and applied set of concepts and practices that pave the path for conducting methodological marketing research and consequently understanding the new and global dynamics of the marketplace. His Marketing Research book enables managers and business students and scholars to strategically design growth and differentiation company strategy.” – Jaime Alonso Gomez, PhD, Dean and Professor of Management, University of San Diego School of Business, San Diego, CA, USA

“The globalization has forced firms to compete globally or face the prospect of product failure if not researched theoretically, practically and precisely. While most books on marketing research focus on traditional method and methodologies, the book by Professor Rajagopal strikes a balance between contemporary methodical marketing research process and its theoretical and practical underpinnings, making the book a must read for students, academics and managers.” – Satyendra Singh, PhD, Professor, Marketing and International Business, Executive Director, Academy of Business and Emerging Markets, University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, Canada

For more information about this book, please click here.

Brand Touchpoints

“Brand Touchpoints presents a timely and insightful look at the latest thinking on connecting with consumers. Branding is how businesses build long-term connections with the marketplace, and this book gives readers a cutting-edge advantage for branding success in this competitive world.” – Lynn. R. Kahle, PhD, Emeritus professor of Marketing, University of Oregon

“Navigating the market-space rather than the simple market-place requires practitioners and scholars to rethink how the consumer and business customer understands the organization and its brands in the decision-making process. Brand Touchpoints helps today’s executives and scholars build strategies and research programs in the modern marketplace by bringing together the latest thinking by some of the smartest people working in this area.” – Andrea Dixon, PhD, Baylor University professor and co-author, Strategic Sales Leadership

“Many businesses still treat brand as a bundle of distinctive attributes while consumers interact with brands in many ways that don’t involve its attributes. Whether a brand lives by its promise is determined by how it manages these interactions. Brand Touchpoints is a must-read for anyone interested in developing brand strategy and own a living, breathing brand that becomes an integral part of a consumer’s life.” – Hanumantha Rao Unnava, PhD, Professor and Dean at the Graduate School of Management University of California, Davis

“With the rise of Digitally Native Vertical Brands, many consumers are first interacting with a brand not on store shelves or television but through social media and mobile phones. Brand Touchpoints is a fascinating read on how companies big and small need to adapt to an evolved world of brand communication in this digital marketplace.” – Dave Knox, Author, Predicting The Turn: The High Stakes Game of Business Between Startups and Blue Chips

“I love this book! Aparna and an impressive mix of contributors, both academics and practitioners, have cast their insightful eyes towards understanding the brand touchpoints that so dramatically shape and are shaped by brands, and in turn exert an enormous influence on our culture. In our confusing, modern world of increasingly interactive brand relationships, touchpoints are the air that brands breathe, the water they swim in, yet we’ve never before had access to the kind of incisive, rigorous analysis and helpful guidance that Brand Touchpoints offers.” – Rebeca Arbona, President & Brand Weaver at Tapestry Strategy

“The effective management of customer touchpoints enables businesses to sense and address customer needs and satisfaction more quickly and often. Brand Touchpoints offers marketing practitioners and modern leaders insights and tools to build more adaptable business strategies that are well connected to their customers.” – Laurence Vigeant-Langlois, PhD, Head of Marketing, GE Additive (Laurence Vigeant-Langlois’ comments do not reflect the views of GE Additive)

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Phaseolus vulgaris: Cultivars, Uses and Production

“Phaseolus vulgaris: Cultivars, Uses and Production” provides comprehensive information on bean breeding, production, nutrition, health, processing and utilization all in one place. This book brings light to the universal appeal of beans by acknowledging their traditional roots, affordability and important role in staple diets globally. The versatility and cultural significance of beans have caught the attention of many product innovators as beans find their way into product formulations and culinary creations during a time of heightened interest for plant-based products, environmental concerns and rising healthcare needs. A great effort to bring topics on beans from along the entire value chain for convenient access.” – Pulse Canada, the National association representing pulse growers in Canada

For more information about this book, please click here.