Author: Terri Schlichenmeyer

“Beating the Odds: Eddie Brown’s Investing and Life Strategies”

“Beating the Odds: Eddie Brown’s Investing and Life Strategies” by Eddie Brown with Blair S. Walker c.2011, Wiley $27.95 / $33.95 Canada 207 pages, includes index   By TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER Sell or stay?  Stay or sell? In times like these, when the market resembles a cheap yo-yo, you don’t know which to do. Should you sell your stocks before they drop further, or sit tight? Should you buy now that prices are down, or is that just throwing money away? The market’s a bear these days, which makes you madder than a bull.  But when you read “Beating the Odds” by Eddie Brown (with Blair Walker), you’ll be reminded that it’s always best to keep your sight on the light. Life for Eddie Brown did not start out well. Born to a 13-year-old unmarried mother, Brown was just two years old when she abandoned him to the care of her parents and older brother in Apopka, Florida. Her decision turned out to be a good one: Brown’s grandparents raised him right, taught him values, educated him, and his uncle taught him not to fear money. At age 14, Brown’s idyllic childhood came to an end. His beloved grandmother died on the way to Pennsylvania to visit Brown’s mother, who was trying to rekindle a relationship with her family. Shortly thereafter, Brown was sent to his mother’s house permanently, which...

Read More

“Small as an Elephant” by Jennifer Richard Jacobson

“Small as an Elephant” by Jennifer Richard Jacobson c.2011, Brilliance Audio $22.99 / $28.99 Canada 5 CDs / 5h 9m   By TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER Slam. There are days when slamming your bedroom door, though it might get you in trouble, is really satisfying. Those are the days when everybody bugs you, nothing goes right, and you just want to scream, stomp, storm, and slam. Sometimes, you just want to be left alone. But what if everybody left you – for good?  What if you woke up and found out that you were all by yourself?  It happened to Jack Martel in the new audiobook “Small as an Elephant” by Jennifer Richard Jacobson. It was supposed to be the vacation of a lifetime. Eleven-year-old Jack Martel and his mother had planned it all summer. They were going camping in Maine’s Acadia National Park for Labor Day Weekend. Then they were going to go see Lydia the Elephant at the York Zoo because a love of elephants was the one solid thing Jack and his mother shared. That is, when she wasn’t spinning out of control. Still, she seemed normal on the trip, helping him set up his tent and laughing at his jokes. She was fine and Jack was looking forward to a few days of fun. But the first morning he woke up and unzipped his tent, he was...

Read More

“The Steal: A Cultural History of Shoplifting” by Rachel Shteir

“The Steal: A Cultural History of Shoplifting” by Rachel Shteir c.2011, The Penguin Press $25.95 / $30.00 Canada 257 pages, includes index   By TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER Your mother said you should be ashamed of yourself. And you were. Call it a rite of passage. Call it a dare, peer pressure, wanting to seem cool, or just because you were a dumb kid, but when you wrapped your fingers around that first shiny item, palmed it, and walked away, the heart-pounding thrill of stealing from a store was incredibly powerful. So was the embarrassment of getting caught. Fortunately, you gave up your life of crime long ago but that abashed memory still stings. Good thing, too: shame is one way to deal with shoplifters, as you’ll see in “The Steal” by Rachel Shteir. “Shoplifting today is understudied…” says Shteir. “In fact, what we don’t know about shoplifting does hurt us.” We do know this: a 2008 study indicates that shoplifting happens a million times a year in the U.S. and that shoplifting accounts for 35% of all shrink (a retail term for “goods lost to theft and error”). That’s almost $12 billion worth of merchandise lost to the “five-finger discount” annually. Guess who pays for that… Theft is, of course, as old as humanity. Greek and Roman mythology says that several gods were light-fingered. Plato believed that society and the...

Read More

“Ever By My side” by Dr. Nick Trout

“Ever By My Side” by Dr. Nick Trout c.2011, Broadway Books $24.99 / $27.99 Canada 309 pages By TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER Pictures don’t lie – at least not the ones taken of you as a child. As you look through old albums, you have so many memories. There you are in your crib with a kitten, both of you curled up asleep. There you are, a toddler on horseback, smiling wide as the saddle. There’s you with your first puppy, a neighbor’s gerbil, you at the zoo, each proving that animals have always had a place in your heart. Author Nick Trout is a veterinarian these days, but he’s known several notable critters in his lifetime. In the new memoir “Ever By My Side”, he remembers pets, patients, and his father, who loved animals, too. But things didn’t start out well. When he was very young, Nick Trout’s maternal grandmother had a dog that she doted upon. Marty loved Trout’s grandmother, but he nipped and snarled at children, Trout included. There were other animals in the neighborhood, dogs and cats to play with and a patient Dalmatian in the family, but Trout’s mother refused to allow her family a dog. Despite begging and pleading (and not just from the children), her foot was firmly down and the answer was always “no.” Enter Patch, an Alsatian with a fierce guarding instinct...

Read More

“The Red Market” by Scott Carney

“The Red Market” by Scott Carney c.2011, William Morrow $25.99 / $27.99 Canada 254 pages   By TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER This week, you gave away part of yourself. But that’s just what we do, isn’t it? There’s a need somewhere, and we roll up our sleeves to donate blood. We see children with cancer, and we cut our hair to give them. Some people go further with kidneys or bone marrow. Even in death, you can donate. It seems like a good way of saving lives: you give, someone else gets. But author Scott Carney says there’s much more to it than that. In his new book “The Red Market”, he shows the dark, hidden side of medical altruism. Following completion of a graduate program at a Wisconsin college, Scott Carney’s “short-lived professional academic career” abruptly halted with the death of one of his students who was studying abroad in India. Taking responsibility for her remains, Carney “confronted the physical nature of mortality,” which forced him to see that “every corpse has a stakeholder.” In many cases, though, the stakeholders are varied and the body isn’t dead.  India, as it turns out, is a major world hub for what Carney calls a “Red Market” in which human organs become big-money commodities, despite social taboos. We like to believe that altruism begets organ donations. Here, we freely give blood, sticker our...

Read More