Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Veteran communicator addresses ageism issues

Posted by Elena del Valle on March 22, 2023

I'm Still Not Done

I’m Still Not Done

Photos: Patti Temple Rocks

Patti Temple Rocks, a communicator with four decades of experience, according to her biography, is troubled by corporate ageism. In the second edition of “I’m Still Not Done: It’s Time to Talk About Ageism In The Workplace (Lioncrest Publishing), a 237-page paperback nonfiction title published last year, she discusses her experiences with ageism and her views on combating it.

Patti Temple Rocks, author, I'm Still Not Done

Patti Temple Rocks, author, I’m Still Not Done

“Ageism is the only form of workplace discrimination that all of us are susceptible to,” Temple Rocks said in a book related press release. “The sad truth is that organizations who don’t value their older workers are missing out on the unique wisdom and dedication that these employees bring to the table.”

As of this writing the author is unavailable for an interview according to a publicist who responded by email. She didn’t respond to questions submitted to her publicist.

The book is divided into nine chapters. According to promotional materials Temple Rocks has held senior leadership positions in three sectors of the communications industry: public relations, advertising, and client side; she served as chief communications officer for The Dow Chemical Company, and chief reputation officer for Leo Burnett Worldwide. She is a self-described public speaker and consultant.

Three unite to explore Cuban sandwich history in new title

Posted by Elena del Valle on February 22, 2023

The Cuban Sandwich

The Cuban Sandwich

Photos: University of Florida Press, Andrew Huse photo by Rion Sabean

Bárbara C. Cruz, Jeff Houck and Andrew Huse, three Florida Cuban sandwich aficionados, teamed up to research and write a book about the popular hand food. In The Cuban Sandwich (University Press of Florida, $24.95), a 167-page paperback book published last year, they explore the origins and evolution of the famed sandwich popular among many Floridians.

When asked how many months or years the book project required Andrew Huse replied by email: “I started with more than a year of sustained research, followed by the collaboration with my co-authors, which lasted another year, including peer review.”

“I published previous work woith Univbersity Press of Florida before and I like to work with them,” Huse said when asked about finding a publisher. “Before that, I offered it to another academic press, but they didn’t seem to know what to do with it.”

Their primary target audience? Huse said, “Sandwich and history fans!”

“I measure our success by the end product, which I am happy with,” said Huse when asked how he will measure success.”All sales and attention are a bonus!” Houck’s reply to the same questions is “Adding a page to the history of this great sandwich and the people who created it and find new ways to make and celebrate its greatness is its own reward.”

When asked whether they received compensation of any kind from third parties to be included in the book Houck’s said, “No. As I said, I am Vice President of Marketing for the Columbia Restaurant and the 1905 Family of Restaurants, but at no time was I compensated by them for inclusion in this book.”

Cruz is professor of Social Science Education at the University of South Florida (U.S.F.). Houck is vice president of marketing for the 1905 Family of Restaurants in Tampa. Huse is curator of Florida Studies at the University of South Florida Libraries.

Professor explores ways ageism is woven into our beliefs, its effects on our health

Posted by Elena del Valle on January 11, 2023

Breaking the Age Code by Becca Levy, PhD

Breaking the Age Code by Becca Levy, Ph.D.

Photo: William Morrow

Becca Levy, Ph.D., professor of Epidemiology, Yale University, is convinced ageism affects the health and longevity of many, particularly in the United States where ageism is pervasive and absorbed from an early age. In Breaking the Age Code How Your Beliefs About Aging Determine How Long and Well You Live (William Morrow, $28.99), a 294-page hardcover book published in 2022 she outlines her thoughts on the subject. The book is divided into 10 chapters and four appendices.

In her book she describes four ways ageist principles become entrenched into our beliefs and guide our self dialogue and behavior before we reach old age; she explains some of her research findings and the conclusions she and others have drawn about the elders among us, including ways in which they surpass younger individuals; and proposes steps to address and halt the harmful effects ageist beliefs produce.

In the United States ageist thoughts have been identified in children as young as three, according to her book. Adopting ageist beliefs as children makes them part of a person’s long term stereotypes, she says, pointing to a study of Canadian and American teenagers who already see old people as “slow and confused.” In Chapter 1 she identifies three pathways ageism follows: psychological, behavioral and biological. Negative age beliefs, she says, can increase stress and that in turn might lead to an earlier death than in the absence of such beliefs.

Ageism combined with other prejudices and related behaviors, such as sexism and racism, for example, can aggravate existing conditions, she says in Chapter 8. In Appendix 1 she addresses ways readers might boost positive age beliefs; the following appendix examines structural ageism such as the exclusion of older people in clinical trials even when the trials are for illnesses that afflict mainly older adults. The author declined to respond to multiple email requests via her publisher to answer questions or be interviewed.

According to her bio Levy is also professor of Psychology at Yale University; she has testified before the United States Senate on “the adverse effects of ageism;” and “serves as a scientific adviser to the World Health Organization’s Campaign to Combat Ageism.

Neurobiologist shares stories of plant successes around world

Posted by Elena del Valle on December 14, 2022

The Incredible Journey of Plants

In The Incredible Journey of Plants (Other Press Paperback, $17.99) Stefano Mancuso, an Italian neurobiologist and author, shares stories about how plants have thrived in varied and sometimes harsh environments around world. The original title was published in Italian in 2018 and the English translation was published in 2020.

The 158-page paperback book, peppered with watercolor illustrations by Grisha Fischer, was translated into English by Gregory Conti. Written in an easy to read, engaging yet stress free style the book is divided into six chapters: Pioneers, Combatants and Veterans; Fugitives and Conquerors; Captains Courageous; Time Travelers; Solitary Trees; Anachronistic, Like an Encyclopedia.

Described in a press release as “one of the world’s leading authorities in the field of plant neurobiology, which explores signaling and communication at all levels of biological organization,” Mancuso is a professor at the University of Florence who has published more than 250 scientific papers in international journals. His previous books include The Revolutionary Genius of Plants: A New Understanding of Plant Intelligence and Behavior and Brilliant Green: The Surprising History and Science of Plant Intelligence.

According to promotional materials Conti teaches English at the University of Perugia and is a regular contributor to Raritan. Recent translations include Seven Poems by Elisa Biagini, The Fault Line by Paolo Rumiz, and A Soldier on the Southern Front by Emilio Lussu.

Washington state artist shares ways to slow down in new book

Posted by Elena del Valle on September 28, 2022

The Cottage Fairy Companion
The Cottage Fairy Companion

Photos: Yellow Pear Press

Artist Paola Merrill reads children’s books and posts video snippets of her life in a cottage in rural Washington State as The Cottage Fairy on As of this writing a little over one million people follow her updates. In The Cottage Fairy Companion A Cottagecore Guide to Slow Living, Connecting to Nature, and Becoming Enchanted Again (Yellow Pear Press, $22.99), her first book, she shares her “meditations and practices.” From idea to completion the project required one year.

When asked about herself by email via her publisher she replied, “I spend my days painting in my cottage, taking long walks with my husband and dog, reading children’s books, and drinking lots of tea while curled up with my kitty! My goal is to make my art and work as earth conscious as possible, and to spread joy and wonder through all my media. In the same way that nature and stories inspire me, I want to encourage creativity and peace in others to share the light and beauty of this world.”

She wrote the book for “Anyone looking to slow down for some moments of peaceful reflection!” The 166-page softcover book published this year features her art in watercolor and ink pens. It is divided into four main sections by season: Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.

Paola Merrill, author, The Cottage Fairy Companion

Paola Merrill, author, The Cottage Fairy Companion

When asked what she hopes to achieve by writing about living in a cottage she said, “To give readers a moment to slow down and reflect on the beauty of life around them. And maybe inspire them to simplify life and prioritize what brings them fulfillment and joy.”

How will she measure success in relation to the book? She said, “I am not actually trying to measure success. It has been a dream of mine to publish a book for a long time, so just getting it out is already a success to me!”

She relies on the publishing company for book promotion and makes announcements across her social medias channels. Fairy in the title refers to the name of her YouTube handle, “and references the magic and whimsy that inspired me to start my channel and creative journey.”

When asked what she means when she says mindful while gardening, baking, and other tasks in the book, she said “To be fully aware of the present moment, and reflect on the joys of simple living and activities as you take part in them. This is countercultural to the fast-paced hectic bustle of most daily routines our society promotes.”

Canadian amateur astrologist releases book

Posted by Elena del Valle on September 14, 2022

Mindfulness Through the Stars
Mindfulness Through the Stars

Photo: Mango Publishing Group

Ashley Flores, who as of this writing has 172,000 subscribers on YouTube, where she posts content as the Amateur Guru, wrote Mindfulness Through the Stars A Zodiac Wellness Guide (Mango Publishing Group, $22.95). The 175-page hardcover book has a 2020 copyright.

The book, her first, is divided into an Introduction, a chapter for each sign of the zodiac as well as a chapter on mindfulness and one on self care. According to her biography the Canadian resident is an amateur astrologist.

When asked about the primary target audience for the book the author replied via email through a Mango representative, “While writing this book, I tried not to have a specific target audience in mind. Of course, I knew a large portion of the people choosing to purchase and read my book would be viewers of my youtube channel. These viewers are typically young adults, of all genders. However, I targeted my book towards people who value personal-development, mindfulness, self-care, and of course astrology lovers! I wanted to cater this book to people who have a basic understanding of zodiac signs, so that they could learn the potential that tuning into their zodiac signs energy can have on aiding them on their self-help journey!”

Regarding the amount of time the project required from idea to publication she said, “Prior to beginning the writing process, I worked closely with Mango to develop an editorial brief, come up with a name, a cover, and of course – a general idea of what the book could be. This process took a few months. I began writing the book in October 2019 and the final draft was submitted early May 2020. It was a much quicker process than I had imagined!”

When asked if she has plans for other titles she said, “Absolutely! I am planning to release a guided journal, as well as a second self-help book. I am also currently working on guided workbooks and worksheets.”

When asked her motivation in writing the book she said, “As a child and young adult, I had always had a passion for writing. I often wrote short stories, poetry, and scripts. It was always a goal of mine to release a book. Eventually, I channeled all of my creative energy into my youtube channel which gained the attention of Mango Publishing. They saw something in me, and presented the idea to me to write a book on Astrology. It all felt very aligned with my passions, and I happily decided to work with them on this book!”

“As a creative person, I have many goals and aspirations,” she said when asked what she hopes to achieve. “A few things I would love to achieve are writing a second book, becoming a life coach, success on both of my youtube channels, and using my platform and endeavours to help change the lives of others around me. I have a passion for helping others understand themselves and their true passions, and would love to see how far I can take that.”

How will she measure success in relation to the book? “If just one person can read my book and say it helped change their life for the better…That is success to me.”

Regarding ways and channels other than her own YouTube videos she uses to promote the book she said, “I promote my book mostly through my TikTok and Instagram, however – I bring it up in real life conversations as often as I can! I live in a big city and meet a lot of people, and always go out of my way to bring up my book as often as possible! People are very supportive and either purchase the book, or recommend it to a friend.”

When asked about the title and the chapter on self care she said, “To me, being mindful is to be intentional and aware. These are forms of self-care to me. Being intentional allows me to make sure that all of my actions are in alignment with who I am and what I want. When I take the time to be intentional, I find that I am able to tune into my higher self with ease. This is important to me because I strive to be the best version of myself daily. When I show up for myself, and others – I want to make sure I am reaching, or close to – my highest potential.”

Publisher releases science titles for children in Spanish

Posted by Elena del Valle on August 10, 2022

Las mujeres en la química  

Las mujeres en la química and Las mujeres en la física

Photos: Science, Naturally!

Targeting children aged seven to ten with English and Spanish language 37-page and 39-page titles about the sciences Science, Naturally! released Las Mujeres en la química and Las mujeres en la física by Mary Wissinger last year. Danielle Pioli illustrated the titles. The books are translations of Women in Chemistry and Women in Physics originally published by Genius Games LLC in 2016.

Women in Chemistry

Women in Chemistry

Michelle A. Ramirez and The Spanish Group were responsible for translating both titles. Lidia Diaz, Ph.D., and Camilla Hallman are listed as Spanish-language consultants for Las mujeres en la física. Spanish-Milka O. Montes, Ph.D., and Hallman are listed as Spanish-language consultants for the second Spanish language book. All titles have a $12.95 cover price.

Dia Michels

Dia L. Michels, publisher, Science, Naturally!

“We have promoted these books across all of our social media platforms and to our newsletter subscribers,” said Dia L. Michels, publisher, Science, Naturally! via email when asked in what ways and via what channels her company has promoted the titles. “We also reached out to educators, librarians, and STEM programs. And, of course, to the reviewers and customers who already love our other Spanish-language books! They are always excited to hear about new ways to share STEM content with children. We submitted Las mujeres en la química for Empowering Latino Future’s International Latino Book Awards, under the translation category, and it earned an award. We take pride in the amount of effort we put into each of our books to ensure that the translation captures both the content and the feeling of the English editions, so the fact that we can promote these titles by pointing to a translation award is a huge achievement! Empowering Latino Futures also does a bit of promotion for their award-winning authors to help make quality Spanish-language resources easier to find.”

Mary Wissinger, author, Women In Physics

Mary Wissinger, author, Women in Chemistry and Women in Physics

Wissinger was born and grew up in Wisconsin where she dove into storytelling through acting, singing, and writing. A former teacher, according to her biography she can be found at her standing desk in St. Louis, Missouri, “writing stories to inspire curiosity about the world and connection with others.” She is the author of the Science Wide Open Series and the My First Science Textbook Series.

Danielle Pioli, illustrator, Women In Biology

Danielle Pioli, illustrator, Women in Chemistry and Women in Physics

Artist and illustrator Pioli, drawn to magic (what she calls quantum physics now), is on a mission to inspire others to create. According to her biography, “The idea of creating a whole universe from her mind to paper is what made her fall in love with art and storytelling.” She creates art, illustrations, comics, zines, poems, songs, and hypnotherapy sessions. She is the illustrator of the Science Wide Open Series.

Women in Physics

Women in Physics

Three new books in the Science Wide Open series are due out in September 2022: Women in Engineering, Women in Medicine, and Women in Botany. Spanish versions titled Las mujeres en la ingeniería, Las mujeres en la medicina, and Las mujeres en la botánica are expected early next year, according to Michels.

British author explores benefits of walking

Posted by Elena del Valle on May 18, 2022

52 Ways to Walk

52 Ways to Walk

Photo: Penguin Random House

British author Annabel Streets is a fan of walking under a wide variety of conditions. In her new book, 52 Ways to Walk: The Surprising Science of Walking for Wellness and Joy, One Week at a Time (G.P. Putnam’s Son, $24), she proposes a different walk for each week of the year. Each short and easy to read chapter outlines a type of walk such as in cold weather, at altitude, slow, in solitude, with a dog, with a map, on muddy ground, hungry, backward and others along with its benefits.

She includes the findings of researchers or scientific studies supporting the health benefits of such walking conditions. Each chapter begins with a historic reference and concludes with a list of tips. For example, in the chapter on walking with a dog she suggested readers might consider borrowing a dog from a friend or via a program.

The 267-page hardcover book is divided into 52 chapters. Streets did not respond to several emails sent to her website address. The publicity contact listed on the author’s website indicated she doesn’t represent the author. According to her biography Streets is a writer of “highly researched, fiction as well as both narrative and practical nonfiction;” and under the name Annabel Streets, which she uses for “practical nonfiction,” she is coauthor of The Age Well Project.

California realtor releases branding book with community financial support

Posted by Elena del Valle on March 30, 2022

Brand With Purpose

Brand With Purpose

Photos: book cover, Page Two Publications; author, Ian Maddox

With the help of sponsors and a GoFundMe campaign Los Angeles realtor Ivan Estrada dedicated some three years to the publication of Brand With Purpose Find Your Passion, Stay True to Your Story and Accelerate Your Career (Page Two, $25), a 277-page hardcover autobiographical branding book. According to the author the book is for anyone in business, not just real estate practitioners.

“Brand With Purpose is filled with tools and expert advice on growing your career and business, with enlightening case studies and inspirational wisdom from other successful trailblazers,” Estrada said by email via an intermediary. “In this book, Ivan recounts his journey of growing up Latinx, queer, and working class, and shares the critical lessons about personal growth and self-discovery he learned along the way.”

Ivan Estrada, author Brand With Purpose

Ivan Estrada, author, Brand With Purpose

When asked to define the primary target audience for the book he said, “The primary audience for this book is younger entrepreneurs and teenagers. This book is something that I wish I had early in my entrepreneurial career. Of course, I wouldn’t change a thing; I love where I am today. However, if I can change the path of a young entrepreneur or teenager, that would be amazing for me. Brand With Purpose is also for those looking to get inspired and be motivated. If someone feels stuck or needs a change of pace, this book would be great for them as well.”

Regarding funding of the title he said, “Yes, we did receive sponsorship funds and in-kind support. The Sponsorship funds came from Making Education The Answer (META) Foundation, Leap foundation, Junior League of Los Angeles, University of Southern California Lambda Scholars, The Harmony Project, and Youth Business Alliance. We also organized a Go fund-me teaming up with Next Gen to donate books to students in Los Angeles. I was blessed to have family, friends, coworkers and colleagues make contributions for the book as well.”

How will he measure success? “Just being able to influence one person and change their path, allowing them to go down a more authentic and purposeful path, is more than enough. I don’t make judgments wholly based on sales numbers and the revenue generated. If I can help just one person change their life to be more meaningful, authentic, and purposeful, it helps fuel my purpose. Since the book was published, I have had people reach out to me via text, email, and social media, telling me that the book changed their life in some shape or form, and that was when I knew the book was a success, and I hope I continue to find success.”

Atlanta author shares emotional insights on identity

Posted by Elena del Valle on February 23, 2022



Photos: University of Georgia Press for cover, Mira Sydow for author photo

Anjali Enjeti, who teaches creative writing at Reinhardt University, believes her move from Michigan in 1984 to Tennessee forced her to experience a new environment where she was racially targeted. In Southbound Essays on Identity, Inheritance, and Social Change (University of Georgia Press,$24.95) she describes the effects of the move on her life, on her own self-perception and as the source of much anger.

When asked if there is a way to right wrongs without discriminating and or committing new wrongs she replied, by email via her publisher, “I suppose we’d have to define what we mean by discrimination. Is undoing some of the legacy of slavery or Jim Crow through affirmative action in college admissions discrimination? Is providing grants to minority owned businesses discrimination? Of course not. Attempts to level the playing field and address the ways that systems have historically marginalized various groups are not discrimination, and they are certainly not committing new wrongs.

What’s that saying? When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like discrimination. We can’t right wrongs unless we go deep into history, understand systems of power, and how they benefit, and explore how meaningful reparations can make people whole again. For people who are privileged, I suppose this could look like committing new wrong, but it’s really not.”

“The problem is that the people who are deciding how to right wrongs are often very privileged folks who have never been harmed by these wrongs to begin with,” she said when asked to define the boundaries to address such changes and who gets to decide. “In an ideal world, the communities who have endured the harm will get to decide how we can address the harm. Communities most affected by police violence, for example, should determine whether their city’s police force should be defunded and what community programs should be implemented to replace the police.”

When asked who should shoulder the burdens, financial and otherwise, of righting those wrongs she said, “In some sense, we all should. We all pay taxes, and our taxes should absolutely be going toward righting wrongs. Our governments and agencies need to center those most harmed. But more generally speaking, people with privilege need to get more involved in writing the wrongs. We need to be supporting mutual aid organizations by amplifying their work and donating funds. We need to quit self-segregating and push for programs that help everyone.”

When asked if “articles must be judged for bias on an individual basis” as she states in her book how she would judge her book for bias she replied, “Because I wrote Southbound, it’s difficult for me to judge it for bias – that’s a job better left to readers! But I did hire an authenticity editor for the book. She went through the manuscript with a fine tooth comb to help ensure that my words didn’t harm others.

We are all biased as human beings – we can’t not be. And of course this bias is reflected in our writing. But we need to be cognizant of the fact that our internalized biases in writing can harm others, and minimize this harm as much as possible.”

In relation to the anger she described feeling in her book and the acceptable limits of anger she said, “Well if we’re talking strictly about anger, not, say, harassment, bullying or other kinds of violence, then I don’t believe there are or should be acceptable limits to anger. But I suppose this is because I don’t see anger as a failing or an inherently bad thing to begin with – I find it crucial to justice work and the push to make our world more humane. Ultimately, anger is the engine for advocacy.

At this very moment, scientists, and doctors from all over the world are railing against governments and public health bodies that have failed to do their due diligence to slow the spread of COVID and take care of our most vulnerable people. Their critiques have been harsh, angry, enraged. We’re talking about the value of human life. So I don’t find this anger unacceptable in any way – it’s being deployed to reduce and end suffering.

And on an individual level, anger is such an important emotional release. I’m angry when my children are mistreated by others. I’m angry about my chronic pain. I’m angry about a lot of things. This kind of anger is healthy and important and helps me cope. It also helps me grow. And after it’s released, I have far more space in my heart and head for joy.”

Anjali Enjeti, author, Southbound

Anjali Enjeti, author, Southbound

When asked what prompted her to write the book she said, “I’ve been doing progressive social change work for most of my adult life. Even pre-2016, I never had any delusions about how this country worked, who it benefited, and who it disenfranchised, incarcerated, killed, or deported. But Trump’s election in 2016 shook me to my core. And then I learned something that shocked me – that Asian American and Pacific Islanders have one of the lowest voter turnouts among any racial group. So I switched into electoral organizing, and began volunteering for campaigns. It was different kind of work for me, and I was doing this work in my forties, a decade when my perspective on the world began gradually shifting. A space in my mind began to open up for this book to come through.”

From idea to publication it took five years for the 230-page softcover book to be published in 2021. About 20 percent of the essays in the collection had previously been published.

She added, “And my ideas for new essays were seeds that had been planted in my mind years earlier, so by the time I sold the book proposal to UGA Press and sat down to write them, the essays came easily to me.”

Regarding the primary target audience for the book she said, “I wrote this book for all kinds of people, including southerners, and people of multi-ethnic or multi-racial identity. But I primarily wrote this book for people who think about social change, and activism, and for those whose identities and communities shape how they hope to get involved in social change work. I wanted to write about what identity can do out in the world, how it can build coalitions within and between communities, and this is the audience I was hoping would find the book.”

When asked for her definition of ethnicity she said, “Ethnicity is a cultural group irrespective of race.” To the idea that some people dislike or take offense to labels that others consider essential to their identity and when it may be acceptable to describe someone as brown, black, white, white passing, she said, “This is an excellent question and it’s also a tough one to answer. Terminology to describe race or ethnicity is ever-evolving. It changes every few years, and with each generation. But I think the most important thing to understand is that communities are not monoliths. One person in a community might take offence to an identifier another member in that same community connects with.

I personally identify as mixed race and brown, but not all South Asians or Indians identify as “brown.” I also identify as a minority – a term that many non-white people reject, and I completely understand why. But I feel empowered by it. “Minority” has historically been used to define members of an ethnic or racial group that is smaller in number, but now minorities are becoming the majority, and I love the irony of using the term today where whites are now becoming the minority.

We need to be flexible when we discuss language of identity. It is not one-size-fits-all. We need to listen to individuals and respect how they want to be addressed.”