Friday, September 4, 2015

Book Review: Priceless Gifts by Barbara Glanz

Books! I don't care what format they are in; paperback, hard cover, ebook or audio book, they are the backbone of modern society. Ever since old Johannes Gutenberg invented the moveable type printing press in 1439, the book became a more and more integral part of our society. Amazingly, so far, books have remained in essentially the same format for 576 years. However, the "Digital Age" is changing that fairly rapidly. Here's the thing, no matter the format, a book is still a book.

Each of us has our own reading preferences. Some of us are voracious readers. Others, like me, are simply regular readers. And still others are occasional readers. Some of us like fiction in its various genre. Others, like me, prefer mainly non-fiction. One kind of book I really like is the anthology book encompassing brief chapters or essays by several authors or a book by a single author with numerous essays by that author. They are easy to read and you can pick and choose from a variety of topics. One of my favorite authors is Robert Fulghum.

But, this review is about a new favorite author. Her name is Barbara Glanz of Sarasota, Florida. Full disclosure is appropriate. Barbara is a long-time, personal friend of mine and a delight to spend time with. I could write an entire article just about Barbara, her background, experiences and adventures. For example, she is the only professional speaker in the world to have spoken to audiences on all seven continents (that includes Antarctica). But, Barbara will be the subject of a future guest interview podcast. This review is about Barbara's latest book endeavor, Priceless Gifts - Using What God's Given You to Bless Others.

This is a venture in a different direction for Barbara, who has twelve best selling business books under her name. Priceless Gifts is non-fiction and it's one of the anthology books I always enjoy. The book contains 19 topical categories with a total of more than 160 brief, uplifting essays. There is literally something in this book for everyone, man or woman, young or older, professional person or not. Barbara is the author of a number of the essays. However, she has collected the rest of the essays from a variety of people, both male and female, though to be forthcoming, the majority are female. Regardless, the stories will uplift anyone who reads them. I should also note that I personally know or knew (some have passed away) several of the authors.

This is the kind of book you don't have to sit down and become engrossed in. You don't have to start anywhere in particular. You can pick a topical area and then select one or more of the essays to read. Each essay will leave you with a pearl of wisdom or a spark of inspiration. You can pick the book up today, read a few essays and then pick it up again next week or the week after or whenever you just feel like a little "pick me up" in literary form.

Inside The Book

So, here is a list of the topical areas inside this 400 page (in paperback format) book.

·      Angel Gifts
·      Anonymous Gifts
·      Gifts of Friendship, Love and Support
·      Humorous Gifts
·      Labors of Love
·      Little Things Mean a Lot
·      Life Changing Gifts
·      Memorial Gifts
·      Pass-It-Along Gifts
·      Practical Gifts
·      Romantic Gifts
·      Sharing Our Wealth and Resources With Others
·      Gifts of the Spirit
·      Gifts of Your Talents
·      Treasure Gifts (Keepsakes)
·      The Gift of Values
·      The Gift of Words
·      Gifting The Giver
·      Real Life CARE® Packages

Men, you may feel these topics are a bit too feminine for your tastes. Believe me when I tell you that there is something to be gained here for you, too. Like "A Father's Day Card" by Ralph Geppert or "CARE Packages Restore Luftwaffe Pilot's Faith in Humanity" by Alfred Wehner (a WWII Luftwaffe pilot) or "Goin' Fishing" by Linda Lenore.

Ladies, you'll find the same kind of gifts in these essays whether authored by men or women. "The Dog Bite" by Barbara Glanz or "Grandma's Last Lesson" by the late Rosita Perez (a wonderful woman I knew personally and I'm still in contact with her husband, Ray) or "Thinking of the Giver" by John Blumberg.

About The Author

Barbara Glanz is the kind of person everyone wants to know. I can hardly ever remember a time when I've seen her without the warm smile she is so known for. A midwestern transplant to the beach of Sarasota, Florida, she has a busy life as the mother of three, now adult, children, a grandmother, a volunteer in several organizations, an active member in several more organizations and a best selling business author and award winning professional speaker with a global client list that boggles the imagination. Her credits and honors span all the way back from her childhood in Iowa, through her early career teaching school in Illinois to the present as an internationally recognized author and speaker. And when her children were young, she was a stay at home mom.  

The inspiration for this book was her late husband, Charlie, who passed away in 2000 of cancer after 34 years of marriage. He inspired Barbara to compile and write this book and was there as she wrote and he read until his death. It took 13 long years before Barbara was able to publish this book and it is, of course, dedicated to Charlie.

One thing that always amazes me about Barbara is her circle of friends. I don't mean just a few friends, I mean scores and scores of friends from coast to coast and around the globe. If one of her friends is sick or needs some kind of assistance, Barbara is always there. How she fits everything into her life is a mystery. What I do know is that she does it and does it with grace and enthusiasm. And, I am privileged to be counted among all her friends. Everything that is Barbara Glanz shines through in Priceless Gifts. It's infectious and will rub off on you as you read.  

The Best Part

The best part of this kind of book is that you can go back and reread these essays and they will be as fresh the second and third time you read them as they were the first. Also, this is a great gift book. My current copy is in paperback. As you know, since I live on the road most of the time, I don't have a lot of room for keeping books on board My McVansion. My friend, here in West Virginia saw the book as I was preparing to write this review, picked it up, thumbed through it and said she'd like to read it. So, this book is now going to become a gift. And, it is a wonderful gift book for just about anyone. It's definitely a great gift for birthdays and holidays.

Most of my blog articles are focused around my interest and philosophy of living free, the nomadic lifestyle I lead, the travels and adventures of this lifestyle and products, book and resources to assist anyone to live a fulfilling and happy life within the framework of a living free philosophy. This book is different. Priceless Gifts is a breath of fresh air. It's about life, experiences, overcoming, giving and realizing, experiencing and appreciating our gifts, talents and opportunities.

Give it a shot. You have nothing to lose except the price of a book, but you have "priceless gifts" to gain. And, unless you can't part with it, you'll have a wonderful gift to pass on to someone else.

Buy it from Amazon through my links and thank you, again for your support. The Kindle version is currently $9.99, however, the paperback is on sale (I don't know for how long) for only $3.69 (reg. price $17.99) so, now is a great time to buy some copies for your gift list. 

Paperback            Kindle  


Richard Rosen said...

Here's another heart warming and inspiring book from Barbara Glanz: The Simple Truths of Service: Inspired by Johnny the Bagger.

I read this 10 years ago and still recall the delight at seeing service portrayed in a most unlikely person.

Ed Helvey - Location Independent Traveler said...

Absolutely, Richard -- That book and the video that was made from it are one of Barbara's signature works. Thanks for mentioning it.