Official Review: Encouragement by Cathy Burnham Martin

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Miriam Molina
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Official Review: Encouragement by Cathy Burnham Martin

Post by Miriam Molina » 07 Mar 2019, 05:00

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Encouragement" by Cathy Burnham Martin.]
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2 out of 4 stars
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Cathy Burnham Martin is an award-winning broadcast journalist, sought-after speaker, and respected writer. For her motivational talks, she has earned the nickname “The Morale Booster.” In this book, she shares her secrets. Only a few of them were new to me, but I relished seeing them all packed in this treasure trove. If you have ever been discouraged, then you would benefit much from the wisdom in these pages.

Encouragement: How to Be and Find the Best is an organized handbook of how one can become an “Encourager” and avoid turning into a “Discourager.” Cathy describes both types and gives tips on how to spot each. She offers a helpful list of strategies to encourage people you meet every day, including the person who greets you in the mirror each morning: yourself. She realistically admits that life is not always sunny, but she says, “And yet, when we are better prepared, we can weather the woes with greater grace and courage.”

She includes quotes from several inspiring personalities and cites examples of real-life situations which portray instances of encouragement and discouragement. The reader will find stories featuring erstwhile Miss Universe host Bob Barker, President Ronald Reagan, and tennis superstar Serena Williams. You have to read the book to know whether these famous people gave encouragement in the cited instances.

The many tips Cathy shares in the book are simple and easy to put into action. Her writing is crisp and funny, and I found myself nodding in agreement at many points. The personalities quoted are adequately introduced in case the reader doesn’t know them, though many (like Helen Keller, Og Mandino, and Aristotle) are familiar and beloved. Cathy calls her chapters “Rust Busters” as she recognizes that her tips are old truths which only need to be dusted and put to good use. Clever chapter titles add to the reader’s enjoyment and recall of the concepts. My favorite titles are the alliterative “Deftly Deal with Despair” and “Frolickingly Fresh Perspectives.” She also coined several memorable terms like “Testosterone Toddlers,” "MBE" (for “Morale Booster Extraordinaire”), and “Boomerang Bullying.” As a delightful bonus, we get two chapters containing inspirational quotes from Cathy’s “Encouragement Inventory.” The best advice I got from the book is one everyone will agree with: Laugh, and do it often.

Unfortunately, bad grammar stole some of the luster of the book and made it lose one star. Sentence fragments were abundant, but these were useful in keeping the book upbeat. The misused words (e.g., “unphased” for “unfazed,” and “conscious” for “conscience”) and punctuation and capitalization lapses were unwelcome.

The issue that made the book lose a second star is the more serious flaw. I got the book in MOBI format, but it may have been converted from a printed copy. There was inconsistent spacing between sentences, making it difficult to pinpoint when a paragraph ended. Captions of photos popped somewhere else, usually on another page. The titles of the chapters and the book (which we normally see at the top of the page in printed books) appeared in random places on the page. I eventually got used to these distractions, but they were really discouraging. This book certainly didn’t need them. (I must say that I checked the sample on the book’s Amazon page and found the format there fine.)

I am sad to rate Encouragement 2 out of 4 stars because of the disastrous format and the grammar issues. I only hope that these will be addressed posthaste. I recommend the book to readers who want to have a power book of encouraging words at their fingertips. However, its present state of disarray may keep them from earning their "MBE" credits.

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Encouragement
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Post by ElizaBeth Adams » 13 Mar 2019, 07:38

This was a very helpful review. We all probably love to be encouraged, but learning the art of being the encourager is a discipline we could use some coaching and guidance in. I hope this book gets polished up. It sounds like worthy content.

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Post by kandscreeley » 13 Mar 2019, 08:07

It sounds like the author has a lot of good points to make. It's very important to be an encourager, not a discourager. However, it seems that the message gets lost in the formatting and grammar errors. It's too bad, but at least it can be corrected fairly easily. Thanks!
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Post by Mbrooks2518 » 13 Mar 2019, 09:59

Hopefully the issues are fixed. This sounds like an otherise great book with a lot of useful advice and an important message about encouraging others. Great review!

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Post by Miriam Molina » 13 Mar 2019, 15:58

ElizaBeth Adams wrote:
13 Mar 2019, 07:38
This was a very helpful review. We all probably love to be encouraged, but learning the art of being the encourager is a discipline we could use some coaching and guidance in. I hope this book gets polished up. It sounds like worthy content.
You are so right. As little babies, we got unending praise and admiration for a tiny feat like saying "dada" or shaking a rattle. Now, when a mother keeps the entire house spotless, nobody notices. We are all guilty of not being encouraging enough. It's time to earn our MBE credits.

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Miriam Molina
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Post by Miriam Molina » 13 Mar 2019, 16:04

kandscreeley wrote:
13 Mar 2019, 08:07
It sounds like the author has a lot of good points to make. It's very important to be an encourager, not a discourager. However, it seems that the message gets lost in the formatting and grammar errors. It's too bad, but at least it can be corrected fairly easily. Thanks!
Thanks for always encouraging me with a comment, Sarah!

I'm sure Cathy can polish this book to perfection in a jiffy.

One of the enlightening points is how we are sometimes too hard on ourselves.
Last edited by Miriam Molina on 13 Mar 2019, 16:34, edited 1 time in total.

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Miriam Molina
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Post by Miriam Molina » 13 Mar 2019, 16:06

Mbrooks2518 wrote:
13 Mar 2019, 09:59
Hopefully the issues are fixed. This sounds like an otherise great book with a lot of useful advice and an important message about encouraging others. Great review!
Thanks for the encouragement. You're learning fast! :tiphat:

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Post by Kelyn » 13 Mar 2019, 22:14

I don't normally read "how-to" books because they're usually just to dry for my taste. This one sounds anything but dry. I love the titles she uses and I really have to wonder exactly what "Testosterone Toddlers" is about. I don't think I've ever seen those words used together! Great review. Thanks!
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Post by Miriam Molina » 14 Mar 2019, 01:10

Kelyn wrote:
13 Mar 2019, 22:14
I don't normally read "how-to" books because they're usually just to dry for my taste. This one sounds anything but dry. I love the titles she uses and I really have to wonder exactly what "Testosterone Toddlers" is about. I don't think I've ever seen those words used together! Great review. Thanks!
The book was an enjoyable read. I actually wonder why the formatting error escaped Cathy's notice.

I encourage you to read it for the helpful tips. You will also get to meet some testosterone toddlers.

Thanks for the interest and encouragement. 😊

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Post by lizette » 14 Mar 2019, 04:32

Latest Review: Encouragement by Cathy Burnham Martin

The review was good and I loved, how the author , not gives tips, but also apply it herself. Good example.

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Post by Miriam Molina » 14 Mar 2019, 08:44

lizette wrote:
14 Mar 2019, 04:32
Latest Review: Encouragement by Cathy Burnham Martin

The review was good and I loved, how the author , not gives tips, but also apply it herself. Good example.
Yes, she is a famous morale booster. We should all aim to be bringers of good cheer like her.

Thanks for your thoughts.

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Post by nooregano » 14 Mar 2019, 12:12

Aw, it really hurts when an author has nice, insightful things to say but it's undermined by grammar and formatting errors! Thanks for this review, it was very fair and balanced!
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Post by spencermack » 14 Mar 2019, 12:30

It's too bad when content is ruined by format and simple errors. Hopefully, they can be fixed so the book can see success.
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Post by kdstrack » 14 Mar 2019, 15:51

I really appreciate the author's perspective - it is such a healthy reminder. The humor helps create another emotional bond that reinforces her message. Thanks for the recommendation.

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Post by Miriam Molina » 14 Mar 2019, 18:25

nooregano wrote:
14 Mar 2019, 12:12
Aw, it really hurts when an author has nice, insightful things to say but it's undermined by grammar and formatting errors! Thanks for this review, it was very fair and balanced!
Yes, I hope Cathy resolves the issues soon.

Thanks for the pat on the back.

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