Official Review: Notes To Jacqui by Ronald A. Tomo

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Official Review: Notes To Jacqui by Ronald A. Tomo

Post by bookowlie » 19 Apr 2016, 20:05

[Following is the official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Notes To Jacqui" by Ronald A. Tomo.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Notes to Jacqui by Ronald A. Tomo is a non-fiction book about the author’s recollections and lessons learned as a polio survivor, businessman, and family man. It is written as a series of notes to his daughter Jacqui. Mr. Tomo contracted polio at seven months old. He owes his survival in large part to his mother; she researched a medical book and demanded specialists review his case after feeling the initial doctor misdiagnosed the symptoms as the flu. The author’s determined personality helped him to adjust to his disability and thrive in his personal life and career.

The book is written in the style of a “life” manual about different topics, with a key point of advice in each chapter. The information ranges from the personal to the professional, including tools he learned as an executive. The tips are typical, well-known pieces of motivational advice such as the reality of something you are afraid of is usually less than what you imagine, don’t worry about what others think of you, pay it forward, don’t settle when looking for your true love, the importance of being decisive, etc. The format of dispensing words of wisdom along with the author’s related experiences is very effective. I found it a more interesting way of learning about the author’s life vs. a traditional memoir style.

There is a fascinating section about Mr. Tomo’s lifelong Ham Radio hobby and his intention to leave the equipment to Jacqui. One of my favorite passages is about how his hobby led to setting up an emergency communications network in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. The chapters on management and thinking quickly on your feet are particularly insightful and include the importance of situational awareness.

There is a rambling feel to the story at times. This is due in part to a compressed format, without extra line breaks before and after each highlighted tip. It reminded me of someone shoving as much writing as possible into the finite space of a handwritten greeting card. Adding to the busy appearance is the random placement of the main piece of advice in the middle, rather than the beginning or end, of each chapter. I think the story would have had a smoother flow if the layout had been formatted better.

The story is not written in chronological order, with the exception of the beginning. It is more of a series of general nuggets of advice, backed up with reminiscences from various periods in the author’s life. The writing style is easy to understand although a bit long-winded at times. There are photos included in each chapter which added to the personal feel of the story. However, some of the photos seem plopped in some chapters for no related reason, such as photos of the family’s dogs and Ida Tomo’s (the author’s mother) birthday party.

I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. It is an informative read, with just the right touch of heart without turning sappy. I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy self-help, motivational books. The author’s positive attitude shines throughout the story, with thoughtful commentary about all aspects of life. Jacqui is lucky to have him as a father.

******
Notes To Jacqui
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Post by gali » 20 Apr 2016, 01:35

Thank you for the well-written review. The author sounds like an impressive man.

Congratulations to the author on the great review! :tiphat:
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Post by TrishaAnn92 » 20 Apr 2016, 08:55

Great, well written review!

Congratulations to the author!
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Post by Rtomo » 20 Apr 2016, 08:57

Thanks for the great review. This book has been sold around the world and has gotten all five star reviews. Many people have used my ideas and concepts to improve themselves and achieve things that they never thought they could. Your review will help me help many more people. I'm happy that you enjoyed it.

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Post by bookowlie » 20 Apr 2016, 09:04

Thanks Gali and TrishaAnn! Gali - I agree, the author has lived a full life.
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Post by bluemel4 » 20 Apr 2016, 09:31

This book sounds like an inspiring and refreshing read. I love your reviews bookowlie. You always let the reader know exactly what they are getting into by picking up this book. Congratulations to the author for the positive review!
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Post by bookowlie » 20 Apr 2016, 10:27

Thanks for the kind words. The tips in the book were very relatable.
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Post by hsimone » 22 Apr 2016, 02:36

Thank you, bookowlie for a well-written and detailed review. I agree with bluemel4, you always write reviews that truly help the reader understand what their getting into by picking up a book you've reviewed! Even with the rambling feeling, it seems like a very positive read!
Congratulations to the author for receiving such a positive review! :tiphat:
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Post by bookowlie » 22 Apr 2016, 08:53

Hsimone, What a nice thing to say! I think the author may have intended for the book to have a less structured, organized feel. There were some nice aspects, in that it felt very casual and chatty.
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Post by hsimone » 22 Apr 2016, 08:58

No worries, bookowlie, I'm only stating the truth. :D I'm glad that you were able to enjoy some of those casual and chatty parts! Sometimes those are nice to have in a book.
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Post by bookowlie » 22 Apr 2016, 09:12

The only thing that made the book difficult to read was the feeling that I was "eavesdropping" on a father's personal letters to his daughter.
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Post by hsimone » 22 Apr 2016, 09:17

Hm...that is interesting, "eavesdropping". I don't know if I like that. I guess if the author wanted to make his book personal, it looks he accomplished it!
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Post by bookowlie » 22 Apr 2016, 12:56

In general, I find these types of books hard to read because they are "written" for a particular person. Sure, the information in this book is helpful to everyone, but it's still directed toward the author's daughter. He talks about leaving her certain equipment after he's gone, certain great qualities she has, etc.
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Post by hsimone » 22 Apr 2016, 13:09

Oh, I understand. That does make sense. I'm not sure if I've read a book like this before...if I have it clearly didn't stick.
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Post by Rachaelamb1 » 27 Apr 2016, 08:51

What an interesting style for a memoir. He sounds like he has had a very interesting life. Thanks for another great review!
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