S3 E05- Bew White Reveals His New Outlook on Life After Recovering From a Near-Fatal Disease

What does it mean to live a truly substantial life?
How does a visionary entrepreneur repeatedly overcome risk and rejection?
Is there more to a life well lived than the sum of a person’s successes and failures?
A Summer Classic: The Bew White Story explores these questions and more through the life and eyes of William Bew White III, the founder of Summer Classics, a manufacturer of luxury outdoor furniture.

“When you start a small business and grow it, you go through a lot of trials and tribulations,” observes Bew. “This really is sort of a modern re-telling of the Jimmy Stewart It’s a Wonderful Life movie.”

The biography, written by Christopher Taunton, delivers a detailed chronicle of Bew’s childhood, college years, early professional life, the successes and failures that got him to where he is today and how he overcame a health condition which nearly killed him as he makes the most of his life on Earth.

The high costs and sacrifices behind this success make A Summer Classic compelling and instructive, a gripping illustration of the saying, “One step forward, two steps back.” Bew’s career was beset with “hurdles, challenges, sleepless nights, poor health, things that didn’t work, (facing) the recession” and the twists and turns of a life spent doing business with a host of people. Trustworthy business partners were hard to find, and those who did not share Bew’s commitment to faith, character caused big problems along the way. At each obstacle, his creative thinking, foresight, and leadership helped the company to move forward with its vision that people might look at Summer Classics furniture and see “beautifully furnished spaces where they might share memorable moments with their friends, family, and loved ones.”

Bew White III is the Chairman of the Board of Gabriella White and its brands, Summer Classics, Gabby, and Wendy Jane. He graduated from Auburn University in 1972 with a degree in textile engineering. The phrase “outdoor living” had hardly been coined, as outdoor furniture was simply known as a table and chairs you would find on a basic patio deck
At just 28 years old, Mr. White left his job at his family-owned business, Avondale Mills, and started a sales representative company in 1978 called Vista Corporation, specializing in selling outdoor furniture. In 1987, Bew started multiple companies in an effort to expand from selling on the road to building a national brand. One of those companies was Summer Classics, which was created around Bew’s thought of designing and manufacturing products that he would want for his own backyard. With a business model based on creating products that were consumer driven, would stand the test of time, and would not go out of style, Summer Classics officially took off in 1987.
Born in 1950 in Birmingham, Alabama to William Bew White II and Gabriella Corner White, Bew is the great-grandson of Braxton Bragg Corner, governor and then senator for Alabama, as well as the founder of the Alabama-based Fortune 500 textile company Avondale Mills.

S3 E04- Jotham Stein’s Unique Guide to Negotiating Like a CEO

What does it mean to negotiate like a CEO? How important are employment agreements? How can you learn to protect yourself and your family if the worst does happen? These are all questions Jotham Stein addresses in his book Negotiate Like a CEO, with the goal of equipping employees, executives and entreprenerus with the tools they need to safeguard themselves.

A lively, engaging read, Negotiate Like a CEO outlines how employees, executives, and entrepreneurs have protected themselves in the past, and gives readers eye-opening advice on how to make sure they won’t get taken advantage of. The book describes best practices, common pitfalls, and sky’s-the-limit possibilities at any career stage, whether you’re just out of college or you’re gunning for that C-suite job.

S3 E03 – A Deep Dive into Putin’s Playbook with former DIA Agent Rebekah Koffler

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine commences and captures worldwide headlines, what people might not know is this is only a small portion of Vladimir Putin’s long game. What does he have planned next? What is the bigger picture? How does he plan to go about his ambitious goals?
With me on Book Spectrum for this episode is Rebekah Koffler, a Soviet-born former US intelligence officer with the DIA and author of the book, “Putin’s Playbook: Russia’s Secret Plan to Defeat America”
As we are seeing some of the Russian President’s games play out these days, Koffler says this has been in the works for a while. In Putin’s Playbook, Koffler goes in-depth on how Putin rose to power from behind the scenes to pushing himself onto the world stage. She also delves into:
Why Putin wants to rebuild the old USSR under his rule
How Putin wants to cement his legacy
Why Putin sees himself as the “Good Guy” amid the controversies with some of the former Soviet Republics
Putin’s disdain for NATO before and after publicly declaring the western treaty group as a threat to Russia’s existence.
When why and how Putin picks and chooses the times and circumstances involved with executing his plans
Are the US and the rest of the NATO nations strong enough to go against Putin in a potential world war or are they too weakened by internal wokeness policies to respond to the Russian threat?

Koffler’s goes inside the mind of the Russian oligarch in Putin’s Playbook.

S3 E02 – Men's Health and the 21st Century Man with Dr Judson Brandeis

We are in an era of increased health-minded awareness and a plethora of books as well as PSAs and news pieces dedicated to wellness for women, children and seniors. Sadly, Dr. Judson Brendeis says while increased information is available, younger and middle-aged men still are not fully invested in their own health. Why is that? Dr. Brandeis not only answers this question, but provides the definitive guide to men’s health titled The 21st Century Man.
Dr. Brandeis takes a unique approach to this essential tome as he not only provides what one might use as an owner’s manual of one’s body, but styles it as a “hero’s journey” story with the reader as the main character.
In the book, Dr. Brandies encourages men to not ignore taking care of themselves while still focusing on their natural instincts to pay more attention to and protect others, answering such questions as:
What does a successful and healthy life look like?
How can men maximize their health to live their best lives?
In a man’s life, what changes are needed to build a mind and body that will help him develop health, strength, and vigor?

Dr. Judson Brandeis, in his straightforward and compelling guide to men’s health, The Twenty-First Century Man, addresses these questions and so many more while providing a clear road map for maximizing men’s health.

Dr. Judson Brandeis is an award-winning urologist and sexual medicine expert, clinical researcher, physician educator, and a caring clinician and surgeon. A graduate of Brown University and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, with Urologic Surgery residency at UCLA and a post-doc fellowship at Harvard, today he specializes in the emerging field of sexual health and medicine.

Over the course of his 25-year career as a board-certified urologist he has performed thousands of surgeries and pioneered surgical robotics. In February of 2019, he opened BrandeisMD, a national leader in technology and sexual medicine innovations for men. BrandeisMD engages in ongoing clinical research to improve wellbeing and provide tools for men to live their best lives.

S3 E01 – M K Lever Reveals the Dark Side of College Sports in Surviving the Second Tier

We kick off Season 3 of Book Spectrum with a new author, M. K. Lever, whose new book Surviving the Second Tier depicts a dystopian world with an all-powerful NCAA which consolidated every collegiate sport into one super smackdown league. Lever’s knockout debut book weaves major issues and themes throughout a parallel Earth and the main character, “Sis,” to display the real world truths that face athletes in the college athletic world as told by someone with experience inside and a track record of in-depth research into the system.

“I wrote this book to educate readers about the reality of the college sports industry, as someone who has been there before,” Lever says. “Sometimes, facts and statistics don’t stick with people and since we are intrinsically wired to follow narratives, I wanted to tell people a story in hopes that the message would resonate in a unique and powerful way. I wanted to give college sports the 1984 treatment and create a narrative that would be impactful and a little unsettling.”

Lever, a former Division 1 athlete and PhD candidate at UT Austin, combines her personal experiences as a student athlete and the weight of her academic research in areas concerning NCAA rhetoric, discourse, and policy to create her stunning and emotionally driven literary debut. She tells the story through “Sis,” who competes in the only NCAA sport, a no-holds-barred fighting league while dealing with trying to keep winning and maintaining a perfect GPA.

M. K. Lever is a doctoral candidate at the University of Texas, researching NCAA rhetoric and policy, and working as a freelance sportswriter and sports consultant. She graduated from Western Kentucky Univiersity with a B.A. in Communication Studies and an M.A. in Organizational Communication. While at WKU, she was a Division 1 athlete running track and cross country and was a two-time Sun Belt Conference champion in track and field (indoor and outdoor).

S2 E20 – Scott Shay Exposes Anti-Jewish Conspiracy Theories Being Taught at US Universities

While writing a tribute to his father, a survivor of the Holocaust who educated him on the importance of faith and Jewish values, Scott Shay was disturbed and dismayed to discover the presence of extremist anti-Zionist professors (Far Left and Far Right) on the faculty of his alma mater, Northwestern University. As a student of Jewish thought, history, and current events, who has written extensively on contemporary Jewish issues, he was compelled to take a deep dive into the world of anti-Zionist conspiracy theories and academia.

“I learned that Northwestern University, my beloved alma mater and a jewel of American academia, has enabled some of its professors to openly promote conspiracy theories,” says Shay. “Sadly, many academics can no longer even identify conspiracy theories. Professorial proponents insist that far from being conspiracy theorists, they are brave truth tellers.”

Set against the framework of Northwestern University’s motto, Conspiracy U not only illustrates the issues present when serious and trustworthy scholarship is abandoned in favor of theory and ideology, but proposes that the motto itself points toward a better option. Rather than dismissing ideology or giving it undue precedence, Shay suggests that the motto and the Golden Rule together form an unbiased and universally applicable framework which provides the intellectual and moral criteria to distinguish between facts and conspiracy theories, leaving room for diversity while also excluding approaches that devalue our common humanity.

S2 E19 – Two-Time Breast Cancer Survivor Erika Weathers Tells Her Story

Erika Weathers is a two-time breast cancer survivor, actress, real estate agent, advocate, biker chick and soon to be adding a lot more to that list including first-time author with her new book Free Me 2 Be Me: My Turbulent Journey With Breast Cancer.

While Erika reveals her battles with cancer in the book, Free Me 2 Be Me is also a story meant to inspire those going through the same fight while revealing the ups and downs of the author’s own life as she looks both back to her early years and forward to those to come.

Pick up Erika’s book through her website, http://www.iamerikaweathers.com

S2 E18 – Kevin Schewe: Bad Love Medicine

From Russian spies to Nazi plots, to alien planets, to true love, Kevin L. Schewe is back on Book Spectrum with another action-packed romp in his critically acclaimed Bad Love series that will have you wishing for more.

Bad Love Medicine takes readers from the deep-space beauty of Planet Azur back to a WWII Europe riddled with danger and espionage, bringing the Bad Love Gang face-to-face with one of history’s greatest villains—Adolf Hitler himself.

In this 4th book of the Bad Love Series, The Gang (based on his own friends in high school) once again set out to save history—this time, by stopping the Nazis from efforts to create a time machine of their own.

S2 E17 – Phil Granchi’s Dystopian Comedy Thriller, Mart of Darkness

There aren’t too many Comedy Dystopian Thrillers out there, so naturally we had to put its author, Phil Granchi, on Book Spectrum.

In Mart of Darkness, the debut author takes readers (and your audience) to an American which has turned into a weird materialistic dystopia where Ted — a screenwriter with no marketable skills with little screenwriting talent and a long list of temp jobs — who finds himself somehow assigned to take down the CEO of Allmart, who is bent on taking over the world. Ted and his new team face off with Zombie shoppers, Purple Psycho People, Converts and Black Light Specials in this satirical homage to Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now.

S2 E16 – Jacquie Abrams: Hush Money, A Story About a Woman Who Stood Up to Racism in the Workplace

Politically-charged debates are often passionate, yet at times cloud people’s abilities to agree how and when to right a true wrong. While Crying “wolf,” buzzwords and misinformation have become the norm, they minimized those who are actually suffering or lost in the proverbial cracks. Let’s take the story in “Hush Money,” by my guest Jacqui Abrams, a tale based on a true story of racism in the workplace. Due to many factors – not the least of which is fear of losing job and other people lying about or minimizing such at their own workplaces — racial preferences and racism in companies and other work environments goes unreported or ignored. Through the eyes of the characters in her book – -HUSH MONEY — , Jacquie relays an actually true story of a woman who called this out, won her argument, changed things and kept her job. We at Book Spectrum do not run with the “Woke” crowd, but we are interested in treating everyone with the respect they deserve and calling out wrongdoing when we see it. The story in Jacquie’s Hush Money is rarely told and needs to be heard.

Hush Money tells a compelling and cautionary tale that is all too familiar to Black people across the globe about the rigors of working in a large, highly bureaucratic organization and dealing with covert and overt racism. Levels and types of discrimination are chronicled in the five-year journey of Ebony Ardoin, an ambitious, young, Black woman in search of a fulfilling and rewarding career path that allows her to live the American Dream.

The twisting arcs of Ebony’s story reveal layers of emotional complexity and racial trauma as each new promotion invites praise, jealous rancor, and outright loathing. Organizational politics and protecting turf go hand in hand with discrimination, retaliation, intimidation, and racial hatred expressed in a variety of ways.

Hush Money: How One Woman Proved Systemic Racism in her Workplace and Kept Her Job, by Jacquie Abram, has been selected by the Unity and Equality Alliance, located in Canada, as their next book to read. While the organization seeks to help people of color with issues locally, in Brockville, Ontario, they also see the big picture by pushing their messages far and wide. Abram’s fictional story, inspired by true events, lays bare the struggles against racism many Black and Brown people experience in the U.S. and across the globe.