The Realities of a Book Review

Completing the writing of Connecting Two Worlds was both physically and mentally therapeutic. Physically, because during recovery from surgery, I had ample time for tasks that required little physical exertion. It turned out that I was only partially correct. Writing was more physical than I thought. Mentally, because I overcame a personal persistence with procrastination. I have often heard people say they should write a book about their lives or some event in their lives but never did so. It reached a point that whenever I heard someone make that statement, I would immediately have the urge to tell them to stop procrastinating and just write the book!

I had also reached a point where I knew it would be necessary for me to write about a period in my life that had profound importance. As I began the process, I realized I was not an author. It was not long before I developed a new appreciation for the time and energy that is required to be an author – successful or not.

The satisfaction that resulted from writing and publishing this book was quite significant. The book became an important element of the education process that I envisioned for Dimidia. To reinforce the significance that I assigned to this effort, I thought it would be good to have it reviewed. What better way to promote something than to have it recommended by an objective reader – someone not influenced by relationship.

I happened upon the review of a book written by a former Peace Corps Volunteer. The review was quite good though some of the comments posted after the review were not in agreement with the reviewer – the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography. I decided to contact the publisher. He asked me for a copy of my book and said he would have it reviewed! That seemed too easy. The review took several weeks that seemed like months. I guess I was anxious to get some confirmation that my thoughts about the story content and connection of past to present environmental extremes would make for very compelling reading.

When the review was finally published, there was a real disconnect between what I thought about my writing and the thoughts of the reviewer. After reading the short review numerous times, I accepted that is was quite objectively written. Yet, the review did reinforce something very important which I will explain after you read the review.

“Though this kind of book is not my usual milieu it was an interesting, if foggy, read. Many issues of great importance (overpopulation and the ensuing over taxation of the planet’s resources and the price the world and its people are paying because of it all) are brought up and although Simeone doesn’t suggest much in the way of resolving these problems outside of a few generalized vagaries, he elucidates the issues in such a way as to make them compelling and worth listening to without overplaying his authorial hand. The book lacks in depth and could have used some substantial editing but, overall, it’s a solid treatise on the world as it is today and how much is “…rotten in the state of Denmark” as someone else once said.”

What the review reinforced for me related to the mission of Dimidia. I created my company as an education portal into issues related to sustainability. Because of my experiences digging wells in West Africa, my initial focus was on the human impact to dryland degradation and groundwater. I quickly discovered the diversity and complex, interconnectedness of global ecosystems. It is the human impact that has remained constant. I also knew that there are numerous scientists and researchers who dedicate their careers to understanding these complexities and are trying to create solutions to mitigate the impact of a growing global population.  To complement – not compete – with their efforts, I believed

“…that a small part of our contribution to improving global sustainability [would] come by raising…awareness and knowledge of our global environment…”

I now believe that the review received for Connecting Two Worlds was perfectly aligned to this mission. It is not my role to be a scientist and offer solutions to resolve global environmental problems but to raise awareness of their existence.

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