Books you might enjoy, and the stories behind them.

  • Millennials: Myth Versus Reality October 29, 2017

    panel of four millennial creatives with interviewer at bookstore

    What are real-life millennials like?

    If you don’t know anyone who came of age in the new millennium, common stereotypes might have you thinking things like, “tech-savvy”, “narcissistic”, “lazy”,  and “entitled”.

    The reality is vastly different.

    Hannah Shafiroff, Amanda Lechner, Ellie Liebermand and Conor Walsh behind a table with the banner for the show

    Millennial creative entrepreneurs (l-r:) Hannah Shafiroff, Amanda K. Lechner, Ellie Lieberman and Conor Walsh.

    We had the opportunity, on Saturday, to talk with four millennial creatives in a discussion-panel format.  The setting: Pipe & Thimble Publishing & Bookstore, which is Southern California’s first bookstore to carry independent authors, exclusively.

    Common threads emerged.   The panelists, ranging in age from eighteen to twenty-six, were all making things happen in their creative fields.

    Four perspectives on creativity

    Hannah Shafiroff published and illustrated her first children’s book, The Unexpected Rainy Day, earlier this year.   Currently, she’s studying art in college, with the goal of combining her love of creating art with working in a creative career field.   (And her second book is in the works!)

    Author Conor Walsh displays his book Little Glass Menin the center of Pipe & Thimble Bookstore

    Conor Walsh has written a number of short stories.  Earlier this year, he published his first book: the historic novel Little Glass Men.  Not only is he at work on his next book now–he has considerable talent for marketing his creative work.

    Ellie Lieberman is co-owner of Pipe & Thimble Publishing and Bookstore, as well as a published author (two young-adult novels, Society’s Foundlings and Solving for X, plus numerous short stories).  But Ellie was a creative entrepreneur long before the opening of Pipe & Thimble, in May 2017.   She crafts fairy doors, houses and other fairy-world miniatures.  From the start of her original small business, Acorn Tops, she’s steadily challenged herself with more and more intricate original designs.

    Amanda K. Lechner is a freelance filmmaker.  Her talents include screenwriting, cinematography and directing.  Amanda has created a number of short films on Vimeo, and is currently at work on several freelance projects.

    During our “Millennial Mythbusting” panel, these real-life millennials presented their perspectives.  Work, creativity, common stereotypes and the future all came up as topics.

    Far from fitting any of the negative stereotypes, Hannah, Ellie, Conor and Amanda all knew where they wanted to go, in life, and how they planned to get there.

    And what they had to say may very well inspire you in your creative and innovative journey!

  • Ray Zinn: “Tough” Equals Success July 4, 2017
     As the 2017 Sensors Expo and Conference has just concluded, we’re rebroadcasting a popular episode, featuring one of their 2016 keynote speakers.    Over Coffee® will publish a new episode next Friday, July 7th.
    Author and entrepreneur Ray Zinn with his wife at Sensors 16 booksigning

    Getting the “tough things” out of the way is a crucial leadership skill for any business owner, says tech entrepreneur Ray Zinn.

    Ray, who is  Silicon Valley’s longest-serving CEO, is the author of the book Tough Things First.    In 1978, he founded his independent semiconductor company, Micrel, in Silicon Valley.  Ray would serve as Micrel’s CEO for a total of thirty-seven years, retiring in 2015.

    Ray Zinn delivering a keynote speech at Sensors Expo 2016

    Delivering a keynote speech at the 2016 Sensors Expo and Conference, in San Jose, Ray told his audience. “Every morning, when I get up, I think of all the things I don’t want to do–and I do them first.”

    Shortly after the 2016 Sensors Conference, we had the opportunity to talk with Ray about his book Tough Things First, in which he details the practices that led to his success as an entrepreneur–and the principles which allowed him to enjoy the journey.

    On this edition of Over Coffee® you’ll hear:
    • How Ray’s growing-up years prepared him to succeed in Silicon Valley;
    • The unforgettable lesson his father taught him, during his college years;
    • A key success technique for small-business entrepreneurs;
    • The routine Ray used, to make his days at Micrel go smoothly;
    • A technique for learning from mistakes;
    • What entrepreneurs need to know about “frugality” versus “cheapness” in daily operations;
    • How a “business culture” applies to smaller entrepreneurs;
    • The difference between creating a business that lasts, versus one that’s “flashy”;
    •  A business’s most important area on which to focus  (and it isn’t making money!)
    • How Ray developed an essential entrepreneurial skill.
       (Had to miss the Sensors Expo and Conference this time?  Sensors Midwest, in Rosemont, Illinois, happens October 2-4, 2017!)
  • Getting Healthy in the “Real World” November 25, 2016
    Cover design courtesy of Brenda, at, and used with permission.

    Cover design courtesy of Brenda, at, and used with permission.

    Over Coffee® is on hiatus for the 2016 Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.  We’ll be rebroadcasting some of the most popular episodes from 2016 for the next few weeks.  Have a great holiday!

    Turkey, cranberries, cookies…parties, social events, family get-togethers.

    And if you’re an entrepreneur, you can expect to have very little time, combined with more opportunities for temptation than usual, during the Christmas season.


    Author/entrepreneur Maxwell Ivey, Junior knows all about staying healthy under less-than-ideal circumstances.  Max, who grew up in the carnival business, published his second book, It’s Not the Cookie, It’s the Bag, earlier this year.  Not a diet book, It’s Not the Cookie examines ways to modify your behavior and make healthy choices.

    Max acknowledges that “it’s not easy”, for anyone who wants to lose weight.  Raised in the carnival business, Max grew up with unhealthy food choices and competitive environments.   At one time, he was morbidly obese, weighing over five hundred pounds.  After a health crisis, a doctor gave him a warning: lose weight or die.

    Consequently, Max embarked on a behavior-modification program, losing enough weight to have gastric surgery.   With the surgery, he ultimately lost more than two hundred fifty pounds.  In his book, he shares what he learned about weight loss, and the techniques that worked for him in keeping the weight off.

    Goal-setting for success is something at which Max excels.    He has built his small business, selling carnival equipment online through his website The Midway Marketplace, from scratch.   Max, who lost most of his vision at the age of twelve, is also a public speaker and life coach who helps others take action towards their dreams through his website, The Blind Blogger.

    This past summer, Max was one of the writers selected from among more than six hundred applicants for the second annual Amtrak Residency program.  Look for him to be helping a lot more people achieve their dreams in the future!

    (This podcast is for informational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice.  Please contact a healthcare professional with any medical or nutritional questions.)
    On this episode of Over Coffee®, you’ll hear:
    • What precipitated Max’s new healthy lifestyle;
    • How Max decided to write his second book, It’s Not the Cookie, It’s the Bag;
    • One of the misconceptions Max discovered, about “eating healthy”;
    • Max’s recommendation for making exercise time productive, rather than boring;
    • What “modern meditation” is, and how it can fit naturally into a workday;
    • How to deal with busy schedules and limited food choices;
    • A “survival tip” for traveling;
    • Affirmations and how to stay positive during challenging situations;
    • How Max stayed positive during his most difficult day as an entrepreneur;
    • Max’s suggestions for getting through a rough day without bingeing;
    • His “within-reach”approach for changing an unhealthy lifestyle;
    • The reasons cutting down on coffee might be a good idea;
    • The strategy behind his book’s title;
    • Healthy and good-tasting foods to take to work;
    • Max’s experiences as an author after publishing his first book, Bringing You Out of the Darkness Into the Light.


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