August 18, 2011
This week’s “Buzz Book” is such a neat concept! There’s no trickery—it’s exactly what it sounds like, a coloring book. But read on, there is a connection between construction work and coloring books that makes a lot of sense.
Brent’s not implying that construction workers should be picking this up on their lunch hour with a box of crayons. Instead, this book is intended to facilitate the very important conversation about work safety with your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
There’s no arguing that technical careers hold a daily safety risk unparalleled to any other job. And just as much as it’s important for the workers to know and practice good safety habits, it’s equally as important that the youth in their life begin to understand these same habits from an early age. Whether they follow in their family’s footsteps and continue a career in the construction industry, or are simply in a car that drives by a construction site one day, the lessons learned in this book are important. These safety skills are applicable to any career and help to foster a mindset of safety and caution. Furthermore, when a worker shares this with someone close to them, they’re going to remember these same principles the next day on the job and the importance they carry in keeping them safe and bringing them back home to their family.
The best part about this book isn’t just the great graphics, fun captions or that it’s written in both English and Spanish—it’s that all proceeds of this coloring book goes to help the families of those who have been injured on construction projects in the memory of Brent’s father, Bob A. Darnell.
Buy it here!
August 11, 2011
We’re buzzing over this week’s book for a whole new reason—it’s delicious!
This book is so much more than a collection of recipes. It’s a collection of memories, the snapshot of a lifestyle and the history of an entire family portrayed through the love and enjoyment of “down-home” Southern cooking. Brent was born and raised in the Deep South—Mobile, Alabama to be exact. Understanding the culture of this Southern community is key to appreciating the pages and pages of recipes that follow. In Brent’s words, “Mobile is a place where people have names like Bubba, Shirley Boy, Booger Red, Cotton, Snort, Bubby and Aunt Vila (pronounced Aint Vila). People live in shotgun houses and “set” on front porches.”
The only thing more vivid than this colorful description of Brent’s childhood is the irresistible aroma your mind creates while reading through the recipes. This cookbook offers everything from simple and practical recipes like “Clean Out the Cupboard Vegetable Soup” to more adventurous ones like “Ben’s Gumbo.” There are recipes you’ll be dying to try like “Nanny’s Fried Sweet Potatoes” and things you may never have heard of like “Esther’s Mayonnaise Cake.” But one thing is pretty certain– every recipe in here is as delicious as it is Southern.
While the recipes may make up the content of the book, it’s the memories and history you can sense behind each dish that make up the heart of the book. Readers may not have the same Southern upbringing as did Brent, but this is a book everyone, whether brought up in the East, South, North or West, needs to add to their personal library!
Buy Big Mama’s Country Cookbook here!
August 4, 2011
We’re still buzzing over the Tough Guy series! This week looks at a book that addresses three of the industry’s most common obstacles that lead to burnout and weigh on an employee’s health and happiness.
Continuing with the Tough Guys series, this particular book offers some of the most immediately applicable advice. Construction workers endure physically and mentally strenuous work environments. In addition, they’re often working on a tight deadline that keeps getting tighter regardless of project set-backs. Throw in finding time for family, eating healthy and getting enough sleeping and there just aren’t enough hours in the day. So you can see how easily stress and poor habits can easily get out of control…
What this book successfully provides is a no nonsense guide to exactly what’s in its title: stress management, time management and life balance. The book really gets through to even the “toughest” of readers by first examining what your stress is doing to your mental and physical well-being. There are some great testimonials from people who didn’t know their sluggishness, headaches and other health issues were actually related to a completely non-physical cause, stress (all testimonials can be found at http://www.brentdarnell.com). By heeding to Brent’s advice in this book, we can all learn to better identify and manage stress, make better use of our time and find a balance between work, family and what we are most passionate about.
Buy it here!