Review: ExtraLife, Inc., by Kfir Luzzatto

ExtraLife, Inc.
Kfir Luzzatto

Product Description (via

David Wolfson, a Jerusalem scientist, claims to have found the cure for cancer. He and his wife, Tamara, seek the help of Richard Lunz, a Tel Aviv attorney, to fight the powerful bureaucrats who want to appropriate David’s invention. Richard can’t resist the temptation to participate in what looks like the discovery of the century and it takes a first death to make him doubt that something in the project is not what it seems. And then other people die. Following clues that take him to Eastern Europe and to America, Richard finds more answers than he wished for. But he just can’t stop looking.

My Thoughts:

When Kfir Luzzatto asked me, in April, to read and review ExtraLife, Inc., I said yes, because it sounded like a really gripping read.

I was not disappointed, because in this novel Luzzatto gives us a medical and legal thriller that not only has great characters, but also looks at some crucial ethical issues: science vs. money is one of them, but another is the question of the line between professional ethics and scientific research.

Despite – or perhaps because of – the weighty themes, Luzzatto keeps the audience entertained. From the opening, where no names were used for over a page, and we, the reader, are a bit unsure what is happening, to the globe-spanning cat-and-mouse games; from the chilling knowledge that people are dying, to the book’s satisfying ending there is not one moment of dullness. The pacing allows us to become absorbed in the story with pauses to regroup, and at no point did I want to skip ahead or tune out.

To many, any book with “cancer” in the back-cover or flyleaf blurb may seem like it couldn’t possibly be entertaining, but ExtraLife, Inc. not only entertains, but provokes real thought.

Goes well with…
Chicken shawarma, Greek salad, and iced hibiscus tea.

Buy this book:
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This review is based on a digital copy that was provided by the author. The published version may differ slightly in format and editing.

Review: A Soul’s Calling, by Scott Bishop

A Soul’s Calling
Scott Bishop

Description (via

A Soul’s Calling is a memoir about a man who listened to his heart instead of reason.

Scott, a forty-something attorney, is average in every way except one. He has a connection to the Other Side. He speaks to Spirit and Spirit speaks to him. He sees, hears, and interacts with an invisible realm that is beyond ordinary human perception. When Scott learns his soul has been spiritually compromised he travels to the ancient kingdom of Nepal to win it back. Once there, he hikes the Himalaya carrying a mysterious bundle and a stick laden with prayers from Luminous Beings hoping to come face to face with the greatest mountain on earth: Mount Everest. As his journey unfolds, Scott is called on to battle his fear of heights, the thin air, and his physical limitations.

A Soul’s Calling transports readers to the rugged but enchanting Khumbu Valley where mountains speak and nature is imbued with a special kind of magic. The novel is an inspiring modern day adventure that weaves the timeless themes of living an authentic life, the consequences of power, and what a man would do for unrequited love.

Part travelogue, part hiking adventure, A Soul’s Calling blends elements of shamanism and magic as it brings the Himalaya to life in vivid detail. Powerful, sweeping, and deeply moving, readers will search their hearts as the book draws to a stunning conclusion.

My Thoughts:

Anyone who’s grown up reading National Geographic or watching The Discovery Channel dreams of trekking to far away lands, but a surprisingly few number of us ever DO it. It’s an even fewer number of us who are tapped into Spirit – that voice inside all things that speaks to us about the past and future and our place within it.

Scott Bishop is one of those rare few who not only hears the voice of Spirit, but also acts on it, choosing to climb Mt. Everest.

In his book, A Soul’s Calling Bishop takes us on his journey, from a fairly mundane existence to the life of a spiritual pilgrim, climbing mountains to find the answers to life, the universe, and his personal spirit quest.

His story is part travelogue, part spiritual awakening. What could seem silly or pretentious in another writer’s hands (the Voice of Spirit speaking through trees) becomes, instead, an ominous warning, and a wake-up call to his very soul.

The details of the actual trek are similarly compelling, though he obliterates the notion of a stark, lonely mountain, making it seem – at least at lower elevations, like a fairly busy microcosm of granola hippies, religious seekers, and explorers in every sense of the word.

A Soul’s Calling, isn’t an easy read – at least it wasn’t for me. At times I had to put it down and take time to digest what Bishop was saying. But it’s a compelling, well-written, deeply personal tale that touches on some fairly universal themes, and I can honestly say that I’m a better person for having read it.

Goes well with:
Herbal tea and trail mix, followed by a hot bath.

Apologies to Mr. Bishop. I read this MONTHS ago, but have been suffering such a bout of writer’s block, and dealing with some personal craziness, and my review queue is woefully behind.