Step Back from the Baggage Claim Review and Author Interview

TITLE: Step Back From the Baggage Claim
AUTHOR: Jason Barger
PUB DATE: July 2009


Ever experienced the way small moments impact our lives? Ever wanted to participate in a movement to change our world? Step back, be still, share compassion, live gratefully. Today, travel gracefully along your path! “Step Back from the Baggage Claim”. Jason Barger spent seven straight days flying 6,548 miles to seven different cities living only in the airports the entire time. He studied 10,000 minutes of observations at all four corners of the U.S. and reflected on how our airport experiences can teach us about our lives today. The airport metaphor leaps to life through profound anecdotes about an orphanage in Mexico, a summer camp in Ohio, bamboo, the homeless, climbing Mount Everest, a hot dog grill, and much more. The funny and inspiring stories remind us how to change our daily world through thoughtful and compassionate action! Join the movement.


Thank You to Jason for contacting me about his book and thank you for sending it my way.

I have to say that I don’t read motivational books this hasn’t been a genre that really has interested me until reading this book. I am sure I will be picking up future books in this genre.

I have to also say that Jason was a pleasure to work with when he contacted me about doing this and in the interview. He always answered my emails really quickly. Jason, you were a pleasure to work with.

The premise behind the book was that Jason decided to spend seven days living in various airports from Columbus, Ohio to Boston to Maimi to Chicago to Minneapolis to Seattle to San Diego. He also didn’t leave these airports at all. He ate and slept in them. He also had set a budget of $20 a day to live on.

I really enjoyed the book and I could relate to it because I have experienced what he was talking about all the time. I am not a worldly traveller and I am not in airports all the time. I can actually say I have only flown three times in the last 11 years but I know what he is referring to.

While I was reading the book I can remember from the times I was in an airport that people rush off the plane to get to baggage claim to claim their stake for the best spot to grab their baggage while the people behind them were basically trying to poke and peek through to see if their bag had come down yet.

It always funny to see this and it has actually happened when I take the train that people are in such a rush to get their belongings that they don’t realize that by the time they get to baggage their baggage is still being unloaded.

Also as a society I find that we have become self centered and that its always about me and not those around us. I have witnessed this on several occassion where I have been standing in line for fast food to have someone butt in front of me. Just because I am a stay at home mom my time is just a precious as the person who cut in front of me.

On one occassion when that happened to me I actually spoke up because I was in a rush and had to be somewhere so I said “Excuse me, but I was in front of you.” The guy looked at me and said “Yea well not everyone can be a stay at home parent. Some of us have to work.” I was rather annoyed but thankfully the lady behind the counter served me before him.

The book was a quick read and it was interesting that Jason also included at the end of each chapter a few questions to ask yourself and to write them down. He also includes frequently asked questions that he gets asked with is answers. I was also curious and happy to see how he managed to live on $20 a day at these airports. Surprisingly he managed to do it. I guess something to think about when you are traveling this holiday season.

This book isn’t meant only for stepping back from the baggage claim but as well as stepping back in life. We are now a society that is a rush to get from A to B in the fastest time and we really need to step back and smell the roses as the saying goes and live in the moment and not let things pass us by.

Just remember it takes two seconds to help someone be it helping a mother with her stroller if she is going down stairs, holding the door open for someone it just takes one small act of kindness to make the difference in your day and in your life.


Jason Barger is the author of the book Step Back from the Baggage Claim: Change the World, Start at the Airport – featured in the NY Times, ABC, National Geographic Traveler,, Book TV, the Seattle Times, the International Herald Tribune, and many other wonderful spots.

Before taking off to sleep in airports and observe human behavior, Barger led over 1,700 people to construct 125 houses internationally for families living in poverty. He also implemented the Streets Mission Project to serve the homeless on the streets of Columbus, Ohio. As the former director of First Community Church’s Camp Akita, he designed programming focused on living with joy, love, compassion, faith, and service for over 1,900 campers per summer.

Jason is a graduate of Denison University, where he served as captain of the men’s basketball team, and then received certification from Georgetown University in Nonprofit Executive Management. In 2004, he was one of five people in Columbus, Ohio, to receive a Jefferson Award, a national award given to “ordinary people doing extraordinary things.”

Today, Jason, his wife Amy, and their two sons, Will and Benton, live in Columbus, Ohio. Jason is an author, consultant, servant-leader, creative Think-Tanker, and respected speaker. When not spending time on those things, he is cheering on The Ohio State Buckeyes and leaving the door open for the next opportunity to serve.


I want to thank you Jason for taking the time to sit and answer my questions.

CS- I am sure people are wondering why did you decide to write Step Back From the Baggage Claim?

JB-I’m fascinated by people and the spaces in the world where our lives merge together. I’m inspired by the fact that we all share in the creation of today – wherever we are right now. Our actions ripple to those around us and help to shape the culture of the environments we move in and out of every day.

CS- As a society do you think we are in too much of a rush and we just want to get in and out as quickly as possible?

JB-There’s no doubt that we (generally speaking) are living at a faster pace today than at any other time in our history. We live in a fast-food culture and world of instant communication. There are many positives to this fast-paced, connected world that I enjoy, but the downfall is that when we get moving too quickly, we can find ourselves racing recklessly past those along our path just to get the next thing done.

CS- Being in airports for seven days you must have seen some funny stuff, what was your favorite/funny thing you saw while you were observing people for the book?

JB- I love the phenomenon of when an airplane lands and 80% of the plane immediately leaps out of their seats. It is funny (and interesting) to watch the scurry for the overhead bags, the people who rush to try to get a couple rows ahead, the complaining about why it’s taking so long, and then the awkward wait that comes until the doors open a few minutes later. Everyone is “in a hurry” and “late for their next flight” and then you see the same folks 20 minutes later standing in a long line at Starbucks.

CS- I have to ask this and I am sure you get asked this alot but do you have any future books in the works?

JB-I’ve got a few projects that are marinating right now. Who knows what will emerge!

CS- I have to say that I am really surprised that you could actually live off of $20 / day in an airport. Were you surprised that you actually could do that? Did you find it to be a challenge?

JB-$20 does not go far in the airport! It was a challenge to meet the basic nutritional needs and still have enough money for the gallons of coffee required since I was sleeping only about 4 hours a night. It was a fun challenge.

CS- What surprised you about yourself when you set out to write Step Back?

JB- I was surprised how smooth the writing process was. It was an amazing feeling to see how the stories, lessons and observations emerged along the journey. I felt very grateful that I continued to have trust in what would arise from this unknown process.

CS- What would you want or hope readers would take away from reading your book?

JB- That they are significant in the world…today. That their actions matter more to the envionment around them than they fully realize. That when they put grateful and compassionate actions into motion during the seemingly insignificant moments of every day life – the world is changed. I hope readers feel hopeful, inspired, grateful, and compassionate for others along their path.

Thank you, Cindy! I truly appreciate your help sharing the positive spirit of this project! I hope all is well in your world.

You can check out for more information about joining the movement.

This book was provided for review Jason Barger by. Jason sent me the book to read and review as part of his virtual blog tour. Thank You Jason.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
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LIfe Cycles Review

PUB DATE: August 2008

When I first got the email to review Life Cycles I just had to read it. I replied back and Neil graciously sent me the book postmarked all the way from Australia. Thank You so very much Neil for your patience and understanding.

About the book:
‘Life Cycles’ is a ground-breaking new theory on what life is all about. It is both controversial and evidence-based and states that we live our lives in symbolically repeatable twelve year cycles. There are two important years in the cycle and this is where we see fate take a hand in unusual ways.Designed to entertain and inform; details from the public record are used to dissect the lives of world leaders, showbiz personalities, criminals and ordinary citizens. You will learn about your life’s symbolic meaning and be introduced to a whole range of new terms and icons.You won’t read anything quite as original and intriguing and you will never look at your life the same way again. Is it just fanciful or does it represent the most important addition to esoteric knowledge for thousands of years?But what’s this! There’s the sound of an engine warming up and there you are on a platform beside your own private train, pulled up at Revolution Place and they’re telling you to get aboard.

My Review:
I found the book to be very interesting because I am always interested in books that talk about fate and things happening for a reason. What I wanted to know was how important the numbers in the year of my life planned in my life.

Cycles happen yearly typically from birthday to birthday. This has nothing to do with astrology, planets etc.

Two out of the twelve years are “out of control”. Meaning that fate and events take over our lives that we usually have no control of. Have you ever noticed that happening and wondered why?

There are seven stages in our lives. They are: birth, infant, child, teenager, young adult,middle age adult, and late adult. The cycles are from birth to death.

When its broken down every twelve years is known as the Flames of Revolution. The numbers for this is 12-24-36-48 etc. During the 12th year cycle there is a change and its not under out control.

The year of the broken pathway happens every 7th year. These numbers are 7-19-31-43 etc. In these times its the year of the change and new responsibilities and challenges happen. These happen out of our comfort zones.

Neil mentions that 24 and 36 are always the two numbers that stand out when he was doing his research on people. He took the time lines of famous people, celebrities, world leaders, criminals and ordinary people.

The book goes into detail about the numbers and what the years mean. I won’t go into much more but I will share some of what the numbers mean to me. In the book he explained how we can do this on ourselves by using the following numbers: 7-12-19-24-31-36. Those are the numbers in the Revolution and broken pathways.

7- I can’t really remember anything significant happening then.

12- When I think back the only thing I can remember was starting junior high. Need I say more. I was no longer going to a country elementary school anymore but going into the city for junior high. This is grade 7. New people around.

19- I know during this year I did step out of my comfort zone and through the power of persuasion from my cousin and his girlfriend I ended up telling my cousins friend that i like him. It didn’t work out for us but we remained really good friends to this day.

24-This was a big year for me. I got a full time job, moved out of my parents house and started to date a guy. (That relationship never lasted the year)

31-The new challenge for me was this year I had quit my job and was only married a few months. So I was getting use to being a wife and all the responsibilities of running a house. Thinking about children.

36- My dad passed away so dealing with that and then a few weeks later having my mother move in with us from NB.

Other numbers that have meaning to me are:

Illusion (climbing over the ridge) 21 Graduated and 33 had Michael

The Year of change was 37 when I started to review books and have a blog.

The year I had fate in my hands was when I was 26 I had reconnected with my high school sweetheart and went to see him for two weeks in the US. We have once again reconnected to this day but as friends.

I have to say that I had a hard time writing this review. For me its just that I had a hard time putting all the info from the book and putting it into my own words so that it could make sense. If this interest you then I suggest you get the book and do your own Life Cycle. I know when I look back and see that things did happen and I am sure I always questioned why now I know why.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

*The Debs

PUB DATE: August 2008


I have to thank Susan for sending me this copy to read and review. This was such a great read. It was fun and quick. I really enjoyed it. I really love the cover picture.

The Debs is the first book in the series. I love discovering a new series. The book is about a group of teenage girls, Laura. Mac, Ginger and Jo Lynn. They are all vying for a spot into The Glass Slipper club. Only a selected few are invited each year. You can see the close friendship of Laura, Mac and Ginger, along with the rival between Laura and Jo Lynn. There is complicated romances, break ups, betrayal and competition.

Laura is your average teen age girl who is struggling with her weight and just wants to fit in and be accepted. (Look most girls out there.)I loved Laura cause she is a size 14 figure and she attracks the hot boy. Proving that size doesn’t matter to some.

Mac is the practical one and doesn’t understand why her friends worry about what others think and why they drop everything and everyone for a boy. She buries her nose in books and likes the nerdy guys next door. She is dealing with the lose of her mother who recently died and her fathers remarriage. Her mother’s dream was for make to become a Rosebud and now her stepmother is obsessing about it. She use to be in beauty pagents.

Ginger is the activist and environmentalist of the group. She wants to wear her grandmothers vintage dress that she wore at her deb. She isn’t the regular deb material but she thinks that if she becomes a deb then she can use her power to fight the causes and that people will back her up and support her. She has fallen for a college guy who is painting her mothers dining room. He puts her deg eligibilty in danger. Will he succeed?

Jo Lynn is the villian of the story. I loved to hate her. She is the type of girl who will stop at nothing to get what she wants and no one will be above her taking the spot light away from her. She will do anything to stay at the top.

Will each of the girls get an invite? Will Jo Lynn succeed in getting rid of what she thinks is debu-trash?

The next book in the series is called “The Debs: Love, Lies and Texas Dips” this is set to be released in June 2009 and “Gloves Off” is for Spring of 2010. I really look forward to reading the next book in the series.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

Daughter of Mine Review

PUB DATE: September 2008

Thank you to Laura for the signed copy of the book. Laura is a local author here in Montreal. She personally hand delivered the book to me to read and review. Laura is a super friendly author. It was a pleasure to talk to you briefly and to read your book. I enjoyed the book and I managed to read it in a day this past weekend.

The main character Tiziana is a very successful mechanical designer who has worked with the same company for seven years and she is making a name for herself. She is a 27 year old Italian and is still living at home with her parents. Her mother has been sick for awhile and then one day at school she collapses and is rushed to the hospital. She is diagnosed with diabetes. The dr suggests that Tiziana should get checked out because it can be heredity. Her mother starts to worry and tells her husband that they need to tell Tiziana the truth about her life.

When Tiziana learns the truth she is upset, angry and feels betrayed by the secret her parents kept from her. She finds out she was adopted in Italy and brought back to Canada to live. She decides to head to Italy, especially Gaeta. This was the village in which she was born.

On her first night there she meets a guy named Gian-Carlo. He is at the hotel for a wedding reception. She tells him everything and he offers to help her out anyway he can. Tiziana starts her search the next day but no one seems to be able to help her. She knows that they know something. After spending the night in Rome, she had a photo shot with Gian-Carlo, she returns to her hotel room only to find out that someone broke in and left a message telling her to go home. Scared she calls Gian-Carlo and he makes arrangements for her to go to another place to stay for a few days. It is there that her questions are finally answered and everything is revealed.

I enjoyed the book. The chapters were short and made for a quick read. There is a little romance and some mystery to the book.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
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The Kings of Innocence Review

TITLE: The Kings of Innocence
AUTHOR: Michael Burns
PUB DATE: September 2007

Thank You to Michael for sending me his first book to read and review. I found this to be a quick read once I got into the story. This is a story of friendship and love for your friends.

The Kings of Innocence is about three recent college friends who are also childhood friends. Roy, Mark and Jay come together one summer in 2002. Roy goes home for two weeks to take care of his 17 year old brother, Bobby while their parents are in Ireland. During the two weeks the friends are living the typical college life, haven’t yet thought about adulthood. They are out drinking, flirting with the women and getting into a fight or two. One that lands them being arrested.

Roy is 24 years old and he is an investment analyst living in Boston.

Mark is one of his best friends who is now a police officer.

Jay the last best friend has been teaching for a year and thinking about quitting. Jay has quit many colleges and changed his majors many times. He has yet to grow up and accept responsibility for his actions. He has a serios gambling problem.

When Roy and Mark realize how serious Jays problem is they try to help him out but he refuses their offer of help. Jay resorts to illegal measures to come up with the money. He goes from breaking into a drug dealers business and stealing some weed and reselling it to a college dealer to breaking into his place of employment and stealing money and he leaves evidence that a loan shark did it.

You can tell that there is a lifelong friendship between the friends. They tell it like it is and if any of them is in trouble they jump in and help out.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.