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The Thorazine Mirrorball
Wild Child Publishing
P.O. Box 4897, Culver City, CA 90231-4897
1934069663 $5.95 www.wildchildpublishing.com
Aaron Paul Lazar
Jimmy Mack isn't crazy.
Well, at least not now. After two years of debilitating depression and forced exile in an asylum,
characterized by chunks of memory loss and high doses of heavy meds, the twenty-one-year old
rhythm and blues piano player is finally back.
Assigned a room in a halfway house in Albany in 1972, Jimmy reconnects with his old music
buddies and lands a lucrative gig in the Adirondacks. All goes well, until a group of thugs nearly
drive him off the road and people around him start dying, jeopardizing Jimmy's already fragile
The young man, frazzled with nerves, is smitten by every pretty woman who crosses his path,
particularly singer Yvonne Marshall, with her caramel skin and velvet voice. The woman oozes
sex-appeal, creating a trail of shuddering men in her wake.
From one fast-paced scene to another, this book moves. Maeby also displays a deep musical
insight, with perception that reflect his history as a band member with acts such as The Neville
Brothers, Etta James, and Carly Simon, as well as his accomplishments and awards for his
compositions in the film and musical fields. Yet within the action, there are also moments of
poignant poetry couched in Maeby's words.
"It was the opening movement of a dance done by demons, the prelude to panic, and then to
darkness. If the feeling had sound, it would be an atonal moan in the bass register, accompanied
by brittle, frenetic percussion. I knew it as the insistent, cruel pulse of anxiety."
Jack Maeby has created a superb thriller in this taut and colorful novel. Characters jump from the
page - such as Shorty, the irascible record shop owner who becomes inadvertently involved in a
shady music business deal. Each of Maeby's characters tremble with life; their natural dialogue is
easy to swallow. The prose flows effortlessly, with none of the forced literary faux pas often
made by first time novelists. There is no excess here, each word is precisely placed and potent. It
is clear that in addition to his innate talent, this writer has done his homework.
The Thorazine Mirrorball is highly recommended for all lovers of mystery/suspense, music, or
crime novels. The only question remaining is this: when will Mr. Maeby produce his next
The Uncommon Reader, a Novella
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
New York, NY
Dr. Alma H. Bond
The Uncommon Reader, a Novella, by Alan Bennett, is a "what if" book that takes the reader into
the life of Great Britain's own Queen Elizabeth 11 and shows us what conceivably could happen
if the staid, prosaic, TV loving Queen discovered the world of books.
The Uncommon Reader, a Novella, by Alan Bennett, is a charming, delightful book.
Wonderfully imaginative and original, this slender book of only 120 pages pictures the Queen
developing from a dull, duty-bound stereotyped monarch and matriarch of a dysfunctional family
to one caught up in the magic of strange lives and loves.
It all began with her ever-present Corgis, who began barking loudly one day. Elizabeth went to
see what all the ruckus was about, and found a mobile library parked outside one of the kitchens
of Buckingham Palace. More in an effort to be polite than because of any riveting interest, she
decided to borrow a book, as she thought that not doing so would seem to the librarian that the
library was somehow lacking. A young man who worked in the Palace kitchen was also taking
out a book. He and the Queen began a discussion that was to change her life and that of her
empire, along, no doubt, with history. She promptly removed Norman from the kitchen and made
him her literary advisor.
To her surprise, she became deeply involved in the book, and soon began a second, a third, and
then a fourth. Each one she read opened up new vistas and led to the next on her list. As the
Queen became more and more engrossed in reading, her family and advisors were disturbed and
yearned for the return of their old, predictable Queen. Passing her bedroom one night, her
husband, the Duke of Edinborough, heard her laugh out loud. "All right, old Girl?" he asked. "Of
course," she answered. "I'm reading." The Duke said, "Again?" and went off shaking his head (p.
Her attendants were disgruntled at having to vary their routines. Lord Kevin, the Royal Secretary,
intensely disapproved of the Queen's new passion, although he tried to cover it up."I can
understand," he said, "Your Majesty's need to pass the time."
"Pass the time?" said the Queen, who was growing wiser by the day. "Books are not about
passing the time. They are about other lives. Other worlds. Far from wanting to pass the time, Sir
Kevin, One just wishes one had more of it" (p. 29).
Unfortunately, the Queen's reading brought out other feelings along with her pleasure. She felt
regret and mortification at all the opportunities she had missed. When she had met Masefield and
Walter de la Mare, for example, there had been nothing she could think of to say to them.
Similarly, she had been speechless in the presence of Priestley, T.S. Eliot, and Ted Hughes. How
she would love to have such opportunities now, but unfortunately, they all were dead.
"Everybody's dead," she said glumly (p. 10). Years before, she had sat next to Lord David Cecil
who had written books on Jane Austen, and these days would have relished the encounter. But
Lord David also was dead now and so it was too late. "Too late. It was all too late," (p. 75) the
grieving Queen said. But she went on reading determinably, in her attempt to catch up.
The Queen believed that one of the charms of reading lay in its indifference. Books did not care
if anyone read them or not. "All readers were equal, herself included" (p. 30). That reflection
took her back to one of the greatest joys of her girlhood. On VE night, she and her sister had
slipped outside the gates and mingled unrecognized by the crowds. She felt there was a similar
joy in reading; "It was anonymous; it was shared; it was common."
One of the Queen's duties was to open Parliament. She had never found the task particularly
irksome, but did now, as she regretted the two hours it would take her away from her book. So
she developed a system as she rode in the coach where she could do her duty and still follow her
newfound desire. She got quite adept at focusing on her book and not the crowds, keeping the
book below the level of the window and waving at the same time. The Duke didn't like it one bit,
but the Queen rode happily along. If she waved a bit listlessly at the crowds, it didn't bother her,
if indeed she was aware of it at all.
The Queen also found that she was bored with her previous method of interacting with her
subjects, asking them their length of service, birthplace, where they lived now, and so forth. She
soon abandoned these questions for a new conversational gambit, "What are you reading now?"
she would ask Few of her subjects had a ready answer, as it was a rare person who was reading
anything at all. The Queen would often fill in the silence by fishing out a paperback from her
handbag and making them a present of it. The equerries soon began suggesting to the subjects
beforehand a list of books they could mention. As a result, the Queen came away with "a
disproportionate notion of the near universal affection for Joanna Trollope" (p. 42).
Now that she was reading so intensively, she began to slip up a bit on her previously immaculate
appearance, and the formerly rigidly punctual Queen also began to be a bit late for meetings. An
equerry was embarrassed by her new behaviour and believed it indicated that she was beginning
to show her age. "Like any change of behavior in the elderly, it was readily put down to decay"
At the beginning of her new passion, the Queen read haphazardly, with each book leading to
another. In the next stage, she made notes in which she simply wrote down passages that struck
her fancy. Only after a year or two of making such notes did she begin to write an occasional
thought of her own. I am an opsimath," she said, a word Norman had found in her dictionary,
"one who learns only late in life...It occurred to her (as she wrote down the next day) that reading
was, among other things, a muscle and one that she had seemingly developed" (p. 99). She who
had never been subject to anyone would now be on a par with the rest of humanity. Reading
could not change that - although writing might. She found that when she had written something
down, it made her happy. It seems the Queen was beginning to show symptoms of becoming a
On the occasion of her 80th birthday party, the Queen said that she didn't know what there was to
celebrate, but "one of the few things to be said for it (aging) is that one has at least achieved an
age at which one can die without people being shocked." She added, "At 80 things do not occur:
they recur." She spoke of all she had learned and wondered what would happen to it..."I think it
is time," she said, "that from being a reader I become, or try to become, a writer." She spoke of
her ancestors, who had written books, and the Duke of Windsor, who had written A King's
But Ma'am, the prime minister objected, he only wrote the book after he abdicated.
"Oh, did I not say that?" said the Queen.
Alan Bennett has written an utterly engrossing, humorous account of a never never land we all
wish would exist. The book is a page turner that is difficult to put down. Nobody who has read it
will ever forget Bennett's imaginative world of a reinvented British monarchy. The Uncommon
Reader is highly recommended to disillusioned lovers of British royalty, and to everyone who
enjoys a good story. I can empathize with Bennett's Elizabeth. Reading has made my life a
Alan Bennett has been one of England's leading dramatists for half a century, since Beyond the
Fringe brought him to New York in the '60s. His theatre experience no doubt has helped him to
bring the portrait of the often boring Queen to life, not an easy task! His other work includes the
Talking Heads television series and the stage plays Forty Years On, The Lady in the Van, A
Question of Attribution, and most impressive of all to this reviewer, The Madness of George 111.
His most recent play, The History Boys, won six Tony Awards, including Best Play, in 2006. It
was also released as a feature film. In the same year his memoir Untold Stories was a number one
bestseller in the U.K., and he was named the Author of the Year at the 2006 British Book
Paint Me President
Dr. Thomas Moore
130 Church Street, #413, New York, NY 10007
0978602404, $16.95 www.alpharpublish.com
PAINT ME PRESIDENT is funny, insightful, and revealing, It is a humorous novel which
contrasts the PR images of our presidential aspirant Hillary with endearing characters, such as the
maligned survivor Carl Meeks, his granddaughter and philosophical prostitute Carmella, her
whistle blowing husband Tony, and the seductive sleaze of her PR agent, Mr. Gingrinch: "Hillary
could declassify national secrets. I want Tony to produce a Hillary TV script that will destroy her
credibility. Democracy is too fragile a flower to risk in the hands of a woman "
Just as The Newton Show offers a metaphor for contemporary American culture, Paint Me
President depicts the plastic images created for our politicians by media giants such as Newton
PR, a media landscape of lifelike fantasies of our political candidates and our values. Hillary is
trapped in the prison of her manipulated public media image, disguised as the real person. Our
entire society may be living in an enclosed, high-tech, drug-induced deception of
Hillary feels blocked by malevolent simulators and high-tech manipulators who are intent on
keeping her inside the plastic bubble of her public image. In the end, Hillary goes on a journey to
escape this realm of smoke and mirrors: Dr. Thomas Moore uses a docudrama comedic genre to
trace the history of government corruption, questions the manipulation of our youth, and
promotes a survival strategy to resist the threat of global catastrophe.
What Legends Are Made Of
Rain Publishing Inc.
2025 Guelph Line, Suite 264, Burlington, Ontario, Canada L7P 4X4
What Legends Are Made Of is the latest anthology by my favourite author Heather Beck. This is
a collection for an older audience as the content and language challenges the reader. Consisting
of four paranormal stories, "Sir Tristan's Estate" begins this amazing anthology. "Sir Tristan's
Estate" is about a photographer, Krista, who is on a mission to capture the sad story behind the
tourist-driven estate. When she arrives the estate is closed. The only person there is the
mysterious man named Tom Dove. The passionate and strange relationship between Krista and
Tom immediately drew me into the story. Everything is not as it appears in "Sir Tristan's Estate".
A heart-racing ride is followed by another. "Sir Tristan's Estate" is definitely my favourite story
of this collection.
The second story, "Blue Water" is beautifully described. The tale involves young love, ancient
love, deadly waters and mythical creatures. The complexity of the female lead really struck me as
excellent character development. The resolution is very satisfying.
The third story, "Freaky Frank" is so creative. It's a summer romance filled with discoveries, fear
and big decisions. Every woman will fall in love with Frank and wish they were Brittany.
The last story brought about feelings of sadness because I didn't want this cool anthology to be
over. "One Stop Horror Shop" has a wicked title and excellent writing throughout. A newly
married couple own a costume and truck store which sells products that are a bit too real. The
whole tale is filled with unexpected excitement, scares and even laughs.
What Legends Are Made Of is another great anthology by Heather Beck. She has an unbelievable
imagination that is creatively astonishing. Her writing ability is advanced for her young age.
What Legends Are Made Of gets five stars and is highly recommended to paranormal
Trench Warfare Under Grant and Lee
Earl J. Hess
The University of North Carolina Press
116 South Boundary Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27514-3808
I was very fortunate to pick up his first book in Dr. Hess's planned three-part series on trench
warfare and field fortifications. The title was Field Armies and Fortifications in the Civil War /
The Eastern Campaigns, 1861-1864. I picked up the second, Trench Warfare under Grant & Lee
and it's at the most fundamental level of narrative history of military operations in the Overland
campaign of May and June 1864, covering a period of six weeks. Dr Hess uses original research,
and careful inspections of archeological remains.
This becomes a thoughtful and readable analysis of the evolution of field works of Wilderness,
Spotsylvania, Bermuda Hundred, North Anna, and Cold Harbor. I learned a rich understanding of
these two Civil War campaigns. The heavy combat illustrates how the field fortifications
influenced the course of the Overland Campaign. Hess points out that " the use of these
fortifications were not due to some irrational fear, but due to a real and potent threat: the
continued presence of an enemy army within striking distance. Their use was a rational and
logical response to that threat."
Hess describes both the Union and Confederate armies field earthworks, and how Grant and Lee
used them This new era of field entrenchments kept both armies to dig in for self-protection.
Hess uses historic photographs and new maps of trench remnants to explain and strengthen his
case. Despite massive casualties Grant pressed forward to gain the strategic control and the
initiative. Grant was able to hold it for the rest of the war in the eastern theater. Hess confines the
technical details of entrenchment and breastwork design for an appendix, keeping his main
narrative brisk and interesting to the reader or student. His work demonstrates a discipline of
almost 20 years of research. He kept his researched material crammed in two file cabinets from
his travels, while visiting over 303 sites of the Civil War. He made good use of them by writing
his two books to reach a new benchmark level on the topic of entrenchments.
After I have read this book, I must be patient and await Dr. Hess's writing of the third planned
volume. I anticipate it to mirror his other two masterful works reflecting an important
contribution to Civil War literature.
His third book is to cover Petersburg to the end of the war. I generally refrain from any star
rating, but books in this series rate easily five-stars.
Joseph's Bones: Understanding the Struggle Between God and Mankind in the Bible
Jerome M. Segal
c/o The Berkley Publishing Group
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
9781594489396 $24.95 www.penguin.com 1-800-847-5515
Fred Reiss, Ed.D.
If the Bible is correct, then morality entered the world when Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of
Knowledge since after eating its fruit, their eyes were open, they saw that they were naked, and
sewed fig leaves together to cover their nakedness. This fruit imparted the special gift that
allowed them to distinguish good from evil and right from wrong. Is there, then, a moral
imperative that transcends the divine? After all, God did not command them, "Thou shall not go
naked," yet Adam and Eve knew it was wrong, and then took the affirmative step to clothe
themselves in order to correct the error.
God did command them not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge and later, when they heard God
in the Garden of Eden, they hid. Adam and Eve hid because they knew it was wrong to disobey
God's command precisely because they ate the forbidden fruit. Suppose God commanded, "Don't
chop down any of the trees in the garden," but for whatever reason, they chopped one down.
Would they have known that it was wrong? The answer must be a resounding "No" because
Adam and Eve were amoral until they ate from the Tree of Knowledge.
The biblical text specifically says that possessing knowledge of good and evil is a god-like
quality (according to the Book of Genesis, another quality is immortality, which Adam and Eve
could have achieved by eating the fruit of the Tree of Life, which might have happened if God
had allowed them to remain in the Garden of Eden.) Now, author Jerome M. Segal jumps in and
poignantly asks, if morality is self-evident and god-like, then is God moral? His newest book,
Joseph's Bones: Understanding the Struggle Between God and Mankind in the Bible, offers the
unequivocal answer that God is not moral.
To arrive at this conclusion, Segal reads the first six books of the Bible, the Five Books of Moses
and the Book of Joshua, which he calls the Hexateuch, as novels devoid of any religious
significance, a method known as narrative criticism. Joseph's Bones makes four important points.
First, God cannot be a God without worshipers, and so he sets out to find a people to make His
own. Second, God is an immoral, totalitarian, hot-headed god, as shown in certain biblical stories
including: Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, the Flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, the binding
of Isaac, and His interactions with Israelites as they wander in the desert under the leadership of
Moses. Third, God's morality is different (and better) by the time Joshua takes the mantle of
leadership. Finally, Joseph's persona is the antithesis of God's character.
Segal does a commendable job reviewing the Hexateuch, and I will mention only some of his
examples. In the time of Noah, God kills off all living things because some group, perhaps most,
of humanity is wicked and lawless. Segal asks if it is possible for newborn babies and infants to
be evil? What sin could the animals possibly have committed? He concludes that God is immoral
because He kills the innocent with the guilty. Noah might have been the most righteous of his
generation, but he lacks the intestinal fortitude to denounce God's moral errors on each of the
three occasions that God informs Noah that He will bring an end to all flesh. The biblical
narratives suggest to Segal that God regrets what he did after Noah appeases Him with numerous
sweet-smelling sacrifices, and consequently, God gives Himself a sign, a rainbow, as a personal
reminder never to destroy the world in a fit of anger by flood again.
Segal informs us that Abraham, the father of the Jewish people, was God's match. Not wanting to
directly confront an all-powerful being bent on killing everyone who inhabits Sodom and
Gomorrah, Abraham asks God if He will sweep away the innocent with the guilty: "Shall not the
Judge of all the earth deal justly?" Abraham pleads six different times with God to change the
criteria from total destruction to saving the cities if He can find only five innocent people.
According to Segal, God fumes over this dialogue and Abraham's price to pay was the near
sacrificing of Isaac.
Moses, like a rainbow, is drawn from water. As such, he stands as a permanent reminder to God
not to destroy the entire Israelite nation. For example, many, but not all, of the Israelites worship
the golden calf. As a result, Moses destroys the tablets holding the Ten Commandments, smashes
the idol, and forces the people to drink the gold. God plans the annihilation of the Israelites;
killing the innocent with the guilty, and starting over with Moses. The next day Moses asks God
to forgive them or to be killed along with the Israelites. God refuses to absolve the guilty and
kills three thousand Israelites.
Though Moses fears God's uncontrollable wrath, he demands that God be in their midst and that
he be permitted to see God's face. According to Segal, Moses asks these things because he wants
to have a deeper understanding of God in order to become a better protector of the people. God
does not grant Moses his request and only permits Moses to see His back.
The twelve spies return from the Promised Land. Ten report that the Israelites will lose any war
fought with its inhabitants. God does not just punish the ten by killing them through some
plague. No, He punishes the entire people by forcing them to march in circles in the desert for
forty years. Six hundred thousand will die without ever seeing Canaan. Later, in Korah's
Rebellion against Moses, God only kills 14,700 associated with Korah; leaving the innocent
alone. For Segal, there is hope for God.
By the time we reach the Book of Deuteronomy, Moses has grown from the humblest person on
the face of the Earth who cannot speak without his brother to a dynamic spokesman for and
fearless leader and guardian of the Jewish People. Deuteronomy, according to Segal, is not just a
recapitulation of God's laws, but a warning to follow God's laws or face total obliteration. Moses
truly fears for his people after he is gone, and passes the mantle of leadership on to Joshua
because Joshua grasps the essence of Moses teachings. By this time, God is not only in their
midst, but he directs the strategy of battle, and is satisfied if the Israelites, themselves, seek out
and punish sinners.
The Israelites carried two arks in the desert for forty years, the Ark of the Covenant and the ark
that held Joseph's bones. The former was commanded by God; the later as the fulfillment of a
promise to Joseph made 400 years earlier when he asked that his bones be carried out of Egypt
with the Exodus and buried in the Promised Land. According to Segal, Joseph represents
everything that God is not. Joseph was a powerful ruler who chose mercy over justice and love
over vindictiveness. The Israelites carried the Ark of the Covenant out of fear, but Joseph's bones
out of admiration.
Segal concludes with an Afterword and an Appendix. It is here that he goes far astray. In the
Afterword he replaces the method of narrative criticism with a religious analysis of Jesus' life to
show that God has further changed from a God who punishes the masses to one who punishes the
individual sinner, and that He has evolved into a God of love. He makes the point that Jesus
became the Pascal lamb to save the world from sin, just as Moses directed the killing of the
Passover lamb so that the blood could be used to save the first-born Jews.
The Afterword relies so little on the narratives of the New Testament that it is difficult to
understand if he is referring to Original Sin, or sin in general. If he means Original Sin, then he
previously pointed out that Adam and Eve, and subsequently all of humanity were punished for
this sin through expulsion from the Garden of Eden, childbirth pains and working the land to
obtain food. If his conclusion is that belief in Jesus saves the world from Original Sin, then he
contradicts his previous findings. Segal never builds a case that God is so immoral that He
punishes for the same sin twice. On the other hand, if he means sin in the general sense, we also
have a contradiction, for there is never a claim made that being Jewish and believing in God
prevents divine punishment, so how does the analogy of being Christian and believing in God's
son avoid divine punishment? Moreover, Segal does not carry this logic to the present and
discuss God's morality during the time of the Crusades, pogroms, or the Holocaust.
If Segal had stopped with the Book of Joshua, disapproval could only be leveled at his narrow
use of literary criticism to interpret the Bible. For example, in addition to analyzing the
narratives, one expects him to consider changes in style within a text, and from one book to
another, something that may not be obvious when relying on an English translation. Similarly,
God uses various names for Himself throughout the Bible, particularly the quotes cited in
Joseph's Bones. Segal leads us to believe that there is just one primary name for God, Yahweh;
however he cites numerous passages that use the word the Hebrew word Elohim, which also
translates as God. Perhaps God already recognizes His nature, and uses different names to impart
Segal would have us believe that the narratives speak for themselves, but they do not. In too
many places he is forced to make extraordinary inferences to complete his story. Additionally, if
the books of the Hexateuch are read as novels, then their stories must be interpreted through the
moral frame of reference in which they were written, the Middle Eastern culture. There is a
long-standing tradition in the Middle East that an entire family is killed for the indiscretion of
one of its members. Perhaps this is the upshot of an even older tradition in which an entire tribe
is eliminated for the imprudence of one member. Moreover, until modern times, the truly
powerful in all cultures lived by laws of their own making, and the populace bore the sufferance
of the sovereign. In the end, Joseph's Bones may not be so much a book about the evolution of
God's morality, as of mankind's.
Poisoned Pen Press
6962 East First Avenue, Suite 103, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Penning a sequel to a well-received first mystery novel can be tricky. Especially if that first novel
was the intriguing Thicker Than Blood, featuring popular Los Angeles garage owner Rachel
Chavez, and peopled with well-drawn supporting characters that we all wanted to see more
Well, fret no more. Albuquerque author Penny Rudolph has produced a winning sophomore
effort in which Rachel returns in top form. As a recovering alcoholic with an arrest record, she
can still be her own worst enemy, afraid of reporting suspicious incidents to the police, and so
doggedly pursues an investigation that she knows professionals will ignore.
Rachel discovers a locked van in her garage with the bodies of two Hispanic children inside, one
barely alive. She quickly takes both to nearby Jefferson Hospital and checks them in through the
emergency room. Good citizen Rachel returns the next day to find no record of either child
having been admitted. Since the police would have nothing to investigate, Rachel is on her own.
Why no record? What's going on in the mysterious fourth-floor ward at the hospital?
Complicating Rachel's search for answers are fascinating subplots that Penny Rudolph is known
for. Her fiance Hank is pressing her to name a wedding date. Her compulsive gambler father
Marty is on a winning streak and wants to shower her with gifts. Office cleaning shift boss
Goldie again provides emotional and practical support to Rachel's bouts of frustration and
anxiety. And her friend Irene, a street person, helps out at the garage and bucks up Rachel's
And she needs courage. Two attempts on her life leave her and Hank seriously wounded. Where
is Marty after a big win? Why can't she contact him? Do some of the hospital staff, doctors and a
pharmacist Rachel is drawn to, have anything to do with the missing children? And are the
attacks on her related to her investigation? She has to deal with a frightening "don" of the
Mexican Mafia and starts to carry a pistol. None too soon. If Rachel is to keep her own
"lifeblood," she'll have to become her own bodyguard.
What I Believe
There are three reasons to believe that our freedom is before God: 1) We know from logic and
reason that God exists. 2) Miraculous historical events show God has communicated Himself to
mankind. 3) When people explain why they don't believe in God, they generally give bad
The third reason is also why we can tell our children to believe in God as if there was no question
about it. Children should be told about irrational people, like Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett,
and Christopher Hitchens, only when they need to know. These Big Bad Wolves were educated
in a tradition created by the Enlightenment and have always assumed that religion is not true.
They are crackpots with whom it is impossible to have a rational conversation.
Anthony Kenny, however, was educated by the Roman Catholic Church. He was a priest before
he became a professor of philosophy and a nonbeliever. Is it possible to have a rational
conversation with him? Does he give better reasons for not believing than the Big Bad
The truth of the neo-Darwinian evolution of human beings is an article of faith in the
Enlightenment religion, and the biggest difference between them and Professor Kenny can be
found in his chapter titled "Human Beings." The following quote from Kenny casts doubt on the
absolute truth of evolution. If human beings have something animals do not have at all, humans
could not have evolved from animals:
"What is peculiar to our species is the capacity for thought and behavior of the complicated and
symbolic kinds that constitute the linguistic, social, moral, economic, scientific, cultural and
other characteristic activities of human beings in society. The mind is a capacity, not an activity:
it is the capacity to acquire intellectual abilities of which the most important is the mastery of
language. The will, in contrast with animal desire, is the capacity to pursue goals that only
language-users can formulate." (p. 69)
I am not sure I understand the distinction between "capacity" and "activity." Whatever he means,
his comments no more shed light on the question "What is a human being?" than saying human
beings are rational animals. The indefinability of the mind and mystery of a human being is why
humans are embodied spirits or spirited bodies, at least to people with whom a rational
conversation is possible. This does not necessarily mean human beings did not evolve from
animals because it is possible that animals possess the potential of having intellects and wills. It
is also possible that human beings possess spiritual souls and animals do not, making the
evolution of human beings impossible. Regardless of these possibilities, people who deny that
human beings are embodied spirits are obsessively and irrationally in love with the methodology
of science. Kenny does not say that human beings are embodied spirits in so many words, but he
"Human beings and their brains are physical objects; their minds are not, because they are
capacities. This does not mean they are spirits. A round peg's ability to fit into a round hole is not
a physical object like the round peg itself, but no one will suggest that is it is a spirit. It is not any
adherence to dualism, but a simple concern for conceptual clarity, that makes me insist that a
mind is not a physical object and does not have a length and a breadth." (p. 71)
In this chapter, Kenny takes the trouble to refute Cartesian dualism the idea that human beings
are pure spirits and ride their bodies like CEOs ride their desks. Cartesian dualism is often
criticized by materialists and atheists when they discuss religion because it is a straw man. Kenny
believes in the mystery, indefinability, and spirituality of man, but downplays his views in order,
I suppose, to make the book marketable. Marketing is the delivery of goods and services to the
consumer and effective marketing requires a decision about the product's market position.
We can also learn about religion from Kenny, something that never happens when you read the
writings of those who feel mankind would be better off without religion. The following quote is
from the chapter titled "Religion":
"In my view, faith is not a virtue, but a vice, unless certain conditions are fulfilled. One is that the
existence of God can be rationally established without appeal to faith. Accepting something as a
matter of faith is taking God's word for its truth: but one cannot take God's word for it that He
Kenny has concluded that the existence of God cannot be proven. The most logically rigorous
proof is the cosmological argument, which is based on the metaphysical concepts of being and
causality. In effect, Kenny is saying the cosmological argument is refutable. Since the Roman
Catholic Church teaches that we can prove God exists, this would mean there is a
non-theological and non-biblical argument against the Roman Catholic Church's claim to
Kenny's uncle was the editor of the English Jerusalem Bible and a teacher at the seminary Kenny
went to in Liverpool. When he graduated at the age of 18, he enrolled at his uncle's alma mater,
the Gregorian University in Rome. He rubbed shoulders with Hans Kung, and was taught by
Bernard Lonergan and Frederick Copleston, to repeat some names he mentions in his
autobiography (The Path From Rome, Oxford University Press, 1986). When he was ordained he
took the anti-modernist oath, but declined to take it again for his doctorate. In the following
quote he explains why:
"In the 1950s, candidates for a doctorate in Papal universities had to swear to a document called
the anti-modernist oath, which contained the statement that it was possible to prove the existence
of God. Though I had submitted a dissertation and passed the examinations, I was unwilling to
proceed to the degree because I did not wish to take this oath. If God's existence could be known,
I very much doubted whether it would be known by way of proof. Since then I have studied
arguments for the existence of God presented by many philosophers, and I have not yet found a
convincing one." (p. 31)
Maybe Kenny thinks you can't prove God exists because you can't prove that the universe makes
sense and can be understood. This is a valid objection, notwithstanding the success we have had
in science by making the assumption of the intelligibility of the universe. However, we can use
this objection to refute atheists who claim they are being rational and believe the universe is not
In the chapter titled "Why I Am Not an Atheist," Kenny discusses three cosmological changes or
transformations: the development of language in human beings, the origin of life, and the big
bang. Since there is no good natural explanation for these changes, he argues, you can't exclude
the possibility of a supernatural explanation. Concerning the origin of language he says:
"If we reflect on the social and conventional nature of language, we find something odd in the
idea that language may have evolved because of the advantages possessed by language users over
non-language users. It seems as absurd as the idea that banks may have evolved because those
born with an innate cheque-writing ability were better off than those born without it." (p. 25)
This is why common sense and intuition leads non-philosophers to be theists and not atheists.
Since human beings are embodied spirits, the existence of humans cannot be explained by the
biology of reproduction and evolution. A supernatural being must have created human beings.
Kenny argues in favor of a third philosophical option known as agnosticism.
The Lonely Crowd is a landmark sociological analysis that identifies the personality types called
inner-directed and outer-directed. Atheists are obviously inner-directed types because they don't
care what other people think. Agnostics are outer-directed types, and feel more comfortable
saying they don't know whether or not God exists since so many people believe in God and
believe their purpose in life is to serve God. I think this is why some people are atheists and
others are agnostics.
Concerning the origin of the universe Kenny says:
"The most fundamental reason in favor of postulating an extra-cosmic agency of any kind is
surely the need to explain the origin of the universe itself It is not the existence of the universe
that calls for explanation, but its coming into existence." (p. 28)
Kenny is referring to the big bang, which was an extremely dense fireball of elementary particles
that began our universe. Kenny agrees with the following metaphysical proposition: A being that
begins to exist at some point in time needs a cause. If you assume that the big bang was a change
from nothingness to a being or many beings, then the existence of an "extra-cosmic" agency can
be inferred. However, if the big bang was preceded by a vacuum, this inference is not necessary
since a vacuum may not be nothingness. A vacuum may be a real being or beings, not a mental
being or an idea. A vacuum may have as much status in being as a photon or elementary
A physicists will not find the idea that a vacuum exists strange because it was once thought that a
vacuum consisted of a sea of negative energy electrons and that a positron was a hole in this sea.
A physicists is also aware of the reality of kinetic energy which can be transformed into as many
electron-positron pairs as you want as long as E = mc squared.
His third argument against atheism comes from the origin of life itself, which cannot be
explained by natural selection:
"This is not to say that neo-Darwinians do not offer explanations of the origin of life; of course
they do, but they are explanations of a radically different kind. All such explanations try to
explain life as produced by the chance interaction of non-living materials and forces subject to
purely physical laws." (p. 26)
A metaphysical approach is to rank the cosmological transformations in order of the magnitude
of the change in the properties of the different modes of being. The following is my personal
1. animals to human beings
2. large molecules to single-celled organisms
3. vacuum to big bang
4. single-celled organisms to animals
5. elementary particles to atoms
Concerning the smallest change, modern field theory enables physicists to derive the properties
of atoms from the properties of elementary particles. However, the theories are only
approximations and are not entirely satisfactory for a number of reasons.
In the two-part chapter titled "Why I Am Not a Theist," Kenny reviews the proofs of God's
existence offered by various philosophers and claims to refute them. Kenny fails to mention the
idea that a finite being needs a cause but an infinite being does not, which is why an infinite
being must exist. This is the crux of the cosmological argument.
A refutation of the cosmological argument that does not consider the contingency of a finite
being and the self-sufficiency of an infinite being is not a refutation at all. The cosmological
proof, I can call it now, can be analyzed further with the metaphysical concepts of essence and
existence. I'll begin an explanation of these ideas with a quote from Kenny:
"For what is meant by 'necessary being'? Surely, a being in whom essence involves existence,
that is to say, a being whose existence can be established by the ontological argument." (p.
To me the ontological argument God exists because the concept of exists? makes no sense,
however, it does make sense to say that God is a necessary or self-sufficient being. That God's
essence "involves" God's existence is not clear or sure at all. According to Thomas Aquinas
(1225 to 1274), a finite being is a metaphysical composition of two correlative metaphysical
principles: essence and existence. The essence of a being is not added on to the existence, but
acts to limit the existence of the finite being.
This analysis explains why finite beings are different from one another and gives a reason why
finite beings need a cause. Finite beings need a cause because they are compositions and could
not have composed themselves. Finite beings need a cause, also, because they could not have
limited themselves. This analysis also means that an infinite being is a being that does not have
an essence. An infinite being is a pure act of existence. "I am who am" is the way God explained
it to Moses in Exodus.
Continuing the above quote above from "Religion":
"Another is that the historical events that are claimed to constitute the divine revelation must be
independently established as historically certain as having the same certainty, say, as that
Charles I was beheaded in London, or that Cicero was once consul in Rome. The events that are
pointed to as founding charters for the world's great religions can surely not claim this degree of
certainty." (p. 60)
The historical event that is "founding charter" of Christianity is the resurrection of Jesus. The
Resurrection is an historical event that can't be explained in terms of any other historical event
because of its impact on history itself. Nonbelievers consider the Resurrection to be a religious
experience that the followers of Jesus had. The faith response of Christians to the Resurrection is
to believe that Jesus entered into a new life with God and that if you follow Jesus the same thing
can happen to you. Believers in non-Christian religions are responding in faith to the
Resurrection too because they are aware of it and hope for salvation.
Kenny acknowledges the historical accuracy of the New Testament:
"I do not share the extreme scepticism of many scholars, including Christian scholars, about the
historical value of the Gospels. For instance, that Jesus at his last meal took bread and wine and
said something like 'this is my body, this is my blood' seems to me to be as likely to be true as
anything that is narrated in the records of the early Roman Empire. With regard to the Acts of the
Apostles, I have long been amused to note that Catholic biblical scholars often appear less ready
to accept them as broadly historical than are atheists colleagues in ancient history departments. "
What happened to the two benchmarks of historical accuracy: the beheading of Charles I and the
consulship of Cicero? What is the point of benchmarks if you don't use them? What religious
historical events does Kenny have in mind when he says they are not certain? Is he thinking of
miracles performed by Moses and recorded in Exodus?
I went to a college run by Jesuits in the early 1960s. During a theology class one day, apropos of
nothing while writing on the chalkboard, the theology professor turned to the class and said,
"Does anyone here seriously believe Lazarus rose from the dead? It is just a story." Did Kenny
lose his faith and I didn't lose mine because I had better theology teachers?
Why doesn't Kenny just admit that he lost his faith? Why does he give us this hogwash about
Charles I and Cicero? My guess is that the market for an honest book about religion by a
nonbeliever is pretty small. There is a market for anti-religion books and pro-religion books, but
who wants to buy a book from an ex-priest saying I wish I could believe.
Designing Organizations for High Performance
David P. Hanna
75 Arlington Street, Suite 300, Boston, MA 02116
0201126931 $34.00 www.awprofessional.com 1-800-428-5331
Sindhuja P N
"The fish only knows it lives in water after it is already on the river bank"
- An Old French Proverb
Managers of Modern Organizations are also in the similar situation. They are immersed in
organizations every day. Today's Business organizations face unprecedented challenges. Across
virtually every industry, managers are confronted with new conditions of rapid technological
change, intense global competition, and growing demands for social responsibility - conditions
that demand capacities of leadership, adaptability, and coordination on a scale never before
imagined. As traditional sources of competitive advantage are being eroded, organization design
is becoming a crucial strategic differentiator. Much has been written and discussed on the
excellence of high performance organizations (HPOs). But, comparatively very little is written on
how to develop HPOs. Exceptionally, this book speaks a lot on developing HPOs, enlightened by
the experiences of those who achieved various levels of excellence across diversified industries
or units. This motivated me to select this book for review.
A Good Primer and Introduction to the Concepts in ODD
The book entitled "Designing Organizations for High Performance", authored by David P.
Hanna, aims to help lead in the design of high-performance organizations, whether as a manager
or a consultant. This is a basic book in the area of Organization Development. The concepts
mentioned operate at a cultural level as well as process level. The core is an analysis of tasks,
structure, rewards, people, information, and decision-making. The very purpose of the author is
to unidentifiably bridge the gap between theory and practice. While doing so, generally High
Performance Organizations (HPOs) tend to omit the valuable insights into the processes that
were used to translate organizational concepts into bottom-line improvements. The book serves
the purpose of mainly two types of managers in an organizational context: Managers who would
like to induce higher levels of performance in a discrete business unit and are not aware of how
to go about it. Organization Consultant looking for tools to help managers manage the process of
Bringing Practicality to Obscure OD Practice
The book focuses on how to implement various theories to get better results, and therefore is
more of a 'how-to' book rather than being comprehensive in treatment of concepts. The author
focused on implementing a different how-to approach to identify how successful others arrived at
their plan of change and how it was reflected in the results. Sharing of these experiences would
probably help develop new plan of innovative change with unparalleled results. The "how-to"
considers two aspects of design. The rational part of this approach includes identifying the
desired organizational models, design structuring to produce required results and continuous
assessment of progress. The emotional part includes educating members about the new change,
developing their commitment and support for the new model, changing habits to fit with the
model and renewing the model when situations ask for.
Though approaches differ and transcend different geographical locations and foreign cultures,
designing and developing systems capable of high performance involve certain principles of
human behavior that are truly universal. The author has supported the above statement with a
wide variety of examples taken from diverse organizations like health care units, manufacturing
plants, religious institutions, high tech industries etc. So it is certainly evident from the book that
Common Design Principles supersede most differences.
The author specifically states that the OD interventions discussed and applied are
situation-specific and can be customized to suit any other similar circumstances. Ultimately, the
aim should be to transform the organization into one which is capable of high performance.
Chapter - 1: Understanding How Organizations Function, gives an understanding of the
theoretical roots behind high performance technology. Models like bureaucratic model or
Machine theory of Organization, which ruled for more than two centuries is being replaced by
Open systems Theory, which is presented in a very comprehensive manner. The implications of
Open Systems theory for managing HPOs are also discussed and the chapter end on a
hypothetical note: "All Organizations are perfectly designed to get the results they get".
Chapter - 2: An Organization Performance Model, presents an overview of organization
performance model and its cause-effect linkages which helps in assessing organizational
effectiveness and henceforth formulate systematic improvements in performance. Some practical
examples where managers implement the principles of open systems theory is also
Chapter - 3: The Assessment Process, discusses the evaluation process of OP model in greater
depth and provide more real life examples. This chapter demonstrates there are "more than one
way to skin a cat". Means, there are countless ways to measure organizational performance.
Marvin Weisbord has summarized some wisdom on assessment and stated that "What you look
at is what you see". It also figures out that assessment is very critical to creating high
performance organizations. It is the diagnosis that should precede prescription if the ailment has
to be uprooted.
Chapter - 4: The Design Process, follows once the assessment is complete and the task is to plan
or design, the improvements that will lead to high performance. The process of designing is the
subject of this chapter.Two major applications of systems Theory, Open systems Planning and
Sociotechnical systems Design are also outlined and their strengths and weaknesses are also
Chapter - 5: Approaches to specific Design Issues, details on some more techniques to approach
some of the most difficult design issues like setting departmental boundaries, team design and
work role design for individuals. It provides guidelines on the above three crucial areas. The
Principles and approaches discussed in this chapter is helpful for many high performers to
harness the natural energy of their people against the tasks to be completed. Often it is the
rigorous design process that jolts members of the organization realize how much better their
performance could be. So author defines design process as an exhaustive undertaking.
Chapter - 6: Managing cultural Change, points out that it is not only the blueprint, but also
skilled people are required to manage the cultural and political norms when developing HPOs.
This chapter explores into some actual experiences that had gone into managing cultural change.
Values, attitudes and behaviours of members should be congruent with business and cultural
objectives. Managing the cultural change is what truly brings the vision of design into
Chapter - 7: Design Renewal: A Challenge to All, the concluding chapter addresses the topic of
renewal. The chapter visualizes high performance as a phenomenon that must be renewed in light
of an ever-changing business environment. It offers a parting challenge to all who undertake the
effort of redesigning their corporate future. It is a cyclic process and the theory, experience and
technology presented in this volume merely equip one to begin the journey.
Reviewer's Conclusion: Need for a Vision of High Performance
This is a practical guide to develop higher levels of performance in large organizations through
changes in strategy, organization design, and culture. This guide presents detailed descriptions of
ways in which individuals intervened in their organizations, how they arrived at their plans, and
how it resulted in improved effectiveness and better business results for organizations by offering
"insider's view" of how it has been done successfully in Procter & Gamble.
The old French Proverb given in the beginning, will never look puzzled, after reading the whole
book. Also, the process of assessment and design substantiates the hypothetical note: "All
Organizations are perfectly designed to get the results they get". HPOs operate effectively in
many arenas. To put it in other words, high performance is the ability to get more things done
with the same resources. To get the most from the resources is the biggest challenge of high
performance. This book aimed and succeeded in providing ways of thinking about HPOs and
proposed some universal principles and challenges that would enable the manager or OD
consultant to take up this challenge. But, as the author had correctly pointed out, it's all voluntary.
It's only a matter of choice or survival.
A former senior consultant with Franklin Covey and Procter & Gamble, David P. Hanna has
worked with clients in North and South America, Asia, Europe, Australia and Russia. He has
consulted with executive teams, manufacturing plants, foreign subsidiaries, research &
development technical centers, and corporate staff groups. Mr. Hanna is experienced in the areas
of principle-centered leadership, strategic planning, and organization diagnosis, high
performance work design, executive development, and team development. His list of clients
includes Merck, Eastman Chemical, General Motors, Hoechst, Allied Signal, Conoco, Xerox,
Saturn, Siemens, Shell, S. C. Johnson, Deloitte & Touche, Trammell Crow, Beverly Enterprises,
Novell, Metro Cash & Carry, and Philips. A native of Albuquerque , New Mexico , Mr. Hanna
received his B.A. in Communications and his M.A. in Organizational Behavior from Brigham
Young University . He is the author of Designing Organizations for High Performance
(Addison-Wesley, 1988), considered one of the top 50 Quality books in America . His most
recent book is Leadership for the Ages (Executive Excellence Publishing, 2001).
Other suggested titles in the series:
1. Organizational Transitions: Managing Complex Change, Second Edition, Richard Beckhard
and Reuben Harris.
2. Organization Development: A Normative View, W. Warner Burke
3. Team Building: Issues and Alternatives, Second Edition, William G. Dyer
4. Power and Organization Development: Mobilizing Power to Implement Change, Larry E.
Greiner and Virginia E
Listen to the Mockingbird
Poisoned Pen Press
6963 E. First Ave., Ste 103, Scottsdale, AZ, 85251
Penny Rudolph's Listen to the Mockingbird combines the historical and mystery thriller genres
into an excellent blend. The novel is the story of Matilda 'Mattie' Summerhayes, a single woman
of property who owns a horse ranch called Mockingbird Spring in the Mesilla region of the New
Mexico Territory in the year 1861. Mattie is a woman with a dark and tortured past, a past that is
revealed to the reader in tantalizing glimpses threaded throughout the main story. And it's a story
that begins with a murder in the dead of night.
Penny Rudolph's writing voice is both strong and poetic, as well as being immensely evocative.
'There is something about death that curdles thoughts and turns them backward. They converge
in the chest like a jagged knot of ice in a winter stream gone dry', is an early example of Ms.
Rudolph's facility to draw the reader into the mind of the protagonist. In Listen to the
Mockingbird, the time and place of Civil War Era New Mexico become much more then mere
setting; the land itself is richly portrayed, as seen in such language as: 'The sunset was painting
the organ peaks crimson'. The time and place also provide certain dangers of their own, from the
merciless vagaries of the elements of fire and water to the historical facts of law that not only
failed to protect women of this era, but also unjustly persecuted them as well.
From the brutal murder of a young man at the ranch, a man who carried with him a map of
Mockingbird Springs, Mattie faces dangers and hardships as she struggles to untangle the
mystery of the young man's death. A mystery that also threatens her own life and the livelihood
of her ranch as well. As the mystery deepens, Mattie is confronted by a varied cast of people,
none of whom she can trust, from a world weary traveler to the local townspeople and the
soldiers of both the Confederate and Union Armies. Mattie's only true ally in her trials is
Winona, a Free Woman of Color, and Winona's support comes at the cost of the associated
prejudice and superstition that she evokes in the townspeople. Heaped upon the heroine are the
concurrent dangers of the Civil War intruding into the Territory as well as the daily fight to
survive in a wild and untamed land, and Ms. Rudolph deftly illustrates the day to day lives of the
early American settlers as they fought to carve out a land of their own.
Throughout it all, Mattie perseveres with strength, wisdom and courage that matches the
enduring mountains surrounding her beloved Mockingbird Springs. Penny Rudolph smoothly
delivers a book that educates as well as entertains with her strong and inspirational heroine,
Why I Keep U A Secret
860 Aviation Parkway, Suite 300, Morrisville, NC 27560
9781430305002 $15.00 http://www.lulu.com/content/429015 www.myspace.com/lacarey
This book is a reflection of the softer side of the electrifying spoken word artist known by his
birth name, Lamont Carey. Some have said he is the heart of the streets. Lamont's fans will agree
that this book is representative of his body of work, and an accurate display of talent from an
artist whose stage performances never reveal love as a rose.
Why I Keep U A Secret is an interesting book of poetry that focuses on a wide variety of themes
such as passion, humor, love, and relationships. It is very easy to read and his writing style is
very unique. Each poem is very different and the message is carefully
thought out. Five Stars Rating
Just A Season
2333 Government Street, Suite 6E, Victoria, BC, Canada, V8T 4P4
1425107850 $24.95 www.justaseason.com www.trafford.com www.justaseason.com
Just a Season is a luminous story into the life of a man who, in the midst of pain and loss,
journeys back in time to reexamine all the important people, circumstances, and intellectual
fervor that contributed to the richness of his life.
This fictional narrative begins with a grief-stricken father visiting the gravesite of his beloved
son who was killed in a tragic accident; a moment that he and no other loving parent should ever
have to face. As he sadly gazes at his son's headstone and reads what is inscribed there, the dates
1981 - 2001 bring about an illuminating discovery.
The tiny dash that separates the years of one's birth and death represents the whole of a person's
life. So if this tiny dash were to tell his life's story, what would it say? In Just a Season, the dash
of this man's life is revealed and what emerges from the pages of
this book is a legacy of true benevolence and grace.
Just A Season is a thought provoking first debut of author, John T.Wills. In his book, Just a
Season, John focuses on various topics such as pain, suffering, love and life. It is very well
written from beginning to end. This is one of those book, where you can not
judge a book based on it's title and cover. However, both the title and cover drew me to reading,
Just a Season.
The characters and the plot are captured very well. Congratulations on your first debut, Just a
Season! Five Stars Rating
The Write House
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 S. Parker Rd., 515, Parker, CO 80134
9781432704612 $10.95 www.outskirtpress.com 1-888-672-6657
This book is a recipe filled with delicious poems that will feed the eyes and hearts of the reader.
If you are hungry for poetry, this book will make you feel very full with the right ingredients to
satisfy your taste. Come to 1600 Poetry Avenue and experience The Write House for
The Write House is Edwin Hurdle's first debut poetry collection which was published by
OutSkirt Press and the cover was designed by Edwin Hurdle. It is an excellent book of poetry
that is compiled by Edwin and focuses on various topics that anyone can relate too. It was very
easy to read. My favorite poems were Ingredients for Romance (demonstrates a poem full of
imagery, romance and format for showing unconditional love and or appreciation towards
significant other. This poem is a vow that should not be broken in relationships),A Special Lady
(is a remarkable poem that speaks for itself, any man can relate to this poem!) and Just Because
(is a poem that anyone can relate too).
I only wished that he wrote more poetry in his first debut poetry collection entitled: The Write
House, but all in all, I job well done!
Congratulations! I look forward to reading your next book! Five Stars Rating
Experience, Strength and Hope
George E Thompson
9781420891171 $13.99 www.authorhouse.com
This is a book of poems came about after my Mother passed away on Valentine's Day. I went
through my archives and found some of my older poetry and decided to take up writing again.
Having been blessed by God, the poems keep pouring forth onto paper and I wish to share my
experience, hope and strength with you, the dear reader. I believe in the power of words, whether
written, spoken or through gestures and sign language. Words can enlighten, dampen the spirit,
raise us to great heights and take us to the lowest points in our lives.
Experience, Strength and Hope was an excellent book of poetry and a wonderful tribute. The
cover is very powerful and the title is very reflective to the themes and messages behind the
poems that have been published in Experience, Strength and Hope. George touches of subjects
that everyone can relate to and the poems are very vivid. My favorite poems that have been
published in Experience, Strength and Hope include Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Family,
His Creation and Child of God.
After reading, Experience, Strength and Hope is clearly evident that George Thompson has a
strong connection and relationship with God and spirituality, that is clearly displayed in his 103
pages worth of poems published by AuthorHouse.
I believe that George Thompson did an excellent job of releasing his pain and feelings, as well as
lost for his mother and putting together a book that demonstrates such experience. Furthermore,
the title that he chose for his book of poetry, is such an eloquent, that in itself is profound.
Congratulations on a job well done! I look forward to reading more of your work. Five Stars
Afrika Midnight Asha Abney
Accordion War: Korea 1951, Life & Death in a Marine Rifle Company
2333 Government Street, Suite 6E, Victoria, BC, Canada, V8T 4P4
1412084377 $16.47 www.trafford.com/06-0192 1-888-232-4444
There is nobody more important when a Marine comes under fire than their "Doc." Navy
corpsmen live, work, fight, and die with their Marines, and build a relationship with their Devil
Dogs that is as deep as that between the Marines themselves.
Author Charles Hughes was a corpsman in Korea with "How" Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th
Marines. Too young for WW2, Hughes joined the Navy and volunteered to join to Fleet Marines
in order to "see some action." His wish was granted, and this exceptionally well-written book is
his memoir of his time in Korea.
Professor emeritus of English at Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, Ark., Hughes is a
gifted writer who spent considerable time and effort recalling his experiences and thoughts from
some 56 years ago. In comparison to those macho stories of many veterans, Hughes recalls his
private mantra when in battle "Oh God; please don't let me die." In between his stories of combat
with "His" Marines of H Company, Hughes has skillfully added his philosophy on war and
killing and his life after his military service.
This is one of the rare books that begs to be read in one reading. Hughes's stories of combat and
life in Korea are lively; the reader can smell both the gunpowder and the kimchi. Korea may be a
war unknown to the current generation, but books like "Accordion War: Korea 1951" will give
the reader an appreciation of what young men like Charles Hughes and his Marines endured.
Well done, Doc.
My Dad's a Hero
Rebecca Christiansen & Jewel Armstrong
This is a perfect book for the 4 - 8 year old child whose father is called to deploy overseas.
Written in a simple and elegant style that young children can read (or have read to them ); the
accompanying pictures just beg to have Billy or Betty color them in and personalize the story.
The two authors, one a mother of a deployed soldier, and the other a teacher, have collaborated
on producing a book that is designed to explain, if not comfort, Dad's absence to his
While the term "hero" is grossly overused, if this book can help comfort a young child on dad's
second, third, or forth deployment, then the book has done it's job.
Not only is the book highly recommended, but it would be certainly be helpful if the book was
distributed to the children when Dad goes off on yet another deployment.
Marines & Renegades
PO Box 151, Frederick, MD 21705-0151
1424116880 $19.95 www.publishAmerica.com
Most books about the Marines in WW2 focus on the fighting and the island-hopping campaigns;
author and former Marine Gene Rackovitch takes the unusual focus of the Marines and Japanese
on Guam - after the Japanese surrender.
The Marines kill two surrendering Japanese who they think are dangerous, and the surviving (but
not surrendering) Japanese officer then seeks revenge. As much a murder mystery as a war novel,
Rackovitch is a good novelist who describes the starving Japanese on the island is detail, along
with the casual, comfortable, and victorious Marines. There are both heros and villains on both
sides of this story, along with an unfortunately typical Marine ending.
Rackovitch was stationed on Guam after the war, and he draws on his experiences to describe the
island, the weather, and the jungle. Additionally, he uses his tour in the Marines as a rich source
of information in depicting the various types of Marines with whom he likely served.
Both Marines and non-Marines will enjoy this unusual story of the Japanese and Marines on
Guam after the war ended in 1945.
The First Marine Captured in Vietnam
Donald L. Price
McFarland & Co.
978786428045 $35.00 www.mcfarlandpub.com 1-800-253-2187
Long before the names and battles of Khe Sanh, Hue City, and Firebase Gloria were seared into
America's consciousness, there were Marines and soldiers fighting, dying - and being captured -
First-time author Donald Price's brings back the terror and heartache of these times. Price's
thoroughly-researched biography of Marine Col. Donald Cook blends the story of Cook's
wounding and capture in December 1964 through his December 1967 death with interviews from
several of the POW's imprisoned with him as well as the equally courageous story of his wife
Laurette and her four small children.
An advisor to the South Vietnamese Marines, Capt Cook was the first Marine captured by the
Viet Cong. Unlike the American aviators shot down over North Vietnam and interned at the
infamous Hanoi Hilton, Marines and soldiers captured in the south were normally locked inside
small bamboo cages in small camps throughout the Mekong Delta. As opposed to the systematic
and calculated isolated torture of Sen John McCain, Adm Jerimiah Denton, and others, life in the
south consisted of slow starvation, disease, and simply trying to survive in an extremely harsh
Author Price - himself a highly decorated Marine officer from the Vietnam era - details the abject
misery endured by Cook and his fellow captives. Given only starvation rations by disinterested
guards who also withheld the few medicines to which they might have access, often made dying
easier than attempting to survive another day. But drawing on his strength as a Roman Catholic
and a Marine officer, Cook took charge of the other POW's in the camp, and did his best to give
them the hope to stay alive.
Through his three years of captivity, his family received only one letter from him. Her major
source of comfort came from the Marine Corps, as then-commandant Gen Wallace Greene, Jr.
contacted her personally and ensured she and her children were cared for to the best of the
Marine Corps ability - indeed, they continued to receive the benefits commensurate with her
husband's rank, as he was promoted twice 'in absentia."
Col Donald Cook is the only Marine ever to receive the Medal of Honor while being held
prisoner of war, and Col Donald Price has written a story of honor - courage - commitment that
encompasses the entire Cook family. Highly recommended !
Life After Deployment
Karen M. Pavlicin
"Life After Deployment" is author Karen Pavlicin's sequel to her award-winning book "Surviving
Deployment". Mrs. Pavlicin has written another important book for the military family and their
friends and relatives.
The writer is a wife of a Marine with multiple deployments, and this book deals with the many
problems faced by wives and families when their servicemen return from deployment. These are
not theoretical problems - these are the problems faced by too many families today: dealing with
the children - re-establishing parental authority - PTSD - intimacy issues...plus how to best
handle combat deaths and injuries this book is filled with practical solutions Mrs. Pavlicin has
elicited from the thousands of wives and families who have - and are - facing these issues.
With so few Americans volunteering to serve in the military (approx 0.03 % of the population),
there is a deplorable lack of data and professional assistance for these families; most therapists
have no clue how to deal with the anger of a child whose father died in Iraq or came home
missing a limb from an IED attack in Afghanistan - this book is the first step to filling that
This book should be given to every spouse as his or her serviceman steps off the airplane back
onto US tarmac. Well-written and thorough, the issues raised here are important ones that these
families need to recognize and face, and Mrs. Pavlicin - the widow of a multiple-deployed
Marine - does a first-rate job taking care of her now over-extended military family. Highly
Never Rule Without a Magician, A Sage, and a Fool
1599266288 $20.99 1-888-795-4274
There are so many "quick-fix" management books on the market today; yet most of them don't
contain the common-sense tactics of Clare Novak's book.
An internationally known leadership trainer and consultant, Ms. Novak's breakout first book
looks at leadership in a different light; one in which a smart king (or CEO) enlists and utilizes the
advice of a few trusted advisors - a Magician, a Sage, and a Fool.
Using a blend of her internationally respected expertise and a sly sense of humor, Ms. Novak
discusses the concept of successful management from the viewpoint of King Arthur, Merlin, and
similar characters from that period. Concepts such as truth, honesty, and care for others are easily
and smoothly blended with instilling a positive and profitable corporate culture. Written in a
relaxed and informative style, Ms. Novak explains why a CEO needs to find and listen to a few
trusted - yet honest - advisors.
Whether one refers to successful management these days as maneuver warfare, maximizing
resources, or Trump's "Take no prisoners," every corporation's work ethic and goals flow from
the top down - and if the CEO / King follows Ms. Novak's sage advice of enlisting a Magician, a
Sage, and a Fool, then there is a far better chance that the business will do well in today's trying
This book is highly recommended for both the future and experienced business executive!
Allen & Unwin
83 Alexander St., Sydney, NSW 2065, Australia
9780747591702 $35.00 AU
"Introduction: considering the poor reputation of wives generally, in particular the wives of
literary men, and the traditional disparagement of the wife of the Man of the Millennium".
In this introduction to her 'Introduction', Greer spells out for us the theme and nature of her book.
Ann Shakespeare is the maligned or disparaged wife in question and Greer intends to rescue her
from this sorry state. She takes on all the well-know biographers of Shakespeare and points out
where they err, and she offers her own biography of the wife of the Bard. As usual, she is
argumentative, challenging and controversial. As usual, she will infuriate some readers and
delight others. But she is tilting at windmills: and given that she provides us with chapter
headings in the manner of Cervantes in Don Quixote, she clearly knows this.
In Chapters One and Two, Greer gallops through the genealogies of both Ann and William at
such a pace that the reader is left reeling. Parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, births,
marriages, name-changes, contracts, deaths and wills fly past but ultimately prove nothing other
than that we don't know and probably will never know why Ann (or Agnes) Hathaway (or
Gardner) and William Shakespeare married, or what their marriage was like. All Greer proves is
that she can speculate as well or even better than the "bardolaters", in particular the male ones,
whose work she frequently quotes. She speculates along the way that Mary Shakespeare,
William's mother, married for status and spent her time gossiping and showing off her finery,
rather than helping his father in the family business; that a young, love-lorn William wooed Ann
with his poems (which, of course, is very likely); and that Ann was blind (although this is
probably sarcasm), a milkmaid, or an employee in John Shakespear's gloving business.
Other chapters contain similar gallops through fragmentary archives concerning Stratford, its
history and its citizens. Mostly, these chapters concern people whose lives may have been
somewhat similar to that of Ann Shakespeare or who may have had some association with her.
They provide support for Greer's claims that, for example, Ann was a respected and influential,
financially independent townswoman. Which is quite possibly true. Often, however, these
chapters bog down in details and connections which are just confusing. They offer speculation
supported by too many random and often irrelevant details, which is pointless.
When Greer gets down off her high horse and writes about facts related to contemporary custom
and society in general, rather than fantasy, she is very good. Chapter Six, for example ("of
handfasts, troth-plights and bundling, of rings, gauds and conceits, and what was likely to happen
on the big day"), offers a delightful description of Elizabethan marriage practices, beautifully
illustrated by apt quotations from Shakespeare's plays. This chapter is a pleasure to read and
provides us with a deeper understanding of the plays as well as some idea of the way in which a
sixteenth century audience would have understood them.
Another chapter which I thoroughly enjoyed is that which argues that some of Shakespeare's love
sonnets may have been written for Ann, not for some mysterious dark lady (or man). Greer
quotes freely from the sonnets and argues her case selectively but well. The romantic in me
would happily believe that Shakespeare truly loved his wife and missed her during his long
absences from Stratford, but nothing can be proved either way.
It is a pity that in her gallant effort to rescue Ann from oblivion, Greer sometimes contradicts
herself. In several places she notes that many people made the three day journey between London
and Stratford, and she suggests that Will did this between terms, when the theatres were closed,
and for family occasions. At other times she writes of him as having been "estranged from his
family for more than ten years". She is also inclined to lapse in slang (Mary Shakespeare was
"spoiled rotten", John Shakespeare's business had "flat-lined", someone else "gets an earful"),
which is a pity given the overall excellence of her writing.
None of this matters, of course. In the end, all biography is speculation. What does matter is
Shakespeare's work, not his life or that of his wife.
As Greer writes in the penultimate paragraph of her final chapter, in which she, "the intrepid
author", suggests that Ann may have been very much involved in the publication of the First
Folio: "All this, in common with most of this book, is heresy, and probably neither truer nor less
true than the accepted prejudice".
The Quiet Girl
Random House, Vauxhall Bridge Road, London, SW1V 2SA
9781846550607 $32.95 AU
Peter Hoeg's second novel, Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow, was a huge success and I, for one,
thoroughly enjoyed it. The Quiet Girl, however, is very different. It is a strange and confusing
Part of the strangeness is due to the narrator, Kaspar Krone, who is a renowned clown with a
most unusual ability. Due to a childhood accident, he hears the world around him as musical
keys. He recognizes places by their sound and identifies the sound with pieces of classical music
that he knows and loves. He hears people that way, too, and can often predict how they will
behave. All this, he imparts to the reader. Kaspar lives in Copenhagen, but he is not Danish. He
is deeply in debt, wanted for tax evasion, and on the verge of extradition.
The book is strange, too, because of the special children who have an inexplicable quality (which
Kaspar hears as sudden strange silences) which makes them important to the plans of some very
odd groups of people. One girl in particular captures Kaspar's attention, and she has a particular
interest in him. At first it seems as if she has been kidnapped and is asking Kaspar for help, but
several times she turns up unexpectedly to confront him; at other times she seems to be in control
of everything. In trying to help her, Kaspar is constantly in danger. Only at the end of the book
does her identity and purpose become clear, and even then nothing is resolved.
The Quiet Girl is confusing, because the narration jumps around in time (which is not in itself a
problem) and we are never sure of the nature of the people Kaspar gets involved with. Even those
who seem to be helping him turn out to have links with those who are pursuing him. The plot is
intricate and tangled, and much of the time I was lost and puzzled. Too many things seemed
unreal, too much of the action impossible. Kaspar is threatened on all sides, running, hiding,
fighting, tricking people, and even when he is mortally wounded he manages to perform
impossible feats. He has a wry sense of humour, but his way of speaking and thinking in abrupt,
short sentences made me think, to begin with, that this was a fault in translation. It was not, and I
did get used to it.
In the end, however, I lost patience with the story, although the puzzle about the children kept me
reading until the end. And the end, surprising as it was, was too unlikely, and the resolution of
the plot too contrived, to be satisfying.
Other readers may be gripped by this mixture of mystery, music and mayhem, with a bit of
science and philosophy thrown in, and with a few zany characters and a minor love interest to
add spice. Sadly, I was not. Yet, since I enjoyed the company of Miss Smilla in Hoeg's earlier
book so much, I almost feel I should read The Quiet Girl again and see if it makes more sense the
second time around, especially as the publicity blurb describes the book as "a philosophical
thriller of rare quality". A"thriller"? Yes. "Rare"? Well it is unique. "Philosophical"? Sometimes,
but in a ruminative sort of way. "Quality"? Questionable.
Our Classical Heritage
Caroline Noble Whitbeck
PO Box 478868, Chicago, IL 60647
9780978617219, $14.00 www.switchbackbooks.com
Winner of the 2006 Gatewood Prize, Our Classical Heritage: A Homing Device is the debut
anthology of free-verse poetry by literature and literary theory student Caroline Noble Whitbeck.
Daring to experiment with format verse layout, Our Classical Heritage is a pastiche of images
from American adolescence, brimming with energy and inscrutable panache. "Book of
Etiquette": What was I after / in the orchard the / roots What was the lesson / he missed the
rhetoric And / on the bed the eiderdown / And on the plate the urgency / the peat the
impossibilities What / was the string that snapped the golden / plectrum the bedpan the syllables /
an unstrung bowl of unripe / the rinds the bracelet the bare wrist
Animate, Inanimate Aims
PO Box 25526, Brooklyn, NY 11202-5526
9781933959023, $15.00 www.litmuspress.org
Animate, Inanimate Aims is the second book by poet and visual artist Brenda Iijima. An
assortment of stark, original black-and-white illustrations bookend the free-verse poetry that
dissects observations into minimalist composition. Some stanzas shrink to a single word; others
expound with luminous, discrete detail in this uniquely vivacious collection. "Inevitably": A
horse obeys // But only in relation / To the race // Rhymes with disgrace // Propulsion and
steering / Power / Buck / Jump / With arched back // Note the effect of rapidity and / Confusion.
Sloggering. No this / Can't be comprehended / By pure reason /Elucidated by ambiguity / Time is
Eden in the Rearview Mirror
PO Box 541106, Cincinnati, OH 45254-1106
9781933456775, $17.00, 80 pages
Eden in the Rearview Mirror is a collection of original free-verse poetry by author Susan Elbe.
Crafted from loss, the verses reflect heartbreak but also the fondness of memories, and
reflections upon the timeless beauty of nature. A gentle outpouring of emotion, flowing freely
with every word. "If I Loved Him, It Would Be This Way": Night like a giant manta ray brushes /
the screens with hushed velvet wings. / Under the slant roof, in a kelp-sway of trees / I lie on a
thin, cottage bed / and whether it is wind or rain blowing through, / I only know it's green, /
rolling down through moss, deep / into algae, and deeper, where green declines / to the dark
verdancy glyphed / in a plum or the body's first minnowing.
Some Nights No Cars At All
1026 Hurricane Road, Keene, NY 12942
9781931337359, $14.00 www.ausablepress.org 1-800-283-3572
Some Nights No Cars At All is an anthology of free-verse poetry by community college teacher
Josh Rathkamp. Touching upon a medley of topics in everyday life, from getting directions, to
interacting with a lunch lady who uses bad language, to listening to a duet on the radio. An
eclectic medley combining slice-of-life storytelling with wistful emotion, and brimming with the
earthy quality of the everyday human experience. "Before Breakfast": A family, I think, of small
mule / deer has taken my shoe // beside the door / in haste. Suddenly as if nature // took the time
for this- / the wind blew dust // blanketing a man with groceries.
My Loaded AK-47 Vol. 1
Cleveland S. Barrett, Sr.
Vantage Press Inc.
419 Park Avenue South, 18th floor, New York, NY 10016
9780533143511, $21.95 www.vantagepress.com 1-212-736-1767
Written by African-American poet Cleveland S. Barrett, Sr., a.k.a. "The Ghetto Poet Hulk", My
Loaded AK-47 Vol. 1 is an original compilation of free-verse poetry examines the
African-American experience and unique struggles in modern-day America. Passionate
conviction marks the pages, as does a lamentation of the deterioration of inner city communities
into ghettos and the spark of hope for societal improvement. "Poet-in-Touch": Magnetic sound of
poetry, blue prints of a dream / demonstrate my faith and 360 degrees of knowledge. / I do away
with envy, jealousy, and negativism. / They are replaced with steadfastness, righteousness / and /
positiveness. / My artistic gift has thought, self-discipline, in other / words plan, / prepare and
preserve. / I write my verses from deep within. I have found my / voice and / my rage!
Poems that Might or Might Not Change Your Life
Hound Dog Press
191 Rockingham Drive #B, Harrisonburg, VA 22802
9780979591907, $9.95 www.hdpoetry.com
The second poetry collection by author Charlie Clouse, Poems that Might or Might Not Change
Your Life is an anthology of brief, free-verse works that reflect the everyday and occasionally
humorous moments of life. Written in the years from 1996 to 2006, the verses offer a flash of
brilliant insight into the human condition and each deserves to savored - either one at a time or
all at once. "Learning To Be Human": Everyday we have the / ability to do something / great or
the ability to do / something really, really / stupid. Either way / we have the ability to learn to be
The Last Cavalier
Pegasus Books, LLC
45 Wall Street, Suite 1021, New York, NY 10005
9781933648316, $32.00 www.amazon.com
Alexander Dumas is best known for his classic novels 'The Three Musketeers' and 'The Count of
Monte Cristo'. What is not so well known is that he also authored "The Last Cavalier: Being the
Adventure of Count Sainte Hermine in the Age of Napoleon". Thought lost for more than 125
years, this major novel by Dumas was rediscovered in the archives of the National Library in
Paris and has now been translated into English for the first time. Count Hector de
Sainte-Hermine has been languishing in prison for three years when on the eve of Napoleon's
coronation as emperor of France, he final learns what's to be his fate. He is stripped of his title
and denied the hand of the woman he loves, but given his freedom on the condition that he serve
in the imperial army. Hector subsequently embarks on a series of daring escapades and wins
fame and glory fighting against brigands, bandits, the British, boa constrictors, sharks, and
crocodiles. At the battle of Trafalgar it is his marksman's bullet that fells the English Admiral
Lord Nelson. But his ultimate destiny is to be found in Paris and his father's implacable enemy --
Napoleon. Strongly recommended for academic and community library collections, "The Last
Cavalier" has all the excitement and daring associated with a Dumas adventure novel, and at
544-pages in length, will prove to be a substantial as well as substantially rewarding read.
Authoritative Guide To Lionel's Promotional Outfits 1960 - 1969
John W. Schmid
Project Roar Publishing
PO Box 599, Winfield, IL 60190
9781933600024, $69.95 www.projectroar.com
Drawing upon thousands of authentic Lionel documents, "Authoritative Guide To Lionel's
Promotional Outfits 1969 - 1969" is an 848-page illustrated compendium showcasing the more
than 700 electric train outfits (also known as 'uncatalogued train sets') that the Lionel company
created exclusively as promotional items for retailers that included Sears Roebuck & Co.;
Montgomery Ward; Spiegel; Western Auto; A&P; Quaker Oats; and others. Because of the
limited numbers manufactured, these promotional outfits are among the most valuable items in
the history of model railroading. These outfits never appeared in Lionel's consumer catalogs and
information about them simply unavailable -- until now. John W. Schmid has been collecting toy
trains with his father for decades. After the 2001 auction in which the Lionel Factory Orders and
other miscellaneous internal company documents were purchased, Schmid embarked upon years
of extensive research in newly found documents and has now distilled that research into the
pages of an impressively descriptive catalog. The result is "Authoritative Guide To Lionel's
Promotional Outfits 1960-1969", a work of meticulous scholarship that is unique in the annals of
the enduringly popular hobby of model trains and railroads. Included is how all the engine and
cars came to be individually packed; descriptions of the original outfit box (including outfit
inserts and packaging); pricing for the complete outfit (and even the empty box alone); original
production quantities; diagrams for packing the outfit in the outfit box; instruction sheets, packed
envelopes, as well as peripherals (track, transformer, oil, wire, smoke, etc.) Also available in a
hardcover edition (9781933600031, $89.95), John Schmid's "Authoritative Guide To Lionel's
Promotional Outfits 1960 - 1969" is impressively informative and enthusiastically recommended
for all dedicated model railroading reference collections.
Willis M. Buhle
Ryunosuke Akutagawa, author
Charles De Wolf, translator
25 Jay Street, #203, Brooklyn, NY 11201
9780977857609, $16.00 www.archipelagobooks.org 1-800-283-3572
Skillfully translated from the original Japanese by Charles De Wolf, Mandarins: Stories by
Ryunosuke Akutagawa is an anthology of short stories written during the all-too-brief life of
Ryunosuke Akutagawa (1892-1927). Fluidly evoking 1920's Japan, in an era when traditions
were in flux and the yearning for personal liberty burned brightly, Mandarins features characters
who struggle against the society around them. The three stories in Mandarins, translated into
English for the first time, are "An Enlightened Husband", "An Evening Conversation", and
"Winter". At times cruel, at times fantastically descriptive, Akutagawa's prose resonates with a
piercing clarity on every page. A welcome addition to Japanese literature shelves.
Dream of the Dragon Pool
Albert A. Dalia
Jack Estes, Publisher
201 West 89 Street, New York, NY 10024
9781929355341, $18.00 www.pleasureboatstudio.com
Written by Albert A. Dalia, a scholar of medieval Chinese history and culture for four decades,
Dream of the Dragon Pool: A Daoist Quest is an amazing novel based on the historical
death-sentence exile of China's beloved poet-adventurer Li Bo (also Li Bai, 701-762 A.D.). A
fanciful tale of myth and wonder, told as traditional Chinese-style heroic fiction, Dream of the
Dragon Pool follows Li Bo on his journey toward certain death in faraway Burma/Myanmar.
Unconcerned about the threat of his imminent demise, Li Bo sees his travels as a quest for poetic
inspiration. Along the way he befriends the emperor's most powerful shamaness, accidentally
awakens the horrific Blood Dragon and its ghostly slaves, and stumbles into possession of the
coveted and legendary Dragon Pool Sword after a dream visit from a Daoist Immortal. Wicked
and nefarious enemies and wondrous adventure flow from this exotic and utterly enthralling
Big Mind, Big Heart
Dennis Genpo Merzel
Big Mind Publishing
1268 East S. Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84102
9780977142330, $17.95 www.bigmind.org
Zen Master Dennis Genpo Merzel presents Big Mind, Big Heart: Finding Your Way, a self-help
guide to sorting through the sea of one's mind and reaching for the "Big Mind" state - existing as
ever-present, oceanic, "just being" awareness. Traditionally, reaching such awareness requires
years of meditation practice; yet Big Mind, Big Heart offers insights to quickly and efficiently
achieving the state. An accompanying audio CD guides the reader through the step-by-step
process, revealing that practitioners do not need to "attain" the awareness - human beings already
are this awareness, and can learn to shift to it, uncovering the great wisdom and compassion
required to live happier, healthier lives. A wonderful "how-to" guide to unlocking the power,
greatness, and love within oneself.
Nathan J. Winograd
8721 Santa Monica Blvd., #948, Los Angeles, CA 90069
9780979074301, $16.95 www.almadenbooks.com
Redemption: The Myth of Pet Overpopulation and the No Kill Revolution in America is a
passionate advocacy for ending the killing of homeless dogs and cats in shelters. Telling the story
of how the movement of animal sheltering in the United States was born of compassion and lost
its way, Redemption counters claims of pet overpopulation with thought-provoking assertions. If
there is pet overpopulation, then why do shelters that kill animals have so many empty cages, day
in and day out? If there is pet overpopulation, then why do puppy and kitten mills take in so
much successful business selling animals? Exposing the utter failures and inadequacies of
shelters, and the ASPCA itself - especially failures to properly advertise and promote their
animals to homes that can adopt them - Redemption shows the way to a movement toward
animal shelters that do not kill animals solely because it is more convenient. The "No Kill"
shelter movement is still in its infancy, driven largely by charismatic leaders, when it needs to
become institutionalized to counter the institutionalized ruthlessness of shelters that kill;
Redemption offers hope that America can yet change its ways. Highly recommended.
Houdini Speaks Out
International Plaza II, Suite 340, Philadelphia, PA 19113
9781425767402, $45.99 www.xlibris.com
Harry Houdini is a legendary stage magician whose legacy and influence have served to inspire
practitioners of legerdemain down to the present day. Although very well known as a magician
and as an escape artist, over time people have largely forgotten that he was also a believer in an
after life and an exposure of fraudulent mediums who tended to prey on a gullible public.
"Houdini Speaks Out: "I am Houdini! And you are a fraud!" by Arthur Moses recreates Houdini's
'solitarian' lectures which he gave from 1922 to his unexpected and early death in 1926. Each of
the fifty glass lantern slides he used to highlight his lectures are recreated and carefully matched
to his original lecture text. Also available in a hardcover edition (9781425767433, $79.99)
"Houdini Speaks Out" is a very strongly recommended addition to personal, professional,
academic, and community library collections -- and should be considered mandatory reading by
anyone with an interest in spiritualism, magic, and the occult.
Frederick Hart: The Complete Works
Donald Kuspit & Frederick turner, essayists
PO Box 7311, Louisville, KY 40207
9781884532853, $70.00 www.butlerbooks.com
A 328-page monograph enhanced with 246 color plates and 136 black-and-white illustrations, as
well as informed and informative essays on the life and work of the acclaimed sculptor,
"Frederick Hart: The Complete Works" is based on the premier of the largest exhibition of
Frederick hart's works to date and held at the University of Louisville on September 6, 2007. Art
historian Donald Kuspit and poet-scholar Frederick Turner provide fascinating background
information on the sculptor and his creations. "Frederick Hart: The Complete Works" also
features a complete chronology of the artist's life. Of special note are the full specifications,
complete documentation, and validation of the showcased works. Hart is famous for creating his
powerful and inspiring figurative sculptures that grace diverse settings ranging from the National
Cathedral to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. No academic university 20th Century Art or
American Sculpture collection can be considered comprehensive without the inclusion of the
Butler Books' superbly published edition of "Frederick Hart: The Complete Works"!
Eunice LeMay & Jane Schwamberger
PO Box 4197, Santa Cruz, CA 95063
9780978805852, $16.95 www.papilopublishing.com
The collaborative work of Eunice LeMay and Jane Schwamberger (who together draw upon a
total of sixty years of experience and experience working and managing in libraries and the
business world), "Listen Up!: How To Communicate Effectively At Work" is a compilation of
apply-it-yourself skills for communicating effectively with customers, clients, co-workers, and
bosses regardless of gender, cultural, or generational differences. Readers of "Listen Up!" will
learn how to identify their own (and others) learning and workplace behavioral types. This will
lead to an enhanced ability to foster teamwork, reduce stress, and improve performance. Based
on the concept that listening is the foundation of good communication, "Listen Up!" is
confidently recommended reading for anyone seeking to increase productivity and job
satisfaction for themselves, their employees, their management, their vendors, and their
Religious Architecture In Hispano New Mexico
Thomas J. Steele & Thomas L. Lucero
925 Salamanca NW, Los Ranchose de ABQ, NM, 87107-5647
1890689408, $15.95 firstname.lastname@example.org
A slender, 64-page, profusely illustrated and very highly recommended analytical compilation
and survey of early southwestern frontier church buildings, "Religious Architecture In Hispano
New Mexico" by architect Thomas L. Lucero in collaboration with Thomas J. Steele, a Jesuit
scholar who is the leading authority on the Hispanic devotional arts of New Mexico, offers an
informed and informatively descriptive explanation of New Mexico's Hispanic adobe churches.
Of special note is the authors classification system which will prove exceptional useful for
scholars and non-specialist general readers alike when reviewing the distinct types of religious
structures associated with 18th and 19th century religious structures in Hispanic New
Michael J. Carson
The Swashbuckler, by Lee Lynch, a 2007 Alice B. Reader's Medal recipient and 2006 Saints &
Sinners Literary Hall of Fame inductee, is profoundly inspiring on many levels. Lynch captures
the mood of the New York City gay movement, most notably, lesbian culture between 1960 and
1972, and shows how intolerance affects us all. In a homophobic world, the peer pressure to
conform, even in non-conformity, is a small price to pay for the support and acceptance of your
friends, who often become your family of choice.
The story begins in pre-Stonewall Greenwich Village when the climate for gays and lesbians is
oppressive. Same-sex partners could be arrested for openly expressing their love. Our heroine
Frenchy Tonneau is twenty-one, good-looking and 100% prime butch, and she loves that side of
herself right down to her diddy-bop walk even though she knows it angers straight people. There
are two Frenchies during the week she's the closeted, dutiful daughter and reliable cashier at a
supermarket checkout in the Bronx, and on Saturday nights, she emerges, dressed to break hearts,
as the chick magnet to every femme she can get her hands on. Just thinking about commitment
makes the swashbuckler itchy.
Frenchy has no intention of settling down, but she doesn't count on meeting the Jewish teacher
Edie from Queens, or the Puerto Rican temptress from El Barrio, Mercedes, or even the Jewish
bohemian princess Pam. She wonders why she's always falling for Jewish or Puerto Rican girls,
but more importantly, how they succeed in chipping away at her tough butch exterior and rocking
her world. Can stone turn to sand? Can a swashbuckler settle down and be happy with one
woman? Will Frenchy accept her transformation and find true love and ultimate happiness?
With women loving women across races and religions, what could be better than when love wins
out over cultural differences? During her first trip to Provincetown, Frenchy meets Mercedes, a
pretty Spanish chick with a butch swagger and a few skeletons in her closet. At first sight,
Frenchy is intrigued but can't figure out if Mercedes is butch or femme, and it matters. Can two
butches fall in love? Taking this journey with Frenchy and Mercedes is a truly far-out and groovy
trip you won't want to miss. The Swashbuckler is an affirming romance where you hope that
everyone, butch, femme, black, white, Christian, Jewish, Hispanic, gay, straight etc. comes to her
own truth in her own time and before it's too late.
At a time when the bar culture was very much into roles and most women were pressured to
choose either butch or femme. It was a put-down to be called Kiki, which according to
About.com, is a term that was used in the lesbian bar culture of the 1950s and 1960s to describe
someone who was neither butch nor femme or both. The Swashbuckler follows the growth of
two admirable women, in an ever changing environment, who must overcome societal and
personal obstacles in order to live true to their natures and conform to their own norms.
Pioneer and celebrated author, Lee Lynch finely weaves social commentary throughout the
compelling story in a way that informs yet doesn't preach or weigh down the plot. The
Swashbuckler is a classic romance reminiscent of Ann Bannon's work but with a much happier
ending. It was easier to publish lesbian love with positive outcomes in 1985 than during the 50's
and 60's. The Swashbuckler also celebrates the differences among us based on race, religion, and
education level and explores how much better life would be if bigotry was abolished.
I give The Swashbuckler two thumbs up. It should be required reading regardless of sexual
orientation, race, religion, gender or age. Lynch's story reaffirms our faith in love as defined as
two people who give every part of themselves to each other. The Swashbuckler allows an
intimate glimpse of two incredibly courageous young women. Their growth feeds our growth.
Baby boomers will reminisce and younger women will see where they came from.I cannot rate or
recommend this book more highly. The Swashbuckler is a five-star read.
Riverhead Books/The Berkley Publishing Group/Division of Penguin Putnam Inc.
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
For anyone who hasn't discovered the literary genius of Sarah Waters, it won't be long before
you'll want to devour every word the best-selling, award-winning novelist pens. My admiration
goes beyond the author's expertise in capturing the mood reminiscent of Oliver Twist. Waters
extensive research enriches the vivid setting. Her spot-on characterizations combined with a
highly absorbing plot captivate both critics and readers alike. If I were to go back to Victorian
England, more precisely London 1862, I bet it would look, smell, taste, and sound as Waters has
deftly described it. If I would have been asked to root for a thief, I should say not. But Susan
Trinder, an orphan who through a twist of fate only knows a crooked life, is worth saving. And
what of Maud Lilly? Orphaned as well, she lives a seemingly charmed, though lonely life, in a
country estate of her uncle, much as a caged bird. Left in the hands of evil folk who prosper by
unsavory means, can the fates of both women be spared? How much strife can a woman endure
before she loses her mind, heart, and soul?
Fingersmith is the story of two young women who have nothing in common except the
acquaintance of a man who goes by the name Gentleman. He's a crook who means to ruin an
heiress in order to make his fortune. As part of Gentleman's plan to get rich quick, Susan leaves
Mrs. Sucksby, the woman who raises her, and London, the only home she's ever known. When
she travels to Briar to pose as Maud's maid, she soon discovers a connection that goes beyond the
treacherous scheme that brings her and Maud together. Despite deceit, their kinship is cemented
during all the time they spend in each other's company. Their heartstrings are pulled tight with
thoughts of what is to happen next. They share a love believed to be so hideous as to be shunned
by society and yet through it all, the hope of good coming out of evil is the hope that has readers
turning the pages.
Gentleman, a despicable yet thoroughly charming con man, evokes little or no sympathy but he's
entertaining in his cunning sort of way. Then there's Mrs. Sucksby, a petty thief, who raises
Susan as a means to an end. When Mrs. Sucksby sells the other orphaned infants but keeps Sue
as her own, Waters compels us to discover the motive behind baby farmer's actions. Mr. Lilly,
Maud's uncle, is a depraved man who enslaves a girl for his gain. It makes us wonder how some
people have few scruples to inflict cruelty upon others.
Waters captivates her audiences through vivid imagery as each scene builds the suspenseful plot
only to pull a fast one at every turn. Anyone who longs for a Victorian novel told expertly in the
Dickens style, who loves surprises, who enjoys characters to sink your teeth into, and who wants
to come away uplifted, would do well not to hesitate another moment. Head over to your
bookshop or on-line seller and pick up a copy today. Susan and Maud will forever be in your
heart. You won't be able to put it down. If you crave authentic historical fiction, clever plot
twists, and a fine romance, I highly recommend you don't miss this gem.
G.P. Putnam's Sons
New York, NY
Lucas Davenport, special agent for Minnesota's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, is trying to
deal with the sensitive investigation of a local politician who has been accused of having a sexual
relationship with a minor when his boss calls him in on another case that occurred in one of St.
Paul's richest neighborhoods. Two elderly women have been found bludgeoned to death in a
home filled with antiques. Although robbery is the suspected motive, not much has been taken,
so Lucas asks his intern, Sandy, to cross-match crimes of a like nature. What she discovers takes
Lucas back to a cold case and has him researching the antiquities venue as he follows a twisting
investigation that leads him away from the killers.
Although this is not the best in the Prey series, it is a good read. The two plots at times seemed to
compete with one another, which made the read seem somewhat convoluted. Sandford is strong
with characterization and the addition of Sandy, the intern, was a bonus, along with Detective
Flowers, both of whom this reader hopes to see in future books. Sandford's tendency to drop
designer names grows tiring at times (can't someone just once wear a simple shirt and pants?).
One major disappointment for this reader is Davenport's laid-back mellowness compared to the
earlier books, where he was sharper, with a dangerous edge.
William Morrow/Harper Collins
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 1002
978006072558 $24.95 www.harpercollins.com
Philadelphia Attorney Victor Carl wakes up one morning in the vestibule of his apartment
building, his suit disheveled, socks missing, and the name Chantal Adair inscribed on his chest.
Victor can't remember what happened the prior night and is on a quest to find out, along with
who Chantal Adair is. But his efforts are waylaid by a stubborn Greek woman on her deathbed,
demanding he bring her son Charlie Kalakos home in return for a favor Victor's father owes her.
Charlie is wanted by the District Attorney's Office and the FBI for stealing a Rembrandt painting
from a museum. Charlie wants to return home to tell his mother goodbye but Charlie's
partners-in-crime would prefer he stay gone. While negotiating with the authorities as well as
considering a shady offer by an art dealer/mercenary named Lavender Hill, Victor hires his own
investigator to find Chantal Adair. To his surprise, a young girl with the same name disappeared
the night Charlie and his gang stole the Rembrandt. Could the two crimes be connected?
Each outing with self-deprecating Victor Carl is a treat for readers who like a good mystery with
wacky characters and a narrative voice that entertains throughout. A flawed man who thinks
worse of himself than he actually is, Victor is tempted by fame and money with an internal
monitoring system that allows him to step outside the bounds of law, but just barely. Victor, who
seems to remain in a self-identity crisis, is joined this time by his partner, Beth Derringer, the
moral gauge of their partnership. Lashner's excellent style offers plenty of humor enmeshed
within a good story and characters that just can't be matched. This series is a hard one to top.
Tilt a Whirl
Carroll & Graf Publishers
Danny Boyle, part-time cop for the Sea Haven, New Jersey police department, has been partnered
for the summer with John Ceepak, former military policeman in Iraq. Danny is bemused by
Ceepak, a man of integrity and principles, who lives by what Danny calls the Code, meaning he
does not break the law or bend rules in any way. Reginald Hart, a billionaire businessman, is shot
point blank while talking to his daughter on the Turtle Tilt a Whirl in their small town's
amusement park. Since Danny and Ceepak are first on the scene, their police chief designates
Ceepak to head the investigation into Hart's murder. Hart's ex-wife is quickly ruled out and the
investigators are looking in the direction of Latino gang members. But when a homeless drug
addict called Squeegee kidnaps Hart's daughter and demands ransom, they're hot on his trail,
which takes the investigation down another path.
Tilt a Whirl is the first in a new series by Chris Grabenstein, and if this is any indication of future
stories, the series is sure to be a hit. Written in a witty style, with characters that demand
inclusion in future books, this twisting, turning mystery will keep the reader thoroughly
Got the Look
9780060564582 $24.95 www.harpercollins.com
Miami attorney Jack Swyteck is emotionally devastated when he learns that Mia Salazar, his
girlfriend of the past three months, is a married woman. Mia's husband, Ernesto, a wealthy
businessman, finds out about the affair shortly before Mia is kidnapped. The kidnapper's ransom
notes demands payment for what Mia is worth, and the betrayed Salazar decides his wandering
wife is worth nothing. FBI agent Andie Henning has been tracking this serial kidnapper and
contacts Jack after being (facetiously) told by Salazar that he is his attorney. When Jack learns
that Salazar is refusing to make payment, he is initially reluctant to become involved but
eventually does and negotiates with the kidnapper for Mia's release. Andie, Jack and his good
friend Theo Knight begin to unravel Mia's past in hopes of discovering the identity of the
kidnapper and learn that she may possibly be connected to a controversial trial several years
before. Meanwhile, the kidnapper is sending videos of Mia being tortured, which makes for a
frantic effort to find her before the kidnapper kills her.
Got the Look is by far not the best of the Jack Swyteck series with a plot that lags at times and
threatens to be absorbed by the subplot of Mia's identity. Theo is an engaging character and
offers humorous relief among a cast of unlikable characters. Andie Henning is interesting and
looks to play a part in future books in the series. The identity of the kidnapper and his reason for
kidnapping Mia were not very plausible and hard to grasp. Of concern is Swyteck's propensity for
allowing murderers to, well, get away with murder.
This story centers around a small, religious statuette which bears a strong resemblance to
Bernadette Doyle. It is tradition in Bernadette's family that the statue be handed down from
mother to daughter, but Bernadette and her husband have one biological son, Sullivan, and two
adopted sons, African American brothers, Tip and Teddy, but no daughters, so the ultimate fate
of the statue is in question. Bernadette dies from cancer when Tip and Teddy are young and
Doyle assumes the responsibility of raising them. It is Doyle's dream that his sons share his
passion for politics and follow him into a career in same. But Tip is a student at Harvard who
wants to be an ichthyologist while Teddy is interested in the priesthood. Doyle, however, asks
Tip and Teddy to attend a speech by Jesse Jackson with him in hopes of interesting them in
politics. Afterward, Tip argues with Doyle and unintentionally steps in front of a car. A black
woman saves Tip by pushing him out of the way but is injured and rushed to the hospital. Doyle
offers to care for her young daughter, Kenya, while she is recovering. And this one person
stepping into their lives forces each of these men to come to terms with the past, each other and
Ann Patchett's eloquent prose is exceptional, to be absorbed and savored, as she delves deep into
the psyche of her characters and delivers a slowly evolving plot. Although Run does not quite
meet the high standards of Patchett's Bel Canto, it is an intriguing, enjoyable read.
Christy Tillery French
The Angelic Prophecy
Robert L. Hecker
Mundania Press, LLC
6470A Glenway Avenue, #109, Cincinnati, OH 45211-5222
159426256X $14.00 www.mundania.com
Michael Modesto is a rock star, a rock star to the full extreme with the alcohol and the girls,
living life hard in the fast lane. Than all of a sudden he begins to tire, the pleasure begins to fade
and at twenty-five he begins to question if he's getting too old for the music.
Than one night at one of so many parties he meets Mary Schaeffer, a nurse who pushes her way
in determined to speak to him. She wants him to do a benefit concert for crack babies. Michael
wants no part of it; he has a reputation, a selfish attitude towards such things. But finally agrees
to go to the hospital with her to see the babies. While there Mary forces him to hold one of the
babies and pain like a bolt of lightning races through his body till he passes out but the baby- the
baby was healed! In the parking lot another miracle a fire ball of protection from two thugs who
try to rob them.
From then on Michael decides to stay away from Mary and any thought of a benefit concert but
he can't he's drawn to her. He tracks her down at her church to tell her he won't help but before he
knows it he starts preaching like crazy words he never knew and doesn't even believe begin to
flow out of him.
After that surviving the elevator crash with the message written on the wall that he is God's
messenger, messenger of what, has him thinking he is losing his mind. While all the while Mary
believes he is chosen for a purpose.
Than there's Ambassador Anthony Stonz and his assistant Selene who seem to appear out of
nowhere to help the church but really are set on stopping Michael but know he is not like the
others this one won't be easy to stop
An awesome storyline set against the end times this novel will have you grabbing for your Bible!
The author Robert L. Hecker does an amazing job in this mystery page turner. The showdown of
good versus evil is a little typical of most end times books but the rest of the book is well worth
But on a negative note if you are offended by profanity than give this book a pass as some
Christians may find the language offensive. But otherwise an awesome read.
Catch a Rising Star
c/o Hachette Book Group
237 Park Avenue New York, NY 10017
0780446698931 $12.99 http://www.hachettebookgroupusa.com/christian/index.html
Former soap opera diva Tabby Brockman feels she has hit bottom. Fired from the number one
soap "Legacy of Life" for a misunderstanding with the writer (she caught her husband making a
move on Tabby during a party and blamed Tabby), she's forced to work at a bookstore wearing
costumes to read to kids which she can't get along with as one of her best friends and roommate
Laini puts it "Putting Tabby with kids is like asking the garbage man to cook without washing
his hands"- so needless to say she's been fired again.
Than out of the blue she hears from Freddie her old friend and fitness trainer, from "Legacy of
Life". That man always seems to know all the latest gossip about the show and now he knows the
show wants her back! And to top it off Kyle Preston, everyone's dream agent, with good looks
and great negotiation skills wants her as a client! After all her agent dropped her after she was
fired from the soap and according to Freddie it seems her agent is friends with Julie, the show's
writer, who fired her so now she's starting to understand everything. She can't believe God has
opened the door for her to go back. But not everyone shares her enthusiasm Laini and Dancy (the
other roommate and friend) and her Mom voice their opinions and they are not too keen on the
Back at the set Tabby wonders if they were right. She still has to deal with Julie, the writer that
killed her off in the first place who makes her wear bandages for the first week and gives her
lousy lines and the "precious" five year old twins that play her kids on the show that she wants to
strangle and their dreamy dad that she finds she's falling for despite the kids and the fact their not
hitting it off at all.
Meanwhile her Mother keeps pushing David at her, which she has no interest in and won't take
the hint. Her sister is unmarried and pregnant and her brother's new girlfriend drives her Mom up
the wall. Her Dad suffers a heart attack and her friends have their own problems. All in all it's not
your typical family life!
What an awesome book, this reviewer could not put it down! The author Tracey Bateman does
an awesome job in pulling you into Tabby's, Laini's and Dancy's lives and her sense of humor
will have you in stitches. The characters are amazing in this first book of the Drama Queens
Series. This reviewer is new to the world of Chick Lit but Bateman has given me an amazing
introduction and I am definitely hooked not only on Tracey Bateman but on Chick Lit!
Sushi for One? Sometimes romance needs a kick of wasabi
5300 Patterson SE Grand Rapids, MI 49530
9780310273981 $12.99 www.zondervan.com
Poor Lex - Alexis Sakai is now the OSFC (oldest single female cousin) in her family and her
Grandma is out to change that and in the Japanese culture that's not a good thing, slowly
everything in her life changes as she realizes just how much influence her grandmother has. Just
because her grandmother is determined that Lex is to be in a serious relationship by her cousin
Mariko's wedding and that is only four months away or else she will stop all funding for the girls
junior high volleyball team that Lex couches.
Since Lex quit her job and though a series of circumstances or was it God she landed her dream
job at SPZ her life has become a revolving door of strange men claiming their mother is friends
with one of her aunts and willing to date her for college game tickets. Even her brother is
bringing men around that he claims are "friends" but seem to be the biggest losers. When she
tries not to give into the pressure her grandmother threatens that other things could happen and
things do but which is her grandmother and which are circumstances? Suddenly her dad is forced
in to retirement from his job and decides to sell the house. Lex tears her ACL and has to have
knee surgery just when she lands a chance to play on the ultimate volleyball dream team at
Wassamattayu. Her other cousins/friends begin to avoid her. And Lex struggles with the dating
thing due to something that happened three years ago that very few people know about especially
not her grandmother who blames her not dating on the fact that Lex is too athletic and not
feminine enough and even goes so far as to offer to pay for breast implants! Than there's Aiden
the one man she has come to trust as a friend and becomes her physical therapist but he's not
Christian and does not match anything on her "Ephesians list" for the perfect man but yet she is
drawn to him ..
Wow, what a page turner! Enter into the Japanese culture in this Asian twist on Chick Lit. The
author Camy Tang will have you in stitches in this hilarious romance. This reviewer just couldn't
put this awesome book down and once you finish the novel you'll be wanting more from Tang.
Check out the glossary of Asian words (Camy style) at the back of the book and pick up some
new words along the way.
A Proper Pursuit
11400 Hampshire Ave S Bloomington, MN 55438
9780764228919 $13.99 www.bethanyhouse.com
The time is the late 1800's and twenty year old Violet Hayes is on a quest to experience romance
and mystery just like the books her and her best friend Ruth snuck to read at Madame
Beauchamps' School for girls. Yes she was taught to be a lady but she wants adventure.
After finding out her father is about to remarry and that her mother really is alive not dead as her
father had try to make her believe, Violet knows she must go to Chicago to find her mother, who
she hasn't seen since she was nine, she convinces her father to let her go see the World's
Columbian Exposition in Chicago and to visit her grandmother and her great aunts. But everyone
else has their own plans for Violet. Her grandmother, father and Aunt Agnes are out to have her
married. Her crazy Aunt Birdie tells her to marry for love and her Aunt Matt tells her she doesn't
need to marry. Than all in one week she has three marriage proposals but the men all have their
own ideas too and not one includes love. All the while Violet is falling in love with Silas the
salesman she met on the train to Chicago who has really tried hard to help her find her mother.
But Violet believes he is a thief and not a proper suitor.
She allows the men to escort her to the fair and spends time with her grandmother helping the
poor, Aunt Agnes takes her calling on all her high society friends and Aunt Matt teaches her
about the Women's Suffragette Movement. Violet learns a lot but feels none of these lives is for
her. She knows her time is running out as her father is making her go home and marry Herman
Beckett unless she finds someone else but Violet knows she must find her mother!
Her father has instructed her grandmother and aunts to tell her nothing about her mother but
Violet finds herself in a mystery, the mystery of her mother and why she left, the truth about her
father and the woman he is about to marry and Uncle Phillip which she didn't know she had an
uncle and all the while trying to stop the feelings that are growing for Silas.
Will Violet find her mother? Will she marry without love or have her heart broken by the thief
Silas only time will tell as Violet finds God along the way and knows He has all the answers
even if she isn't sure herself.
"A Proper Pursuit" is an awesome read perfect for teens and adults alike who love romance,
history and a little bit of mystery. The author Lynn Austin draws you in from the very first page
and takes you back in time and places you there with Violet as she determines the course of her
life and searches for her mother. This reviewer loved the detailed history especially Dwight
Moody's ministry, the women's suffragette marches and the World's Fair as the time period really
comes alive. So if love books like 'Gone with the Wind" by Margaret Mitchell or "Redeeming
Love" by Francine Rivers you will thoroughly enjoy "A Proper Pursuit".
Jesus Is No Excuse: The Words and Verses of Gregory St. James
Gregory St. James
E-book Time LLC
6598 Pumpkin Rd Montgomery, AL 36108
9781598245011 $10.95 www.e-booktime.com
As Christians we all face questions and struggles as our faith is tested everyday. Satan is out to
stop us anyway he can. In this powerful little book (only 124 pages) that you could read in just
one sitting author Gregory St. James sets out to answer some of life's most difficult questions
such as why do good things happen to bad people, why are some people born mentally or
physically deformed and why some people are rich, while others are poor. The author has done
an excellent job on these teachings as well as the chapter on the Ten Commandments, explaining
more in detail about each one and why we are to follow them; also the chapters on faith and the
devil are excellent reads as well.
A good read for teens and adults alike who are seeking to enhance their spiritual knowledge, also
excellent for debate and church teachings on these subjects.
This reviewer cannot agree with everything the author has written especially on such subjects as
homosexuality, why Jesus was crucified and about Jesus' resurrection as I myself have different
beliefs. So with that I cannot give this book an excellent rating as it is meant to teach and inform,
but will admit the book is excellently written and easy to understand. Keeping that in mind if you
read this inspirational book with bible in hand and remember it is just one man's opinion and not
by any means the final word on any of these subjects "Jesus Is No Excuse" is a good read and
study guide for some. The "Verses of St. James" in the back of the book are excellent words of
poetry and a great inspiration to ponder upon. Also don't miss the "Last Words" for they are so
profound and will have you pondering your own life. So read for yourself the words of St. James
and reach your own conclusions as I guarantee it will at least leave you thinking and possibly
searching for more.
Every Secret Thing
11400 Hampshire Ave S Bloomington, MN 55438
9780764200052 $13.99 www.bethanyhouse.com
After moving around Elizabeth Gunnar - Beth comes home to teach English at Seaton
Preparatory School in Hockessin, Delaware her old school where she graduated in 1977. Her
parents have long retired to Asheville, North Carolina but actually Beth feels she's come home.
Of course it brings back the old memories of times spent with her group the Barbarians and her
favorite teacher, Mr. Dutton who taught English. But it brings up bad memories too such as just
why did Mr. Dutton commit suicide in her senior year?
She reconnects with her best friend Natalie who she's only stayed in touch with via email all
these years. At Homecoming she reconnects with Ken and Ray the other two members of the
Barbarians. She begins to date Ray again, her steady boyfriend in high school who is divorced
with three kids. She takes one of her students Satchel Queen, a lover of books and loner like
herself under her wing and helps her to blossom especially in writing just like Mr. Dutton did
Beth has Ray tell her again the story of what he and Ken saw that April 1st night in 1977 when he
and Ken found Mr. Dutton in his cabin after cutting his wrist. They knew he was dead but why
had the school staged such a cover up as they told the students that Mr. Dutton had a heart attack
and was still alive. Natalie accuses Beth of being obsessed and needs to let his death go and
forget about it as the other three have done. But Beth can't let it go.
In this awesome tale writer Ann Tatlock captures your heart and even your mind from the very
first page. An unmistakable page turner you'll wonder why too just why did Mr. Dutton commit
suicide and why is Satchel so unhappy? You'll find yourself drawn into and relating to Beth
especially if you feel invisible, a loner just as she does. See how God brings closure, happiness,
and forgiveness in this timeless mystery suspense love story. Also included are reader
discussions questions, which helps make this book perfect for book groups. A perfect read for
teens and adults alike. Ann Tatlock is a remarkable writer! Don't just take this reviewer's word on
it even "Publisher's Weekly ", named her as "one of Christian fiction's better wordsmiths". So if
you want to curl up with a good book I highly recommend "Every Secret Thing".
Harvest House Publishers
990 Owen Loop North Eugene, OR 97402-9173
9780736917414 $11.99 harvesthousepublishers.com
Mark Hogan has killed his pastor Reverend Daniel Glory - at least he thinks he has
Mark Hogan has it all - great job, great family, great church and a position on the church board
the only thing missing is a boat. He dreams, he searches boat lots and decides he has to have a
2008 Bayliner 192. When Reverend Daniel Glory announces that the tribulation will happen on
October 17th at 5:51 am and has even written a book "107 Reasons Jesus is Coming Back in
2007". Mark puts everything else in his life on hold as he knows this is it he has to have that boat
even it means borrowing the money from the mob. But what does it matter if the rapture is
coming he won't have to pay it back because he will be gone. But than Reverend Glory was
wrong Jesus didn't come back!
Now Mark is running for his life knowing the mob must be after him wanting their money, and
the police must be after him after that argument with Reverend Glory and hitting him in the head.
All because Mark blamed Reverend Glory for making him believe that the rapture was coming,
this caused him to borrow money from the mob to buy that boat . His wife who knows nothing,
has stopped calling to see if he's coming to the hospital to see his son who wrecked the brand
new truck that he had to have to haul the brand new boat and can't pay for it either ..
The mob's muscle Cleaver and Lamb have their hands full with orders from crime boss Massey
to get Reverend Glory to move his church so he can have the land and leaning on candidates for
the special election of City Council and keeping tabs on Cleaver's ex wife.
It all falls into the hands of two detectives Charlie Pasch and Tom Griggs to solve the murder and
stop the rash of crimes but are they somehow all connected?
You'll find yourself at times laughing out loud at the antics between Cleaver and Lamb and the
conversations between Charlie and Tom. And you'll have only sympathy for poor Charlie as he
struggles to fit in at his church.
The author Chris Well has done a great job with this page turner, his third suspense novel a
definite 4 on the wow scale and a 5 on God moves scale that keeps you guessing till the very last
page as to what will happen next and an ending that is totally unexpected.
At times it seems there are too many characters but it all comes together as each one really has a
part to play in this really good novel.
Knowing this is the second novel with detectives Charlie and Tom makes this reviewer wonder
what will be the next great suspense for these two detectives?
An Ocean of Air
15 East 26th Street, 15th floor, New York, NY 10010
9780151011247 $25.00 1-800-543-1918 www.harcourtbooks.com
In An Ocean of Air Gabrielle Walker writes about the various constituents and layers of earth's
atmosphere and the role they play in promoting life and protecting the earth from the hostile
environment of space. The topics she covers are more varied than you might think, including, for
example, the ozone layer and the northern lights, the trade winds and the telegraph, antioxidants
and crab spiders. Walker's book is written for laymen, and while it is not exactly a light
read--there are sections that required a good deal of concentration, at least on my part--it is
certainly accessible to the non-scientist. Walker focuses her account on a series of personalities.
In her chapter on oxygen, for example, she writes about Joseph Priestley (the inventor of the
carbonated beverage!) and Antoine Lavoisier (who was beheaded in 1794); when the subject
turns to carbon dioxide we meet Joseph Black (whose experiments with air began with his
attempts to find a cure for bladder stones); Christopher Columbus and the aviator Wiley Post
come to the fore in the author's discussion of wind.
One of Walker's chapters is downright riveting. In discussing the ionosphere she writes about
Marconi and the telegraph. (Telegraph signals seemed to curve around the horizon, though they
were in fact bouncing off the ionosphere between sender and receiver and only appeared to be
curving.) Two of Marconi's employees--Phillips and Bride--were aboard the Titanic, and Walker
tells the story of the sinking from the perspective of these men, one of whom survived.
"Even though the Carpathia was far over the horizon from the Titanic, the waves carrying
Phillips's message leapt over the intervening mountain of sea, before bouncing back down to
where the Carpathia's aerial crackled in response. Minutes after the Carpathia's captain was
wakened with the news, he ordered her to be turned and all power diverted to the engines.
Cottam [the Carpathia's telegraph operator] wired his friends on board the Titanic to say they
were speeding to the rescue. They were four hours away, he wrote, and 'coming hard.'"
Focusing on individuals was a smart way to write the book. Walker has a knack for bringing her
historical subjects to life. Anyone who's interested in the atmosphere--a sexy topic in today's
world-- would do well to look to this book for some background.
Gods Behaving Badly
Little, Brown & Company
c/o Hachette Book Group USA
237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017
9780316067621 $23.99 www.hbgusa.com 1-800-759-0190
The Olympian gods used to have it good. Back in the day, when mortals plied the wine-dark sea
in wooden ships and everybody spoke ancient Greek, the gods were widely revered. Hecatombs
were sacrificed on their behalf, libations poured. The Olympians--a petty, vengeful, randy (some
of them) lot--amused themselves by interfering with human affairs, despoiling mortal virgins,
stirring up epic wars, championing their favorites.... How times change. When the action of
Marie Phillips's Gods Behaving Badly begins, most of the Olympians are holed up in a
dilapidated London town house. They are still engaged in their characteristic pursuits: Artemis is
a dog-walker, Aphrodite a phone sex operator, and Apollo is trying his hand as a television
psychic. But they are increasingly bored with the never-ending sameness of life (even sex with
Aphrodite can become tiresome after millennia). Divinity, in short, isn't what it used to be. The
gods are losing their power and can't afford to squander any on the promiscuous displays of
super-humanity that so amused them in their heyday. So, when Apollo wastes some of his
strength in a fit of pique by turning a mortal girl into a tree, well, let's just say all Hades breaks
I'll admit that I was predisposed to like this book. The idea of juxtaposing the ancient gods with
modernity just tickles me somehow, and I'm not averse to seeing the Olympians give modern
mythologies a run for their money. Even so, I think that Phillips has done an excellent job of
translating the old gods to a modern stage, imagining how they would behave in such changed
circumstances. The book is charming and clever and quirky and funny. What I most liked about it
is the author's portrayal of the gods' attitudes toward humanity--this tribe of short-lived creatures
who are beneath their contempt yet ubiquitous. The gods have tried to minimize their interaction
with humans, so when one of them knocks on the door it comes as a surprise:
"Artemis rolled her eyes and left the room. She gathered up her keys and opened the front door.
There, to her astonishment, stood a small mortal, about five feet high, blondish, a little dumpy,
wearing spectacles. The only remarkable thing about her was that she was standing on their
doorstep. Word obviously hadn't spread about what happened to mortals who did that."
This dumpy mortal woman in turn finds the goings-on in the gods' house a bit unusual:
"When she was cleaning, Alice liked to keep herself to herself and to respect the privacy of her
clients, but the people in this house didn't seem to have much of a concept of privacy, and so
Alice sometimes saw too much. She particularly saw too much of Aphrodite, who was often to
be found walking around in the nude, or having some quite unpleasant conversations on her
mobile phone. And even after only two weeks it was obvious to Alice that Aphrodite was having
affairs with all of the men who lived in the house, and while this was understandable, given how
beautiful she was, Alice, who tried hard not to judge others, also found it distasteful."
With a spear to my head I could complain that scenes in the Underworld slow the narrative
toward the end of the book, but I wasn't very bothered by it. Well-imagined and well-written,
Gods Behaving Badly is simply great fun.
c/o The Berkley Publishing Group
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
9781594489556 $24.95 www.penguin.com 1-800-847-5515
Shalom Auslander grew up in the 1970s and 80s in Monsey, New York, in an Orthodox Jewish
family, with all that entailed: the arcana of kosher dietary restrictions; the uniform of the
Orthodox Jew--tzitzis and peyis and yarmulke; the mind-numbing boredom of Sabbath, when
most worthwhile human activity is forbidden by Jewish law.
"It was forbidden to watch TV, it was forbidden to write, it was forbidden to draw, it was
forbidden to color. It was forbidden to play with trains because they used electricity. It was
forbidden to play with Legos because it was considered building. It was forbidden to play with
Silly Putty because if you pressed it against a newspaper it would transfer some of the ink to
itself, and so it was considered printing."
More specifically, Auslander grew up in an unhappy Orthodox Jewish family. His father was
belligerent and volatile and given to threats involving amputation. His mother wallowed in
misery and home decorating. It's hardly surprising that in adulthood Auslander has complicated
relationships with both his family and God, the latter an angry entity who, much like Auslander's
father, specializes in inconsistent and disproportionate punishments. But Auslander still believes.
He believes, for example, that God keeps a particularly careful eye on his misdemeanors, and he
is always expecting God to screw him over.
Auslander writes about his fallings-out with both family and God in his very readable memoir
Foreskin's Lament. (The reason for the title is made clear about halfway through the book.) He
describes the various ways he acted out against both as a teenager; his back-and- forthing on the
question of keeping kosher; his self-imposed, frankly shocking acts of penance. The book is a
fast read and fascinating for the light it sheds on the lifestyle of the ultra-Orthodox and on
Auslander in particular. It is both funny (with one of the most original acknowledgment pages
you'll ever read) and poignant, especially when the author is describing his conflicted relationship
with his father, whom he manages to portray as both unlikeable and tragic.
Auslander's book serves as a healthy reminder of the perverse influence of religion:
"Thousands of years ago, a terrified, half-made old man genitally mutilated his son, hoping it
would buy him some points with the Being he hoped was running the show. Over the years,
equally terrified men wrote blessings and composed prayers and devised rituals and ordained that
an empty seat be left for Elijah. Six thousand years later, a father will not look his grandson in
the face, and a mother and sister will defend such behavior, because the child wasn't mutilated in
precisely the right fashion.
"Come see what your sons are doing in the world."
The author is still not fully recovered from the effects of his religious instruction, but he's
happier. It's just a shame that he had to waste so much energy and so much time undergoing that
indoctrination and, in turn, in attempting to slough it off.
Trial & Error
Bantam Dell Publishing Group
1540 Broadway, New York, NY 10036
978-0440242765 $6.99 www.randomhouse.com 1-800-726-0600
Trial & Error is the fourth installment in Paul Levine's Solomon vs. Lord series of courtroom
cozies. Steve Solomon and Victoria Lord are perfect opposites: she's Ivy League and Versace,
he's street smart and sneakers, but they get along well enough to share living quarters as well as a
legal practice. Rounding out their domestic circle is Steve's semi-autistic twelve-year-old nephew
Bobby, whose social awkwardness is compensated for by an impressive intellect and near-
perfect memory--not to mention a wicked fast ball. The protagonists' respective single
parents--Steve's father, disgraced retired judge Herbert T. Solomon, and Victoria's self-absorbed,
society matron mother Irene--take a back seat in this outing, appearing only briefly in
back-to-back chapters to offer their advice on the legal duo's personal and professional lives.
There's something fishy about the case on Steve and Victoria's plate this time around--both
literally and figuratively. A plot by a bunch of animal rights activists to set free a pair of dolphins
ends badly, specifically, in felony murder. As it happens, both Bobby and Steve are on the
scene--Bobby because he's become obsessed with dolphins, Steve because Bobby snuck out of
the house in the middle of the night to commune with the mammals. But the details of the case
don't quite add up, and Steve is forced to figure things out largely without the help of his partner:
Victoria, deputized for the purpose by the State Attorney, is prosecuting Steve's client on this
one. Can Steve and Victoria's relationship survive their stint as opposing counsel? Can they, as
the author puts it, successfully "litigate by day and copulate by night"?
Paul Levine gives us a tightly plotted and interesting mystery in Trial & Error, and he has at the
same time removed some of the over- the-top cartoonishness that had been creeping into the
series. Meanwhile, Steve and Victoria's relationship progresses just a bit more along the path to
happily ever after. And a secondary story involving Bobby, bullies, and baseball is laced deftly
into the narrative. The success of the book's denouement hinges on our accepting that Bobby has
learned how to communicate with the dolphins at the story's center. This seems far-fetched, but
not impossible, so I was able happily to suspend disbelief. A satisfying quick read.
Bingo Night at the Fire Hall
15 East 26th Street, 15th floor, New York, NY 10010
9780156006651 $12.00 1-800-543-1918 www.harcourtbooks.com
When she was in her early 60's author Barbara Holland moved from Philadelphia to Loudon
County in Northern Virginia, to a small house in the Blue Ridge Mountains some 60 miles
outside of Washington D.C. It might as well have been a different planet. In Bingo Night at the
Fire Hall Holland describes the world she came almost by accident to inhabit, a place somehow
"unreachably far beyond the headlines and the evening news." Her house on the mountain
overlooks a fertile valley in which the same families have farmed for generations. As she
describes it, the people there live (or lived, at least, in the 1990s, when she was writing this book)
in a sort of time capsule, a Mayberry-like idyll of 4-H clubs and church picnics. It's a place where
nobody locks their doors (locking them would seem unneighborly), where people are defined not
by their resumes but by their family ties.
Holland approaches her subject from a number of different angles, with chapters on the area's
extensive role in the Civil War, for example, and on the weather and wildlife:
"I was pleased and excited to have a bear, until I followed the tracks to the lower porch and
considered the remains of the trash bags. Among the strewn litter of crushed cans and coffee
grounds the bear, like a psychotic burglar, had defecated copiously."
But what makes the book stand out is her description of the ethos of this place, where families'
lives are intertwined over generations and where one is surrounded by one's family:
"On any given day a person in the supermarket could come across his or her entire extended
family, one by one, aisle by aisle, pausing to exchange fragments of news among the canned
goods. This would horrify city folk, whose relatives tend to get on their nerves, but we're a
low-strung lot around here and our satisfaction with our birthplace spreads to include our kin --
or perhaps we consider them one and the same."
It would horrify me, certainly. But Holland writes about this way of life so well that one not only
understands it, one almost pines for it:
"Relatives are more useful here than in the city or suburb. They have tools you can borrow.
They're someone to call, in a taxiless world, when you need a ride. Someone to leave the kids
with or go hunting with; someone to help get your firewood in or your boat painted. Someone to
carry your coffin. From cradle to grave, my neighbors here swing in a hammock of family ties
and nobody leaves except for the churchyard. Even the few who fled to Florida get carried home
in the end."
The book makes clear how much modern lifestyles differ from the way of life that was natural to
so many generations before us: small communities of neighbors living off the land,
interdependent, clustered around a handful of public buildings--the bank and post office and
general store. Nowadays, Holland writes, people don't need towns. They need highways between
their work places and their living spaces, with places to shop in between.
At the same time that Holland is celebrating life in her valley, however, she is also recording its
demise. The land that fed armies on both sides during the Civil War is yielding--increasingly,
inexorably--to strip malls and housing projects. The fertility of the soil doesn't matter if you're
only interested in paving it over. One can see through Holland's eyes how this influx of rootless
Others is an affront to the land.
Holland, of course, is herself an immigrant, but unlike the housing developers who are carving
the valley into subdivisions, she did not efface her surroundings; she adapted to them. Being an
outsider also made her a keen observer of the world around her, which we can only be thankful
for. I enjoyed Holland's book enormously. It is charmingly written and wise. I'll be seeking out
more from her.
The Book of Vice
Peter Sagal is the whip-smart host of NPR's news quiz show Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! Fans of
the program will be delighted to learn that Sagal is also now the author of a deliciously titled
(and even more deliciously subtitled) exploration of iniquity: The Book of Vice: Very Naughty
Things (And How to Do Them). The book is as fun as its title suggests.
Sagal discusses a different vice in each of the book's seven chapters--though sex looms as the
dominant theme of three of them--dropping keen observations while describing his research into
the subject at hand. For his first chapter, for example, on swinging, Sagal and his wife Beth
observed the goings-on at a weekly swinger's party. He describes the logistics of the
operation--the uses to which the various rooms of the place were put--while trying to understand
the nature of the Lifestyle: becoming emotionally attached to the people you have sex with is not
the done thing, for example, yet people who are in it only for the sex are apparently frowned on
as well. In the end Sagal finds that he is not cut out for swinging himself:
"We are told, via their occasional interviews in the press, that swingers or Lifestylers or whatever
are no different from you and me...they meet up to socialize, talk, drink, and dance with their
good friends, old and new. And then they have sex with them. Which makes me stop, and
consider the various good friends my wife and I have, and then consider how it would be if one
of our suburban dinner parties ended with us removing our clothes and performing sexual acts,
and I have to put my head between my knees and take deep breaths."
Elsewhere in the book Sagal writes about strip clubs and pornography. For the latter chapter he
visits the set of a live, call-in sex show. (The stars of the show perform whatever acts their caller
prescribes while a roomful of camera operators and lighting guys and directors watch, rather
bored, from behind a thick glass partition.) Rounding out the book are chapters on gambling,
eating, conspicuous consumption, and lying.
Sagal is a charming and funny guide through these particular avenues of sin. Maybe if you've
done the things he describes--the $500-a-pull slot machines and 24-course dinners (that leave you
hungry for Jack-in-the-Box), lap-dancing and lying and live broadcast sex--you'll find the book
humdrum. For the rest of us armchair sinners it's pure pleasure.
The Case of the Missing Books
Israel Armstrong, the protagonist of Ian Sansom's fish-out-of-water story, is the sort of character
Hugh Grant might play, all bumbling and hapless, if Hugh Grant were Jewish and had a paunch.
Israel has left his home and girlfriend behind in London to take up a job as a librarian in "the
middle of the middle of nowhere," in Tumdrum, County Antrim, in Northern Ireland. Once
arrived, however, he finds the library shuttered and his job description much altered: rather than
manning a civilized circulation desk, Israel is to run a mobile library, spreading literature around,
quite literally, out of the back of a broken-down bus. Provided, that is, that he can find the town's
books, all 15,000 of which have gone missing.
During his quest for the missing books, Israel is thrown into a series of bizarre circumstances
(like being compelled to sleep in a chicken coop), and innumerable bad things happen to him
(like he's punched in the face), and he is forced to interact with an endless stream of quirky locals
(who tend to be more sophisticated than he at first suspects). Think Hugh Grant in Northern
The book is meant to be charming. We're told on the back of the paperback that it "combines the
off-beat soulfulness of Nick Hornby with the quirky cheerfulness of Alexander McCall Smith."
And, really, the book should be charming: how could the plight of a bumbling English librarian
stranded among eccentric Irishmen fail to charm? And yet, it just didn't work for me. The locals
are odd, but they're not interesting. The author seems to strain to make Israel's interactions with
them as frustrating as possible. The dialogue, meant to be cute and filled with funny
misunderstandings, is very often just annoying:
"'Aye, save your breath,' said another woman. 'We've heard it all before. Sure, you're all the
"'I can assure you, madam, that--'
"'Who you calling madam?'
"'Are yous the new librarian?'
"'Me?' Israel looked over his shoulder: were there more of him?
"'Well,' said Israel, 'yes. Mes. Me, I mean, yes it is. I am. Although actually I'm what's called an
Outreach Support Officer these days.'"
There's an awful lot of dialogue like that, filled with halting speech and almost willful
misapprehension. It might work on screen, but not on the page.
I wanted to like this book. I wanted quirky and charming and Alexander McCall Smith-iness. But
mostly I was just bored.
200 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016
9780843957778 $6.99 www.HardCaseCrime.com
I've read many of Spillane's novels and loved them. This one is way up there, but I am sad to say
it is one of the last books by Spillane. Luckily Max Allan Collins was brought in to prepare it for
publication. At the end of the novel Collins talks about his friendship with Mickey Spillane. I am
pleased that Hard Case is the publisher because this series of mysteries is in the mold of Spillane.
Lets hope they have other books of the works of Spillane.
Florida Leading the Transformation of American Politics
161 Cherry Street, New Canaan CT
1933705051 $14.95 www.ParibusPress.com
The author who ran for governor of the state of Florida has a lot to say about the election process
in the country. He makes a solid argument for term limits for all elected officials. Before the 20th
century citizens from all walks of life could politically serve in their state or Washington D. C.
There was a revolving door policy. When it was time to go home someone else took that office..
Anyone could serve and no one stayed for very long. The idea was to have no professional
politicians. That plan got tossed out as the nation grew in the 20th century. Elections now are
held with only certain types of people who run and they stay in office for way to long. The author
concludes that citizens should take back the country by voting for term limits when proposals are
put on the ballot. He shows that voters are very lax, because they keep putting in the same
people. He also addresses career politicians who never go back to the private sector. Instead they
just change the office they hold by running in other elections to take over a different office. This
is an expose of one aspect of what is wrong with our political system.
Robert B. Parker
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
978039915256 $25.95 www.penguin.com
A killer is loose in Boston who leaves three pieces of change with the victim's body. Brought out
of retirement is Sunny Randall's father a former detective who worked on a similar case a number
of years before. There are many similarities but the question they have is, is the same killer back
or is this a copy cat. Sunny Randall is also recruited by her father to help solve this case. I loved
the strong relationship Sunny has with her father and Parker explores the one Sunny has with her
sister as well. There are numerous conflicts here and Parker breezes the story along with fast
pacing and a slam-bang ending. This is one of his best.
You've Been Warned
James Patterson and Howard Roughan
Little Brown and Company
c/o Hachette Book Group USA
1271 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
9780316014502 $27.95 www.HatchetteBookGroupUSA.com
I was excited to see another James Patterson this year but was super disappointed. I thought with
Howard Roughan back after the great novel "Honeymoon," how can you go wrong? But it did.
The story is repetitive of the dream of photographer Kristin Burns and her life problems were
boring. I gather what the authors were trying to do is show the progression of mental illness the
character goes through. The problem for me was I did not get the feel that there was something
mentally wrong with Miss Burns. I hope the next Patterson is better.
Dr. Twistid the Art of Geff Bartrand
TSV Entertainment Inc
When you say warped, you have to include the work exhibited here. There are many strange
black and white and color images of bizarre things from the imagination of this artist. There is
one disadvantage. Only a small group of people will be able to purchase this weird book because
the publisher has published a very limited run. I am glad I was able to find a copy of this odd
Paying the Piper
200 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016
9780843957778 $6.99 www.dorchesterpub.com
I read this author's last novel and loved it. This one is better. Its faster and much more chilling.
Wood is a master of nail biting suspense with a story that has many twists and turns. The pacing
is rapid fire with characters that are believable even if the killer does so many crazy things. This
one is a gem that should not be missed by anyone who likes a good suspense novel.
Jury of One
World Wide Mystery
225 Duncan Mill Road, Don Mills, Ontario, Canada M3B 3K9
037326562X $5.99 www.laurabradford.com
I have to say with this author I read her books backwards. The second one "Forecast of Evil" was
my first excursion into the writer's novels. Not a problem because this one like that one is easy to
read and enjoy. This is the first Elise Jenkins and Mitch Burns in a series of mysteries. She is a
reporter for the weekly paper and he is a detective with the local police department. This time
someone is killing people after they have had their fortune read by a palmist. The killer has a
reason that the author leaves generous clues throughout the work. I had no problem figuring out
who it was and the reasoning behind the murders. The pacing is even while the reader is treated
to the unfolding relationship between the two main characters. I look forward to seeing more
books by this author.
World Wide Library
225 Duncan Mill Road, Don Mills, Ontario, Canada M3B 3K9
9780778324683 $6.99 www.MIRABooks.com
Kate Bickford's child disappears in the blink of an eye. She let him go get an ice cream and
before she knows it he is gone without a trace. At first she thinks he is at home because she hears
a noise but learns it is a man with a gun. This is just the beginning of a very well crafted thriller
that will have readers turning pages.
Cork Hill Press
597Industrial Drive, Suite 110, Carmel In 46032-4207
1594080666 $17.95 www.corkhillpress.com www.chrucker.com 1-866-88-BOOK
I would have liked this novel more if the author had showed instead of told his story. His writing
style was very dry. His characters were not fleshed out as well as they should have been. He used
some dialogue and gave a little description of his characters instead of reporting what they did.
This showed to me, Rucker has the talent. He was just too lazy. He should do two things to make
his work much stronger: have his writing critiqued by other writers, and read other authors in the
field of mystery thrillers to see how they tell their stories.
Knights in Dark Satin
Lulu Press Inc
9781430318552 $18.95 http://stores.lulu.com/christopherstoddard
Waldorf Keefer is the head of a sagging company. He is very excited when he gets a mysterious
call from a consultant company which makes him an offer he can't refuse. He finds though that
there are many changes and strange people he is now dealing with. When I first saw the title I
thought of the Moody Blues song "Knights in White Satin" and wondered is there a connection.
There is one, if you think about it. The song is the good guys and this novel is the bad guys, like
the old westerns where the good guys wore white hats and the bad wore black. The author shows
the real behind the scenes world of corporate America and it's not a nice picture. The story is
interesting and fast paced. My one complaint is there are too many characters with similar names
that caused me to go back and re-read pages to understand which one is which.
Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves
Scribner Paperback Fiction
A division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
"A Tonic for the 21st Century"
What could the Nobel Prize for literature signify if PG Wodehouse not only didn't win one, but
never made the short-list? Good grief. What other writer living or dead, in Nobel's own words,
"help[s] dreamers, as they find it hard to get on in life."
Take STIFF UPPER LIP, JEEVES, for example. If you want to read a book that'll grab you by
your lapels and hoist you out this mundane, dynamite-scarred world, try this one.
Crisp dialogue, intricate plotting, witty wordplay, amusing situations, and distinct characters
make this book satisfying to read repeatedly. In fact, it is astonishing that STIFF UPPER LIP,
JEEVES and many other Wodehouse creations seem just as fresh the second, third, and even
seventh time around.
I would liken reading this book to drinking one of Jeeves's famous pick-me-ups "and their effect
on a fellow who is hanging to life by a thread on the morning after." Wodehouse writes: "For
perhaps the split part of a second nothing happens. It is as though all Nature waited breathless.
Then, suddenly, it is as if the Last Trump had sounded and Judgment Day set in..."
If heaven's half as delightful as reading PG Wodehouse, (should I get there) I'll be in
How The Irish Saved Civilization
A division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group
1540 Broadway, New York, NY 10036
"Quite Enjoyable, Anecdotal, and Very Readable"
It always amazes me to ponder how a single person can change the course of history, as Thomas
Cahill shows in HOW THE IRISH SAVED CIVILIZATION. For example, if St. Patrick hadn't
returned to Ireland to found monasteries which were to flourish and spread to Europe, we would
be reading a different history of continental Europe. In fact, there probably would not be a
Europe with a common cultural identity today.
Really enjoyable book with interesting anecdotes. Very readable, except for occasional flights of
political correctness. Makes me want to find out more about Medieval Europe.
Perseverance Press/John Daniel & Co.
P.O.B. 2790, McKinleyville, CA 95519
9781880284872 $14.95 800-662-8351, www.danielpublishing.com
It is always a pleasure to welcome back Molly Doyle, she of the Carmel, CA antique business,
her nearly-teenage niece, Emma, her bordering-on-boyfriend, Kenneth Randall, the local police
chief, and their sundry and always charming friends. When Molly considers branching out for
some business on the side, in addition to running Treasures Antiques, the shop she manages for a
friend, and is asked by Carla Jessop, to redecorate the tasting room of her family's prestigious
local winery, she jumps at the chance. The fly in the ointment appears in the person of Carla's
pompous nouveau riche husband, roundly disliked by virtually all who know him, who has ugly
and public arguments with Molly. When he is murdered in the midst of a social gathering at the
family manse, and Molly is standing right next to him when it happens, not only Molly but
Randall are both under suspicion by the sheriff's office [who handle the investigation since it is
outside of Randall's jurisdiction], as is, of course, the wife, Molly's client.
Molly, already having 'assisted' the police in solving two prior murders in the Carmel area, and
given the present circumstances, finds herself thinking "I just might decide to find the killer
myself," and when reminded by Emma "I thought you wanted to be an antiques dealer," rather
than a detective, responds: "just think about how the two professions seem to work
The equally interesting sub-plot deals with some mysterious postcards received by Molly from
different parts of Europe, and how that triggers events that threaten Molly and Emma's
relationship. The book is well-written and a very enjoyable read, and gives the reader tantalizing
portents of things to come in the next entry.
Poisoned Pen Press
6962 E. 1st Ave., Scottsdale, AZ 85251
9781590583630 $24.95 www.poisonedpenpress.com 800-421-3976
In her fourth entry in the Pinnacle Peak mystery series, Twist Phelan brings back her indomitable
protagonist, Hannah Dain, the attorney who recently started her life anew in Arizona to join the
firm of Dain & Daughters, specializing in business law. Besides the fact that they are both
attorneys, Hannah also shares with her creator a love of outdoor sports, her prior books in the
series involving team roping, road and mountain biking, and rock climbing, each of which
figures prominently in her plots. This time around Hannah's love of kayak paddling provides the
focus around which much of the action revolves, along with the dynamics of convoluted sibling
Hannah's sister, Shelby Dain, has asked her assistance in handling a case on which she is
co-counsel, a toxic tort case involving radiation contamination and payment of nuclear waste
reparations to the Indian tribe part of whose reservation is on the contaminated land. The storage
of such waste was voluntary on the part of the tribe at the time, pre-casino and when poverty was
rampant on the 'rez,' since storage fees and jobs resulted from the agreement. Now birth defects
and cancers are destroying lives, and compensation and an admission of guilt are sought. As the
book opens the government has conceded liability, and it seems to be merely a question of
monetary damages being fixed. But Hannah's involvement stirs up unforeseen d angers, and an
apparent suicide, various threats to Hannah and those around her, both explicit and otherwise,
lead to a exciting tale filled with fascinating glimpses of life on and around the desert and Indian
lore and customs [both Native American and those of India]. As Hannah muses at one point:
"Car in the lake, boat stolen, nearly buried alive not a good week." In the midst of this her
teenaged half-sister, of whose existence Hannah was till recently unaware, appears literally on
her doorstep--an utterly charming budding scientist who believes in Martians and ghosts and
The writing is terrific, and wonderfully evocative: "A mile from shore she abruptly let up, letting
the kayak drift while she enjoyed the heaviness of tired muscles. She laid her paddle across her
knees and let her feet drop into the water. Her toes brushed against the iciness that marked the
end of the sun's reach. Still straddling the kayak, Hannah lay back until her head rested on the
deck. She felt the boat move up and down, as thought the lake were breathing. Early stars blinked
at her like tiny eyes. Out of range of the insects' cacophony, she heard only air." I was particularly
won over by one of the characters, a charming cowboy whose standard departing words are
"Shalom, y'all." A very good read, and one that is recommended.
Dexter in the Dark
1745 Broadway, NY, NY 10019
9780385518338 $23.95 www.doubleday.com 800-726-0600
Dexter, the totally original and distinctly macabre character created by Jeff Lindsay, is now
known to millions of people beyond his readership since the introduction of the cable tv series of
that name. But I daresay one must read the original creation, on the printed page [or, I guess, the
computer screen], to fully appreciate him. As the third book in the series opens, Dexter is about
to marry his girlfriend, Rita, to whose two young children he has become mentor [in scary
The marriage is yet another step in his quest to appear outwardly normal to the outside world - as
he says: "It would never do to have the sheep see that Dexter is the wolf among them." If you are
not familiar with Dexter, he works as a blood spatter analyst for the Miami P.D., but in his
off-hours carries out his passion in his role as vigilante serial killer. His cop foster father has
instilled in him very specific rules: "Harry had taught me to find and dispose of only those who,
by his rigorous cop standards, truly needed it." The only one aware of Dexter's dark side, other
than Rita's kids, is his foster sister, now a full sergeant in homicide, who finds a personal, that is,
professional advantage in it: "I had gained a small reputation for my insight into the way the
twisted homicidal sickos thought and operated - natural enough, since, unknown to everyone but
Deborah, I was a twisted homicidal sicko myself."
The author again gives unspoken voice to Dexter's Dark Passenger, the internal guide to his dark
side, but when he is called to the scene of a particularly gruesome murder, his Dark Passenger
goes mysteriously silent. Without the assistance of his inner monster, Dexter doesn't know if he'll
be capable of finding and ridding the world of this new and truly awful adversary, someone or
something unlike anything he's come up against before, and he finds himself now the hunted,
instead of the hunter.
The writing is often comedic [something one wouldn't expect in a book about a serial killer].
Witness this musing from Dexter, when discussing the wedding and honeymoon: "And so there
were actually several very good reasons to go through with this - but Paris? I don't know where it
came from, this idea that Paris is romantic. Aside from the French, has anyone but Lawrence
Welk ever thought an accordion was sexy? And I would have thought that by now it would be
clear that they don't like us there, and they all insist on speaking French, of all things," reflecting
on "the land of Rouseau, Candide and Jerry Lewis."
The alliteration in the titles of the three books in this series continues in the narrative, usually
keeping with the "d's," hence Dark Daddy Dexter, Demon Dexter, etc., which one would think
might be irksome but was instead fun. I did find disconcerting the author's use of both third
person and first person, with Dexter referring to himself in the same paragraph as both "I" and
"Dexter," but that's just a minor annoyance. The sardonic tone used throughout takes the edge off
what might otherwise be just another serial killer book, but this is anything but. This series has
been called ironic, sinfully entertaining, inventive it is all those things and more, and is
String of Lies
Mary Ellen Hughes
Berkley Prime Crime
375 Hudson St., NY, NY 10014
978042521672 $6.99 www.us.penguingroup.com 800-847-5515
String of Lies offers the reader an interesting tangle of bead-and-bangle clues in this second of a
series. The book stars Jo McAllister, a widowed crafter and owner of Jo's Craft Corner. Her life
finally seems to be settling into a comfortable and reasonably profitable routine when she notices
that stores in her neighborhood are shutting down and realizes that she may lose the lease to her
stop. Devastated, she charges off to present her feelings to the landlord and discovers him dead.
The manner of death, an electrical trap, seems peculiarly suited to one of Jo's friends, Dan, who
has been working construction on the landlord's house.
Jo turns to the crafters in her beading class to help her clear him, even as they work to fashion
necklaces and bracelets. They uncover lies, inconsistencies and clues. The tangled clues dangle
like bangles until Jo and her friends fashion them into a satisfying solution.
The experienced mystery reader might consider 'whodunit' to be telegraphed, but the characters
are interesting and there's even a bit of romance [there's a handsome detective, of course]. It's a
quick and easy read and a wonderful beach book for those with access to such sun and surf at this
time of the year. And there are even directions for a craft project of your own.
Poisoned Pen Press
6962 E. 1st Ave., Scottsdale, AZ 85251
9781590583463 $24.95 www.poisonedpenpress.com 800-421-3976
Rachel Chavez, the protagonist in this new novel by Penny Rudolph, is unusual in at least one
respect: she runs a parking garage she has inherited from her grandfather in downtown LA, one
that does not cater to the public but leases space to nearby businesses. One night she finds a
locked van in the garage , inside of which are two young Mexican boys, both unconscious. When
Rachel drives them to the emergency room of a local hospital, she is told that one of the boys is
dead and the other severely dehydrated. When she returns the next day to see how the boy is, she
is told there is no record of either boy ever having been there.
Rachel is not the kind of woman to let this rest, and is determined to find out how the boys, or
their records, could have simply disappeared. She wonders if their being Mexican enters into the
Her personal life is in problematical shape, with her ambivalence toward the man to whom she
has recently become engaged [being engaged isn't the problem, but getting married is], trying to
get information from her less-than-forthcoming father about her Mexican heritage, and the
prospect of losing a major tenant at the garage. The latter problem is unexpectedly solved when
the same local hospital signs a contract to lease over one hundred spaces for its employees as
well as use of the helipad located on the roof, in what is seemingly coincidental timing.
The characters in the book are all too human - Rachel is a recovering alcoholic, her father a
habitual gambler, with all the attendant problems to which that addiction gives rise. Rachel's
friends are also very interesting creations: one is a street person, an elderly woman who for some
reason has a cell phone, the other the head of a cleaning service who knows or can find out--
much of what there is to know in the neighborhood. The author has given us a believable,
well-plotted mystery peopled with fascinating characters, including a couple of red herrings.
Suspenseful and thoroughly enjoyable, the book is recommended.
Thomas Dunne Books
175 Fifth Ave., NY, NY 10010, 646-307-5151
9780312353612 $23.95 www.stmartins.com
In his first standalone, following his wonderful Alex McKnight series, Steve Hamilton introduces
Joe Trumbull, a probation officer in Kingston, New York, an upstate city in the Hudson Valley.
He lives in an apartment above a converted bus station now serving as a gym, where he works
out every day to try to keep in shape, at which he mostly suc ceeds. He describes his job as
follows: "I'm part cop, part social worker, part guidance counselor, part rehab coordinator, part
bounty hunter. Every hour of every day, I'm your official court-designated guardian angel. I can
come to your house on a school-day morning and drag your ass out of bed, because going to
school is an absolutely nonnegotiable part of your probation." He sees himself as helping the kids
with whom he works to make something good of their lives when those lives are at a critical
Just as idealistic is the young woman to whom he is engaged: she works at a battered women's
shelter, and is passionate about her work, up until the day, three days before their wedding, when
she is murdered. Her killer has never been caught. As the book opens, Joe has been at a sort of
disconnect from the life around him, going into work on his day off, feeling "This was where I
belonged, no doubt about it, reading over somebody's PSI [presentence investigation] instead of
being outside enjoying a perfect August day," when he decides that "after two long years, it was
time to start my life again," and is about to embark on a blind date, his first date since the death
of his fiancee, who he still refers to as 'my Laurel.' His dat e goes remarkably, and unexpectedly,
well. And then the unthinkable happens, followed shortly by the unimaginable. At which point
everything changes, and the book becomes impossible to put down. The suspense kept this reader
glued to the page right up until the ending. My one complaint was that the ending was almost
anticlimactic, and nearly failed to live up to what had preceded it. Which does not at all inhibit
my recommendation of this terrific read.
I particularly enjoyed Mr. Hamilton's protagonist's love of jazz, at one point describing a great
saxophone solo "with the perfect smooth tone like the sound of your lover's voice. It was
impossible for someone to play that well, absolutely impossible, but that's the thing about live
jazz. When it comes together it sounds better than you ever could have expected. As good as
anything you've ever heard." In this, as well as in his fine writing, the author joins another
wonderful contemporary mystery author, Michael Connelly high praise indeed.
I should also reiterate something that's been said before regarding this book: The flyleaf discloses
a spoiler, and the reader is advised to avoid this before beginning the novel.
Cold Moon Home
Carroll & Graf
1094 Fex Dr., Jackson, TN 38301, 800-759-0190
9780786719815 $26.99 www.avalonpub.com
In the sequel to her earlier novel featuring Abby Silvernale, Julia Pomeroy's protagonist finds
herself involved in a rather bizarre incident: Driving home after finishing work late one night at
the InnBetween, in the fictional upstate New York Hudson Valley town of Bantam, where she is
a waitress, she comes upon the scene of an automobile accident, where the driver of the car
[which has gone down an embankment] has staggered onto the roadway. Of course Abby stops to
see how she can help. The dazed young woman, who identifies herself as Germaine LeClair, asks
Abby to drive her to her father's house, and then to wait for her for a few minutes. Abby does as
she is asked, and then disbelievingly witnesses Germaine confronting a cane -wielding old man
[apparently her father] with a gun before having the gun knocked out of her hand and then
stumbling back to Abby's car, whereupon Abby agrees to take her to the home of friends with
whom she is staying. Bizarre indeed.
The following day Abby decides to supplement her always too-small earnings with a part-time
job as secretary/assistant, or amanuensis [a seldom-used but lovely old word], as it is put to her,
for a once wealthy ninety-two-year-old sculptor suffering from Alzheimer's. In a
what-a-small-world coincidence [this is, after all, a small town], the old man is none other than
the same person she has seen the night before, Germaine's father. Actually, he is apparently her
adoptive father, and Abby discovers the reason for the confrontation is that Germaine has
recently been told, anonymously of course, that the man killed his wife, her adoptive mother,
who has been dead for twenty years, of cancer, she had thought.
An unlikely-seeming friendship of sorts has developed between the two women, and Abby gets
involved in the search for the truth behind the mother's death, trying to determine whether she
had indeed been murdered, not an easy task twenty years after the fact. Further complicating her
life are her inability to commit to a relationship with her handsome lover, from whom she wants
nothing but a weekly tryst, and problems caused by a newly hired worker at the restaurant.
Widowed and thirty-two years old, Abby is an interesting protagonist. The book is entertaining
and well-written, and is recommended.
Running from the Deity A Pip & Flinx Adventure
Alan Dean Foster
c/o Random House Trade Group Publicity
1745 Broadway, 17th floor, New York, NY 10019
0345461614 $7.99 www.randomhouse.com 1-800-726-0600
Foster excels in creating new worlds and alien creatures. Running from the Deity continues this
with the planet Arrawd. The world is just different enough to be exotic but familiar enough to be
Flinx's saga resumes with his ship, Teacher, needing repairs. Flinx decides to land on the nearest
planet with the correct mix of raw materials that are needed for the work. The planet has been
listed as off-limits by the Commonwealth because of the primitive social and scientific culture of
the inhabitants. When Flinx stumbles across a local fisherman, Ebbanai, he discovers an
empathic salient who doesn't interfere with Flinx's own troubled mental abilities. Flinx enjoys the
first period of time within his life where the headaches and seething emotions of other people
aren't assailing his mind. Ignoring the edicts of the Commonwealth, he initiates full contact with
the inhabitants of Arrawd. He revels in the joy of helping and the calming affects of the world
until he suddenly finds himself used and revered as a god. His problem is now how to get
Running from the Deity is a beautiful stop in the saga of Flinx and Pip. The world of Arrawd and
the storyline blend into a smooth easy chapter in the large tale. It also places into the storyline
Bloodhype. Bloodhype is a Flinx tale written years ago that is integrated into the larger saga with
this book. Running is a must read for any Flinx fan and is great story for any SF reader who
enjoys speculation about alien worlds and life. It is highly recommended for any SF reader.
The 5th Horseman
James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
Time Warner Book Group
1271 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
This is the fifth installment in the Women's Murder Club series. This is one of the better series of
books produced by the James Patterson group of authors. There are few problems with it until the
final pages when it stops too abruptly.
Detective Lieutenant Lindsay Boxer is trying to get into her new role as the boss when a woman's
body is found posed in a luxury car. The mother of Yuki Castellano, a friend of Lindsay and a
member of the Woman's Murder Club, collapses and is brought to the hospital that is being sued
for malpractice. Someone is killing patients in the hospital in such a way as to look accidental.
Deaths are happening nearly faster than Lindsay and investigate them. She has to keep on top of
the various inquiries and still keep her personal life going.
The 5th Horseman brings out the busy caseload of a large metropolitan homicide squad. It is a
smooth layered story that works through the various investigations. The only real drawback is the
hurried end to the story. It is a must read for those who liked the other books in the Woman's
Murder Club series but because of its weak ending, only an average read for everyone else.
The Christian Therapist's Notebook
Philip J. Henry, Ph.D., Lori Marie Figueroa, MS, David R., Miller, Ph.D., editors
The Haworth Press, Inc.
10 Alice Street, Binghamton, NY 13904-1580
This workbook is divided into three sections, one for individuals, one for couples and families
and one for children and adolescents. Each one of the sections include homework assignments,
handouts and suggested activities. The focus of the book is to answer the question of what do you
do when the door closes and you have to deal with the practical issue of effective therapy. In the
Christian Therapist paradigm you also have to deal with you can connect this person back to
God. The purpose statement of the book is very clear - to provide Christian therapists a way to be
passionately Christian and still remain clinically professional.
The information provided is very comprehensive. For each exercise there is a guiding scripture,
objective, rational for use, instructions, vignette, suggestions for follow-up, contraindications,
resources for professionals, resources for clients, and related scriptures. All of the activities are
strongly Christian and Bible based. This fact alone makes it an excellent resource for any church
pastor or other leader who is counseling in a church setting. It is also excellent for any therapist
working with a client with a background in the Christian church. The exercises are honest and
point out in the contraindications when it would not be appropriate. When an exercise makes
presumptions as to the client's spiritual level or orientation the contraindications spell it out in the
The Christian Therapist's Notebook is an excellent resource for the Christian Therapist working
with Christian clients and highly recommended for that purpose. The exercises are on target and
integrate standard therapeutic principles into a Christian environment.
The Unwanted Gift of Grief
Tim P. VanDuivendyk, D.Min
The Haworth Press, Inc.
10 Alice Street, Binghamton, NY 13904-1580
No one escapes the need to deal with grief at some point in their life. The question is how do we
move from grief to transformation? That is the focus of this book. Whether it is our personal
grief or the grief of a friend or loved one we all need to move through it. While everyone grieves
different people may grieve very differently. By understanding the losses, suffering and eventual
healing that others have gone through we come to understand grief as a normal process and a gift
from God to help us heal.
One part of the book is dedicated to examining the effect of grief on marriage and family. This
part includes looking at the different ways that men and women often grieve and how that can
affect a relationship. In this section the author also includes a discussion on how grief can affect
The author's comments reveal a deep understanding of grief and loss. He examines common
ways that people use to deal with sickness and injury including prayers for miracles and making
contracts with God. For those looking to help others in their grief part three is an excellent guide.
It is titled Sojourners in the Wilderness: How to Help. It provides detailed guidelines and helps
for those who are helping others through the grief process. It includes separate chapters on
helping people in unbelievable darkness, asking why, praying for a miracle, and wrestling with
sadness and depression. This is easily one of the best books I have ever read on the subject of
grief and grief counseling. It is very highly recommended to anyone going through a loss or
supporting those who are.
Pastoral Care of Depression
Glendon Moriarty, Psy.D., editor
The Haworth Press, Inc.
10 Alice Street, Binghamton, NY 13904-1580
This book is primarily concerned with how a person's image of God develops and then using that
information to examine how current theories of depression interact with this God image. It is the
examination of this relationship between depression and a person's image of God that makes this
Often people are raised to believe in a God who is loving and accepting but their experiences
point to a God who rejects them. Or at least that is how they interpret their experiences. This
difference between an all loving God in concept and a very different God in the internalized
concept of God is a major part of this book. To resolve depression it is essential to change the
God image based on subjective, emotional experiences. People who struggle with depression
often have a critical and rejecting God image as a result of critical and rejecting parents.
After discussing the above material the author provides an overview of both the psychodynamic
theory of depression, and the cognitive theory. He also examines the relationship between
depression, guilt, and religious belief. Throughout the book you will find case examples,
exercises, suggested forms, questionnaires, and similar tools. There are several exercises on
discovering and understanding your God image. That's followed by an excellent section of how
the God image develops.
Chapter 5 covers the God image assessment, and the importance of a good assessment in order to
understand the client's image of God. To assist with this he includes a 40 question questionnaire
and a 28 question true and false questionnaire as well as instructions on how to score them.
Chapters 6 and 7 cover techniques specific to the psychodynamic psychotherapy and cognitive
schools of thought. With all this preliminary information in hand Chapter 8 delves into how to
develop a workable treatment plan. The author follows sound, well proven therapeutic techniques
couched in the religious belief system of Christian theology. Pastoral Care of Depression:
Helping Clients Heal Their Relationship with God is highly recommend to all Christian
Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler
Two Penn Plaza, New York, NY 10121-2298
I'll start by saying that this is a really good book if you want to understand how people influence
each other and how to use that information to your benefit. That being said, the beginning of the
book can be an exercise in frustration. The authors mention several individuals and how they
have influenced others to change whether as an individual or a whole community but they give
no details of how it was done. It can leave you wondering if there is anything of practical value in
the book. However, if you persevere and read through the book you will find that these questions
are answered and you will come away with a much greater understanding of how influence
works. By the time you're finished you will understand how to use the principles of influence to
change your life and help others make positive changes in theirs. With clear examples of why
common myths about influence don't work and why successes do work it is a very interesting
read. This is one of the better books on influence that I have read it is highly recommended for
business, civic, and community leaders as well as anyone else who needs to know how to get
people to take action or think in a new direction.
Peter, Paul, & Mary Magdalene: The Followers of Jesus in History and Legend
Bart D. Ehrman
Oxford U. P.
198 Madison Avenue, NY 10016
Ninety percent of Bart Ehrman's new book is simultaneously totally accurate and totally
misleading. That it can be both is a consequence of Ehrman's writing style that intentionally or
unintentionally blurs the distinction between the beliefs of Jesus' earliest biographers and
Ehrman's own beliefs. Consider the following passage:
"Even though the Samaritans have become followers of Jesus, they have not yet received the gift
of the Holy Spirit, which empowered the apostles themselves, starting with the Day of Pentecost"
Nowhere does Ehrman intentionally imply that that synopsis of a narrative in the Gospel of Peter
represents his own view of a historical event. But readers, particularly those who are not aware
that Ehrman is what might be called a "recovering god addict," are bound to read it as an
endorsement of the gospel author's theology. And similarly misleading implications can be found
on practically every one of Ehrman's 260 pages of narrative.
The obvious question is: Why? Does Ehrman consistently cause readers to believe he is
endorsing early Christian theology out of sheer clumsiness? That explanation is not consistent
with his overall knowledge and skill. Is he a prostitute, pretending to believe nonsense in order to
protect his bread and butter as a professor of religious studies? That explanation can likewise be
rejected on the ground that, if he was a hypocrite, he would not have come out of the closet and
acknowledged that he is no longer a believer. What is left is that he is trying to be politically
correct, writing a book that, while examining early Christian writings, does not minimize sales by
spelling out his rejection of the opinions expressed therein. He is quite simply trying to have his
cake and eat it.
That is not to say that Peter, Paul, & Mary does not contain a large number of assertions with
which I disagree, and a somewhat smaller number that I can confidently state are plain wrong.
Among the former is his dating of the fourth gospel as early as "90 or 95 CE" (p. 16). John was
written at a time when it had again become expedient to separate Christianity from the Judaism
with which the Roman empire was at war, the time of the Bar Kokhba rebellion, 132-135 CE.
Among the latter is his dating of the first gospel to "sometime around 65 or 70 CE" (p. 7).
Admittedly he attributes that indefensible dating to "most scholars today." But he nowhere points
out that it cannot be accurate, since Mark puts into Jesus' mouth a detailed, accurate prophecy of
the destruction of the Jerusalem temple that occurred in 70 CE.
Unless Ehrman is still scientifically illiterate, as I seriously doubt, he cannot be unaware that
information cannot travel backward in time. It follows that such an accurate prophecy, like all
fulfilled biblical prophecies, can only have been composed after the predicted event had already
happened. That Mark was composed no earlier than 70 CE is the unanimous conclusion of all
biblical scholars. Persons who disagree are incapable of restricting their conclusions to what is
compatible with the evidence, and are therefore not scholars but mythologians.
Future events can be foreseen with a degree of probability dependent on what can be extrapolated
from preexisting reality. As of March 2007, I can prophecy with better than 50 percent
probability that Hilary Clinton will be America's next president. I can prophecy with a lower but
nonzero probability that George W. Bush will end his life strapped to a gurney with a needle in
his arm. What I cannot prophecy with any realistic expectation of fulfillment is that the Empire
State Building will be demolished within the reasonably near future, so that "not one stone will
be left standing on another." Neither could the anonymous author of Mark have invented such a
prophecy about the temple at a time when it still stood.
There are dozens of equally erroneous passages. For example, Ehrman refers to "Jesus of
Nazareth" (p. xii), as if that designation found in English language bibles were not a
mistranslation of Greek words that philologists agree referred to a sect, "Jesus the Nazirite," and
under no circumstances could have meant "of Nazareth." He mentions "The Roman Catholic
Church, with around one billion members" (p. 14). In 1994, the human population was 5.5
billion, including one billion Christians, only half of them Catholic. And even that figure,
endorsed by both Catholic and Protestant churches, would have been at least moderately
exaggerated. Unless the one billion by which world population has increased since 1994 were all
Christians even though attendance at Christian churches in the intervening 12 years has been
plummeting there are now perhaps 1.1 billion Christians, including no more than 600,000
Catholics. Just because the alleged "news" media have been conned into swallowing Christian
propaganda, that is no excuse for anyone with a functioning human brain to do so.
To repeat: ninety percent of Ehrman's book is accurate. For example, he recognizes that, "There
is little evidence or reason to think that Peter could speak any other language [than Aramaic],"
and like any other Galilean peasant, including Jesus, Peter was illiterate (p. 26). Many alleged
scholars have argued in all seriousness that Jesus and his cohorts were fluent in Greek. The term
"camel excrement" comes to mind. But while Ehrman gets Peter's illiteracy right, he argues
against 1 Peter being dictated by "an illiterate, Aramaic speaking peasant who had not been
trained to read, let alone engage in Greek composition." In my view, Ehrman does not recognize
the significance of 1 Peter's acknowledgment (5:12) that, "I am writing to you through Siloyanus,
whom I regard as a loyal kinsman, urging and testifying this to be the god's orthodox charisma."
That declaration that Peter was obliged to trust his scribe's honesty, because he was illiterate and
therefore incapable of verifying for himself that the letter was an accurate transcription of his
Aramaic, is what the real Peter would have dictated. To a forger pretending to be Peter, Peter's
illiteracy would have been an embarrassment that needed to be concealed. A forger would have
emulated Paul by assuring readers that the letter was written by Peter's own hand.
Other inaccuracies include Ehrman's acceptance of Matthew 16:17-18, in which Jesus appoints
Peter as the Catholic Church's foundation "Rock," as an original part of the gospel. He discusses
the difference between Catholic and Protestant interpretations of the verse. But he shows no
awareness that it was an interpolation, inserted into Matthew at the time Siricius was creating the
papacy in 384 CE by unilaterally declaring the four concurrent popes his subordinates, for the
sole purpose of bolstering the pretence that Peter was the first pope. He states that Peter was
"martyred for his faith in Christ" (p. 23), even though he is fully aware that such an event is
attested only by documents he recognizes as riddled with fairy tales. He accepts (or certainly
appears to accept) as a fact of history that Jesus had "twelve disciples," even though the best
interpretation of Mark is that, because the Nazirite commune in Jerusalem in 70 CE was
administered by a Twelve, the gospel author backdated the Twelve to Jesus' lifetime, naming the
six genuine disciples whose names he was able to learn, and inventing the rest. And despite his
awareness that "son of man" is a mistranslation of "descendant of Adam," used by Jesus to
describe himself to overcome the embarrassing reality that he was not a "descendant of David" as
the messiah was supposed to be, Ehrman refers to, "a cosmic judge, whom Jesus mysteriously
calls 'the Son of Man'" (p. 29), and suggests that, by "son of man," Jesus might not have meant
himself. But when Ehrman writes of the modern interpretation of Jesus' preaching as referring to
a time after his death, "that was not the apocalyptic view taught by the historical Jesus himself"
(p. 37), only unteachables disagree.
Unfortunately, this is not a book I can recommend, mainly because I cannot figure who it was
designed for. Scholars will recognize that it is long on descriptions of the contents of ancient
documents, but short on new interpretations of those documents. They will also recognize that it
says nothing they did not already know, and will not be misled by its ambiguity. The unlearned
masses will be misled into mistaking first century theology for Ehrman's own beliefs, and thereby
reinforced in their ignorance. On the up side, persons capable of threatening Ehrman's tenure will
find nothing in this book to cause them to want him dismissed. Can it be that a handful of Chapel
Hill professors are Ehrman's true intended audience? If so, he has gone to a great deal of trouble
to add a book title to his resume without actually saying anything. Now that is chutzpah.
The Bible with Sources Revealed
Richard Elliot Friedman
10 East 53rd Street, NY 10022
"The Bible's first books were formed through a long process. Ancient writers produced
documents of poetry, prose, and law over many hundreds of years. And then editors used these
documents as sources. Those editors fashioned from these sources the Bible that people have
read for some two thousand years" (p. 1).
That essentially is the Documentary Theory, that Richard Friedman continues to call a
Documentary Hypothesis even though it is a scientific theory that has long since ceased to be a
mere hypothesis. A scientific theory is a detailed, defensible explanation of the working out of an
observable reality, consistent with all available evidence. Evolution by natural selection is a
scientific theory, and the construction of the Torah from a variety of contradictory sources is a
scientific theory. Since Friedman presents the most complete, detailed delineation and defence of
the Documentary Theory currently available, I can only guess that his continued description of it
as a hypothesis stems from his fear of offending the braindead.
And the Theory's most vociferous detractors clearly are braindead. I could hardly believe my eyes
when I read that, "Both traditional and radical scholars have claimed that the hypothesis has
been overthrown, that 'hardly anybody believes that anymore'" (ibid). I was aware that
creationists have pushed the Big Lie that evolution has been discredited. But I was unaware that
the same Big Lie had been promulgated in connection with the Documentary Theory. But that
Lie is a logical utilization of the dictum, "When you have no defence, attack." Professional
religion peddlers tend to be terrified that, if any part of their mythology is falsified, the domino
effect will surely wipe out the rest, causing them to lose their bread and butter. Continuing to
believe that the Torah is something other than a riffled-together compilation of documents
composed over a period of five centuries is analogous to continuing to believe that The Protocols
of the Elders of Zion was something other than a fraud concocted by Christians, or that the Brut
in which King Arthur's father chased Arthur's mother into Tintagel Castle six hundred years
before it was built was something other than a fraud concocted by Geoffrey of Monmouth. Do
the persons who deny that the Torah was synthesized from older sources also deny that much of
Matthew and Luke was copied from Mark? (Rhetorical question. Of course they do. In order to
recognize that the gospels, like the Pentateuch, were compiled from older sources and were
ultimately plagiarized from fairy tales originating in Mesopotamia and Egypt, believers would
have to read them with their brains in gear. And no one has ever credited Christians or religious
Jews with the ability to do that, since if they could they would have ceased to be
Friedman presents seven main arguments for the validity of the Documentary Theory. Of the
seven, the most irrefutable is "Continuity of Texts" (p. 13). Since I cannot improve on perfection,
I will quote Friedman's own words. "One of the most compelling arguments for the existence of
the source documents is the fact that, when the sources are separated from one another, we can
read each source as a flowing, sensible text. That is, the story continues without a break . One
can read the texts and see that, when we separate the two flood stories and read each of them
each reads as a complete, continuous story." An even better example is the two versions of the
selling of Joseph into slavery. As Friedman wrote in his earlier book, Who Wrote the Bible? (p.
59), "The very fact that it is possible to separate out two continuous stories like this is remarkable
itself, and is strong evidence for the hypothesis. One need only try to do the same thing with any
other book to see how impressive this phenomenon is."
As further evidence, Friedman cites the fact (p. 22) that, "A passage in Ezekiel quotes a passage
in P that is divided in the combined texts of the Torah." He adds (p. 26) that, "This following [by
P] of the JE sequence of events is not simply a matter of the Redactor's having arranged the P
episodes to match those of JE. We can know this because P, when read on its own, still flows in a
continuous text." Friedman's explanation of when and why the P Torah was written is identical
with my own. He writes (p. 27), "that P was composed later than JE, that it was composed by
someone who was familiar with J and E in their combined form, and it indicates that P was
composed as an alternative to that JE version in terms that were more suitable to the Aaronid
priesthood." P in his worst nightmare never imagined that a Redactor would one day interweave
his Priestly Torah with the JE Torah it was designed to replace.
Friedman's translation, which takes up the major portion of his book, follows the King James
sequence and verse numbering. He shows the diverse authorship by printing each author in a
distinct type and color. He mentions translations that distinguished between authors by using
different types and separate columns from as much as a century ago, although for some reason he
makes no mention of the James Moffat translation, even in his bibliography. And he is apparently
unfamiliar with The Fully Translated Bible (Booksurge, 2007, but previously available in earlier
editions), in which I placed different authors' versions of the same story in adjacent columns even
though that meant ignoring the King James sequencing. Whether my method or Friedman's is the
more useful is an "eye of the beholder" evaluation. I strongly urge anyone who wants to examine
the Documentary Theory to consult both. And for persons who want to read the P Torah straight
through, as a single narrative with no intervening non-P passages, the place to go is The Priestly
Torah: 621 612 BCE (Booksurge, 2006).
Since those are the only two translations that attribute every sentence in the Torah to its most
probable author, they should be compared and contrasted. Earlier author breakdowns by Gerald
Larue and Peter Ellis, written before Friedman published his recognition that P and R were not
the same person (or committee), are largely superseded, although Ellis (but not Larue) does
appear in Friedman's bibliography.
There are many points of disagreement. But since even conclusions of Friedman that I consider
totally wrong should be viewed as merely dissenting opinions, I will not spell them out with
one notable exception. Friedman's persistent translation of elohim as the male, proper name,
"God," as if he had no awareness that elohim is a dual-sex, generic plural meaning "the male and
female gods," strikes me as indefensible. Compare Friedman's translation of Genesis 2:4b with
The Bible with Sources Revealed:
In the day that YHWH God made earth and skies
The Fully Translated Bible:
On the day that Yahweh the gods fashioned the land and the skies
It is perhaps an exaggeration to call "earth" a mistranslation of arets, since the ancients had no
separate word for what we mean by "the earth" today. But it does conceal the reality that bible
authors believed the earth to be a flat disc containing a middle-of-the-world-sea surrounded by a
landmass that was in turn surrounded by the circumnavigating river Ocean, covered by solid
crystal domes called "skies" to which the sun, moon and stars were attached.
Since my review of The Hidden Book in the Bible (reprinted in A Humanist in the Bible Belt)
spelled out my reasons for rejecting Friedman's claim that the Pentateuch authors also wrote
much of Samuel and Kings, I will only record here that this is still a point of disagreement.
There are very few such disagreements, most of which are of no significance to the non-specialist
reader. The impenetrable firewall that Friedman has built around his mind to keep out any
awareness that his own research has proven that "God" belongs in the same kindergarten library
as Mother Goose probably stems from economic considerations emanating from his current
employment. Fortunately it does not diminish the value of his book. My immediate reaction after
obtaining The Bible With Sources Revealed from interlibrary loan was to buy my own copy.
Metalsmiths and Mentors: Fred Fenster and Eleanor Moty at the University of
U. of Wisconsin Press
Fred Fenster came to the metals program at the U. of Wisconsin-Madison in the early 1960s,
followed a decade later by Eleanor Moty. Together they put their stamp of the highest artistic
standards and workmanship while allowing for individual penchants and visions on the program.
They ideally complemented each other in that "Moty's emphasis...as on surface treatments, while
Fenster's [was] on form and structure."
Different sections take up their complementary effects as heads of the metals program and also
each of them individually as exceptional, distinctive artists in metalwork. Coming after the
chapters on each individually are lengthy photographic galleries of numerous art works over the
years. A photographic section at the end has works by program graduates and current
The metals art works done by and inspired by Fenster and Moty are distinctly, often strikingly,
modern, as in Modernism. It's hard to grasp until you see the many photographs the range of
creativity and high quality of the art works by mentors Fenster and Moty and those students and
faculty influenced by them. Tradition, familiar, objects such as cups, jewelry, and teapots and
other pots have innovative forms and details. Most of the purely artistic, aesthetic, works have
imaginative shapes and proportions, including often sharp angles and unexpected circular parts.
All of the works, despite their individuality, share a boldness of concept and have an almost
graphic presence. Fenster and Moty were not only exceptional artists, but gifted mentors who
imparted to others how to nurture and achieve the best art within them.
Enriching Children, Enriching the Nation - Public Investment in High-Quality Prekindergarten
Robert G. Lynch
Economic Policy Institute
1932066284 $14.50 www.epi.org
Lynch--a professor of economics with specialties in public finance and comparative
economics--gives a dollars-and-cents analysis of the financial, budgetary benefits which would
be derived from significant investment in high-quality prekindergarten from "raising GDP,
improving the skills of the workforce, reducing poverty...strengthening U.S. global
competitiveness" and lowering crime rates. Costing $6,300 per prekindergarten-age participant
for more than a $40 billion start-up cost and over $30 billion per year for a number of years,
within 17 years costs would be down to zero considering money saved from reduced poverty and
crime programs, for example, plus taxes from more workers at higher incomes. If started within
the next few years, "in 2050, every tax dollar spent on a universal prekindergarten program
would be offset by $2.00 in budget savings and [Federal and state] governments would be
enjoying $96 billion in surpluses due to their prekindergarten investment." In a policy-wonk,
academic sociological style with charts and tables and for example, one appendix titled
"Explanation of the methodology for estimating the budget, earnings and crime effects of
investments in prekindergarten," Lynch succinctly, yet comprehensively puts forth the
financially-based argument for the socially-desirable enterprise of good prekindergarten
schooling for all American children.
Strange Tribe - A Family Memoir
Lyons Press/Pequot Press
9781599211121 $24.95 www.lyonspress.com
Grandson of Ernest Hemingway, the author delves into the disturbing effects this major author's
macho persona had on the author's father and thus inevitably on himself. Ernest Hemingway
committed suicide. The author's father, Ernest's youngest son Gregory, struggled with gender
identification his whole life, and died in the Women's Correctional Facility of the Miami Dade
County Jail in 2001. The author was spared the worst of the traumas of his grandfather and
father. But for the longest time, he lived a rootless, vagabond life exacerbated by concerns about
his helplessly irresponsible and unpredictable father and trying to fill in gaps in his life his father
had suppressed or ignored in his own life. John Hemingway does not emerge from the cloying
shadows cast over him by his father and grandfather until the birth of a son with his wife Ornella
in Italy in the Fall 2006, so he ends the memoir. The reader is not assured, however, that his
turmoils are behind him for good.
Hemingway's tale is told mostly in illustrative vignettes, not an in-depth or intricate narrative
searching for the roots of the gender abnormalities of the characters. The style is honest, genuine,
and engaging. Hemingway does not strive for the luridness, sensationalism, confessional slant of
so many contemporary memoirs. Undoubtedly, the memoir was purgative in some respects for
him. But he wrote it as much to present his unique contribution on the Hemingway legend and its
reverberations in succeeding generations of his family.
The Triumph of the Sea Gods - The War Against the Goddess Hidden in Homer's Tales
Destiny Books/Inner Traditions
9781594771439 $18.95 www.InnerTraditions.com
Sora places the site of Troy--and thus the sources of Homer's epics the Iliad and the Odyssey--at
the western edge of the Iberian peninsula. His provocative view is abundantly supported by
etymology, geography, geology, archaeology, and elements of ancient mythology plus a
six-and-a-half-page bibliography. The sea god Neptune's trident--a spear or staff with three
prongs--is seen as representing the three Iberian cities of Lisbon, Setubal, and Troy. About 1200
BCE, these city-states engaged in a war whose outcome determined the history and culture of the
entire Mediterranean region and parts of Europe for centuries. Troy and its allies battled against a
group of city-states identified as "Atlantean," the basis for the myth of Atlantis mentioned in
Plato's dialogues and elsewhere. One of the most fateful changes brought by the victory of the
Atlantean states was the dominance of their patriarchal government and values over the
matriarchal of Troy and its allies. Sora develops his fascinating ideas to chart the wanderings of
Ulysses after the Trojan War as poetically recounted by Homer in the Odyssey; and also account
for the presence of the Etruscans in northern Italy, whose origins continue to baffle
archaeologists. Sora has written similar previous challenging, provocative, and enlightening
books on the Knights Templars and secret societies in American culture.
What Do Pictures Want? - The Lives and Loves of Images
W. J. T. Mitchell
U. of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL
9780226532486 $22.50 www.press.uchicago.edu
In the chapter titled the same as the book title, in laying out the grounds for his innovative
exposition on images and culture, Mitchell explains, "[Images] present not just a surface but a
face [italicized] that faces the beholder." Elsewhere in this chapter, he remarks that images may
not have the power attributed to them; which supposed power is seen as absolute and
all-encompassing in postmodern culture. Not suggesting that images ave no power, Mitchell
takes the position that "the problem is to refine and complicate and refine our estimate of their
power and the way it works." The author allows that his perspective based on what pictures
"want" rather than what they "do" can at first blush seem to anthropomorphize pictures or give
them an aboriginal animistic nature. But Mitchell explains that he means this as metaphorical,
conceptual, and theoretical; not literal as in animism or even symbolic as with icons. Mitchell's
provisional approach thus corresponds to the provisional quality of postmodern culture to bring
extraordinary illumination to this contemporary culture.
Fantasy, multiple selves, and virtual reality are other terms used to express this provisional
quality of postmodernism. Playfulness is another--and Mitchell's book, while sound literarily and
with extensive learning and cogent though, exercises the principle that playfulness can take one
farther in some cases. Whereas in postmodernism, play with its provisional, usually somewhat
artificial attributes is a manner of avoiding commitment and engagement with fundamentals,
with Mitchell it is a technique for coming to grips as much as possible with the elusive, ethereal
nature of postmodernism. It is impossible to encompass or define postmodernism; whose primary
attributes are contingency, continually changing imagery, and pseudo-events and provisional
personas to play to the media. But Mitchell has managed to relate postmodernism's sprawling
nature and what accounts for this.
Damming the Grand Canyon - The 1923 USGS Colorado River Expedition
Diane E. Boyer and Robert H. Webb
Utah State U. Press
9780874216608 $34.95 www.usu.edu/usupress 800-239-9974
Diaries and letters of 10 of the 12 men in the 1923 U.S. Geological Survey to obtain detailed and
useful information on the Colorado River including the Grand Canyon stretch make the
"backbone" of the book. The 12 men included a variety with particular knowledge and skills to
accomplish the purposes of the expedition. Among them were a hydraulic engineer, a
photographer, a writer, and topologists and geologists. The main aim was study of the River for
favorable places to build dams to supply water to the fast-growing Western states, especially
California with its large agricultural areas, and make the area suitable for additional development
Though the locations for dams recommended by the 1923 Expedition were not accepted, its
findings were used to determine locations where dams were built, notably Hoover Dam. The
publicity given to the Expedition, in the periodical Scientific American for example, and
appearances and writings by several of its members brought national attention to the large,
unique natural area about which little was previously known despite previous explorations and
expeditions going back to the first half of the 1800s. The Grand Canyon has since become a
popular tourist area.
The format of much of the book is to follow the progress and varied work of the Expedition by
excerpts from its members' diaries and letters covering the same day or short period of time.
Background on the Expedition and its aftermath are provided in surrounding chapters by the
coauthors, both of whom have done much work and writing relating to the region's natural
Private Passions and Public Sins - Men and Women in Seventeenth-Century Lima
Maria Emma Mannarelli, translated by Sidney Evans and Meredith D. Dodge.
U. of New Mexico Press
97808263822791 $23.95 unmpress.com 800-249-7737
Spanish conquest and rule of Peru could not undo the natural sexual attraction between men and
women or sweep aside the reasons for sexual relations ranging from love to expediency and
calculation. Mannarelli covers the range of sexual relationships from marriage and adultery to
concubine or mistress to examine the role these had in maintaining the class and ruling structure
instituted by the Spanish. In some cases, the various types of sexual relationships could change
the social status of either the man or the woman or work to make for instances of the melding of
Spanish and native Peruvian society. An important factor in the effects of a sexual relationship
was the handling of offspring. Children could be raised by man and woman no matter what their
relationship; they could be taken into the family of one or the other; they could be sent to live
with relatives; or they could be abandoned, in which case many were cared for by the Catholic
Church in its hospitals.
The society adapted to the large numbers of illegitimate children in ways to maintain the social
structure while also face reality. "Illegitimacy formed a particular kind of hierarchal
system...[with] a wide spectrum of discriminatory behavior and attitudes against those born out
of wedlock." Nonetheless, "[i]llegitimacy did not always prevent men and women from
ascending socially or aspiring to a place in the dominant sectors of urban colonial society." As
with the variety of sexual relationships between adult men and women, Mannarelli treats the
variety of ways illegitimate children were assimilated or recognized in the colonial society,
especially the large numbers among Lima's "subordinate ethnic groups."
Mannarelli is an associate professor of history at a Lima university. In this scholarly work, she
takes up a largely ignored or peripheral subject to find out how sexual relations and offspring
affected the urban society of the time and figured into the future of Spanish colonial rule and
shaped Peru's history after contact with the Europeans.
Norman Rockwell - The Underside of Innocence
University of Chicago Press
9780226314402 $29.00 www.press.uchicago.edu
While Norman Rockwell's paintings are generally seen as imagery of all-American virtues,
values, individuals, and scenes, the John Hopkins English professor Halpern sees them as "more
challenging and complex" than even the most sophisticated critics have imagined in the recent
revival of interest in Rockwell; which revival has mostly reaffirmed the general regard of his
paintings. Halpern looks to Rockwell's famous painting "Triple Self-Portrait" for indication--and
in a way confession--that there was more to Rockwell's paintings than is realized from the first
impressions of their imagery and recognition and often identification with their subjects.
Rockwell's insistent, undying "jokey inventiveness," evidenced more directly in his
autobiography "My Adventures as An Illustrator," is seen in the often overlooked details of his
paintings. The woman in "Rosie the Riveter" celebrating American women's role in the war
effort of WWII has Irish facial features which identify her with the ethnic and working classes,
not the middle-class matrons, businessmen, and shop owners who see their mainstream,
traditional values represented by Rockwell. Also, Rosie's muscular arms go against the typical
image of women as slender and in need of male protection. Halpern similarly interprets details of
other paintings to find symbols or intimations of homosexuality, voyeurism, and other
sexually-laden topics. Halpern does not go so far as to make Rockwell out to be lascivious or
meanly subversive. The author does, however, argue and abundantly demonstrate the point that
Rockwell's paintings are more complex, more Freudian, than this painter openly admitted to and
than nearly all viewers realize.
Limelight Editions/Hal Leonard Corp.
New York, NY
9780879103453 $18.95 www.limelighteditions.com 800-637-2852
Kaiser has the entertaining idea of using brief quotes from Shakespeare--hundreds and hundreds
of quotes--to impart lessons for effective, occasionally memorable writing, mostly word usage
and sentence structure. Thus one is treated to numerous Shakespearean quotes as examples of
notable word usage and fundamental writing techniques identified by Kaiser. He names these
words, additions, repetitions, reverberations, transformations, substitutions, omissions, order, and
disorder. Within each of the nine chapters are several subsections for different aspects of the
technique. Delayed Repetitions and Landings are two of the eight aspects under Reverberations.
"Shame, and eternal shame, nothing but shame" from "Hamlet" is one example of the former.
"Dost thou teach pardon, pardon to destroy?" is an example from "King Richard the Second" of
Landings, explained as "[t]he last word or words of a phrase repeated as the beginning of the next
phrase." The unique writer's handbook can be studied systematically or be a bedside companion
to dip into randomly for enjoyment and instruction.
Outdoor Living - Courtyards, Decks and Patios edited
187690755X $55.00 www.imagespublishing.com
Eighty-one courtyards, decks, and patios from homes in all parts of the world are featured--from
Japan to South Africa, Iceland to Australia, the United States to South America. With each are at
least two or three and in many cases more sharp color photographs showing the courtyard, etc.,
from different angles and in varying detail. Where there are the more photos, these are usually of
the entire house, then closing in on the outdoor feature. With many of the individual sections for
each of the numerous outdoor areas are architectural floors plans of the entire residence so the
location, adjacent parts of the home, and the relative size and configuration of the area can been
seen. In each section are a few paragraphs on the idea behind the particular patio, etc., and its
materials, lighting, and other design elements. With the design and quality of a coffee-table book,
"Outdoor Living" is more than an attractive book with pleasing photographs on a subject of
interest to homeowners meant to be displayed. With its multiple photographs of each courtyard,
deck, and patio, its expertly-drawn floor plans, and the details in its commentary, it provides
design ideas and also construction guidance for homeowners, interior designers, and
The Garden at Bomarzo - A Renaissance Riddle
Jessie Sheeler Photographs by Mark Edward Smith
Francis Lincoln Limited
9780711226739 $45.00 www.franceslincoln.com
Bomarzo is a place in central Italy. The Lord of Bomarzo in the middle part of the 1500s was a
Vincino with a wife named Giulia. Vincino lived a long time after his wife died. Though he
displayed a sense of melancholy throughout the rest of his life and occasional periods of
depression, this cannot be attributed solely to the untimely loss of his wife. For from the garden
he founded and remained involved with during his life as well as what other sketchy biographical
facts there are to go on, the Lord of Bomarzo had a rather gloomy soul; though one enlivened by
intellectual curiosity about diverse interests of the Renaissance, including classical culture,
mythology, alchemy, literature, and sculpture. The Garden at Bomarzo was not particularly a
memorial to the Lord's departed wife, but rather something of a museum of sculptural
representations of the Lord's varied intellectual interests.
A war elephant with its trunk curled around a soldier, a small classical theater, a temple, large
stone acorn, the three-headed mythological dog Cerberus, and a dragon being attacked by lions
are among the statuary of the Renaissance garden. The "riddle" of the garden is posed by
inscriptions in Latin in prominent spots of many of the statutes. "The cave and the fountain free
one from all serious thought" and "I want to tell you, and make you in amazement/purse your lips
and raise your eyebrows" are two of these. Sheeler--who has a background in classics
studies--does not solve the riddle, but to the extent possible makes sense of the garden's diverse
objects and cryptic statements. The Renaissance-era personality of the Lord Vincino go a long
way toward this explanation. "The ambivalences and the attractive intelligence in his own
character find an expression in the variety and puzzling allusiveness of the [garden's] works...."
The Lord was a respected soldier who also had leanings toward "Epicurean pacifism"; he sought
out the company of his social superiors for intellectual stimulation while chaffing against the
social conventions of the time; the balance between his sensuality and intellectuality shifted at
different times of his life. The Lord of Bomarzo shows something of the modern spirit of
individuality and independence arising in the Renaissance, while still referring to medieval
symbolisms and beliefs for expressing itself. The many color photographs, several full-page and
a couple double-page, of the moss-covering, in some cases partly deteriorated statutes of the
Bomarzo garden are a treat in themselves of classical and baroque statuary.
The Company They Keep - C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien as Writers in a Community
Diana Pavlac Glyer
Kent State U. Press
9780873388900 $45.00 www.kentstateuniveritypress.com
The fantasy literature of C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien is so imaginative and idiosyncratic that
one accepts that they wrote such lasting works somewhat obstinately and mainly privately almost
as a hobby with little hope they would ever be published, much less popular. The picture of J. R.
Rowling writing the beginnings of the first Harry Potter book sitting along at a table in an
English shop comes to mind with this image of the earlier authors. Lewis and Tolkien are known
to be good friends as well as professional colleagues at Oxford University. But as professor of
English at Azusa Pacific U. in California Glyer puts forward, Lewis and Tolkien were part of a
circle of academics and writers who had a large, discernible, and often documented influence on
their works. From diaries, memoirs, letters, and other sources, Glyer finds that this influence is
most evident with Tolkien. This circle which acquired the name "The Inklings," "modeled the
behavior of poets and storytellers, provided feedback on his drafts, helped him develop his own
critical faculties, recommended reading material that supported and shaped his imagination, and
suggested that certain pieces be started, reworked, completed, or submitted for publication."
Glyer continues, "It is no small matter that all of this early influence took place within a highly
interactive group setting." What the author says with respect to Tolkien applies as well to Lewis,
though not quite so overtly recognizably. In their turn, Tolkien and Lewis were active
participants in the group offering the same support and suggestions to its other members. Shortly
after arriving at Oxford as a student, Tolkien founded the literary society named the
In an appendix by a David Bratman, relevant background on 17 members of the Inklings besides
Tolkien and Lewis is given. Most became university professors of English or medieval literature
or of language studies, with most doing scholarly writings on literary criticism. This work of
literary criticism and author biography is obviously timely given the current interest in these
authors as evidenced by widely-popular movies made from books of theirs.
The Little Know-it-all - Common Sense for Designers
Robert Klaten, Mika Mischler, and Silja Bilz,editors
Text by Silja Bilz
Die Gestalten Verlag, Berlin
9783899551679 $45.00 www.die-gestalten.de
This small-size, thick handbook for design of visual materials such as educational material and
advertising is encyclopedic in its content though not organized as systematically or logically as a
regular encyclopedia. Material includes not only technical guidance and experienced tips, but
also historical background on some of the countless topics. The section on paper, for instance,
notes, "Paper has different qualities according to the way it is manufactured and according to its
composition." Then the section continues to cite what paper is composed of and describe its
different qualities; after which, many kinds of paper such as coated, art paper, and even
cardboard are annotated. "Perception and reading behavior" is discussed in the larger topic of the
many types of script and use of appropriate script for a particular project. A chart with small type
(about 7 point) on file formats of digital media covers six pages. Differences between and uses of
Adobe Illustrator, Quark Xpress, Kodak PhotoCD, and many other file formats are readily picked
out from it.
The broad-ranging, eclectic content extends beyond just technical topics and aesthetic
considerations to include the business matters of promotion, intellectual property, and project
management. Design departments of corporations, small design firms, and freelance designers
would all find the handbook equally useful. A detailed index and an outline of the primary
sections of each chapter (e. g., Digital Media, Production, Marketing, Law) at its start are helpful
in locating particular material of interest and of use.
Secrets from the Sofa - A Psychologist's Guide to Achieving Personal Peace
Dr. Kenneth Herman
2021 Pine Lake Rd, Lincoln, NE
059541432X $16.95 www.iuniverse.com
Quoting from the back cover:
"If what everyone really wants from life is happiness, success, and peace of mind, then why do
people stay at unrewarding jobs or in destructive relationships? Why are people neglecting their
physical and mental health? Why do we sometimes have so much trouble just getting through the
"Unfortunately, people feel safe and secure with familiar emotions. Even misery is preferable to
the anticipated anxiety associated with change. Intellectually, we would like to change;
emotionally, we question if change is necessary - or even possible.
"As a practicing clinical psychologist for over 45 years, Dr. Kenneth Herman shares his 'Secrets
from the Sofa' - his proven step by step approach to helping people change and achieve a greater
sense of purpose, happiness and peace. He offers readers the chance to be their own psychologist;
to look at their problems, to address were they are coming from, to make a plan to overcome the
issues, and then to execute that plan.
"With motivation and determination, you will find that your personal peace plan can make a
change for the better completely possible. Secrets from the Sofa can lead you to a happier, more
fulfilling life. And if you really put your mind to it, it will."
The heart of this book and Dr. Herman's therapy is a form of psychotherapy called cognitive
therapy which was developed by Dr. Aaron Beck. The basic premise of cognitive therapy is that
negative thoughts and attitudes affect our moods. Negative thinking causes depression. Cognitive
therapy attempts to help people change their thought patterns.
Secrets of the Sofa is organized into five parts: 1) Understanding Why; 2) Gearing Up; 3) Your
Personal Peace Process: 4) Your Emotions and Feelings: and 5) Emerging Stronger. In addition,
there are nine exercises: 1) Childhood Log; 2) Childhood Misfortune Checklist; 3) Coping
Styles; 4) Defense Mechanisms; 5) Hopefulness Gauge; 6) Life Areas; 7) Self Image; 8) Problem
List; 9) Goal Worksheet. His Principle of Change are: 1) Treat yourself with respect and care; 2)
Face problems and conflicts directly; and 3) Identify, understand, and let go of resistances. He
states . . . "These principles are simply incompatible with unhealthy thinking. Each time you act
according to these principles, you are redefining yourself and becoming a stronger person."
I love books like this from experienced psychologists . . . always hoping for something
innovative. However, I didn't find anything particularly new (having worked a twelve-step
program in the past), but this little book did remind me that the quality of our lives is largely the
result of our thoughts. And, I think Abraham Lincoln said it most succinctly: "People are as
happy as they make up their minds to be." I also appreciated being reminded that ... "Anger is a
healthy emotion. If someone violates our boundaries or threatens to take advantage of us, anger
can mobilize us to protect ourselves."
As far as helpful therapy goes, Dr. Herman did not address: 1) making amends to those we've
hurt in the past, when possible (a twelve-step chore), which helps us to rid ourselves of guilt
feelings and 2) finding a support group, not just a friend, where we can verbalize our feelings,
which has the affect of minimizing the intensity of our problems. Other than these two thoughts,
Secrets from the Sofa is a well-written, well-edited, self-help workbook you may want to
consider if you are thinking about making changes in your life.
Sinking the Ship of State - The Presidency of George W. Bush
Walter M. Brasch
7290-B Investment Drive, Charleston, SC 29418
Quoting from the back cover:
"Sinking the Ship of State traces the arc of the Bush presidency from its humble beginnings in
the slime of the South Carolina primary to its zenith on a carrier deck beneath a "Mission
Accomplished" banner and down to its sorry demise in proposed impeachment proceedings.
Brasch lays the whip to the indolent press, "cash register patriots," and a corrupt Congress. It is
an exhilarating ride." - Don Kaul, syndicated columnist; retired Washington columnist, Des
"When most Americans and the mainstream media were accepting whatever they were told by
the Bush Administration, Walter Brasch was meticulously peeling away the incompetence,
deceit, corruption and, most of all, their cavalier attitude to the Constitution." - Jim Hightower,
"Walter Brasch shines a merciless light on the moral hypocrites and constitutional villains who
act as the self-appointed protectors of the nation. His writing is propelled by a lively sense of
humor and an acute sensitivity to the darker ironies of our times." - Jeffrey St. Clair, co-editor,
"Brasch is one of the first and most consistent columnists to warn about George W. Bush and his
neo-conservative administration's plans for a pre-emptive attack on Iraq and the drummed up
evidence of WMD. Brasch is an articulate and entertaining writer exposing constitutional and
human right violations." - Regina Huelman, Editor, Liberal Opinion Week."
Walter Brasch has used past writings from his social issues column, Wanderings, as the basis for
this book. The columns have been presented in a chronological order, starting in 2000, making
the book historical, informative, and easily digestible. If you're interested in politics, this book
should be on the table beside your bed.
Walter Brasch is a master at weeding through the political lies, deceit, corruption, rhetoric, and
hyperbole to help us find the truth. He is a man we need very much in today's complex society. If
you want to know the truth, buy this book and help support his efforts.
Why You Shouldn't Throw a Snake at Your Mother - A Coming-of-Age Tale
2021 Pine Lake Rd, Lincoln, NE
9780595448104 $14.95 www.iuniverse.com
Quoting from the back cover:
"Connecticut, 1952. School is out for the summer. In a time before computers, X-boxes, and
iPods, the neighborhood kids have to get into trouble the old-fashioned way - using their
"Ten-year-old Sonny Boy get the bright idea for a practical joke involving his mother and a
snake. He fears the loathsome reptiles more than anything in the world, but he figures it will be a
great gag that will make him a hero to his buddies, Charlie and Pudgy - and to a certain girl. But
three bullies harass the boys at every turn, and a battle of wits ensues. Nothing, however,
diminishes Sonny Boy's infatuation for, or attempts to impress, the lovely Mary Lou.
"During that hot summer, Sonny Boy befriends an octogenarian named Otto, whose wisdom
facilitates his introduction to adolescence - and a final showdown with a snake."
Somewhat of a strange title for a book, but in the end, it all makes perfect sense.
Why You Shouldn't Throw a Snake At Your Mother is one of the most delightful stories I've read
in quite some time. Phil Gray has a true gift for story telling, particularly about young boys. He
has a marvelous sense of humor, contagious enthusiasm and is a master at description and
creating colorful characters. His style of writing is reminiscent of Stephen King's great talent for
writing about adolescents and setting the stage with historic trivia. Allow me to share a small
portion with you, from page 4:
"This was the summer of l952. Baseball was in the air in America, the Summer Olympics were
underway in Finland, and a nasty war was sputtering in Korea. Our world was largely unaffected
by these events. School was out, and we were at play...everywhere except, of course, in the
"The year had started with a yawn - Dimitri Shostakovich finishing his fifth string quartet, the
Dutch finishing a new Bible translation, Elizabeth Taylor marrying Michael Wilding a second
time - and didn't get the first jolt of consequence until the end of February when Winston
Churchill announced Britain's first atomic bomb.
"After that, things picked up. Puerto Rico became a self-governing U.S. commonwealth, the
Communists re-invigorated their offensive in Korea, the U.S. Senate finally ratified the peace
treaty restoring sovereignty to Japan, and the most important contribution to the pop culture of
the civilized world, the very first Rock and Roll concert, called the Moondog Coronation Ball,
was introduced at the Cleveland Arena by a local disc jockey named Alan Freed - peace be upon
"The Jackie Gleason Show, featuring the Honeymooners, debuted on television that year. Earnest
Hemingway published The Old Man and the Sea, and William Gaines published the first Mad
comic book. Herman Wouk won a Pulitzer Prize for Caine Mutiny, and Humphrey Bogart
received the Academy Award for Best Actor in the l951 movie African Queen. The Academy
Award for best 1951 film went to An American in Paris. The big 1952 movie hits were High
Noon, The Greatest Show on Earth, and Moulin Rouge." And that's only the beginning.
Let me give you a sample of one colorful character: Charlie Miller.
"Charlie Miller was a ragged little urchin that none of the kids in the neighborhood were allowed
to play with. That's because Charlie lived on another planet. He didn't seem to have any rules, or
at least he wasn't aware that he did. He was a free spirit way before the '60s.
"All Hail! It was the Charlie's of the world who invented the '60s.
"I never saw Charlie clean, and I always knew what he had for lunch because he wore the
remnants of it on the front of him like a badge of honor. To Charlie, meals were an adventure, his
mouth was a target, and his hands were the shooters. Every afternoon after lunch, a shimmering
rainbow of juices and food particles could be seen dripping from his chin, sluicing down his
shirt, pants, and even to his shoes. Ordinarily, shoes don't draw flies, but Charlie's did.
"He was tall for his age, and thin, almost to the point of emaciation (could there be a connection
here with his eating habits?). His limbs were long and willowy, their motions first appearing
discordant. A closer look revealed more ballet than brawn.
"He had unruly, sandy-brown hair, cut short, as if by a weed-whacker, and an impish grin, as
integral to his character as the food on his shirt.
"He had a weak right eye. When he was lazy, agitated, or indifferent, it wandered about, not in
cooperation with the left eye that locked on its subject like a mariner on Canopis. I found it
disconcerting to carry on a direct conversation with Charlie while his good eye bored into me and
the other danced around in search of a place to alight. The effect was even more unsettling when
combined with his impish grin. But I got used to it by focusing on the good eye.
"And he would do anything for kicks, short of setting himself of fire (I take it back, he did that
"He was adventuresome to the point of recklessness. If you challenged Charlie to test the thin ice,
he would do so. If you dared him to stomp on a cow-pie, you would lose the dare. If you bet him
a nickel he wouldn't bite into a cow-pie, you would be five cents lighter. ...
"He fancied himself a magician, claiming he could make a bullfrog disappear by the count of
three. This, in fact, he accomplished by stuffing an M-80 firecracker down a bullfrog's throat and
counting out three hops before it dematerialized in a fine green mist. In Charlie's world, an
instantaneous change of state from solid to liquid was sufficient to constitute a
This novel is well-written and well-edited and hopefully it will be picked up by a mainstream
publisher so that Phil Gray's writing talent can be enjoyed by more readers. If you're looking for a
story to brighten your day and lift your spirit, you won't want to miss the adventures of Sonny
Boy and his friends, Charlie and Pudgy.
The Valley of Death
Gwynne Huntington Wales
2021 Pine Lake Road, #100, Lincoln, NE 68512
0595418899 $23.95 www.iuniverse.com
Quoting from the back cover:
"In November 2002, before the invasion of Iraq, the CIA responds to a report from a highly
placed British spy about an Iraqi operation to recover and sell nerve gas to terrorists, by dropping
Jan Vandermeer into a remote valley in northeast Iraq to determine whether or not the report is
correct. He discovers that the lake at the head of the valley is contaminated with VX nerve gas.
Using Predator surveillance, the CIA watches the Iraqis recover a canister of the gas and deliver
it to the initial transporters. Now the CIA must make a decision - destroy the gas before it moves
out of Iraq or let it proceed to protect the source of the report as well as to try to roll up the
network of terrorists engaged in moving it to its ultimate but unknown destination.
"The decision to track the gas requires a team of CIA and British agents as well as the National
Security Agency and the National Reconnaissance Office. Vandermeer and his Iraqi partner, the
beautiful Sophia, are assigned leading roles in the operation. An intensive two-week battle of
wits follows, taking Vandermeer and Sophia on a gripping journey through the deepest recesses
of the Middle East toward what they come to believe is the final target in the United States."
I must tell you that I did not read the entire novel. When I got to page 35 and the following
"I don't need to tell you guys how important it is that we keep track of this thing," said the
briefing officer. "If we lose it and it gets into the hands of terrorists, we could be looking at a
disaster that would make 9/11 look like child's play. The purpose of this exercise is to find out
who is behind this and to put whoever it is out of action. It also shows that Iraq indeed has
weapons such as this hidden away and is prepared to use them. If the trail leads to al Qaeda or
some other terrorist group, it shows that Iraq not only supports terrorists but also supplies them
with such weapons."...,
I felt to' track' rather than 'pick up' the VX nerve gas (a bird in the hand ...) when they could was
an ignorant decision, considering the potential deadly disaster nature of the gas, and chose not to
read further. I read to page 35 and the last few chapters. My decision certainly does not take away
from the quality of writing which is very good. Gwynne Wales is an accomplished,
knowledgeable writer, and his novel is well organized, edited and filled with interesting details.
If you like espionage thrillers and don't mind poor decisions, I'm certain your will enjoy The
Valley of Death.
Medicine Rock Reflections
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 S. Parker Rd., 515, Parker, CO 80134
1432705547 $11.95 www.outskirtspress.com 1-888-672-6657
Quoting from the back cover:
"In the late 1960s my parent purchased land northwest of Ft. Collins, Colorado. We named it
Medicine Rock. I was not born there, but Medicine Rock was a birthplace for me; it was the
beginning of consciousness and a place that continues to be vital for my becoming. The
reflections of Medicine Rock presented here are like spring waters finally percolating through
layers of rock and earth to reach the surface. Medicine Rock was a place where exposure to the
elements shaped my inner landscapes to be attuned to the vital spiritual energy inherent in the
natural world and to feel a deep connection with it. The place didn't just grow on me; it grew in
me. There was an unmistakable feeling of being a part of the greater whole that was instilled in
me at a young age, the roots of which continued to grow deeper in my consciousness with each
passing year. Will I ever get back to Medicine Rock? The manifestation of the life force I became
aware of there is just as profound today, and I return to Medicine Rock each time I am out in the
Well, I'd say that Kyle Gardner's writing is right up there with other
environmentally-concerned/caring authors such as Barbara Kingsolver and Edward Abbey.
Medicine Rock Reflections is part personal memoir, part spiritual journey, and part
environmental commentary. It is a well-written and well-edited book, and allow me to share a
small sample of Kyle's writing with you, from page 13:
"The notion that nearness to nature keeps the spirit sensitive to impressions not commonly felt
has also been suggested by John Muir's implication of a chemical reaction. As Muir said when
examining the spiritual impact of a wild place, "all that is required is exposure and purity of
material because no earthly chemical is as sensitive as the human soul." Taking Muir's insight
just a small step further, the chemicals of the soul certainly must be receptive to the exposure to
pure materials, because some chemicals, or souls, may not react even under the most perfect
conditions. In my experience, the time at Medicine Rock provided the exposure to the natural
world. The materials there, all the natural elements and then some, were as pure as I would
imagine possible given the time of history. And for some reason, whether purposeful or
otherwise, whether through genetic predispositions or family predilections, through soulful
sensitivity, via dumb luck or some other reason, I had a reaction to what was afoot, a reaction
that continues to send out reverberating waves decades later."
If you're interested in environmental issues and reading about spiritual journeys, you just might
be interested in this personal/historical memoir.
More Senior Moments: Getting the Most Out of Your Golden Years
David Wayne Silva
10940 S. Parker Rd., 515, Parker, CO 80134
143270107X $13.95 www.outskirtspress.com
Quoting from the back cover:
""When I first wrote Senior Moments I had no idea of the impact that it would make upon the
reader. It wasn't until I began to get phone calls and e-mails about the content that I became
aware of what readers really thought. They asked for more senior moments topics. They wanted
to know more about self-identity, exercise, family strife, accepting death, sex, and many other
"In More Senior Moments, the sequel to author David Wayne Silva's popular anthology Senior
Moments, you'll find an all-new collection of stories and essays on growing older. Like the first
book in the series, More Senior Moments was written to help seniors find the answers to
common questions with simple stories told by their peers. The well-thought out and sympathetic
advice encourages those entering their golden years to face both the joys and problems that come
"Silva writes: "Seniors, this is your book. It contains your stories and your ideas. It is about you. I
just put it together. Most of the stories and information in this book come from your friends and
neighbors, from my own experience, and from the medical profession that takes care of us. After
years of working as a counselor, I find it easy to approach my senior friends and ask for their
ideas on different subjects. They feel comfortable talking about their emotions and their physical
problems even touchy subjects like dressing themselves and sexual matters. Many senior men
and women have worked together with me on this book. It is good that we can band together and
help each other have more enriching lives while we accept the challenges of aging.""
I reviewed David Silva's first book, Senior Moments, in February 2006 and was delighted with
his writing at that time. As the quote from the back cover states, More Senior Moments is a
continuation on the theme of senior topics and inspirational stories. This book is also contains
thirty-three short chapters.
David Silva was a teacher, school administrator, and family/grief counselor prior to his
retirement, and I'm certain these aspects of his life played an integral part in the creation of his
well-written books. If you're a senior, young or old, you will find helpful information on many
subjects, plus lots of inspiration to help keep us in a positive frame of mind. I'm a senior myself
and appreciate the time and effort David has taken to create these inspirational books.
In the Course of a Dream: EMANUEL FOR LOVE
860 Aviation Parkway, Suite 300, Morrisville, NC 27560
9780615151786 $23.50 www.lulu.com
Ruben Bailey, a holder of a Master of Science in Information Systems from Strayer University
and a Ph.D. in Metaphysics candidate, has been interested in dreams since 1995. This is his first
non-fiction book. More details at http://www.pennyformythought.org
In the Course of a Dream, EMANUEL FOR LOVE, is a personal account of dreams and their
interpretation in relation to Christian religion and love. The author's near-to-death experience
resulted in the writing of this book which refers to Revelation quotes and aims at making
mankind better. The message to humanity is that dreams have the power to transform people and
offer them the true enlightenment.
Ruben says about religion: 'Religion is like the shell that protects the embryo. It serves its
purpose, but once you have come of age there is no need to carry the shell around with you, for
you will find the Word written in your heart.'
He says about dreams: 'Dreams hold Universal truths. They are multi-dimensional and are
perfectly formed with divine precision.'
The reason he wrote this book: 'It is with an immense love for humanity and a true desire of my
heart to see you achieve oneness that I deliver this message of hope and good wishes for a
brighter and peaceful future.'
This book caters to people from all walks of life, those interested in metaphysical phenomena
and those who love spiritual books. It is written in a simple and clear style, and it is not a
scientific book. At times it is moving, as it refers to the author's biographical incidents, while
other times it is positive, thus helping people find their 'good' self.
Rock Press, Inc.
4611 South University Drive #450, Davie, FL 33328 USA
Very Highly Recommended
Nina Romano, an adjunct professor of English at St.Thomas University, holds a B.S., M.A., and
B.A., and earned an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Florida International University in
Cooking Lessons is a poetry collection that involves family, food and culture. The book features
the author's experiences of food and family, and depicts her feelings during her travels both
outside USA and at home. It is emotional and exciting, yet delicious and flavored with
Mediterranean spices. Feelings of love and loneliness, and vivid images of family and kitchen
scenes are almost everywhere. It is a uniquely appetizing collection of poems that inspires
readers and shows how food affects our lives and feeds both our body and mind.
The poems are written in 'free verse', that is, Nina uses none of the established metrical patterns.
In this way, the author succeeds in giving readers vivid detail for our imagination to work with.
For example, Roasted Peppers, is a cooking lesson for peppers, yet evokes thoughts about life
and death, family persons and cultural events; all in one. It is a very emotional piece of art that
will satisfy the inner needs of the readers for culture related with food. Therefore, it caters to
everybody who wants a good read of food-related cultural pieces.
Cooking Lessons is a cultural piece of art in itself, not a cookbook, but it can serve both purposes
at the same time. The impulse and emotion behind each poem lead the reader to a journey of
Prose lovers can read these poems too, as the 'free-verse' is appealing to a wider audience. Rich
vocabulary selection and rich images comprise each poem that will speak to the readers' hearts
and inspire them to add flavor to their own life just as the author does.
Outskirts Press, Inc,
10940 S.Parker Rd-515, Parker CO 80134
9781432712969 $15.95 http://outskirtspress.com/publiclies
Very Highly Recommended
Brenda Youngerman, an avid proponent of domestic violence legislation, has written Public Lies
in order to enlighten the public to the plight of the victims. You can visit her at
Public Lies is about domestic violence and the way it affects women from all walks of life. The
story starts at the point Nancy, the main character and victim in this story, leaves Vince, her drug
addict violent husband, in order to save herself and her two kids from the unbearable life they are
living. Nancy lives in a constant nightmare and has no one to turn to but her sister Olivia who
lives in another city. But Vince has not allowed them to have any relationship with them so far.
Nancy is desperate and decides to be brave and escape. Will she succeed in having a safe life?
Will Vince find her and destroy her? The two kids are in the middle of this ordeal and seem to be
the only excuse for Vince to go after Nancy. But are they really what he is after? Or is it pure
revenge for his wife?
The story is well crafted in every single detail. The 'real' situation the characters are set in is
working right. The readers will identify themselves with the family members and follow the plot
till the end. It is a real story in real surroundings that will make people think of the consequences
of violent behavior in families as well as drug use. Children are abused in many other ways than
people may think, so a drug addict parent with irrational behavior may indeed be the beginning of
a child's psychological problems. Nancy's feelings towards her husband seem genuine and pure,
while his are all the way through based on resentment, jealousy and revenge. The author shows
that a woman can not easily realize how a man can be so deceptive and bad even to his own
children. On the other hand, the story involves characters that degrade the woman. Christina,
Trent's wife, has had numerous affairs despite her loyal husband. The author knows that 'bad'
behavior is possible in all people, so there is no discrimination against men. There are other men
in the story that are gentle and decent. But it is women who usually suffer and are victims trapped
in a violent marriage, and this is the main point of this novel.
The story is written in a simple style that everyone can read. It is fast paced and a good read with
a lot of unexpected turns. It caters to fiction lovers, to a female audience and to those who wish
to read a story that sounds 'real' such as a life story. Get the book from Ingram, Baker&Taylor or
Healing Pathway for Hopelessness: An Effective 6-week Faith-Based Program For Youth
0977223477 $14.99 www.HanwellPress.com
Renee Maimone, author and public speaker, is an active board member for Florida Right to Life.
She has authored 'The Bleeding Rose', a riveting novel based on hurting women.
Healing Pathway for Hopelessness is a booklet that focuses on a program for those who need to
boost their self esteem and find peace in their life. It involves a 6-week work that can be done
either at home or in classroom settings. The whole program is faith based.
The program starts with a prayer. Then comes the first assignment. There are more assignments
as the lessons go on so the participant will have the opportunity to write his/her thoughts that will
help them solve their inner problems. There are six chapters in all, and each one of them follows
the same format. First is the Inspirational part that deals with the specific problem, then readings
from the Bible and explanations, and then is the note section at the back of the book where the
participants can write down their thoughts or questions. There is a lesson for every day of the
The topics involved in this program are of high value. People who feel worthless and rejected
may regain their self esteem and find life enjoyable and good. Participants are urged to stop
having negative thoughts and start loving themselves again. This part reminds me of another
program I read years ago and involved a phase called 'replacement therapy'. People should learn
to forgive and understand others, accept them selves as they are and follow their dream. Who
would deny that all these are not important? The author tries to justify every solution to each
problem by referring to the Bible. That makes necessary for the student to get a Bible in order to
follow the lessons. As a Faith based program it looks practical and effective.
This program is well written and the style is simple and clear. It caters to everyone in need, not
only young people. The fact that it is based on faith may be restrictive to some people who are
not Christians, but the values involved apply to all peoples, from all walks of life. It is a useful
program that needs to get the attention of those in need.
Christmas on Deery Street & other seasonal stories
7290-B Investment Drive, Charleston, SC 29418
141964310X $12.99 www.booksurge.com
Very Highly Recommended
Christmas on Deery Street is Steven Roberts' first book, and 'While Shepherds Watched' is his
second one coming out soon. Steven, a PhD in Political Science holder, is active in his church
where his stories are read the Sunday before Christmas. He lives with his family in Knoxville,
Tennessee where he teaches for Tusculum College.
This book is a collection of wonderful Christmas stories that will entertain and inspire readers
from all over the world. The author says: 'There is a small element of truth in them that came
from one of my dad's stories.' These are stories that celebrate not only Christmas but family
bonds and friendships. They are written in the third person and the lively dialogue Steven used
throughout this book it makes them sound 'real' and vivid. The readers can get a lot of cultural
aspects as well, such as the way they used to celebrate Christmas long ago. The author is mainly
focused on family gatherings, and friendship bonds, revealing special memories that are
interesting to read.
The style is simple, the character description is excellent and the use of colloquial language at
times helps to highlight the different background of the characters, since each one of them has
got his own voice. The stories are humorous, moving and real, and they are all fun to read. A
good book to entertain readers at Christmas time! It certainly caters to a wide audience. Each
story has got an unexpected turn, and it is gripping enough to make the reader read on till the
While Shepherds Watched
Outskirts Press, Inc
9781432714017 $15.95 http://www.outskirtspress.com
Very Highly Recommended
While Shepherds Watched is Steven Roberts' second book that is filled with Christmas spirit.
Steven, a PhD in Political Science holder, is active in his church where his stories are read the
Sunday before Christmas. He lives with his family in Knoxville, Tennessee where he teaches for
This book is a collection of wonderful Christmas stories that will entertain and inspire readers
from all over the world. The lively dialogue and detailed description Steven used throughout this
book it makes the stories sound 'real' and vivid. The readers can get a lot of cultural aspects as
well, such as the way they used to celebrate Christmas long ago in certain places, and feel the
magic of family bonds the author knows and describes so well in his stories.
Steven 's style is simple and clear, his use of colloquial language at times enhance the character
description, which is excellent, and the use of some literary elements make the overall
impression of this little story book a perfect read for Christmas time. The stories are humorous,
moving and real, and they are all fun to read. A good book to entertain readers not only at
Christmas time but all the year round! It certainly caters to a wide audience. Each story has got an
unexpected turn, a mystery of some kind, and it is gripping enough to make the reader read on till
the end. Steven's second book is longer than his first one and the stories now are more spicy and
well crafted. The cover of the book is very attractive and the size quite handy to carry it
anywhere. It is an original Christmas book that no reader should miss!
The Trinity of Health
Carmen Harra Ph.D.
7290-B Investment Drive, Charleston, South Carolina 29418
9781419665622 $16.99 www.booksurge.com Amazon.com
Non fiction, self-help. Very Highly Recommended.
Carmen Harra, a clinical psychologist, metaphysician and author of three books, is also a TV
personality, motivational speaker, singer and radio host on www.Healthylife.net. Carmen lives in
New York and Florida with her family. Learn more about Carmen at
The Trinity of Health is a self help guide that includes 10 chapters. It consists of two parts: Part
One focuses on spiritual values; it offers readers an analysis of the seven guiding principles and
motivates them to incorporate these values into their daily life. Part Two is about nutrition.
Specifically, it is all about smart nutrition and how people can eat healthily and joyfully. There is
reference to the Greek diet on page 31, why the Mediterranean diet is better than other diets, and
tips on how to avoid fatty foods and stick to healthy foods. 'Moderation in all things' is the secret,
Carmen says on page 41, and this is a wise section. Further on, on page 103, the topic is about
self esteem. Loving and changing yourself in order to have a good karma are quite interesting to
read. Carmen makes reference to organic foods on page 114, thus urging readers to switch to
healthier alternatives. At the back of the book there is a Bibliography section.
This book is a valuable guide for everyone interested in their well-being. Once the readers get the
required knowledge, they can change their lifestyle and values. Carmen's book is well-written,
simple and clear to read. I love the letter font; it is relaxing for the eyes and obviously it caters to
people at an older age, without restricting a younger audience though. This guide inspires and
urges people to change, so it is an invaluable tool in the reader's hands. As Carmen says, the
secret of good life is balance, which sounds simple but it is difficult to have.' Therefore, balance
your life with Carmen's new book! Get it from www.CarmenHarra.com and
2021 Pine Lake Road, #100, Lincoln, NE 68512
5200 Collier Place, Woodland Hills, CA 91364
0595403395, $18.95 www.iuniverse.com
At six years of age, 'Alice' Rene would watch the Nazi soldiers as they marched down her street
in Vienna Austria. She and her family were Jewish, which meant that they would escape the
looming holocaust in an odyssey that would take her to Riga, Lativa, and finally end with her
arrival in Portland, Oregon, where they would operate a family grocery store. The story of her
family's narrow escape from death at the hands of the Germans, their struggle as immigrants to
adjust to American society, and her personal problems growing up in a troubled family are all
related in candid detail in Alice Rene's autobiography, "Become Alice: A Memoir" in which she
finds a friend in Elaine, a Jewish girl who shared Alice's newly found interest in boys, and comes
into conflict with her parents over issues of dating where American traditions would clash with
their old world rules. It was when Rene went to UCLA and experienced anxiety, insecurity, and
panic attacks that almost sent her back home, then transferring to Berkeley where she lived in a
boarding house with other girls from a variety of different cultures and subcultures that Alice
discovers her true self and achieves triumph over adversity, her identity crisis, and emancipation
from the restraints of family ties. Strongly recommended for personal reading lists and
community library biography collections, "Becoming Alice" is a deftly written memoir that will
hold the reader's rapt attention from beginning to end.
Ethnic Knitting Discovery
418 Goldeneye Drive, Fort Collins, CO 80526
9780966828931, $21.95 www.nomad-press.com
In "Ethnic Knitting Discovery: The Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, and The Andes", needlecraft
expert Donna Druchunas showcases traditional designs and techniques drawn from three
Scandinavian and one Native American knitting cultures in a step-by-step presentation for eight
sweater projects and four skill-building small projects, each of which is accompanied by
worksheets geared to three levels of knitting experience. Superbly designed and illustrated for
beginning to intermediate level knitters, the needlecraft skills include knitting patterns
back-and-fourth and in the round; working from charts; puntas; stitch-and-cut armholes;
centering patterns; managing repeats; welts; and Andean-style purling. The first of a planned
trilogy of instruction guidebooks introducing traditional knitting techniques in a graduated
fashion, "Ethnic Knitting Discovery", with its color tips and knitting-specific histories, is an
especially recommended addition to both personal and community library Needlecraft
instructional reference collections.
Sproutman's Kitchen Garden Cookbook
PO Box 1100, Great Barrington, MA 01230
1878736868, $14.95 www.sproutman.com
Sproutman Publications is a specialty publisher with an impressive roster of health books to their
credit. One of the best of these is the "Sproutman's Kitchen Garden Cookbook" by Steve
Meyerowitz who began his interest in the relationship of foods to health in 1975 when he sought
to deal with a lifetime condition of allergies and asthma. After the traditional medical
establishment had failed him for some twenty years, he was able to restore his health through diet
and fasting. he at 100% live foods for five years, practices 'fruitarianism -- a diet of fruit, nuts
and sprouted seeds -- and fasted on raw juices for as long as 100 days. The resulting
improvement to his personal health was amazing. In "Sproutman's Kitchen Garden Cookbook",
Steve has amassed superb collection of recipes for sprout breads, cookies, soups, and salads, as
well as 250 additional low-fat, dairy-free, vegetarian recipes. The recipes are presented after the
reader benefits from an informational presentation on the pros-and-cons of dairy, dehydrating
foods, nutrition charts, sprouting, food drying, low temperature cooking, how to be a healthy
vegetarian, and so much more. From Cashew Cottage Cheese; Mighty Millet Bread; Sunflower
Nut Milk; and Banana Chips; to Manhattan Sprout Chowder; Braised Tofu; Spinach Marinade;
and Creamed Potato Mash, "Sproutman's Kitchen Garden Cookbook" will prove to be a popular
and invaluable addition to the cookbook collection for anyone having to deal with the problems
of food related allergies and illnesses, as well as the recipe collections for general vegetarians.
Also very highly recommended for those concerned with food related health issues are the other
titles from Sproutman Publications (available through their website at www.sproutman.com)
including: "The Organic Food Guide"; "Power Juices, Super Drinks"; Juice Fasting &
Detoxification"; Wheatgrass: Nature's Finest Medicine; "Water: The Ultimate Cure; and "Food
Combing and Digestion".
Janet Smith Warfield
Word Sculptures Publishing
3225 South McLeod Drive, Suite 100, Las Vegas, NV 89121
Lawyer, grandmother, mediator and poet Janet Smith Warfield presents Shift: Change Your
Words, Change Your World, a remarkable self-help guide to adapting one's consciousness to
help bring peace to oneself and to the planet, one person at a time. Chapters encourage the reader
to be honest with oneself, and attune to one's own thoughts and feelings, while being wary of
negative impulses to judge or control other people, and touch upon the big spiritual questions.
"None of the world religions has ever been able to define God. God is referred to as a mystery,
something beyond human understanding. The word define means to limit. Of course, religions
can't define God. What right do we humans have to limit God?" An utterly insightful guide to
making sense of timeless wisdom, applicable to readers of all faiths and backgrounds.
The Real Estate Agent's Guide to FSBO's: Make Big Money Prospecting For-Sale-By-Owner
AMACOM, American Management Association
1601 Broadway, New York, NY 10019
No one said finding a buyer, negotiating a purchase offer or the multitude of other tasks
associated with selling a home are easy. But, every year thousands of home owners decide to
begin their home sale process by selling-by-owner. Century 21 real estate agent John Mallof
recounts his business model of converting FSBO's (For-Sale-By-Owner's) into clients in the just
released "The Real Estate Agent's Guide to FSBO's. In today's competitive and transitioning real
estate market, FSBO's are an attractive way for real estate agents to farm for additional
Chapter titles are: The FSBO, Understanding What It Takes, FSBO Prospecting Plan, Know Thy
Competition, The FSBO System, FSBO Sales Techniques, Special Telephone Techniques, The
FSBO Listing Presentation, The Marketing Plan, Farming for FSBO's, Putting Your For-Sale
Signs to Work, Servicing Your Listings, and Building a Referral Base. Additional features
include acknowledgements, an introduction, three appendix's that cover resources, FBSBO facts,
and sample forms. A thorough index and author bio are also included.
Mr. Maloof shares his many years of experience outlining to the nth degree, his system for
bringing FSBO's into his fold. A easy-to-read book loaded with charts and tips to take the guess
work out of establishing a consistent system to market to those thinking that they could save
thousands in commissions by selling-by-owner. The author's just-the-facts-please style is perfect
for novices or experienced agents who want to take the jump into a lucrative, but often
over-looked market niche. A great textbook for real estate educators, who want a companion to
classroom discussions on the topic.
Your Guide to VA Loans: How to Cut Through the Red Tape and Get Your Dream Home
AMACOM, American Management Association
1601 Broadway, New York, NY 10019
Prolific residential mortgage author David Reed's new book "Your Guide to VA Loans" is a
must-read for Veteran's looking to take advantage of the program, loan officers and real estate
agents looking to understand the recently stream-lined process which offers attractive terms for
those who qualify. Mr. Reed explores in great detail one of the common misnomers of VA
(Department of Veteran's Affairs) Loans, that being the Veteran's Administration guarantees the
loan, but traditional lenders actually fund and service a VA loan.
Chapter titles are: Getting Started, Credit and VA Lending, The VA Loan Approval Process,
Finding Your VA Team, Getting the Best VA Rate, Closing Costs and VA Loans, Refinancing,
Equity Lending, and Special VA Programs, and When VA Loans Are Not Your Best Choice.
Plus six excellent appendix's; VA Regional Loan Centers, VA Contact Information, Request for
Certificate of Eligibility (VA Form 26-1880), Request Pertaining to Military Records (SF 180),
Universal Residential Loan Application and Payment Tables. Additional features include an
introduction, glossary and index.
Navigating the VA loan process can be daunting, but Mr. Reed lays out in an informative style
the in's and out's of the bureaucratic process. The author who has twenty years of mortgage
experience, including originating hundreds of VA Loans is the perfect instructor for minimizing
pesky meandering through the process. Perfect for Veterans seeking a road map, mortgage
educators and a must-have resource for real estate brokerages.
The Right Thing
James Richard Larson
2021 Pine Lake Rd., Suite 100, Lincoln, NE 68512
0595427367 $17.95 www.iuniverse.com 1-800-288-4677
Have you ever been rejected by literary agents? Have you ever fantasized about making them
pay? If yes, this is the book for you! In this his latest novel, talented author James Richard Larson
shows a chilling, terrifying portrait of a rejected, aspiring writer who brings her dreams of
revenge to reality.
Deeply depressed by her struggling life as an aspiring author, Elsbeth Malone takes her own life,
but not without making a pact with an ancient evil being first. Her husband and the protagonist of
this story, Johnny Malone, is left heartbroken and stunned at the realization that Elsbeth had been
practicing magic before her death. Soon horrible incidents begin to happen to various literary
agents, agents that, as Johnny eventually finds out, are in Elsbeth's ominous list of agents who
rejected her manuscript, A Circle of Light.
One after another the agents begin to die under grisly circumstances after meeting a mysterious
British man named Mr. William Bagnold, a man clad in black who claims to represent Two
Ravens Publishing. There's only one problem Two Ravens Publishing stopped existing in 1944.
Then one day Johnny receives a message from a Ms. Lane, one of the agents whom Elsbeth had
sent her manuscript to. Due to changes in publishing trends, Ms. Lane believes that Circle of
Light, which she had previously rejected, now has great marketing possibilities, and so she offers
to represent her. Johnny informs her Elsbeth is dead, but agrees to meet her because nothing
would make him happier than seeing the manuscript published. A sort of romantic relationship
begins to develop between them, but hell breaks loose when Johnny realizes she is one of the
agents on Elsbeth's doomed list. Will he be able to break the 'curse' and save her from a terrible
I found the story riveting from the very beginning. The premise is good, and Larson has great
skill in developing detailed, absorbing, well-drawn characters. The unsympathetic agents are
realistic without being cartoonish, and the secondary characters are as well developed as the main
ones. Around the middle of the novel the focus seems to go off Johnny and settle on some of the
secondary characters, but these subplots are so interesting, realistically written, and engrossing
that they didn't prove distracting, even though I had to ask myself 'Where is Johnny?' a couple of
times. I'm not sure whether Larson meant this on purpose, but I think if Johnny would have been
more involved in the middle of the story, the novel would probably have been even better.
The ending is ingenious and shocking and took me completely by surprise. I had to read it a
couple of times to make sure I had understood it correctly. The Right Thing is definitely a great
read this Halloween for everyone who enjoys a chilling, atmospheric modern horror. If you're a
struggling author, you will get an extra kick out of it as well.
6470A Glenway Avenue, #109, Cincinnati, OH 45211-5222.
1594264848 $10.00 www.mundania.com
Judgement Fire is a sharp little mystery that will keep readers guessing until the end for the
In the small town of Bear Creek, a mountain community in the southern Sierra, a battered woman
is murdered. Is the killer her abusive husband? Or maybe her own son, who publicly claimed he
Or perhaps her nosy and suspicious-looking neighbor, who supposedly used to be the woman's
high-school 'enemy'? Or was the whole thing a mistake, and it was her husband the meant
As Tempe Crabtree, a young and level-headed police officer with a long black tress down her
back, sets out to hunt the killer, she is simultaneously drawn back to her own origins and Native
American heritage and uses her roots as a way to help her memory and find the killer.
The prose is crystal clear and the author doesn't waste time with unnecessary internal dialogues
or descriptions. No word is wasted; there's no clutter, no melodrama. The pace moves quickly
and the 'spiritual' segments don't slow down the story. On the contrary, I found that they make the
protagonist quite unique. This is a short, enjoyable novel and one that I gobbled up overnight.
This is the latest Tempe Crabtree mystery from award-winning author Marilyn Meredith.
Little Skink's Tail
Janet Halfmann, Illustrated by Laurie Allen Klein
Sylvian Dell Publishing
976 Houston Northcutt Blvd., Suite 3, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
9780976882381 $15.95 www.sylviandellpublishing
One day Little Skink, a blue-tailed young lizard, is basking on a big rock in the morning sun.
Leaping to the floor, she begins to gobble up his breakfast, which consists of yummy-smelling
ants, when suddenly a big crow appears and attacks. Luckily, Little Skink manages to escape.
There's only one problem: her tail is gone! Where did her bright blue tail go? Did the crow snap
it off? What will Little Skink do now, without her wiggling, waggling tail?
She's happy to be alive, but sad at having lost her tail. She can't get her lost tail off her mind, so
she begins to imagine how she would look with other animals' tails. How would she look with a
rabbit's tail? No, too 'puffy-fluffy'. What about with a porcupine's? No, too 'sticky-prickly.' And
so on and so forth with the different forest creatures. Will Little Skink's tail ever grow back?
This is a colorful, engaging, beautifully illustrated book that teaches children about animals and
their tails. At the end of the book there are activities for 'Creative Minds' a footprint map and a
game for matching different types of tails with their corresponding animals.
Princess Caitlin's Tiara
Kim Messenger and Michael LaLumiere, Illustrated by Ginger Nielson
Stagger Lee Books
P.O. Box 442, 7558 W. Thunderbird, Suite ,1Peoria, AZ 85381
9780979100604 $14.95 623-977-0537
What is it about little girls, princesses, and tiaras? From the writing team of Kim Messinger and
Michael LaLumiere comes another enjoyable story for kids, though this time the tale is geared
towards little female readers and book lovers.
Little Caitlin is in a rotten mood a really "big old funk. A humongous funk. A funk that could
To lighten Caitlin's spirits, her mom comes up with an idea. She tells Caitlin how when she was
little she had something that always made her feel like a princess, a special thing that made her
feel "funk-proof" a beautiful princess tiara! But after trying on her mom's tiara, Caitlin
realizes it is too big for her; thus she sets to the task of making her own using cardboard, scissors,
a stapler, and shiny silver foil. Then, with her brand-new, glittery tiara on her head, her imaginary
adventures begin. Snowboarding at the South Pole with penguins, diving deep in the ocean with
mermaids, riding in style in a big pink limousine, flying amidst the clouds in her pilot uniform
the fun never ends!
Princess Caitlin's Tiara is a delightful picture book that will delight young girls ages 4-8. I found
it has a lot of text for a picture book, making it an early reader for young book lovers as well. The
colorful illustrations are evocative and whimsical and possess a dream-like quality that suits the
plot well. This is a book that touches the 'little girl' in all of us. This is a fun story for bedtime
reading, or one a mother may read to her child anytime for mother-daughter bonding.
Light Unseen Media
PO Box 1233, Pepperell, MA 01463
Vampires must be the ultimate die-heard creatures of all supernatural fiction genres. No matter
how many vampires novels are published, more keep coming, and even though we hear that
publishers are tired of them, the books keep getting published. Could it be that readers can't have
enough of these bloodthirsty fiends either as vicious monsters or beautiful, sophisticated beings
trapped in the darkness of their natures? Whether it's kids, young adults or adults, people seem to
I dislike gory novels where vampires are portrayed as demons from hell, as well as romance
novels where they're overly sugar coated. The type of vampire fiction I enjoy would fall more
under 'general fiction', as in the type of Anne Rice's works, where the creatures are pictured as
real-life beings with a certain degree of education and sophistication, but still be the trapped,
tortured souls who fall somewhere between good and evil. This type of fiction, though having
elements of horror, doesn't fall under the horror category. A closer description would be general
fiction with elements of the paranormal or magic realism.
Having read so many vampire novels as I have, it is seldom that I find one that surprises me or
that strays enough from the vampire conventions to appear original, and this is why I was
pleasantly surprised to read Mortal Touch, by Inanna Arthen, published by By Light Unseen
Media, a new press which solely focuses on serious vampire fiction and nonfiction.
For sure, Mortal Touch doesn't follow the general vampire rules and conventions for one thing,
Arthen's vampires don't even have fangs. But without giving more away about the nature of
Arthen's immortal creatures (I'll leave the pleasure of finding that out as you read the book), let's
go into some of the plot:
The protagonist, Regan Calloway, is a psychic who runs a little antique shop in a small town in
New England. She has worked with the authorities as a psychic consultant before but now lives a
pretty lonely, secluded life, mainly because of the trauma of past experiences when she dealt with
murders and serial killers. Regan can 'see' and 'feel' things when she touches objects that have
belong to either the victim or killer. Now, a new series of strange assaults is capturing the
people's attention and has the press and the police in turmoil. Dr. Hiram Clauson, an old friend
and colleague she used to work with during her past involvements with the police, calls her and
asks her to help him interview the victims. At the same time, a mysterious so-called writer named
Jonathan Vaughn has moved into the town and Regan's beautiful yet mentally unstable best
friend Veronica seems to be falling for him. Jonathan seems very reclusive and aloof and
Veronica asks Regan to meet him in order to learn more about him with her psychic powers.
But to go back to the strange assaults, Regan agrees to help. The victims show very little
recollection of the attack, as if their minds were wiped out, plus, they seem to be missing a lot of
blood and sport ugly-looking scars on their necks. Later, when she finally meets Jonathan and
'touches' him, she's startled by the realization that he's connected to the strange crimes which
have been haunting the surrounding area. Is he the attacker? What is his nature? Later on, the
situation gets more complicated as Regan and Jonathan begins to be attracted to each other and
Veronica gets paranoid and suicidal as her obsession with Jonathan gets out of control. This
creates a sort of destructive triangle between them.
This is an unusual vampire novel in that the characters are not romantized in any way and are
portrayed in a realistic manner. Unlike most heroines from your regular vampire novels, Regan is
neither particularly young nor beautiful. The same can be said for Jonathan. One thing that put
me off, and this is a matter of personal taste, is that Rowan swears a lot, and for some reason I
couldn't associate that to her demure, psychic, antique shop persona. Jonathan is appealing and
interesting and his charisma comes through the pages in spite of him being your everyday, nice
guy who happens to be a vampire. The setting does offer a lot of atmosphere and Arthen is
successful in creating the perfect ambiance for the mysterious New England town, with its
picturesque antique shops and long dark roads surrounded by woods.
Though the story is interesting and intriguing, at times I found it a bit slow with some
superfluous dialogue of things which are already known to the reader but are being reiterated;
something that the tiny print seems to amplify. Taking aside these negative minor points, this is a
work that is well written and that at times gets quite suspenseful and horrific. There is a scene
where Veronica is trapped in a dungeon-like cellar that made my skin crawl. Also, Veronica's
unstable manic behavior is drawn especially well. The dialogue
Mortal Touch is definitely a novel vampire fiction aficionados will want to add to their
collection. This is not a novel to be gobbled overnight, though, but one to savor slowly and
patiently, so if you like your fiction with a lot of details and a lot of meat in it, this is the book for
you. I certainly will keep my eye on this author and this press, and hope to review more of their
titles in the future.
Drawn from Memory: A Personal Story of Healing Through Art
E. J. Cockey
PO Box 80107 Austin TX 78758
Inspiring Read. Recommended. 5 stars
In the Prologue the author reveals 'Drawn from Memory' is a personal story of healing through art
to be a true story about her own life and the lives of persons she knows or has known. She
mentions too; that while some of those who are gone from her life have not necessarily died. As a
rule long term patients/residents in any care institution want most in life to return to the home
where they had lived before the care institution.
In 1990, recently divorced, at the end of a busy day spent enjoying the all day housewarming for
her parents new home; the writer, single mother of two boys, was suddenly face to face with a
reality most of us dread whether it materializes or not. Her mother became incapacitated. It took
many doctor visits before the true medical reasons surrounding her mother's seizure and resultant
vulnerability became known.
Writer Cockey offers snippets, peeks and clips into the lives of those for whom she has worked
with and worried about over the years. She reveals how bringing those who are now lost in a
world from which they can never truly escape into a setting where they can intermingle, mingle
and step out of themselves for an hour or two now and then does just that. Patients who had not
interacted with anyone prior to the writer and her art classes now do cooperate a little with those
nearby and with their surroundings. That communication, fleeting though it might be, is
Less than twenty years ago Cockey began working with dementia patients as an art teacher for
several long term facilities. Since that time she has expanded her program to include others with
special needs. These are the dying, the in poor health and the compliant which our society too
often forgets when they are most in need.
Author EJ Cockey sums up her own notions about life and death in three basic questions which
she found most of those facing debilitating or life threatening situations always seemed to
ponder. Am I going to suffer? Will I be alone? Did my life mean something? Cockey says that it
is that pondering of those particular questions, and being willing to answer them, that has made a
huge difference to her personally over the past several years.
Writing from the standpoint of one who works in a setting wherein most of our citizenry cannot
come to admit might be our own one day, Cockey's 'Drawn from Memory a personal story of
healing through art' is not a funny romp or an easy read. Filled with the hurts, the pain and
poignancy of lives now ending, or lives continuing forever changed, 'Drawn from Memory' is
nonetheless an inspirational manuscript.
Writer Cockey has drawn from her own experiences to set down a script which can serve to
motivate readers. Not every situation can be made whole or 'all better.' Every situation can be
bettered if we engage in meaningful activity if even for a short time now and then. Cockey faced
many disappointments in life, was downcast by her own son's infirmity, her own mother's
situation, her life and in particular her own financial problems until at last she began to question
the direction of her life. It was with the assistance of one ninety-year-old dementia patient that
Cockey came to be sensitive to the notion that there is a higher power and help is obtainable, if
you reach out for it. The understanding directs Cockey on a road to regeneration even as it
promoted within her an intense zeal. It is through art, that she is able to offer help and the
realization that hope is never lost to Alzheimer's and dementia patients.
'Drawn from Memory' has a place on the therapists shelf, in the private reader's library and
especially for those who are facing what may seem to be an impossible situation from which
there is no escape. Enjoyed the read. Happy to recommend.
Find Your Courage
2100 Kramer Lane STE 300 Austin, TX 78758
Illuminating Read . Recommended . 4 stars
FIND YOUR COURAGE is offered in three sections, twelve chapters and 300+ pages of
power-packed information and exercises for attaining a more courage filled life. Writer Warrell
is a college psych grad, an ontological coach specializing in life and executive coaching, a writer
Section one FOUNDATIONAL ACTS OF COURAGE sets the stage with chapters titled 'The
Courage to Take Responsibility,' 'The Courage to Live with Integrity,' 'The Courage to Challenge
Your Stories,' and 'The Courage to Dream Bigger.' I found Chapter three 'The Courage to
Challenge Your Stories' to be particularly helpful. The notion that we allow our past rule our
present is one most of us little understand, realize or accept. Humans have been creating stories
for themselves from the beginning of time in an effort to understand what 'causes' them to act,
think and do as they do. 'Often we are trapped inside stories we are not aware we have.
Section two COURAGE IN ACTION offers suggestion 'The Courage to be Yourself,' 'The
Courage to Speak Up,' 'The Courage to Take Action,' 'The Courage to Persevere,' and 'The
Courage to Say No.' For many Chapter 9, 'The Courage to Say No' may prove especially
beneficial. There are so many things to say yes to that we really need to develop that back bone
that will allow us to say no. Our quality of life has improved over the decades; along with that
comes a responsibility to make wise choices. When lives are so wrapped in minutiae it is almost
impossible to accomplish more of the larger goals in life. The ability to weed out the non
essential and to concentrate on that we really want to do takes real courage.
Section three COURAGE AS A WAY OF BEING introduces 'The Courage to Live With an
Open Heart,' 'The Courage to Let Go,' 'The Courage to be a Leader,' and Exercises for
accomplishing the courage filled goals, wants and desires we may have. For those who find
themselves spending a good bit of time dwelling on the past, and not enough on the here and now
chapter 11 'The Courage to Let Go,' offers many good suggestions. The ability to give up trying
to control every aspect of life and trusting in the ability to do well what is need allows one to
achieve more of what is needed and not continue to pursue what may be wanted and continually
remains just out of reach.
Exercises for Identifying Your Role in Your Problems, Feeling Your Fear of Inadequacy,
Removing Your Limiting Labels, Mastering Powerful Requests, Clarifying Your Goal, Escaping
the 'Should' Trap and Connecting with Your Sadness are presented along Mantras, Visualizations
and Meditations all designed to encourage the reader toward finding the courage to pursue a
On the pages of Find Your Courage the author supports the reader toward taking a good hard
look at their life, deciding how or what to change and making the change for the better. Writer
Warrell does not shy from the reality before many of us can get started on the here and now we
have a lot of past to leave go of: childhood incidents, our need for authentic self understanding
along with the often self destructive stories we tell ourselves all stand in our way for pursuing our
goals for today. I liked the realistic approach writer Warrell uses to guide the reader a better self
understanding and ultimately how to make the necessary changes for leading a more satisfying,
Find Your Courage is a well written, easily read work meant to aid those who are seeking a better
life, it has a place in the personal library, on the therapists shelf and for the school and public
I received a trade paper back for review. Enjoyed the read, happy to recommend for the target
From the Rill to the Ocean
Plaza II, Ste 340, Philadelphia, PA 19113
Attention-grabbing read . Recommended . 5 stars
From the Rill to the Ocean opens with lovely poem bearing the same name as the book. On April
27, 1941 Imre Kalanyos was born in a tiny village, Sivo, Hungary. Sivo did not have a church
thus there is no mention of it even on Imre's birth certificate. Despite his ethnic background,
Gypsy, Imre grew up with a good understanding of the history of the country. Twenty seven years
of life lived as a minority shaped Imre's understanding of what it means to be Gypsy. Life before
Imre's birth was simple, modest and uneventful until one April day when the bridge spanning the
Drava River was bombed. The incident did not pose a threat for the villagers then, it was about
four miles away, and while distracting it was not threatening. World War II was happening in the
part of the world the villagers of Sivo hardly knew about.
The war became a reality in June of that year when Janos along with others of the village was
conscripted to fight alongside the Germans against the Russians. Sivo suffered evacuation, the
village was destroyed, and finally the family returned to their battered home and was reunited.
Hardship and privation was the lot of the whole of Hungary, the country fell under the
dictatorship of Stalin, and in 1949 due to the village's proximity to the border militarized zone it
was relocated. Imre attended school in Gordisa where he soon learned he was not Hungarian . he
From the Rill to the Ocean traces the life of Imre Kalanyos who parents Maria and Janos were
hard working, long-suffering people. From Maria; Imre inherited a capacity for endurance, and a
loving heart. From his father Janos; Imre learned modesty and intellect. The years following
WWII were filled with poverty and hardship. They were also filled with family, and happiness
and joy despite the hard times. Brothers Janos and Jozef married, raised children and took their
places in local society. Imre went on to high school, served in the military and maintained a quiet
resolute notion that simply being Gypsy did not mean inferior or tainted.
At age twenty six Imre had reached a time of decision; Live Free or Die. His fear of being caught
in an escape attempt loomed larger than his fear of death if caught during the effort. For Imre he
was leaving everything behind, including his family. In June 1967, without incident, Imre crossed
the Hungarian-Yugoslavian border. Crossing the Yugoslavian-Italian border was a little trickier.
He had traversed about half of a patch of clear area when a siren sounded and Imre fell to the
ground like a rock. He sprang to his feet and dashed across the last of the cleared area and into
the woods. Later in the refugee camp at Trieste he learned the siren always sounded at that time
to day to signal the shift change at a nearby factory. He was in Italy.
Told in an easy reading style by a man who faced unfairness and adversity for much of his life
From the Rill to the Ocean will touch the heart of readers who are electrified by the
determination of the human spirit. The discrimination he endured as a child along with the failure
of the Communists when they gained power in Hungary served as impetus for Imre to seek a
better life. The book is illustrated with family photos, copies of documents and poignant poems
penned to explain some of the longing felt by Writer Kalanyos. Included at the aback of the
volume is a brief history of the Gypsies, as well as charts explaining a little of the relation of
From the Rill to the Ocean is a compelling outline of one man's life, determination and hope.
Imre Kalanyos arrived in American during the Christmas season 1968. Today he lives in North
Carolina with his wife and dogs Jesse and Buddy.
I was sent a Trade Paperback for Review. Writer Kalanyos has packed a whole lot of something
to say on 120 pages. From the Rill to the Ocean is a must have for the personal reading shelf, the
school and public library collection, gift basket for serious readers and the high school
Enjoyed the read and Highly Recommend for those who enjoy history, tales of determination and
grit, and those who just plain like a good book.
Could It Be this Simple? A Biblical Model for Healing the Mind
Timothy R. Jennings, M.D
Autumn House Publishing
55 W. Oak Ridge Dr. Hagerstown, MD 21740
9780812704358 $15.99 www.autumnhousepublishing.com
Informative Read .... Recommended....... 4 Stars
Dr. Jennings has produced a sixteen chapter book containing what he has learned about mental
illness and the treatment for it gleaned from his years of Biblical study and psychiatric practice.
Dr. Jennings has successfully treated thousands of patients in addition to his extensive research
into the relationship between Christianity and psychiatry. Two chapters in particular caught my
eye. The first, 'The Power of Belief' explores the whether or not belief really matters. Numerous
studies are cited centered around how the power of belief can actually cause the believer to suffer
less pain, need less medication, and heal more quickly. Dr. Jennings states that 'numerous
experiences have convinced me of the important role that spiritual beliefs play in our overall
mental health.' I found the chapter to be especially interesting because I too have long believed
that what we think has great impact upon our health and daily lives.
Reading over the listing of chapters another title seemed to leap from the page, chapter 12
'Forgiveness' was one I knew I had to explore. Various myths surrounding our misunderstanding
of forgiveness are offered by Dr. Jennings. Because so many of us have little understanding of
what forgiveness really is we are left fumbling around wondering why things happen as they do.
Thinking that we can forgive only if the other party says they are sorry, equating God's
forgiveness for salvation or believing that if we forgive then we condone what another has done
are all impediments to our own mental happiness and cause us to harbor needless feelings of
betrayal or sadness. To forgive does not mean we always forget, or have greater vulnerability or
restore trust anymore than forgiving means the other party has somehow 'gotten away' with
Dr Jennings suggests that exiting from the morass of darkness that seems to surround those
struggling with mental illness may not be a difficult as has been portrayed. Pain is felt, however
Dr Jennings offers that the peace found in belief and the gospel can help make the unendurable
more tolerable, and the hurting less painful.
The chapter illuminating the dissimilarity between the types of love is instructive and striking.
Legitimate guilt and three different types of illegitimate guilt are explored in chapter 10. Dr.
Jennings points out that when we don't leave a relationship but want to, we leave ourselves open
to guilt and depression.
'Could It Be this Simple?' Is a well thought out work meant to aid those who are hurting and
honestly want a way out of the darkness in which they feel they are mired. Dr. Jennings' love for
humanity as a whole and his patients in particular comes through in his writing. I like the format
and title of the various chapters, 'Could It Be this Simple?' is a book that can be carried and read
in small chunks as time permits.
A quick overlook followed by careful perusal of individual chapters and revisits to the chapters
containing information for a specific time or place can be accomplished easily. Writing is easily
read, filled with enough human interest to keep the reader turning the page and nicely
documented with facts, statistics and studies.'Could It Be this Simple?'is a must have for the
therapist, the hurting and those who simply are yearning for something better in their life.
Excellent read, happy to recommend.
The Last Rose a True Celebration of Eternal Life
Thomas E Pierce
2100 Kramer Lane Ste 300 Austin TX 78758
Inspiring Read . Recommended . 4 stars
THE LAST ROSE a True Celebration of Eternal Life is not a story book, it is a chronicle of the
lives and deaths of two people by the husband and father they left behind through no
responsibility of their own. The work begins with a note that while the accident that took the
lives of JoAnn and Lisa Pierce is noted, it is not the accident that is the crux of the book, but
rather writer Pierce states that The Last Rose is a book about the power of love.
Following the prologue, the reader will find Eulogies to both women. These are poignant, loving
reminders that our lives touch the lives of those around us.
The balance of the work is presented in letter form for the reader. Writer Pierce discusses how he
prepared for writing the book, the accident that caused the deaths of not only his wife and
daughter but three others as well, and he discusses the aftermath of the tragedy during which
writer Pierce begins the difficult task of facing reality and preparing for life without his wife and
The reason for the one yellow rose gracing the cover of the book is explained in Chapter 5 along
with a number of other short stories concerning preparing for the funerals and meeting the
surviving families of other victims of the accident. Pierce continues his narrative with accounts
of his beginning to reach out to others, beginning his healing by speaking with and to others who
also are dealing with grief and the difficulties of the first anniversary.
On 6 March 2004 Thomas Pierce along with his wife and daughter boarded a water taxi. Pierce's
life was forever changed when a gust of wind caused the taxi to overturn in Baltimore Inner
Harbor and he lost both is wife and his daughter. Such an incident might well have led to bitter
recrimination and dwelling upon the past, Pierce however has taken this tragedy and has probed
the depths of what he feels is the uplifting power of love to help him overcome his grief and
THE LAST ROSE details the tragic accident that occurred in Baltimore's Inner Harbor which
caused the death of Pierce's wife and daughter before it expresses the inspirational influence of
love and how the author used that power to empower his own healing. Because of love he has
been enabled to move beyond the tragedy and forge an expansion of his life as a computer
programmer and consultant. Today Pierce has become a professional speaker and writer who
shares his story through lectures and memorial services.
I received a hard back copy from publicist for review. THE LAST ROSE is a powerful work
filled with the thoughts of a man who has faced more than any one person ought to face and has
come away victorious, able to honor the memory of precious loved ones and move forward in his
own life through service to others.
A must have for the therapist's shelf, the personal reading list and the person in need of an
"My goal is not only to honor the memories of my wife and daughter, but to encourage others
who are grieving a tragic loss to share their feelings," Pierce states. "It's important to remember
that life goes on after death, and the power of love is able to heal all wounds."
Essential Hitler The Speeches and Commentary
Max Domarus, Patrick Romane, editor
Compelling Read Recommended 4 stars
'Essential Hitler The Speeches and Commentary' is both a reference book and a persuasive non
fiction read. This abridgement work shrinks a four volume set into a single 800+ page work
suitable for home and high school and college student use. The edition is chronological and
historical along with being filled with maps and illustrations. Comprised of fifteen chapters, an
epilogue, glossary, list of dates important to Hitler's life, maps, a chronological index of speeches
and events and subject index 'Essential Hitler The Speeches and Commentary' is a highly usable
text for the casual reader as well as the serious student of Hitler. Hitler's beliefs, how he
governed, his party and his regard for 'the Jewish Question' are all included in the volume.
The religious community and Hitler as well as how Hitler was able to put Germany back to work
following the defeat of World War I help provide younger readers in particular with insight into
the forces shaping Hitler and his thinking. Life in Germany before and after he became the
Supreme Commander bring the reader into a further understanding of this complex man and the
time in which he lived. Hitler's confronting America, fighting World War II, expanding the Reich
along with the press view of Hitler round out the work.
As a reference work for the high school and college political science, history or similar class
'Essential Hitler The Speeches and Commentary' will prove valuable. Chapters focus upon
important aspects of Hitler as leader of Nazi Germany, and as a person. Hitler was one of the
most multifaceted historical players of modern times. He was at times gentle and at others
destructive, 'Essential Hitler The Speeches and Commentary' help the reader put both aspects in
perspective. His hurt at not being accepted for his artistic ability as well as his deep love for his
mother have been chronicled as motivating factors in his life.
Reading Hitler's own words to his people and the world at large regarding his viewpoint,
objectives and thoughts is chilling and compelling.
Writer Domarus began collecting Hitler's speeches and writings in 1932. He was a history
scholar born in Germany in 1911 who saw first hand what was happening in his country. Early
on Domarus realized the significance of Hitler's rise to power. Hitler was obsessive in his belief
that Germany must be avenged for the humiliation it suffered at the close of WWI. Facts were
something to manipulate, blame must be leveled and the people must agree were all tenets of the
Hitler doctrine. That Hitler dominated everyone around him to the point that his own generals
rarely spoke against him even near the end of WWII has been documented time and time again.
That the German people did not question his leadership has been the subject of studies from the
1940s to today.
Writer Domarus offers a study of Hitler in clear and readable prose. The speeches chronicle
Hitler's thinking, intentions and desires. They bring in perspective what the general public was
hearing from the man who history records as an iron fisted dictator.
A highly readable work, 'Essential Hitler The Speeches and Commentary' is recommended for
the history buff's personal reading shelf as well as for classroom reference use in high school and
colleges, and placement in school and public libraries
The Mine - o - Saur
Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen David Clark, Illustrator
G.P. Putnam's Sons
9780399246425 $16.95 www.sudipta.com
Enjoyed the Read . Recommended . 5 stars
My resident critics, fourteen first graders, settled upon the rug to listen to the reading of The
Mine-O-Saur. They eyed the cover with interest and quieted as I turned to the first page. Mrs.
Raptor had not yet rung the bell, little dinosaurs were playing in the school yard and suddenly a
roar sound, 'mine, mine, mine.'
The Mine-o-saur came bounding to the school yard and immediately began grabbing all the toys,
at snack time he grabbed all the snacks. During block building he even grabbed all of the blocks.
At last holding all his grabbed toys Mine-o-saur realized he had everything except what was most
important; the other children were all playing together at the other end of the play yard.
My resident critics listened raptly to the reading of the tale. I had prepped the children for the
reading by telling them that as they are learning to write a book report I too read books and write
a book report, and this time they could help tell me what to say so that the author, the illustrator
and other children might read what they thought of the book.
The children agree The Mine-o-saur is a great book for kids 'our' age. They liked the illustrations,
the story and the lesson taught. 'It helps us know how to act so that kids will want to play with
us.' The children did admit that they might have behaved in such manner as the Mine-o-saur,
'when I was in Kindergarten.'
I enjoyed the book as well. The Mine-O-Saur is an easily read work, filled with child friendly
illustrations and presents a needed message for children in the target audience of 3 - 7. The
message that to be greedy and demanding generally leads to no friends and no fun is presented in
a low key, child geared manner which was immediately understood by the students in my class. I
like the fact that the book can be used as a discussion starter during a lesson about manners,
taking turns and friendship; all areas we deal with ongoing in first grade.
The Mine-O-Saur is a read to for the 3 - 7 set, a read with help for the 7 - 9s and a read to the
little kids down at Kindergarten for the strong 8 - 9 year olds. This is a book we will read often in
our first grade; Wynona, Oklahoma.
Enjoyed the read, happy to recommend.
The Patty Cake Kids and the lost imagination cap
Patricia Dischler, Ashley Kirchner, Illustrator
Goblin Fern Press
6401 Odana Road, Suite B, Barkley Building, Madison WI, 53719
9781595980649 $9.95 www.oblinfernpress.com www.patriciadischler.com
Enjoyable Read Recommended 4 stars
The children are arriving at the Patty Cake Preschool where Periwinkle their provider is waiting
for them. The day will begin with putting on Imagination Caps and going to the group time
circle. Rachel, in her purple cow girl hat, Ivy wearing a tall peaked hat with blue scarves flowing
from it and Taylor in his knight's helmet are already ready. Andy, Tara, more children join the
circle. All but Austin. Austin has lost his Imagination Cap. All the other children try to help,
Periwinkle offers hopeful suggestions and Austin searches. Will he find his cap and where can it
My resident critics, 14 six year old first graders settled themselves for the reading of yet another
new book. The kids are beginning to realize that teacher receives books ongoing and that they
can help by listening and then expressing their opinion regarding the book, the illustrations, the
story and their own feelings. Not that far removed from the day care situation, and many with
younger siblings who attend the pre school located on our campus the first graders were very
receptive to listening to THE PATTY CAKE KIDS. The brightly colored cover caught their
The kids listened raptly, and when the reading was finished voiced their opinion that the
illustrations and the story are good, that THE PATTY CAKE KIDS is a good book 'for us' and
that the author 'has done a good job.' Each child agreed they will happily hear the story again, and
they will choose the book for themselves during 'free time reading.'
THE PATTY CAKE KIDS is a well written work produced by an author who knows children
well, writer Dischler has had her own preschool business for the better part of two decades.
Filled with page after page of colorful full page displays 'THE PATTY CAKE KIDS and the lost
imagination cap' is a book sure to please the younger set. Problem solving, how to go about
finding what is lost, is addressed in a nice low key manner meant to guide youngsters into trying
to help themselves rather than just weeping, I can't find it, and waiting for others to locate what is
THE PATTY CAKE KIDS provided a springboard for a class discussion about imagination and
about helping ourselves and not just sitting weeping or grumpy waiting for mom or someone else
to locate our lost possessions. Illustrations are child friendly, the story content is just enough for
the beginning of school when we cannot yet sit still for long or involved tales.
Enjoyed the read, happy to recommend. THE PATTY CAKE KIDS will go on our classroom
book shelf where it is available for child use.
Marvin Monster's Teacher Jitters
Tabatha Jean D'Agata, Ed Newmann, Illustrator
PO Box 54, Warwick NY 10990
9780976680536 $6.95 www.KeeneBooks.com
Interesting read Recommended 5 stars
My 'resident critics' settled in for the reading. Wynona, Oklahoma 4th graders suffer no fools
lightly, if you want to make it with this discerning crowd you had better have good writing, good
illustrations and a good tale to tell. I took my ARC to school, the kids are used to being part of
the review process and like to voice their opinions regarding books I receive for my 'book
'Marvin Monster's Teacher Jitters' passed the critical eyes and ears of twelve dedicated ten year
olds. Marvin and his buddies are aghast, Grim Castle Elementary is in turmoil. Mr Stein is no
longer the teacher for Marvin and his class. Mr Stein's promotion to assistant principal means a
new teacher. Rumors are rampant, she is said to be mean AND powerful. And, to top it all off
today is the day the class was to go on their field trip to the Haunted Hall of Fame. Rowland
Werewolf alerted them with, 'I think I smell a teacher.' Marvin popped a few crispy bugs to settle
his nerves, Gretchen Goblin whispered, 'she gives lots of homework,' and Bobby Zombie moaned
his worry that she won't let them have any more recess. Worst of all, she just might snap you into
a human if you didn't watch out!
The door opened and THERE SHE WAS!
What a fun read! I like it, the ten year old liked it, and I'm going to try it out this year on my new
resident critics, 14 bright-eyed six year old first graders.
Readers are treated to a day with Marvin Monster and his buddies from Grim Castle Elementary
School as they go on a field trip around their town called Marshville. Marvin and the other kids,
zombies, goblins, werewolves, and banshees learn an essential lesson about the value of not
listening to rumors. 'Marvin Monster's Teacher Jitters' by talented author Tabatha Jean D'Agata
proves to be just the thing for youngsters facing a new school year or other new situation.
Marvin Monster's Teacher Jitters can serve to lighten the concerns of children facing unfamiliar
situations. It is a good springboard for class discussions for those kids having apprehension with
nervousness, shyness or trepidation regarding figures of command in classroom or other
Kids revel in fun, creepy, educational reading. Book 2 in a scary, creepy series that teaches
fundamental social skills Marvin Monster's Teacher Jitters fits the bill. Kids will learn an
important lesson from Marvin a captivatingly ghastly monster and his acquaintances. In Marvin's
strangely wonderful society, chomping gators and swooping vultures recycle trash at the recycle
center, not so terrifying slime eating witches teach school, bats sort mail at the post office while
stamp licking lizards wait to serve, and flying gremlins re-shelve or fetch books in the library.
Parents, teachers and kids are sure to like Marvin and his adventures in this easily read chapter
book meant for the 8 - 10 year old crowd.
A read to book for the 6 - 8 year olds, read alone with some help for the 9s and read alone for the
Fun read, happy to recommend. I'll up date after I read to the first grade for Halloween.
Natalie M. Roberts
The Berkeley Publishing Co.
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
The Brits have their Bridget Jones, now we have Jenny T. Partridge. As if Jenny's life wasn't
chaotic enough running a dance academy, one of the psycho dance moms is poisoned with cookie
dough from the fundraiser - and all hell breaks loose. But - can murder be funny? It is in Jenny's
Even though the death of the dance mom is connected to her dance studio, the show must go on.
Jenny has her annual Nutcracker performance coming up, so her strange life must go on, too.
Only now she's tailed by not one, but two hunky detectives.
The murder plot twists and turns through her life which is complicated by a cast of zany
characters from a gay dance instructor, to a neurotic costume designer, to her nosy Mormon
family, and of course those psycho dance moms. They all seem like they're out to get her.
"Tutu Deadly" is the first book in the Jenny T. Partridge Dance Mystery series. The star of the
series, Jenny is a lovable, witty sitcom-like character who is sort of all your BFFs rolled into one.
Roberts does a superb job weaving humor into a complex murder plot that keeps the reader
guessing right up to the climax. All of this is spiced up with just enough romance to keep readers
wanting more fun - and frolic!
"Tutu Deadly" is also a perfect crossover novel for teens. They'll get caught up in the quirky
mystery of who killed the dance mom. They'll laugh with Jenny as she stumbles through her love
life. And if they've ever been part of any organized sports activity - or just like to watch So You
Think You Can Dance - they will totally relate to the characters at the dance studio. Roberts'
engaging storytelling and hilarious take on the dance world make the Jenny T. Partridge Dance
Mystery an outstanding new series for young adult readers.
Joe M. O'Connell
PO Box 242, Austin, TX 78767
Does how you live your life reveal how you will deal with your death? If life is for the living and
death is for the dying then somewhere in between must be hospice.
Aspiring screenwriter Matt volunteers at a local hospice facility in search of a good story for his
screenplay. What he discovers is that the stories of peoples' lives, like memories drifting in the
ether, haunt the halls and rooms like the music from the violinist who plays for the residents.
While the architect Mr. Wright and his family's story is the focal point of Matt's attention, the
reader also peers almost voyeuristically into the past lives of everyone he encounters. There's the
guy in the hall who screwed up his life so miserably all he has left to look forward to his taking
over his dying mother's house. The mortician who lost everything before he even knew what he
had. The male nurse who watched his sister die from a broken heart. O'Connell weaves the
characters' stories together to create an intimate mosaic that reveals how we are all connected by
the mysteries of life and death.
In Matt's dream the banjo player jokes, "Know the difference between death and an electric eel?
People aren't afraid to talk about electric eels." In Evacuation Plan, death is as much a character
as it is a resident at the hospice. But this book is no funereal dirge. Instead, O'Connell has
employed masterful storytelling skills to compose an achingly captivating symphony from all
these life stories that could very possibly change the way you view your own life - and
Natalie M. Roberts
The Berkeley Publishing Group
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
9780425218013 $6.99 261 pages
Jenny Partridge is back and she's up to her dancing shoes in another mystery with hunky
Detective Wilson in tow.
The Hollywood StarMakers Convention is in town and Jenny's old boyfriend Bill is the owner.
When he asks her to work as a fill-in dance instructor for the weekend, Jenny jumps at the chance
to make some extra cash. But after a threatening phone call, an explosion, and an ugly
confrontation with a snowplow, there's no question someone really wants her to back out of the
Any normal person would do just that. But not Jenny. Hell bent on proving to Bill and his
first-class bitch of girlfriend that she's no slouch - and of course broke as usual - Jenny puts her
heart and soul into making the convention happen. As her own dumb luck would have it, Jenny
gets snared in a multi-layered trap and can't tell the good guys from the bad guys. Who knew
there was a seamy underbelly to the dance world?
Through it all there's still her own dance academy to run, complete with the usual psycho moms,
and James the drama queen instructor, who once again seems determined to drive her insane.
And just when she thought her relationship with Tate Wilson was doomed to the waste bin of
missed opportunities, the romance heats up. And Jenny is more attracted than ever to the danger.
But is this a good thing?
In Jenny Partridge, Roberts has created not so much a larger-than-life hero, but a true-to-life
hero, who - like the rest of us - feels like she's being pulled in six different directions at once
while cleaning up everyone else's messes. Jenny's wit and willfulness are endearing qualities that
keep you turning the pages to see how she muddles through each and every predicament. Once
you get to know her, you can't wait to see how things work out for this wacky dance
This second book in the Jenny T. Partridge Dance Mystery series is again the perfect crossover
novel for teens. They'll be star-struck by the behind-the-curtain look at the dance world. They'll
relate to Jenny's cold feet as her romance with Tate sizzles. And they'll totally get into putting
together another puzzle in the Jenny T. Partridge Dance Mystery series.
Our Oneness in Christ
BIan Johnson and Lauston Stephens
LLLP, P.O. Box 151, Frederick, MD 21705
1424160359, $19.95, 204 pages
Consistently Living Together As One In Christ
"Our Oneness in Christ" is a refreshing, reminder of the need to live consistent with our position
as believers. We are one with Christ and in Christ. Ian Johnson and Lauston Stephens provide
insights often overlooked in today's literature, pulpits, and seminaries. These important truths are
often overshadowed by church tradition, denominational dogma, and individual indifference or
Section one of the book answers the question: Why living consistently in oneness with Christ is
important. The authors consider God's expectation of the believer, the benefits and pitfalls of
living in conflict to this truth. The narrative goes on to reflect on what oneness in Christ is and is
not, including the many different concepts held among Christians regarding living in harmony.
The final chapters deal with stumbling blocks to living in oneness. These include
misunderstanding of concepts on authority, submission, heresy and the dissimilarity between the
essential church and the ordered church.
I personally was moved by the thoughts from John 17 as Jesus prayed to the Father for oneness to
be manifest among the believers.
"Our Oneness in Christ" is a book written on an important subject in layman's language. The
supporting scriptures reinforce the importance of the subject matter. Detailed bibliography and
thorough end notes make this an excellent reference book and resource tool for future study, for
adult Bible classes, small group Bible studies, or individual study. This is a much needed book
on a subject close to God's own heart.
What Goes on Beyond the Pearly Gates
Robert D. Reed Publisher
P O Box 1992, Bandon, Oregon 97411
The Importance of Attitude and Life Change
Miriam Bostwick in "What Goes on Beyond the Pearly Gates?" presents a case for reincarnation
and karma using references and examples from both the New Testament and Old testament, as
well as teaching from the fathers of the early church. Other source documents are used to show
how Islam, Spiritualism, Religious Science, and Buddhism affirm this teaching.
This topic may be controversial to many readers, however, it is the hope of the author that the
principles and discoveries offered will be of comfort and healing to others while dispelling the
fear of the unknown to others.
Bostwick provides thorough documented studies of the brain, the nervous system,
musculoskeletal system, respiratory system, and digestive system, as well as other bodily and
functions. Detailed, illustrated charts show how the physical and karmic interact in determining a
person's well being. Therapeutic techniques are presented for reversing Alzheimer's disease,
autism, schizophrenia, bi-polar conditions, and other mental disorders, as well as physical
illnesses and emotional disturbances.
Bostwick introduces the subject of inter-dimensional concepts, communication, of the physical
body and its' importance to the spiritual body, soul development, the sub conscious mind, and
The question of finding purpose in life is described as soul unfoldment, "utilizing our
relationships circumstances, environmental factors, situations, responsibilities, duties, and work
as opportunities to apply spiritual principles - not as religious dogma."
"What Goes on Beyond the Pearly Gates" is an important work, for students of New Age
philosophy, providing weighty insights into reincarnation, karma, and life after death.
Blessings of Purpose
Alicia Hill Jones
Destiny II Publications
PO Box 1986, Chesterfield, VA 23832
A Story of God's Grace in a Struggle to find His Purpose
As the soul survivor of an automobile accident Lia Conrad is convinced that God had a purpose
in saving her life. The accident took the lives of three of her teenage friends. Lia gives herself in
complete dedication to a ministry of service in the church.
Nigel Braxton, an aspiring young movie producer, convinced her it was God's will for her to join
him and become his wife. As a result she moved to Hollywood. Once married, they were soon
swept up in a fast paced lifestyle that sidetracked them from their dedication to God. Chaos
follow as marital conflict, financial ruin, incarceration, and a drug overdose keep the reader in
and suspense throughout this fast paced, always exciting, complex plot.
Alicia Hill Jones skillfully demonstrates her understanding of her culture and a subculture within
the black church community. She writes in a style generous in the subtle use of words and
innuendos that underscore her awareness. Jones blends street knowledge and an understanding of
and an appreciation for basic Christian core values and ideals. She masterfully conveys the
struggle people face in maintaining consistent Christian lives in a sin ravaged battle ground, a
world dominated by Satan's cunning attacks. Jones than makes it clear, that God's power includes
deliverance from the power and grip of sin on the Christian's life.
The message of "Blessing of Purpose" is strong and clear. God has a purpose for each of us. His
love, grace and mercy reach us where we are. Lia prayed. "Father, here I am once again,
undeserving of your forgiveness, but thanking you for another chance at life Restore your
presence in our lives "
"Blessing of Purpose" gives hope to the reader through a fast paced dramatic adventure packed
with a true to life dramatic story of spiritual battle, deliverance, and finding God's purpose.
Compelling, strong, and tight Alicia Hill Jones writes with a heartwarming touch that makes the
reader aware of God's presence.
Kiss of a Dolphin
4129 Sauk Trail, Richton Park, IL 60471
An Advocate for Hope - Dreams for Kids
Tom Tuohy recounts the heartwarming stories of J. J. O'Conner, Jesse White, Father Walter
Brennan, and Clara Kirk in "Kiss of a Dolphin." The book is the story of Dreams for Kids. The
story is about ordinary people and how they are making an extraordinary difference in fulfilling
the dreams of others. The story begins in the Cabrini-Green area of Chicago, and moves to
Chicago's Westside, and to then to West Englewood, rapidly increasing into statewide and then
national recognition. I read through tears as I turned the pages.
Jesse White and his internationally acclaimed tumbling team, Father Wally Brennan's ministry in
the streets, and Clara Kirk's shelter of hope are all featured Partners in the adventures reported
here. These organizations and individual team members have inspired hope to those ensnare by
the cycle of poverty, race restrictions, and limitations.
Jim Smith and Dick Marak also provide the inspiration and encouragement needed for J.J.
O'Conner to rise above the despair of being a quadriplegic.
J.J. learned a lesson while swimming with the dolphins at an aquatic facility in Puerto Vallarta,
Mexico. He learned a lesson in trust, acceptance, and communication. The dolphin's kiss changed
J.J.'s approach to life and self acceptance. J. J. now had a strong desire to return something to the
community. This strong desire grew into the future mission of Dreams for Kids and became the
title of this book.
Tom Tuohy is an effective, convincing, communicator. His writing is gripping. Tom has a way of
drawing the reader into each story.
As a reader I felt a strong desire to respond to the need, to become involved and to participate in
fulfilling the vision of Dreams for Kids.
"Kiss of a Dolphin" is the kind of book that should be read by every individual involved in
community outreach, by agency program directors, and individuals who have been touched by
the underprivileged, poverty stricken, or those physically disabled.
Tom Tuohy in "Kiss of a Dolphin" has given a message of hope, inspiration, and the challenge to
make dreams become a reality.
Get Your Assets in Gear!
Jan Dahlin Geiger, CFP, MBA
10940 S. Parker Rd. #515, Parker, Colorado 80134
Money Management Tactics
"Get Your Assets in Gear" provides a formula for financial planning. Well known author,
speaker, and Certified Financial Planner practitioner, Jan Dahlin Geiger has packed her book
with guidelines, techniques, tactics, questionnaires, tables, and illustrations that help the reader
with guidelines for financial freedom.
Attitude changes for, handling debt, budgeting, auto purchases, and buying a home are all
included. Important insights are given on the significance of financial harmony in the home.
Rewards of tithing, saving, investing, and improving your credit score take on a new importance
as the reader prioritizes their spending and saving on the way to getting their assets in gear.
I found Jan's action step suggestions and the format used in highlighting important reminders
through the use of insets within the text. I wish I had read and applied these strategies earlier in
my formative years. I am taking steps now to consistently apply these exercises, affirmations, and
action steps in putting my financial future in order. I am studying my asset allocation, the
diversity of my investments, and mutual funds, as well as the consistency and reliability of my
financial advisor. I want to initiate a workable budget to assure that my purchasing is in line with
maintaining my financial independence. The helpful resources at the end of the book provide an
important internet listing for additional material for further study and future reading.
The smart money strategies found in "Get Your Assets in Gear!" are especially important to
readers who find themselves swallowed up in credit card debt, those wanting to unlearn
childhood misconceptions imitated from misguided parents, or for newly married couples
seeking harmony in their financial planning. The book is an excellent resource, a guidebook for
attaining financial independence and peace of mind.
3820 Oak Hollow Lane SE, Salem, Oregon 97302
A Tour Guide for Travelers Through Ancient and Modern Egypt
Dick and Mary Lutz are part of an International Expeditions Tour group, made up of twenty two
members. An EgyptAir flight takes them from JFK Airport in New York to Cairo to begin the
tour. Books on Egyptology are made up of conjecture, myth, and historical fact. Gifted travel
writer Dick Lutz helps the reader understand the important rudiments of Egyptian history in
Lutz writes in an informative and informal style which is warm and insightful. I enjoyed the
insights from journal like entry which reflected his personal observations, preferences, and
opinions. Much of Egyptology is mysterious, sometimes disputed, and often inconclusive. Dick
recounts these various assumptions, speculations, and suppositions without bias, or criticism. His
excitement in reporting whets the appetite of the reader, making them eager to glean more
information from the extensive annotated bibliography included in the book.
This book is a user friendly guidebook for the traveler planning to visit Egypt. The book is
divided in to three parts. Part one is an overview of an ancient civilization, part two gives a
glimpse into the period between ancient and modern Egypt, and includes an exciting tour of
museums, the pyramids, and the Sphinx at Giza. Part three takes the reader on visits to the cities
of Memphis, Cairo, and Luxor.
The black and white photos provided by Mary Lutz add another dimension to Dick's easy flowing
narrative. There are also some spectacular color photos, credited to various photographers. These
photos highlight the Temple of Hatshepsut, Luxor, and Pyramids at Giza, a Cario Mosque, Kom
Ombo, Tutankhamen's Tomb, and Karnak.
The final section of the book provides the reader with an up to date look at modern Egypt. Lutz
includes an synopsis of Egypt's religions, politics, literature housing, military, foreign relations,
business and economy.
Whether this is your first international trip or you are a seasoned traveler, this book will make
your visit to Egypt more enjoyable. You should read the book prior to departure, keep it handy as
a reference guide while on your visit, and as a reminder of pleasant memories when you return to
share the excitement of your trip with your family and friends. This is another important book in
the genre of travel and the study of an ancient civilization. "Exploring Egypt" is a great read and
an important reference guide.
Rio Grande Books
925 Salamanca NW, Los Ranchos de ABQ, NM 87107-5647
Apache Revenge and Retaliation
"Avenging Victorio", dramatic and moving, is the story of an enslaved people whose way of life
was completely shattered and altered forever. The U. S. Army Ninth Cavalry were faced with a
rabble band of Apache warriors led by an elderly man who rose up against them to revenge the
death of their highly esteemed war chief Victorio.
By means of guerilla warfare, armed with poisoned arrows which became missiles of death, as
well as revolvers or rifles, the Apaches attacked in surprise raids against the Blue Coats of the
white man's army. They would also massacre innocent men, women, and children.
The Apache's would attack and then flee to the US and Mexico border to escape into Mexico in
order to evade the American army stationed in the territory of New Mexico. After Victorio's
return to Mexico, and his subsequent death, Colonel Edward Hatch, commander of the Military
District of New Mexico was faced with a new dilemma. " his problems were equally divided
between the Apache renegades, the politicians, his superior officers, and the press." He was left
with only solution: to capture or kill the Apache leader.
Nana, the elderly Apache leader, expressed his philosophy this way: "Every struggle whether it is
won or lost strengthens us for the next one to come. Sometimes, as we have seen from Victorio's
death, we need to be defeated so that we may gain the strength and courage necessary to be
victorious again. Our war of vengeance has proven this to be true."
Colonel Hatch described his frustration, "Fighting the Apaches is not like fighting the Mexicans
or the Confederates It's more like fighting ghosts. They are an enemy you cannot see, cannot
find, and cannot kill. Yet they can strike at you when you least expect it and then disappear into
"Avenging Victorio" is historical fiction at its best. I was intrigued by DeWitt's detail in
describing the traditions, customs, and celebrations of the Apache Indians. I was also captivated
with De Witt's insight into the prayers, songs, and ceremonial dances. His interpretation of their
communication with the supernatural was powerful. The careful attention to details, his
comprehensive research and the expressive reporting added greatly to the enjoyment of this
action packed historical novel of the early 1880s.
Every citizen of New Mexico should find this an important book to read and to pass along to
their children. The story is a reminder of the price paid by the early frontiersman and settlers of
the West. It is also a reminder of the cost to the American Indian in their attempt to maintain
their land, culture and way of life. Brilliantly written, this is a story that will haunt the reader long
after closing the cover on the last chapter.
Reese Chronological Encyclopedia of Christian Biographies
6815 Shallowford Road, Chattanooga, TN 37421
A Chronological Collection of Christian Biographies
Ed Reese has studied Christian biographies for most of his life, and has become a respected
authority on the subject. This amazing Chronological collection of Christian biographies Ed is a
compilation of Who's Who among the leaders in the Christian church, from the days of the
martyrs of the first century through to contemporary leaders. Tom Malone, Bruce M. Metzger,
Gilbert E Patterson, Lee Roberson, Jerry Falwell, and Ruth Bell Graham, are but a few of
familiar influential contemporary leaders who served the church right up until their death as late
as Ruth Bell Graham's death earlier this year. The book is made up of over 5000 sketches and
over 4,000 photos. More than 1,000 organizations cooperated in this effort and attest to Ed's
thoroughness and the integrity of the work.
Ed's personal biographical library has over 1,000 books. Selections for inclusion in this work was
based on those mentioned two or more times in the books referenced from his impressive
collection. Christian organizations, Bible schools, missionary agencies, and major denominations
were contacted for additional leadership to be considered for inclusion in the project.
A complete alphabetical index, listing of other influential personalities, a list of abbreviations,
and a glossary add to the user friendly reference value of this work. A listing acknowledging the
organizations which provided information adds to the validity and integrity of Ed's phenomenal
This is much more than a dictionary of Christian leaders. It is a comprehensive encyclopedia of
biographical sketches of men and women who have impacted the growth and evolution of the
church through the centuries.
I was personally blessed as I reviewed the years 1946 through the present time. I found I could
identify with many of the individuals featured. Some of these leaders and ministries have had an
impact on my own Christian life, growth, and spiritual development.
This is a major accomplishment for Ed Reese. "The Chronological Encyclopedia of Christian
Biographies" is as an extraordinary resource, and a great tribute to twenty centuries of important
leaders in Christendom. The book is an important and should be added to the library of astute
Pastors, Denominational leaders, Seminaries, and Bible Schools.
Richard R. Blake
Winning the Right War: The Path to Security for America and the World
Philip H. Gordon
c/o Henry Holt & Company
175 - 5th Avenue, Suite 400, New York, NY 10010-7725
139780805086577 $24.00 www.henryholt.com 1-888-330-8477
This book's title might better have read: Winning the Right Policy. The reason is apparent in
what the author writes in the Introduction, "Six years after the start of the 'war on terror,'
Americans are less safe, our enemies are stronger and more numerous, and the war's key
geographic battleground--the Middle East--is dangerously unstable. In Iraq, thousands of
¸meriican soldiers, and tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers and civilians, have been killed or
wounded while more that 150,000 U.S. troops fight to contain an insurgency and a civil war--at a
cost of over $300 million per day. In Iran, an Islamic fundamentalist regime remains firmly in
power and is defiantly pursuing a nuclear weapons program, undermining American efforts in
Iraq, and subsidizing increasingly brazen terrorists groups in the Middle East.
That line of thought goes on and on in this volume. And the case Gordon makes is
So, what must change? U.S. policy, that's what! America, now at war, has to change to less
hostile policies that don't antagonize the Moslems. After all, the Cold War during which we held
our fire eventually worked in our favor. Certainly the nation is wise enough and sure of itself
enough to do the same with Moslem adversaries.
The country must, also, find ways to make friends with varius countries in the Middle East. And
the U.S.. has to become, once again, the honest broker in such face-offs as the Israeli/Palestinian
conflict, the Kashmir problem between India and Pakistan, and in other wars. And friendly
gestures must be made to the European nations so the U.S. can reclaim the amity of its old
Only when the above is accomplished, through new polices, can the Americans regain peace and
security for itself and for others on the globe.
Philip H. Gordon works at the Brookings Institution. With other auhors, he has written several
books on U.S. foreign policy and international affairs. He has been published widely in
periodicals ,too, including in THE NEW YORK TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, and
FOREIGN AFFAIRS. Recommended.
Why We Read What We Read: A Delightfully Opinionated Journey Through Contemporary
Lisa Adams and John Heath
1935 Brookdale Road, #139, Naperville, IL 60563
9781402210549 $16.95 www.sourcebooks.com 1-800-432-7444
This volume is easy reading and broken down into different genres: regular fiction and romances,
for example, by Mary Higgens Clark and Nora Roberts, both of whom are read primarily by
women; nonfiction, by John Grisham among many others; history and politics, like Imperial
Hubris; literary fiction, such as The Kite Runner; children's books; religious tomes, like the Left
Behind volumes; self-help, as in the Chicken Soup series; and do-it-yourself books; mysteries;
humor' sci-fi; etc.
The first chapter reveals that Dan Brown's mega-bestseller, The DaVinci Code, was preceded a
few years earlier by his Angels & Demons, which had essentially the same plot. But it flopped
initially. Why? Perhaps bad timing, church condemnation, lack of curiosity by the public, author
obscurity (after all, an author needs a 'platform,' a stature, like that of a politician, best selling
writer, or actor, to have an established base of readers if he or she wants to sell a lot of
In each section of How We Read..., the reader finds out the attractions of a particulr type of book.
There's also plenty of humor, raunchy and otherwise, in the read's commentary for your perusing
The authors personally seem to opt for the more serious fiction and nonfiction. But they make
wide allowances for everyone's favorite kind of read.
Adams and Heath review best sellers and worthy books, and maybe some unworthy and
downright trashy volumes, too, published over the past sixteen years. They spend a lot of pages
on romance volumes, albeit with great fun. The euphemisms, for example, in the love scenes
bring a smile to a reader's face, (i.e., "the dark veil shrouding the secret places of her
womanhood" and "drawing a pale limb up over his hip, he slowly teased her with the heat of his
"Our intention here," write the authors, "is to provide a glimpse into the current state of the
national psyche by looking closely at the books Americans buy--specifically, at those books they
have bought in the greatest numbers since 1990. Bestsellers, we must note, do make up only a
very small percentage of all books sold--but still, their success is determined solely by audience
demand. More than any others, these books resonate with broad segments of the reading public,
and we're out to catch the vibe."
Lists of best sellling books in given years in various categories, e.g., fiction, nonfiction, Trade
Paperback, are found in the back of this volume.
Lisa Adams and John Heath have also written or co-written The Talking Greeks, Who Killed
Homer, Bonfires of the Humanities, and others. Recommended.
What Would Jesus Buy?: Fabulous Prayers in the Face of the Shopocalypse
250 West 57th Street, #1321, New York, NY 10107
9781586484477 $14.95 1-877-782-1234 www.publicaffairsbooks.com
Seemingly a legitimate preacher, complete with a white Roman collar and frequently asking his
assembled listeners for Amens and other religious affirmations, Rev. Billy, in fact, leads a
dedicated group of real life public protesters. They nicely confront shoppers in malls, shopping
centers, big box and chain stores, and even Disneyland in California and Times Square in New
York City and ask and plead with these people to stop shopping.
Rev. Billy often leads prayers near individuals buying items in stores and/or in public spaces.
One of his offerings found in the book: "Now children, we are all Shopping Sinners. Each of us
is walking around in a swirl of gas and oil, plastics and foil. We should hit our knees and weep
and confess together. We are not evil people, but somehow we have allowed the Lords of
Consumption to organize us into these mobs that buy and dispose, cry and reload. Yes, the
Rapture of the Final Consumption, the Shopture, is underway."
The Reverend likes to lead his Stop-Shopping group members who are usually garbed in choir
robes in an anti-consumerism song. They, musically, playing their instruments and singing, ask
consumers to back away from purchases of unneeded things. Rev. Billy also warns them that the
'Shopocalypse' is soon going to happen. Of course, this is a thinly veiled takeoff on the
'Apocalypse' (revelation) from the Bible.
In short, this anti-consumer group gets its message out under the guise of religion, which is
basically an attention-getter. And it lends an air of authenticity, at least initially. They've carried
this act out across the U.S. Traveling in bio-fueled buses, they've encountered shoppers at the
Mall of America in Minnesota, Disneyland in Anaheim, and upscale stores in Manhattan.
Unsurprisingly, the book describes Rev. Billy's arrest for challenging Disney; its creations,
Mickey Mouse, Goofy, and Snow White; plus the audience at Disneyland. Rev. Billy was
expecting to be incarcerated for this action anyway. After all, he'd been arrested 50 times over the
years. Still, he and others of his group never know what to expect when they have these
Rev. Billy doesn't disclose his real name in this volume, but if the book's copyright holder is the
same person, and he likely is, the preacher's real name is Bill Talen. And in the
'Acknowledgments' section of the book, he refers to his group as a 'theater company.' This
volume, humorous and irreverent though it may be, contains a powerful message worth hearing
and heeding. Recommended!
What We Say Goes: Conversations on U.S. Power in a Changing World
David Barsamian interviews Noam Chomsky
c/o Henry Holt & Company
175 - 5th Avenue, Suite 400, New York, NY 10010-7725
9780805086713 $15.00 www.henryholt.com 1-888-330-8477
The title, 'What We Say Goes,' refers to America's dogmatic, or should it be said imperial,
position in relation to the world. The entire book is comprised of questions from David
Barsamian and answers from Noam Chomsky on a wide range of subjects.
Mostly, however, this read covers how the U.S. deals with the world. But it also deals with the
present Iraq situation, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, and relations between various nations
around the globe.
Here's an example of a couple of questions and answers from the book:
Barsamian: "You've said it was significant when Wall Street turned against the Vietnam War.
That was around 1968."
Chomsky: "Yes, 1968. It was after the Tet Offensive, which convinced the business world that
the war was just not worth it. They understood pretty well that the United States had basically
won the war, and continuing it was just too costly."
Barsamian: "Why hasn't the business community turned on the war in Iraq?"
Chomsky: "There is no comparison between the two cases. That's all doctrinal/fanaticism. The
only comparison between Vietnam and Iraq is the way it's described in the United States. In both
cases the framework is that it's costing us a lot, it's a 'quagmire.'
"The business community is only going to turn against this war if it really becomes extremely
costly to the United States and to their own interests. But that will take a lot. It's not at all
comparable to Vietnam, which was much less important strategically from their point of
David Barsamian is the award-winning director of ALTERNATIVE RADIO. He resides in
Noam Chomsky, an outspoken American on U.S. policy, is a linguistics professor at MIT.
This volume is one in a series of books under the rubric of The American Empire Project. This
organization was formed to question how the U.S.'s tendency towards empire developed and to
explain that to the public. Recommended.
The Electric Church
Hachette Book Group, USA
237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017
Jeff Somers first novel, The Electric Church, portends of more wonderful things to come. This
cyber-punk book about a religious cult taking over the world after unification smacks of an urban
view of Revelations.
Avery Cates, the protagonist, leads an eclectic group of criminals on a mission to kill Dennis
Squalor, founder of The Electric Church. Cates is a cynical 27-year old barely making a living as
a hit-man on the streets of New York. He pairs up with his psionic friend Kev Gatz, super spooky
twins Tanner and Milton, technogeek Ty Kieth (who refers to himself in the third person), and a
mysterious older man who goes by the name Canny Orel to do the job.
King Worm, Richard Marin, head of the IA police department, is the person who hires Cates, but
he becomes a suspicious character as the plot moves forward. Each character is fully explored
and an intricate part of the story.
The Monks aggressive recruiting to The Electric Church has tactics reminiscent of the LDS
church's indoctrination and theories. The Monks, as a character, are similar to Mr. Smith in The
Matrix, identical cyborgs who are run by one overall machine.
The overall feeling of the book is a combination of the system changing struggle of Firefly and
the film noir aspects of Ocean's 12. The fast moving plot and interesting characters make for a
wonderful read. Somers next novel published will be The Digital Plague.
The Devil's Right Hand
Hachette Book Group, USA
237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017
Saintcrow's latest Dante Valentine installment does not disappoint! The Devil's Right Hand is a
visionary piece of futuristic urban fantasy that takes an in-depth look at good and evil.
Saintcrow doesn't paint a saintly protagonist, in fact, Dante is in love with a fallen demon. Dante
struggles with herself realizing that sometimes she has an evil streak in her. And Japhrimel, the
fallen angel, is a blend of good and evil as well. Within the plot, Saintcrow explores a realistic
human nature, that all of us struggle to balance the forces of light and dark within ourselves.
Like Saintcrow's previous heroines, Dante is sexy, intelligent, fearless, and lethal. She is a
refreshing look at a strong woman who struggles to allow herself vulnerable moments.
Saintcrow assumes her readers are intelligent, and she writes with a blend of history, mythology,
and imagination that is derivative of nothing in the genre. Saintcrow's writing includes gorgeous
passages like this one of Dante explaining the feeling of power: "It ran out my toes, a crackling
tide of burning leaving me molten and shaken. I blinked several times, something fine and dusty
falling from my eyelashes. Closed my eyes, still blind. Let my head tip back like a heavy fruit on
my limp stem of a neck" (p227).
Though this is the third installment in the series of five, it can be read as a stand-alone book.
Saintcrow balances backstory without being repetitive, and a glossary at the end of the book will
clear up any questions a new reader might have. The next Dante Valentine story, Saint City
Sinners, is due to be published November 2007, with the final story, To Hell and Back, coming
January 1, 2008.
Dick Francis and Felix Francis
G. P. Putnam's Sons
375 Hudson St., NY, NY 10014
9781399154768 $25.95 www.us.penguingroup.com 800-487-5515
While the familiar racetrack milieu pervades the latest Francis novel, horses and the track play
only a peripheral role. Center stage is the restaurant business, as one-star Michelin chef Max
Moreton becomes embroiled in a mysterious series of events, including several attempts on his
Moreton is an owner and master chef at a country restaurant near the Newmarket racetrack. One
Friday night, he cooks at a catered affair for a couple of hundred guests at the track, most of
whom, including Max and his employees, suffer from food poisoning that night. The following
day, he also is the chef at a luncheon in a private box at the track when a bomb goes off and kills
many persons. Thus begins a tale.
Max's reputation obviously is at stake, as the authorities close the restaurant for inspection,
despite the fact that the meal which caused the poisoning took place elsewhere. Determined to
absolve himself and the restaurant of blame, Max has to find out who is responsible. The story is
plausible and typical of a Francis effort utterly charming and delightful, with twists and turns
and nary a horse race (except for the one suspended by the bomb blast). Highly
Bleak House Books
c/o Big Earth Publishing
923 Williamson St., Madison, WI 53703
9781932557428 $24.95 800-481-9191 www.bleakhousebooks.com
Surreal. Unusual. Imaginative. Confusing. These are some of the reactions to this strange novel.
The back cover of the ARC states: "Head Games is equal parts road novel, caper, and historical
fiction: a black comedy and wistful ballad of lost America rooted in borderland myth and
history." Hyperbole enough? If not, then reading the novel will supply more.
This is the tale of Hector Lassiter, a larger-than-life writer of crime novels and screen plays,
contemporary of Hammett and Chandler, intimate of Papa Hemingway, Marlene Dietrich, Orson
Welles, Jack Webb and others. He served with the Pershing expedition into Mexico chasing
Pancho Villa and with the AEF in Europe. Now in his advanced years he becomes involved in
the recovery of Villa's severed head, seeking possession of it and resulting in his becoming the
target of competing forces, including the Yale Skull and Bones Society.
The novel then goes on to the chase from 1957 to 1970 across the country and south of the
border. The conclusion is just as unusual as the rest of the novel. To sum up, for these sore eyes,
a lot of it didn't make much sense, but there is much good and intriguing writing here.
Bones to Ashes
Scribner, c/o Simon & Schuster
1230 Sixth Ave., NY, NY 10020
9780743294379 $25.95 www.simonandschuster.com 800-223-2336
This is the tenth Temperance Brennan novel. She is a North Carolina-born, Montreal-based
forensic anthropologist. In her childhood, she met and became great friends with an Acadian girl
two years her senior. Then the friend, Evangeline, disappeared, along with her mother and sister.
For the next few years, Tempe sought traces of her friend with no success.
Thirty years later, a skeleton is found, one of a young girl unearthed in Acadia. Immediately,
Tempe theorizes it could be Evangeline. Meanwhile, a number of other missing girls flood the
crime scene, with Tempe's partner tracking cold cases, two unidentified corpses and three
missing persons. All teenage girls.
While working the cases, Tempe continues to obsess over the possibility that the skeleton is that
of her friend. She locates Evangeline's sister in Acadia, who tells Tempe her friend was murdered
30 years before. Some clues implicate the sister's husband, an operator of strip joints, among
other shady dealings. Ryan and Hippo, another cop, and Tempe pursue the mysteries of the cold
cases, and Tempe keeps up her hopes of identifying Evangeline.
As in previous novels, there is an abundance of forensic anthropological science, details of bone
dissections and linguistic analyses, all of which prove useful in the process of solving the
mysteries. The customary fast-paced writing and tight plotting brings the novel to an
Bleak House Books
c/o Big Earth Pubishing
923 Williamson St., Madison WI 53703
9781932557473 $14.95 pb $24.95 hc 800-481-9191 www.bleakhousebooks.com
Stolen Cambodian art statues, parts of temples, icons--illegally sent through Thailand, Vietnam
and China to Hong Kong where it is sold, at the time, legally, brings Ray Sharp to his second
adventure. The exotic Far East background provides the reader with real glimpses into the people
Sharp leaves his journalistic career as a result of an unfortunate incident, which leaves him in a
depressed state. A good friend, a former CIA spook, now trying to build a corporate investigation
firm, hires Ray. He is assigned a routine look into a Chinese art supplies company in which an
American client is considering investing. Instead of mundane art supplies, he finds secret stashes
of antiquities. The trail leads to an ex-South Vietnamese General now living in Thailand and to
the Khmer Rouge, the ancient temples, and the killing fields of Cambodia.
The author's knowledge of the Far East seems to be quite genuine, and the descriptions of the
streets and people of Hong Kong, Bangkok and other locations compelling. The story is
believable and the characters real. Insights into the cultures of the area, as well as the horrible
plunder of artifacts, are lessons well-told.
Hard Case Crime c/o
301 E. 62nd St., NY, NY 10065
200 Madison Ave., NY, NY 10016
9780843957778 $6.99 www.dorchesterpub.com www.hardcasecrime.com 800-481-9191
Said to be the final crime novel from the legendary Mickey Spillane, the final three chapters were
prepared by his friend and editor, Max Allan Collins, from extensive notes from the author. It is a
relatively simple, straightforward tale of Jack Stang, a retired NYPD Captain, who, 20 years
earlier, lost his fiancee to an abduction and presumed murder.
Now the old warhorse is chomping at the bit, at loose ends, watching his old neighborhood and
station house fall to the wrecker's ball. Then he is approached with an offer of a house and
$100,000 to move down to a retirement village in Florida, next door to a blind woman who really
is the fiancee who disappeared. The reason she was abducted by the mafia was information to
which she had access. The data was never found (nor was she).
Moving to Florida, he travels back and forth to the Big Apple to slowly discover the background
on the whole story. Written and composed in typical Spillane style, the plot moves forward to a
rousing crescendo. Stang is no Mike Hammer, but the story is moving and well-told.
Raisins and Almonds: A Phryne Fisher Mystery
Poisoned Pen Press
6962 E. 1st Ave., Scottsdale, AZ 85251
9781590581681 $24.95 www.poisonedpenpress.com 800-421-3976
The ninth book in the series now appears (publication in the US follows no order), bringing the
Hon. Phryne Fisher into another world that of the small but religious Yiddish population of
Melbourne, Australia during the period between the two World Wars. We find her dallying with
young Simon Abrahams, son of a wealthy Jew, exposing her to the language and culture of the
world of refugees, rabbis, kosher cuisine, chicken soup, Kadimah, the Torah, Kabala and
Simon's father asks Phryne to investigate the strange death of a young religious student in a
bookshop owned and operated by one Miss Lee in a property she rents from Simon's father. She
is accused of the murder. Phryne follows the usual course in the investigation, using all her wiles
and helpers--her maid Dot, Bert and Cec the Wobbly cab drivers and Inspector Robinson. The
task is complicated by all kinds of considerations, including alchemy, mysticism and politics,
including Zionism. Phryne has to learn all of the nuances, and even begins to speak a little
While a mystery, the story takes on a very different flavor from that of other novels in the series.
It is not only entertaining in the customary manner of the other books in this series, but is
informative and the unexpected descriptions of Yiddish culture are authentic.
Stuff to Die For
61 Paradise Rd. Ipswich, MA 01938
9781933515106 $24.95 www.oceanviewpublishing.com 800-829-7062
A couple of beer-guzzling, 24-year-old ne'er-do-wells, James and Skip, become embroiled in a
deadly situation. James, a short order cook, inherits some money and buys a box truck. With
Skip, a salesman of security systems who hardly ever makes a sale, they go into the hauling
business. Their first job gets them into all kinds of trouble, and they have to run fast to keep
ahead of the perpetrators of a developing criminal plot.
While unloading their first cargo, they find a bloody finger and a ransom note. As a result, they
become targeted by the criminals who fear the boys have learned details of the plot. And the
chase goes on and on. The main characters are hardly believable and the story is a mish-mash.
James and Skip can hardly get anything right.
Skip has a sometime girlfriend who turned down employment offers of $150,000 a year to work
for her father. She is supposed to be bright, but what's to account for her relationship with a
dead-ender? James has visions of grandeur, remembering his father who was a perpetual failure.
The story takes place in Miami and environs, where we find a cast of Cubans, CIA agents and a
mysterious "Angel." Enough already.
Robert Ludlum's The Arctic Event
James H. Cobb
Grand Central Publishing
237 Park Ave., NY, NY 10169
9780446177108 $15.99 www.hachettebookgroupUSA.com 800-759-0190
The latest in the Covert One Series takes us to a remote island in the Canadian Arctic, where a
Russian plane carrying weaponized Anthrax crashed 50 years previously at the height of the Cold
War. At the request of the present Russian government, the President of the United States agrees
to send a team headed by Lt. Col. Jon Smith to the site to verify that the load still exists. Thus
begins a tale almost too fantastic to believe.
Not only does the team have to fight the hostile, frigid elements, but two other forces unknown to
them: a secret Russian platoon sent covertly to insure that a half-century-old state secret doesn't
see the light of day, and a world-class arms dealer intent on capturing the anthrax for sale to
The plot has all the elements of the previous Covert One novels, danger, superhuman efforts and
even a potential love interest for Dr. Smith. The story moves forward at a brisk and exciting
pace, and it is well-told. Somehow, however, one gets the feeling that these types of novels
become a parody of themselves.
Poisoned Pen Press
6962 E. 1st Ave., Scottsdale, AZ 85251
9781590584507 $24.95 www.poisonedpenpress.com 800-421-3976
After various adventures in a number of other parts of the world, including having served as a
Marine during Desert Storm, Mark Rohr finds himself working as a bouncer in a Thai bar when
he is fired for overzealously performing his duties. But the bar's owner and bartender, a long-time
friend, steers him onto a job assisting a woman who is looking for her brother a year after the
The client offers him $500 a week and a $5,000 bonus if he finds the brother, who Mark believes
was either lost to the giant wave or doesn't want to be found. The quest is complicated by a top
gangster who also has a vested interest in finding the brother. And the race is on along the
pirate-infested waters of Thailand and Malaysia. It is an exciting chase, filled with graphic
descriptions of the devastation brought on by t he tsunami, as well as the poverty and corruption
in the country.
This novel is the third featuring globe-trotting Rohr, ranging from Singapore and the Raffles
Hotel to Casablanca and Cairo, then to India and elsewhere. In each, he introduces a number of
surprises, and Noble Lies is no exception. This reader could not even begin to anticipate how he
would bring the novel to such a conclusion.
The One Minute Assassin
Capital Crime Press
P.O. Box 272904, Ft. Collins, CO 80527
9780977627646 $14.95 www.capitalcrimepress.com 970-481-4894
Talk about dirty tricks in politics--this takes the cake: By bumping off potentially leading
candidates, one can get elected. That's the case in this novel. "Tricky Dick" Steel, a lobbyist for a
large pharmaceutical company apparently controlled by the Russian Mafia, is one of about 100
gubernatorial candidates in California and his campaign strategy is to literally eliminate leading
opponents with the help of two bumbling assassins.
John Black, a rather apolitical private investigator who comes from a Bush- or Kennedy-like
family (his mother is a U.S. Senator and his sister the Mayor of Los Angeles and the leading
candidate to go to Sacramento in the upcoming election) and his partner are thrust into the fray
when an attempt is made on the sister's life.
The author's previous and initial effort was the award-winning 47 Rules of Highly Effective Bank
Robbers. It would seem he enjoys rather longish titles. In any event, the present novel is quite
different and very readable, developing slowly but surely to a blasting finish.
1745 Broadway, NY, NY 10019, 212-782-9008/800-726-0600
9780553804737 $25.00 www.bantamdell.com
Atticus Kodiak, who made a previous appearance in Critical Space, is forced to become a
cold-blooded killer when he is ambushed and his partner is shot dead. Previously, he protected
clients from such violence. He teams up with a woman known as "Drama," one of the 10 best
assassins in the world. Atticus thus becomes what he professed not to be a murderer and is
now labeled one of the "10" as well.
As a result, he becomes hunted by all the resources available to various authorities. He and has
partner lay low for three years, until they decide they have to do something to put an end to the
chase. The problem is: they don't know who was behind the original ambush or why. But revenge
for the murder of his friend and partner becomes a must for Atticus, and the suspenseful
The novel is finely honed, although in the end a little far-fetched. Nevertheless, as an action
thriller, the novel lives up to the best of expectations.
When One Man Dies
Three Rivers Press, c/o Random House, 1745 Broadway, NY, NY 10019
9780307382788 $13.95 800-726-0600, www.crownpublishing.com
While sitting in his favorite bar drinking beer, PI Jackson Donne, the bartender and everyone else
heard a loud crash outside. A popular fellow drinker was hit by a car that sped away. A possible
hit-and-run, but the more everyone thinks about it they think it probably was a homicide. The
owner/bartender tells Donne that the victim was their friend, and implores him to find the
Thus begins a complicated tale involving corrupt police, a cop with a grudge against Donne, drug
traffickers and lots of violence. Donne is warned off the investigation by his former partner on
the police force, but he has promised to go on, so he does. Meanwhile he accepts another
assignment, and somehow as things progress, the two cases seem to overlap.
The story develops, moving slowly to its finale. But the past continues to haunt the present.
Donne is the typical hard-boiled PI found throughout the genre, as well as a punching bag too
often. For fans of the genre, it is a very satisfying read.
The New Press
38 Greene St., NY, NY 10013, 212-629-8802
9781595581846 $26.95 www.thenewpress.com
Henning Mankell has written 37 novels, with perhaps the nine Kurt Wallender mysteries best
known in the United States. The present novel, while a mystery of sorts, really is a polemic based
on the author's frustration with the poverty and disease rampant on the African continent. Indeed,
it is a written indictment of the greed which is an inherent part of the African AIDS crisis.
Swedish archaeologist Louise Cantor returns home from her job of supervising a Greek dig to
find her only son lying in his bed, dead. An autopsy shows the 28-year-old full of sleeping pills,
and his death is ruled a suicide. Louise refuses to accept the ruling, believing his death was a
murder, and embarks on retracing his various trails to discover the "truth." It takes her to
Barcelona, where the son had a secret apartment, to Australia to find her ex-husband, and then to
Maputo, Mozambique. Along the way she finds out her sun was HIV positive.
Bit by bit, Louise learns how little she knew about her son. In Mozambique she learns an awful
truth about an AIDS hospice, and possibly its link to the son's death. Also, there appear to be
links between the AIDS epidemic and Western pharmaceutical interests, giving the author more
reason to raise criticism. This book is not a joy to read, despite how well-written it is, but then it
is not meant to be. While it is a story full of mysteries, it is not the kind of tale a Wallender novel
would be. It is more of a psychological inquiry with social overt ones.
You've Been Warned
James Patterson and Howard Roughan
Little, Brown and Company
237 Park Ave., NY, NY 10169
9780316014502 $27.99 www.HachetteBookGroupUSA.com 800-759-0190
This novel is surreal. It is the story of Kristin Burns, a young girl with a guilty conscience who is
having an adulterous affair with her employer. She works as a nanny to two lovely children and is
in love with their father [a widower who has remarried]. So much for reality.
Kristin suffers from a recurring dream, in which she witnesses four body bags being removed
from a Madison Avenue hotel and takes photographs (she's an aspiring photographer). Other
events take place and she can't distinguish between her dream and reality.
The authors have created a suspenseful thriller that defies the imagination. The psychological
implications of Kristin's experiences are probably unbelievable but, of course, that's what is
intended. Frankly, this reader didn't particularly like wading through it.
5 Upper Saint Martin's Lane, London, England WC2H 9EA
9780752888194 $24.95 www.orionbooks.co.uk
This book is at present only available in/through the UK and Canada, not yet available in the
Say it isn't so, Ian. Has 60-year-old John Rebus come to the end of the line? The popular
protagonist spends his last days in his three-decade-old career in this novel in his usual manner,
solving crimes, upsetting the powers that be and dealing with his 20-year-old enemy, Big Ger
Cafferty as well as setting the stage for tying up loose ends with his long-time partner, DS
In the mix is a delegation of Russian businessmen, Scottish politicians and a large bank and its
executives all seeking to bring business to Scotland. And then a leading Russian dissident poet is
found murdered, and everyone wants to sweep it under the rug as a mugging gone bad. But is it?
Neither Rebus nor Clark is convinced, especially when a second murder caused by an arson fire
seems to be connected to the original case. To complicate matters, Big Ger is assaulted and left in
a coma, and Rebus seems to be implicated.
This novel is as good as Rankin gets in the way of a mystery novel, and he works in commentary
on Scotland in general, Edinburgh, money, politics, greed and power. Where does Rebus go from
here? This reader (and many others, I'm sure) hopes Rankin hasn't permanently retired him he's
too good a character to fade out of existence. Highly recommended.
Now & Then
Robert B. Parker
G.P. Putnam's Sons
375 Hudson St., NY, NY 10014
9780399154416 $25.95 www.penguin.com 800-847-5515
Who would have thought Spenser would allow his past romantic frustration over the temporary
separation from his long-time paramour, Susan, to influence his decisions on a case? But faced
with a client's adulterous situation, the hard-boiled Boston PI finds himself in exactly that
position. Retained by an FBI agent to learn whether his wife is having an affair, Spencer
discovers the truth.
When both the client and the wife are found murdered, Spenser can't let go, remembering when
Susan left him many years before to be with another man and the pain it caused him. So he
pursues the case to find the killer even at the expense of endangering Susan. To protect her, we
are entertained by his bringing in the troops Hawk (of course), Vinnie and Cholo.
This novel is Parker (and Spenser) at their accustomed best. No more has to be said. The
wisecracks flow, the plot flies and the dialogue is witty and poignant. Highly recommended.
Karen Marie Moning
Bantam Dell Publishing
1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019
MacKayla Lane is an American who comes from an old Celtic bloodline. She can see the Fae, a
mysterious and frightening race that has lived unseen among us for generations. MacKayla, if
that's her name, and she's not certain it is, knows that she's among the most gifted of the
sidhe-seers. (In Irish folklore the Sidhe (pronounced shee in English) are the Irish fairies. They
descended from the Tuatha De Danann, one of the ancient peoples of Ireland.)
The young American arrives in Dublin to find her sister murdered by her lover, a powerful lord
of the otherworld. She stays on to avenge her sister and lives at a bookstore. The owner of the
store, an enigmatic man named Jericho Barrons, takes on the task of protecting her. Barrons has
already saved her life once. They have an understanding for he needs her help in finding a
magical object of great power and evil.
MacKayla has another protector as well, a man of fairy known as V'lane. Strange and occult
forces are at work here as MacKayla struggles with her feelings for the men who seek to control
her. She's learning the hard way that nothing is as it seems and that includes the lines between
good and evil. The story drew me in immediately; it's a riveting tale of murder, betrayal and the
paranormal. The romance is hot and I can't wait to read the next one!
Bloodfever is book two of the Fever Series. The first book is Darkfever.
525 B Street, Suite 1900, San Diego, CA 92101
Jack Till, PI and retired cop, helped a young woman named Wendy Harper disappear. Someone
was after her, brutally beating and almost killing her. The only way she knew to stay safe was to
run. The cops couldn't or wouldn't protect her, so she came to Jack for help. Six years later
evidence turns up which points to Wendy's murder. The cops arrest her former partner and lover
Eric. Jack goes to the cops and tells them the truth. Unfortunately no one believes him. Now he'll
have to find Wendy and bring her back to prove Eric's innocence.
A man and woman, both cold blooded murderers, are watching Jack, waiting to finish the job of
killing Wendy. The female killer's a former porn star married to a hit man and their marriage is
fraught with problems. Will Paul and Sylvie Turner self-destruct and give Jack and Wendy a
chance? Of course that doesn't exclude the fact that the person who hired them still wants Wendy
dead. The man is obviously someone with power and money, an almost unstoppable
I had to find out what Jack had up his sleeve next. How could he and Wendy escape such
dedicated sociopathic killers? Perry kept springing surprises on me. The action's fast paced and
kept me glued to the edge of my chair. Silence is a well written tale of mystery, murder and
human values gone awry.
I'm a fan of Thomas Perry's Jane Whitfield novels and I enjoyed every minute of this new novel.
Some of Mr. Perry's other books include: The Butcher's Boy, Dance for the Dead, Blood Money,
Dead Aim, Nightlife, Sleeping Dogs, Shadow Woman, Metzger's Dog and Pursuit.
Oath of Swords
Baen Publishing Enterprises
P.O. Box 1403, Riverdale, N.Y. 10471
9781416520863 $15.00 www.baen.com
What a fun book this was to read. The characterization is good and the plot fast paced and
interesting. The protagonist, one Bahzell Bahnakson of the Horse Stealer Hradani branch of the
human race is one feisty and stubborn character. He almost makes a rock seem pliable. Let's face
it a protagonist is never without a problem and is never perfect, for if he or she were the book
would be dull and no one would buy it. It's an annoying but necessary fact.
It turns out that Bahzell is in a heap of trouble and on the run from a bunch of lowlife Hradani
who want his hide nailed to a mantle, any will do. One of his friends joins him and the hunt is on.
Meanwhile Bahzell runs into some gods who want him to go to work for them. He resists but
finally gives in. Now he's not only on the run from the bad guys, but he's helping people along
the way. All this lands him in more and more trouble, until you wonder how he's going to get
himself out of it.
I'm a fantasy buff who loves swordplay and an interesting tale. This one filled the bill nicely.
David Weber is the author of many books including: The War God's Own and Wind Rider's
James A. Cox
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