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The Picture Book Dictionary, The Essential Source for Bilingual Families
Illustrated by Valentin Latushkin
Ekadoo Publishing Group
PO Box 2286, N. Redondo Beach, California 90278
ISBN: 0974738700 $12.99 96 pp.
Alyice Edrich, Reviewer
Intended for ages 9 months to 8 years, The Picture Book Dictionary is designed to help parents
interact with their children, while teaching them (or introducing them to) words used in everyday
conversations. The way the book is structured, parents can easily help children understand not
the meaning of the words they are learning, but how to use them in simple, yet constructive
Each word is introduced in English first, in big bold letters, then spelled out in Spanish. Each
then used in a simple sentence (in both English and Spanish) that helps the reader understand the
meaning of the word, followed by a colorfully illustrated comic-like picture.
The largest benefit to using this book in homes with small children is the fact that the words
to fill the pages of this book all meet "the standards of the United States primary schools
so children are able to learn and reinforce words they are learning in their classrooms.
While I find this 3,000 word picture book to be a good investment for both children learning to
and parents learning another language, the only drawback I see is that there isn't a pronunciation
to help sound out the words; therefore leaving both parents and child to try to sound out the
on their own.
On a side note, studies have shown that learning a new language is easier when the first words
spoken are normal, everyday words, like the ones chosen for The Picture Book Dictionary, The
Essential Source for Bilingual Families. Once children and adults are able to speak and read
every day words, forming complete sentences and learning more complicated and/or infrequently
used words becomes easier.
Assorted Flavours: A Collection of Lesbian Short Stories
Lois Cloarec Hart
P.D. Publishing, Inc.
PO Box 70, Clayton, NC 27528
ISBN: 0975436627; $19.99; 296 pages
Lois Cloarec Hart has written an outstanding collection of ten short stories which decidedly
the author's rich and vivid character development, inventive plotting, and original thematic
These selections vary in length, and each one is a radiant gem to be appreciated. All deal with love
and relationships and the inevitable conflicts that occur. At times poignant, bittersweet, and
whimsical, Hart's collection is an absorbing, fascinating, and intriguing exploration of the human
Three stories are particularly commendable and memorable. In "9 Minutes," the main character
experiences a virtual lifetime as she and her fellow passengers await their fate during an airplane
in-flight emergency while traveling to Toronto. For far too many years, this woman has alone
her daughter, leaving behind her lover and partner - her family. Call it an epiphany or just a
call; she decides she can no longer live her life the way her daughter expects. Following a
and safe landing, she makes a startling decision given the recent events, and her actions will make
the reader smile. The crisp and intelligent dialogue is alone worth the reading.
"Rude" is the story of a woman who finds she possesses a thoroughly fascinating skill. If she says
it becomes fact. Courtesy, good manners, and the simple niceties of life are becoming farther and
farther removed from everyday existence, and this collapse of human decency has compelled this
woman to take drastic measures. This reader found Hart's story very reminiscent of some of Rod
Serling's innovative and artful Twilight Zone episodes. The reader is reminded that things aren't
always as they seem, and Hart's conclusion will leave you both bemused and disconcerted. The
development of the characterization for the supersensory woman is deftly and occasionally wryly
The third story that this reader found impressive is entitled "Lost and Found." It is all too rare
to find authors writing about the so-called senior lesbian. Here Hart has written a moving and
articulate story of love and renewal forty years after the fact. Misunderstandings, lives lived
according to the tenets set by others, and realizations that, indeed, life is too short are all themes
Hart handles with a masterful and compassionate eye. Again, the author treats the reader to
relevant and lucid denouement.
Assorted Flavours: A Collection of Lesbian Short Stories is a worthwhile addition to anyone's
library. These short stories are told with candor, sentiment, intensity, and acuity, and they provide
the reader not only with satisfying and entertaining fiction but also with intelligent and significant
substance. Hart has a highly readable and coherent style of writing which, at times, achieves
eloquent elegance. This compilation of fiction is a commendable and imaginative presentation of
Hart's artistry of the short story.
Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas
Random House, Inc.
1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019
0553377876, $14.00, 400 pages
Imagine the stock market crashes. We're talking the crash to end all crashes. A crash that brings
apart the end of society as we know it. Now imagine you are a young stockbroker who has spent
their whole life trying to become wealthy. As your very belief system is tested, so is your sanity in
this strange and hilarious tale that only Robbins could write.
This story is about the plight of Gwendolyn Mati, an intelligent Filipino business woman living in
Seattle, whose life is shaken to the very foundation by a series unbelievable events.
Over the weekend she must find a monkey, recover a missing psychic, and unravel a mystery of
5,000 year old aliens that has something to do with frogs and mushrooms. Before the weekend is
over she will have to make a life altering decision. Will she stay in Seattle and hope the market
recovers or will she leave herself behind and join a higher consciousness with a man she hardly
This book is a brilliant look at the material world and the importance of those little green pieces of
paper that everyone puts so much emphasis on. According to Robbins, if you let those little green
pieces of paper run your life, "You're Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas."
Blurry and Disconnected: Tales of Sink-or-Swim Nihilism
PO Box 0068, Warsaw, IL, United States 62379
ISBN: 1411626974 $16.58 309-331-0166
Dave Riley's "Blurry and Disconnected" is a collection of two short stories and one novella that
written in an extremely funny, satirical, alternative style. Of the three, the novella, "Chinese Finger
Puzzle," is the most engaging. The novella follows the adventures of Philo Smith, a sharp-tongued
(or rather, sharp-penned) columnist for a small music magazine. The work mostly deals with
contempt for small-time bands trying to make it big. His contempt for these pretenders is rivaled
only by the absolute scorn for he feels for mainstream music. The strong point of "Blurry and
Disconnected" is Riley's pointed criticisms of many of modern culture's most irritating traits.
Through the character Philo Smith, Riley takes us on an epic journey through small clubs and
lofts in college towns, and paints an accurate, if unflattering, portrait of the denizens who dwell
Philo Smith is one of those interesting characters who seems to inhabit a world that, at first
is similar to our own, but upon further investigation is blessedly free of many of the more irritating
obstacles most of us have to deal with on a daily basis. I was reminded of Douglas Adams'
Dirk Gently, a wonderful creation who makes his living as a "Holistic Detective." Philo Smith is
similar to Dirk in that he has lucked into a position as a columnist in a magazine that allows him to
get away with virtually any crazy thought that comes into his head. Free from the constraints of
normal magazines, and contrary to general thought (though not necessarily general practice), the
magazine and Philo's column are, eventually, successful.
It is gleefully cathartic to bear witness to Philo's constant and scathing criticisms of every one and
every thing he encounters. Although this formula does bear the risk of becoming stale and bitter,
this case, the book remains light-hearted, mainly, I think, because the objects of Philo's scorn are
wonderfully deserving of it. Philo's harshest criticisms are saved for pretentious rock bands made
of art-school drop-outs who live on generous trust funds--surely a group that anyone would like
Riley uses a writing style that is somewhat distant, but effective for the material he's presenting.
commonly offer a great deal of information in the form of an omniscient narrator about peripheral
characters. These digressions are generally designed for the purpose of injecting some humorous
anecdote, and are quite often very funny. The one criticism I do have about the work, however, is
that it lacks a strong thematic element. All of the component parts are there, but I would have
preferred a stronger underlying thread to connect them and magnify their significance. Still, this
book works very well as a sort of chaotic ensemble of snapshots from the club and music
Overall, I found "Blurry and Disconnected" to be an extremely enjoyable read. It has some
wonderful, piercing criticisms against culture and society in general, and it is written in an
and innovative style. If you are looking for an alternative novel that takes chances most
publications would never dream of, then this is the book to pick up.
Dancing With My Shadow
4Unity Publishing, P.O. Box 548, Pfafftown, North Carolina 27040
ISBN 0975370812 $14.95 130 pp.
Carey Yazeed, Reviewer
Told through the eyes of Remus Carter, Dancing With My Shadow is a raw, yet refreshing novel
about the inner turmoil's of a young African American male, trying to find his place in the world.
Caught up in the party scenes of college life, Remus enjoys hanging with his boys and living in the
shadow of his popular twin brother, Romulus. But his wild shenanigans and one crazy weekend
adventure involving an exotic dancer turns into a manhood rites of passage for Remus as he learns
some valuable life lessons regarding faith, love and trust.
It was nice to see a novel that depicts the collegian life of an HBCU student vs. the urban gang
related material that is too often used as a measuring stick for Black life in America. I was
that the author dealt with real issues that we, as individuals sometimes take for granted, or ignore
together. Dancing With My Shadow is a breath of fresh air for young adult readers with its
inspirational and insightful messages.
Gods in Alabama
Time Warner Book Group
1271 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
ISBN: 0446524190, $19.95, 275 pp.
Arlene Fleet is a little girl who, at the age of seven, loses her father to cancer. Her mother, only
borderline stable, goes over the edge after that. She is unable to care for Arlene sending her to
school hungry and wearing unwashed clothing. Mother's sister, Florence, comes to save them
she discovers their phone has been disconnected. She brings mother and daughter back to
to live with her.
Arlene and her cousin, Clarice, share a room and became good friends. This is a story of high
relationships which confuse and alienate a sensitive, loving child and turn her down a dark path.
"There are gods in Alabama: Jack Daniel's, high school quarterbacks, trucks, big tits, and also
Jesus." (p1) The god featured here is a high school quarterback, Jim Beverly, whose interest in
Clarice pushes Arlene to an act of aggression which surprises her.
Arlene decides she has to get out of Alabama and with a scholarship to a college in Chicago she
makes her getaway and remains for nine years. She teaches at a college there while pursuing her
Ph.D. That is where Rose Mae Lolly finds her. Rose Mae is Jim Beverly's true love and she is on a
mission to find him. She hasn't seen him since high school and believes Arlene knows his
Rose Mae's abrupt appearance into her life frightens Arlene. She is worried Rose will uncover her
participation in the evil deed that occurred in her high school past. The motivation for that act is
revealed in a flashback during which we see Arlene watch Clarice being treated badly by Jim. "I
noticed then that Clarice's face was filthy, and she'd cried silver tracks through the dirt on her
. . . A dull red anger began to spread slowly through me." (p248)
In a flashback to the event itself, Arlene is amazed at herself for having gone through with it. "I
shook my head, hard, and it made the world spin just enough to drive that thought sideways and
I couldn't think about that now. I couldn't think about it at all. 'Okay, then,' said my brain, 'what
about this: Someone is going to find out.'" (p164)
When Arlene runs off to Chicago she vows never to return to Alabama. Aunt Florence
attempts to pull her back for visits, this time to participate in a retirement party for Uncle Bruster.
She confides to Aunt Florence that she is in love with a black man, Burr, hoping that will give
Florence pause with respect to her campaign to get Arlene to return to southern soil. It does.
Florence asks her not to bring Burr. Burr insists on meeting her family. They go to Alabama.
Joshilyn Jackson takes us on an insightful trip into southern society. We meet a family bursting
love for each other but whose emotions are so tangled they find it hard to connect. Arlene has
always considered her Aunt Florence to be a controlling, bossy and dominating presence but
somehow this trip shows her aunt in a different light. The reader is as surprised as Arlene at what
A Stone for Every Journey: Traveling the Life of Elinor Gregg, R.N.
Edna McConnell and Teddy Jones
PO Box 2321, Santa Fe, NM
www.sunstonepress.com 505 988-4418
ISBN: 086534454X $22.95 309 pages
"When I said I would go, the die was cast, and I've never been sorry. I wired them on October 18,
1922, that I would go, and I left Boston on the 26 in my open Ford runabout. Today, November
I'm at the Winner Hotel in Winner, South Dakota. I have just finished my breakfast and am
for the stage to Rosebud."
That entry from nurse Elinor Gregg's diary opens Edna McConnell and Teddy Jones' "A Stone for
Every Journey Traveling the Life of Elinor Gregg, R.N.," a book that chronicles the adventures of
woman working for the Indian Health Service in its early years. Eventually, Elinor Gregg would
became the first Supervisor of Nurses for The Indian Service. But right now, wet weather, winds
and muddy roads have forced her to abandon her car.
She laughs about the inconvenience, despite the expense of having to house the vehicle until
"...It has been worth it in seeing the country and riding with the native. This the life..."
The extraordinary life of an extraordinary woman. After Gregg arrives at the Rosebud
for the Sioux, the reader bounces with her over muddy roads into hospitals containing a minimum
equipment for health care, into Indian homes so remote that hospital visits are almost impossible,
and through the touchy political process of working with field matrons. Not trained nurses, these
women have learned basic First Aid but little more. Now Elinor Gregg must teach them proper
for patients with diseases such as T.B. and trachoma.
A nurse herself, Edna McConnell spent her entire career, from the mid 1960s to her death in
researching and writing about Elinor Gregg. Gregg's place in nursing history, and her lively
personality motivated the study.
Born to a Boston clergyman, Elinor Gregg grew up in an educated family. Her brothers were
doctors. One sister married a business man. The other sister became a teacher. Gregg served as a
field nurse during World War I, and as a hospital nurse in Boston before going west. Gregg could
also write. Her lively journal entries bring her adventures, feelings, and attitudes to life.
However, "A Stone for Every Journey" is more than just a diary. In 2002, Edna McConnell
discovered she had a terminal illness. She turned her research and part of the book's first draft
to colleague and friend Teddy Jones, to finish. To get her own sense of Elinor Gregg, Ms. Jones
talked to her family, and visited libraries and archives from Boston to Santa Fe, where Elinor
died in 1970 at nearly 84. Jones discovered that Elinor Gregg had a profound effect--for the
good--on almost everyone she met. Her memoirs do not reveal this impact because, like most
people, she had no idea how much influence she carried.
Jones elected to show this side of Ms. Gregg, as well as her spunky personality and place in
history. So, Teddy Jones invented to fictional student nurses, Alice and Melody. For an
in a Geriatrics class, they must interview an older person about his or her life. The year is 1966,
the two choose Elinor Gregg. They set off with a tape recorder from the University of New
in Albuquerque, to Santa Fe to visit her.
Very quickly, Ms. Gregg becomes "Aunt El," to them, as she did to to everybody she knew,
according to Jones' research. Her memoirs become transcriptions of the tapes Alice and Melody
record. Gregg's thoughts and actions begin to influence the choices the young women make for
own lives. "A Stone for Every Journey" becomes a story within a story.
This mix takes the book beyond the level of autobiographical journal. Jones gives the reader a
of how Gregg saw herself, and how other people might have seen her.
"A Stone for Every Journey Traveling the Life of Elinor Gregg, R.N." leaves the reader with fresh
admiration for America's pioneering professional women. It gives a good picture of life in one part
of this country between the World Wars I and II. It catches the personality of a very vital lady,
would have been a pleasure to know, and reminds everyone how much powerful people can shape
another person's life.
Nonfiction Readers' Advisory
Robert Burgin (editor)
88 Post Road West, Westport, CT 06881
ISBN: 159158115X; $39.95 264 pages
Readers' advisory resources are plentiful in the area of genre fiction, but have been noticeably
lacking in the nonfiction arena. Robert Burgin, a faculty member at North Carolina Central
University's School of Library and Information Sciences, with extensive experience and
in readers' advisory, attempts to bring greater attention to nonfiction readers' advisory with this
useful and eye-opening collection of writings by practicing librarians and academics.
While nonfiction readers' advisory is often relegated to the backburner today, this was not always
the case, as Bill Crowley asserts in his chapter "A History of Readers' Advisory Service in the
Library." Throughout the 1800s, the reading of novels was considered frivolous and even
to one's mental health. Public librarians bemoaned the popularity of fiction books and, in fitting
their role as educators of the public, encouraged patrons to bulk up on biographies, historical
accounts, and other nonfiction works. Throughout the past century, however, novels have lost
trashy image and public libraries have come to embrace and encourage the reading of fiction. As
trend progressed, fiction readers' advisory became more common and nonfiction readers' advisory
fell by the wayside.
Despite the apparent dichotomy separating fiction and nonfiction works, Burgin and his
assert that the distinction between the two is not so vast. Fiction and nonfiction books can
compliment one another, as evidenced by the popularity of recent nonfiction books such as Laura
Hillenbrand's Seabiscuit: An American Legend (New York: Random House, 2003) and Sebastian
Junger's The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea (New York: HarperTorch,
which appealed as much to regular fiction readers as nonfiction fans. Nonfiction works present the
reader with a new experience, seen through the eyes of another party, as do novels. The
observational component is a constant throughout the two categories. In his chapter "Many Kinds
Crafted Truths: An Introduction to Nonfiction," David Carr astutely points out that "our lives are
nonfiction" (p. 64). People read nonfiction for the same reason they read novels - to get to the
behind a mystery, to experience a retelling of history, to fill in blanks and construct their own
So, how does a public librarian make the leap to nonfiction readers' advisory? By using the tools
necessary for fiction readers' advisory while adding a new dimension to the mix. Of course, this is
easier said than done, but luckily Nonfiction Readers' Advisory offers a wealth of practical advice.
Getting to the heart of a reader's motivation is key in the process. Does a reader enjoy Civil War
novels such As Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain (New York: Vintage Books, 1998)? Perhaps
historical accounts of the war or works by other Civil War buffs like Tony Horwitz' Confederates
the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War (New York: Pantheon Books, 1998) would
appeal as well. In nonfiction readers' advisory, it is the librarian's responsibility to find
and have resources on hand from which to make recommendations. In Vicki Novak's chapter
Story's the Thing: Narrative Nonfiction for Recreational Reading," invaluable lists of nonfiction
are presented relating to readers' preferences in humor, overcoming adversity, history,
biographies, true crime, and a host of other common themes. It is practical advice like this that
makes Nonfiction Readers' Advisory such a valuable and useful tool. As a bonus, special attention
given to young adult readers' titles and books from a multicultural perspective.
Anyone who regularly spends time behind a public library reference desk would do well to read
book and take to heart its message. Just as Joyce G. Saricks' Readers' Advisory Guide to Genre
Fiction (Chicago: American Library Association, 2001) and the Thompson Gale company's What
I Read Next? (Detroit: Gale Research Inc., 1991) have become standard resources for fiction
readers' advisory, Burgin's excellent book will certainly find its place as a well-used resource for
years to come.
High Performance Marketing
Dearborn Trade Publishing
30 South Wacker Dr., Suite 2500, Chicago, IL 60606-4781
ISBN: 1419508237, $27.00 288 pp.
Emanuel Carpenter, Reviewer
As businesses fail and the economy shrinks, many organizations are keeping a watchful eye on
marketing departments. Since many marketing departments are responsible for customer
satisfaction, advertising, sales, and above all, results, marketers often become the victims of
downsizing as a result of the company's overall performance. In Naras Eechambadi's new book
"High Performance Marketing," the author gives sound advice on how marketers can perform at a
higher level to achieve success.
"High Performance Marketing" explains the reasons and methods for metrics in detail, the
importance of aligning the marketing department with the company's strategic goals, the
of aligning the marketing department with the IT department, and much more. For instance on the
subject of financial metrics, the author observes:
"Financial metrics offer a retrospective view of results; they do not indicate what actions we must
take to drive results. However, these are the results most often reported to the financial
and the investors who have the last word on shareholder value."
Not only is the book filled with sound advice from a strategic level but it also gives important
tactical level advice on how to perform marketing tactics better. Eechambadi, the founder and
of Quaero, also provides real-world case studies from well-known companies over various
to bring the message home. All in all, "High Performance Marketing" will please many marketing
professionals who are looking for new and exciting ways to be effective in sales, marketing, and
customer satisfaction. Highly Recommended.
The Singing Life of Birds: The Art and Science of Listening to Birdsong
ISBN: 0618405682 $28.00; xii + 482 pp.
"How do I hear with my eyes?" Donald Kroodsma asks, and yes he has an answer. The answer is
heart of The Singing Life of Birds. This amazing book documents in text, sonographs, and an
accompanying CD collection, a vast range of birdsongs. Kroodsma, a professor emeritus at the
University of Massachusetts, has studies birdsong for over 30 years and is recognized by all as a
master in this field, or, in the words of the American Ornithologists' Union, as "the reigning
authority on the biology of avian vocal behavior." Kroodsma has done it so long he professes, "As
bird sings, I see the rudiments of a sonogram form in my mind."
The wonder of this book is its shared passion. Make no mistake, this man is a lover. A very
thorough, serious scientist, Kroodsma could easily have buried his readers in the hundreds of
of explorations, experiments, explanations, charts, graphs, and tables that make up this book. But
does not mar the mystery or attraction of his subject with a numbing rubble heap of facts. He has
rare gift of not just listening, but communicating. He shares his passion with us in such a way that
we long to join him, long to stand beneath the trees and immerse our selves in the ebb and flow of
birdsongs. In this way, Kroodsma has accomplished a very unique thing: interspecial translation.
transcends not just language barriers, but the boundaries between species. It's not a literal
translation, but it is intimate and accomplishes empathy, a shared emotional translation. This is an
engaging and beautiful study, a work that, mirroring its subject in Mother Nature, becomes a
of art itself. This is why it is subtitled "The Art and Science of Listening to Birdsong."
It has been said of Kroodsma that he has the mind of a scientist and the soul of a poet. I have to
agree, though perhaps his poetry is birdsong rather than human speech. Nevertheless this is a
hymn to birds that touches on the sublime. "There's this wonderful Zen parable," Kroodsma says.
you listen to the thrush and hear a thrush, you've not really heard the thrush. But if you listen to a
thrush and hear a miracle, then you've heard the thrush." He's recorded these miracles and shared
them with us all.
The Singing Life of Birds is a wonderful book. It is as in-depth a study of the subject as can be
found, but it is also easy to read, easy to comprehend, and accesible to all, novice and expert
tells us how to become an expert. It requires nothing more than opening our ears. Shakespeare
it up, "The earth has music for those who listen."
In the preface Kroodsma states "Somewhere, always, the sun is rising, and somewhere, always,
birds are singing." This fact is also a clear philosophy and the best summation of Kroodsma's
outlook on life. In his world the sun is always shining and the birds are always singing. Thank God
he's invited us to join him on his journey.
The First Thirty: A Lesson In Humanity
as told to Jillip Naysinthe Paxson by Greg Forbes Siegman.
IdeaList Enterprises Inc.
PO Box 101187, Chicago, IL 60610
ISBN: 0975879405 $10.00 96 pages.
The First Thirty is the story of Greg Forbes Siegman, a seemingly normal guy like you and me
learned the importance of community service at a young age and remains resolutely dedicated to
cause. The story represents not only the first thirty years of his life, but also the thirty lessons he
learned while living them. It illustrates the ups and downs and eventual success of a life filled with
both tribulations and blessings. Ultimately The First Thirty delivers a strong, positive message that
particularly relevant to high school students but is valuable to everyone.
The book is set in the Tempo Cafe where Greg Forbes Siegman sits down one night to tell an old
friend, Jillip Naysinthe Paxson, the story of his life. As the book progresses, the role of the
becomes ambiguous as his voice and Greg's voice become one. The story begins with the birth of
Greg and he spends his early years consumed by his best friends (some playground equipment)
later gain significance in his work in the community. He is a strange, preoccupied child with few
friends and even the cover of the book proclaims: "The story of a boy so distracted by his dreams
that he had to wear a helmet." From this rocky beginning, however, Greg begins to devote his life
a good cause at the age of six, and he goes on to be successful in school academically, socially,
This seeming fairytale story is brought back to reality by a number of factors - first one of Greg's
friends dies and then he is rejected by all of the Ivy League Universities he applies to. Feeling he
been wronged, Greg takes on the world little by little by excelling in school, substitute teaching,
trying to break down stereotypes and barriers through his 'Brunch Bunch.' These achievements
culminate in the creation of a non-profit, the 11-10-02 Foundation, named after Greg's thirtieth
birthday. But the real story is not about Greg's achievements; it's about the path that he took to
accomplish them, and about all of the roadblocks that he ran into on the way. The tale is
in its honesty - Greg is not afraid to take cheap shots at himself or to genuinely illustrate his faults.
He is truly a character - a 29 year old man that walks into a formal event with pajamas,
socks, a lunchbox, and is always drinking a milkshake. Perhaps most importantly Greg shows that
could never be where he is today without help - whether it is from his close friends, from high
student volunteers, or from his grandma.
The First Thirty is an uplifting true story that reminds us that the all the movie-caliber underdog
stories we see don't always have to be make-believe. And students of any age can learn the most
important lesson of all - that with hard work and determination, anything can be achieved.
No Country For Old Men
Alfred A. Knopf
ISBN: 0375406778 $24.95 309 pages
Dark Deeds Committed in a Blue World
Any reader of Flannery O'Connor recognizes the tenuous link between violence and redemption.
Who could read the short story "A Good Man is Hard to Find" and not ponder The Misfit's
reflection on the chatty grandmother he just killed? Is there justice in a corrupt world? If so, who
to judge it? These are the types of questions that Cormac McCarthy addresses in his latest novel
Country For Old Men. Like O'Connor, he presents us with his evidence, and then he leaves it up
the reader to decide.
The plot races along at a fair clip that would engage any reader who desires action. It begins with
otherwise ordinary man, Llewelyn Moss, who stumbles upon an extraordinary massacre in the
while hunting antelope. As Moss climbs up the ridge to escape the bloody scene, he understands
what he has witnessed: a drug sale gone terribly wrong. His immediate thoughts are about his
and he is comforted that he had the foresight to wipe his fingerprints off of everything he touched.
isn't until he reaches the top of the ridge that his destiny changes; he encounters a dead man with a
great sum of money stowed at his side. Moss must choose the path of the righteous or the
The central question, poised by the villain Chigurgh, describes not only Moss's dilemma, but
everyman's: "How does a man decide in what order to abandon his life?" Sheriff Bell believes that
"every step you take is forever" which establishes man's responsibility for every decision he
Moss, however, supports the more passive belief: "Things happen to you they happen . They don't
require your permission." It is at this crossroad that the plot begins to take shape and the
philosophies of the hunter and the hunted begin to merge.
McCarthy uses a colorful palette to contrast the black and white morality in his harrowing
During the day, the dessert carries the promise of warmth with the presence of terracotta, yellow
and orange tones; at night it becomes a "blue world" with "visible shadows". On an artists' color
wheel, blue is a primary, cool color. Hence, in the world of painting, blue is a receding color that
helps create a sense of distance between the foreground and background. In McCarthy's world,
black - the traditional representation of evil - becomes blue. Hence, the novel becomes blue, and
reader is cast into the landscape of evil, the world of the night. The color white remains, but white
reflects all colors; hence its purity is questionable. When the villain, Chigurgh, enters a hotel
he is illuminated by the "dead white light from the parking lot lamp". In addition, he also has eyes
that are "blue as lapis" and opaque like the stone itself. To further complicate matters, when Moss
first hears Chigurgh's name pronounced, he mistakes it for the word "sugar." This begs the
In a world with so many hues, tints, tones, and shades, how does one recognize another's true
In the blue world, the shadow world, everyone has fears. Ed Tom Bell, the lackluster County
punctuates the novel with philosophical reflections about the decline of human nature and the
waning of American values. His thoughts, which are divided into distinct chapters, offer a reprieve
from the escalating violence that occurs in the darkness. What they do not provide is consolation.
When he meets a lady who is wary that her granddaughter might grow up in a conservative world
where women's rights are denied, Bell retorts, "The way I see it goin' I dont have much doubt but
what she'll be able to have an abortion. I'm goin to say that not only will she be able to have an
abortion, she'll be able to have you put to sleep." Bell, the proverbial old man in the countryside,
lives in a past where there are clear delineations between good and evil. However, one's past isn't
always without blemish, and even law-abiding citizens live with the ghosts of past regrets. One
help but wonder if Bell was reared in a time of such simple purity, or if he is just an older man
reflecting on whitewashed memories.
McCarthy is a novelist who likes to challenge his readers. The questions are complicated, and the
resolutions even more so. The act of reading the text requires diligence. McCarthy eliminates
necessary punctuation, especially quotation marks, which make it difficult, at times, to identify the
speaker. The syntax is direct; one won't need to reach for the dictionary or reread unwieldy
sentences. Instead, the reader is submerged into the vernacular of simple, ordinary Americans
in the Texan countryside. McCarthy is an astute enough observer of human nature to know that
simpler the language, the more complicated the message becomes.
Easier Said Than Done
Ebony Energy Publishing
P.O. Box 43476, Chicago, Illinois 60643-0476
ISBN: 0975509268 $14.95, 305 pages
Makasha Dorsey, Reviewer
"Easier Said Than Done", Nikki Woods' debut novel, is a deliciously written masterpiece that has
page turning elements of a "messy" soap opera.
Kingston Phillips is living the good life in Chicago as the lead executive for a newly established
hip-hop label and has just signed her first client. After an evening of celebrating her current
with her friends, Essence and Keela, an early morning phone call from a relative in Jamaica brings
her back to reality with the news of her grandmother's death. When she returns to the island, not
only is she informed of her grandmother's last wish that she acts as the executor of the estate but
learns that Dr. Damon Whitfield, the man who broke her heart ten years ago, is the one who cared
for her grandmother.
Told in first person point of view, "Easier Said Than Done" is a good, slow read with characters
believable they jump off the page and act out the storyline for you. There are themes of betrayal,
forgiveness, family, and friendship intricately woven into a beautifully written love story with
tastefully erotic sex scenes. The settings were so descriptive I could feel the brisk chill of Chicago
and the hot sun of Jamaica.
This is a definite weekend read that will make you re-evaluate the things that make you say:
Said Than Done". Freshman novelist, Nikki Woods proved with this literary escape that making
decision to do anything is all about getting it done.
Writing Children's Books for Dummies
Lisa Rojany Buccieri and Peter Economy
Wiley Publishing, Inc.
111 River St., Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
ISBN: 0764537288 $19.99
Peggy Tibbetts, Reviewer
For almost 5 years, I've doled out advice in my monthly column for children's writers, Advice
Caterpillar at Writing-World.com. I must confess I cringe a little as I hit the send button whenever
am advising a reader to read a book with "dummies" in the title. But then, that's the whole point.
"Writing Children's Books for Dummies" has only been out a few months and I'm already
recommending it to my readers! Of course it is never my intention to insult anyone, but the truth
over the years, I've been asked some pretty dumb questions. The great thing is this book has the
Much more than a how-to manual, "Writing Children's Books for Dummies" is comprehensive;
covering everything from what motivates you to write for children to genres to the children's book
market. Yet readers will find plenty of advice such as, how to craft your story, write nonfiction,
a publisher, and market your book. With the help of the thorough table of contents and index,
information on a specific topic is easy to find.
As a columnist for children's writers I am particularly impressed with Chapter 2: Children's Book
Formats and Genres, and Chapter 3: Understanding the Children's Book Market. The biggest
mistake prospective children's writers make is that they simply do not know enough about the age
group or market they're writing for. Until now, I lacked a single resource to refer my readers to --
but this is definitely it. Lisa Buccieri is a publishing executive with over 15 years' experience in the
business, so readers can take her word for it.
But wait -- there's more! Experienced authors will find plenty to sink their teeth into. Authors
Buccieri and Economy dish up the real meat of children's writing by including chapters on plot,
dialogue, point of view, and the awesome task of editing your own work. Authors will love the
chapters on agents, contracts, and Ten Best Ways to Promote Your Story.
A reader once wrote to me: "I'd like to write for children but I can't think of any story ideas.
can I find story ideas?" Well, guess what -- Chapter 20 offers More than Ten Great Sources for
Storylines, which is more like 12 full pages of story ideas. Rich Tennant's "The 5th Wave"
plus interviews with authors, editors, and agents generously sprinkled throughout contribute to
excellence of this book and catapults it to the top of my list of recommended reading for children's
Valerie C J McGee
2021 Pine Lake Rd, Ste 100, Lincoln NE, 68512
ISBN: 0595308872 $15.95 228 pages
Regina Paul, Reviewer
Insight is a thrill-a-minute, ride by the seat of your pants story, and one I couldn't put down until
read the last page and knew the final conclusion! The portrayal of Samantha, a blind woman and
psychic connection with Rachael whom she has never met was at times terrifying, and others
I especially loved the way the connection was brought out through the use of dreams, and how
each were able to experience the other's life in this fashion. It was believable in a way that helped
reader understand that such things might be possible in real life.
All the characters in this novel were real and down-to-earth, and all had a voice, even Dex,
Samantha's seeing eye dog. I really liked this as many authors are not able to juggle multiple
characters and personalities with the kind of finesse that Ms. McGee does. In addition to being
believable, another characteristic of Ms. McGee's characters are that they are very human, as the
reader you are able to see both the good and the bad in all the characters even the ones we might
as being really "bad."
I would classify this novel as a Romantic Suspense with a dash of mystery thrown in. All in all it
an extremely enjoyable read and I would recommend it to anyone who likes unusual stories that
a paranormal twist. Ms. McGee made me believe this story was possible in real life!
iCon: Steve Jobs, the Greatest Second Act in the History of Business
Jeffrey S. Young and William L. Simon
John Wiley & Sons
111 River St., Hoboken, NJ, 07030
ISBN 0471720836; $24.95 USA, $31.99 CAN, 15.99 Brit. pounds 344 pages + index
Richard S. Russell
His Iconic Nature
Steve Jobs is an icon. No, not one of those little images on your computer screen that hints at the
delights to be found within - tho you can probably thank Steve Jobs if that's the 1st meaning of the
word that sprang to mind.
Rather he's an icon in the traditional sense of the word:
(1) a portrait or image usually in a religious context. Specifically, a panel painting of a sacred
who is the object of worship. The term more broadly applies to any building, painting, or
regarded as a symbol or an object of reverence.
(2) an object representing something to be worshipped; when the icon itself is worshipped it
becomes an idol, hence the objection to it by many sects.
(3) things or persons that are considered the most admirable or recognizable examples of
Steve Jobs is the cofounder of Apple Computer, Inc., the company that showed us why 1984
like 1984. As this unauthorized biography makes clear, he's achieved his business-icon status by
triumphing not only in that initial world of computing but also, subsequently, in the worlds of
(with Pixar animation studios) and music (with the equally iconic iPod and its supporting iTunes
Apple Music Store).
It also makes clear that he's a prime-cut, Grade A, world-class, blue-ribbon dick.
The authors, both with long experience covering the world of personal computing (Young being a
cofounder of MacWorld), use a brisk, reportorial style that largely sticks to documentable facts
(based on a hundred interviews) in chronological order. They seem scrupulous about not
their own opinions. Toward the end of the book, I found myself wishing that they'd let go just a
They are, after all, highly knowledgeable about their subject, and it would have been interesting to
see whether they believed that Apple and Pixar succeeded because of Steve Jobs or despite
I also found myself wishing that Jobs himself would have consented to being interviewed for the
book. It's both a strength and a weakness that his personal take on things is absent. On the one
it would be fascinating to hear him respond to questions like "Of all the thousand things you've
in your career that any reasonable person would regret, do you actually feel regret about any of
them?". On the other hand, if you pick up your Funk & Wagnall's, you'll see a little icon of Steve
Jobs next to the entry for "self-serving", so there's some advantage in favoring the objective over
Indeed, one of the recurring themes of iCon is the idea that Jobs himself is surrounded by a
distortion field" that makes people in his vicinity see things his way. With his insistence on doing
things to perfection (which, by definition, is the way he wants them done), he pushed a great
highly talented and creative people into achievements they would have sworn were unattainable,
time frame they would have sworn was impossible.
At that point, Jobs would step in to take all the glory and most of the money. The people who did
the actual work would be shunted back to the salt mines to slave away on The Master's next
inspiration. Steve Jobs was totally committed to the concept of loyalty. Unfortunately, for him the
traffic on Loyalty Street ran one way only. His wake is scattered with embittered former
whom he used up and discarded like Kleenex, apparently with no more compunction than
The reason the book refers to Jobs's "2nd act" is, of course, the decade he spent in the wilderness
after being (deservedly) canned by Apple, the company he founded. During this time, he frittered
away the millions his Apple stock had earned him on a series of high-minded but impractical new
schemes for computers. He was saved from bankruptcy, ignominy, irrelevance, and ultimate
obscurity by sheer accident, when a chance combination of circumstances led him to buy the
computer-animation facility that George Lucas (creator of Star Wars) was looking to sell.
After his return to Apple, it was another walk-in opportunity that led to the development of the
(which makes Apple as much profit as its top-of-the-line G5 Macintosh computers) and iTunes.
And, of course, it was the technical genius of the other Apple founder, Steve Wozniak, that got
ball rolling in the 1st place.
So, in many respects, it could be said that Steve Jobs was just lucky - that he was the right person
the right place at the right time, that all the real innovation, genius, and hard work should properly
have been credited to others. And there's a strong element of truth to that, especially with regard
the brilliant John Lasseter, the creative head of Pixar.
But it's also true that not just anybody knows what to do when opportunity comes a-knockin'.
we cite the "Columbus Mid-Atlantic" analogy. Suppose you're sailing west to try to discover the
Indies, and you've brought along 40 days' worth of food and water. 20 days out, you've got a
decision to make. You haven't yet found the Indies, but you can turn around now and make it
to your home port disappointed but alive. Or you can press on, knowing that in another 3 weeks
you'll be either successful or dead. That kind of "full speed ahead" optimism - the willingness to
gamble everything on little more than a gut feeling - is why, today, we remember people like
Columbus and Jobs, when many more prudent people have been long forgotten.
The authors, considerably more self-effacing than their subject would ever be, leave it to the
jacket-blurb writers to point out that Jobs is the counter-example to F. Scott Fitzgerald's famous
observation that there are no 2nd acts in American lives. Young and Simon are also silent about
appropriate the book's title is. In addition to the 2 meanings of "icon" noted above, the title
- a jolly Jamaican rendering of "I can!"
- resonance, via the intercap spelling, with Jobs's internet-facing names for Apple products like
iMac, iPod, iTunes, iDVD, etc.
- the pirate theme of "I con.", as in "I am the greatest confidence man of all time."
The authors regularly refer to their cast of characters by their first names, which you might think
would produce some confusion when dealing with the Steves Jobs and Wozniak or the Michaels
Eisner and Ovitz (in a lengthy but relevant side excursion into the internal workings of Walt
Pictures), but they manage to keep everything straight as well as flowing.
Speaking of Disney, the book dramatizes that its upper reaches are even more dysfunctional than
Apple's, rife with personality struggles and bloated egos. Tho the authors never explicitly say so,
their ostensible biography is a double case study in corporate mismanagement in America today,
with vast amounts of power, money, and glory going to willful CEOs who make staggeringly bad
decisions without visible regret or repercussion. It's astonishing how many of those bad decisions
based on petty personal annoyances and "who you know" wheeling and dealing, rather than
fact-based analyses. As one bemused former Apple employee remarked about the company's early
days, "Our market research consists of Steve looking in the mirror every morning and asking what
Technically, the book is well edited - except for references to "LaserPrinter" when clearly
"LaserWriter" was intended, or the redundancy of "$300 million dollars" - but these quibbles are
more than offset by the presence of a 15-page index, something that, in this reviewer's humble
opinion, should be standard equipment on all non-fiction books but which appears in far too few
them these days.
Best of all, it's up to date, concluding with Chapter 13: Showtime (highlighting another of Steve
Jobs's masterful, unrehearsed keynote performances - so inadequate to call them speeches - at
MacWorld Expo in 2005 January) and an epilog in which the authors speculate that Jobs still has
score to settle with Bill Gates ... and not to bet against him.
Zipporah, Wife of Moses
Three Rivers Press (Crown Publishers)
New York, NY
ISBN: 1400052793 $23.00, 278 pages
You know you're reading an awful book when you can't even get through the sex scenes without
rolling your eyes and yawning. Marek Halter's latest novel, Zipporah, Wife of Moses, is one such
example. For a novice author, such a miserable failure of storytelling, with its crepe-paper thin
half-developed characters, corny dialogue, unnatural and unnecessary emphasis on race and skin
color, jarring switches to and from the first person and third person narrative voice, and ridiculous
ending, would have been almost comical in its stupidity and quickly forgotten. But for Marek
a richly gifted and bestselling novelist who's been writing for well over 30 years, such missteps are
shameful, inexcusable, a waste of any intelligent reader's time, and a slap in the face to Halter's
God-given literary talents.
Based on the very brief information in Numbers 12:1 of the Ethiopian woman whom Moses,
Judaism's great prophet and law-giver, married (and who may or may not have been Zipporah --
there is not one Biblical passage that confirms that Zipporah and Moses' Ethiopian wife were one
and the same woman; and a careful reading of Exodus and Numbers or a good Biblical
shows that the words "Zipporah," and "Ethiopian" or "Cushite" never appear in the same Bible
or Bible chapter at the same time), this sham of a novel quickly falls apart at the seams because,
from its vague, tepid beginning to its utterly unbelievable conclusion, Marek Halter makes the
mistake about race that, unfortunately, most human beings do: He makes much more of a issue
a fuss about skin color and ethnicity than God ever intended it to be.
It's hard to believe this book came from the same man whose last nove was Sarah, a brilliant and
beautifully rendered fictional account of the woman who became Abraham's wife. Whether or not
she was indeed Ethiopian, Zipporah deserves to have an interesting fictional account of her life
created by a capable and talented writer. But she did not get it from Marek Halter. Zipporah has
to be spinning in her grave if her spirit has any knowledge of what good fiction is and just how far
Halter deviated from it in writing so poorly about her. My wish after reading Zipporah: Wife of
Moses is that she will get the literary honor that Halter's words have stripped from her.
I broke the speed limit driving back to the store to get my refund for this book. I can only hope
you avoid the same mistake by not buying Zipporah, Wife of Moses at all. But if you do, be very
careful to read this schlock with a fine grain of salt and by reading the Biblical account for
And, above everything, keep your receipt!!!
The One Minute Millionaire
Mark Victor Hansen & Robert Allen
ISBN 0609609491 $15.00
Oyvind Hennum (Shiva)
In "The One Minute Millionaire" Mark Victor Hansen and Robert Allen gives a practical and
explanation on how to use the "millionaire minute". They define the "millionaire minute" as a
discipline the rich are using to gain and grow their wealth. It involves simple, practical everyday
money skills, and they define 7 important skills that wealthy people are good at. The good thing is
that you do not have to be wealthy already; you can start to practice and develop these skills just
where you are right now. There are many good points in the book and one of them is the
to earn an extra million in a lifetime on saving a dollar a day.
If you have read my review of "Cracking the Millionaire Code" by the same authors, and you are
wondering if the books contain the same information, I can assure you that they are different.
One Minute Millionaire" is not as spiritually oriented and is "safe" for the ones who do not like to
mix the idea of spirituality and business. "The One Minute Millionaire" was published in 2002, and
"Cracking the Millionaire Code" was published this year (2005). Any how I recommend both the
books, I like them very much.
So, a bit more of the "good stuff" from "The One Minute Millionaire": The book is split in two:
right-side pages tell the (fictional) story of a woman who loses everything and has to earn 1
dollars in 90 days. Even if it is fiction, the story is intense and dramatic, and of course, full of
The left-side pages contain the facts and figures, but are still very easy to read. The first chapter is
called "The Millionaire Aha's" and teaches about the principles of wealth, which Hansen and Allen
call Aha's. According to them there are at least 24 universal principles of wealth.
The other chapters of the book are on these subjects: Leverage, Mentors, Teams, Networks,
Tools and Systems. The book contains great information and Mark Victor Hansen and Robert
manages to write in a very catching way. They make it an experience in it self to read the book. It
certainly lights the fire in me and I know that is what it is supposed to do. It is clearly in the "Self
Help" and "Motivational" categories.
I know many people are sceptic to this kind of literature, but what these books are giving to
is hope and inspiration. And many practical techniques to gain wealth, used by others with
Many mistakenly think the books in them self are going to change their financial situation, and
frustrated when they don't. The books are never giving you any guarantee that their system will
make you a millionaire. That guarantee can only come from your desire and effort. Read the
and get inspired!
La Charrette: Village Gateway to the American West
Lowell M. Schake
ISBN: 0595275389 $19.95
Stephen E. Smith
Today the site is visible only as weeds and rushes along the Missouri River near Marthasville in
Warren County about 45 miles west of St. Louis. There are no ruins, nothing to see. However,
centuries ago, this plot of land contained a community of seven cabins that was the genuine
to the West.
La Charrette was a remote Creole village that provided a site for a river landing on the
the farthest city of people of European derivation west of the Atlantic.
It is probably most significant for being a haven for fur traders and the final stop for Lewis and
Clark in May 1804 before they headed upriver to the Dakotas, the Columbia River and on to the
La Charrette: Village Gateway to the American West, by Lowell M. Schake tells the story of this
long-gone community. Schake, a retired college professor, hunted, trapped and farmed on
Creek as a boy.
His book, the result of exhaustive research, tells the story of that small community of French
on the Missouri River. La Charrette--also the name of a small creek and later a township--existed
from the late 1700s to the early to mid 1820s.
Schake's book is most interesting when he uses the development of La Charrette as an historical
microcosm. La Charrette helps explain the slow, but steady, progress of carving out the
and the sacrifices made by those who were caught up in the dynamic of a rapidly-changing North
From about 1550 until the middle of the 1800s, felt hats were the rage in most of Europe. The felt
hat industry was the force behind the fur trade. By the late 1500's, the beaver was extinct in
and was nearing extinction in both Russia and the Scandinavian countries. North America,
was rich in furs. The land was there for the taking--at least in the eyes of the French and English
eyeing it from the eastern side of the Mississippi.
As Shake's book shows, the impact of whites encroachment on native American territory began
early in the nation's history. As early as 1800, tribes several tribes began moving west across the
Mississippi River. With the advent of European Americans came guns, liquor and unfamiliar
of smallpox, influenza and other diseases These and other stresses came to a head in La Charrette
Village in 1815 when a pregnant mother was mortally wounded and several children were
La Charrette says a great deal about cultural assimilation and the efforts of the white man to
and assume Native American lands. Native Americans served as guides, helped the white men
crops and survive in the wilderness. La Charrette makes it clear that whites in the regions freely
intermarried with Indian women. In fact, French settlers in the 1700s held Indian slaves just as
held black slaves. Schake says most Indian slaves were bought with liquor from other Indians who
had taken them prisoner. Yet, no less than Daniel Boone, who spent his last few years in the La
Charrette area, is quoted as saying the Indians treated him "far better than others of his own
One section of the book tells the story of an Indian man who was accused of killing his wife.
Pennsylvania lawyer/scholar H.M. Brackenridge offered his legal services basing his defense on
provision in English common law for extradition of aliens to their home jurisdictions for trial. The
lawyer said it was not the arrested Indian but the Americans who were the aliens. He won the
The Indian--having become a man without a country--was freed.
Some 75 Indian tribes met to establish a peace treaty that was ratified by Congress and signed by
President James Madison in December 1815.
But, as La Charrette points out, the westward expansion was the death knell for the traditional life
of the Native Americans. By 1822, Congress abolished all trade with Indian tribes, putting the
lucrative fur trade in the hands of licensed private traders. The red men were moved into present
Oklahoma, many along the infamous "Trail of Tears."
La Charrette is rich with detail. Schake writes of America's first "Mountain Man" John Coulter,
of the flamboyant Zebulon Pike who traveled all over the American west and narrowly escaped
death on the Mexican border. He describes Daniel and Rebecca Boone's sugar camp, the process
soap making, the construction of a French river cabin, the development of pioneer medicine,
and fishing expeditions and the growing of wheat and corn and other staples.
La Charrette's demise remains something of a mystery. Schake says it may have been displaced by
floodwaters, and the constant movement of the Missouri River that was "too thick to drink, to
to plow," although no one knows for sure. Certainly by the 1820s, it was well on the way to
destruction. Eventually it was replaced by the city of Marthasville, now located on Highway 47
of St. Louis.
The French Creoles were caught in a legal morass over land holdings in the administrations of
governments. Some were unable to obtain proper titles as U.S. laws replaced those of France and
Today, travelers to Marthasville, Missouri can come close to the original site of the frontier
settlement. The people are said to be just as friendly as they were two hundred years ago. There
several monuments and historic sites to visit.
But the best monument to the tiny long-gone community on the Missouri River could well be the
book La Charrette: Village Gateway to the American West. Lowell Schake has written a fine
that would make a valuable addition to anyone's personal library of American history.
Xibalba's Gate: A Novel of the Ancient Maya
A Division of Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
(301) 459-3366 (301) 429-5748 fax
075910879X $26.95 320 pp.
0759108781 $72.00 320pp
The ancient Maya are a great distance away from us, not so much in time (just a thousand years
so), but in sensibility. Their Creation Myth illustrates this point.
Two young men challenge some gods to a match of the ball game, a rough and tumble sport in
which body armor was worn by the players. The young men, of course, lose the game and forfeit
their lives as the price of their foolishness. The tears of one of them hanging from the gibbet falls
into the hand of a daughter of one of the gods. She conceives and bears a pair of twins, known as
the Hero Twins. The hero twins, bent on vengeance, attract the Lords's attention by talking loudly
and rudely. A ball game ensues from all this. One of the youngsters loses his head and replaces it
with a gourd and at another time another dies and is brought back to life by his brother. The
falling into the trap set for them--say, "Wow, that's a nice trick. Can you do that to us?" One by
all nine of the gods are killed and condemned to becoming the Lords of the Underworld in
the Maya hell. The Hero Twins were rewarded by being transformed into the two most important
bodies in the night sky, the sun and the moon.
Ten of thousands, perhaps hundred of thousands of people from other lands, set off every year to
view Maya ruins. At some point many of those travelers are confronted by the great enigma that
ancient Maya represent. Yes, nowadays, much of the Maya's ancient hieroglyphic writing can be
deciphered in the sense that the words are known. What is not known is what they mean, exactly.
Who were the Maya in the sense of what motivated them to act as they did? The culture erected
some incredibly beautiful cities but practiced one of the most exotic and, yes, grotesque religions
imaginable. (For instance to the Maya suffering actually made the world go round; it was thanks
human pain - hopefully endured by one's enemies but by oneself at times - that propitiated the
universe and kept the sun coming up and the rains falling.) In other ways too, the culture seems
extremely hard to understand. Many of us have pulled out our hair wondering, regarding their
creation myth, for instance, how it can be regarded as an account of the genesis of the world?
is no creation there, unlike in Genesis where Adam and Eve fool around and all of humankind is
Professional Mayanists, professors and graduate students and a few independent scholars, can
provide answers, more or less, to these and other questions regarding the Maya, but it is
impossible to find an account written by any of them that answers the questions in a way that a lay
person - no matter how interested she is - can understand without a great deal of supplemental
reading. The best and most lucid of Maya scholars, Michael Coe, for instance, has produced some
remarkably interesting books. Anyone with a hankering for things Maya could read Coe's
the Maya Code to profit, but it and most other of his books deal with only a small aspect of the
larger Maya experience. On the other hand, Coe's textbook The Maya which first came out in the
sixties, and though much updated, is a book of little use for the lay person. The writings of the
Mayanist Linda Schele are so dense that she finally in later works engaged a writer to help get her
points across, but unhappily with little effect.
Fortunately, for anyone who wants to gain an understanding of what the Maya were about
Press has given us Rob Swigart's Xibalba's Gate. It's a novel. It goes about the business of letting
know who the Maya were by indirection. Like Elizabeth Peters and many other popular writers
provide a glimpse of life in ancient times, the narrative line develops along parallel lines, one
contemporary, the other historical. At the outset we get a teasing glimpse of a Maya city called
Xultunich, which seems to have characteristics of Xunantunich and Caracol in Belize, Copan in
Honduras, Yaxchilan in Chiapas Mexico and seems to be located rather equidistant between all
polities on a river which appears to have characteristics of the Usamacinta. It is the ninth century
and the ruler of this many pyramided kingdom, Knot Eye, is burdened with the fact that many of
great Maya cities, Tikal and Palenque, for instance, have collapsed. The malaise that got them is
knocking at his door. The skies which foretell all these things have produced an omen, the
God With No Name, that ordinary mortals must be careful not to look at and which we in a more
prosaic age call Halley's Comet. A politically crafty ruler, Knot Eye knows where his demise is
likely to hail from, a neighboring enemy kingdom. In order to cut them off at the pass and enhance
his personal prestige, he determines to forge an alliance with a powerful intermediate state by
marrying that ruler's daughter. Luckily for his political ambitions, his wife of long years has not
produced an heir and a marriage to Evening Star is perfectly acceptable.
Cut to contemporary northern California. Dirt archeologist Van Weathers has lost funding for his
long term project at Xultunich, Knot Eye's now long defunct kingdom. This fact is particularly
appalling because Weather's feels he is close to solving the riddle of Xultunich's collapse, which
explain why the Maya at large collapsed, which may in fact shed light on our own tenuous hold on
the planet. Weathers would be vastly annoyed by this circumstance if it didn't happen that the
private funding group, or an arm thereof, has provided money for an interactive on-line simulation
which allows an individuals to log on to a website and become an actual Maya character in a great
Now come the complications: an admiring female graduate student, Anne Opple, and an
embodiment of a Cartesian evil genius in the way of Elliot Blackman, Weather's office building's
janitor. Blackman is out to do Weathers in - and Anne is just out to do him. Weathers is
oblivious to the former, but like any politically correct albeit middle-aging professor, he is pleased
Anne's attention but dead set on avoiding her intentions. Anne logs onto the simulation website as
the character Evening Star, Knot Eyes fiance by arrangement. She intuits that her professor is
playing Knot Eye in the sim. She cleverly has her way with him in cyberspace. However, while
Weathers/Knot Eye is fooling with Anne/ Evening Star the evil genius, Blackman, adopts the
persona of One Death and sets out to harvest Knot Eye into the underworld of Xibalba. The plot
twists, turns, mutates and permutates in many of the expected ways of the contemporary thriller.
usual, not all of those turns are wholly satisfactory, but Weather's/Knot Eyes re- enactment of the
hero twins besting of the Lords of the Underworld in a ball game match is a brilliant stroke. Even
better are the vignettes of Maya life. If while wandering through, say, the Nunnery at Uxmal you
ever wondered what happened when the west wing was dedicated, a scene from this book will
answer this and other such question better than any text I can point to. Here's what happens in the
text. Knot Eye takes a stingray spine, perforates his penis and catches the blood on strips of paper
that are then ignited. Knot Eye watches the smoke roll heavenward, glaze eyed and hallucinating
from the pain, yearning for a prophetic clue for his conduct as head of state. Or say, you get
some of the reconstructed temples at say Copan and are see workman squatting among the
stacked and marked facade stones. They are eating tortillas and listening to a transistor radio, and
you wonder what the original Maya workers ate and heard. Xibalba's Gate will provide an
There are puzzling lapses of fact in the text. For instance, the glossary lists Calakmul as a site in
southern Belize - it actually is located in southern Campeche, Mexico on the border of the Peten,
Guatemala, and Temple One at Tikal is said to be the highest pyramid in the Maya world; it's not
even the highest at Tikal. Hopefully, these and other similar gaffes will be edited out in subsequent
editions, but the important thing is the glimpse of the Maya world the reader can get nowhere else
that I know of. Even if some of those reconstructions are a bit skewed - and every thing is a bit
skewed - there is no better way for an interested amateur (and perhaps even professional)
to get a look at the Maya at the height of their glory just before the lights winked out in the
lowlands in the 9th century of the present era.
The Third Son
2021 Pine Lake Road, Suite 100, Lincoln, NE 68512
ISBN: 0595346049, $24.95, 468 pages
Kellson Berkley (Kells) is completely stressed out. His job is hectic and his migraines are
his closest companion. Even a month long vacation in Costa Rica doesn't seem to help Kells
on life. Upon his return, he realizes that things are about to get much worse.
While Kells was away, his friend Bryant invited his latest fianc‚e Cydney Nash to move into Kells'
apartment. Bryant then suddenly made a quick retreat to Italy to spend time with another woman
leaving Cydney with a bunch of broken promises and lame excuses. At first, Kells believes the
situation is going to be a huge hassle. Unfortunately, Cydney isn't half the irritation that Kells
expected. In fact, she's quickly turning into his best friend and maybe even a little more as the two
are drawn together by common interests, a love of adventure, and a feeling of easiness. This could
get really complicated.
The Third Son has a good deal of drama and romance but is based upon a firm foundation of
friendship, common interests, and respect. Unlike a lot of the whirlwind romances in other
novels, the romance in this book is much more realistic, more complex, and more likely to create
lasting true love affair. This is a true love affair that we can all dream of and attain, even if we
the rich boy or the beauty pageant winner.
Lucia St. Clair Robson
ISBN: 076530550X $24.95 336 pages
In 2003, True West Magazine named Lucia St. Clair Robson the year's Best Living Western
Historical Novelist, "combining a historian's knowledge of facts with a novelist's understanding of
the human condition. As a result," the article continues, "she's able to transport her readers to a
world that is so real, they can smell the sweat."
This aptly sums up her latest effort, Shadow Patriots, where Robson has left the West behind to
explore the terrain of colonial America during the Revolutionary War. The story revolves around
one of George Washington's key spy operations, called The Culper Ring, and the crucial
participation of "355" (code word for "lady"), a female spy whose true identity has remained a
The Darby family lives in Philadelphia. They are Quakers, and as per the precepts of their religion,
do not fight or take sides in armed conflicts. This is a period of tumult, however, in which one is
branded either a patriot or a loyalist. Siblings Kate and Seth Darby, both young adults, realize
can't continue to stand at the sidelines. Seth slips away by night to go serve his fledgling country
the army. Kate, at seventeen, is more rational and pragmatic than her hotheaded younger brother.
But soon circumstances force her to confront the temptations and intrigue lurking outside her
In addition to the lure of the patriot cause, there's the winsome British Major, John Andre - a
appealing character brought to vivid life by Robson's pen - who is temporarily posted in her family
home. And then there's the more mysterious but frustratingly shy Rob Townsend who catches her
eye, and she his. Through Rob and her brother Seth, Kate grows more deeply involved in the
country's struggle for independence. Espionage, secret codes and invisible ink messages lead to
greater danger and drama during this decisive period in American history.
Robson, whose work includes the 1982 bestseller Ride the Wind, now in its 17th printing, has
a name for herself in writing authentic historical fiction. Her background - a Master's degree in
Library Science - supports her extensive research efforts (up to 300 sources per project). While
a quarter of that research may show up on the finalized page, the other three-quarters lends
authority to the author's voice. Occasionally a gesture or statement would cause me to wonder,
would that really happen then? Did Quakers treat their black servants with such warm familiarity
affection? Were the women of that era really so bawdy and earthy, often wearing nothing at all
beneath their hoop skirts? Did mice truly find a home in some of the powdered wigs? Robson's
command of her subject tells me, yes, these are all accurate, and she put them in precisely because
they were quirky, true and noteworthy.
Reading Shadow Patriots is like paging through a fascinating history book, with characters such
George Washington, Benedict Arnold and Alexander Hamilton springing to life in a visceral
unparalleled by any nonfiction on the same subject. The reader learns how people dressed, spoke,
and what colonial Philadelphia and New York looked and smelled like (the answer: dirty and
Each description both moves the story forward and offers us a whimsical history lesson. The
American encampment at Valley Forge, for example, is brilliantly depicted.
"The engineers had marked out the arrangement of huts by companies, battalions, and brigades,
their efforts looked more like wreckage than construction. The temporary quarters of dugouts,
leantos, and tents were hard to distinguish from the heaps of rubbish. No one had completed the
log hut, and the soldiers dragged the timbers across the survey lines, churning the ground into icy
Robson shines particularly in her descriptions of people, be it the maccaronis - trendy men with
foot-high wigs, lace and face powder, or the general population with their dirty homespun
manure-caked boots and missing teeth.
"Mary Ludwig Hayes looked as if someone had thrown her clothes on with a pitchfork. Her
pinned-up skirt revealed a man's boots and stout ankles in wool stockings that she described as
holey than righteous. Her hair rioted around the ruffled bottom of the dirty linen mob cap. In
case, mob was an apt name for it."
Few words are wasted in this novel - it's a veritable treasure trove of interesting, pertinent history.
This, however, leads to my one complaint. So much information in a short space proved
overwhelming. In the first thirty-six pages, characters from history are fired at the reader like
cannonballs: George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Rob Townsend, New York mayor David
Matthews, Hercules Mulligan, William Cunningham, Benjamin Tallmadge, Nathan Hale, General
William Howe, Elizabeth Loring. They were all well-drawn, but I felt myself flailing, unsure of
was to become a key character. By chapter four, when the reader meets Kate and Seth Darby, the
story begins to settle into place. Had I known my Revolutionary War history, I might have better
appreciated the historical characters' presence in the story.
The book's flaws, however, are minor compared to its virtues. As accurate, lively, historical
this book succeeds wildly, and as such, I would highly recommend it to fans of that genre. To
others, I'd still recommend it. But you might want to dust off your history book first.
This review first appeared in Peace Corps Writers (July 2005 issue)
Lance Armstrong's War
ISBN: 0060734973 $25.95 336 pages
I am an avid fan, but not a rider with any inside information about the workings of a cycling team,
it a weekend recreational group or one as sharply honed as Team Discovery.
So, it was with great interest that I picked up LANCE ARMSTRONG'S WAR. Had read IT'S
ABOUT THE BIKE and EVERY SECOND COUNTS...even read RAISING LANCE,
ME by Lance's mom. Still wasn't expecting to get such a schooling as Daniel Coyle provides in his
up close and personal look at the life and times of Lance Armstrong.
Armstrong and his team granted Coyle almost unlimited access to every aspect of Lance's life -- a
feat in and of itself -- during the months leading up to last year's TdF. While Coyle sometime
to be a little over impressed with LA's main squeeze Sheryl Crow, his focus on the energy it takes
BE Lance Armstrong pretty much stays on course.
Like I said, I was schooled in the art of being a professional bike rider.
(1) I knew Lance and his tightly knit team were into control, but I had no idea how seriously they
need to be in control. Being a newbie to the strategies of the peleton, I was not aware how
they selected just who got to "stay in the breakaways" each day.
(2) Coyle taught me about Lance's relationship and reliance upon Dr. Michele Ferrari, convicted
(3) I learned about the motivation of author David Walsh (LA CONFIDENTIAL) who truly
Lance is a doper. It's not all about the dope.
(4) Don't think for even an instant that you can put one over on Lance...like, for example, Filippo
Simeoni, a whiner who has branded Lance a doper and who tried to break away during a stage in
Lance went on the attack and hunted Simeoni down...then Lance flew on up to the front eight
on the breakaway and said, "If he stays, I'm staying," meaning my team will be up here in just a
minute and we'll ride your legs off. The eight leaders yelled at Simeoni to get the heck outta
there...and he did. When Lance got back to the peleton, several members cheered him...and jeered
Simeoni, whose humiliation was complete.
(5) I learned that once burnt, Lance does not looks back. He seems to be devoid of sentimentality.
Screw with him, his team, his family or his reputation, and you're not only gone, you're
The only surprise of the book was Coyle's near disdain for Linda Armstrong Kelly. To me, his
portrait of her was one-dimensional and really comes close to cartoonish. I can't believe he spent
much time with her. My bet is Coyle wasn't raised by a southern belle like Linda Armstrong Kelly.
Nobody gets between a southern boy and his mama. Wonder how that chapter sat with
Other than his handling of "the mom," Coyle's easy-going style is light, lively and
If you've ever ridden a bike around your neighborhood or even watched a stage or two of the
wonder they call the Tour de France, you might do well to spend a few hours reading LANCE
ARMSTRONG'S WAR. It's a whole other universe. Enjoy!
Charlie's Notes: A Memoir
809 N. Main Street, Santa Ana, CA 92701
ISBN: 0964888270 $14.95
Cherie Kerr's memoir of her father Carluchi (Charlie) DePietro is "a true American story" in every
sense of the phrase. It is a book about the aspirations of turn-of-the-century European
is a book about the hopes and dreams of their children, and it is a book about the American love
affair with popular music and the silver screen.
Charlie was born in upstate New York to Italian immigrants Francesca and Eugene DePietro.
it becomes apparent to Francesca that Eugene will never provide her with the lavish lifestyle she
craves, she emerges as the story's monster, forcing her five-year-old daughter into virtual slavery
make up for the servants they couldn't afford) and taking every opportunity to make her husband
and family miserable.
Eugene, a hardworking tailor, endured his miserable marriage by losing himself in his work, his
music and his children. He instilled a love for music into his children, especially in his two eldest
boys, Charlie and Joe, providing them with violin lessons, encouraging them to practice for hours
day, and proudly tailoring little suits for them to wear at their radio debut.
When the story isn't overdosing on the horrors inflicted by Francesca, it focusses on Charlie's
growing passion for music, which, during his adolescence, begins to take a decidedly jazzy turn.
and his brother Joe play in a local band where Marge, Charlie's future wife, joins them. The
eventually migrates to California where Charlie, now playing guitar and string bass, pursues his
musical dreams in earnest.
He attains a certain amount of success in Tinseltown, landing background musician roles in
of films and playing at private parties, rubbing elbows with such luminaries as Bob Hope, Jack
Benny, George Burns, and John Wayne. In a scene that is arguably the book's most dramatic,
Charlie gets a insider's glimpse of Judy Garland's powerful artistry when the singer, obviously
drugged out and inebriated at one of her own parties, is miraculously able to belt out a powerful
rendition of the then-new song,"The Man That Got Away" before wobbling back to her table. The
song's lyricist, Ira Gershwin, could be seen nearby, silently weeping.
Although Charlie never pursued his dreams at the expense of his family, Hollywood's glitter seems
have gotten into the eyes of his memorist daughter, who occasionally seems to exaggerate the star
qualities of her parents. When her "sultry and sexy and stunning" mother, Marge, was first
dancing by her father, she "appeared as spunky as Claudette Collberte, as sumptuous as Marlene
Dietrich and as stylish as Mary Pickford." Charlie, while desperately maneuvering through a
crowded room to meet this combination of female stars, ostensibly "looked like Fred Astaire,
zigzagging his way on his toes." Charlie's own good looks which apparently "reeked of sexuality,"
once made Elizabeth Taylor do a double-take which "indicated she obviously found him dazzling."
It's hard to know just what Ms. Taylor was thinking, but it's obvious that Kerr has stars in her
at times some of her inferences seem a bit over the top.
Kerr is a tremendously detailed writer and she occasionally gives more detail than necessary (I
really want to read an entire paragraph describing Francesca's huge, middle-aged, misshapen
but when she focuses on Charlie's passion for and pursuit of music, this attention to detail
for a tremendous sense of time and place and makes her writing almost cinematic, quite
for a book largely set in Hollywood. Her wonderful storytelling ability pulls the reader in until
so involved with Charlie's "notes" that we are whole-heartedly rooting for him to achieve his
Did he achieve them? He didn't become a household name, but if he wanted to live a life dedicated
to music, he most definitely achieved his goal. His story, just like a beautifully written song, will
linger long in the mind of the reader.
Cindy La Ferle
Hearth Stone Books
1525 Vinsetta Blvd., Royal Oak, MI 48067
ISBN: 0923568638 $16.95
(a portion of all proceeds will be donated to homeless shelters in Oakland County, MI)
One of author Cindy La Ferle's prized possessions is a card which reads, "The sacred is in the
ordinary. It is found in one's daily life - in friends, family, and neighbors; in one's own backyard."
These words summate the theme of her enchanting collection of essays, "Writing Home." Culled
from previously published essays and newspaper columns, the diverse subjects covered in her
share a common thread: the joy and wonder that can be discovered in the every day.
Divided into topical chapters, the book's broad range of topics includes a neighborhood squirrel
found his way into La Ferle's heart ("Willie"), a humorous discussion of household labor ("A
Woman's Place?), and musical memories that centers on an ungainly, presently unwanted piano
("The Family Piano"). La Ferle is a working mother, so the chapter entitled "Child Care" contain
especially poignant and insightful essays. Because she's a baby boomer, her essays included in the
chapter entitled "Older and Wiser" also ring humorously true.
She is clearly domestic and yet modern enough to be slightly embarrassed by the fact: in the essay
entitled "Domestic Diva Comes Clean" she lets us know (blushingly) that she's into hearth and
But her love for domesticity goes deeper than making soup, banana bread, and keeping her house
clean (things she's quite good at); she is able to articulate a clear philosophy on the subject. In her
essay entitled "Puttering," she defines this homey activity as "a way of clarifying life's myriad
especially when it's done with reverence for the objects at hand. It's an opportunity to reconsider
what we most enjoy in our homes, and to make a mental list of what we like to edit later."
At times, I wished some of the essays were longer; the subjects she covers are so interesting and
valuable, it seems a shame that they were hindered by a seemingly arbitrary word count. But there
is: little gems of wisdom from a modern working woman who has a valuable and interesting
philosophy on life.
My Father's War
McPherson & Company
P.O. Box 1126, Kingston, NY 12402
ISBN: 0929701755 $24.00 187 pages
For writer Paul West, the connections between the two world wars of the last century transcend
likes of a train car at Compiegne and a Bavarian private named Adolph Hitler. West's connections
are personal, powerful memories of a one-eyed father, maimed in the "Great War," playing war
games with his son while Nazi planes regularly bombed a nearby English town. West's father,
forever transformed by "his war," was an enigma and mystery to West; My Father's War is his
attempt to work out that mystery.
As West seeks to assemble the puzzle pieces at his disposal, a beautiful and moving portrait of his
father emerges: a teenager issuing from the mud and blood of WWI trenches who became a
respected veteran never quite comfortable with peacetime. His discomfort with post-war life far
surpassed his frequent unemployment due to his war-damaged eye. When other Englishmen were
hiding in their homes with their curtains drawn during Nazi air raids, West's father would go
to watch the planes, partly because he had come to admire the Germans while gunning them down
on European battlefields and partly because, as West relates, he was "going after some sullen
undesirable beauty he must first have seen from the trenches." Beauty in the trenches? Yes. It was
there that "he had found men at their noblest." He never stopped longing for that beauty but it
almost completely evaded him during his civilian life. That is, until the outbreak of the second
war: then, for a few years, he embraced the beauty of his old war with a salute to the new. He
to teach his pre-adolescent son soldering through war games.
Is it possible that the senior West played war with his son in order to prepare him for real
Possibly. No one knew how long World War II would last. But perhaps the more likely reason
that "the only busyness he regarded as genuine toil was soldering. All the rest, which is to say
work, he regarded as frippery, trivia." He was first and last, a soldier.
The book is comprised of a series of essays, some previously published, written in novelist West's
inimitable prose which is so lyrical at times, it occasionally threatens to leave earth (and some
readers) behind. In the chapter entitled "An Extraordinary Mildness," West describes his father's
later years in terms of a certain lightness of existence: "almost all the woes of the human condition
[were] floating away from him, although ascending with him toward the nullity that, compared
his post-mortem paradises, was the merest tincture of slightness." Excellent prose? Well, yes.
Slightly incomprehensible? Definitely.
If West's writing sometimes aviates into clouds of rarified incomprehensibility, it also (and
soars into prose of pure gold. Ruminating on Hitler's reticence to invade England, West opines:
only Hitler the knowitall had followed through, brushing aside the popguns and Robin Hood pikes
along with the remnants of the British army, we would all have been goners; but by then he was
lusting eastward toward Mother Russia and "Uncle Joe," and my father and I had joined the
survivors in the street, crisp with our sense of reprieve." West exhibits his formidable descriptive
skills while watching his father watch American bombers returning from the mainland: "Not a
bomber left its place on this return trip as the crews, with the correct bustle and protocol of
left behind, tuned in to swing music on the American Forces Network, chewed fresh gum, and
the sea slung out their machine guns and other gubbins to lighten the load."
Was West was able, at last, to completely understand his father? The emotive center of his book
focuses not on the mystery solved but the journey through it. Whether writing in convoluted or
golden prose, West has succeeded in piecing together a very moving account of his father, an
soldier, discovered by his son between two wars.
Kathryn J. Atwood
A Fresh Vision of Jesus
c/o Baker Book House
PO Box 6287, Grand Rapids, MI 49516-6287
0800758536 $12.99 www.revellbooks.com
Award-winning author Cheri Fuller presents A Fresh Vision of Jesus: Timeless Ways to
Christ, a simple reminder of the importance of forging a closer relationship with God and Jesus
despite the hectic bustle of daily life that pulls one's thoughts away from the sacred. Revealing the
many ways in which God demonstrates his presence, A Fresh Vision of Jesus stresses that one
should search for a personal vision or encounter with Jesus, in order to transform one's life. A
inspirational and spiritual book, written especially as an antidote to the increasingly rushed and
worldly demands of the changing times.
The Last Word And The Word After That
DeChant Huges Associates (publicity)
989 Market Street, 5th floor, San Francisco, CA 94103-1741
0787975923 $21.95 1-800-225-5945 www.josseybass.com www.anewkindofchristian.com
The Last Word And The Word After That: A Tale of Faith, Doubt, And A New Kind Of
by Brian McLaren (Founding Pastor of nondenominational Cedar Ridge Community Church)
challenges Christians to rethink their assumptions about hell while offering a new understanding
God's justice and mercy. The sequel to "A New Kind of Christian" and "The Story We Find
Ourselves In", The Last Word And The Word After That is written in the style of a narrative
but focuses on a discourse about what hell really is and how Christians conceive of it.
doctrine is all too quick to portray God as a sociopath, loving one minute and vicious the next.
Through soul-searching dialogues, the characters of The Last Word And The Word After That
debunk common misperceptions of the depiction of hell in Scripture - many of its fiery notions
actually come from the poets Dante and John Milton, and hell is not revealed in the Old
it is first mentioned by Jesus. A challenging, emotional, and faithfully resonant examination of
what it means, and new ways of understanding divine justice, punishment, and the problem of
Bless The Lord: The 103rd Psalm
PMB 168, 429 Lake Park Boulevard, Muscatine, Iowa 52761
1933228024 $14.00 1-309-537-3641 www.triviumpursuit.com
Creating thirty original illustrations, artist Johannah Bluedorn offers a compelling vision of family
and the joy of being a child as exemplified through the words of the 103rd Psalm that begins with
"Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name." A self-taught,
homeschooled artist who won her first art prize at age 14 and published her first book at age 17,
Johannah Bluedorn has a unique and detailed style that perfectly showcases each individual verse
the Psalm with portraits of "sumptuous simplicity" that includes farm and wild animals celebrating
the bounty of nature, the beauty of family, the blessedness of God's provision, and the benefits of
protecting hand. The result is an acclaimed and highly recommended children's picture book
the King James Version of Psalm 103 wonderfully accessible and understandable to a new
generation of children. Also very highly recommended is Johannah Bluedorn's children's Psalm
picture book, The Lord Builds The House: The 127th Psalm (0974361615, $12.00).
Celebrating the Rest of Your Life
100 Fifth Street, Suite 700, Minneapolis, MN 55402-1210
0806651717 $12.99 1-800-328-4648 www.augsburgbooks.com
Theologist and syndicated columnist David Yount presents Celebrating the Rest of Your Life: A
Baby Boomer's Guide To Spirituality, a matter-of-fact guide to opening one's eyes to the future,
considering both practical matters such as making financial safeguards, and matters of the soul,
including the intimidating task of making peace with one's mortality and eventual death.
Encouraging the reader to accept God's grace in order to more fully experience the richness of
Celebrating the Rest of Your Life is a profound yet plain-spoken testimonial sure to resonate with
readers regardless of individual faith. Highly recommended.
God Thought Of You
Mark Francisco Bozzuti-Jones & Jennifer Johnson Haywood
4775 Linglestown Road, Harrisburg, PA 17112
0819219878 $16.95 1-800-877-0012 www.morehousepublishing.com
An Episcopal priest, Mark Francisco Bozzuti-Jones has collaborated with artist/illustrator Jennifer
Johnson Haywood in God Thought Of You, a picturebook introduction for your children into
relationship with God. "Before God created the world / you were in God's mind / God thought of
you and loved you / from the beginning / Before God created the world / God knew that / you
would be a child of God". God Thought Of You is not denomination-specific, and embraces a
positive, uplifting, and loving view of God. The beautiful, watercolor-style illustrations show
African-American children among the many other creations of God - moon, sun, stars, and
A deeply heartwarming and spiritually uplifting picturebook written especially to show young
that we are all children of the living God.
What God Really Said
c/o American Literary Press
8019 Belair Road, Suite 10, Baltimore, MD 21236
1561678805 $14.95 1-800-873-2003 www.americanliterarypress.com
What God Really Said is a thoughtful analysis of the Bible, as revealed to legal assistant and
grandmother Betty Gannon- Bar. The chapters consist of scriptural verses and their meaning
out in plain terms and modern language. For example, 11 Thess: 1:11 "Wherefore also we pray
always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling" is interpreted as "Wherefore
we also pray always for you, that our God would find you suitable, deem you fit and count you
worthy." Many of the chapters are quite brief, perhaps only a few pages, paragraphs or verses
A simple guide deeply infused with the author's vision, passion, and faith.
616 Walnut Avenue, Scottdale, PA 15683-1999
0836192915 $14.99 1-800-759-4447 www.heraldpress.com
Earth Trek: Celebrating and Sustaining God's Creation is a deeply spiritual, week-by-week guide
simple ways in which ordinary people can meditate, reflect upon, and take individual action
concerning major environmental issues, for moral, spiritual, and ecological benefit. Divided into
seven sections reflecting the seven days in which God created all there is, Earth Trek includes
recommendations as removing shoes before entering one's apartment to reduce dust, lead, and
pesticide imprints; writing letters to elected representatives about serious environmental issues;
organize a carpooling program; consider population issues when planning one's family; and much
more. Prayers for meditation, brief discussions of a wide variety of environmental issues,
for discussion and reflection, and more round out this deeply spiritual guide that balances
upon the divine with immediate beneficial actions to take in the material world.
The 1st American Cookie Lady
Native Ground Books & Music
109 Bell Road, Asheville, NC 28805-1521
1883206499 $12.95 1-800-752-2656 www.nativeground.com
The 1st American Cookie Lady: Recipes from a 1917 Cookie Diary offers all 208 recipes of Anna
"Cookie" Covington, first recorded between 1917 and 1920. Classic and tasty cookie recipes
from Sand Tarts to Snickerdoodles, Fig Bars, Coconut Jumples, Maple Brandy Snaps and more.
addition , The 1st American Cookie Lady offers a host of fascinating cookie trivia tidbits,
vintage art and photographs, baking superstitions, the story of women's suffrage and cookies,
poems, WW I food shortage recipes, and much more. An excellent dessert cookbook filled with
recipes that survive the test of time with flying colors.
Come Around If You Want
Jillian Brasch, OTR
Seven Locks Press
3100 West Warner Avenue, Suite 8, Santa Ana, CA 92704
1931643636 $17.95 1-800-354-5348 www.sevenlockspublishing.com
Occupational therapist Jillian Brach, whose experience includes teaching art to AIDS patients and
leading bereavement groups, presents Come Around If You Want, a collection of true stories of
seventeen dying patients with whom she worked. Written give caregivers insights, strength,
emotional tools, and advice to meet the emotional, psychological, and spiritual challenges the
must face, Come Around If You Want presents its tails with honesty, and the will to transcend the
overwhelming fear of death with an expectant understanding of the importance of human
relationships at all stages of life. The power of trust and intimacy are paramount in Come Around
You Want, a very highly recommended guide to prepare oneself for sharing the journey of a
terminally ill or dying person.
Lucian M. Whyte
Florida Academic Press, Inc.
PO Box 540, Gainesville, FL 32602-0540
189035712X $29.95 www.amazon.com
Antinomy: A Union of Mind is an extraordinary blend of fiction and philosophy. Antinomy
around two characters without names: the Other, who experiences difference, rejection, and
through suffering; and the One, who experiences understanding, bliss, and cultivates a firm and
holistic character. Act Two observes the descent of One and experience with human needs. The
act reveals the Divine Mind through a conversation between the One and the Other, who both
understand their mutual dependence. An impressive and thought-provoking debut novel of
complementary states of mind and being from a philosophy and literature student of eighteen
Journey Through Japan
Hans H. Kruger
364 Innovation Drive, North Clarendon, VT 05759-9436
0804836396 $29.95 www.tuttlepublishing.com
Hans Kruger's engagingly informative text is massively illustrated with more than 180 full color
photographs illustrating diverse facets of the Japanese urban and rural landscapes, people, and
artifacts in Journey Through Japan, a superbly written and presented travelogue of the diverse
islands of the eastern coast of Asia that comprise the modern nation of Japan. Here presented for
armchair traveler is a survey of high technology and urban development, side-by-side with
folk festivals and ancient landscapes. Entertaining, informative, and thoroughly "reader friendly",
Journey Through Japan truly lives up to its title and is especially recommended for community
Religions of the World: Shinto
Chelsea House Publishers
2080 Cabot Boulevard West, Suite 201, Langhorne, PA 19047-1813
0791083551 $11.95 1-800-848-2665
Part of the scholarly and educational Religions of the World series, Religions of the World: Shinto
offers an introduction and close examination of Japan's indigenous religion. Shinto defies simple
categorization; it involves the worship of kami, which can be translated as gods, nature spirits, or
spiritual presences. Yet kami are not seen as fully transcendent deities, but rather as that which is
called down into our world. There is no place or person deemed the most holy, nor is there a set
dogma, and the rituals and festivals connected to Shinto simply preach harmony with nature and
people. Unlike Buddhism, Shinto focuses upon creating happiness within life, not the hereafter.
Author George Williams, Emeritus Professor of Religion at California State University, Chico, is
well-versed upon Japanese religion as his numerous published articles attest. Religions of the
Shinto discusses sacred depths perceived in sound, story, action, space, time, and the ruler, and
reflects upon the Shinto's presence and role in modern-day Japan and the world. Black-and-white
illustrations enhance this plain terms resource accessible to lay readers and scholars alike, which
gives an excellent grounding in the complexity and worldview perceptions of Shinto.
The Harder They Fall
Gary Stromberg & Jane Merrill
PO Box 176, Center City, MN 55012-0176
1592851568 $21.95 1-800-328-0094 www.hazeldon.org
The collaborative work of Gary Stromberg & Jane Merrill, The Harder They Fall: Celebrities Tell
Their Real-Life Stories Of Addiction And Recovery is a compendium of autobiographical
of self-help and recovery from alcoholism and drug addiction told by a range of readily recognized
men and women who range from singer and songwriter Paul Williams, to comedian Richard
to actor Malcom McDowell, to musician Alice Cooper, to U.S. Congressman Jim Ramstad, and
sixteen others. All of these stories are revealed with candor, insight, humor, humility, and hope.
Harder They Fall is a unique anthology and should be available to everyone (especially those
struggling with their own addictions) in the community through their local public library.
Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc.
PO Box 5076, Champaign, IL 61820-5076
0736041508 $17.95 1-800-747-4457 www.HumanKinetics.com
Athletes stretch before and after exercise sessions in order to warm up their muscles, prevent
injuries, and cool down after their exertions. Personal trainer and fitness educator Jay Blahnik
the best of yoga, Pilates, martial arts, and sports training in Full-Body Flexibility to create "user
friendly" stretching sequences that anyone can safely use for warm-ups and cool-downs, as well as
during the course of performing challenging workouts on their own. Blahnik operates with three
stretching principles in mind: Variety (challenging muscles with multiple techniques to attain
maximum flexibility); Strength (ensuring that muscles can support the body throughout the entire
range of motion); and Balance (developing equal strength and flexibility in opposing muscle
on both sides of the human body). Offering 10, 20, and 40 minute fitness routines; sport-specific
sequences; and specialty stretch sequences, Full-Body Flexibility is an ideal and recommended
introduction for even the most novice of beginners, while also holding much of value for even the
more experienced athlete and fitness enthusiast.
Betsy L. Hogan
Lullaby and Goodnight
Wendy Corsi Staub
0786016426 $6.99 383 pp.
Peyton Somerset is eagerly awaiting her first child. As the 39 year old moves into the final term of
her pregnancy, she is convinced something isn't quite right. It's not a physical problem but
far more sinister. Someone has broken into her apartment and Peyton is convinced she's being
stalked. It appears that someone is set upon making sure, one way or another, the expectant
either doesn't give birth or doesn't keep her infant. Either way, it's a frightening situation.
Suspense writer Wendy Corsi Staub is skilled at taking her reader to the edge of his seat and
him there for most of the novel. Hang-on, for once again she's going to keep you flipping pages
the wee hours of the morning with this latest thriller.
0786017007 $5.99 285 pages
The western novel is alive and well as the debut of this new series illustrates. The O'Rourke clan
from the Emerald Isle have made their mark in the southwest. Ryan O'Rourk has just survived a
in Arizona's infamous Territorial Penitentiary and he's bent on seeking vengeance on those who
When his Irish temper and flashing six shooter get him sent back to prison before he can met out
brand of frontier "justice", the fiery gunslinger needs some family assistance. Now his people have
break him out of jail so he can complete the job and make it clear no one crosses an
Although it may not exactly be "your father's (or grandfather's) cowboy yarn", Martin's version of
the classic western has all the essential components for a riveting read. If you hanker for a little
action that involves a quick draw, comely women, and action on horseback grab a copy pf
"O'Rourke's Revenge" and take it for a test ride!
Code Name: Kill Zone
0786016892 $5.99 256 pages
When a Colombian drug lord pays off enough politicians so that he can transform a section of the
country into a new nation called Pangea there's good reason for concern in the U.S. As the ruler
Pangea , Luis Mendoza will be beholding to no one and cocaine will be his nation's main
Enter John Barrone and his clandestine strike force. Their mission is as simple as it is dangerous
deadly. Go in and take out "El Presidente" and the rest of his cartel.
Johnstone's "Code Name" series has struck a positive cord with readers of fast paced, violent
espionage novels. He has the formula down pat and delivers an action filled story. It won't win
literary awards but "Kill Zone" will provide a couple of hours of mindless entertainment.
100 Great Things About Texas
State House Press
McMurray Station, Box 637, Abilene, TX 79697-0637
1880510960 $6.95 1-800-421-3378
100 Great Things About Texas is an enjoyable, pocket-sized trivia book filled with 100 "did you
know?" tidbits about what makes the great state of Texas different. Some of the great things are
based solidly on fact ("Texas still has the right to divide into five states. But if we did that we
wouldn't be Texas"); some are historical lore ("The Texas Rangers trace their history back to
Stephen F. Austin called them 'Rangers' because they ranged over such a wide territory protecting
colonists"); and still others are a more subjective matter of opinion ("No matter what state you're
traveling to, you're practically there once you cross the Texas state line"). A lighthearted,
unabashedly pro-Texas little book, ideal as a welcome gift for Texas visitors or a souvenir for
Building Sustainable Peace
Tom Keating and W. Andy Knight, editors
University of Alberta Press
Ring House 2, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T6G 2E1
0888644140 $30.00 www.uap.ualberta.ca
Building Sustainable Peace is an anthology of essays by learned contributors focusing on the
complex problem of reconstructing and building a sustainable peace, particularly in Afghanistan
Iraq but also with an eye for other nations such as West Africa's Liberia and Sierra Leone.
selections include "Rethinking Humanitarian Intervention", "Praxis versus Policy", "From a
of Violence to a Culture of Peace", and many more. A serious-minded compilation that blends
philosophy with a coldly practical eye for twentieth and twenty-first century conflicts and acts of
terrorism and genocide. Numerous specific peace-building strategies are exhaustively discussed in
this heavily researched compendium particularly recommended for college libraries, activist
organizations, and political science shelves.
The Science of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
1403945772 $24.95 1-888-330-8477 www.macmillanscience.com
Michael Hanlon, one of Britain's most successful and respected science writers, presents The
Science of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a fascinating and completely serious overview of
the real science nestled between the witty humor Douglas Adams' classic science fiction novel,
a major motion picture. From discussions about alien life to the possibility of time travel,
teleportation, theories behind parallel worlds, contemplations concerning the existence of God,
Science of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy reviews some of the most popular knowledge
conundrums with a lighthearted wit and snappy satire worthy of its title. Written to be accessible
readers of all backgrounds - even those who have yet to page through The Hitchhiker's Guide to
Galaxy - The Science of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a most entertaining and
thought-provoking companion to Adams' immortal sci-fi comedy.
Cleanroom Microbiology For The Non-Microbiologist
David M. Carlberg
6000 NW Broken Sound Parkway, Boca Raton, FL 33487
084931996X $39.95 1-800-272-7737 www.crcpress.com
Now in an expanded and updated second edition that acknowledges key international cleanroom
standards, greater understanding of the role of biofilms in pure water systems, and other
improvements in scientific understanding, Cleanroom Microbiology For The Non-Microbiologist
David M. Carlberg (Professor Emeritus, California State University - Long Beach) is specifically
designed and written for the professional who has a pressing interest on the subject, but little or
previous training in the area. Chapters discuss basic microbiology and microorganisms, how to
control their growth and activities, cleanroom facilities and personnel controls, and the detection
enumeration of microorganisms in the cleanroom. Black-and-white photographs illustrate this
serious-minded guide that presents basic information as thoroughly as possible without straying
an excess of technical jargon.
Susan Lucia Annunzio
Jane Wesman Public Relations (publicity)
375 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014
1591840600 $24.95 1-800-847-5515 www.us.penguingroup.com
Contagious Success: Spreading High Performance Throughout Your Organization by Susan
Annunzio (Chairman and CEO of the Hudson Highland Center for High Performance) is based
the first global study conducted on the factors that accelerate high performance in a work
environment. The lessons and invaluable insights learned from this research, some of which defy
conventional wisdom, spell out not only how to create high performance but how to effectively
destroy it. A straightforward do's and don'ts recommendation list, with key tips enumerated in
points, covering everything from the effects of workgroup size to the extent to which secrets
be shared to the nuts and bolts of the study itself and how it was conducted. An excellent resource
for business and task managers looking to create the optimum work environment and flow.
Government in the Future
Seven Stories Press
140 Watts Street, New York, NY 10013
1583226850 $7.95 1-800-596-7437 www.sevenstories.com
Based on a talk Noam Chomsky originally gave at the Poetry Center of New York City in 1970,
Government in the Future is a fierce political manifesto discussing how society should best be
structured to maintain democratic control. Urging fellow intellectuals to rethink the balance of
societal, political, governmental, and corporate power, Government in the Future clearly foresaw
issues that are as critically important today as they were when they loomed over thirty years ago.
Notes point out references to the main speech and indirectly suggest supplementary texts for
interested in learning more. A brief yet motivational and persuasive call to heed the problems of
modern society and take action.
The Little Guide To Your Well-Read Life
420 South Congress Avenue, Delray Beach, FL 33445-4696
1929154194 $24.50 1-561-276-2436 www.levengerpress.com
In The Little Guide To Your Well-Read Life: How To Get More Books In Your Life And More
Life Form Your Books, author Steven Leveen shares some of the most effective and personally
rewarding methods he's found for expanding his ability to read into a life-long passion for books
are worth his time. Listeners will discover how they can read twelve more books a year -- even if
they think their current schedule won't permit such a luxury. Additionally, The Little Guide To
Well-Read Life addresses such issues as how a personal library should be adapted, adopted, and
organized to accommodate the books the reader wants to read according to his or her choices,
desires, preferences, interests, and favorites. Aspiring bibliophiles will learn how to get a reading
a book even before its read, as well as when to give up on a book -- even if it's a classic. Practical,
inspiring, thoughtful and thought-provoking, The Little Guide To Your Well-Read Life is
enthusiastically recommended. Especially for anyone who has felt that there were more books
wanted to read than they had time to -- which is every book collector, librarian, and avid reader I
have ever known! 3 discs, 225 minutes, unabridged.
Willis M. Buhle
American Cancer Society's Complete Guide To Prostate Cancer
David G. Bostwock, MD, et al.
American Cancer Society
c/o Health Promotions Publishing
1599 Clifton Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30329
#9652.00 $19.95 1-800-227-2345 www.cancer.org
Collaborative compiled, organized and edited by the team of Doctors David G. Bostwick (Clinical
Professor of Pathology, University of Virginia); E. David Crawford (Associate Director,
of Colorado Comprehensive Cancer City, Aurora, Colorado); Celestia S. Higano (Oncology
Specialist, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and Associate Professor, University of Washington
of Medicine, Seattle); and Mack Roach III (Professor of Radiation Oncology and Urology,
Department of Radiation Oncology, University of California, San Francisco), the American
Society's Complete Guide To Prostate Cancer is a single volume compendium providing the
non-specialist general reader with all of the up-to-date information available on prostate cancer.
Included are the latest advances in prevention, early detection, and treatment of prostate cancer;
varied prostate cancer treatments and the decision making process to determine the best one for
reader; coping with emotional stresses and potential physical side effects (including incontinence
erectile dysfunction); practical issues related to work, finance, and medical care; as well as the
fundamental quality of life issues after treatment, including sexuality and relationships. With
cancer affecting one in six of American men, with more than a quarter of a million American men
diagnosed with prostate cancer, the American Cancer Society's Complete Guide To Prostate
is a vitally important addition to every community library Health/Medicine reference collection in
Snakes Of The Americas
Bob L. Tipton
Krieger Publishing Company
PO Box 9542, Melbourne, FL 32902-9542
157524215X $94.50 1-800-724-0025 www.krieger-publishing.com
Snakes Of The Americas: Checklist And Lexicon is a book/CD combination compiled and written
herpetologist Bob L. Tipton that provides a single volume comprehensive checklist of all known
snakes found in North American, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. This
work also serves as a lexicon listing all the common names (in several languages) of these snakes.
The information covers the subspecies level, as well as citations and distribution information. The
lexicon (on an easy-to-use, searchable, compact disk) includes common names in English,
Portuguese, Guarani, and other languages of the Americas, along with references. An extensive
bibliography is included. A superb work of impeccable research, expertise, and scholarship,
Of The Americas will serve as an indispensable, standard, "user friendly" reference for
herpetologists and is especially recommended as a core addition to all academic library reference
Charles Gidley Wheeler
2021 Pine Lake Road, #100, Lincoln, NE 68512
Avalon Marketing & Communications (publicity)
1193 - 392nd Road, Utica, NE 68456
0595339565 $18.95 www.iuniverse.com
Jannaway's Mutiny is an historical novel based on the September 1931 mass mutiny at
Scotland, by sailors of the Royal Navy's Atlantic Fleet. Frank Jannaway is a British sailor who
himself at the center of the mutiny where the stakes are high -- and the penalties are higher still.
Author Charles Gidley Wheeler is a former Royal Navy Pilot and brings a special expertise to
creating a vivid and totally engaging story that grips the readers attention from first page to last.
Highly recommended reading and a welcome addition to a community library's fiction shelf,
Jannaway's Mutiny is a deftly written action/adventure historical novel that will linger in the
mind long after the book is placed back upon the shelf.
Historical Atlas of Ancient Rome
c/o International Publishers Marketing
22841 Quicksilver Drive, Dulles, VA 20166
1904668402 $25.00 1-800-758-3756 www.internationalpubmarket.com
Historical Atlas of Ancient Rome is an eye-catching summary of ancient Roman geography,
and visual splendor. Illustrated with full-color photographs of Roman artifacts, architecture, and
maps - including reconstructed maps of the city as it must have once stood - grace this amazing
reference cover to cover. Since it is a historical atlas, the main focus is on geography and maps,
references to all aspects of Roman culture and its impact on subsequent civilizations abound. The
text is accessible for lay readers and spells out the course of Roman history from its rise to its
increasingly inevitable fall due to incompetent emperors, a self-serving bureaucracy, and a border
larger than its armies could protect. Highly recommended for library and personal history
U.S. Naval Officers: Their Swords and Dirks
Andrew Mowbray Inc., Publishers
PO Box 460, Lincoln, RI 02865
1931464162 $75.00 1-800-999-4697
U.S. Naval Officers: Their Swords and Dirks is a lavish guide especially for weapon collectors.
Full-color photographs present a vast assortment of historical swords, especially featuring the
collection of the United States Naval Academy Museum, and the text narrates the amazing stories
behind these weapons and the brave naval officers who wielded them. Astonishing in its close
scrutiny of every last engraving upon vintage weapons, U.S. Naval Officers: Their Swords and
is as appealing to lay readers who enjoy rousing true adventures as it is for weapon
D. M. Giangreco with Kathryn Moore
Union Square Press
c/o Sterling Publishing Company
387 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016-8810
0760750459 $19.95 1-800-805-5489
Eyewitness D-Day: Firsthand Accounts from the Landing at Normandy to the Liberation of Paris
a coffee-table book filled cover to cover with testimonies of those who participated in the most
ambitious amphibious military operation in history, and the subsequent crusade to break the Nazi
hold on Europe. Illustrated throughout with black-and-white and a few color photographs, and
packaged with an audio CD of selected eyewitness interviews, Eyewitness D-Day captures the
tumultuous shifts of history from those who miraculously survived. In-depth explanatory sidebars
details within the photographs and other nuances that may be unfamiliar to lay readers,
D-Day is enthusiastically recommended for military historians and casual readers alike.
SEPECAT Jaguar In Action
Glenn Ashley, et al.
1115 Crowley Drive, Carrollton, TX 75011-5010
#1197 $8.02 www.squadron.com
With an informed and informative text by Glen Ashley, and enhanced with illustrations by David
Gebhardt and Darren Glenn, as well as coloring by Don Greer, SEPECAT Jaguar In Action is one
the latest additions to the outstanding Squadron/Signal "In Action" series showcasing all aspects
fighter aircraft. In this case, its the SEPECAT Jaguar, a fighter jet that gave superb front-line
to several national airforces around the world. The plane's origins stem from when England and
France worked closely to produce sever significant Anglo-French aircraft back in the 1960s. As
all "In Action" series titles, this 49-page book is replete with historic photography, museum class
artwork, and covers all elements of the plane's design and function. Other recent and highly
recommended "In Action" titles include Bone: B-1 Lancer In Action (#1179); F-15 Eagle In
(#1183); B-2 Spirit In Action (1178); F-105 Thunderchief (#1185); AH-1 Cobra (#1168); and
Fighting Falcon (#1196). Military aviation enthusiasts would be well served to request the free
Squadron/Signal catalog for a complete listing of their entire collection of outstandingly produced
and thoroughly budget friendly titles.
Fly-Fishing Coastal Cutthroat Trout
Frank Amato Publications
PO Box 82112, Portland, OR 97282
157188339 $29.95 www.amatobooks.com
Also available in a hardcover format (1571883347, $45.00), Les Johnson's Fly-Fishing Coastal
Cutthroat Trout is the definitive book on the coastal cutthroat, from their habitat and life histories,
to the most productive flies, techniques and tackle to use when pursuing them. Coastal cutthroat
trout populate nearly all of the streams and lakes along the Pacific Coast rainforest belt from
Northern California to Alaska's Prince William Sound. With salmon and steelhead populations in
decline, more and more anglers are turning their attention to the coastal cutthroat, and it's Les
Johnson's vast knowledge and love for this fish, coupled with data contributed by biologists and
academics from California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and British Columbia that make
Fly-Fishing Coastal Cutthroat Trout the indispensable, highly recommended instructional guide
seeking to land this particularly feisty and tenacious trout!
A Bibliography Of American County Histories
P. William Filby
Genealogical Publishing Company
3600 Clipper Mill Road, Baltimore, MD 21211
#1825 $35.00 1-800-296-6687 www.genealogical.com
A reprint of the 1985 paperback bibliographic reference originally compiled for use by historians
genealogists, A Bibliography Of American County Histories by the late P.W. Filby (a
world-renowned scholar, bibliographer, cryptologist, and genealogist) is once again available.
Primarily based on the holdings of the Library of Congress and the New York Public Library,
also drew upon published state bibliographies and lists of county histories furnished by librarians
each state. A Bibliography Of American County Histories is justifiably considered to be a standard
bibliographical reference. This seminal work is very strongly recommended for all county and
historical society libraries, as well as personal, professional, and academic genealogical reference
The Other Side Of Russia
Texas A&M University Press
Drawer C, College Station, TX 77843-4354
1585444049 $19.95 1-800-826-8911 www.tamu.edu/upress
In The Other Side Of Russia, author Sharon Hudgins takes the reader along on her
Railroad adventure through Siberia and the Russian Far East, an area that was closed off to
Westerners (and most Russians) prior to 1990s and the collapse of the old Soviet Union. Here the
reader will be treated to a unique travelogue that will take them from the frozen surface of Lake
Baikal, to feast with native Siberian Buryats, the food markets and "high-rise villages" of
Vladivostok and Irkutsk, Christmas celebrations, New Year's banquets, Easter dinners, and
festivals. The Other Side Of Russia dispels the myths and misconceptions about the Asian part of
Russia which extends across eight time zones between the Ural Mountains and the Pacific Ocean.
Offering a window of observation into this land of harsh winters, vast uninhabited spaces, friendly
people, strange cuisines, and thriving modern cities, The Other Side Of Russia is a welcome,
informative, and highly entertaining read which is especially commended to the attention of
travelers and students of Russian culture and history.
Innocents In The Arctic
University of Alaska Press
PO Box 756240, 104 Eielson Building, Salcha Street, Fairbanks, AK 99775-6240
1889963739 $34.95 1-888-252-6657 www.uaf.edu/uapress
Innocents In The Arctic: The 1951 Spitsbergen Expedition by Colin Bull (who was awarded the
Polar Medal by Queen Elizabeth II and the Antarctic Service Medal by the U.S. Government, and
who has made more than twenty-five polar expeditions during his distinguished career as a
glaciologist) writes with personal expertise because he was the cook and glaciologist on the trip
saw ten naive young Birmingham men venturing north to the nearly uninhabited, ice-covered
of Spitsbergen in 1951. The scientific progress of this that ensured was despite misfortunes
by calamitous weather, an unworthy ship, and an entertaining by ill-informed approach to arctic
survival. Bull's realistic, deftly written insider story of arctic adventure is especially recommended
reading for armchair adventurers, arctic exploration historians, and polar enthusiasts.
Driveway Basketball Drills
Youth Sports Club
9 Florence Court, Valley Cottage, NY 10989
0974851744 $24.95 1-800-268-2058 www.basketballcoachone.com
With a total running time of 30 minutes, Driveway Basketball Drills produced by Marty Schupak
and the Youth Sports Club is an impressively coherent visual compilation of creative drills and
games that young basketball enthusiasts can perform in their own driveway, in their school gyms,
at community/neighborhood basketball courts. The more than 30 basketball drills include
ball-handling, passing, defensive moves, offensive moves, and more. In addition to the drills
themselves, Driveway Basketball Drills also showcases different forms of creativity using
props that will help young players acquire and hone their ball handling skills and performance with
other aspects of the game. Driveway Basketball Drills is especially recommended for personal,
community center, and school physical education department basketball instruction
Our Ladies Of The Tenderloin
Linda R. Wommack
The Caxton Printers Ltd.
312 Main Street, Caldwell, ID 83605-3299
0870044443 $16.95 1-800-657-6465 www.caxtonpress.com
In Our Ladies Of The Tenderloin, author and historian Linda Wommack provides the reader with
uniquely informed and informative survey of the lives of prostitutes on the Colorado frontier.
the fascinating story of the women who were also pioneers, who worked the Rocky Mountain
mining camps brothels, as well as the rancher and farmstead supported township saloons, dance
halls, and red light districts, with their own ingenuity, sacrifice, hardship, humor, and occasionally
successful elevations into a more "acceptable" social status through marriage. Linda Wommack
a positive gift for storytelling and treats her material by combining painstaking scholarship and
research with a flair for bringing facts, events, and historic personalities to life in the mind's eye of
the reader. Our Ladies Of The Tenderloin is a welcome and seminal contribution to American
Frontier History reading lists and reference collections.
Ansel Adams in the Lane Collection
Karen E. Haas and Rebecca A. Senf
c/o Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
0878466940 $40.00 1-800-338-2665 www.mfa-publications.org
Ansel Adams in the Lane Collection is an astounding compilation of black-and-white photography
by Ansel Adams, who emerged as one of the first American "superstars" of photography in the
1960's. Commercial photographer, mentor, curator of some of the first major photography
exhibitions in the United States, and environmentalist, Ansel Adams devoted himself to becoming
one of the best in his field, as evidenced by the haunting majesty of natural scenery, cities, and
people captured with crystal clear perfection in Ansel Adams in the Lane Collection. A superb
giftbook or contribution to photography shelves.
Reading Medieval Culture
Robert M. Stein and Sandra Pierson Prior, editors
University of Notre Dame Press
310 Flanner Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556
0268041113 $37.50 1-800-621-2736 www.undpress.nd.edu
Reading Medieval Culture: Essays in Honor of Robert W. Hanning is an anthology of original
essays by learned authors, written in tribute of Robert Hanning and his influential works and
teachings. The essays cover a broad range of medieval studies fields, from Anglo-Saxon England
twelfth century Eurpoean intellectual culture, Italian Renaissance humanism and visual art, and
medievalism of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. A scholarly compilation, with individual
essays offering numerous quotes, and sources, for evidence of medieval thought and way of life,
Reading Medieval Culture is a welcome contribution to literature shelves, particularly historical
literature shelves, especially given its sweeping scope.
The Trinity Apocalypse (literature/religion)
David McKitterick, editor
University of Toronto Press
10 St. Mary Street, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M4Y 2W8
0802048935 $39.95 1-800-565-9523 www.utppublishing.com
The Trinity Apocalypse is the most detailed study of the Trinity Apocalypse manuscript to date.
Written and illustrated in England in the mid-thirteenth century, with text in French, the original
manuscript was a work of art as well as faith, depicting detailed images of the dream of John
alongside the text of the Book of Revelation. Color plates as well as black-and-white photographs
allow for close examination of the stunningly beautiful medieval artwork, and the text spares no
details in its examination of the nuances in the manuscript's words and art. An accompanying
CD-ROM (PDF file, requires Adobe Acrobat Reader) contains the whole manuscript text, with
English translation. A striking and multi-layered analysis of a beautiful and haunting ancient
The Ancient Maya of the Belize Valley
James F. Garber, editor
University Press of Florida
University of Florida, 15 Northwest 15th Street, Gainesville, FL 32611-2079
0813026857 $75.00 1-800-226-3822 www.upf.com
Written by a profossor of anthropology at Texas State University San Marcos, The Ancient Maya
the Belize Valley: Half a Century of Archaeological Research carefully reviews the abundances of
research and discoveries of ancient Maya settlements, striving to collect and integrate information
gathered since the publications of Gordon Willey's classic analysis decades ago. Carefully edited
intended to serve as an interim publication pointing the way to long-term production of final site
reports, The Ancient Maya of the Belize Valley explores the land, the evidence, and the theories
can be drawn in meticulous detail, and points the way to future discoveries and reinterpretations
commonly held beliefs concerning long-ago civilizations. An outstanding contribution to
archaeological reference and study.
Philip Roth Novels and Stories 1959-1962
Philip Roth Novels 1967-1972
The Library of America
14 East 60th Street, New York, NY 10022
1931082790 $35.00 (Novels and Stories 1959-1962)
1931082804 $35.00 (Novels 1967-1972) www.loa.org
A two-volume set, Philip Roth Novels and Stories 1959-1962 and Philip Roth Novels 1967-1972
the Library of America's definitive edition of the collected works of Philip Roth. Both published
special arrangement with the author, the volumes gather his early works and also offer a brief
chronology of Roth's life as well as an assortment of notes on the texts, the better to clarify
little-known references. Novels and Stories 1959-1962 consists of "Goodbye, Columbus", "The
Conversion of the Jews", "Defender of the Faith", "Epstein", "You Can't Tell a Man by the Song
Sings", "Eli, the Fanatic", and "Letting Go". Novels 1967-1972 consists of "When She Was
"Portnoy's Complaint", "Our Gang", and "The Breast". Together, they offer an experience in
American literature that runs the gamut from soulful realism to comedic wit, political satire, and
thoughtful social commentary. Highly recommended.
The Shadowlands of Conduct
Beth A. Rosenson
Georgetown University Press
3240 Prospect Street, NW, Washington, DC 20007
1589010450 $26.95 1-800-246-9606 www.press.georgetown.edu
The Shadowlands of Conduct: Ethics and State Politics is a scholarly study of how, why, and
state legislators enact ethics legislation that applies to their own behavior. Revealing that such
self-regulation tends to take place only when public pressure becomes an irresistible force in
democratic elections, thereby necessitating a constantly vigilant citizenry, The Shadowlands of
Conduct meticulously applies case studies, extensive research, and the author's expertise as an
assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Florida. Chapters
divide modern ethics legislation into pre-Watergate and post-Watergate periods, and also warn
about the limitations of ethics self-regulation. An excellent history and thought-provoking
resource especially for political science and law students.
Michael J. Carson
Cheryl Kaye Tardif
6E - 2333 Government Street, Victoria, BC, Canada V8T 4P4
ISBN: 1412062292 $20.50
Cheryl Kaye Tardif skillfully balances scientific intrigue, and the human desire to retain a youthful
body, with tantalizing sexual tension, and vivid characterizations in this engrossing romantic
The plot steps beyond reality, but by how much? Science grows in its knowledge more every day.
One thing is for sure, and history shows it to be true, greed and absolute power taint fabulous
discoveries and inventions.
Tough and tender Professor Delia Hawthorne aches for her father, and she wouldn't admit it, but
also a decent relationship. Is her father really alive or is something unethical going on? She
remembered what the disturbing man at the doorway of her classroom said. The elderly man wore
grimy suede jacket, needed a haircut and a shampoo, and his clothes were torn and worn, but his
eyes seemed vaguely familiar.
"They're going to kill him Delly. Find the river and stop the Director before he destroys humanity.
Its all in the book," the old man said.
Del examined the leather-bound book later, along with a strange symbol, the notes inside, and
appeared to be a code.
For seven years she'd believed her father dead. There was even a funeral. He'd gone on an
down the Nahanni River in the Northwest Territories, and came up missing. If he lived, she'd find
him, but first, Del decided to visit the company her father had worked for, Bio-Tec Canada.
Award-winning Cheryl Kaye Tardif is a Canadian mystery author who's appeared on television
radio. She's been told that she has the highest, most consistent sales during a book signing in
Other books include:
- 'Divine Intervention'
- 'Whale Song'
Exciting and vivid. Tardif's latest novel sweeps readers along into uncharted, wild Canadian
territory. A thrilling adventure where science sniffs harder, desperate to find the
Dare to Dream! 25 Extraordinary Lives
Sandra McLeod Humphrey
59 John Glen Drive, Amherst N.Y. 14228
ISBN: 1591022800 $14.00 121 pages
A great deal of wisdom and inspiration between the covers of this book makes it destined for
only. Its message: Never, ever give up.
"Heroes are ordinary people who accomplish extraordinary things, and this book is dedicated to
our heroes - past, present, and future," writes Humphrey.
The title suggests we should dare to dream. There are those who could have given up. They
certainly had enough reason to, but their desire did the driving.
"Dare to Dream! 25 Extraordinary Lives" offers profiles of 25 inspirational people. Some are of
individuals from long ago, but many are alive today. Much of the information isn't new, but the
combined selection, along with the reason for their selection, is. Humphrey places these special
inside her volume because they're dreamed big and had a positive influence on those around them.
They're not in the book because they're big entertainers in Hollywood, they're actual regular
They also didn't give up when agonizing odds plagued them, or hardships blocked their way.
6 of the 25 biographical sketches include:
Martin Luther King Jr.
Sandra Day O'Connor
There are also:
Note to Adults
Note to the Young Reader
Humphrey includes quotes from each of the 25 lives. Here are a few:
"The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too
low and we reach it." -Michelangelo (1475-1564)
"Don't be afraid to reach for the stars." -Ellen Ochoa (1958-)
"Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration." -Thomas Alva Edison
"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." -Bill
Selection of heroes and their account answer questions such as:
How do heroes achieve their dreams?
Are there any ordinary women heroes?
Are there any ordinary African-American heroes?
Sandra McLeod Humphrey is a retired clinical psychologist and an award-winning children's
Her web-site provides areas for kids, parents, teachers, and ongoing essay contests for grades 1-9.
Might this author write another book with 25 more extraordinary lives? Kids can never have too
many heroes, especially in this day and age. They need authentic examples, and sometimes adults
This book does accomplish what it set out to do. It contains more inspiration for children than all
but a very few books published this year. It's the kind of reading that can encourage both young
old. Perfect as a gift and in the classroom.
Christina Francine Whitcher, Reviewer
Live Well on Less Than you Think: The New York Time's Guide to Achieving Your Financial
Henry Holt and Company, LLC
115 West 18th Street, New York, New York 1011
ISBN: 0805077254, $15.00, 165 pages
It's not difficult to figure out the major concept of this book. Author Fred Brock states it
"Cutting expenses increases income." Having stated his thesis, he proceeds to show how and why
this concept can lead to financial independence. In a writing style that is almost conversational in
nature, Brock discusses a wide range of ways in which the average reader can cut expenses
undergoing a major change in lifestyle. It is possible, he points out, to spend less, live well, and
build the foundations for a financially secure future.
Brock introduces his strategy with a discussion concerning the attitudes toward spending and
among today's younger generations. He believes they are too willing to take on dept and too
pessimistic about their chances of affording a comfortable retirement. He then leads his readers
the details of nine concepts which he recommends as the way to fulfill the goals indicated in the
Briefly stated, these concepts include paying down debt, taking into account financial realities
as moving to more cost effective locations and considering areas where job growth is above
buying only the type and amount of insurance you need, being realistic about selecting colleges,
refraining from frequent purchases of new cars (buy one and keep it for ten years to beat the
depreciation penalty), and being very careful of credit card dept
Most of these suggestion, as you may have noticed, are not new nor original. However, Brock's
commentary on each adds a better understanding to the "why" and "how" of the recommendation.
All in all, this is an easily understood book which presents a plan for managing your finances that
seems simple in concept but may be difficult to practice. Brock does a good job of helping the
to overcome the difficulties and to plan for success.
Your Money Your Future (A Life-long Toolkit for Leveraging Your Financial Future)
Belltower Productions, Inc.
P.O. Box 360161, Cleveland, Ohio 44136
ISBN: 0976034506, $12.95, 125 pages
Gelfand begins this slim volume with a brief discussion of his central view that a successful plan
managing one's wealth must begin with a good understanding of some basic financial issues. He
suggests that among these are knowing your current net worth, understanding your cash flow,
having an awareness of where and why your present savings are deposited, and understanding
to choose a financial planner.
Following up on the introductory section, Gelfand divides the book into nine additional short
chapters each briefly discussing a separate issue basic to understanding the world of finance.
Included are topics such as real estate, insurance and health, investing, bonds and fixed income
securities, and retirement and estate planning. Each chapter contains information on a variety of
sub-topics related to the major subject matter. For example the chapter which deals with the
topic of investing, covers such sub-topics as investment styles, how to choose among the various
types of brokers, and the top five stock scams to avoid. These scam types are, incidentally, e-mail,
investment seminars, affinity group frauds, phone solicitations, and telemarketing schemes.
This is a very basic reference book most suitable for those who have little or no knowledge of
investments and financial planning. It provides a short-hand explanation of many of the
concepts and topics in the world of finance but suffers from an overall lack of depth. Its value
seem to be as a guide to which the reader might refer to find topics of interest and as a starting
for further research.
Fund Your future: Winning Strategies for Managing Your Mutual Funds and 401(k)
Berkley Publishing Group
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014
ISBN: 0425183610, $20.95, 216 pages
Author Julie Stav is a financial planner and broker who hosted a popular PBS series on finances.
previous book on how to get rich in the stock market was primarily directed toward women
for a good primer on investing. This book, however, is intended to reach a broader audience. Its
emphasis is on setting realistic financial goals, understanding and investing in mutual funds, and
assembling a diversified portfolio of funds appropriate for your tax deferred 401(k).
Stav leads her readers through the various sections with hands-on examples. Although the charts
tables that pop up from time to time may initially appear daunting, she is able to simplify the
by providing concrete examples for each of the steps and presenting them in a remarkably easy to
understand manner. For example, in the chapter on targeting which mutual funds may be the right
ones for your particular goals and financial situation, she includes specific steps for logging on to
Morningstar web site and guides the reader through various areas of information contained on the
side, providing succinct bits of advice on how to interpret the collected facts along the way.
other topics covered in detail are five steps for determining your goals, building a nest egg,
short-term investment vehicles, understanding and evaluating mutual funds, tracking your
results, periodic re-evaluation of your investment mix, and making your money last.
Perhaps the best way to appreciate all that it contains is to arm yourself with a pencil, a notepad,
your computer and participate in the work along as you read exercises. If you follow the
and suggestions, I think you will find this easy to understand book is loaded with specific
information and advice you can use to put together a plan that fits your own special
The God Particle
ISBN: 0345462858 $13.95 304 pages
Richard Cox's The God Particle is told from multiple points of view, but principally through the
of its two good-guy male protagonists. The first is Steve Keeley--a super-charged businessman
who's looking to gain the vice presidency of his company within a few weeks of the book's
and looking to propose to his girlfriend within twenty-four hours. His path will eventually cross
of Mike McNair, the brilliant physicist in charge of a 12-billion-dollar independently-funded super
collider in Texas aimed at discovering the "God particle" of the book's title, a theoretical particle
physicists believe gives mass to other particles. The book opens promisingly: readers quickly feel
sick sense of dread as Steve, on a business trip to Switzerland, is pursued by an overly aggressive
female employee whom we suspect--and whom he suspects--might very well "tumble off her
precarious ledge of good judgment and fall into the Fatal Attraction abyss." But nothing comes of
this, and more unpleasant events propel Steve toward his true fate, a fall from a third-floor
that leaves him with a serious head injury. He undergoes brain surgery and survives, but during his
convalescence Steve begins hallucinating and finds that, among other things, he can sometimes
Steve's story eventually becomes the less frequently visited of the book's two storylines. We read
about Mike McNair's work and his incipient relationship with a certain Kelly, an attractive
anchorwoman with whom he exchanges emails laced with scientific and religious musings. One
about Mike and wants his relationship with Kelly to work out, but in the end what happens
the two does not matter very much to the story. And while some of their weighty philosophical
back-and-forth is necessary to provide readers with background information about Mike's work, it
tends to slow the narrative down, particularly when they continue the discussion as the book's
denouement approaches. In the end, Steve's and Mike's stories intersect, as Steve's hallucinations,
begins to think, are somehow related to the God particle, though precisely why he and the book's
bad guys converge on Mike's super collider at the same time was never very clear to me. By the
book's end, meanwhile, Steve has become a secondary character, and the people who filled out his
story at the book's beginning--his parents, his amorous employee, his would-be fianc‚e--have been
mostly forgotten. After an unsatisfying ending one leaves the novel feeling that the story never
came together--that several characters in the book never fulfilled the promise of their
Blowing My Cover: My Life as a CIA Spy
ISBN: 0399152393 $22.95 295 pages
In Blowing My Cover: My Life as a CIA Spy author Lindsay Moran tells the true story of her
relatively brief career with the CIA, a five-year stint that straddled the terrorist attacks of
11, 2001. Moran begins with her early interest in espionage--childhood fantasies fueled by spy
novels and James Bond matinees--and her first application to the Agency, right out of college,
she did not pursue past an informational meeting in a Washington D.C. Holiday Inn. ("The CIA
representatives who greeted us were somewhat disappointing: a dowdy, middle-aged woman with
thick glasses and orthopedic shoes, and a paunchy, balding guy who had the aura of someone just
completing a messy divorce.") Five years later, however, Moran reapplied to the Agency, over her
family's objections, and this time she saw the process through to the end.
Moran spends a little more than half of her book detailing the intensive training that she
at The Farm, the CIA's site in Virginia. She and her fellow would-be spooks learned how to
bombs and jump out of planes. They practiced wearing disguises and ramming beat-up Cadillacs
through walls and fences and lines of parked cars. Plunked down separately in a wilderness area,
they were required to navigate to a specified location using only a contour map and a compass, a
feat the trainees accomplished with varying degrees of success. ("Sally was found close to dark,
naked in a swamp. Frustrated by her inability to find her destination, she'd inexplicably decided to
After graduating from The Farm Moran was sent to Skopje, Macedonia, a post for which she
learned Serbo-Croatian (and such handy phrases as "Some of the women were raped, but all the
were killed.") As a case officer for the CIA, Moran's primary job was to recruit foreign
agents--people who had access to information and would be willing to sell it--and to maintain the
agents who were already under her control. Some of her job had a cloak-and-dagger excitement
it--clandestine meetings and coded signals--but much of it was dull, from the reams of paperwork
she was required to fill out to the necessity of listening to some low-level agent's marital
during a meeting. Perhaps it is a reflection of the banality of much of her work as a spy that
narrative, downright fascinating in the first half of the book, is less compelling in the second.
Two themes run throughout Moran's book. She complains often about the difficulty she had as a
CIA operative maintaining non-Agency relationships. The easy lies and ostensibly bizarre behavior
of spies--the odd hours and unexplained departures--take their toll on friendships and love affairs.
And Moran was ill at ease even during her training about the nature of the work she would be
required to do as a CIA case officer, preying on targets, approaching them under false pretences,
and using their vulnerabilities as a means of convincing them to sell their state's secrets. Moran's
loneliness on the job and her moral discomfort with it were jointly responsible for her decision to
resign from the Agency in 2003.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
ISBN: 0439784549 $29.99 652 pages
It's Harry Potter's penultimate year at Hogwarts and things in the wizarding world--and the world
Muggles, for that matter--are not looking good. Voldemort is back and the Death Eaters, the dark
wizard's evil minions, have begun claiming victims. Meanwhile, in the relatively safe haven that is
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher has
been installed, the sixth DADA instructor in as many years. And Hogwarts's newest faculty
a certain Horace Slughorn, seeks to gather Harry--"The Chosen One," as the Daily Prophet is
calling him--into his flock of favorites. Harry, however, is spending his time instead in the
of Hogwarts's headmaster: he and Dumbledore clamber about in other people's memories
throughout much of the book--a trick achieved with the use of Dumbledore's handy pensieve. Ron
and Hermione, not privy to these adventures, pass their time instead simmering at a slightly higher
temperature than usual. The book simmers as well, building slowly, almost quietly, as Rowling
with readers, making us wonder repeatedly whether we know for certain where her characters'
allegiances lie. We find out for certain--or so we must think, anyway--in the dramatic events that
unfold toward the book's end, when the identity of the Half-Blood Prince of the book's title is
revealed and Rowling's latest read becomes--fans will not be surprised--nearly
One can criticize J.K. Rowling's sixth book on a few counts. The author does not throw out very
many life preservers to those of us who have not recently read or reread the earlier books in the
series, frequently alluding to characters and events from previous installments without reminding
of their significance, which can be confusing. The identity of the Half-Blood Prince, too, once
revealed, is not as important as readers are led to expect. And the final chapter of the book, while
some of its material is necessary to complete the story, is over-long and makes for an
dull conclusion. But these are relatively small complaints. After many thousands of pages,
prose continues very much the same--a kind of straightforward, unaffected writing that gets the
story across without slowing things down, a style that has proved unusually accessible to a vast
readership. In the six volumes of her oeuvre Rowling has carefully and vividly brought to life a
complex, fully realized world, plucked from her imagination, one that will stand on its own and
continue to engage the imagination of audiences long after Rowling herself is able to oversee it
(much like the universe of Gene Rodenberry's Star Trek in this respect). Her creation of this
alternate world, so real to her readers, is, I believe, a remarkable achievement.
The Torment of Others
ISBN: 0312339194 $24.95 400 pages
Derek Tyler has been in a mental institution for two years, locked away after confessing to a
of savage crimes, the ritual mutilation and murder of four prostitutes. Derek's not a bright guy,
his crimes were meticulously planned: the Voice, after all, had given him very precise instructions.
Elevated by his acts of sadism, Derek was changed from one of life's losers to a somebody whose
crimes could terrorize a community and stump the police, at least for a while. But two years on,
Derek safely behind the bars of his asylum, it's happening again: prostitutes are being killed in
precisely the same way, grisly details that had never been released to the public replicated in a
reprise of the earlier murders. And the Voice is commanding a new killer.
The elite major incident squad investigating the killings has brought in Britain's top psychological
profiler to consult on the case, but Dr. Tony Hill is, frankly, at a loss. There is no doubt that
Tyler was guilty of the first crimes, and a copycat killer would need inside information about the
Tyler murders to reenact them. More problematic is that no one else would want to reenact the
murders, at least not for the purpose of satisfying their own sexual fantasies. As Dr. hill repeatedly
insists, no two people committing sexually motivated homicides will derive satisfaction from the
same complex of details--how their victims are bound, how they are tortured, how they are
While Tony Hill tries to enter the mind of the maniac cleaning up Bradfield's red-light district, the
city's police department, under the leadership of DCI Carol Jordan, investigates the crime by more
traditional means--poring through paperwork, interrogating everyone working and living in the
seedy area in which the crimes took place, and planting an undercover policewoman among the
vulnerable working girls.
Val McDermid's The Torment of Others, the fourth book in her series featuring profiler Tony Hill,
a solid police procedural and simply a very good read: well-written, with likeable but flawed good
guys, creepy bad guys, and a plot that will keep you guessing until Tony himself starts putting the
pieces together. And when he does that, some 60 pages from the book's close, readers will be
pressed indeed to put this one down.
ISBN: 0312992289 $6.99 466 pages
Adam Cassidy was just another drudge in a cubicle farm, doing as little as he had to to keep his
at Wyatt Telecommunications. But his practiced underachievement ended suddenly the day after
effectively embezzled $78,000 from his employer: Adam threw an elaborate catered party for a
retiring dock worker and billed the affair to the company. Adam's prank, as he naively thought of
attracted the attention of the company's megalomaniacal president Nick Wyatt, who found
something to like in his employee's attempts to talk his way out of trouble. He issued Adam an
ultimatum: serious jail time unless he agreed to become a mole in another technologies company,
Wyatt rival Trion Systems. An intense few weeks of training followed while Adam was
groomed--literally and figuratively--for his new role. He emerged from Wyatt's crash course with
look and (faked) credentials of a rising corporate superstar, and with the know-how that would
allow him to land a job at Trion and defeat the company's elaborate security systems once he got
Adam's story, told in the first person, becomes increasingly suspenseful the longer our hero stays
Trion. Working with unprecedented fervor by day in order to fake his way in a position for which
is not qualified, Adam is forced to spend many of his nights prowling around the darkened
headquarters of Trion, breaking into offices, scamming security guards, riffling through top secret
files. His actions are fraught with danger, and they become increasingly difficult for him morally as
well. Fed information on the sly by Wyatt, Adam appears at work as a kind of Wunderkind and
moves up the corporate ladder with impressive celerity. Now enjoying constant access to Trion's
founder and president, Adam becomes fond of the man whose company he is doing his best to
Finder's novel is an exciting, well-written, fast read. Though filled with corporate speak and
technical jargon, the book is never weighed down by it. And the corporate world to which Finder
introduces us, with its petty politics and hierarchical struggles, is fascinating. The story's various
twists and the increasingly impossible position in which Cassidy finds himself will keep readers
Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 0743260031 $21.00 258 pages
Sarah Vowell's Assassination Vacation is a sort of historical road trip, a digressive account, with a
personal spin, of the events and personalities, the places, memorials, and memorabilia connected
with the first three presidential assassinations in the United States--the murders of Presidents
Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley. Vowell devotes a chapter to each president--Lincoln, not
surprisingly, gets the most ink--and closes the book with a brief fourth chapter on, primarily, the
Lincoln Memorial. In her presidential chapters Vowell discusses the antecedents to and political
context of the assassins' crimes, including the sort of homely details that bring her subjects' stories
life. And she describes with an infectious delight the locations at which historically important
occurred, the sorts of places, often plaque-bearing, that one can easily pass on the street without
recognizing their significance. She visits the usual suspects on her tour, the Ford Theater, say, but
there are many unexpected stops as well--the site of the shop at which Charles Giteau purchased
gun he would use to kill President Garfield, the island prison where Samuel Mudd, the doctor
treated John Wilkes Booth's broken leg, was incarcerated in the 1860s.
Vowell imparts a lot of information in the book. Some of it comes in large chunks which she
more palatable in an interesting way: she frequently writes about her conversations with third
parties, some friend she's pressed into driving her around, or a tour group guide, and rather than
weighing down her paragraphs with monotonously related facts and figures, she rattles them off at
what seems to be high speed to these poor souls while her readers look on. It turns out to be an
effective device. That Vowell abuses her friends by boring them with historical lectures is also a
of her self-presentation in the book: she paints herself as a sort of uber-nerd whose quirks,
her fascination with dead presidents, her friends tolerate only with difficulty. ("That is the kind of
person I have become," she writes of her sister's Christmas present to her of a single hair from the
head of abolitionist John Brown, "the kind of person who rips open a package in snowman
paper to discover that her only sister has bought her an executed slavery hater's hair.") It's cute,
though it sometimes seems that she's trying a little too hard to be quirky.
Vowell writes very well, and she's often funny. ("Once I knew my dead presidents and I had
insufferable, I started to censor myself. There were a lot of get-togethers with friends where I
hear half of what was being said because I was sitting there, silently chiding myself, Don't bring up
McKinley. Don't bring up McKinley.") Much of what Vowell has to say, moreover, is downright
fascinating, the kind of stuff you'll be mentioning to your friends: Did you know, for example, that
Edwin Booth, John Wilkes Booth's brother, once saved the life of Robert Todd Lincoln? Or that
younger Lincoln was in close proximity to all three of these assassinations? (Vowell clearly loves
this detail: she refers to Lincoln early in the book as "some kind of jinxed Zelig of doom" and later
on as, well, "Jinxy McDeath.") Or did you know that Henry Rathbone, the guy who was in the
with Lincoln at Ford's Theater, subsequently moved to Germany, went crazy, and shot and killed
wife? This is great material.
But Vowell's book, unfortunately, is uneven: cute and funny and fascinating in parts, it is also
sometimes slow and weighed down by the author's less successful attempts at being folksy. Like
aforementioned "Jinxy McDeath," or the too lengthy discussions of her macabre three-year-old
nephew Owen, or a bizarre digression on the Fox television show The O.C. and it's star's fertile
eyebrows. References like the last are unfortunate also because they will date the book, as will her
frequent diatribes against President Bush, which she shoehorns into the text whenever possible.
Despite its faults, however, Assassination Vacation has enough going for it that it remains very
much worth the read.
Debra Hamel, Reviewer
Oz Kids and Our Auntie em
ISBN 0963452746 $17.95
Goettel makes the connection of his Auntie Em and L. Frank Baum, the author of "The
Wizard of Oz," and says it is his aunt that Baum portrayed in the novel. The stories Goettel writes
about are of a very different era of this nation. What emerges is a country that was much more
distinctive than today. It was as former President Bush said " a kinder, gentler, nation" in which
did not have to lock your doors, neighbors knew and cared for each other. The pieces are funny,
revealing, and very enjoyable of a different period of this country's history.
Faith & Fairies
White Plains, New York
ISBN 0975935518 $14.95
Rarely do I read, nor enjoy fantasy novels but I am very happy to say this is one I like very much.
think its because I can relate to the characters, unlike other fantasy novels that are about long ago
societies, or worlds very different from our own. It's the story of several teenage boys who enter a
magical world that becomes more interesting page after page. Haviland is in the class of L. Frank
Baum, Terry Brooks, or Stephen Donaldson who are some of the authors I have enjoyed.
William F. Nolan
Dorchester Publishing Co. Inc
200 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016
ISBN 0843951915 $6.99
The author of the classic science fiction novel "Logan's Run" has compiled 22 of his best short
stories into a second collection. They are some of his finest works written over a period of 50
Some are dark and sinister, while others are biting horror. All are from a master of many genres
should have fans asking for more.
Holloway House Publishing Company
8060 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90046
ISBN 0870679937 $6.99
I have to say this is the best novel I've read so far by this author. "Swamp Man" is a simple story
George Jackson who seeks revenge on all of the men responsible for raping his sister Henrietta.
Jackson. His nickname is "The Swamp Man" because he was born and bred in the swamps of the
Mississippi, hunts down and kills each of them on his own turf of the swampland. Goines is a
of suspense as his narrative unfolds with a clear-cut plot that races along at a page turning pace to
its conclusion. I think what's remarkable is that Goines wrote close to fifteen novels in the short
period of five years. So far I've read three and they all are great novels that are as timely today as
they were when they were written in the 1970's.
When it Comes to Guys, Whats Normal?
St. Martin's Griffin
175 Fifth Avenue, New York N.Y. 10010
ISBN 0312348169 $9.95
The author reveals what makes a man normal. She exposes such things as; How many women he
been to bed with. What makes a good lover? Does size matter? What is great sex? I found this to
in interesting study that includes many other aspects about males that gives women a new
perspective on men.
Hide Yourself Away
Mary Jane Clark
St. Martin's Press
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10010
ISBN 0312994206 $6.99
Grace Callahan, an intern at Key News, is on assignment in Rhode Island. Along with her are
correspondents and several other interns competing for a position with the major news
I've always liked suspense novels and this one is a gem. In fact, this is a great one by this author.
Known for her titles that are song titles, this one races along to its final shattering climax. They
write what you know and in this case Mary Jane Clark, who works for the news department of
has once again filled the story with believable characters who work for a news network, I love the
way she has come up with so many different tales that involve the same network. Clark has also
filled the novel with conflicts that drive the book along to make it that much better. Some of them
are Callahan must fight her ex-husband for custody of their daughter, contend with other younger
interns for a job with the news organization, and find out who the serial killer is before he kills her
This is a fast paced read that is also very revealing in how the news media really works.
The Ancient Breed
ISBN 1598000322 $16.95
FBI agent Nick Bellamy is back in a second novel that picks up just after "Mortal Eclipse. This
Bellamy must tie up the connection between the fountain of youth and a monster that is preying
people in Florida. The story is tense with numerous conflicts that steer the tale along, while the
writing is sharper and gives the feel of a Stephen King or Dean Koontz. Both books would make
great movie series.
Publishing Gems Insider Information for the Self-publishing Author
ISBN 1932672850 $16.95
The president and founder of Outskirts Press takes authors and readers into the world of
and tries to make it a lot easier to understand, because the business is very different from any
He talks about selling books to bookstores, the reasons to consider mainstream publishers versus
self or print on demand, setting up publicity, reviews and a list of reviewers in the country, author
appearances. This is a book that should be read by any author who wants to self publish or go
print on demand publisher, to avoid making many blunders.
Robert A. Heinlein
Baen Publishing Enterprises
P.O. Box 1403, Riverdale, NY 10471
ISBN 0743499158 $7.99
I loved this collection, that has been expanded and finally back in print, of works by Heinlein that
really defines the author. For those of us who know his take on politics, this book shows a lot of
thoughts, ideas and perceptions that ran throughout his novels, short stories and other pieces.
Gods and Androids
Baen Publishing Enterprises
P.O. Box 1403, Riverdale, NY 10471
ISBN 0743499115 $7.99
Like most kids, when I was in high school I read Andre Norton novels because they were fast
reads. Now many years later it is nice to see that the Norton titles that have been out of print for
long are back with new art work, and combined into two novels for one price. I have a different
perspective also with these books because back when I read them I enjoyed them for the action;
I see that her stories are very well written character driven tales as well. Norton is to me the
Christie of the science fiction fantasy genre. It is easy to see why with this edition.
Girls Hold up this World
Jada Pinkett Smith
Photographs by Donyell Kennedy-McCullough
557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012
ISBN 0439087937 $16.95
Here's another kid's book that is a role model for all young girls to read and believe they can be
whatever they want to be. The writing has other positive implications for young girls with scores
beautiful pictures that reinforce the messages.
Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen
Warner Books, Inc.
1271 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
ISBN: 0446611034 $6.99 428 pages
Stewart and Cohen have re-written a classic SF tale. They bring modern science and a new voice
the classic story. Most readers will never notice the re-telling. For those who recognize the story
modern variations in speculation and science make the story fresh.
'Heaven' is a story about religious ideas going beyond religion into fanaticism. Stewart and Cohen
make a great choice at the beginning by producing a religion with few ties to today and using
technical terms such as memeplex to separate the reader from the emotional strings of today's
The reader feels safe to look deeply into the way benevolence can be corrupted into evil. The
is pure SF action that pushes the reader to think.
A unique mix of creatures are on the planet called No-Moon. Neanderthal information traders are
meeting with a mariner called Second-Best Sailor who has special information from his reef wife
about an upcoming danger. A fleet of fanatical evangelists from Cosmic Unity are heading for the
planet. Their plans are to convert the planet to their religion or kill everyone while trying. An
of Cosmic Unity, Samuel, sees the dark side of Unity and tries to help.
'Heaven' is a great hard science SF novel. The science and creatures are interesting, unique and
plausible. The tale is action with hints from the Golden Age of SF. It is recommended to all
who like to get lost in an action story that makes them think.
Pocket Star Books published by
Pocket Books, a division of Simon & Schuster Inc.
1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
ISBN: 0743453018 $7.99 380 pages
Reichs uses deliciously macabre real serial killers to base her latest story on. It has the creepy feel
reality oozing from its pages. I have one personal problem with her writing. Montreal is a
city and she blends in the French language into her stories. This adds a richness to the detail but I
have to drop out of the story flow with every French word while I consider its meaning.
Reichs' heroine, Tempe Brennan, hates Mondays. This Monday starts out with her in a filthy
sub-basement digging up bones while Sergeant-detective Luc Claudel shoots rats next to her. The
skeletons of three young girls are unearthed. Claudel assumes the skeletons are from the turn of
Twentieth Century and decides to stop investigating. Tempe thinks the skeletons are recent and
to find ways to force an investigation. Tempe's best friend, Anne, shows up with personal
her romance with Detective Andrew Ryan is in trouble, and her home is vandalized. Every new
Monday brings more problems.
'Monday Mourning' is a good addition to the Tempe Brennan forensic mysteries. It has a creepy
murderer, a complex heroine and more than enough technical details mixed with action to bring
to the heart of any mystery reader.
S.A. Gorden, Reviewer
Memory and Identity: Conversations Spanning Millenniums
Pope John Paul II
300 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10010
ISBN 0847827615, $19.95 192 pp.
The Catholic Church teaches superstitious hogwash that even those Catholics who are not totally
brainwashed recognize as falling somewhere on the credibility scale between the memoirs of
Munchausen and the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm. The Church teaches superstitious
because its current theofascist Tyrannos, Karol Wojtyla, believes superstitious hogwash.
Wojtyla, commonly called Pope John Paul II, himself falls somewhere on the intellectual scale
between John Steinbeck's Lenny Small and Simple Simon, and somewhere on the rationality scale
between Caligula and Incitatus. Not surprisingly, this collection of edited conversations in Polish
between Wojtyla and two sycophants in 1993 propagates the hatemongering of his most paranoid
For example, Pope Pius IX in 1870 repudiated the declaration of Pope John XXII that the
of Papal Infallibility was diabolic, and pronounced himself infallible. Wojtyla clearly believes that
is infallible. In 1869 Pius IX repudiated the doctrine of all predecessors that abortion prior to
quickening was permissible, and declared that, from the instant of conception, all medical
that reduced the number of births of tithe-paying believers were sinful. Wojtyla goes beyond even
the most paranoid pope in Catholic history (to that time), and equates the abortion of a pre-human
tadpole with zero brainwave activity indicative of human thought, with Hitler's extermination
program commonly described as the Holocaust. The President of the Central Council of Jews in
Germany released a statement, "The Catholic Church does not understand or want to understand
that there is an enormous difference between the mass genocide and what women do to their own
Wojtyla, in contrast, refers to, "a legal extermination of human beings who have been conceived
not yet born an extermination which has been allowed by nothing less than democratically
parliaments." As the appointee of a self-perpetuating oligarchy, Wojtyla is no fan of
elected parliaments. He believes he has the right to impose the taboos of his religion on whole
populations that reject them. At a time when governments worldwide are recognizing that,
regardless of their religion-based attitude toward same-sex marriage, denying same-sex couples
equal recognition under the law is a violation of human rights, Wojtyla describes equal-rights
legislation as, "part of a new ideology of evil, perhaps more insidious and hidden."
Wojtyla discusses the attempt on his life in 1981. Since the conversation reported in the book
place some years before the Big Lie was concocted that the 1917 Fatima hoaxers had
the assassination attempt, naturally he made no mention of any such prophecy. Instead he reports
subjective feeling that his imaginary goddess intervened to save him. Sure. And the reason I did
choke on a Halloween candy is that the Great Pumpkin similarly intervened.
Satanic cults, according to Wojtyla, are widespread and growing. This despite the FBI's finding,
after an exhaustive investigation, that they exist only in the undisciplined imaginations of
evangelicals and fundamentalists. And at the same time that this book was being prepared for
publication, a university tied to the Vatican was training priests in the rite of exorcism. Even
priests are embarrassed by their Fuhrer's endorsement of the reality of demon-possession.
The book does not discuss the suspicious death of Pope John Paul I in 1978. That Luciani's death
was a murder or a suicide has never been proven, but there is little doubt that the true
were covered up - conceivably because the current Secretary of State thought it was a suicide.
a diaper-wearing retard was appointed pope as a reward for his role in the cover-up is not
With rare exceptions, Catholic men become priests for the same reason Protestant men become
scoutmasters: lust for absolute power, and access to lots and lots of little boys. Lord Acton
that absolute power corrupts absolutely, and Hitler, Stalin and Wojtyla are three proofs that he
right. Wojtyla sheds crocodile tears over the millions of dollars his church has been ordered to pay
to victims of pedophile priests. But it apparently has never crossed his mind (assuming that he has
one) that his continued enforcement of priestly celibacy is the reason the Catholic Church has
become a Shangri La for gay men, including a disproportionate percentage of pedophiles.
This book will offend Jews, democrats, egalitarians, moderate religionists (including Catholics),
supporters of human rights. J. Messelier wrote in 1733, "I should like to see the last king
with the guts of the last priest." If Wojtyla is the archetype priest-king, it cannot happen soon
reprinted from Humani, May 2005
God.com: A Deity for the New Millennium, revised second edition
John A. Henderson, M.D.
P.O. Box 3678, Boone NC 28607
ISBN 188790591X, $16.95 217 pp.
John Henderson has written a fair and balanced account of religion, "balanced" in the sense that
considers all of the evidence. Nonetheless, brainwashed god addicts (tautology) are bound to
that he focuses on the down side of religion and does not take into consideration the up side. That
analogous to criticizing a historian such as A. J. P. Taylor for focusing on the down side of
and not considering the up side. NEWSFLASH! Religion has no up side. It has been responsible
ninety percent of all man-made evil for at least 3,000 years. "Even during this 21st century,
continues to be the most powerful source of hatred and violence" (p. 118).
Most of the factual errors (not affecting the book's thesis) of the first edition have been eliminated
this revised version - but not all. Henderson writes that the ancients "created hells, deep in the
(p. 6). But to the ancients, "deep in the earth" would have been meaningless. They saw the earth
flat disk, with an underworld that was literally below the earth, just as the sky was a solid
hemispherical dome, to which the sun, moon and stars were attached, above the earth. He also
repeats the misinformation that, "the number one, the top god, has always been masculine" (p. 7).
Not so. Male gods were not invented until men discovered that children have fathers as well as
mothers, c 3500 BCE. Prior to that date, all deities were female, and the head of the pantheon
Henderson also endorses the "golden rule" (pp. 133-134), apparently unaware that it took a
that was already perfect ("Do not do to another whatever is hateful to yourself"), and inverted it
an impossibility. I want a billionaire to give me a million dollars. The "golden rule" says I should
likewise to him. That is so impossible, it is not even a joke. He does, however, acknowledge that
original was "more logical and better" (p. 133). He describes the pater noster as "the Lord's
(p. 112), a peculiarly Protestant designation that carries implicates I, as a nontheist, utterly reject.
does, however, point out the absurdity of the Big Lie that there are no atheists in foxholes (p. 98).
And while pointing out that alleged monotheisms actually have two gods, the god of good and the
god of evil (p. 6), he ignores the reality that, by any reasonable definition of a god, "angels" and
"saints" are gods under other names.
Also, Henderson's bibliography of recommended reading leaves something to be desired, both for
what it includes and for what it excludes. For example, some books Henderson must have viewed
favorably, since he incorporated their findings into his own thinking, are missing. And his
recommendation of the Revised Standard Version, with its blatant falsifications of the original
Hebrew and Greek, rather than The Compact Fully Translated Bible (authorhouse.com) that
corrects those falsifications, seems hard to justify. Quoting the mistranslations (pp. 76-77) when a
correct translation is available is even harder to justify.
So much for the down side. Fortunately those imperfections do not undermine god.com's thesis,
diminish its usefulness to the curable believers who are the book's market.
Henderson starts with some self-evident truths: "It is religions that create gods. A single god
never create thousands of religions" (p. 13). "Religion is not a simple set of soothing beliefs; it is a
recipe for violence . Even at an early age I knew that if god existed, it couldn't be as bad or as
cruel as some of the religious experts would have you believe" (p. 3). "If you still believe that
religion does more good than harm, read your daily newspaper with an open mind. If you are able
separate morality from religion, you will be able to see for yourself the terrible damage that is
throughout the world in the name of religion" (p. 16).
"More individuals and governments should reject religions that promulgate hatred and encourage
their members to act on that hatred . We can and should stop supporting those institutions that
teach and preach hatred and antisocial views. Don't point to the wonderful things that good
do for their fellow man and call that religion. That is morality" (pp. 16-17). "Humanism, a
philosophy for the good of all mankind, could and should replace religion" (p. 17). "God must be
like a cat I had when I was a child. The more I stroked it, the louder it purred" (pp. 22-23). "If a
powerful human being displays the qualities of anger, vengefulness, unaccountability, and
unpredictability, we call him bully, tyrant, and despot - we don't call him loving and merciful" (p.
24). "We should ask those who are talking with god to record the conversation on tape, so that all
of us could hear it" (p. 28). "There are people who know more about religion than you and I, but
none of them know more about god. It is time for us to ditch the middlemen and think for
(p. 29). "Remember this: no one knows more about god than you do" (p. 191).
Henderson draws attention to the doublethink that enables believers to credit their god with
responsibility for everything good while acquitting him/her/it of any responsibility for everything
bad. He uses the example of a plane crash in which 257 are killed, 5 are injured, and 3 escape
unscathed. He points out that the 3 survivors are likely to claim that an angel or a saint intervened
save them (p. 37). He then asks whether they blame their god or their satan for the 257 deaths. If
god was responsible, what was his purpose? If the satan was responsible, was the god otherwise
engaged (on a coffee break? relieving himself? seducing a virgin?). "Why was god allowing satan
wreak pain and suffering on the people it purportedly loves?"
On the current attempt of creationists to pass off religion, in the guise of Intelligent Design, as
science, Henderson writes, "I see children on the playground filled with energy and lacking in
wisdom; I look in the mirror and see an old man filled with wisdom and so lacking in energy; then
say to myself, 'Intelligent Design bah! I could do better'" (p. 46). And he asks: If humans were
intelligently designed, who or what designed the designer? "If everything must have a cause, then
god must have a cause" (p. 33).
Henderson has nothing good to say about missionaries. He shows that missionaries who "do
have their own ulterior motives, predominantly lust for personal power (pp. 55-58). He had to
Israel to learn that conservative Jews and orthodox Jews hate one another as much as Sunni
Muslims and Shia Muslims hate one another (p. 13). Perhaps he should visit Hawaii, where it is an
open secret among the native Polynesians that, "The missionaries came here to do good, and did
Henderson's chapter on the "ten commandments" should be skipped. Henderson is not a biblical
scholar, and consequently starts from the assumption that the commandments meant what modern
religion pretends they meant (see Mythology's Last Gods, pp. 159-164). But I should mention
Henderson's alternative commandments (p. 80) are significantly more moral and useful than the
original Big Ten, either as formulated by their authors or as falsified by misleading
Henderson devotes a short chapter to The Wall Street Journal, chosen simply because he reads it,
but essentially to illustrate a problem common to all news media. He points out that its staff
go to great lengths to investigate all sides of an issue when writing about anything else, but blindly
adhere to the Party Line when writing about religion. He summarizes, "I appreciate why a
newspaper cannot criticize religion, as it is politically incorrect and economically unwise. It could,
however, stop implying that all would be right in the world if we would just let religion and god
it. This belief flies in the face of the evidence in front of our eyes - just look at the theocratic
and their human rights violations" (p. 95). Reading that, I could not help thinking of a bumper
sticker I once saw: "One nation under God - Iran."
On the efficacy of prayer, Henderson writes, "Every study has shown that prayer is completely
ineffective in bringing a supernatural being to our aid" (p. 103). "If prayer worked, we wouldn't
doctors, hospitals, social security, or flood and hurricane insurance. Christian Science would reign
supreme" (p. 106).
Nor is Christian Science the only cult Henderson singles out for criticism. He reports that the
government "favored dissolving extremely dangerous groups like the Church of Scientology" (p.
16). No argument from me. He gives two definitions of a cult: "You may prefer Tom Wolfe's
definition: 'A cult is a religion with no political power.' We can update the definition by saying that
cult is a religion that doesn't have its own newspaper and television channel" (p. 135). And in
quoting with approval a criticism of Judaism, Protestantism and Catholicism, he repeats the
conclusion that, "Catholic Christianity is the most preposterous of the three" (p. 15).
While leaning over backward to avoid offending curable believers, Henderson does not go so far
to minimize reality. "The myths of Santa Claus, the Easter bunny, and the tooth fairy are enjoyable
and do little harm. The myths of religion, which continue into adulthood not to be altered or
discontinued, are harmful and cause guilt, fear, and anxiety" (p. 115).
On the blatant double standard of religious fanatics, Henderson notes that, "President George W.
Bush wants a secular democracy in Iraq and a Christian theocracy in the United States" (p. 128).
Given that Bush is a theofascist moron who ranks slightly lower on the intellectual scale than John
Steinbeck's Lenny Small, perhaps he is not really representative of anyone except other morons.
observable reality indicates that the entire Republicanazi Right Wing have the same double
Henderson's ultimate advice to believers in an imaginary playmate in the sky is, ""Keep your own
fantasies, but do not act upon them. Like the stage play and movie Harvey, it's all right to talk
the imaginary rabbit or even a god - just be careful about making important decisions based upon
this conversation with yourself" (p. 54). The consequences of failure to follow that dictum are
nightly on the television news: "God tells Osama bin Laden to destroy America and god tells
President Bush to destroy Iraq. Don't you think god should back off a bit?" (p. 43, quoting an
unnamed "wag"). No one doubts that bin Laden's belief that his god talks to him is further proof
he is dangerously insane. Since Bush also participates in two-way conversations with his god, one
reminded of Thomas Szasz's observation, "When you talk to god, you are praying. When God
to you, you are schizophrenic."
And finally: "Keep Santa Claus; retire god" (p. 198).
God.com will not stop theofascists like Osama bin Laden and George W. Bush from perpetrating
atrocities or treasonously circumventing the First Amendment. And it will not enable such moral
cowards to overcome their mind-crippling terror of death that forces them to believe in life after
death as the only alternative to being institutionalized and diapered. Its usefulness is limited to
curable believers. In Dr Henderson's revised edition he has written a simple, easy to understand
on the harmful effects of organized religion and the illogical beliefs in an all-powerful, all-knowing
god. It will not arm the reader with ammunition capable of penetrating the opiated minds of
dogmatists. But for persons who, although addicted to pie in the sky when they die, are capable of
recognizing that any god responsible for observable reality is not a nice entity, it is definitely
The Gathering of Infidels: A Hundred Years of the Rationalist Press Association
ISBN 1591021960, $25.00 356 pp.
Bill Cooke's history of the Rationalist Press Association is very much a history of the evolution of
freethought, particularly the debate over how best to combat religious dogma and persuade the
masses to substitute thinking for blind acquiescence to whatever the proponents of the Big Lie
instructed them to believe. One faction of freethinkers viewed religion as a crutch that should be
replaced by (metaphorically) learning to walk. The opposing view was that religion could best be
overcome by offering what advocates of the former view saw as an alternative crutch.
Suggested alternatives to religion ranged from communism and psychoanalysis to agnosticism.
and Engels proposed that a religious interpretation of history should be replaced by an economic
political dogma now generally recognized to be as unworkable, unjust, and every bit as
to dissent as religion. Sigmund Freud replaced belief in fantasy "A" with belief in fantasy "B". In
Future of an Illusion, he replaced "God" with the now-discredited imbecility he called
psychoanalysis, and suggested the bible as a source of truth should give way to the allegedly
content of dreams. Religion is unmitigated nonsense based on the need of the intestinally
to annul the terrifying reality of death. Psychoanalysis is unmitigated nonsense based on the need
the intellectually challenged to believe that fantasies spouted to an alleged therapist somehow
contribute to the fantasizer's mental health.
Communism and psychoanalysis continue to survive only among the patently unteachable.
Agnosticism has proven more resilient, and to this day is defended even by acknowledged
nontheists, even though the man who coined the word wrote twenty years later, "Agnosticism, in
fact, is not a creed but a method" (quoted on page 24). But agnosticism's pretence that "God"
cannot be disproven is as false as the pretence that Frodo, the Wizard of Oz, and Count Fosco
cannot be disproven. While the abstract concept of a god can be neither proven nor disproven,
historians disproved the god of religion as definitively as Martian canals more than 150 years ago,
and philosophers did so more than 2,000 years ago.
There is also an ongoing dispute as to whether believers in nonsense should be subjected to scorn,
satire and ridicule, or treated as if their beliefs were reasonable, and the Rationalist Press
was similarly divided on the issue. Some believed that the ridiculous should be ridiculed, while
others held that politeness should be paramount. But whichever approach was taken, the reaction
incurables was identical. "Churchmen are wont to burst with indignation when an attack is made
their religion which they feel to be undignified or churlish. But, sadly, this does not prevent some
their number from feeling justified in making precisely that sort of attack on non-believers while
surrounding themselves in a halo of sanctity" (p. 57).
Cooke catalogues the origin of a particularly trite nonsense aphorism. "It is a common assertion
particular class of believer that there are no atheists in foxholes. Few more insulting and offensive
slanders have ever been made. On the contrary, many brave men became atheists in foxholes .
more than that, they became atheists from a spirit of indignation and anger at the mocking
hollowness which declarations of God's love would engender in those circumstances" (p. 77). If in
fact many believers were cured of their brainwashing by exposure to the horrors of World War I,
recognizing that they were living in a reality that could not exist if the universe were produced and
directed by an omnibenevolent god, one can only wonder whether the benevolent god's latest
atrocity, the tsunami murder of 280,000 Asians, will finally drive home the reality that there is no
protector in the sky. Do moral cowards need to believe in life after death so badly, that a sadistic,
antihuman, mass-murdering god willing to provide it to sycophants is better than no god at all? If
and they continue making Planet Earth uninhabitable in the conviction that a deus ex machina will
intervene to save them from the consequences of their shortsightedness in the last act, the
of the human race cannot be far distant.
Despite internal disagreements, the Rationalist Press Association flourished until it was for all
practical purposes superseded by Prometheus Books. When members found it undesirable to go
along with the majority, they broke away and founded alternative organizations that usually
predeceased RPA. One of these was the Federation of Progressive Societies and Individuals. In
1932 FPSI published a manifesto advocating repeal of oppressive divorce laws, repeal of laws
discriminating against homosexuals, dissemination of birth control information, legalization of
abortion, and abolition of censorship and "Sabbath" enforcement. It also advocated sterilization of
the feebleminded. Since most of the other demands have subsequently been attained, it may be
the sterilization proviso was what the believers most feared. If such a procedure had been
implemented, it would have affected Karol Wojtyla, George W. Bush, Hillbilly Graham, and the
overwhelming majority of theofascists worldwide. And if that had happened, the world would
be a far safer place than it was a century ago instead of a more dangerous one.
Humanism, What's That? A Book for Curious Kids
ISBN 1591023874, $12.00 77 pp.
Helen Bennett's book is written in the form of a dialogue between a teacher and her pupils on the
subject of Humanism and its role in human relations. It has all the appearance of nonfiction, in the
sense that it takes the form of questions asked by pupils and the teacher's answers. It is, however,
too carefully designed to be an unedited transcript of a single discussion that occurred at a specific
time and place, and is in all likelihood a synopsis of several discussions with different groups of
pupils. The teacher's answers to the pupils' questions are at all times intended to teach tolerance as
well as the other Humanistic principles espoused by the more enlightened religions. But perhaps
most significant paragraph in the whole book is the description of what happened when the
teacher asked her pupils to have their parents sign a permission slip for them to attend a
group to talk about Humanism:
"The class took permission slips home and six children (out of thirty-two) were allowed to take
Green's after-school class on Humanism. When the discussion group met, here is my best
recollection of what happened" (p. 13). The rest of the book is the dialogue from their
When twenty-six out of thirty-two pupils are refused permission by their parents to attend a
discussion of what Humanism is all about, it is self-evident that trying to overcome religious
by reasonable discussion has little or no chance of making a difference. Bennett presumably wrote
her book in the hope of doing just that. She should not hold her breath.
The Singers I Prefer
6 Horizon Rd. - No. 2901, Fort Lee, NJ 07024
ISBN: 0972304541 $14.00 87+xiv pp.
What Barter says in the poem "On a Beethoven Cello Sonata" could also be said about his own
poems: "The strain/that labors cadence after cadence toward/resolution, wresting its course
away/from the pestering piano, arrives/only after everything is so changed/that where it meant to
is no longer/possible...." Similarly, you never know where Barter's poems are going to go. But
doesn't mean they are anarchic, or are simply pleasing or inspired gatherings of images. Like
the poems have no reason, but rather play out intimations and ideas inhering in their animating
moods, memories, and thoughts. Though Barter uses a Beethoven cello sonata in tendering
something about music which also wittingly or by intuition or chance refers to his own poetry,
Barter's poetry is more like Bach's music than Beethoven's. The emotional restraint and
of Barter's poems makes them more like Bach's music.
The Black Death in Egypt and England: A Comparative Study
Stuart J. Borsch
U. of Texas Press
PO Box 7819, Austin, TX 78713-7819
ISBN: 0292706170 $50.00 195+xii pp.
Borsch's comparison is based on the different kinds of ownership of land in the two societies in
14th century, the time when the Black Death struck Europe and the Middle East. "In contrast to
their Egyptian counterparts, English landholders had a much more direct economic interest in the
welfare and management of their estates." The basic reason for this was that the English
could pass their land on to their heirs. By contrast, the large majority of Egyptian landowners
"specialized warriors known as Malmuks" who could not pass their land on to their heirs; and
their ownership of it was tenuous in the factional conflicts and intrigues in Egypt at the time.
finds the answer to his main question of why England managed to recover economically after the
Black Death while Egypt did not in this difference in land ownership. A considerable proportion
each country's population, including those who worked the land, succumbed to the plague; which
some historians have likened to a nuclear holocaust in the areas it afflicted. England's system of
ownership was the decisive factor in its economic recovery in the years after the Black Death. In
order to keep their land productive and thus valuable, England's landowners were obliged to adapt
to the new power the surviving workers had gained in the agrarian economy with the loss of so
many to the disease. The Malmuks in Egypt, on the other hand, had scant incentive to make any
adaptations to hold up the value of land they had only a precarious ownership of. Borsch draws
the economic, social, and to a lesser degree the historical effects of this fundamental difference
between English and Egyptian landownership in the late medieval period. An assistant professor
teaching Islamic and Middle Eastern history as well as history of the world and Western
he has the right learning for this work.
Savvy Guide to Fantasy Sports
9850 E. 30th St., Indianapolis, IN 46229
ISBN: 0790613131 $26.95 367 pp.
Fantasy sports is an area of online game-playing that is booming, like the other video games it is
related to have in recent years. Harmon--a staff writer at Yahoo Sports doing columns covering
many of the fantasy sports--does a manual for play which is comprehensive and in-depth, but also
well-focused and reader-friendly. Each of the major sports fantasy games such as football,
and auto racing as well as lesser-played sports of cricket, soccer, and also reality TV shows
to the sports) are dealt with in individual chapters. These chapters include many short sections so
readers can learn about improving skills in the particular, complex, multifaceted games one step at
time, as if "having a good friend by your side." A chapter "Ask the Experts" includes tips from
others experienced players and recognized names in the field. In Harmon's enthusiasm, readers
recognize a shared keen interest; and his knowledge will help players at any stage develop greater
American Poetry Review
117 South 17th St., Suite 910, Philadelphia, PA 19103-5009
ISBN: 0971898189 $14.00 76+xvi pp.
Bouvier finds an ebullience and often amusement in ambivalence. No Hamlet is he, riddled with
doubts. He gets above the ambivalences by a bright, sometimes almost mocking style. This
does not get to any answers, or even any ways out of the ambivalences. But it surely presents an
unfamiliar, entertaining view on this common state. Bouvier can write, "If we touched hands, it
too much. We touched hands. It was not enough...We lost ourselves, we found a house. We
house, we lost the house." ("The House In Order") He ends "Somebody Stop LaSalle, "To the left
and right fantasies. Come amok with me." The insouciant style yields fetching, occasionally
Behind the Scenes of Hindi Cinema: A Visual Journey Through the Heart of Bollywood
Johan Manschot and Marijke De Vos
KIT Publishers, Amsterdam
distributed in U.S. by Stylus Publishing
PO Box 605, Herndon, VA 20172-0605
ISBN: 9068321862 $49.50 159 pp.
The heavily-illustrated work imparts the carnivalesque style of the now globally popular
films of India--the exotic, often extravagant, costumes, the promotional stunts, the common
such as traditional morality and romance and marriage, the blaring music, the theater and constant
motion and sense of anticipation and surprise. In the foreword, Amitabh Bachchan explains the
Bollywood films are "inspired by epic and folk theatre." In the early days of the films, movie
would send messengers with drums to announce a film's opening; like Indian royalty in ages past
would have bells and drums sounded to call the public for an announcement. The often
visual material is so vivid and jumpy that it can override the text. But for ones looking for material
on the making and promotion of Bollywood films, social and religious subjects reflected in them,
their distribution in the global entertainment system, and the marginal, yet influential Tamil
it's found in substantive chapters by different writers knowledgeable in these areas. A timely,
work on the Bollywood films whose mixed, yet focused content mirrors the mixed elements and
vitality of such films.
The World of Tattoo: An Illustrated History
Maarten Hesselt van Dinter
KIT Publishers, Amsterdam
distributed in U.S. by Stylus Publishing
PO Box 605, Herndon, VA 20172-0605
ISBN: 9068321927 $80.00 304 pp.
The encyclopedic work answers the fascination with tattoos in contemporary society by focusing
the origin and purpose of tattoos in ancient and aboriginal cultures in all parts of the world. In
modern society, tattoos are a matter of personal choice and often personal design, whereas in
ancient and aboriginal societies, a tattoo was "the tribal variant...generally applied according to
custom and associated with taboos and magic." These "variants" are covered in richly-illustrated,
anthropological-like chapters on the different areas of the world. Innumerable illustrations include
color photographs of tattooed individuals, historical art works showing tattoos, photographs of
tattoos being put on, tattooing instruments, and close-ups of tattoos showing their details. With
diversity of captivating visual matter, encyclopedic scope, and informative, general-interest text,
"The World of Tattoo" is a leading text on this subject of renewed interest in contemporary life;
it can also be used as a reference for tattooing in particular cultures or particular historical
Stray Dogs and Lone Wolves: The Samurai Film Handbook
Stone Bridge Press
PO Box 8208, Berkeley, CA 94707
ISBN: 1880656930 $19.95 235 pp.
Dissatisfied with the academic reference books on this popular Japanese film genre of samurai
the longtime student of Asian and Japanese culture Galloway wrote this jaunty, learned reference
providing "historical background, cultural insights, production anecdotes, actor and director bios,
and detailed plot synopses" for more than 50 of the films from the 1960s into the '90s. Besides the
classics "Seven Samurai" and "Rashomon," others of the numerous films included are "Three
Samurai," "Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance," "Heaven and Earth," and "Band of
Assassins," as well as "Samurai Reincarnation" and "The Razor: Sword of Justice" and others in
series these two are a part of. Galloway's outstanding guide treats the films as part of the global
popular culture rather than "foreign" films calling for explanation in terms of some film theory or
film critic's abstruse, involved ideas.
New York Poems
D. H. Melhem
Syracuse University Press
Syracuse, NY 13244-5160
ISBN: 0815608138 $16.95 181 pp.
Melham's world is expansive and diverse, filled with teeming humanity, hopeful, indefatigable life.
She's the "daughter of Lebanese immigrants and a native of Brooklyn [who feels she is]
quintessentially American." The abundant life in her poems is mostly in the upper West Side of
York, where she now lives. It has come to her as traditional immigrant groups and newly arrived
ones, and the myriad activities and behaviors of the huge population of a vibrant and crowded
"Broadway Music" goes in part, "And the old men sing with her/they dream through the curving
wood and metal/and the forms of the sounds that go out/as if the dirty newspapers and today's
news/the people running up subway stairs/the dogs the pimps the hustlers...." This calls to mind
Lorca's vision of New York, the eye of a newcomer. The bustle and melange of street life is not
hollow motions of idlers and the aimless, but the music of the infinite dreams and constant
negotiations of the nameless, but not faceless nor anonymous, population.
The Indestructible Man
University of West Alabama
Livingston, Dept. of Languages and Literature
UWA Station 22, Livingston, AL 35470
ISBN: 1931982481 $14.95 138 pp.
Jablonsky does not marginalize his characters with abnormalities, but rather illustrates how their
ideas, behavior, and aims affect those around them, sometimes to the point that others become
involved in their impossible schemes. The abnormalities of the main characters reflect the
hopes, dreams, aspirations, burdens, and frustrations of the wider world of normal individuals
around them. Henry's friends accept his becoming "unhinged" from the death of his wife Cora,
"have learned to accommodate him." This "accommodation" broadens to involve helping Henry
pilfer steel spikes, empty oil drums, wooden planks, and other materials he needs for a large
which he believes will catapult him to the moon. Watching Henry's crazed ambition come to a
end, the small crowd that had helped him try to fulfill it "for the first time...feel[s] the pull of
upon us." Stories of Jablonsky's have appeared in the Southern Humanities Review, Beloit Fiction
Journal, and other respected literary journals. Somewhat simplistic in conception and structure
(probably due to the limitations of space for a short story), the stories memorably portray the
sometimes subtle, even insidious, sometimes overt, even flamboyant, effects wishful thinking can
have on others.
Materializing the Military
edited by Bernard Finn and Barton C. Hacker
Science Museum, London
distributed in U.S. by Michigan State University Press
1405 South Harrison Road - Suite 25 Manly Miles Building East Lansing, MI 48823-5245
ISBN: 190074760X $39.95 183+viii pp.
This work is a part of the series named "Artefacts" associated with London's Science Museum,
whose editors "encourage authors to use objects as evidence for their studies of the history of
science and technology." The eleven chapters of this volume were written by authors from
universities and museums. The topics vary widely, from 15th-century Valois Burgundian artillery,
World War I U.S. women's uniforms, the display of arms in museums, artifacts of the German
occupation of Britain's Channel Islands in WWII, to the use and image of U.S. submarines in the
Cold War. The essays get at what can be learned about the respective military forces of the time
also what can be learned about the relationship between such forces and the society of which they
were a part.
Driver: Six Weeks in an Eighteen-Wheeler
Lyons Press/Globe Pequot Press
246 Goose Ln., Guilford, CT 06437
ISBN: 1592286798 $22.95 376 pp.
Wilson's journal of his time as a driver trainee for an eighteen-wheeler truck is a travelogue across
much of America combined with the work, lore, and challenges of driving such a mammoth truck.
Wilson decided to give this occupation a try after losing a job he had in management, the field he
went into after service in the Navy. The author's combustible relationship with the driver who was
training also makes for much of the unfailingly colorful, light tale. Wilson and his trainer spent
hours together in the cab of the eighteen-wheeler. The rewards and low points--though never
regrets--of driving one of these behemoths across desert and mountain, prairie and forest to
goods to towns and cities across the country has never been more amply and engagingly
The Battle for Zimbabwe: The Final Countdown
Zebra Press/Struik Publishers, Cape Town, South Africa
distributed in U.S. by International Publishers Marketing
PO Box 605, Herndon, VA 20172-0605
ISBN: 1868726525 $21.95 308+xii pp.
Africa correspondent for the Washington Times who grew up in different countries of southern
Africa, including Zimbabwe, Hill gives a detailed account of the overthrow of the
government when the country was known as Rhodesia by indigenous black rebels and the
subsequent cementing of the autocratic, often brutal rule of Robert Mugabe. Mugabe was one of
leaders of the insurrection and political leader of Zimbabwe (as the country was named after the
of white rule). To a large extent, this is the story of the murky circumstances whereby Mugabe
became leader of the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU), including the assassination of
leader, and its role in helping to keep him in power. Instead of a bona fide political party in a
democratic system, ZANU became the enforcement arm of Mugabe's one-man rule. Hill's
of unfortunate Zimbabwe and biographical portrayal of its autocratic leader is a set piece in how
things have gone wrong in many countries in Africa.
Forewords by Nelson Mandela and Arthur Chaskalson
Zebra/Struik Publishers, South Africa
distributed in U.S. by International Publishers Marketing
PO Box 605, Herndon, VA 20172-0605
From Ahmed Kathrada's lifelong involvement in the thick of South Africa political activism and
26 years in prison in the notorious Robben Island and Pollsmoor prisons for political prisoners, he
became the fellow activist with and confidant of Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, and other
figures in the struggle against that country's apartheid. And with them, Kathrada played a leading,
though for the most part less visible, role in developing a post-apartheid South African political
social system. Though apartheid was abandoned years ago, the full story of the struggle against it
just now beginning to emerge, as the leaders of this struggle are finding the time to write their
memoirs in their later years after moving out of the political arena and giving way to the
generation of leaders. Kathrada sees his own "Memoirs" as a "modest addition to the growing and
most welcome body of work that is emerging about a particularly significant period in South
recent history." Kathrada's modesty kept him from moving into the political, governing, arena as
visibly as others, notably Nelson Mandela. But it's clear from this modestly-written "Memoirs"
Kathrada was a major figure in bringing apartheid to an end and setting South Africa on a new
Converging Stories: Race, Ecology, and Environmental Justice in American Literature
U. of Georgia Press
330 Research Press, Athens, GA 30602-6130
ISBN: 0820327441 $39.95 188+ix pp.
Myers--assistant professor of English at Manhattan College--explores the roots of his belief that
"racial oppression and environmental destruction [are] inherently and historically related" by
critiques of the founding views toward nature in American society--Jefferson's "Notes on the
of Virginia" and Thoreau's "Walden." With his deconstructive treatment of these, Myers discloses
that these two influential authors set up a bifurcated scheme leaving nature and individuals apart
from one another, with individuals having mastery over nature. This "bifurcation" based on
Thoreau's ideas of social reform and environmentalism in his writings "reproduces the
duality at the root of ecological and racial hegemony." Thoreau came to feel uneasy about this
bifurcation; but he never explicitly renounced it or went beyond it even implicitly in his writings.
find expressions of the harmony, rather than the duality, between the human and nature
bound in with real equality, Myers turns to works by Native Americans, but also by African
Americans and some American authors of European heritage. African Americans essentially and
intuitively have this harmony with nature from their origins in Africa and also their work on the
as slaves in America. He points to the 1988 nonfiction book "Mississippi Solo" by the
African-American writer Eddy L. Harris--"an account of his solo canoe trip down the length of
Mississippi River"--as containing the "ecocentricity that respects the intrinsic value of the larger
world and from which springs a consciousness of human equality and an imperative for social
justice." Myers does not attempt an exhaustive study of his subject, but rather presents a relatively
abbreviated, though well-developed study of it; and along with this, persuasive analysis and
reasoning in support of his point of view.
An All Night Man
Brenda Jackson, Joylynn Jossel, Kayla Perrin and Tamara Sneed
St. Martin's Griffin
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
ISBN: 031232877X $13.95
This is a book of four sensuous novellas by today's hottest African-American authors: Brenda
Jackson, Joylynn Jossel, Kayla Perrin and Tamara Sneed.
The Hunter - By Brenda Jackson
Hunter Sloan and Mallory Standish had a very sexual relationship, but when Mallory wanted a
commitment, Hunter ran. Six months later, they are thrown back into each other's lives. Mallory
hires Hunter, who's a private investigator, to spy on her sister's husband, Lewis, whom Mallory
thinks is having an affair.
When Mallory walks into the restaurant for their first meeting, the sexual desires he had for her
once again awakened. Only this time, he realizes that he wants her for life and is determined to do
whatever he has to do to make Mallory realize they are meant to be together. She's feeling the
way but is afraid to let Hunter know how she really feels.
Hunter spends weeks following Lewis and comes up with nothing to prove that he's cheating on
wife. Hunter doesn't mind because his investigation allows him to continue with his plan to win
Hunter finds out that Lewis isn't cheating on his wife; they are in fact having lunchtime trysts
to make a baby. And Mallory can no longer deny her love for Hunter and the fact that she wants
to be her "all night man" only.
Just Wanna Love Ya - By Joylynn Jossel
This is a story about two friends looking for love; one is African-American and the other is White.
Jai and Rissa are best friends, and every Friday after work, they went to Club Cream. One Friday
while they're at the club, in walks an Italian stallion by the name of Sloan, and when Rissa spots
she announces that he's the man she's gonna marry. Once Sloan spots them, he walks up and asks
to dance, and there are instant sparks between the two of them.
They start dating and she invites him to meet her family in Columbus, Ohio, but forgets to
that Sloan's Italian, and the dinner becomes a complete disaster. Rissa tries to make Jai see that
making a mistake dating Sloan, because there are people who still don't accept interracial couples.
Jai starts to think about their relationship and how they never go out, how she hasn't met any of
friends and how she's never introduced him to her friends. But she doesn't care about that because
she loves Sloan.
One night Rissa and Jai spend time hanging out and, afterwards, Jai decides to surprise Sloan
because he told her he was gonna be home all day working. Once she arrives at his house, she's
one who gets surprised. Sloan has thrown a party for his co-workers and didn't invite her. He tries
explain why he had the party without inviting her but she doesn't want to hear it.
When Jai tells Rissa that she's no longer dating Sloan, Rissa is inwardly happy because she's never
gotten over the fact that Sloan chose Jai and not her.
Two weeks later, Jai and Rissa are at Club Cream and Sloan walks in. Seeing Sloan again makes
weak in the knees. Rissa, seeing the light come back into Jai's eyes, knows right then and there
Sloan is the man for Jai.
Never Satisfied - By Kayla Perrin
When Amani Milford was in high school, she spent nights fantasying about her English teacher,
Aaron Hayes. When they are given an assignment to write a very personal story, Amani wrote a
story detailing her fantasy in hopes that Aaron would want her. When he rejected her, she was so
devastated that she gave up her dream of writing.
Amani married Carl, who mentally abused her, taking her self-esteem away. After she and Carl
divorce, she dates off and on. She dates Earl who, after a couple of months, is in love with her but
isn't the man for her. He keeps coming by the caf‚, Coffee, Tea & Mail, which Amani and her
longtime friend, Suzette Gordon, are co-workers, hoping to win Amani over.
One day, Aaron Hayes walks into the caf‚ and recognizes Amani. When she tells him that she's no
longer writing he feels guilty because of how he rejected her when she was his student. Now that
she's an adult, and he's no longer married, he is suddenly attracted to her. He convinces her to join
his writing class, and she does.
They spend a night together, making passionate love, but once it's over Amani runs off because
afraid that he'll once again reject her. He tells her that he's in love with her and she tells him that
she's always been in love with him but was afraid of being rejected by him like Carl rejected
Never Satisfied - By Tamara Sneed
Olivia Hawkins promised her brother, Jack, whose wife had gone into labor, that she would
accompany his client, Clark Stone, a Hollywood actor, to his television appearances so that Jack
could be with his wife.
When Clark saw that it was Olivia that would accompanying him, he wasn't happy because
whenever he came over to their house for dinner, she was always rude to him. But deep down,
were both attracted to each other even though they never expressed it.
They spent time together and decided that they would have a one night fantasy and then go their
separate ways, but it didn't end there. Clark realizes that Olivia is the woman for him and that her
being in his life could make him change his Hollywood bad boy ways. But Olivia isn't so sure
Clark takes Olivia to his hometown to attend the engagement party of his childhood friends and
there, he shows Olivia his true self and she falls in love with him but runs away before he can
her. When Clark finds out that she's left him, before going to Scotland to film his next movie, he
races to the train station to profess his love and to ask to marry her.
Overall, I give this book four stars.
Take It There
ISBN: 0976660105 $15.00 292 pages
This is the story of three women, Tanya, Shari and Nia. The three of them meet when they all
that they've been dealing with the same guy, Quincy Malone. He's the President and CEO of a
printing company in New York. After all three women bust Quincy in Nia's dorm room, they
become the best of friends.
Tanya, who's a gold digger, always winds up brokenhearted. She's a professional Art Director
during the day and, at night, she gets her freak on by pursuing men solely by their material
possessions. Both of her parents died when she was in college and her younger sister, Tangie,
to live with their Aunt Niki until she got kicked out of their Aunt's house. She then came to live
Tanya, which was not a good match from the start.
Shari was dating Chris, an unemployed bum, who was using her. She knew it, but since the sex
the bomb, she stayed with him. On the day that Chris finally gets a job, Shari finds out that he's
married with a three-year old son and another one on the way. She finds this out because the night
Shari plans for them to go out and celebrate, Chris shows up to her house late, and his pregnant
wife, along with their son, comes knocking and screaming at her door. At this point, he comes
with Shari, but it's a little too late for that. She then meets Dexter and they fall in love and
get married. He's the man of her dreams; considerate, thoughtful, all the things she wants in a
One night Tanya and Tangie have a knock down, drag out fight and Shari agrees that Tangie can
come stay with her and Dexter. After a while, Shari starts to suspect that Tangie and Dexter are
having an affair, but she has no concrete evidence of this.
Nia, who's the youngest of the three, is very insecure about her biracial heritage. Her half sisters
always telling her that she's not a real Black woman. Tanya and Shari are like she wishes her
were. She's an Account Executive at Glow, the fourth best selling hip-hop publication in New
New Jersey and the Connecticut areas.
One day, when all three of them are at lunch, Mike, Nia's college sweetheart, re-enters her life.
comes to realize that she's still in love with Mike, but her biggest question is whether she can
him for raping her when they were college. Mike explains to Nia how sorry he is for what he did
her back then, and he's determined to win back the love of his life, no matter how long it takes.
wines and dines her until she can no longer deny her feelings and gives in to his advances.
Tanya and Shari go to Club Heat, where Tanya meets Warren Banks. A man who she thinks is a
keeper. But boy is she wrong. She then meets Marcus, a teller at her bank. He leaves his number
her banking receipt and, one night when Warren stands her up, she decides to give Marcus a call
because she's horny and needs to be taken care of. A couple days later, they run into each other
again at the gym and decide to have lunch. She realizes that there's much more to Marcus then she
initially thought. But she pushes those thoughts away because, at the time, she only has eyes for
But she comes to realize that Warren isn't the man she thought he was when she and Nia go to
Violet's one night to check out this band that Marcus was in. Tanya, thinking that Warren is out
town, is all up in Marcus' face when Warren walks into the club with another woman. When
approaches him, he totally disses her in front of the woman by telling Tanya that she's not his
and to get away from him and his date. Tanya proceeds to whip the woman butt until Nia and
pull her off of the woman and takes her home.
On Thanksgiving, Shari overhears Tangie on the phone talking to her girlfriend about how she's
having sex with some woman's man. Immediately, Shari thinks its Dexter Tangie is having sex
Upset, she accidentally drives her car into a tree.
While in the hospital recovering, Shari starts talking to Tanya about Tanya's promiscuous ways.
When Tanya tells Shari that she doesn't use condoms, Shari immediately makes Tanya take a
pregnancy test. She tells Tanya to go to her house and get the pregnancy test that she has in her
bathroom. When Tanya arrives at Shari's house, she hears noises coming from her sister's
Being as though when she arrived at the house, she saw Dexter's car in the driveway, she
immediately jumps to the conclusion that Tangie is having sex with Dexter. When Tangie won't
her bedroom door, Tanya runs out the house. She never mentions anything to Shari but she finds
after taking the pregnancy test that she's pregnant. But she's not really sure who the father is.
Over lunch, Tanya tells Nia her suspicions about Tangie and Dexter. Tanya is hoping against hope
that she is wrong, because she just can't believe that Dexter would ever cheat on Shari. They both
dread going to the hospital to tell Shari Tanya's suspicions, but they both agree that Shari needs to
be told. They're both shocked to hear that Shari already knows, and that's how she ended up
into that tree on Thanksgiving.
The day Shari is released from the hospital, she tells Dexter that she isn't coming home. That she
needs time to think. She never tells him her suspicions. She goes home and packs up her things
leaves. But before she leaves, something seems to tell her to go into Tangie's room, where she
Tangie's diary with entry after entry after of what Shari assumes is Tangie and her husband's
On Christmas Eve, when Tanya tells Warren that she is pregnant and that she thinks they should
married, his response is that "you can't turn a ho into a housewife, which totally devastates Tanya.
They argue and he eventually pimp slaps her and tells her to lose his number. He states that he has
no intention of ever raising a child with a whore, and leaves her there all alone. With Shari having
her own drama and Nia in Houston, Tanya calls Marcus, who immediately comes to her
Tanya, still thinking that Marcus is just a bank teller, is shocked to find out that he is the President
and CEO of fifteen branches of First National Bank, and that when she met him, he was in the last
phase of his training. He also tells her that his father was killed by a police office in a routine
stop, and that his mother had sued the state for a wrongful death and that when he had turned
twenty-one, he got his portion of the settlement.
Even knowing how well off Marcus is, Tanya still can't get Warren out of her head. She finally
him and, instead of getting him, Warren's father answers the phone and spills the beans about his
son, Warren. She finds out that Warren has four other sons, which he never sees or takes care of.
She is so shocked by this, she never tells Warren's father that she's also pregnant by Warren.
Nia had to go to Houston for work, and while there, she meets this woman named Kitara, who is
lesbian. They hang out together and, after getting drunk, Kitara comes to Nia's hotel room and
things to her that Nia would rather forget. She comes back from Houston and, one night while her
and Mike are having sex, she can't seem to get what Kitara did to her out of her mind.
For New Year's Eve, Nia plans to have a party and she's inviting all of her friends. Shari
goes but she can't fathom going to any party without Dexter. What she doesn't know is that
has talked to Nia and he told her that he had never had sex or an affair with Tangie, and Nia
him. She decides to try and get Shari and Dexter back together again.
This fast paced novel, keeps you wanting to turn the pages. This is Kaira's first novel, and she
two alternate endings to this book. Whichever one gets the most response will be how she starts
sequel to Take It There. Kaira makes you feel for these three women and, I know that if she keeps
writing the way she wrote Take It There, she'll become a very well known author in the
The Canadian Don Quixote
The life and works of Major John Richardson, Canada's first novelist
150 Norfolk St, S., Simcoe, ON N3Y 2W2, Canada
ISBN: 0915317184, US $14.95, CND $19.95, 341 pp.
Very Highly Recommended
David Beasley writes fiction and non fiction. The Canadian Don Quixote and his other books are
featured on his site at www.kwic.com/~davus
THE CANADIAN DON QUIXOTE is the biography of John Richardson, a Major who loved
writing. Historical events combined with his life story make up a good read that will educate and
entertain readers at the same time.
Having descended from Native Americans, John Richardson is in favor of the Indians and this fact
depicted on his works. John Richardson's life was full of adventures both in military life and in his
personal life as a journalist. He had a vivid personality that made him get involved in battles and
duels, and his love for women is also illustrated in this book.
Rich in quotes from Richardson's works this book is also enhanced by scattered black and white
pictures of Richardson's era depicting places he visited and historical figures of that time. Major
Richardson enjoyed military life but his passion was writing. A list of Richardson's works is
at the back of the book along with bibliographical notes and an index. The style of this book is
literary, complex and addresses an educated audience. It caters to those who love
and those who love literature and wish to know more about Canadian novelists.
150 Norfolk St, S., Simcoe, ON N3Y 2W2, Canada
ISBN: 0915317141, $19.95 462 pp.
Very Highly Recommended
David Beasley writes fiction and non fiction. SARAH'S JOURNEY and his other books are
on his site at www.kwic.com/~davus
SARAH'S JOURNEY is set in the United States and Canada in the 1800s. Sarah, a half negro
born into slavery in Virginia, but flees to freedom in Canada in 1820 where there is no slavery.
story starts when Sarah is 16 year old and follows her life till her death in Upper Canada. As the
story unfolds, Sarah encounters the violent face of racism that marks her life as a slave and later
as a free slave. She has a lot of children, many of which are white. What is going to happen to
Are they going to be regarded as slaves for ever?
Sarah is a heroine of admirable courage and spirit whose saga is inspiring and positive. She
overcomes the difficulties in her life with optimism and helps other people cope with their life.
author has managed to depict a real life character in the most skilful way and make the readers
identify with the plight of Sarah who is struggling to have the privileges that she was deprived of.
This story is a document against racial prejudice and is based on real events and characters. The
author's views about racism are echoed in many parts of the story such as these quotes: 'If
was a stigma in society then she would bring up her children as whites.' And 'they think of black
slavery together now.' Though it is a historical novel it is by far very different from the other
of this kind as it presents a historical account worth reading.
SARAH'S JOURNEY is a real page-turner. The reader follows step by step Sarah's life and is
curious to know what happens next, so that once started, this novel will be read from cover to
cover. The novel includes romance elements, mystery elements and a lot of adventure that will
the readers' interest intact. The writing style is rich and complex at times, yet simple and easy to
by all kinds of readers. It caters to a wide readership but those who are keen on historical novels
love it best.
Liana Metal, Reviewer
ABC Art Riddles
Illustrations by Freddie Levin
Peel Productions Press
c/o Peel Productions, Inc.
P.O. Box 546, Columbus, NC 28722
ISBN 0939217589; $13.95 32 pp. Ages 4-8
Both unique and clever, teacher/author Carol Murray's ABC Art Riddles challenges young
to solve a fill-in-the-blanks puzzle using picture or rhyming word clues. Simple, but colorful
illustrations by artist/art teacher Freddie Levin compliment the text without distracting the child
from his/her main focus of solving the riddle. The riddles are, for the most part, easy-to-solve,
the exception of a few interesting choices like "illustration, landscape, origami, palette," etc.,
will appeal to and challenge somewhat older readers.
This book not only increases a child's art vocabulary, but provides introduction to a wonderful
of art media, many of which the children may want to explore further. Great for both parents and
teachers! Includes an idea page which educates the caregiver in use of the book, but challenges
to help the child/student create art, as well as their own art riddles, and most of all, to have
Star Bright Books
The Star Building
42-26 28th Street, Suite 2C, Long Island City, NY 11101
ISBN 1595720227; $6.95 Ages 1-4
This visually-appealing board book earned an immediate nod and drool of approval from my
two-year old daughter when she first laid eyes on the book. Then, she was 10 months, and at 15
months, she continues to enjoy it. Initially, she became stimulated by the bright and interesting
patterns, shapes, colors and abstract objects. Now, she also responds to the familiar words, like
"Look," "Up" and "Down," to name a few. This book spans several age categories and will
to be of interest as she becomes able to identify and point out the shapes, colors and objects in the
spreads, and ultimately, answer the questions about them which are part of the text. "Look!"
promotes interaction between the parent and young child and fosters good "together" reading
Kyra Teis utilizes a variety of interesting colors, designs and media in her paper- collage technique
illustrations. "Look" is a definite must-have in any diaper bag to share in tender moments as well
times when distraction becomes necessary.
As an added plus, a parent guide is available for the book online at:
It's a fabulous resource! Keep Reading!
A Small Dog's Big Life: Around the World With Owney
ISBN 0823418634; 32 pp., $16.95 Ages 6-10
Roll over Balto, Lassie and Greyfriars Bobby, here's a story about another dog that made a name
Owney's story begins in a post office in Albany, New York. Through engaging full-color
illustrations, letters, postcards, newspaper clippings and telegrams, author/illustrator Irene Kelly
the story of Owney's transformation from an Albany postal pooch to a National treasure, and
ultimately, a world traveler.
This endearing account of Owney's travels includes maps of the United States and the world, as
as challenging opportunities for children to find Owney's locations on these maps. An author's
tells the factual basis for the tale of Owney, who worked for the United States Postal Service
1889 to 1897, will delight readers. Humorous and fun, a worthwhile read!
Lynne Marie Pisano
Write it Right: The Ground Rules for Self-Editing Like the Pros
Dawn Josephson and Lauren Hidden
PO Box 8006, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
ISBN 0974496626, $17.95 144 pp.
Publishing a book is no longer expensive. Anyone can do it, and everyone seems to be. What is
expensive however, and what many authors make the mistake of skimping on, is hiring an editor.
That isn't only an issue for self-published books either. In order to get a decent publishing
manuscripts have to be near perfect. However wonderful, poetic and rich the characters, the ideas
the writing in general, if a book needs extensive (or even relatively minor) editing, it won't be
chosen. So learning the art of editing is crucial for modern writers. You could, of course, hire a
professional at high cost, but for a mere $17.95, Josephson and Hidden provide some very simple
and useable techniques for doing it yourself. Of course there is the obvious financial benefit, but
self-editing has other benefits. Firstly, even if you hire someone, the chances are, aside from a line
proofread, their advice will be merely guidance, and you'll still need to do the hard work.
you are the only one who knows what your intentions are, and self-editing allows you to retain
complete control of your manuscript. Even if you are taken on by a big publishing house and get
editor, the more polished your work is, the easier it will be for them to clean up any last little
As the authors clearly state, anyone, even those whose writing is limited to business letters or
to their school board can benefit from improved editing skills. For those writing full length
manuscripts, skills in self-editing aren't optional.
The book is fairly short, simply and clearly written, and follows the clean structure of Other
Rules" publications. Each chapter begins with the "Ground Rules" which talks about the core of
section, and is followed by real-life illustrations and examples, turning points or questions to help
with the self-discovery/reflection process, frequently asked questions, and key points. Bullet
graphics, exercises with blank lines to fill in, and checklists are all used liberally to lighten the text
and signal that this book is meant to be used immediately as a workbook. The book contains four
steps which can be used in most editing projects, and the more these steps are used, the faster and
better writers will be at using them. They begin with knowing what your own particular writing
challenges are. These are errors that are specific to your writing and repeated regularly. The book
contains a test to help you identify your gaps in grammar, difficulties that you have with sentence
structure, overuse of passives, run ons, word repetition and so on. It may surprise you (as it did
how basic and consistent you are with your problems as you work through some of your existing
pieces. As the authors state, knowing where your regular problems lie is half the battle, not just in
editing, but in becoming a better writer in general.
Other steps include creating your own personalised editing checklist (based on the list made in
one), changing perspective/stance from writer to editor, reading through the text several times for
different purposes, reading through from back to front or choosing sentences at random, getting a
colleague to proofread, and read the work aloud to you, and printing out a clean copy for the final
proofread. The casual, easy to follow text may make this book appear relaxed, but the
are anything but. A good editing job means working through the entire text many times - once for
each of your regular problems and several more times for good measure. If you do what Write It
Right suggests, you will certainly improve your prose; probably to at least the same level as a
professional editor. You'll also be strengthening your writing skills, so that your work needs less
editing in general.
The tone of the book is light and affirming, with plenty of positive reinforcement like
"Congratulations, you've now," "go for the gold," and inspirational quotations. Appendices cover
things like how to do a quick edit, what not to do, some basic rules of grammar and usage, and
checklists. Despite the didacticism inherent in the subject matter, this book doesn't prescribe how
you should edit your work. Instead, it leads you down the path of self-discovery, so you can
your own weaknesses, and work, as an increasingly experienced editor of your own work,
cleaner, clearer and better writing. The steps are easy but the process isn't. You still have to work
through the writing, time and time again, which is the heart of any editing process--there's no
substitute for it. Good editing/revising is the one thing which differentiates great work from
work. Writers who make the techniques in this valuable book part of their regular writing routine
will most certainly stand out in a very crowded field, and that, of course, is the name of the
Springboard to Early Learning: Encouraging children from birth to 4 years
Suite 7, Level 2, 150 Albert Road, South Melbourne VIC 3205 (Australia)
ISBN 1920923543, $A 24.95
It's never too early to start teaching your preschooler. Their little minds are developing so quickly,
and they are so open minded and eager that all play can be education, and all education can be
Ibis Publishing have been putting together a series devoted to guiding parents towards educational
play, with lots of ideas for teaching early maths and sciences, reading and writing. The latest
in the series focuses solely on early learning and learning through play (both of which are fairly
synonymous). Springboard to Early Learning provides a wide range of activities -- just the kinds
songs, activities, games and play that children do at preschool, playgroup, on educational
shows like Playschool, and early learning centres. The book has been designed for children from
birth to age four, and activities range from the very basic involving mostly tactile sensations and
simply sounds, to some fairly complicated ones which will prepare children for big school.
The book is divided into sections which deal with speaking and listening, reading and writing,
number and maths concepts, learning about the world (HSIE if you like), music, and art activities
and works progressively from activities for younger children to those for older ones. Some of
activities are really obvious ones which you are likely already doing (but it doesn't help to be
reminded of their value) such as talking to your baby in a sling, playing word games in the car, or
reading nursery rhymes to your baby. Others are more innovative and will help you find things to
with your preschooler other than plunk them in front of the television -- something which many
studies show (and this book stresses) should be limited as it is passive. There are recipes for play
dough, tips on choosing the right books, directions for making puppets, math and counting
craft games like making handprints, songs that involve activities like "Head and Shoulders, Knees
and Toes" or "Hokey Pokey," ideas for getting grandparents involved in singing favourite songs
together, and tips for making collages, and lots more. Again, there is nothing really dramatic or
innovative here -- just simple and easy activities that children will likely already be familiar with,
however, for tired parents looking for ways to do more with their children, this easy to use book
may be just the ticket.
The book is written in simple language and can be easily digested by tired parents, or just used as
reference -- to obtain one activity and then put away until you need another or are ready for the
level. Each activity is clearly set out, and contains a short-cut tip and a hint to expand the activity.
It's the perfect way to turn your simple playtime into a home school experience. Your children
also love the together time - and it's a good excuse to stop working for a few minutes and do
Magdalena Ball, Reviewer
Nightingales & Pleasure Gardens
Talat S. Halman, editor
Syracuse University Press
1600 Jamesville Avenue, Syracuse, NY 13210
0815608357 $16.95 1-800-365-8929 www.SyracuseUniversityPress.syr.edu
Nightingales & Pleasure Gardens is a gathering of Turkish poetry from the sixth century A.D. to
present day, including passages from epics, classical poems of the Ottoman Empire, folk poems,
enduring verses by immortal authors such as Rumi, Yunus Emre, Nazim Hikment, Fazil Husnu
Daglarca, and more, all skillfully translated into English by Talat S.Halman. The common thread
entries in the anthology is that, with a uniquely Turkish spirit, they capture the emotion of love in
its forms and foibles. Some praise love; others satirize it, all do their part to reveal the many
splendors of a truly mysterious emotion. A collection of brief biographical notes of the various
authors rounds out this excellent romantic gift or contribution to poetry shelves. "Say just one
to me, make one promise, / My lovely brunette with moles on her face / And those bewitching,
enslaving eyes. / If you could hear how may loving heart cries."
Picking Clean the Bones
Sally Atkins, author; Marianne S. Suggs, illustrator
PO Box 3678, Boone, NC 28607
1887905030 $18.95 www.parkwaypublishers.com
Picking Clean the Bones is a poetry anthology by poet, dancer, ritualist, and psychological
counseling professor Sally Atkins, brilliantly illustrated with the full-color artworks by art
and mixed media artist Marianne Stevens Suggs. The brief, free-verse poignantly speaks to
fear, and the subtle majesty of a complex and ever-changing world. Picking Clean the Bones reads
swiftly yet lingers long in the mind. "In the Pine Woods": In the pine woods / This morning / The
quiet was thick like fog / And full of mystery. // The first shy wind / Of autumn whispered / To the
goldenrod / And Joe Pye weed, // Bloom. Bloom now. // Fill the woods / With urgent gold / and
purple. // This is your last chance / for truth.
A Grace Disguised
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530
ISBN: 0310258952 $16.99 224 pages
The author of this book, Jerry Sittser, lost his wife, Lynda, his mother, Grace, and his 4-year-old
daughter, Diane Jane, in a tragic car accident in rural Idaho, leaving him at 41 to raise three
alone. A Christian educator and believer, Mr. Sittser deals with the all-encompassing effect this
heartbreaking loss of three family members has on his life and discusses, ironically, some blessings
that have come from it. Zondervan published A Grace Disguised three years after the accident in
1995 and an expanded version in 2004.
This is not a how-to book on overcoming or conquering grief. Mr. Sittser says the pain of his loss
remains with him but that he feels it enlarges the soul, causing a person to become deeper, more
caring and better able to appreciate life's good moments. The author does not present himself as
heroic and indicates he has often gone through denial, bargaining, escape and anger, the
stages of grief. But he advises the reader to both embrace and be open to sorrow rather than deny
try to escape from it because pain and sadness, as well as happiness and joy, are the stuff life is
of. And since everyone experiences some type of loss sooner or later in life, each person has a
choice to become bitter and resentful or to learn and grow from it. Though human tragedy may
appear random and without purpose, like Mr. Sittser's loss of three of his family, the author feels
may be because we cannot see the "big picture" as God does.
And there is help to be found in other human beings. The author discusses what he calls the
"community of brokenness" and the "cloud of witnesses." The "community of brokenness" is
up of family members, neighbors, acquaintances or anybody who identifies and involves
in a person's tragedy; suffers with him, in other words. This involves both emotional and
everyday-life support that lifts up and carries a person who is grieving. The "cloud of witnesses,"
the other hand, are examples of people throughout history who have endured severe hardships
have, in spite of their pain, accomplished great things. The foremost example of this is Jesus who,
though God, endured crucifixion and death for the sake of humankind and was victorious in the
even over the grave.
This is a thoughtful and sincere study of grief by a person who has lived through it and would be
great help to anyone who has experienced a loss, whether by divorce, loss of job, sickness,
or death. And for those people who live in fear of such losses, A Grace Disguised offers realistic
comfort and hope from a Christian perspective.
Outlaw of Red Mesa
Craig Alan Hart
ISBN: 1413753736 $19.95 191 pages
The fact that Craig Alan Hart and I share the same publisher, PublishAmerica, drew my attention
this book, as well as the classification of Outlaw of Red Mesa as a Christian Western. Though I
not well acquainted with that genre, it sounded interesting.
The first striking thing about Outlaw of Red Mesa is that most of its primary characters exist
the sphere of Christianity, at least in the beginning, and that some of their "sins" are very blatant.
Johnny Cavanaugh, a/k/a "The Ivory Kid," from whom the novel gets its name, is indeed an
a bank robber who uses the money he has stolen to buy a rundown ranch in the hopes of
respectable citizen. His partner in crime, Rio Henessy, has also given up bank robbing for the
more acceptable profession of gambling, although he sometimes cheats. Another more minor
character, Clara Davis, is a pregnant former prostitute who is also trying to better her life by
working in a restaurant.
Even characters like Sheriff Wyatt Cashman and banker Reese Stanton, who are originally
introduced as respectable, have their flaws. Sheriff Cashman bargains with Johnny Cavanaugh
his arrest and the stolen money, not holding to the law but at least showing compassion for an
outlaw who is trying to reform, while Reese Stanton's vices of gambling and carousing come to
later in the novel. The real unredeemable villains of Outlaw of Red Mesa, however, are the brutal
ranch owner Jud Dawson and his conscienceless foreman, Buck Sorenson, who are out to kill
Johnny Cavanaugh and incorporate his ranch into the Lazy A Ranch's vast spread.
Beautiful and strong-willed Abby Gentry, the General Store owner's daughter, serves as the
who brings Johnny, Clara and Rio to the Lord. Then the four of them have to trust in God in their
struggle to repay $25,000, the amount of money Johnny and Rio stole, to Sheriff Cashman in
to purchase Johnny's freedom. Then, of course, Johnny must finally deal with Jud Dawson and his
underlings in the fight to keep his ranch and his life.
Outlaw of Red Mesa demonstrates how people who have obviously broken the laws of both God
and society can repent and reform when presented with God's forgiveness in the person of a
Christian. The book, in addition to fast-paced action and a couple of exciting "showdowns,"
explores how people's interactions with each other reveal the love and compassion in their hearts
more than their outward "positions." And in the old-time West, where law and order were often
ignored, a person's inner worth held great value. This book would appeal to anyone who enjoys
Westerns and a gritty, realistic look at life and faith. Highly recommended.
ISBN: 1411608771 $10.00 - $17.95
Entertaining Read .. Recommended 5 stars
The narrative opens as Naval Lt. Jill Sinclair is jolted awake by the sound of the telephone. On
a warship moving toward Cuba she was loathe to give up the dream she had been enjoying. As yet
Jill is unaware that her life and that of NFL Quarterback Terry Jackson will be caught up in the
dangerous scheme. Terry and his wife Patty live in Pensacola. Jill a skilled underwater acoustics
specialist is an enlisted sailor now commissioned. A plane crash, dives to recover the black box,
gambling and danger all are part of the developing tale. Jill struggles against government venality,
stumbles upon secrets sure to stun the world of professional sports and finds herself facing an
increasing fume of mendacity. Jill receives an intriguing email from her husband. Ross warns Jill
watch her back and she is more than a little puzzled why he might be worried. Jill disobeys an
battles makes a discovery that could lead to more danger than she had bargained for and finds
herself confined to quarters. A kidnapping aboard a ship loaded with explosives, Jill worries while
confined in the Guantanamo Bay Brig and terrorists willing to sacrifice themselves for their cause
move the narrative toward the conclusion.
Writer Wegman is a career naval reserve officer who calls upon his knowledge of the military to
produce a meritorious work filled with esotericism, excellent dialogue and zestful action. Fans of
fast paced suspense thrillers are offered plenty of each from this rousing chiller. I enjoyed the
character Jill Sinclair. She is a strong woman with firm ideas as to right and wrong and what to
Sinclair doesn't back down when she thinks she is right. Wegman deftly capture the essential
of mystification in this well written work. Enough red herrings are tossed into the mix to keep the
reader on their toes as the story line continues. While easily read Caveat Games is not a formula
work with the ending discerned by the end of the first few pages. Wegman's exquisitely
masterminded plot is set against a tapestry of engaging characters, powerful circumstances and
compelling situations in this keenly focused tale. Reader interest is piqued from the opening lines
we are drawn into Jill Sinclair's tantalizing dream and is held fast as the reader moves from sea to
land and back again.
Good book for a long afternoon spent lazing while reading in the shade of a tree on a summer
afternoon. Caveat Games is a good addition to the home library pleasure reading shelf, the home
school high school level reading program and for those who simply enjoy a well written, good
Caveat Games is available as both eBook download and paper versions. I was sent a soft cover
edition for review. I do not keep all books I receive for review; Caveat Games is one that I will be
Enjoyed the read, happy to recommend.
The Boyfriend List
a division of Random House Children's Books Inc
1745 Broadway, New York City, NY 10019
ISBN: 0385732066 $12.95
Engaging Read .. Recommended . 4 stars
The past ten days have not been good ones for fifteen-year-old Ruby Oliver. It is no wonder Roo,
Ruby Oliver, Tate Prep Sophomore, has begun to suffer anxiety attacks. She has lost her
boyfriend, Jackson, together with all of her best friends, Kim, Nora and Cricket and has dropped
from being a 'social butterfly to a social misfit.' She drank her first beer AND got caught by her
mom. She had an argument with a boy, did something suspicious with another, AND did
advanced with yet another. Not only that, Roo lost a lacrosse game, failed a math test, became a
social outcast, hurt someone's feelings, in addition to had stuff written about her in the girls'
bathroom. Roo's Mom, Elaine is a health nut stage performer who tries to force her family into
eating all kinds of health foods, thinks Ruby should see a psychologist to help her deal with her
attacks. The family lives on a houseboat in Seattle where dad works from home and Roo's brother
driving her mad. It is while seeing the psychologist that Ruby talks about her home life and the
experiences she has had with all her boyfriends. And, it is because of her shrink, Dr. Z that Roo is
the midst of much of her turmoil. Dr. Z is the one who suggested Roo set down the boyfriend list
Roo wrote the name of every boy she ever liked and then she threw the list into the trash. When
list becomes public Roo begins to realize just how much she needs help to sort out the mess. She
reveals, that boys were denying that they had ever gone out with her along with the fact that her
friend stole one of her boyfriends. Ruby reveals that her parents fight a lot over her, and they're
too protective of her.
Writer Lockhart's The Boyfriend List is a whimsical, albeit perceptive appraisal of Ruby's, teen
Roo is a charming character. The Boyfriend List portrays the development of self-understanding,
pain over loss of friendship, at times inconstant social life, and the progression of loss and gain of
one teenaged girl. Angst filled Roo deals with her problems in much the same way real teenagers
Teenaged readersl will to relate to one or more of Ruby's fifteen boyfriend anecdotes. The tales
themselves are replete with the naivet‚ and ineptitude that is elemental to most teenage
First person narration along with format used in The Boyfriend List occasions interesting reading.
Each name on Ruby's list of fifteen boyfriends is detailed in a separate chapter. Roo's experience
with each particular boy, along with the elemental story of Ruby's relationship with her boyfriend
and ensuing move from popular to school slut reputation is slowly revealed within the recounting
the various boyfriends. Ruby's is a particularly heartfelt voice sure to touch the heart of every girl
who has ever had a crush or a boyfriend.
Excellent choice for upper middle grades to Young Adult reading pleasure, Therapist 'books on
hand for clients to read' and Parental 'trying to understand my kid' reading shelf.
Brought back bittersweet memories not only of my own teenaged angst, but that experienced
raising teens of my own. Happy to recommend.
Enjoyed the read, happy to recommend.
Nine for the NightLight: Nine Creepy Tales Just For Kids
Maria Perry Osborne
3131 RDU Center Dr STE 210, Morrisville, NC, 27560
ISBN: 1411632451 $3.44
Spooky Read . Recommended 4 stars
The Table of Contents lists the nine creepy tales. Messages in the Lunch Room is a spooky tale
featuring a teacher who should never be allowed near a classroom. While in the lunch room one
child after another reads the words, "There will be a terrible accident," in their bowl of soup. And,
sure enough, there is. Mushed relates how Jason and Pinch O Luv Nanny, Mrs Cutshaw, get
while Jason's Mom and Dad are caring for his Grandmother. Ashburger tells the story of Kyle, his
parents and Aunt Tanith. Missy Mage and the Mean Old Lady Down The Street :Jayona 10 and
Tyler 6 have moved to a new town, before long they meet the mean old lady down the street.
favorite toy is Ace, Missy Mage belongs to Jayona. Cal and the Birthday Party is the tale of Cal
his behavior at Mandy Whitemore's birthday party. Cal was not a pleasant party guest. The Parrot
Jake Swafford likes the cookies his neighbor Mrs. Harrison bakes. Before long the cookies stop
Jake is not happy to find Mrs Harrison is now busy with a new interest. Her nephew brought her a
parrot. There must be something Jake can do. In The Overanxious Paddler Tina and Bobby often
feel the whack of Father's paddle and then one day the children disappear. Russell and Aunt
know how to handle bullies in Stone Jimmy . The last tale is The Ghost of Jacob Abel : it is
day and the family soon learns that a mysterious jar of coins, a table and a ghost are part of the
Writer Perry, mother of 4 youngsters, and respected author of erotic romance has tried her hand
writing for the juvenile market. On the pages of Nine for the NightLight: Nine Creepy Tales Just
Kids Perry cleverly captures the pith of the genre with a shrewd adroitness for presentation.
Perry puts to worthy use her burgeoning writing aptitude as she pens the nine anecdotes meant for
the adolescent reader. The narratives offered are easily read, are fast paced and are action packed.
Each tale is kept to 4 - 5 pages, vocabulary is within the sphere of most middle school to Young
Adult Readers and the anecdotes are eerie enough to fascinate the most picky reader within the
Nine for the NightLight: Nine Creepy Tales Just For Kids is sure to prove a winner for 'the sitting
around the campfire telling spooky stories,' or 'the supernatural stories at slumber party' set.
Spooky read, true to the genre. Not for everyone: readers who do not care for gothic tales will
care much for the yarns, those who love the genre will find much to delight their reading
Callie and the Stepmother
Susan A Meyers
Rose Gauss, illustrator
Blooming Tree Press
PO Box 140934 Austin TX 78714
ISBN: 0971834806 $6.95
Absorbing Read .. Recommended 5 stars
Callie and the Stepmother opens as Callie is hugging her dad goodbye. Dad drives a truck, and
Callie must stay home with her new stepmother Pam. Everyone knows stepmothers are evil and
bad things when your dad is away. To make matters even worse Callie also has a new
fourteen-year-old stepsister. To make matters even worse Andrea doesn't like Callie and doesn't
want to share her room with Callie. Callie knows it is going to be a long two days before dad
returns. First, Callie has a horrible nightmare, then she had to explain why she moved Andrea's
shampoo, then she is surprised to learn that her step brother and step sister have chores and no
expects Callie to do all the work. Callie is not sure what is going on, everyone knows that the step
child has to do all the work. Callie has another nightmare, when she starts to feel sick Callie
if her nightmare might be coming true, after all everyone knows the evil step mother fixes poison
fruit for the step child to eat. A trip to the store helps Callie understand that her new stepmother
really is not an evil stepmother.
Callie and the Stepmother is writer Meyers' first children's chapter book. The work is an
of the writers' bedtime stories she made up for her son when he was younger. The book offers a
of illustrations, table of contents and chapters meant to be enjoyed by middle grade readers. The
will lend itself to use as a 'read to' for the younger set, while vocabulary used is within the reading
scope of most 9 - 12 year olds. Illustrations provided by artist Rose Gauss set the written word
Writer Meyers has taken a sensitive issue, one common to many children today, incorporated
children's misunderstanding and produced a credible work sure to aid 'blended' families as well as
providing listening and reading pleasure to children ages 5-12. The misconception children often
harbor regarding what is real and what is storybook is often blurred at best. Meyers' Callie and the
Stepmother takes those misconceptions, adds a likeable little girl Callie, a patient stepmother and
typical older step sibling and manages to meld them all into an interesting, entertaining, readable
Excellent resource reading suggestion for the child therapists shelf, the home pleasure reading
library, the blended home library, home school and classroom reading corner.
This is a book I would use in my own classroom for a unit on family, understanding and working
through fear and misunderstand.
Enjoyed the read, happy to recommend.
The Mountain of Stone
1663 Liberty Drive Ste 200 Bloomington IN 47408
ISBN: 1418417963 eBook $6-$10 Ages 9-12
Exciting Read .. Recommended . 4. 5 stars
The narrative opens with Jenny smiling on the first day of summer vacation. At last the school
has ended and next year Jenny will be starting High School. When Jenny's parents announced they
were planning a move from San Francisco to Millersville, Jenny was less than thrilled. That was
years ago and now Jenny has a new best friend Laura and loves her new life. Everything is pretty
great except when Jenny and Laura must deal with Laura's little brothers Alan and Casey the boys
are only six and seven however, they are less problem than Laura's older brother John and Jenny's
older brother Ben.
It is when the girls find a bottle in the river that an unexpected summer adventure begins. The
holds a key and a note signed by 'Gus' telling of a cache of treasure, misfortune and even death.
Jenny decides to show the note to her brother John's friend Ben and that is when the hunt for the
treasure cache begins. Backpacks filled with supplies, an unexpected slide into the interior of the
mountain, a skeleton, another bottle, a trapdoor, more skeletons, something that growls, and
notes all figure in the adventure before the kids find their way out of the cave.
Writer Davis has crafted a quick, fun read meant for kids in middle grades. Repartee between the
siblings is typical, believable and real. That The Mountain of Stone is a kid's adventure that might
well take place is a good part of the draw for kids in the target audience. Writing is good, fast
and easily read. Characters are detailed enough to give the reader a clear picture of who and what
the kids are all about without being over done. Siblings squabble as youngsters do, grumble over
chores and having to watch over 'tag along' little brothers, also as youngsters do. The kids also
together when the situation calls for it and they care for one another when the going gets tough.
storyline itself is believable and acceptable.
Writer Davis throws in a little quiet teaching as the kids consult the dictionary for help in
deciphering the cryptic note left in the bottle, or when they decide what supplies might be needed
ensure the success of their adventure.
Reader interest is captured from the opening page as Jenny faces summer vacation with a smile on
her lips and is held fast right down to last paragraphs as the kids make it home in time to avoid
Sure to please both boys and girls in the target audience The Mountain of Stone is a good choice
the home pleasure reading shelf, the home school reading list and the classroom library.
Enjoyed the read, happy to recommend.
Molly Martin, Reviewer
Sam Boone: Front to Back
PMB 281, 1977 North Olden, Avenue Ext., Trenton, NJ 08618-2193
ISBN 0970971176, $15.00, 200 pages
In the late 22nd Century, Earth's first interstellar spaceship is involved in a collision with a much
larger vessel outside the approved travel lanes. In its desperation to avoid the Galactic Hegemony,
the captain gives Earth a more modern ship out of its inventory. This allows Earth to build more
ships, and explore local space. Intelligent life is pretty common, and the only reason Earth hasn't
heard about it is their use of inefficient and outdated electromagnetic energy for communication,
instead of the much more efficient galactic phloomb. About the only talent humans have,
to the rest of the galaxy, is that of negotiation and arbitration.
Sam Boone works at Earth's major spaceport, near Trenton, New Jersey. It's there because one of
the favorite tourist destinations is the nearby city of Hoboken (along with Disneyworld, of
In one story, Sam must deal with a pair of alien races who decide to settle their differences in a
professional wrestling ring, thinking that humans also do it this way. Another popular export for
Earth is magazines of any type. Whether it is a home and garden magazine or a mechanical hobby
magazine, the other alien races find them absolutely hilarious. In another story, Sam must escort a
pair of aliens around Disneyworld. This wouldn't seem so difficult, except these are group mind
aliens, where one individual inhabits 20 or 30 separate bodies. Do they get a group discount on
tickets? In each of these stories, Sam must deal with very different cultural values, while keeping
alien boss happy and keeping himself out of some potentially disastrous situations.
There is a sad lack of humor in science fiction. This book helps to fill the gap. For lighter,
reading that is still well written, this is very much worth checking out.
Don't Eat This Book: Fast Food and the Supersizing of America
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
ISBN 0399152601, $21.95, 308 pages
From the person behind the documentary Supersize Me, this book looks at the fast food industry
America. He explores the ways in which fast food is marketed to children, the supersizing of the
food menu and the accompanying rise in conditions like obesity, heart disease and diabetes, even
among children. The average school cafeteria has replaced its food with sugary and sweet items
pizza and soda, that is, if the cafeteria hasn't actually been turned into a food court. Cash-strapped
schools are obligated to let soda and candy vending machines in school, for a cut of the money,
while physical education is being eliminated. Diabetes is supposed to be an "adult" disease; in the
few years, it has started to show up in children under 10 years old. Most nutritionists recommend
limiting fast food to no more than once a month. How many people, or families, can honestly say
that they can do that? In 2005, obesity related diseases will come close to smoking as the biggest
killer of Americans; the estimate is that 400,000 people will die from such diseases. As an
experiment, put a plate of McDonald's fries under glass, for several months. What will happen to
fries? The answer is: basically nothing. They might start to smell, but there will be little or no
decomposition to the fries. One can only wonder what is in the fries or the vegetable oil to cause
Part of this book is also a chronicle of his 30 days on the "McDonald's Diet" for the film. He got
three different doctors to independently keep an eye on his health, which basically fell apart. He
suffered bad headaches and chest pains, he couldn't focus mentally and his cholesterol and blood
pressure rose dramatically. Oh, and he also gained more than 24 pounds.
A measure of liver function is the presence of an enzyme in the blood called serum glutamic
transaminase (SGPT). During his month of McDonald's food, his number rose from 20 to 290;
40 is normal. Another enzyme to measure liver function is alanine transaminase (ALT); his
skyrocketed from 17 to 471, before settling at 240. Again, under 40 is normal. Is it any wonder
a child born in 2000 has a 1 in 3 chance of developing diabetes from poor dietary habits?
This is a gem of a book. Filled with lots of information for all Americans, it is very easy to read,
is helped with bits of humor that Spurlock spreads all over the book. This is very highly
The Muse and the Mechanism
Pretend Genius Press
3417 Beret Lane, Silver Spring, MD 20906
ISBN 0974726176, $14.95 252 pages
This is the story of Charlie Fell, a twentysomething writer living in the small town of Alton. It's a
rather grubby sort of life, watching his friends smoke, drink and use various other illicit
James, one of Charlie's housemates, is a fall-down drunk who imprints the outline of his body in
Charlie's ceiling because of one of his falls. Charlie finds himself less and less interested in Lola,
another housemate, and wonders how to make a reasonably painless break with her.
Charlie's mother and stepfather go on a week-long vacation and ask Charlie to housesit. Naturally,
the house becomes the site of a week-long party, populated by an ever-changing group of friends
and friends of friends. Throughout much of the story, Charlie is engaged in the pursuit of Grace, a
lovely, and to Charlie, extremely compatible woman.
This is a beautifully written novel. It will also take some work on the part of the reader. There will
be periods where the reader will wonder what happened to the story. The plot is laid out in broad
chunks with little or no advance information. By all means, stick with this book. It is very much
I Am A Book
ISBN: 0761329056, $17.90
It's easy to accept a book as is. The insides are filled with words. The words can weave a story or
us with information. The voice of a book is the creation of an author's imagination. These are
creations that can take you to far away places or empower you with knowledge. But if we were to
pick up a book and look at it physically, just what is it really? What are we holding in our hands?
How do the words inside an author's mind mix with plain paper to make something so powerful it
can fill you with wonder? That is the premise of I Am a Book.
It takes the youngest reader from the very beginning of a free standing tree to something stacked
the library shelves to be read. It explains how each part of the binding process comes together to
produce the book we hold in our hands. Told through a book's point of view, the voice is
and lighthearted, highlighting the bare basics of book production. Numerous illustrations
key visuals in the production process. The pictures portray a book with a happy face and animated
scenes to help us on our journey. Controlled vocabulary and short sentences are appropriate for
reading level, but it also makes a great story for the youngest of listeners too. Ages 5 to 9, Early
Mick Manning & Brita Granstrom
Frances Lincoln Children's Books
ISBN: 1845070887, $14.95.
Yuck is right. That's exactly what you'd think if you envisioned eating a furry rat, worms, and
legged spiders. Imagine as a little kid, gulping down rotten eggs or a raw fish, guts and all, for
breakfast. But that's exactly what animal babies do.
In this truly enjoyable read of diversity, children realize the words stinky, slimy, and revolting may
not describe the delicacies eaten by others. We soon see, what is yucky to one may not be to the
other. "What's for supper? This baby eats a worm. A wriggly worm, tugged out of the lawn?
not our baby's supper! Yuck!" The rhythmic verse is simple and succinct, highlighted by
drawn in dabbled watercolor. The authors are well known artists having earned several awards
their oversized caricatures of nature's babies do not disappoint. Picture book, Ages 3-5.
Tip the Mouse Can't Sleep
Marco Campanella, Illustrator
School Specialty Publishing
8720 Orion Place, Columbus, Ohio 43240-2111
ISBN: 0769642993, $10.95
After finishing his cheese soup for dinner, Tip the mouse readies himself for bed by putting on his
pajamas and brushing his teeth. Accompanying his every move is his best friend, Teddy the stuffed
bear. When its time to crawl into bed and Mama Mouse puts out the light, Tip and Teddy become
very nervous. Strange noises creep up in the night and Tip is certain someone or something is
to take Teddy away from him. Scared of the dark unknown, Tip and Teddy run to Mama's room
comfort. Mama knows how to soothe the anxious pair.
This is a classic night time story for all children afraid of the night. Through Tip, we feel the
of the mysterious monsters lurking under floor boards and hiding in corners we can't see. We feel
security of a best friend, and the fear of losing what we hold so dear. And through Mama we learn
handle the trepidation gripping our imagination. Supporting the tale are illustrations as charming
the story. Painted in soft watercolors, the pages are filled with delightful images. The expressions
Tip's face speak volumes and the richly colored, padded book cover softens the touch for the
of hands. Picture Book, Ages 3-5.
The Best Book of Ponies
ISBN: 0753458747, $5.95
Imagine owning your own pony. What do you need to know? How would you take care of it?
does it eat? What are bridles and bits? How do you show your pony for competition? What is the
difference between a Palomino and a Dun?
Well written short introductory topics present the young reader to the responsibilities and world
owning a pony. For example, under the heading Handle with care, the reader will learn about
instincts and how to read a pony's expression. Under Stablemates, the reader learns about safety
and the different types of bedding materials needed for a warm comfortable night. Topics range
birth, to ponies of the past, to proper handling, to learning how to ride, to having fun. Especially
nice are the generous illustrations highlighting every aspect of pony life. Rich in detail and realistic
appearance, these are the type of illustrations children will love to study. A glossary and index are
provided. Early Reader, Ages 5 to 8.
Time to Say "Please"!
Hyperion Books for Children
ISBN: 0786852933, $15.99
Learning good manners is a must, and an entertaining book teaching us when and how to say
"please" helps the medicine go down. "If you ever really want something, really, really want
something, don't just grab it! Go ask a big person and Please say "Please"!" The reader also learns
say please when they want a turn, a toy, or they want to borrow something. Or maybe they want
try something for the first time. And please is not the only magic word. Excuse me, sorry, and
thank-you are important too.
A fun book with simple animated characters is an effective way to capture the imaginations of
young minds. Minimal illustrations carry the action across the page and on to the next. With a
scrutiny, you'll notice small pointy-nosed mice in the background, teaching the word please at the
chalk board, carrying signs, parachuting into the kitchen, flying air balloons and riding
A nice addition to the story is the game built into the book. The book jacket opens up to reveal a
small game board ready to be mounted on cardboard. Attached to the back cover is a spinner with
four game pieces featuring four action-packed mice. It should also be noted, the author has won
Emmys for his Sesame Street scripts and his mastery of the craft is evident. Ages 3-5.
Robyn Gioia, Reviewer
The Next Global Stage
Wharton School Publishing
ISBN 013147944X $27.95 282 pages
A Whole New World Explained - from a regional perspective
When a man has written over 100 books, it would be easy to assume there's nothing more for him
say. That assumption would be unfounded when you consider the work of Kenichi Ohmae. This
prolific professor - in the broad sense of the word - still has a lot to share and a worthwhile
of it is in this book. Although he weaves in some work from previous writing, all the pieces in The
Next Global Stage fit nicely together.
Looking at the title of this book, I thought about the expression that "All the world's a stage ."
And, sure enough, that's the way Ohmae approaches his perspective of what's coming next. He
presents his thoughts in theatrical terms, beginning with the plot to open our thinking. Part one is
The Stage. The curtain rises with a world tour as our eyes are opened to some of what is
in various parts of the world. For those who have focused so intently on China and India, insight
into Ireland and Finland will be a new direction in thinking. The global economy is defined as we
learn more about Ohmae's view of the end of economics. Beyond nation-states, it is now more
appropriate to think of regions.
Stage Directions (Part 2) takes us on a journey to understand the playmakers and views of global
regionalism and their roles in future development. Government and politics are discussed in the
section of the book and readers gain insights into future markets and a wide range of countries
where things are happening probably beyond the knowledge of the average reader. There is much
to be learned from reading this book.
As we look at the world of today and consider where we may be going, The Next Global Stage
help us to appreciate what's next. Thoughtful reading, easy to follow and absorb. Good index
supports research and re-reading. Global strategists seeking food for thought will find what they
need in these pages.
Our Fathers Who Art in Heaven
Post Office Box 502, Getzville, NY 14068
ISBN 0975905716 $17.95 190 pages
Meaningful, Inspirational. Loaded with Lessons.
When you look at the title of this book - and the cover with its picture of clouds, you may suspect
that this is one of those far-out religious books. No, it isn't. It is spiritual, but not by the text. The
message may have religious overtones - if you're religious. The powerful value of this unassuming
little book is in the heart and mind of the reader.
This volume is a collection of short stories from the author and a number of other people, talking
about their fathers, their experiences, and the impact their fathers had on their lives. You may
close to tears a few times as you feel what the authors are writing about. If your reading
is anything like mine was, you'll gain a fresh, new understanding of your father's influence on who
you are today.
The stories are organized by category in the book: Attitude, Integrity, Memories, Determination,
Compassion, Wisdom, Inspiration, Character, Nature, and Courage. Investing a few minutes with
this book will pay dividends for years to come. My wife noticed a significant change in my
If your father has passed, refresh the memories with this book as the key. If your father is still
expect to gain insights that will draw you closer to the special man in your life. Recommended for
people who have lost their father, as well as for today's father who wants to know how Dad
managed to do such a fine job of raising you. Today's fathers will learn lessons from this book that
will empower you to be the kind of father your children want you to be.
1647 Cedar Grove Road, Winchester, VA 22603
ISBN 1886939713 $23.00 236 pages
Interesting, good message, disappointing
Recently I read "Bath Pond" by Lowell Teal. I was delighted with the book and gave it a glowing
review. In my opinion, the author had done a superlative job. Read my review and you'll see what
With that experience, I looked forward to another book by Teal with eager anticipation. When I
the similar cover and the branding on the cover, I assumed that this book would be a continuation
the Bath Pond story. Nope, not related at all. And I read all the way through Fortunes Crossing
looking for the connection. Nothing there. Apparently the author and/or publisher are attempting
some sort of branding, but branding needs more than just the same author to be effective. If there
supposed to be some sort of moral message coming through, it's not clear enough nor explained in
an afterthought. Missed opportunity?
I found some of the dialog in this book to be a bit more stiff and contrived than the fine work I
experienced in Bath Pond. The story was interesting, but seemed to drag a bit in places.
to places where characters lived was fuzzy early in the book, then presented specifically at the end
the volume. Even when presented, the locations and the story line didn't seem to quite make
Such continuity issues took away from the high enjoyment I had anticipated.
A page at the end of the book announces that Fortunes Crossing is the second in the Bath Pond
series, and that the third book is planned for release in late 2005 or early 2006. Well, that dates
book, doesn't it? I'm surprised the publisher bound that time-sensitive notice into the book instead
inserting a flyer in some percentage of the first print run. And, I hope that Teal writes a little more
the beginning or end explaining the principles and connection with Bath Pond. A mere mention is
not enough; assume we readers are ignorant of your purpose and give us a thorough explanation
Values messages are appropriate in a series of books, but the continuity and relationship of the
books in the series must be apparent or the impact is lost.
Business Under Fire
ISBN 0814408397 $24.95 227 pages
Insightful, Educational, Inspirational
When the United States was attacked on September 11, 2001, America was changed forever.
Wherever they were, people who could scurried home to be with family. The question of the day
was whether the attacks were over. A whole new sense of vulnerability spread across the land like
Corporate executives caught the bug - fear flu. Is it over? Will it happen again? How vulnerable
we - as a nation, but also as our company? As paranoia set in, business leaders slowed plans for
research and development, the building of new facilities, and the growth and development of their
employees. It became more difficult to plan for the future, not knowing how the market - and
company's marketplace - would respond.
Trying to run a business - any kind of business - under the threat of terrorism was a whole new
experience for the domestic operations of global American companies. With the threat hanging
their heads, at least psychologically, corporate leaders struggled to cope. Ignorance was rampant;
most executives had never operated under crisis or potential crisis and this field of leadership is
certainly not taught in our business schools. Confusion reigned and many organizations became
productive, more cautious, and less profitable.
Dan Carrison observed this shift in American leadership. As a consultant, speaker, and former
journalist, he realized that he was equipped - through background and skill - to create a guide to
help leaders understand their new environment and how to excel under these new circumstances.
he went to Israel to get answers. The story is more complicated than that, but you'll read about
process of Carrison's collection of information and advice.
Carrison interviewed executives in a number of fields - face-to-face - in Israel. He learned
how they function in a world that is much different than what we have known in the United
Numerous interviews are reported, with commentary. A summary list of lessons learned adds
at the end of each chapter.
Prepare to learn about creativity in a new way. Resilience, defiance, and resolute leadership make
things work - "Goliath in assets, David in attitude." Carrison points out several times that just
everyone in Israel knows a victim of terrorism. This volume takes the concept of contingency
management to a whole new level. Highly recommended.
Roger E. Herman, Reviewer
Thomas & Friends: Percy Saves The Day & Other Adventures
Anchor Bay Entertainment
1699 Stutz Drive, Troy, MI 48084
DV13428 $17.98 www.anchorbayentertainment.com
What happens when Thomas ignores Percy's warning of a wobbly track! And so another
of Thomas the plucky little railroad engine begins. This 35-minute, full-color, animated,
enthusiastically recommended DID features six new stories of the inhabitants of Sodar Island
including Percy Gets It Right; Something Fishy; What's the Matter with Henry; The Old Bridge;
Trusty Rusty; and Bill, Ben & Fergus. This superbly produced children's DID is enhanced with
"Bonus" features that includes a "Character Gallery; the Read-Along Story "Thomas and Percy
the Dragon"; the Sing-Along Song "There Once Was An Engine Who Ran Away"; the DID game
"Pick That Sound"; two DID-rom Games: Percy's Maze Adventure" and Counting Fun"; and
computer website fun at www.thomasandfriends.com Thomas & Friends: Percy Saves The Day &
Other Adventures is also available for family, school, and community libraries in a VHS format
Preschool Prep Company
PO Box 1159, Danville, Ca 94526
Andrea Blain Public Relations, Inc. (publicity)
9750 Crawford Avenue, Skokie, IL 60076
The Preschool Prep Company has produced three truly outstanding and highly recommended
introductory DVDs for preschool children ages 9 months through 5 years. In Meet The Letters
(0976700840, $14.99, 40 minutes) babies and toddlers learn the alphabet. In Meet The Numbers
(0976700867, $14.99, 30 minutes) they learn the numbers from zero to ten in just a few days --
while learning to talk! In Meet The Shapes (0976700883, $14.99, 30 minutes) they learn the
differences and relationships of circles, squares, rectangles, etc. Each of these wonderfully "kid
friendly" DVDs uses bright, bold, colorful animation, humorous characters, and a gentle repetitive
style that is particularly effective with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. All three of these highly
recommended DVDs are particularly appropriate for families, preschools, daycare centers, and
Table Time: Volume 2
Holly Beth Moncher
Time for Manners
Anrea Blain Public Relations (publicity)
PO Box 2213, Birmingham, MI 48012
30 minutes $16.95 www.tmeformanners.com
Children ages 3 to 7 can have fun learning good table manners with Table Time, the second
in the Time For Manners DVD instructional series for children. With a total running time of 30
minutes, children will basic table manners such as "smile and sit tall", "put your napkin on your
lap", as well as how to communicate socially, chew quietly and with mouth closed, and other
mealtime manners. A charming group of multi-cultural puppets guide young viewers into the
of proper table conduct which, combined with playful, original songs, create an educational
that will delight as well as instruct. Very highly recommended.
Razor & Tie Direct, LLC
PO Box 503, Village Station, New York, NY 10014
79301891042 $TBA www.kidzbop.com www.musicspacekids.com
The eight CD album in the very highly recommended "KidzBop" series, young listeners will be
treated to eighteen hit songs sung by kids for kids! The tracks in this energetically recorded
collection include Since U Been gone; I Don't Want to Be'; Obsession (No Es Amor); Boulevard
Broken Dreams; Caught Up; Rich Girl; Let Me Love You; Vertigo; 1, 2 Step; Lonely No More;
Over and Over; Nobody's Home; Incomplete; 1 Thing; True; Let Me Go; Karma; and Take Me
There is even a bonus video (Since U Been Gone) that plays on the computer with Quicktime 5 or
higher software. Note to be missed are the games and fun activities for kids available to kids on
KidzBop website at www.kidzbop.com
Storieszzz: The Adventures Of Faye & Fred
c/o Waldmanial Publicity
130 Maywood Drive, San Francisco, CA 94127
PRE0224-2 $17.98 email@example.com
Storieszzz: The Adventures Of Faye & Fred is a collection of four short stories that arose from
Michael Preston's experiences with his own children as the problem of their resistance to naptime
and bedtime became an issue that had to be addressed with originality and a born storyteller's flair.
The individual stories comprising this superbly produced CD include "Camping Trip with Mom
Dad" (6:44); "Sleepover at Granda and Granpa's House (5:26); "A Day at the Beach" (6:32); and
"Let's Go to the Zoo" (5:39). Each of these stories featuring Fay and her brother Fred conclude
the two siblings falling asleep as the narration becomes softer and slower to reinforce a sleepy
in young listeners. Very highly recommended (especially for parents whose children are having
trouble calming down from the day's stimulation), Storieszzz: The Adventures Of Faye & Fred is
additionally enhanced with an epilogue: "Go to Sleep Lullaby (3:32).
The World According To Kaley
Dian Curtis Regan
Darby Creek Publishing
7858 Indstrial Parkway, Plain City, Ohio, 43064
Lerner Publishing Group, dist.
241 First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1607
1581960395 $14.99 1-800-328-4929 www.darbycreekpublishing.com
In The World According To Kaley, author Diane Curtis Regan takes young readers ages 9 and up
on a funny, partly factual, partly personal spin on world history as seen through the eyes and
imagination of a girl assigned to write a history essay. Filled with doodles and personal "insights",
The World According To Kaley is a fun to read and fun to look at middle-grade chapter book
creativity runs wild on notebook pages. Dian Regan is an expert at writing original, imaginative,
highly entertaining picturebooks, chapter books, as well as both middle-grade and young adult
novels. Other highly recommended titles from this accomplished author include Chance; Dear Dr.
Sillybear; Princess Nevermore; The Friendship Of Milly And Tug; and the "Ghost Twins"
The Child's World
PO Box 326, Chanhassen, MN 55317-0326
Science Around Us is a twenty title series specifically designed to appeal to reluctant young
in grades 3 through 8. Written at a grade 4 reading level, each 32 page volume is enhanced with
full-color photographs, a table of contents, informative sidebars, a glossary of key words and
phrases, interesting facts sections, a timeline of key events or an animal kingdom chart, sources
further research (including thematically appropriate websites), and a comprehensive index. Twelve
titles are dedicated to Biology (Amphibians, Birds, Fish, Insects, Mammals, Mollusks and
Crustaceans, Reptiles, Sea Jellies, SeaStars, Spiders and Scorpions, Sponges, and Worms). Eight
titles focus upon Physics (Electricity; Energy; Light; Magnetism; Matter and Material; Motion;
Solids, liquids, and Gases; and Sound). Basic core additions to school library collections, each of
these volumes (available individually: list price $27.07; school/library price $18.95), both school
community library systems would be well advised to acquire the Science Around Us series in its
entirety for the benefit of their students and young patrons. This outstanding series is also ideal
homeschool curriculum development and supplementation.
c/o The Creative Company
123 South Broad Street, Mankato, MN 56002
$108.40 (list), $75.80 (school/library) 1-800-445-6209 fax: 1-507-388-2746
Environmental Disasters is a four volume series from Stargazer Books for young readers grades 4
and up that focuses on the consequences of human actions which have worked to the harm of the
environment. Jane Walker's informative and "kid friendly" text is enhanced with maps, facts files,
color photographs and illustrations, a glossary, and an index. The four titles comprising this
outstanding and strongly recommended series for school and community library Environmental
Studies reference collections, includes Atmosphere in Danger (1932799125); The Ozone Hole
(1932799095), Oil Spills (1932799109); and Vanishing Habitats And Species (1932799117).
Although each titles is available individuals ($27.10 list; $18.95 school/library), because these
are so well written and presented, bringing young readers to a clear understanding of the
implications and effects arising from man-made environmental disasters, library systems are
encouraged to acquire the entire four volume set for their young students and patrons.
Upstart Books, c/o Highsmith Inc.
PO Box 800, Fort Atkinson, WI 53538-0800
The "Instant Library Lessons" series by Karen A. Farmer Wanamaker is specifically designed to
introduce children in kindergartner through the second grade to what is available for them in a
school or community library. Each of the three grade appropriate volumes contains 36 lessons
focusing on six content areas: Library Skills, Literature Appreciation, Learning Techniques;
Comprehension, Oral Language, and Writing Experiences. Instant Library Lessons: Kindergarten
(1932146145, $16.95) includes Teddy Bear Time, Farmyard Friends, and Stories in Threes.
Library Lessons: First Grade (1932146121, $16.95) features Bug Out Over books, quilt Me a
and Focus on Frogs. Instant Library Lessons: Second Grade (193214613X, $16.95) offers Duck
Fever, Out of This World, and It's Raining Cats and Dogs. Certain to be popular supplements for
classroom curriculums on Library Science, Each of this outstanding and thoroughly "kid friendly"
workbooks are ideal for use in homeschooling use as well.
Good Night, Sweet Dreams, I Love You
Patrick C. Friman, Ph.D.
Boys Town Press
14100 Crawford Street, Boys Town, NE 68010
1889322652 $10.95 1-800-282-6657 www.boystownpress.org
Clinical Professor of Pediatrics Patrick C. Friman, Ph.D. shares his wisdom with sleepless parents
Good Night, Sweet Dreams, I Love You: Now Get Into Bed and Go To Sleep!, a simple guide
anyone having problems getting their children to go to bed. Chapters cover specific issues with
helping children from infants to toddlers, preschoolers, elementary schoolers, middle schoolers
beyond. Written in plain terms, Good Night, Sweet Dreams, I Love You emphasizes the
of building good sleep habits, and warns parents that children of all ages are always learning - and
therefore responding to their excessive crying, defiance, attempts to leave the bedroom, and other
activities with an abundance of warmth or gentleness will create positive reinforcement for the
negative behavior of resisting bedtime! Good Night, Sweet Dreams, I Love You walks the reader
through time-tested procedures to help children get their sleep, including "cold turky" and
methods for tuning out nighttime crying, and the "robotic return" method for dealing with a child
who wanders out of bed (return the child silently and emotionlessly and say nothing, so as not to
associate comfort or other positive responses to a child deliberately leaving the bedroom). Above
stresses Friman, the parent must remain in control and not negotiate, discuss or argue about
with a very young child; children need rules, limits, parental authority, and sleep at an early age. A
brief discussion of problems such as bedwetting, night terrors, or sleepwalking rounds out this
straightforward, problem-solving guide, which points parents to a list of resources for further
reading as needed. Enthusiastically recommended for parents or caregivers of young children, and
also an excellent baby shower gift.
Silver Fox's Bookshelf
A Place for Ida
ISBN: 1592864805 $19.95 200 pages
An emotional journey, in search of love, acceptance and redeemption.
In her debut novel, author, Patricia Richardson conducts a a heart wrenching trip from South
Carolina to New York City that spans more than a decade. Ida has been denied the most precious
things needed to thrive, love. The sole source of solace comes from the maternal grandmother.
Carrie finds herself, at an age and physical condition where she should finally be able to relax,
carrying the weight of her offspring and theirs as well. Relying solely on her faith in God, Carrie
provides for her charges often hindered by their parents' shortcomings. In a racist South, during
turbulent 60's, she does the best she can with what is available.
Despite her very obvious physical beauty Ida is shunned and mistreated by all of the females in her
family (except Carrie). She pretty much experiences only the negative aspects of her birthright.
Fortunately, the men in her life seem to appreciate her but are often too busy just trying to survive
give her the kind of affection Ida's soul cries out for.
Today one can turn to any one of the daytime talk shows and hear young, troubled, teenaged girls
potentially destroying their lives in futile attempts to get attention or unconditional love.
A Place For Ida will make you want to holler. She suffers several deeply traumatic incidents and
her suffering grows into her adult self. Her family, in much need of healing and redemption will be
inadvertantly forced to see themselves in a new light.
I found the story to be compelling and only wished she had shown more of the story that was told
narrative. It should be a great movie some day and I look forward to reading more books by
FEATURED INTERVIEW: JERRI COUNCIL
author - poet - publisher founder of Infinite Spectrum
SF - Why and When did you start illustrating creatively?
JC - I've been drawing [well] since elementary school, and illustrating professionally since college,
off-and-on for over three decades.
SF - Where do you get the inspiration for your artwork?
JC - From God, [and client-specifications.]
SF - Are there parts of you contained in your works?
JC - God has blessed me with the ability to document images through art.
SF - What art form(s) are you most comfortable with?
JC - Fashion Illustration, Life Drawing, Landscapes, Still Life
SF - Where do you hope to see your creative career go?
JC - Internationally, Prosperous
SF - Have your life experiences influenced your work? If so, how?
JC - [To date] as a Fashion Illustrator, the craft became practically extinct with the increase in
popularity with photography. Otherwise, I would suspect that everything in life influences each
every one of us.
SF - What, if anything, would you like to share about you,the person?
JC - I'm honest, kind, intelligent, talented, and spiritual.
SF - How has your transition to publication gone?
JC - Surprisingly well.
SF - What would you like to do differently the next time?
JC - Be more [financially] and emotionally prepared.
SF - To whom do you seek advice and / or support from?
JC - I'm in prayer first/last, and my youngest sister is extremely supportive.
SF - When can your fans expect to enjoy your work again?
JC - I've recently completed another book [cover/interior] art.
SF - How can your fans reach you?
JC - Through email - firstname.lastname@example.org and my web site -
SF - Do you have any presently scheduled events for the next few months?
JC - Not at the present moment, though I am working on two projects for clients.
SF - What books / poetry / artwork have you read / seen lately that you would like to
JC - Insight by Valerie C.J. McGee, Getting Out Alive by Regina Paul, A Place for Ida by Patricia
Richardson; all of Nikki Giovani's poetry; artwork by me, Jerri Council and the artwork of Kaliq
SF - What is your idea of fun?
JC - Dancing to and/or listening and/or singing good music!
SF - What experiences do you hope to one day have?
JC - Monetary wealth accompanied with good health and happiness, and the ability to travel.
SF - What places do you still wish to travel to?
JC - Africa, Hawaii, Jamaica WI, Canada
SF - Do you have an agent and if not are you looking for one?
JC - No, and no.
SF - Are there any other professionals you are seeking to enhance your career?
JC - I'm currently available for book-cover art [exterior/interior], and am founder and CEO of my
creative development business...Infinite Spectrum, where one's artistic abilities can be directed
towards a successful career.
SF - How many not yet to be released works do you have keeping warm on the back burner?
JC - I'm writing my memoirs, and wrote a short autobiographical story that was entered in a
magazine's annual literary contest. The illustrations are done on demand.
SF - Off all of your released works which is your favorite?
JC - My first book cover was for Ms. McGee, [my sister] and she's by far my biggest
cheerleader...so, I'd have to say doing her illustrations is most favorable, collabrative and the
greatest reward, due to the profound love and respect we have for each other's talent, as women,
sisters and friends!
SF - When and where - what type of environment are you most creative in?
JC - My home.
SF - What other talents should everyone know you have?
JC - Singing, Dancing [hmmm, well maybe not anymore...an injury], Crafty [sewing, knitting,
crocheting], very good cook, great managing/organizing skills, recognizes outstanding talent [in
SF - Where would you like to see your life five years from now?
JC - See the answer to #17. (Wealth, health, happiness, travel)
SF - Anyone out there you like to acknowledge?
JC - My four sons, Chris, Kaliq, Gennes, Raymond and my only daughter Sade for being my
and inspiration to be a great example of how an adult should try to live...with humility and
confidence, righteousness and goodwill, and responsibility and consequence. Also, my
and their mothers, my sister Val and her family, Spyder, Agnes, Kim, Zain, Kandis, Bridget and a
host of others [too many to name at this time.]
SF - I thank Jerri Council for taking time out of her very busy schedule to share with her fans
new and old a glimpse into the woman behind the beatiful book cover (and interior) illustrations
Please vist Jerri Council at her web site. Don't forget to sign her guest book.
I took the liberty of contacting the authors, whose books display the creative genius of Ms
Council.They each stated that she created the illustrations based upon their individual requests
the content of the written works. Personally I have seen Ms. Council's artwork not yet on her site
(watercolors, acrylics, oils and charcoals) and suggested that she add them to her gallery. I
at some point in the near future Jerri Council's artwork will be a much sought addition for
of fine art. My four sons, Chris, Kaliq, Gennes, Raymond and my only daughter Sade for being
purpose and inspiration to be a great example of how an adult should try to live...with humility
confidence, righteousness and goodwill, and responsibility and consequence. Also, my
and their mothers, my sister Val and her family, Spyder, Agnes, Kim, Zain, Kandis, Bridget and a
host of others [too many to name at this time.]
SF - I thank Jerri Council for taking time out of her very busy schedule to share with her fans new
and old a glimpse into the woman behind the beatiful book cover (and interior) illustrations Please
vist Jerri Council at her web site. Don't forget to sign her guest book. I took the liberty of
the authors, whose books display the creative genius of Ms Council.They each stated that she
created the illustrations based upon their individual requests and the content of the written works.
Personally I have seen Ms. Council's artwork not yet on he r site (watercolors, acrylics, oils and
charcoals) and suggested that she add them to her gallery. I suspect at some point in the near
Jerri Council's artwork will be a much sought addition for collectors of fine art. Her talents quite
evidently do cover an Infinite Spectrum.
FEATURED INTERVIEW: REGINA PAUL
SF - Why did you start writing creatively?
RP - I've been writing almost as long as I've been reading so that's a hard question to answer. I
started out initially I think because I liked the ways words fit together, and it was a challenge to
them to fit together well and descriptively.
SF - Where do you get the inspiration for your stories?
RP - I get inspiration from a lot of places. Sometimes I go for walks and just let the old brain
percolate and ideas will come to me. Sometimes a phrase or title will pop into my head from
nowhere and I'll ask myself what story goes with that, and I'll go with it from there. My best ideas
though seem to come from times when I'm meditating or dreaming. I got the idea for GETTING
OUT ALIVE from a dream.
SF - Are there parts of you contained in your works?
RP - Of course, I think most writers put pieces of themselves into their characters. Although, I
pick traits that I definitely don't have as well, especially with my villains!
SF - Do you identify with any one particular character? If so how?
RP - I identify a lot with the character Molly in my book due out in Spring 2006 from THE
KEEPERS OF ETERNITY. I think I identify with her because she's Native American like myself,
and she's very spiritual which I also consider myself to be.
SF - What genre(s)/art form(s) are you most comfortable with?
RP - I am probably most comfortable with the Romance genre, although I have a tendency to
genres and mix romance with science fiction as I did with GETTING OUT ALIVE, or with
as I'm doing with THE KEEPERS OF ETERNITY.
As for art forms, I like to do Native American beading and I paint watercolors as well.
SF - Where do you hope to see your creative career go?
RP - Well, like most writers, I'd love to see my work on the New York Times Bestseller list.
However, realistica lly I'd like to see my fictional works in the hands of those who also enjoy
genre fiction, and be able to make a decent living with my writing. If I could quit my day job and
write and market my books, I would be very happy.
SF - Have your life experiences influenced your work? If so, how?
RP - Oh, definitely. Well, those that know my work know I tend to write about Native American
characters, usually mixed bloods as I am. I use my writing to try and dispel some of the
people have about Native Americans. It's truly amazing to me how little the general public knows,
and how there are even those out there who think there is no longer an active American Indian
culture. I try to use my writing to dispel that myth, along with t he one that we don't exist
SF - What, if anything, would you like to share about you, the person?
RP - I believe very strongly that what you put out into the universe is what you get back. I live by
this idea, so I think it's important to do what you can for others, to be kind, helpful and loving as
often as possible, especially with those who are not so to you.
SF - How has your transition to publication gone?
RP - I guess I'd have to say it's been like a roller coaster ride. I had no idea until I'd actually got
the process how much work it would be. It's been difficult at times, but also very rewarding. I've
the great good fortune to meet many people on the road to publication, some of whom have
like family to me. So, I'd say that despite the difficulties it has been more than worth it.
SF - What would you like to do differently the next time?
RP - I would edit my book a little more slowly, and carefully and give myself enough time to have
couple of other people do a read through as well.
SF - To whom do you seek advice and /or support from?
RP - My husband Vince, divinity, and my heart sister Valerie CJ McGee.
SF - When can your fans expect to enjoy your work again?
RP - Spring 2006 is when tentatively I expect THE KEEPERS OF ETERNITY my next novel to
available. However, I'm writing a bi-monthly newsletter called Regina's Universe which you can
up for at my website, and I plan on releasing a novella sometime in the next few months or
SF - How can your fans reach you?
RP - Presently I can be reached at my e-mail address email@example.com and at my website
RP - While I am not always logged onto the messenger services, I can be reached on yahoo
messenger under the name tiwatz, and the AIM Messenger under the name EagleWoman36. But
please e-mail me first and set up a time to chat with me so I can be sure I'm logged in.
SF - Do you have any presently scheduled events for the next few months?
RP - Not at this time. I'm hoping to set some up soon though.
SF - What books/poetry/artwork have you read/seen lately that you would like to
RP - I haven't been doing much reading lately as I've been working on marketing GETTING OUT
ALIVE. However, the last book I read was OCEANS OF FIRE by Christine Feehan, and I would
definitely recommend any and all of her books to anyone who likes reading paranormal
SF - What is your idea of fun?
RP - Sitting in a hot bubble bath reading a good book.
SF - What experiences do you hope to one day have?
RP - I would love to travel more.
SF - What places do you still wish to travel to?
RP - Ireland, Scotland and Greece.
SF - Do you have an agent and if not are you looking for one?
RP - No, I don't have an agent and I'm not presently looking for one. However, if one came along
and I was impressed enough with the person, I would consider it.
SF - Are there any other professionals you are seeking to enhance your career?
RP - Not really. My budget is kind of tight right now, and professionals have a tendency to be
expensive. I've made it my policy to learn to wear different hats so I can be my own
SF - How many not yet t o be released works do you have keeping warm on the back
RP - I'd have to say I have 8 on the back burner presently. I want to write at least 5 more books in
the Other World Series of which GETTING OUT ALIVE is the first. THE KEEPERS OF
ETERNITY will probably be the first of another series. I have at least three books one of which is
SF - Who did your cover illustrations for Getting Out Alive?
RP - The very talented artist Jerri Council. You can view more of her work at
SF - Of all of your released works which is your favorite? (If you only have one out so far.)
scene is your favorite and why?
RP - I presently only have one work that's been released. I have several favorite scenes in
OUT ALIVE, but one of my most favorite is the one where Wolf, Angel's hybrid dog, decides he
wants the code to Darek's door to include him, so he can bark and the door will open! It's very
comical how he sends the picture to both Angel and Darek telepathically, and then to see their
SF - When and where / what type of environment are you most creative in?
RP - I'm most crea tive in the early morning planted in front of my computer in my home office. I
like to play soft music in the background such as Enya or Native American flute music by artists
Carlos Nakai or Kevin Locke.
SF - What other talents should everyone know you have?
RP - Well, as I said before in addition to writing I do Native American beading and watercolor
painting. Also I create and design websites for other creative types. I designed the official
of Infinite Spectrum at http://www.infinitespectrum.bravehost.com and Valerie CJ McGee at
http://www.valeriecjmcgee.bravehost.com as well as my own website. I also like to design
marketing materials I can use for book promotion.
SF - Where would you like to see your life five years from now? I'd like to see my books in
bookstores, and me not working the traditional 9 to 5, but rather making a living off of my writing
SF -Anyone out there you like to acknowledge?
My husband Vince for always believing in me no matter how hard this journey has been at times.
family without whom I would not be where I am today, my parents, brother, and his wife, and my
in-laws who all have been extremely supportive. Valerie CJ McGee for being such a wonderful
sister and supporter and for giving me a kick in the behind every so often when I need it. Beverly
Jones, and Krista Braaten for writing such wonderful reviews for GETTING OUT ALIVE. Also,
Jerri Council for her artistic endeavors on my behalf and for creating such a beautiful cover for
GETTING OUT ALIVE. I can't thank you all enough, you are the best!
Getting Out Alive
ISBN: 1-411629752 $17.20 383 pp.
Valerie C J McGee
ISBN: 0-59566217X $25.95
A Place For Ida
ISBN: 1-592864805 $19.95 200 pp.
Silver Fox, Reviewer
The Last Kingdom
10 East 53rd St New York NY 10022
ISBN 0060530510, $25.95, 352 pp.
Bernard Cornwell is a masterful storyteller, combining history, war strategies, romance, political
intrigue, bloody battles and unforgettable people with such verve, intricacy and attention to the
smallest telling details that the reader remains mesmerized throughout the tale and cannot forget it
long after the book is finished.
The story is set in Northumberland in northern England, in the second half of the ninth century:
time of the Danish Vikings and King Alfred, the Great. "The Last Kingdom" is as much a war
for the kingship of the entire country of England, as it is a story of Uhtred, the ealdorman of
Bebbanburg (present day, Bamburg, located on the shores of the North Sea, not far from
island), and his transition from childhood to adulthood. This is also a story of deeply rooted
paganism versus early Christianity.
Uhtred is ten when he is captured by the Danes, who kill his father and his older brother. He
his adolescence with the Vikings, learning how to become a skillful and ruthless warrior. He fights
battles against the English and would prefer to be considered a Dane. However, destiny has other
things in store for him: It puts him under the command of King Alfred. His loyalty to Wessex is
sealed with his marriage to a West Saxon woman named Mildrith. Uhtred comes into adulthood
through the trials and tribulations he undergoes as commander of the king's new fleet of ships and
their battles with the Danes. The death of all three Lothbroksons through Uhtred's cunning
strategizing and superb swordsmanship, brings victory for Alfred and a time of peace for Uhtred
spend in his hall at Defnascir, with Mildrith and their son Uhtred Uhtredson by his side.
Uhtred is born Pagan, but his early childhood is marked by continuous attempts by the Christian
priests to stamp out all traces of his beliefs. His later childhood, after his capture by the Danes, is
spent renewing and reinforcing his pagan beliefs, for the pagan Angle god Woden was none other
than the pagan Norse god Odin. His marriage to Mildrith and his acknowledgment of King Alfred
his overlord in his early adulthood, cause him to come once again under Christian influence. But
however much he outwardly proclaims to believe in the one true God, his core belief remains with
Odin, Thor and Valhalla.
Cornwell's battle scenes are powerful, with no two alike in strategy, mayhem or emotions. His
wizardry with words takes the reader there -- right on the battlefield -- to personally witness the
carnage, smell the fear and triumph, hear the swords and shields clashing, listen to the cries of
men and the whinnying of terrified horses, and to behold the sheer bravery, glory and devilry.
Few English writers have ever painted the Vikings as anything but godless people, intent only on
raiding, warring and savaging. With Uhtred relating this story, we see the Danes as human beings,
having a deep love of family, loyalty to friends, and a code of honor and integrity far stronger than
any beheld before in the lands of the Angles, Saxons and Celts. "Men die," they said, "but
does not die." The Vikings believed that "strength, generosity, hardness and success" are the true
mark of a man.
"Destiny is everything." And so ends this story. Having visited Bamburg and the surrounding
and having a special interest in King Alfred made this story especially memorable for me. I look
forward to following Uhtred as he faces the challenges life chooses to throw at him in the
The Stories of English
141 Wooster St New York NY 10012
ISBN 1585676012, $35.00 584 pp.
"The Stories of English" should ideally be a textbook for the "History of the English Language
course. However, Crystal's superbly crafted and meticulously researched tome makes complex
linguistic theory readily accessible even to the armchair enthusiast through masterful storytelling.
Interwoven through the evolution of Modern English is the history of the dialects of the
The standard history of the English language starts with the arrival of the Germanic tribes and
proceeds along predictable Anglo-Saxon rails: Old English, the Norman influence leading to
English, the Renaissance leading to Early Modern English, the discovery of printing leading to
dictionaries and further standardization and eventually to the emergence of Modern English by
This is the story of only one kind of English and only in England -- Standard English -- and even
ignores early Celtic and later East Indian influences, to name two.
However, as Crystal points out, there are three observable problems with this history: most
speakers don't speak Standard English, a significant number of writers don't write it and it is not
used in a large percentage of online interactions. Regional, socio-cultural and ethnic dialects and
accents reveal the true linguistic history, as does the study of language patterns in say, the
Caribbean, South Africa, the United States, India, etc.
Most people are taught Standard English in school and tend to use it in most formal settings.
However, they also have command over different informal styles of speech; for example, at lunch
with work colleagues, at a party of high school buddies, at a gathering of parents, your child's
friends and their parents, etc. No historical account of English can or should ignore the entire
of the language's formality range.
Crystal's history of English starts with the existing Celtic and Pictish languages in Britain before
arrival of the Romans. Old English emerged as a polyglot of the Celtic Roman, Germanic and
Nordic Viking tongues, not to mention some Frankish and Frisian influences thrown in by traders.
Even as Old English was coming into its own as a language, lexical diversity was already present
depending upon who spoke it: a Dane, an Angle or a Saxon.
And so the story goes on to the tales of a trilingual nation (English, French and Latin) in the High
and Late Middle Ages that led to the emergence of Middle English. The first written record of
dialect is in Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales," where Chaucer uses dialect to express character. This
period also sees the start of linguistic discourse and dialect groupings by occupation, social
structure, regional location, etc. These dialects were also readily reflected in the written language,
because the language in those times had not yet become prescriptive.
During the Renaissance, the London and Oxbridge triangle of power and influence was
in creating the early Modern English (Midlands dialect). However, the process was haphazard at
best; there was no academics or standards body. The printing press and printed material, such as
Bible, literature and early dictionaries greatly aided this process. The chancery with its complex
judiciary was also a primary influence on defining Early Modern English.
By Shakespearean times, English was a rich language with thousands of words, and all writing
(formal or otherwise) was conducted in Early Modern English. Writers then began devising new
literary forms, inventing new words and using old words in new senses, thus, contributing greatly
the lexical expansion.
The age of colonization and the industrial revolution saw the incursion of words from the
languages into English: Greek, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, AmeriIndian languages,
Eastern languages (such as Turkish, Hebrew and Persian), East Indian languages (such as Hindi,
Tamil, etc.) and other Asian languages (such as Tibetan, Malay, Chinese and Japanese).
Johnson's dictionary as well as the later Bibles were instrumental in shepherding in Modern
and that transition happened from 1700 to 1800. "Early [medieval] manuscripts had no
marks or even spaces between words." However, ever since punctuation marks were introduced
oratory guides, the Lynne Trusses through the ages have whinged and argued about their
And to all the readers who run away in horror from split infinitives, and consider them a
transgression of the computer age, Crystal has a little snippet from the anthology of "Punch"
magazine, titled "Mr. Punch in Society" (c.1870) that shows that Victorians, too, shuddered from
them while their writers just as cheerfully employed them.
"The Stories of English" is a groundbreaking history of the language in a compelling narrative of a
truly global adventure. For the first time, regional speech and writing command center stage. With
examples from Bede's "Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation" (8th century) to "Lord of the
Rings," David Crystal underscores his theories and conclusions.
Sonali T. Sikchi
The Friar and the Cipher: Roger Bacon and the Unsolved Mystery of the Most Unusual
in the World
Lawrence & Nancy Goldstone
ISBN: 0767914732 $26.00 320 pp.
Here's another true, interesting, grippiing story about an unusual book. The saga is brought to
discriminating readers by that well known, book hunting, history researching, married couple, the
Goldstones. This current volume is just their latest in an ever-growing list of timeless tomes on
This tales involves Roger Bacon, a 13th Century Franciscan monk/academic/scientist/philosopher.
He was known as the Miraculous Doctor for all his deeds, thought to be magical, like producing a
rainbow, creating explosions louder than thunder, and having a looking glass that allowed him to
for 50 miles in any direction. Needless to say, he was an early practitioner of science, quite
by the public at large in that era.
This academic was educated at the newly founded higher education institution of the University of
Oxford in England. He later taught there and at the University of Paris. Mainly, he studied, then
instructed in, science, mathematics, and philosophy, and the recently introduced fields developed
Arab scholars from Aristotle's works, which had purposely been ignored in the Christian
A contemporary of Bacon's, Thoms Aquinas, a Dominican
teaching at the University of Paris was interpreting Aristotle and fitting a portion of the ancient
Greek's writing into Roman Catholic Church doctrine. Bacon felt that Aquinas, because he lacked
knowledge of science and math, couldn't possibly know what he was doing. For opposite reasons,
church leaders, up through many reigning popes, thought that Bacon was way off base, giving too
much credence to science, which didn't always fit so neatly into established doctrine.
Going against church teaching, at this time, could be dangerous to one's health. Indeed, what with
the inquisition and with other official, royal, and/or churchly intrigues, challenging religious
could even get you burnt at the stake, one of the less cruel methods of capital punishment of its
Still, Bacon continued to flirt with danger. But he was prudent enough, being an expert in many
areas of leaned life, to use codes, or ciphers, in some of his writing. Most people believe that he
wrote a work, that in more recent years has come to be referred to as the Voynich manuscript
it was found in 1912 in an old trunk full of illuminated manuscripts in Italy by Michael Voynich, a
rare book dealer.
"[..]Voynich himself," writes the authors, "described it [the manuscript] as an 'ugly duckling.' It
just over two hundred pages and small, only six by nine inches, about the size of current-day
hardcover. The pages were vellum and the cover was blank. No title or author's name was visible
anywhere. There was a letter attached, on which was written a date--1665 or 1666, Voyich
be sure--but he knew immediately from looking at the script and the style of writing that the
manuscript itself was actually much older."
From the time it was discovered, the attempt at translation, the determination of its authorship,
the tracing of its provenance (who's owned, held, or secreted it over the years) has been
underway. The quest has been unceasing, taking many twists nd turns.
Much of the history of the Middle Ages is dipped into during this story's telling. Such outstanding
historical figures on the world's stage as Queen Mary, King Henry VIII, Queen Elizabeth, Francis
Bacon, apparently no relation of Roger's and born 300 years later, and numerous others of
such as the various, but mostly short-lived, popes during those years.
Since the discovery of the manuscript, numerous code breaking experts, from different countries
participated in World War One and Two, have spent great chunks of their lives trying to decipher
Bacon's manuscript. The tales of their superhuman efforts are full of tension, frustration, and
The Goldstones last book, OUT OF THE FLAMES, like their current one, was hard to put down,
too. Highly recommended!
The Post-truth Era: Dishonesty and Deception in Contemporary Life
St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 0312306482 $24.95 312 pages/indexed
From the Pulitzer-prize winning history professor, Dr. Joseph Ellis, who told fibs to his students
Mt. Holyoke College about his military service in Viet Nam, to football coach George O'Leary,
became Notre Dame's football coach but was fired six days later after being caught lying about his
academic degrees on his resume, this book is replete with stories of high profile liars.
U.S. Presidents aren't overlooked either, like LBJ who lied to Americans about the Gulf of
incident to Tom Harkin and Albert Gore and Ronald Reagan who told some whoppers of their
And, yes, the Clintons are both discussed at length in this volume, too.
It would seem that lying today is sweeping the country like never before. Certainly lying, fib
and plain old prevarication has been with mankind since time immemorial. But the prevalence of
rerouting the truth today seems truly astounding. Many of the episodes mentioned in the book
well known. But most aren't. Certainly everyone has heard and read about the New York Times
reporter, Jason Blair, who lied in nearly all the stories he wrote, and the Boston Globe's Mike
Barnicle, who did some fabricating, also, but few know about several others reviewed.
Then there're the Hollywood storytellers from Wynona Ryder, with her shoplifting problem, to the
Coen brothers who brought the movie-going public the film FARGO, supposedy based on a true
story that wasn't. Brian Dennehy and John Wayne come in for criticism, too, along with Nick
and many others.
Besides, those academics mentioned earlier above, many others in that sphere of influence are
over the proverbial coals by Ralph Keyes: Michael Bellesiles, for instance, and his fictitious
about how few revolutionary period colonialists owned muskets. Then there was Edward Said
Columbia University who told fibs about his background to appear more in line with his
for the Palestinians and on and on.
There's even a chapter debating whether lying is good or ever justified. The answers are
inconclusive, except in cases where someone could be hurt or killed. Essentially, like moms and
have told children that it's always best to tell the truth, especially to their parents, it might not be
wise, however, to tell your elderly aunt that she looks awful even if its true. Not surpisingly, kids
mixed messges from their elders, not to mention from their bosses and superiors in other realms,
Of course, the subject of lying to spouses or to significant others takes up several pages of this
volume. Is dishonesty between men and women a new phenomenon? Is it growing in amount?
Should one engage in truth telling within relationships? Naturally, but....
The author comments in the book, "Lying has existed in every society for all of time and
undoubtedly always will. The question then becomes whether a given society facilitates or
discourages dishonesty. Certainly we need more truth telling throughout our own society. But
more than this we need a context that rewards honesty and penalizes dishonesty."
Ralph Keyes resides in Ohio. He's written a dozen earlier books, including, Is There Life After
School? and The Wit and Wisdom of Harry Truman. Keyes has also been a guest on various TV
radio programs. Recommended.
A History Of Christianity In Asia
Samuel Hugh Moffett
PO Box 308, Maryknoll, NY 10545-0308
1570754500 $65.00 www.orbisbooks.com
The 36th title in the Orbis Books' "The American Society of Missiology Series", A History Of
Christianity In Asia: Volume II, 1500-1900 focuses upon four centuries that say tremendous
missionary efforts by the Catholic Church in Asia with what can only be described as ambiguous
results. Informatively written by Samuel Hugh Moffett (Henry Luce Professor Emeritus of
Ecumenics and Mission, Princeton Theological Seminary), this 742-page masterwork is a
contribution to the study of Christian history in general, and Asian oriented missionary outreach in
particular. Enhanced with maps, abbreviations and Acronyms of Journals, Annuals, and
Organizations, a Bibliography, and an Index, this second volume is a document of impeccable and
exhaustive scholarship, and a welcome contribution to Christian Studies. Also very highly
recommended is the first title in this series, A History Of Christianity In Asia: Volume I,
To 1500 (1570751625, $30.00).
Oasis of Wisdom
Rev. David G. R. Keller
The Liturgical Press
St. John's Abbey, PO Box 7500, Collegeville, MN 56321-7500
0814630340 $16.95 1-800-858-5450 www.litpress.org
Rev. David G. R. Keller, Ed.D., presents Oasis of Wisdom: The Worlds of the Desert Fathers and
Mothers is a scholarly and spiritual examination of the lives, beliefs, and wisdom of early Christian
monastic men and women in Egypt and other desert lands. Chapters discuss daily lives and
in such communities; the virtues that those living in such communities strove to achieve; and the
lessons the postmodern world can learn from the early ascetics, such as the importance of stillness
and science, humility, and patience. The importance of praxis, literally "action that is habitually
repeated" and considered to be labor and vigilance toward the inner spirit leading to love of God
and neighbor in this context, is also a key founding point. Oasis of Wisdom will prove most
accessible to intermediate students and scholars of history, religion, and spirituality, yet it is
to define and delineate terms so as not to exclude lay readers. Highly recommended for anyone
seeking a deeper understanding in the theological and spiritual as well as the historical lives of
The Sacred Art of Fasting
Thomas Ryan, CSP
Skylight Paths Publishing
Sunset Farms Offices, Route 4, PO Box 237, Woodstock, VT 05091
1594730784 $15.99 1-800-962-4544 www.skylightpaths.com
Written by Catholic Priest and member of the Paulist Fathers Thomas Ryan, CSP, The Sacred Art
Fasting: Preparing to Practice is a straightforward look at fasting as a means to open oneself
spiritually. Chapters survey the use of spiritual fasting in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism,
Buddhism, and among the Latter-day Saints (Mormons), and strive to explain what makes fasting
"sacred art". The final chapter discusses in detail proper preparations for fasting, what health
conditions make it unsafe to fast, alternative means of fasting for those who cannot safely do so,
how much exercise is appropriate during a fast, and more. The Sacred Art of Fasting specifically
focuses upon fasting as a spiritual practice rather than a weight loss or health practice, yet there is
some discussion of the physical benefits of a controlled fast. A sober, practical, and deeply
discussion of an ancient practice undertaken in search for enlightenment.
The Mystical Language of Icons
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
255 Jefferson Avenue, S.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49503
0802829163 $30.00 1-800-253-7521 www.eerdmans.com
The Mystical Language of Icons is a straightforward and breathtakingly illustrated guide to
iconography throughout history. Full color photographs of iconographic artworks on almost
page are enhanced with an in-depth text that describes the history, meaning, and purpose of
Christian icons; the techniques that religious painters used to create these works; specific nuances
individual motifs, gestures, and colors; Christian hymns, poems and prayers appropriate to
artworks; and much more. Written by one of Europe's most well-known iconographers, The
Mystical Language of Icons is a serious-minded text yet highly accessible to lay readers,
and anyone interested in gaining a deeper understanding of iconography as a form of Christian
worship, expression and communication.
Till My Last Breath
PO Box 540, Worcester, PA 19490-0540
#500821D $19.99 1-800-523-0226 www.visionvideo.com
Till My Last Breath is the true and inspiring story of Pastor Sunday Adelaja who left his come
country of Nigeria to study journalism in Belarus, USSR. There, government officials tried to
persuade him to study socialism instead, but Sunday resisted, preferring to turn to God and not
State for his ideals. Threats and false accusations followed his refusal of the authorities demands,
Sunday started reaching out to those in need. Today he is pastor to more than 20,000 believers in
the Ukraine and has founded churches all over the world. Till My Last Breath showcases the
of one man's faith and what God can do when that man obeys His call. Pastor Sunday Shares the
secrets of his heart and the keys to his successfully ministry in this full color, 28 minute, DID
documentary that is strongly recommended viewing for all members of the Christian community
regardless of denominational affiliation.
Ruy Lopez Exchange
Krzysztof Panczyk and Jacek Ilczuk
c/o The Globe Pequot Press
PO Box 480, Guilford, CT 06437
1857443896 $23.95 1-800-243-0495 www.everymanchess.com
International Chess Master Krzysztof Panczyk and e-mail World Championship semi-finalist Jacek
Ilczuk present Ruy Lopez Exchange, an in-depth scrutiny of the Ruy Lopez Exchange (or Spanish
Exchange), an oft-used opening among Grandmasters and leisure players alike. A wealth of
diagrams and sample games thoroughly explore the possibilities of this opening, how to
or counter it, as well as a discussion of its variants. Like its many companion volumes published
Everyman Chess, Ruy Lopez Exchange is an excellent resource for intermediate to advanced
players looking to strengthen their understanding of the game.
Play Poker Like Johnny Chan: Book One Casino Poker
Johnny Chan and Mark Karowe
Seven Locks Press
3100 West Warner Avenue, Suite 8, Santa Ana, CA 92704
1933074485 $29.95 1-800-354-5348 www.sevenlockspublishing.com
A solid "how-to" guide co-written by the highly-regarded poker player Johnny Chan, whose titles
include 2002 WSOP Match Play NLH Champion and 2003 WSOP No Limit Hold-em Champion
among many others, Play Poker Like Johnny Chan: Book One Casino Poker is a simple guide to
poker basics for players who are out to win. Chapters discuss general poker concepts for the
uninitiated, and the rules and favorable versus unfavorable situations for many poker variants
including Limit Hold-em, Seven Card Stud, Eight Or Better Stud, Omaha High, Omaha Hi-Low,
and No-Limit Hold-em. Some background information on tournaments and internet poker is
included, as is general (and very sound) strategy advice for the would-be career poker player, as
as a mentions of famous and skilled individuals Chan has played with. Notably absent from Play
Poker Like Johnny Chan is any in-depth discussion of card-counting or related mathematical
methodology; it is primarily an introductory guide to give the reader a hands-on understanding of
game mechanics as well as the importance of the professional mindset. Chan's key rules - keep
playing when you are winning, stop when you are losing, stay to an environment where you feel
comfortable, take a vacation from poker when you need it (never try to win the money needed for
vacation from poker when you need one, that's a certain way to burnout), and discipline yourself
move back down to smaller tables when you're losing at big tables - are vital and should be taken
heart by all prospective professional poker players. Full-color photographs illustrate this handy
primer, which is printed on glossy paper.
The Anime Companion 2
Stone Bridge Press
PO Box 8208, Berkeley, CA 94707
1880656965 $18.95 1-800-947-7271 www.stonebridge.com
Written by the author of "The Anime Companion", The Anime Companion 2: More... What's
Japanese In Japanese Animation? is a reference especially for hardcore fans and casual viewers
of Japanese animated movies and television shows, usually called "anime" for brevity. Both The
Anime Companion and The Anime Companion 2 are arranged encyclopedia-style, but each one
its own list of A-Z entries; they are independent collections of entries gathered over the course of
years. Like its predecessor, The Anime Companion 2 consists of entries, each one a few paragraphs
length, that define a specific Japanese geographical location, historical event or thing that often
appears in anime and may well be unfamiliar to Western viewers. From the names of districts of
Tokyo and other populous cities, to famous historical revolts, to foods commonly eaten in Japan,
religious customs, and much more, the entries in The Anime Companion 2 give the casual
better understanding of Japanese daily life and culture roots. Entries are listed in alphabetical
according to the romanized form of the Japanese words, but each one is also written in the
traditional Japanese writing system of kanji, both the modern and old forms if applicable. All
that have an entry are in boldface for easy cross-reference, and icons show the reader at a glance
general facet of life that each word refers to: food, geography, religion, etc. The Anime
2 especially focuses upon Japanese historical references, which were more scarce in anime when
first volume was published but seem increasingly common in modern anime, plus the author's
sidebars and comments about anime fandom in general are intriguing. Highly recommended,
especially for anime and Japanese popular culture fans.
Going Places Reader
IEP Resources Publications
PO Box 930160, Verona, WI 53593-0160
#GP-020 $49.00 1-800-327-4269 www.AtainmentCompany.com
Developed and designed for students in grades 7 through 12, Going Places Reader: 96 Lessons
Focus On USA destinations divides continental American into eight geographic areas and
details on twelve unique tourist destinations within each region that have a special apple to middle
and high school students. An ideal curriculum supplement as high-interest reading comprehension
material attractive to teen readers, each of the 96 lessons consists of a pone-page story written in
modified travel brochure style at a third to fifth grade reading level, and includes two pages of
comprehension quizzes about the story. Students locate their destination on a map and connect its
location to their own state and town of origin. The students are also encouraged to write their
experiences and opinions about each site. The lessons are illustrated and include actual
of the locations. Enhanced with thematically appropriate internet addresses, Going Places Reader
would be especially effective with "reading phobic" students and would make a an effective and
addition to homeschooling curriculums as well!
Facility Design And Management For Health, Fitness, Physical Activity, Recreation, And Sports
Thomas H. Sawyer, editor-in-chief
Sagamore Publishing Company
804 North Neil Street, #100, Champaign, IL 61824
1571675655 $69.95 1-800-327-5557 www.sagamorepub.com
Now in its eleventh edition, the spiral bound textbook, Facility Design And Management For
Fitness, Physical Activity, Recreation, And Sports Facility Development, is augmented with new
chapters on financial management, promotions, public relations, merchandising, ticket operations,
programming, as well as event and risk management. Anyone acquiring Facility Design And
Management For Health, Fitness, Physical Activity, Recreation, And Sports Facility Development
also has free access to a commercial level computer aided design and drafting program:
In fact, there was so much new material that the textbook simply could not accommodate that the
Sagamore Publishing Company decided to post some 200 pages of it on their website at
www.sagamorepub.com With its 500+ printed pages and the additional online information,
Design And Management For Health, Fitness, Physical Activity, Recreation, And Sports Facility
Development is the definitive and strongly recommended instructional compendium and reference
for students and professionals in this specialized field.
Collectables Records Corp.
PO Box 35, Narberth, PA 19072-0035
Collectables Records specializes in packaging classic, inexpensive, superbly produced collections
outstanding musicians, singers, bands, and musical groups that have made their mark in the fields
jazz, R&B, country, rock 'n roll, and popular music. Among there latest and enthusiastically
recommended releases are Dee Dee Bridgewater's Just Family/Bad For Me (COL-CD-7802,
showcasing 27 of her best songs ranging from Open Up Your Eyes and Night Moves, to Love
Won't Let Me Go and Is This What Feeling Gets? Dizzy Gillespie's Closer To The Source
(COL-CD-6738, $12.97) features special guest performers Marcus Miller, Stevie Wonder, and
Branford Marsalis along with seven notable selections that include Could It Be You; Iced Tea;
Textures. The Very Best Of Luck Millinder (COL-CD-2898, $16.97) offers 24 classic tracks from
"I'm Waiting Just For You; Let It Roll Again; and Who Said Shorty Wasn't Coming Back; to
Boogie; The Right Kind of Lovin'; and It's A Sad Sad Feeling. The Very Best Of Lonnie Johnson
(COL-CD-2897, $16.97) showcases 25 classic tracks including What A Woman; Feeling Low
Down; Trouble Ain't Nothin' But The Blues; Seven Long Days; and You Can't Buy Love. The
Of Little Esther (COL-CD-2896, $16.97) has 25 songs by Esther Phillips that span Heart To
Cryin' And Singin' The Blues; and Bring My Lovin' Back To Me; to Saturday Night Daddy; Flesh
Blood And Bones; Cherry Wine; and Love Oh Love. For a complete listing of the hundreds of
memorably impressive CDS readily available in the Collectables Records music catalog, visit their
informative website at www.oldies.com
Paul T. Vogel
Cory Fagan & Jari Love
411 Video Information (publicity)
Unit 2, 1709, 8th Avenue, NE, Calgary, AB, Canada, T2E 0S9
90 minutes $19.95 1-866-800-8678 www.rippedworkout.ca
Ripped! features total body workout exercises led by personal trainer and fitness club owner Jari
Love using barbells, dumbbells, and body weight. The exercise instructions are enhanced with
technical information provided by exercise physiologist Cory Fagan in order to ensure the safety
effectiveness of each exercise for the participating viewer. Bonus features for this outstanding
physical fitness workout DID include recaps of scientific research and individual success stories.
Easy to follow and highly recommended, Ripped! will enable men and women to burn body fat
achieve improved muscle mass, tone, and a general overall improvement in their physical well
Joel Ahser Studioes
411 Video Information (publicity)
13448 Albers Street, Van Nuys, CA 91401
48 minutes $29.95 1-818-785-1551 firstname.lastname@example.org
In Speaking Of...Creativity, nine truly talented men and women drawn from the broad field of the
Arts focus upon the wellsprings of their own particular creativity, how sensory awareness affects
their creative process, what creativity feels like, and how creativity is an integral part of their
personal and professional lives. The commentators include Joel Asher (director, acting coach);
Atlantis (installation artist, art teacher); Richard Bruland (artist); Fu-Ding Cheng (artist, author,
maker); Gordon Hunt (director, voice actor); Jon Lawrence Rivera (director, artistic director);
Maria Royce (cellist, sound artist, composer); Mimi Seton (composer, vocal artist); Stacey Stone
(actress, graphic artist, poet); Charlayane Woodard (actress, playwright). Speaking Of...Creativity
will prove to be of particular interest to aspiring actors, artists, writers, and anyone else seeking to
instill or enhance creativity in their own chosen fields of expression.
Crane Chi Gong
Dr. Daoshing Ni
Seven Star Communications
13315 Washington Blvd., Suite 200, Los Angeles, CA 90066
V-CRAN $39.95 1-800-578-9526 www.sevenstarcom.com
Chi Gong standing exercises were developed several thousands years ago by Chinese Taoists and
integral part of the Qigong forms developed in the 1980s and now practices by over 20 million
people worldwide today. Practiced for healing purposes and demonstrated in Crane Chi Gong, a
thoroughly "viewer friendly" DID by Dr. Daoshing Ni (an acupuncturist and Chinese medicine
practitioner, as well as a master and teacher Qigong and Taijiquan for more than 15 years).
explained and illustrated by example, these exercises integrate movement, mental imagery and
breathing techniques. They are easy to learn for all ages, and are intended to increase the
practitioner's energy and metabolism, relieve stress and tension, improve mental clarity, and
general well-being. Crane Chi Gong has a total running time of two hours and is a welcome,
enlightening, inspiring, instructive addition to any martial arts, alternative medicine, and Qigong
Secrets, Lies and Apologies...America's Domestic Violence Crisis
Crime Prevention Resources
c/o Advantage Source, Inc.
33 North Central Avenue, Suite 202, Medford, OR 97501
V0401 $89.00 1-800-867-0016 www.crimeprevent.com
Secrets, Lies and Apologies...America's Domestic Violence Crisis is a 45 minute video that is
instructive, informative, and thought-provoking as it introduces the viewer into what was once a
suppressed, "socially impolite" subject, but has now come firmly to the forefront of public
as an endemic personal, familial, and social issue -- domestic violence. Stories from victims and
perpetrators tell it all. Abusers talk about how and why they became violent. Victims talk about
abuse they suffered, why they did not end the relationship, and why they still love their batterers.
daughter explains how her father's need for complete power and control has continued to affect
as an adult. Along with these compelling stories, this documentary details one community's unique
approach to handling domestic violence cases. Mandatory arrests for perpetrators and
education for both perpetrators and victims are explained by a judge, a sheriff, a court advocate, a
probation officer, and a counselor. This program makes it clear that all of us are affected by
domestic violence. It is not just a victim's problem. The underlying message is that no one
emotional or physical abuse and that solutions must focus on education through the community.
Secrets, Lies and Apologies...America's Domestic Violence Crisis should be a core addition to all
community library "Social Issues" multimedia collections and is especially recommended to the
attention of domestic violence victims, perpetrators, parents, counselors, women's issues
law enforcement officers, and members of the clergy charged with the care and welfare of their
parishioners. Also very highly recommended are the other instructional videos from Crime
Prevention Resources: "Blueprint For Home Security" ($89.00); "Identity Theft: How to Protect
Your Money, Your Credit & Your Good" ($89.00); "Internet Safety for Kids" ($89.00); "Internet
Safety for Parents" ($89.00); and "Reducing the Odds: Personal Safety Techniques"
Teens & Tanning: Sun Safety Update
PO Box 1022, Owatonna, MN 55060
1571751009 $49.95 1-888-455-7003 www.learningzoneexpress.com
Suntanning first became popular in the 1920s when fashion designer Coco Chanel made the
truly fashionable. Today the medical science of dermatology has verified the hazards of
overexposure to the sun and the indiscriminate use of tanning beds. These medical hazards include
skin cancer and premature aging of the skin (wrinkles). Now there is a 16-minute informative
that sums up the problems associated with suntanning, and shows how a few changes, such as
seeking shade, applying sunscreen, wearing sunglasses and hats, utilizing spray tanning, and
tanning beds, can keep any teenager or young adult looking good and keeping safe while enjoying
the sunshine. Every high-school and community library Health/Medicine collection should include
the Teens & Tanning: Sun Safety Update DVD. Also highly recommended for young viewers
6 to adult is the MyPyramid: Pass It On! DVD (1571751041, $49.95) for healthy eating
Cryptozoo Crew, Volume 1
Allan Gross and Jerry Carr
555 8th Ave, #1202, NY, NY 10018-4364
1561634379 $9.95 www.nbmpublishing.com
Cryptozoo Crew, Volume 1 is a raucous, exciting, and more than a little satirical graphic novel
following a handsome, brawny, gung-ho cryptozoologist and his stunningly beautiful not to
ruthlessly resourceful wife. Together their voyages of discovery pit them against chupacabra, cave
monkeys, carnivorous plants, skunk apes, yeti, and many more monstrous denizens of terrible
jungles in which no man can bear to ask for directions and listen to the answer. Tongue-in-cheek
humor, rip-snortin' black-and-white action, and a lighthearted nod to many pulp adventure comics
the past make Cryptozoo Crew, Volume 1 just plain fun cover to cover, and leave the reader
It's All About Love
Lisa Bell Music
c/o The Creative Service Company
4360 Emerald Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80918
#52442 $14.98 www.lisabellmusic.com
Lisa Bell is one of the new jazz singers making a well-deserved reputation for excellence as a song
writer and a performing vocalist. Her new and eagerly recommended CD album, It's All About
Love, has her performances backed by some of the best musicians in her home state of Colorado.
The twelve tracks comprising this expertly produced album include When I Wish (4:51); don't
Forever (4:34); She's Not Right For You (4:33); Ain't Divorce Grand (4:43); Along the Beaches
(4:07); Here I Am (4:00); Mary had a Little Plan (4:12); You'll Find Me (4:05); Faraway Friends
(4:51); When You Look for Love - Redux (3:45); Burning Desire (4:13); and the title piece, It's
About Love (4:54). Note: Lisa Bell's CD album is available online through amazon.com,
barnesandnoble.com, target.com, itunes.com, cdbaby.com, and (along with more information on
Lisa and her career) her own website, lisabellmusic.com
Spirit Of A Woman
Canyon Records Productions
3131 West Clarendon Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85017
CR-6384 $15.49 1-800-268-1141 www.canyonrecords.com
Navajo singer Radmilla Cody has a distinctive voice that is put to good use as she continues her
musical exploration of her Native American music, both traditional and contemporary, in her CD
album, Spirit Of A Woman. The listener is treated to fourteen memorable works including Prayer
the Creator (2:08); A Beautiful Dawn (3:31); A Child of Water (3:01); Grandmother and
Legacy (3:24); My Horses (3:31); The Fancy Dancer (3:28); She's My Hero - Ode to Lori
(3:12); Possession Song - Yodi Biyiin (2:53); Keyah Baa Hozho - My Country 'tis of Thee (2:41);
Remembering the Taino (2:07); Blessing in Disguise (4:21); Guaraguao (2:03); Tears (3:55); and
title piece, Spirit of a Woman (3:19). With a total running time of 44 minutes, 31 seconds, Spirit
A Woman is a welcome and strongly recommended addition to any personal, community library,
academic Native American Music collection.
c/o Rock Paper Scissors
216 West Allen Street, Suite 137, Bloomington, IN 47403
WRASS-160 $13.99 www.wrasserecords.com www.rockpaperscissors.biz
Seu Jorge was once a homeless kid in a Brazilian slum just outside of Reio de Janeiro. He spent
years developing his talent with music and theatre, eventually landing a part of Knockout Ned in
"City of God" which proved to be his first big break. Cru is the solo album debut that introduces
Jorge with his distinctive voice with an accompaniment of acoustic guitar and percussion. This
superbly produced and enthusiastically recommended CD album features Tive Rzao (I Was Right,
4:32); Mania De Peitao (Large Chested Mania, 2:35); Chatterton (3:52); Bem Querer (My Dear,
3:21); Don't (3:06); Sao Gonca (4:22); Bola De Meia (Sock-filled Ball, 5:25); Una Mujer (4:37);
Sou Favela (I Am Favela, 2:27); and two bonus tracks, Mania De Peitao (Jamais Plus Jamais Mix,
2:51) and Tive Razao (Valtair Mix, 4:39).
2409 Sepulveda Boulevard, Suite 206, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Brickman Marketing (publicity)
395 Del Monte Center, #250, Monterey, CA 93940
Edie "The Salsa Freak" Espinoza and her husband Al "Liquid Silver" Espinoza collaborate to
a three volume series of instructional videos on Salsa Dancing that will take even the most novice
beginner through all the steps, moves, and motions to become world class Salsa dancers for
fun or dedicated competitions. Accomplished, award winning Salsa dancers, Edie and Al have
performed at major Salsa events and taught dance workshops in more than forty countries, and
even invented their own distinctive "Millennium Style" of Salsa dancing. Beginner Salsa! Dancing:
Step-by-Step ($19.95); Intermediate Salsa! Dancing: Step-by-Step ($19.95); and Advanced Salsa!
Dancing: Step-by-Step ($19.95) have Edie and Al demonstrating every aspect of the Salsa, from
simple to the complex, from the basic steps to competition winning choreography. The production
values are flawless, the instructions wonderfully illustrated, and the advancing levels of
accomplishment are logically methodical. The "step-by-step" format is ideal for even the most
non-specialist general viewer seeking to learn one of the most popular dances in the world. Also
very highly recommended is Edie and Al's fourth instructional DVD -- Latin Nightlife: Learn To
Dance Cha Cha Cha, Merengue; Bachata; and Salsa! ($19.95) and their "Dance Freak" website at
New Dieter's Cookbook
Better Homes and Gardens
1716 Locust Street, Des Moines, IA 50336-0001
0696225646 $19.95 1-800-678-8091 www.meredithbooks.com
The New Dieter's Cookbook from Better Homes and Gardens showcases five hundred terrific
recipes for the weight conscious, along with the latest practical recommendations for weight loss
success from experts in the field of weight management. There are formulas designed to help
out calorie needs, calorie amounts for a variety of everyday commonplace foods, and each
recipe features complete nutrition information for the dish. From Cherry-Apple Cobbler; Sage and
Onion Mashed Potatoes; Herbed Pineapple Refresher; and Pinot Noir Beef Stew; to Caribbean
with Sweet Potatoes; Balsamic Turkey with Zucchini; Rosemary Trout with Lemon Butter; and
Ginger-Date Pumpkin Loaves, each recipe comes with thoroughly "kitchen cook" friendly
instructions and a color photograph of that particular culinary delight. When you eat well, lose
weight and/or maintain desired weight levels, you can't help but feel great -- and the New Dieter's
Cookbook from Better Homes and Gardens can be of immense and practical help to achieve your
best health goals while pleasing even the most gourmet of palates and satisfying even the most
compulsive of appetites.
James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
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