Martha Stevens-David Review: "Redemption" by Ian Prattis
I found this book, "Redemption," to be well-thought out as only a story that the writer has experienced himself can be. As I read the horrific and heart breaking things the main character, Callum Mor, had to endure in his search for life of his own, I was reminded of an old saying that my own parents and grandparents always told us when we were young and unwanted hardships were forced upon us: "Remember, that which doesn't kill us makes us stronger!" And so it was with this book's main character.
Dec 17, 2014 - 6:05:24 AM
Martha Stevens-David Review: "The Blueberry Patch" by Laura Lee Royale
Unless one had experienced this type of illness in one's own family, one cannot understand what a difficult journey the patient and family goes through upon being diagnosed. "The Blueberry Patch" helps the reader to understand how the different "medical" establishments view patients with mental problems/diagnoses and how the patient is treated.
Dec 17, 2014 - 5:55:31 AM
The Works of Philo
The Hebrew Scriptures were known only to the Jews until the king of Egypt, Ptolemy Philadelphus, arranged for their translation into Greek, the common language of Egypt, Syria, and Judea of that day. The Jewish historian Josephus, a contemporary of Philo, gives an account of how these books of the Old Testament came to be translated. King Ptolemy offered in exchange for their translation one hundred talents in gold, twenty flasks wrought of gold, thirty flasks of silver, five large basins of gold, and a table for the show-bread, which was made of solid gold, and which was three feet long, one and a half feet wide, and two feet high. This amounted to about U.S. $2 million, an offer that Eleazar, the High Priest of the Temple in Jerusalem, graciously accepted.
Dec 14, 2014 - 12:25:20 AM
Martha Stevens-David Review: "Send Me some Love In The Mailbox" by Cherie Turlington
I found the book to be beautifully illustrated and the content takes one back to another place and time. A time when if one had a "mailbox" and lived in a rural place, then the mailbox was the place that one would run to everyday to check the mail and the mailman's schedule was closely watched and committed to memory. Sadly, with all of the additions that this "modern" world has produced such as the cell phones and computers, just to name a few, we have lost touch with ourselves and our ability to touch others.
Dec 7, 2014 - 5:40:16 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "Moo" by Jane Smiley
The back of Smiley's 1995 paperback describes as "born in Los Angeles, grew up in St.Louis, and studied at Vassar and the University of Iowa, where she received her Ph. D." And Moo was "selected by the Book-of-the-Month Club," according to the same page.
Dec 7, 2014 - 5:05:02 AM
Laure McCourt Lopez Review: "Read Matthew to Live Your Life, Read John to Save Your Soul" By Douglas Kindred
There are many handbooks, DIY manuals and self-help journals that adorn the vast cyber bookshelves of the literary nook of the internet as well as its more old school component, The Book Store, yet this offering by author Douglas Kindred is a welcome breath of fresh air to a reader who is seeking a hands on approach for application to the spiritual journey. Don't let the mere 124 pages fool you; there is ample amount of wisdom in this book whose title touts a DIY approach: "Read Matthew to Live Your Life, Read John to Save Your Soul." This sage advice, relayed by the author's mother, acted as a healing balm particularly during a turbulent season of life that brought Kindred to his emotional spiritual knees.
Dec 3, 2014 - 7:58:05 AM
Martha Stevens-David Review: "Lord Forgive Me... but I was a (Business) Bullsh*t Consultant" by Anthony Bunko
Lord Forgive Me... but I was a (Business) Bullshit Consultant" by Anthony Bunko (who has written many bestselling books for grown-up people with heads like damaged fruit) is described in the publicity material as "quite frankly a side-splitting blooming good laugh and one of the most entertaining reads of the year" and I think it perhaps lives up to this description.This book may not be everyone's cup of tea but held my interest and it was very informative about how the "real" business world really works.
Dec 3, 2014 - 7:53:21 AM
Martha Stevens-David Review: "Wishes and Dreams" by I.H. McDonald Jr.
I think that any child would be mesmerized by the words and drawings in this book. And to read his poem from which the book's title was taken, "Wishes and Dreams" only makes this memorial book even more precious. I shall treasure it always.
Dec 2, 2014 - 8:53:21 PM
Milt Gross Book Review: "Heidi" by Johanna Spyri
I found nothing online about the Swiss author, who includes much Christian content as a vital part of the story. I think she wrote it well and made it a complete story. If I came across a book written today with as much evangelicalism, I would label it as evangelical and probably not even read it. I found it a touching, complete story in which the storyline overcomes the evangelicalism, or actually, uses it to tell the story.
Nov 30, 2014 - 12:05:17 AM
R.P. BenDedek Review: "The Third Heaven Conspiracy" by Giulio Leoni
The historical Dante became a 'Prior' (town councilor) in Florence in 1300 at a time when members of the ruling Guild were referred to as 'Whites' (moderates) or 'Blacks' (extremists) in relation to their support for the pope and his plans of gaining temporal power throughout Italy. The Dante of this story is a moderate who does not trust the Pope, and wishing to keep Florence as an independent republic, he uses his influence to oppose a papal power grab. Historically, Dante was a prior for only about two years before he and four other prominent 'whites' were arrested on presumably false charges and sent into exile, thus removing an obstruction to papal intentions.
Nov 25, 2014 - 7:50:02 AM
Estelle Parke Review: 'Why Did Jesus Have to Die?' by Chris Conrad.
Mr Conrad, whilst in no way diminishing the necessity for exercising faith in our pursuit of Christ, has presented a logical and convincing case for approaching the claims of the Bible from the perspective of both logic and evidence. Having just read this book, I am encouraged to read right through the Bible and take a closer look at some of the foundational truths that can become very familiar and, as such, can be easily read over, without due consideration being given to them.
Nov 23, 2014 - 12:25:13 AM
Pollyanna Sees the Light
We ought to leave aside our preconceived notions about the name "Pollyanna." It is after all a name we call those who are persistently and annoyingly optimistic. The movie is quite different from the book by the same name by Eleanor H. Porter. Rather than teaching the virtue of positive thinking, Pollyanna in the movie challenges her fellow man to think on a higher level. Adopted by a rich aunt, and given a home in a palatial mansion, Pollyanna is a living example of the virtues of simplicity and poverty. She softens the stern preaching of her village pastor with a message of Christian charity. She urges her neighbors to see in every setback, illness, and disappointment the opportunity to find something good; and this she calls "the Glad Game."
Nov 23, 2014 - 12:07:34 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "Lost on a Mountain in Maine" told by Donn Fendler to writer Joseph B. Egan
I've never been lost on a mountaintop or even in the woods like Donn Fendler was when he was a kid. I've been turned around a few times, and I've been on Katahdin and enough other Maine mountains to remember that frightening feeling of being there alone with all those rocks and the wind. Rereading the book makes me realize I can't imagine the fear Fendler felt, when he realized he was lost on Katahdin.
Nov 23, 2014 - 12:05:24 AM
The movie Alien, as does the best science fiction, retells certain familiar stories from the Bible. Non- believers reject the truth of the Bible, but they are moved when they see that same truth portrayed in cinematic form. The battle in the heavens shown in Alien is a retelling of the enmity between woman and the Devil as set forth in the Book of Genesis:
Nov 19, 2014 - 12:30:31 AM
Laure McCourt Lopez Book Review: "Casting Lots" by William D. McEachern
Set in journal format, and punctuated with various quotes from the classic writers such as Ovid and Cicero, the reader is immediately immersed in a world that is framed by mass crucifixions, tyrannical Roman rule, bustling marketplaces filled with every human trait imaginable and the development of a friendship of two men that represent two forms of slavery, one of legal agreement and the other an enslavement of the heart. At the behest of his slave master, Lucinius sets out to meet Cornelius, who possesses a multitude of stories particularly centered upon his encounters with Jesus, the Christ.
Nov 16, 2014 - 12:17:27 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "A Woman's Eye" introduced and edited by Sara Paretsky
This book contained a few I found somewhat gripping in the sense that I wanted to see what happened at the end of the tale. Sara Paretsky is not my favorite writer. In this 1991 publication by Delacorte Press, New York were a handful by writers I've followed for years, such as Sue Grafton. Her story was good, as are all her stories, most of which I've read by her being novels...whodunnits.
Nov 16, 2014 - 12:03:36 AM
R.P. BenDedek Review: "The Spirit of Things II" by Carole Mann
In reading this book of experiences I found its style and content very similar to what one might read in a Christian book with a similar theme. "The Spirit of Things II" serves as a vehicle to share the author's spiritual beliefs and provides examples from real life that justify those beliefs in 'spirit guides, nature spirits, premonitions and spiritual intuition.'
Nov 9, 2014 - 3:47:32 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "Awol on the Appalachian Trail" by David Miller
Miller's thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail led to his writing Awol on the Appalachian Trail. He gave the book the title "Awol," because he vacated his computer-programming position in mid-life, wife and kids, to hike the Trail. He felt a bit out of place, because most thru-hikers on the AT are either retired with enough time and money or just starting out in life after college or high school. Initially his supervisor gave him a week's vacation to decide if he really wanted to leave his job for the Trail.
Nov 9, 2014 - 3:37:18 AM
Kenneth Branagh is on an ego trip
William Fankboner's Review of "As You Like It" (on DVD) Directed by Kenneth Branagh
Nov 6, 2014 - 5:30:22 AM
M. W. Johnson Book Review: "Reliant" by Kellyann Bowman
Basically the book provides practical advice for real situations and refers the reader back to the author and finisher of Life itself. Her straightforward narrative style recognizes the realities of life and human emotions and while offering good advice, does not attempt to gloss over the difficulties of the process of "overcoming" that each Christian must endure. After many years of sadness, suffering and alcoholism; years of turning away from God because of her pain and anguish, the author finally turned toward God and commenced a new life.
Nov 6, 2014 - 5:27:48 AM
William Fankboner Book Review: "Reading Like a Writer" by Francine Prose
I waited weeks for "Reading Like a Writer," and as much as I'd like to report that it was worth the wait, I cannot. After a slogging through three chapters, my heart sank. Despite her love of good writing, Francine Prose's approach to the subject is plodding, humdrum and idiosyncratic. She begins with individual words, then methodically proceeds to sentences and paragraphs in the fashion of a writer of college textbooks. Francine Prose is that curious phenomenon, an accomplished writer of fiction who cannot write interesting nonfiction prose for sour apples.
Nov 5, 2014 - 6:00:10 AM
Estelle Parke Book Review: "The Secret Hidden in Plain Sight" by Hoppy Bishop
Hoppy Bishop has in this book, lined up many historical occurrences and their dates, with Hebrew Feast days or Holy days and has provided theologically sound reasons to explain why such events happened just when they did. I found this book to be an interesting and informative read and would recommend it highly to both Bible teachers and lay people, all of whom should find it to be quite captivating and most relevant to the times in which we live.
Nov 2, 2014 - 12:17:32 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "Home" by Beth Powning
It turned out to be, just the kind of writing that catches me up and moves me along with Beth and her husband, Peter, to their "neck of the woods," to misquote Louise Dickinson Rich, who began her writing career in the woods of western Maine. Powning and her husband moved from a rural area of Connecticut to the fields and woods of New Brunswick, not far from the Bay of Fundy.
Nov 2, 2014 - 12:05:11 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "The Peninsula" by the late Louise Dickinson Rich
Much of the book is about the past of the peninsula, and at the end she writes, "No, we can't go back into the past; but should we leave the past entirely behind us? Should we dismiss the primitive life of long ago as anachronistic and of only academic interest? Was there something there which we should try to preserve for the future? Did the people not possess things that we can't afford to jettison and forget?
Oct 26, 2014 - 6:17:30 AM
R.P. BenDedek Review: "Speak Your Truth" By Denise A. Dorfman
The book takes us through the journey of the author's life and along the way provides references for and quotes from a lot of medical and other related publications. She learned about the importance of exercise, nutrition, holding positive attitudes, removing stress in all its forms and she learned to program her subconscious mind with positive affirmations so that her daily living was positive. Overall this is an interesting and quick 100 page read that could benefit anyone suffering any illness.
Oct 24, 2014 - 6:37:18 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "The Binghams of Louisville" by David Leon Chandler and Mary Voelz Chandler
It's the alleged tale of a wealthy man and his family, whose money came from Standard Oil and other companies, including a railroad and real estate. The story is that his wife became ill, and the wealthy man hired a couple of physicians he knew to care for her. Neither doctor specialized in the wife's illness, and she eventually died. As I read, it became intriguing, especially as this is billed as a true story. I also wondered if any libel suits had been filed or acted on since the book was published in 1987.
Oct 19, 2014 - 6:05:24 AM
R.P. BenDedek Review: "The Living Rainbow" by Amy LaNiece Stewart
The illustrations are very colorful and the rhymes with their messages are interesting. Not everyone will find teaching on Chakras to be their cup of tea, but for those who don't mind or positively understand chakras then this is a colorful but simple style of presentation designed to arouse awareness in young children of important life lessons. There is a strong emphasis on God and Love and the following is an example of the lessons taught.
Oct 12, 2014 - 12:15:05 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "Becoming Joey Fizz" by Stuart A. McKeever
The story itself is okay, taking the reader from Korea through the hero's youth and start as an adult in some pretty seedy parts of New York City. The story goes into a lot of detail about crime, criminals, and the New York City justice system. Some lengthy side stories don't seem to have enough relevance to the basic story to justify their length and detail. It ends with Joey's move to the suburbs, being married, and far too many details about the other characters in the book.
Oct 12, 2014 - 12:05:11 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "Blizzard" by Phil Stong
This novel, published by Doubleday & Company, Inc., New York, NY was well written but a bit corny in the story line. The story included the blizzard, of course, a farm, romance, a divorce about to happen, a politician who decided to stay home instead and practice his veterinarian trade, a person missing in the storm, a power outage, and their eventual rescue by the town snowplow.
Oct 5, 2014 - 12:05:31 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "Sin City" by Harold Robbins
The story involves crime, violence, sex of course, and other seedy activities and is somewhat complicated. The conclusion turns out to be a happy ending with the lead character, Zack Kiordan, meeting his wife and children and planning for them to live happily ever after. The action travels to China and other places in the world. It heavily involves a Chinese wealthy gangster and other players.
Sep 28, 2014 - 5:30:26 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "American to the Backbone" by Christopher L. Webber
Aided by a family in his flight to freedom and then accidentally finding his way to the North, James W.C. Pennington rose in society to become the pastor of a church in Hartford, CT. As one of the nation's first black abolitionists, he began and continued his entire life an effort to educate Americans about the plight of those still held in slavery. He traveled to England and elsewhere in Europe in his quest to see slavery ended.
Sep 24, 2014 - 7:38:08 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "And Grant You Peace" by Kate Flora
A problem with writing this review is that the book is not as it actually would be -- in publishable form. A label on the front cover states, "Advance uncorrected proof," and that makes it hard to imagine the ready- to-sell copy. The author has written a number of crime mysteries of which one "has been optioned for a movie," according to a paragraph about her. The story involves a Muslim crime family and gang that carries out the mayhem and murder until the good-guy cop, Joe Burgess, puts a stop to it all and saves a heroine from death -- death by being tied to a chair with explosives set to make her next home Eternity.
Sep 14, 2014 - 12:05:24 AM
Martha Stevens-David Review: "Doomsday Marauders" by Kilkenny
I can't wait to tell all of my friends/relatives about this book because last night, as I lay me down to sleep, I found that sleep was a long time coming because my mind kept going back to "Kilkenny" and his dire predictions and quite frankly, his warnings scared the "beJesus" out of me! And I also think that what he had to say is absolutely the truth whether we like it or not.
Sep 12, 2014 - 9:17:14 AM
Martha Stevens-David Review: "Down the Drain with Jane" by Jane T. Braun
Having traveled to a few foreign countries and lived and dealt with peoples from lands other than America, I could easily relate to "Jane Tessitor Braun's story" as she gathered her young children and followed her husband and his career from one foreign country to the next. As a reader and fellow writer, I found Jane's writing to be insightful and educational and there wasn't one unkind word to be found.
Sep 10, 2014 - 1:55:07 AM
Martha Stevens-David Review: "A Cry from the Dust" by Carrie Stuart Parks
Not only does this book hold you mesmerized from the very beginning, it keeps you interested until the very end. I found that the author, Carrie Stuart Parks, certainly knew her stuff. She was able to insert the main characters into the storyline in such a way that the reader feels as though he/she is right there and part of the story.
Sep 7, 2014 - 12:12:37 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "Man From Mt. Vernon" by Burke Boyce
In Man From Mt. Vernon, I found the most detailed description of the American Revolution and George Washington's life I have ever read. This includes, among many incidents, the story of Benedict Arnold's turning traitor and siding with the British, the long winter at Valley Forge, PA, which, incidentally was named after an iron forge that had once been there, of the war itself, the great assistance of the French, and the surrender of the British.
Sep 7, 2014 - 12:05:58 AM
Martha Stevens-David Book Review: "I Thought I Wouldn't Tell It" By Deloris Dallas
This book interested me from the very beginning and I must say, it was not an "easy" read. It tells the story of a young girl's growing up on the Island of Jamaica and the ordeals she encountered in just trying to survive. This book will make one take a hard look at the things we take for granted and we might not like what we finally see. We, as human beings, need to be cognizant of the fact that just because all is right in our world, it just might not be so, in others.
Aug 31, 2014 - 12:17:37 AM
Martha Stevens-David Book Review: "Grand Ma Ma and Her Grand Grand Kids"
They are colorful, beautifully illustrated and she also took the time to write in such a way that most of the sentences rhymed, and children of all ages especially love that. I loved the fact that she incorporated multicultural ethnicities in the drawings so that anyone in any place around our vast planet can relate to the story line.
Aug 29, 2014 - 12:22:00 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "Hound-Dog Man" by the late Fred Gibson
This was a juvenile story in 1949, but I doubt if many kids could understand the language or follow the tales these days. That could be the result of modern education and publication, where things get kind of watered down for juvenile consumption. I'd kind of like to experience today's juvenile, say a junior or senior high school student, reading Gibson's tale of a black dog that was laced with good outdoor adventure from start to finish.
Aug 24, 2014 - 12:05:06 AM
Laure McCourt Lopez Review: The Elephant and the Stake by Joanne Belvedere
As an early childhood education teacher I would incorporate this story in an integrated curriculum unit focusing on the culture and environmental landscape of Sri Lanka. This book would also lend itself as a modern take of fable in a comparison/contrast unit of Aesop's Fables and modern literature.
Aug 22, 2014 - 3:55:09 AM