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
Milt GrossMovie Review: "Better Living Through Chemistry"
With all kinds of twists and turns in the plot to complicate life for the love-sick couple, it ends up with nobody having committed any crime and Varney and the "hot customer" being okay.
Aug 17, 2014 - 12:05:16 AM
R.P. BenDedek book Review: "The Rise of the Black Knight" by HW Cumming
Although I didn't get around to it while in Australia, late this afternoon (Sunday August 10th) I decided to bite the bullet and start reading it. Surprise surprise! I couldn't put it down. It was a great story. It is definitely not an 'action' story about knights doing battle, but rather a 'detective mystery' which commences with a 'natural tragedy' that leaves three young princes curious to understand the events that played out before their eyes. Oh - it does also involve talking dragons. (I love dragon stories).
Aug 13, 2014 - 12:17:32 AM
Martha Stevens-David Book Review: "Solider Boy" by Allan Green
This is absolutely the best story/writing that I have encountered in a very long time. It is a story that draws one in and never lets one go until the very last page and then the reader doesn't want it to end! Mr. Green, the author, should be commended for the way he held the reader's attention throughout and his ending brought me to tears if the truth be known. I, for one would love to read anything else he may write. Job well-done.
Aug 13, 2014 - 12:15:17 AM
R.P.BenDedek Book Review: "A Covenant People" by James P. Eckman
This book by James P. Eckman is a very informative and many faceted presentation of the history of Israel. If it were to be given a different title, then 'History of Israel 101' would be a very appropriate one. Because of my over-familiarity with the subject matter, halfway through I was tempted to write my review. I'm glad I didn't! Chapters 12 through 15 were for me somewhat of a revelation, and I eagerly sat at the master's feet and soaked in as much as I could. It provides the reader with what I consider to be an evenhanded academic approach to the realities on the ground.
Aug 10, 2014 - 12:23:17 AM
Milt Gross Movie Review: "Still Mine"
Based on a true story, this saga of growing old, filmed in New Brunswick, 'Still Mine' tells the tale of an elderly farmer, Craig Morrison, whose wife, Irene, is losing her memory. After Irene falls down the stairs, Morrison decides to build a new smaller house for the two of them...A touching drama of an all-too-real dilemma and a happy ending.
Aug 10, 2014 - 12:05:32 AM
Martha Stevens-David Review: "An Idiotic Savant" by Russell Stewart
If the reader can overlook these simple grammatical errors, they will find Mr. Stewart's stories to be very interesting. And I must say, Mr. Stewart related to me that he has been approached by several producers in "Hollywood" to come and discuss the possibility of a movie being made from his story. I wish him the best of luck in this latest endeavor.
Aug 6, 2014 - 12:22:49 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "A brief history of Witchcraft" by Lois Martin
Witchcraft has its roots much farther back in history than I had imagined, although I had guessed the purpose of its accidental beginnings was to explain the unknown. I was wrong. It was possibly to explain a social condition that still occurs, according to the author. After reading this well-written book, A BRIEF HISTORY OF Witchcraft, I wondered if witchcraft in its simplest form was -- perhaps is -- a way for those who feel oppressed to rid themselves of poor treatment by the rich.
Aug 3, 2014 - 6:10:19 AM
Estelle Parke Book Review: 'In the Spirit of Elijah' by Trevor Payne
He has managed to write the book in such a way as to present the characters, especially John the Baptist, the Lord Jesus Christ and assorted disciples, as real, human, genuine people. In this regard, I feel that the author is to be commended for a job well done. He has included a variety of small, personal accounts and incidents which help to humanize the Biblical characters and 'bring them to life' for the reader. I was disappointed to discover that there are numerous grammatical and other errors of writing throughout the work...
Jul 31, 2014 - 2:17:06 AM
Laure McCourt Lopez Review: "One for the Heart" book by G. Raye Jones
I once had a professor who said you could always tell when a reader was engaged in a good book: after reading for some time, the reader would pause and look up with a sign of personal reflection upon the face. That is how this book affected me. It isn't just a matter of reading words but rather reading the musings of a heart that has so much to share with the reader. I highly recommend this thoughtfully crafted collection of poetry to enjoy during those contemplative moments when one wishes to step back from the busyness of life and reflect upon that which is lasting and meaningful.
Jul 30, 2014 - 7:40:13 AM
Laure McCourt Lopez Review: "Bella and Harry; Let's Visit Maui!" by Lisa Manzione
Having been bitten by the travel bug many years ago, I was intrigued with this fanciful excursion of the beautiful island of Maui, one of Hawaii's eight main islands. Who could ask for more charming tour guides than Bella and Harry, brother and sister Chihuahuas, as they invite young readers to join them on a trip that explores different customs, cultural diversity and historic landmarks. I especially appreciate how the author uses child-friendly descriptions that are clear and involve the five senses. Kudos to author Lisa Manzione and to Kristine Lucco for her illustrations.
Jul 27, 2014 - 4:13:00 AM