Milt Gross Book Review: "Star Island" by Carl Hiaasen
I've been enjoying Hiaasen's books for years, and this one was no exception. Except for the story's becoming too complicated and some humor I found a bit below the good humor belt. This was typically Hiaasen amusing and a bit crude, a little confusing, but overall a good book. I've enjoyed Hiaasen's books more for the weird happenings than for the story plots.
May 24, 2015 - 6:15:14 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "Western" by Frank Yerby
In 2012, The New York Times Columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote an article telling about an at-risk child whose life was turned around by reading Yerby books that one of his teachers was secretly providing to him. Yerby left the United States in 1955 in protest against racial discrimination, moving to Spain (then under the Franco regime), where he remained for the rest of his life.
May 17, 2015 - 8:40:10 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "Absolute Power" by David Baldacci
According to part of Wikipedia's write up, "David Baldacci was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia. A graduate of Henrico High School, he received a B.A. from Virginia Commonwealth University and a law degree from the University of Virginia, after which he practiced law for nine years in Washington, D.C. "Baldacci and his wife, Michelle, are the co-founders of the Wish You Well Foundation, which works to combat illiteracy in the United States. Baldacci became involved with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society after his sister, author Sharon Baldacci, was diagnosed with MS."
May 9, 2015 - 9:24:42 PM
M.W. Johnson Book Review: "Jewels found along the path of life" by Michael Francis England
I personally found the book to be a very good, honest, straightforward and plainly written story or testimony of this man's experiences. The first half of the book walks us through his life up until his missionary experiences overseas. He mentions but glosses over his sinful pre-salvation life; a factor which I found refreshing since I have no interest in listening to people practically reminiscing about the good bad old days. The stories and anecdotes plainly told allow the reader to directly connect with the author's experiences and for that reason this book would be ideal reading for both the unconverted and the new convert alike. For the older souls it brings back to remembrance the many different fears and burdens during the initial walk with Christ and for me personally, brought back many fond memories of people, churches and circumstances about which I had not thought of for many years.
May 6, 2015 - 8:37:07 PM
Milt Gross Book Review: "The Mists of Adriana Book I" by Roger M. Woodbury
The author, Roger M. Woodbury, is a retired military off, decorated for service during the Vietnam War, and resides in mid-coastal Maine. The story has a good plot. In the story, the first-person unnamed lead character first meets Adriana when he stops to change a flat tire for her. His acquaintance with her leads to the rest of his adventures. Adriana says she is a lawyer, living and working in Portland. A large part of the action occurs in Portland. The title of this Kindle, The Mists of Adriana Book I, is the first thing I questioned about it. There are no mists.
May 3, 2015 - 12:10:40 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "That Yankee Cat, the Maine Coon" by Marilis Hornridge
The book has a chapter on tales of various Coon-cats, one of which is of a woman, Miss Lucinda, whose cat died at the age of 18. The woman "...swore she would never have her another cat, and she didn't for a long time. Then one day during a rainstorm, there came up on her porch a half-grown kitten, gold with dark orange stripes and meowed to be let in. He was all scraggly and scruffy and thin as a pencil and she couldn't resist him, so she let him n -- only for a while, she said, until she could find out who he belonged to. Of course, he took up his residence, and when he grew big, his tail fluffed out and his coat got all long and shaggy...," the homey language of this story is because it was told by another lady in a nursing home.
Apr 26, 2015 - 7:15:45 AM
M.W. Johnson Book Review: "God's Trinity Demystified" by Rev. Adedeji David Adeoye
Now what is interesting about this book, is the way in which Rev Adeoye examines the issue of trinity, and I feel sure, that of all theological attempts to prove the posit, this book is unique in that its author does some strange investigating into the matter of creation to prove the Trinity. The author's fundamental idea is that God is comprised of three personalities consistently revealed in Genesis to be "Thought," "Word" and "Action." Using Genesis he shows that God thought the world into existence, then God spoke, and then God did actions.
Apr 23, 2015 - 7:32:15 AM
Martha Stevens-David Book Review: "A Fox in the Family" by Jane King
This story is for more mature children and the subject matter will bring tears to one's eyes upon being read. One can only hope that there are more humans like the author "Jane King" who will step up and try their very best to save and support these wild creatures.
Apr 20, 2015 - 7:12:20 PM
M. W. Johnson Book Review: "What is Salvation?" by Pastor Bill Parker
I found the book to be very well written and consider Pastor Parker an obviously good teacher. I would recommend the book to everyone who calls themselves a Christian, if for no other reason than to succinctly study again, what the basis of salvation is. I've read a lot of Christian books in my life, but none are as enjoyable as those which teach in simple fashion, the Scriptures as they appear. Well done Pastor.
Apr 20, 2015 - 10:28:36 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "Divine Justice" by David Baldacci
The author, David Baldacci, the author of 15 New York Times best sellers. His books have been published in over 40 languages and sold in over 80 countries, according to the book jacket. The book jacket relates that, with his wife, Baldacci began the Wish You Well Foundation, a non-profit organization supporting literacy efforts throughout America. They reside in Virginia from where the foundation also attempts to spread books across the U.S.
Apr 19, 2015 - 6:26:01 PM
Milt Gross Book Review: "Smokin' Seventeen" by Janet Evanovich
I don't know if it's the location, Trenton, NJ, that has held my interest in all the Janet Evanovich novels I've read. But the location is part of it. I've only driven through Trenton once, carefully keeping my eyes straight ahead on the road so as not to see the unfriendly-looking groups hanging around on porches, steps, or from open windows.
Apr 13, 2015 - 8:30:03 PM
R.P. BenDedek Book Review: "Extravagant Love" By Heather Smith
This is a very easy read that would appeal to most women and probably few men. It is what I would call a 'feel good' book. The writing is good, the personal glimpses into the author's life are inspiring, and I just know there is a big market for books of this type. "Extravagant Love" consists of a series of generally short edifying letters to the readers that provide some glimpse of the love, wonder and kindness of God as demonstrated in some event or situation in which the author has found herself. For instance: When her brother died, everyone was devastated and after the funeral she found herself avoiding any mention of him to friends and family. She writes:
Apr 11, 2015 - 1:05:00 AM
R.P. BenDedek Book Review: "Tough Conversations" by Richard Tiller
The book is something along the lines of an instructional manual with the instructions being provided within the body of a story that the author relates. Sometimes that story is directly from the Bible and at other times it is about situations from contemporary life. The layout of the book is excellent and the author has achieved a balance between storytelling and advice giving. It is professionally written by a person whose qualifications indicate that he ought to know what he is talking about.
Apr 7, 2015 - 5:51:15 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "W is for Wasted" by Sue Grafton
Grafton's writing is exciting and fast paced. But I found the double story line to be a bit confusing and slowed down the action. The story involves three of a hobo crowd, and the professor had used one of them for his experiments, along with other people. Plenty of action and some suspense filled the 433 pages, which kept me reading.
Apr 7, 2015 - 5:48:43 AM
Martha Stevens-David Book Review: "Between Two Worlds" by J.C. Woodrow
The story plot is well-thought out and executed and I personally found that I hated to put the novel down for any reason. This author, J.C. Woodrow , has done her research and it is clearly evident in how well this novel is put together. Personally, as a fellow author/writer, I envy her ability to tell a difficult story in such a clear, believable fashion and I hated to see the story end.
Apr 3, 2015 - 4:54:06 AM
R.P. BenDedek Book Review: "Perilous Times" by Jim D. Costello
The author's stated purpose is to reveal what God has shown him about the coming judgment. He decries not just society but more importantly, Christianity, calling it 'lukewarm,' and blames it on the fact that prayer is no longer allowed in school and that the 10 commandments are torn down and that churches have gone commercial; focused on making money with no call to take up the cross of Christ. He calls churches "entertainment centers." There is little in the way author narrative in this book and it appears to me to be aimed specifically at Christians who would understand the meaning of a multitude of statements that are provided without Scriptural references.
Apr 2, 2015 - 7:54:15 PM
Milt Gross Book Review: "The Other" by David Guterson
The novel, by the author of Snow Falling in Cedars, tells the stories of Neil Countryman, a teacher, and John William Barry, a friend who decides to camp fulltime in the mountains. Countryman becomes a school teacher and marries, while Barry hangs on the wild side of things. One critic thought this was Guterson's best book. I thought Snow Falling on Cedars was much better, but that may have been because I saw that as a movie at least twice.
Apr 1, 2015 - 6:21:20 AM
R.P. BenDedek Book Review: "Walk Along with Nostalgia" By Ding Ding
In order to gain some perspective into the style of writing in Chinese, I showed various poems to my Chinese students and asked for their 'feelings.' Whilst some just 'didn't get it,' others really liked them. One student in particular informed me that one poem made her feel that the day was really sunny and everything was really good and happy. That was an interesting comment given that it was a rainy day.
Apr 1, 2015 - 6:10:46 AM
Martha Stevens-David Book Review: "The Orange Trees of Baghdad" by Leilah Nadir
As a "native" born American, I find that we "Americans" with only having experienced the evils that war brings to one's birth country, in our "Civil War" and the "American & Indian War", we really have no perception of what "war" really means. Will the people of Leilah's country ever be "free", one can certainly hope and pray that they will, but only God knows.
Mar 28, 2015 - 12:07:13 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "Fair Blows the Wind" by Louis L'Mour
Although I don't usually read stories of the Old World, this one held my attention from the very beginning. It ended differently from what I expected. I thought Chanery would end in the New World. Instead he is back where his roots are, Ireland... L'Amour literally "walked the land my characters walk," states a couple of pages about the author at the end of the book. "Of French-Irish descent, Mr. L'Amour could trace his own family in North America back to the early 1600s and follow their steady progression westward, "always on the frontier," the explanatory pages continue.
Mar 27, 2015 - 5:14:40 AM
Martha Stevens-David Review: "Akio & The Dream World" by Carl Snook
I found that the tale read well right from the very intriguing beginning about the young man getting on the strange bus, until the very lovely ending. The topic about dreams and not being afraid to question the unknown, brought back memories of when I was a small child and having to listen to my older brothers tell scary tales to each other as we all waited for sleep at night.
Mar 27, 2015 - 5:08:55 AM
M. Wallace Johnson Book Review: "Putting Tradition on Trial" By Patrick Cavanagh
It was in Chapter 11 that the author's actual position was clearly stated, indicating which day of the week it was upon which Jesus was crucified, how many days and nights he was in the tomb, and when he was resurrected. This is something that I feel was needed at the beginning of the book. For those who might think a discourse on the chronological order of events surrounding the death and resurrection of Christ a bit pointless, it is worth noting that were the Christian Churches to adopt this author's conclusions, you would no longer be celebrating 'Good Friday' or 'Easter Sunday.'
Mar 27, 2015 - 4:59:29 AM
Laure McCourt Lopez Book Review: "No Longer on Pedestals" by Carol Kuhnert
I was so personally moved by this book; as upsetting and disturbing were the revelations, I gained enormous insight as to not only the reactions of the Catholic Church but was shocked by the behaviors exhibited by some parishioners against the victims. Throughout the pages of the book, the author unveils the years of pain and torment her family and others endured upon learning that the family member in their midst had sexually abused an ever-growing number of young congregants of the various parishes that Fr. Christian served in.
Mar 22, 2015 - 3:24:50 AM
Martha Stevens-David Book Review: "Pathways to Fight or Flight" by Rose Mae Carrier
"Pathways to Fight or Flight" by novelist "Rose Mae Carrier" is not a book that will appeal to every reader because its topic is very difficult to read about... Left to the mercy of her narcissistic, self-absorbed mother, the little girl is left to fend for herself in every way, shape and form. While this book in and of itself is a very difficult read, that being said, I think that the story still has merit and should be read.
Mar 21, 2015 - 12:16:20 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "Golden State" by Sichan Siv
To be fair, the first page lists five other of Sic's published books, and a New York Post review called it "Required reading." Just not required for me. I only read a quarter of it. It was so confusing that I realized at that point I knew nothing of what had happened. The part that I read seemed to occur all over the globe, and maybe later in the book there's a connection among them. But I found the writing so awful and going nowhere, that I couldn't bring myself to finish the trip.
Mar 21, 2015 - 12:10:01 AM
Martha Stevens-David Book Review: "Love Letters for a Japanese Bride" by Stephen E. Price
This story, as it unfolds, filled me with so many emotions, I felt; beauty, humbleness, great love, dedication, affection, spirituality, sadness, defeat, kindness, and so many more, many more. And I wasn't prepared for the ending which made me sit and wipe a good many tears from my old reader eyes. I truthfully can't recall having read another book in all my long love of reading that touched me the way this story has.
Mar 21, 2015 - 12:05:24 AM
Martha Stevens-David Book Review: "Road to Freedom" by Alfred Lenarciak
This book details the dangers, abuse and prosecution of their own people by the Communist leaders of Russia, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Germany after the post-war days of the 1940s. This young man had a dream and that dream was to one day be free and through sheer determination and will power, he finally achieved that dream when he made his way to freedom and Canada.
Mar 13, 2015 - 10:57:49 PM
Martha Stevens-David Review: "Pursuit" by Harry Taylor
This writer has an excellent command of words and his descriptive phrases of both the characters and story situations were believable and held my interest throughout. I was sorry to have finished both books and find myself wishing that there was another to read because my mind keeps going back to the ending and thinking, "What if..."
Mar 13, 2015 - 10:45:06 PM
M. Stevens-David Book Review: "The Belly Bug Bully" by Sabrina Panfilo
In all my years as a reader, writer and reviewer I cannot say that I have ever come upon another book like this. But after having read the story several times, I realized that the message the author, "Sabrina Panfilo" was trying to convey was that one must be strong and have courage to deal with all the challenges one must face and overcome in this life.
Mar 13, 2015 - 6:29:15 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "Lake News" by Barbara Delinsky
What looks like a quiet tale from the shores of a country lake is actually the story of a woman tricked by a city reporter to tell of a friendship with a priest. The reporter turns it into a secret romance, and she flees the city for home, a rural town on the shores of a lake. The author, who lives somewhere in New England, has seen more than sixty novels published.
Mar 13, 2015 - 6:26:21 AM
M. Stevens-David Book Review: "The Monster Under My Web" By Charlene Gresham
"The Monster Under My Web" By Charlene Gresham is a well-illustrated, colorful children's story about Annabel a spider who lives a corner of the ceiling in little Jimmy's bedroom. I found the short story charming and especially loved the stories' rhymes as I'm certain a child would too.
Mar 11, 2015 - 7:03:15 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "The Clock" by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
The book tells the story of a teenage girl, who in the 1800s was forced by her father to work in a textile mill. The manager at the mill attempted to assault her, but her father owed a lot of money and had her remain at her job despite that attempt. Eventually, she and a friend discovered the mill manager was stealing wool, and Annie told the wealthy owner of the mill.
Mar 7, 2015 - 12:57:20 AM
R.P. BenDedek Book Review: "A Humble Hero" by Jianxin Huang
"A Humble Hero" is not the sort of book to appeal to the 'feel good' reader since it does not 'edify' and nor is it in any way 'entertaining,' even in a dramatic sense. It is however, for those with a thirst for real knowledge as opposed to popular fictional 'non-fiction,' an excellent insight into the changes that occurred in China during the Twentieth Century. I have lived in China for 12 years and actually live not far from the places mentioned in this tale, and I am well aware that what western people "learn from most books and other media" about China today, is quite different from reality on the ground. While this book does not have the literary merit of the two books mentioned earlier, I have to say that I was more moved by this story, and do express to the author my thanks for such an enlightening biographical tale.
Mar 7, 2015 - 12:51:50 AM
M. Stevens-David Book Review: "Meet Twinkle Toes" by Faye M. Parsons
This author, "Faye M. Parsons" is a teacher, and she has used her background in education to do a wonderful job in depicting how the world is changing. Not only is it beautifully illustrated but the story is "in the moment" in that, it deals with "being different."
Mar 7, 2015 - 12:48:45 AM
Milt Gross Book and Movie Review: "The Virginian" by Owen Wister
I would make the judgement that the book was better reading than the DVD was viewing, but I doubt if you can find a copy of the 1902 original book. Dolores found mine at the town's recycling center. I'm sure glad she found it and brought it home to become a part of my permanent library.....I wonder if the writer ever actually considered these ideas as he wrote. Or were these ideas added by others who read his book. Wister, it seems, was from a wealthy family, had the best education, and did a lot of writing in addition to this worthy western. He was born in Philadelphia in 1860, which must have been a good year as it also the year my grandfather was born, perhaps in Missouri.
Feb 26, 2015 - 10:58:35 PM
Martha Stevens-David Book Review: "Upson Downes" By Dottie Maley
This book, though small, contained many humorous references and incidents that only folks of the "older" generation can dearly appreciate. The community of Upson Downes is full of quirky characters and shows life can be unexpected at any age. I recommend the book as a great and quick read!
Feb 24, 2015 - 7:38:45 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "The Fur Person" by May Sarton
I occasionally stared at one of our two cats as I read this. "Is what she wrote true?" I asked the furry critter with sharp claws. May Sarton (1912-1995) was an avid writer, having penned many poetry, novels, nonfiction, and childrens' books. The Fur Person, the cat in the book, was actually Sarton's real cat, Tom Jones. Sarton Copyrighted the book in 1957 and again in 1978, apparently for a publisher. It was first published by W.W. Norton & Company, etc. in 2015.
Feb 16, 2015 - 5:26:35 AM
Martha Stevens-David Book Review: "Amish Scrambled Eggs With Humor" By Joseph 'Chool' Crawshaw
"AMISH SCRAMBLED EGGS with HUMOR" is a charming collection of short stories written by an innkeeper from the "Amish" hills of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. As I proceeded through the stories, it soon becomes apparent that Joseph "Chool" Crawshaw has found his "neich" in the way he relates his often humorous experiences with his guests.
Feb 12, 2015 - 9:18:20 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "On the Road with Davy Crockett" by Bob Thompson
In addition to the tales of the author's travels, the author shares Crockett landscapes as they are today, the restaurants, hotels, parks, and other geographical features of today in the Crockett world. The author was a long-time feature writer for the Washington Post and the editor of its Sunday magazine. During his years at the Post, he was known for his pieces on the intersection of American history and myth.
Feb 5, 2015 - 7:49:12 AM
Martha Stevens-David Review: "The Longest Distance" by David Scott
This is more than a simple love story, it delves deep into our hearts and psyches to reveal hidden truths and desires that many of us wanderers fail to ever deal with or acknowledge in our lifetimes. "The Longest Distance" will take you in hand, take over your heart and your mind and just maybe, leave you asking the simple question, "why not?"
Jan 13, 2015 - 4:45:56 PM