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
Milt Gross Book Review: "Custer's Gold" by M. John Lubetkin
"M. John Lubetkin's novel carries the reader through the world of railroad surveyors, military escorts [and Indian fighting] in the early 1870s," states a review on the book's back cover. I agree that the book takes us through a little-described part of history, the part just before and after George Armstrong Custer and his military group are wiped out in a battle with American Indians at a battle near the Big Horn River. But it adds a bank robbery to the true story and mixes it and its characters up with the actual facts.
Dec 28, 2014 - 1:30:33 AM
E.M. Parke Review: "Authentic Christianity" By Gordon Haresign
I have recently completed reading Gordon Haresign's book 'Authentic Christianity' and found it to be a very well written, well researched, informative document, containing a wealth of information for students of the biblical book of Revelation. The fact that Mr Haresign is quite an authority on his subject becomes evident the further the reader progresses through the book. He also presents as a writer espousing typical fundamental, protestant views which he has no difficulty in outlining for the reader.
Dec 24, 2014 - 8:00:00 AM
E.M. Parke Review: "Monastery to Matrimony" by Mary Ann Weakley
Whilst this book is located in a convent setting, it is not presented as an overly- religious manuscript, but rather, it celebrates the triumph and resilience of the human spirit and the way that it can develop under difficult circumstances and duress. Although this book may not be first choice of reading by serious Bible scholars, I would expect its readership to be found amongst those who appreciate a book that promotes good, old fashioned, basic, honest values, honourable behaviour and family life.
Dec 24, 2014 - 7:45:03 AM
Martha Stevens-David Review: "Secret Intelligence: Dark Rim" By Enoch Chang
Upon sitting down to read, I was impressed by both Enoch Chang's knowledge and his ability to put forth a book of this caliber. The story line is interwoven with criminals, intelligence agencies and a young boy who is seeking to find an answer to all of his problems.
Dec 21, 2014 - 3:15:38 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "Nor the Battle to the Strong" by Charles F. Price
Nor the Battle to the Strong is one of the most realistic books I've ever read about any part of America's history. The part it covers is the American Revolution in the South. It stays in the South so much there is no mention of George Washington crossing the Delaware of any of the popular tales of the Revolutionary War we encounter so often.
Dec 21, 2014 - 3:13:26 AM
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