Milt Gross Book Review: "Maine Memories" by Dorothy B. Gross
Simple language makes up the 28 poems in Maine Memories, which I find refreshing. I am not enamored with writers who play with language and try to show us how well they know and use it. I like to read it plain and simple, as Gross wrote hers.
May 19, 2013 - 12:07:29 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "Stupid White Men" by Michael Moore
Moore wrote this book before September 11, 2001. His publisher, HarperCollins, wanted him to rewrite it, but he didn't. So, it misses that terrible attack on the U.S. But he did write about the leadership of the U.S in his foreword to the paperback edition, "The worst way to defend our freedom is to let our leaders start taking away our freedoms! It is exactly during times like these that we need more freedom of speech, a strong and critical independent press, and a citizenry that is not afraid to stand up and say that the emperor has no clothes and even less of a brain."
May 12, 2013 - 12:05:37 AM
Milt Gross Movie Review: "Dolores Claiborne" from the book by Stephen King
After reading Stephen King's book, I was anxious to see the movie Dolores Claiborne. But they were totally different, although, having read the book, I recognized the scenes. The big difference to me was that the story in the book was told by Claiborne in the police station, and it went from start to frightening climax, and on to the conclusion.
May 5, 2013 - 12:05:31 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "Dolores Claiborne" by Stephen King
Dolores Claiborne takes place on an island, Little Tall Island, which, while it doesn't actually exist, was so real in this tale I'll also never forget it. It is located just offshore from Jonesport, which does exist. At the other corner of Maine, north by west way up in the wooded mountains, north of even the Appalachian Trail, lay Dark Score Lake. A full eclipse of the sun is due any time, and the path will darken Maine between those two points. Two people are involved at the beginning, one at each point.
Apr 28, 2013 - 5:05:05 AM
Milt Gross Movie Review: "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Years ago I found some F. Scott Fitzgerald books on my parents library shelves. I tried to read one, but it was kind of like sitting in a cemetery waiting for the action to happen. Ten pages later I was still in the cemetery and still waiting for the action to happen. But the Great Gatsby movie was entirely different, although still with long periods of something between non-action and action.
Apr 21, 2013 - 12:05:13 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "The Double-Jack Murders" by Patrick F. McManus.
As sheriff of Blight County, Idaho, Bo Tully has dealt with his share of murders and mysteries in his other books. This one features a murder from many years ago, which, of course, the sheriff solves. Gold mining, including details of that pursuit which I never knew nor had any reason to know, enough short skirts and flirtation to go around, and a list of zany characters to make the story work well kept me reading despite the heavy black cat napping on my lap.
Apr 14, 2013 - 12:05:10 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "Favor" by Parnell Hall
Stanley Hastings, the not-too-bright and unarmed private detective and hero in the fiction detective mystery Favor has one major fault, that I can see. He puts himself down too much in terms of the not- too-bright part along with his declaring himself to be a card-carrying coward.
Apr 7, 2013 - 6:04:18 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "The Riesling Retribution" by Ellen Crosby
I also learned a few things, such as what a body watcher was in the Civil War era. "People who sat vigil to make sure the dead person had truly passed....Course it doesn't happen anymore, but those were the days before embalming when they'd put the body on ice. Every so often one of 'em would sit up and scare the bejesus out of folks."
Mar 31, 2013 - 12:05:37 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "A Renegade History of the United States" by Thaddeus Russell
In short -- very short, Russell's book states that it wasn't our fearless forefathers that set the tone for our democratic republic (national leaders following the populace's wishes) but the rabble in the streets. Or, in some cases, just plain non-rabble-rousing folk like you and me.
Mar 24, 2013 - 10:03:50 PM
Milt Gross Book Review: "Denny Dares to Dream" by Canaan A. York
For those whose dreams are still ahead, especially those in the six to eight year old range, this is a great little book! I'd recommend the book and not ever giving up on your dreams. The illustrations are excellent, large, boldly colored, cartoon characters throughout that will no doubt catch those kids' attention. They caught mine.
Mar 17, 2013 - 1:30:56 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "Dutch Uncle" by Marilyn Durham
The background of the story in chapter two reads, "The Southern Pacific railroad was driving steel eastward across the wastelands of the Arizona and New Mexico territories at top speed in spite of common sense, the terrain, and the concerted opposition of the Apaches, but as of that day in early March, 1880, the trains went no farther than Tucson."
Mar 10, 2013 - 12:05:27 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: 'Your Killer Emotions' by Ken Lindener
Understanding and controlling negative emotions is an important topic, and Lindner discusses ways to do that. His ideas are good, and I found them helpful even though the ideas are not new to me. But his writing "turned me off" because to me it seems too wordy, and his descriptions seem complicated and hard to remember when you need them.
Mar 3, 2013 - 2:30:25 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "We Took To The Woods" by Louise Dickinson Rich
This has been one of my favorite books for years, perhaps the favorite. Every so often I reread it. Partly its attraction comes from its taking place in an area of western Maine where we volunteered for the Maine Appalachian Trail Club. Another reason I like it is that I years ago knew one of the characters in the book, an employee of the Rich's.
Feb 24, 2013 - 12:05:17 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "Warning Signs" by Stephen W. White
Psychologist Alan Gregory, his part of the adventure in the first person, becomes involved in an investigation of the Boulder County (Colorado) District Attorney's murder by bludgoening with a pottery. The stories turns to following an angry youth, who bombs buildings and in this way murders people until he is shot and killed during the climax. The real tension in the climax is a trigger attached to the youth's shoe sole set to explode and kill a key woman in the grisly tale.
Feb 17, 2013 - 12:05:28 AM
Milt Gross Movie Review: "Keeping Up Appearances": Disc 1: My Way or the Hyacinth Way
What I find the most intriguing in this series is the play between the snobbish social climber and the poor relatives, who exhibit traits exactly opposite of the impression Hyacinth wishes people to view those of her and Richard as demonstrating to those who care -- basically nobody. While Hyacinth keeps her nose in the air and won't allow Richard to even wear a garden-dirtied sweater in the front yard, poor-brother-in-law Onslow slouches in a worn chair while wearing a sleeveless T-shirt and bangs on the top of an old TV to turn it on. The episodes switch between the two families.
Feb 10, 2013 - 12:57:36 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "Devil's Food Cake Murder" by Joanne Fluke
This week's book takes the cake, Devil's Food or other, any other. It is 322 pages long, about the length of a typical mystery story. Only this one, without counting to be certain I'm not fibbing, dedicates a third of its pages to recipes. Yup recipes. The rest is a sort-of fiction murder-mystery tale.
Feb 3, 2013 - 1:05:26 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "The Blooding of Jack Absolute" by C.C. Humphreys
The story of this fairly wealthy young son of a soldier begins in London during the 1700s, moves through some fairly nasty adventures in England, and then takes Jack Absolute to the New World colonies as a British soldier. As a soldier he kills a French soldier when the British seek to conquer Quebec from the French in 1759. He soon becomes a captive of an Indian tribe, and then a spy among the Quebec French in his guise as an Indian for which six months in dense forests with an Indian companion gives him credibility.
Jan 27, 2013 - 1:05:28 AM
Milt Gross Movie Review: "Keeping Mum", directed by Niall Johnson
One characteristic I enjoy in most English productions is their willingness to tackle all issues of the human condition, including open discussion and description of sex. American producers tend to protect viewers from actual sex, a silly tendency apparently based on some cultural respect for our English Puritan forefathers with their top hats and commonly-shown allegiance to their church. But history of the Puritans I have read and viewed describes them as quite sexual, for, after all, how could one expect to establish a colony capable of long-term survival and taking the Native Americans' land as their own unless there were enough Puritans to make that possible.
Jan 20, 2013 - 12:05:31 AM
"The Men Who Built America," aimed for the stars
Don't miss this epic work as it realistically transforms you back to those tumultuous days in Americas past, when everything was possible.....Because at the helm, we had fearless, intelligent risk takers who made us reach our potential.
Jan 18, 2013 - 10:52:56 PM
Milt Gross Book Review: "Rendezvous -- South Atlantic" by Douglas Reeman
This is one of the best books, as in very well written, in any category that I've ever read. A couple of acclaims on the back cover spell out that greatness: "The gifted British novelist spins a good sea yarn, and his new one is no exception. Reeman knows his World War II naval warfare background and uses it well." -- Publishers' Weekly.
Jan 6, 2013 - 5:40:34 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "The Woods" by Harlan Coben
My problem with the book is that it is complicated with too many characters appearing at different times, adding to the story line. The plot thickens, itself becomes a mystery with too much going on that is not directly leading to the resolution of the original mystery -- although actually what's going on does in a way lead to that resolution. It's just that this reader couldn't keep track of everyone and their relation to everyone else.
Dec 30, 2012 - 12:40:09 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "Intensity" by Dean Koontz
Laura, the daughter of wealthy vineyard owners Paul and Sarah Templeton, and her college friend, Chyna, are driving to the Templeton's for a visit. Home for the holidays, and better for Laura, with a guest who had no home outside of college. The plot hinges around the guest, Chyna, who while sitting up at night gazing out a bedroom window, hears a scream. Chyna's childhood had been horrible, so the scream took her back to childhood.
Dec 23, 2012 - 12:45:31 AM
Milt Gross Movie Review: "The Pianist" directed by Roman Polanski
Polish pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman, played by Adrien Brody in an Oscar-winning role, goes through horrors during World War II, when the Nazi army forces the Polish Jews to settle in part of Warsaw, builds a wall to keep them there, and then sends them by freight cars to be gassed in the German's infamous death chambers.
Dec 16, 2012 - 12:05:21 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "Think of Me Now and Then" by Perien Gray
"Perien Gray has been at times a mother, three times a wife, a potter, counselor, cellist and pianist, reader, ponderer. She lives in Asheville, NC with her dog Allegra, sustained by many close friends, by the challenges of writing poetry, aging and Parkinson's disease, and by ever mutating insights into the nature of life. She assures us that everything in this book is at least 95% true, allowing less than 5% for poetic license and because the poem insisted on having its way," states the book jacket.
Dec 11, 2012 - 5:16:14 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "Moving to the Country" by Reeve Lindbergh Brown
"Nancy and Tom King, disillusioned with suburban life, have moved their young family to the country. Tom, a teacher, hopes to revolutionize a rural Vermont high school. While Nancy dreams of an idyllic country childhood for their two daughters and one for the baby she is expecting in the spring. But when the Kings get to the farm, they discover how complicated the simple life can be. Unforeseen crises develop to threaten Nancy's envisioned future, Tom's job, and even their marriage."
Dec 9, 2012 - 12:05:16 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "The Summons" by John Grisham
John Grisham, the second oldest of five siblings, was born in Arkansas, according to Wikipedia. His father worked as a construction worker and a cotton farmer, while his mother was a homemaker. When Grisham was four years old, his family started traveling around the South, until they finally settled in Mississippi. As a child, Grisham wanted to be a baseball player. Despite the fact that Grisham's parents lacked formal education, his mother encouraged her son to read and prepare for college, the online free encyclopedia states.
Nov 25, 2012 - 12:05:00 AM
Photo of the Week: Magic City Morning Star News Book Reviews by Milt Gross
This photo is of the two most recent Book Reviews published at Magic City Morning Star News by Milton Gross. The one on the left was published November 18th whilst the one on the right was published today, November 25th 2012
Nov 25, 2012 - 12:02:06 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "Native Tongue" by Carl Hiaasen
"Carl Hiaasen was born in 1953 and raised in Plantation, Florida. Hiaasen was the first of four children and the son of a lawyer, Kermit Odell, and a teacher, Patricia. He entered Emory University just after graduating high school in 1970, where he contributed numerous satiric pieces to the school newspaper. In 1972 he transferred to the University of Florida, where he wrote for The Independent Florida Alligator. Hiaasen graduated in 1974 with a degree in journalism.
Nov 18, 2012 - 12:20:36 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: 'The Case for Christ' by Lee Strobel
Normally I wouldn't bother to read an evangelical minister's book, because they all kind of say the same thing -- most of which I learned years ago while studying to become a minister -- and because a lot of the modern evangelicals mix politics with what they're putting forth as Christianity. But Strobel's book dealt with archaeology, ancient writings that were not by early Christians, and other sciences. These studies show a lot of evidences for Jesus' story being historically accurate. They contain evidences from outside the evangelical or other religious box.
Nov 11, 2012 - 12:05:36 AM
"Too High to Fail" by Doug FINE
Randy Johnson, a Sergeant with the Mendocino County (CA) Sheriff's department who witnessed the transformation marijuana made to his county, is just one of the many society-spanning figures who populate Doug Fine's fascinating new book, TOO HIGH TO FAIL. This account of America's sustainable and growing cannabis industry sums up the rapidly evolving "green economy" and changing attitudes on all sides of the issue. The results have bearing on the role of government in all of our lives, from spending to civil liberties, and much more.
Nov 7, 2012 - 6:08:39 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "Showdown at Yellow Butte" by Louis L'Amour
About the late Louis L'Amour, Wikipedia offers, "At the time of his death some of his 105 existing works were in print (89 novels, 14 short-story collections, and two full-length works of nonfiction) and he was considered "one of the world's most popular writers."
Nov 4, 2012 - 3:37:06 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "Along Maine's Appalachian Trail" by David B. Field
Dave Field has spent literally most of his life working as a volunteer on and for the Appalachian Trail in Maine. He began on Saddleback near Rangeley as a teenager and now a retired University of Maine Forestry Professor, he continues. At Saddleback and all up and down the AT in Maine and beyond.
Oct 28, 2012 - 12:05:26 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "The Humor of the American Cowboy" by Stan Hoig
If you enjoy reading about the Old West and want something far different than the typical tales of cattle thieves and other outlaws, saddle up and take a reading ride through The Humor of the American Cowboy.
Oct 21, 2012 - 9:45:41 PM
Milt Gross Book Review: "Fisherman's Bend" by Linda Greenlaw
Having lived in Maine for 46 years and on or near the coast for some 30 of those 46, I found the author's apparent poor knowledge to be both confusing and made me wonder if Linda Greenlaw ever visited the coast of Maine.
Oct 14, 2012 - 7:22:46 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "No! I Don't Want to Join a Book Club, Diary of a 60th Year" by Virginia Ironside.
Published by Penguin Group, Inc., 375 Hudson St., New York, NY 10014 in 2006, this paperback is billed as a novel. And it is, since it is fiction, but it is in the form of diary entrees. This eliminates the need for a long, involved plot, although there is a subtle one.
Oct 7, 2012 - 12:45:53 AM
Milt Gross Movie Review: "Murphy Brown", the complete first season
She complained to the Maine Human Rights Commission that I had fired her because she was a woman. Not quite the whole story, had it been a news story. The manager and I took her original tales of something along with my edited versions and headed to Augusta. It took the commission about 15 minutes to rule in my favor. The firing stuck.
Sep 30, 2012 - 12:05:38 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "Orchid Beach", by Stuart Woods
Holly has resigned the military, because when she and others reported being sexually harassed by a superior, the Army court marshall finds the offender not guilty. She accepts the position of deputy police chief at Orchid Beach, and when the police chief is murdered she becomes chief.
Sep 23, 2012 - 6:13:08 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "Over the Edge", by Hal Friedman
Over the Edge describes the central mystery of Friedman's book, which was published way back in 1998 by HarperPaperbacks, a division of HarperCollins Publishers, 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022-5299, but which is right up to date concerning where it takes place and the mystery itself.
Sep 16, 2012 - 4:30:35 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "Mountains of Maine, Intriguing Stories Behind Their Names", by Steve Pinkham
I don't know if I appreciate more the wealth of information Mountains of Maine offers to a guy like me who thought he knew a bit about Maine's mountains or the thought of how long and tediously Pinkham conducted research to write the book.
Sep 9, 2012 - 6:55:04 AM
Milt Gross Book Review: "Falcon Seven", By James W. Huston
Rawlings, a U.S. Navy pilot, and his partner are just about to return to their base after completing their assigned bombings for the night, when they are suddenly asked to make one more drop. The drop was supposed to target a secret meeting between top leaders of al Qaeda and the Taliban in a building just across the border in Pakistan.
Sep 2, 2012 - 12:05:17 AM