From Magic City Morning Star|
Greater Emphasis on Book Reviews in 2014 at Magic City Morning Star
By R.P. BenDedek
Jul 5, 2014 - 12:28:08 AM
The direction of Magic City Morning Star has changed over the course of 2014. We now have a heavy emphasis on doing Book Reviews and now have four regular and several occasional book reviewers.
As a result of this directional change, we have also been fortunate to receive quite a number (124 to be precise) of article contributions from book authors. This has provided our readers with a diverse range of topics to choose from.
We are quite pleased with the response we have received from authors and publicists, and of course our reviewers and hope as time marches forward, we shall have an even greater input from all concerned.
Below listed are the 'headers' for the 75 book reviews that were published between the time we embarked on a change in direction and June 30th 2014. Whilst this page is in effect redundant by virtue of the fact that we have a 'book review' column, it does serve this 'stand-in editor' as a quick and easy ready reference file when searching for specific information in relation to the reviews published.
Book Reviews to June 30th 2014
Estelle Parke Book Review: "Seeing the Life" by Sophie Dawson
Jun 18, 2014
I am pleased to recommend this book as one that would be of interest to a wide readership, because it is well-written, carefully researched, correct according to scripture, but manages to tell its story without the undue promotion of any particular religious belief system. This book is unique in both its perspective and its impact.
Milt Gross Book review: "World War II in 500 Photographs by Time Home Entertainment, Inc."
Jun 15, 2014
The book is not a straight essay type but a series of articles under titles, such as "Vanquished No More" near the book's end. This is about how Germany and Japan fared after the War, including that Marshall Plan loans of about $15 billion in today's currency helped West Germany get back on her feet. That heading also includes the 1989 collapse of communism and the demolition of the Berlin Wall that had divided Germany since 1961.
Milt Gross Book Review: "Moving to the Country" by Reeve Lindbergh Brown
Jun 8, 2014
The novel Moving to the Country follows what happens to families who moved to the country, their problems of being "outsiders," their career and home adventures, and ends quietly as any good country story does.
M. Stevens-David Book Review: "Breaking Free" by Winter Page
Jun 6, 2014
This story though short in pages, speaks volumes for those of us who are trying to make sense of the role, through no fault of their own, that life has handed them. I feel that this book should be compulsory reading for all, young and old alike, because it carries a message that all human beings need to be made aware of.
Milt Gross Book review: "Adventures in Contentment" by David Grayson
Jun 1, 2014
Adventures in Contentment is one of my favorite books, not just for the immediate time period but for my entire life. The book tells how Grayson moved to the farm, shows samples some of the farm work he did, the enjoyment he found, and even covers a town meeting moderated by the town blacksmith, The story gives glimpses of his neighbors and his own relationship with them, and, in short, is an experience in which the reader can share.
E.M. Parke Review: "The god-man, seed of Satan" by Bruce Biller
Jun 1, 2014
The author has carefully crafted the setting of the book to realistically portray the time of the end as spoken of in the book of Revelation in the Bible. However, the main thrust of the story is not overtly Christian, thus giving it appeal to a wider readership. This book seems to present a more realistic and more thought provoking portrayal of its subject matter than has been evident in previous writings covering similar material.
Milton Gross E-Book review: "The Wreck of the Nymph" by Don Flood
May 25, 2014
I realize there are gadgets out there that allow a reader to sit comfortably in an arm chair or sofa or at a table and read an eBook. But I must be old fashioned. I had to read my copy on our desktop computer, which meant sitting up and paying attention... I thought the plot was a bit complicated, but not so much that I couldn't follow it. A few grammatical errors were there, but only a few.
M. Stevens-David Review: "The Summer Train" by Susan Rabin
May 23, 2014
This, really, is a story as old as time, in that, women, upon finding that their "dream man" isn't what he presented himself to be, dump him and move on to another in the hopes that the next man will be the "one." I believe that really, all women have lived this story, in some degree or another. Good book for summer reading.
M. Stevens-David Review: "Jed, the Forgotten Egyptian Prince" by Jeanette Dixon
May 21, 2014
'Jed, the Forgotten Egyptian Prince," by Jeanette Dixon takes the reader along with a family of archeologists who travel to Egypt. The book is very well-written and I found the archaeological information and the on-going tomb and search for ancient remains very interesting. I especially loved the ending and hope this writer is planning a sequel.
M. Stevens-David Review: "The Accidental Bank Heist" by Judith Slaughter
May 18, 2014
"The Accidental Bank Heist - How to Rob a Bank Without Really Trying," by Judith Slaughter was a nice little story that held my interest right to the very end and the ending held a "surprise" for the reader too.
Milton Gross Book review: "Unrelenting Nightmare" by Stan Yocum
May 18, 2014
If you like action, complicated plots, lots of action and killings beyond count, and a satisfactory romantic ending, Unrelenting Nightmare will be a great book for you. The plot, somewhat complicated, is of two industrial rivals of Stuart Garrison, the software developer, who plan to take over Garrison's company and make millions of dollars from the sale of Garrison's software development. The two hire Nomed -- "demon" spelled backwards -- to assissinate Garrison.
E.M Parke Review: 'Confessions of Five Christian Wives' by Shauna Mayer
May 13, 2014
I found this book to be captivating, uplifting and inspiring and to grant a realistic insight into the difficulties experienced by these women as they endeavour to overcome various adversities they face and as they allow the Holy Spirit to use these very adversities to bring about Christlikeness in their lives. The book covers issues that are relevant currently and is appealing in its content as well as being attractive in its layout, easy to read and engaging.
Milton Gross Book review: "a journey north" by Adrienne Hall
May 11, 2014
If you've hiked the AT or other long trails, have dreamed of doing so, are planning the long hike, or are just fascinated with a great book about the AT, find a copy of a journey north and start your literary hike along the wild areas of the Eastern Seaboard...She describes the various mountain ranges along the way as well as the places where the AT traverses crowded areas in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York State.
Martha Stevens-David Book Review: "Positive" by Dr. Michael Saag, MD.
May 11, 2014
In my opinion, if anyone in these United States and the world for that matter, deserves an "award" for excellence in writing/publishing, and for being an "example" of what it truly means to be a compassionate doctor, then it belongs to Dr. Michael Saag. Simply put, this man deserves the Pulitzer Prize for this outstanding work.
Milt Gross Book review: "Between the Rows" by Ann Barnett
May 4, 2014
Between the Rows is one of the very few self-published books I'd recommend for a satisfactory adventure read -- even though it only has 180 pages, a bit shy compared to most adventures that weigh in at 250 to 300 pages.
M. Stevens-David Review: "A Field of Innocence" by Jack Estes
Apr 30, 2014
It is no wonder that after having lived through all that war subjects human beings to, they return to their homeland entirely different human beings and a lifetime of living will never erase those memories from their mind. We can only pray that the governments that govern us will finally learn that "war" can never really be the answer.
R.P. BenDedek Book Review: "Fear" by J. Ibeh Agbanyim
Apr 30, 2014
The writing is good, simple, to the point, logical and deals with reality not theory. Quoting from different people, studies and real life examples, the author focuses on how those who approach fear constructively are able to motivate themselves to success where others succumb to negativity and then fail. There is a lot in this simply presented book to commend it, and a lot for each and every one of us to consider. It's all about putting 'fear' into perspective and making choices rather than letting fear make them for us.
M. Stevens-David Review: "An Unplanned Encounter" by Jonathan R. Husband
Apr 30, 2014
This story had an interesting concept, in that, it tells of the distress and unhappiness brought to people, most, through no fault of their own. When governments disagree, it is truly the inhabitants that are the first to suffer. And this story illustrates how an unwed mother really had no voice of her own and was compelled to obey her parents or suffer the persecution of her neighbors and villagers where she lived. I found this story believable.
Milt Gross Book review: "The Chase" by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg
Apr 27, 2014
Heroine-hero team FBI Special Agent Kate O'Hare and con-man Nicholas Fox tackle this tale of stolen art together, weaving from Los Angeles to Europe to rural Kentucky, the plot becomes complicated, risky, daring, and finally explosive as Carter Grove, the bad guy, gets done in at his country estate. I've never read anything by Goldberg before, but this book carries all the fast action and blunt talk that Evanovich's other books contain.
M.W. Johnson Review: "World War 3 Coming Soon!" by Meyer Stahl
Apr 27, 2014
I found the book not just enjoyable, but compelling. It had been left unread for quite some time before I sat down last Sunday night with the intention of struggling through the first chapter whilst waiting for guests to arrive. This book was such an easy read however, that I finished it just as the visitors arrived.
M. Stevens-David Review: "Blessing Baby and the Heart as Big as the Sky" by Jennifer Czarnota
Apr 23, 2014
Though it has only seventeen pages, all of the pages are beautiful illustrated by David Butler and are very uniquely done. I found that the artwork on each page, combined with the lovely story held my interest.
Milt Gross Book review: "Memoirs of a Cool Cat" by Joy Cool
Apr 20, 2014
The author's biography tells how Cool has always loved animals with cats and dogs being her favorite. It also says that she has volunteered at animal shelters, a good background for writing about cats. The biography says about her condo, "She has turned her own home into a feline paradise, with lofts and beams and kitty gym equipment, a screened-in balcony, a special diet and piano recitals." That description pretty much covers much of the book itself.
M. Stevens-David Review: "Lindbergh: The Tale of a Flying Mouse" by Torben Kuhlmann
Apr 20, 2014
This book is so special in every regard and I will never part with it. Not only is it exquisitely written but the drawings/illustrations are so captivating that I found myself as an adult reader, stopping and just looking at the drawing on each and every page and if I am spellbound, just think how a youngster will feel!
M. Stevens-David Review: "Different Coins in the Fountain" by Carlos Cornejo"
Apr 16, 2014
Carlos Cornejo's idea to write his collection of short stories in two books is brilliant and these stories do take the reader all around the world because they are "set" in many different cultures. I loved his work and find my mind going back to certain phrases and characters from time to time. I will treasure these two volumes and very happily add them to my own book collection.
Milt Gross Book review: "The Rainbow Trail" by Zane Grey
Apr 13, 2014
This 1915 Zane Grey book, published by Harper & Brothers, continues the tale in his 1912 Riders of the Purple Sage, not of the main characters but of Jane Withersteen and Lassiter. I imagine that when Grey wrote the first one, he had the 1915 story in mind. The Rainbow Trail involves lots of action, most taking place in the high country and canyons near the Grand Canyon. Chased by the villains led by an evil Mormon. The villains are killed in a freak accident and the others escape to the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon.
M. Stevens-David Review: "The House on Dead Boy Lane" by Carter Johnson
Apr 13, 2014
"The House on Dead Boy Lane" is very well-written and it held my interest right though till the end. I found the cover of the book very mysterious and compelling and having been raised in a very small town, I know that all small towns have places of mystery.
Jarod Chen Book Review: "Her Name is Sophia" by Anna B. Moyer
Apr 13, 2014
Young readers will certainly enjoy a world reintroduced from the perspective of their furry friends. Grown-up readers may smile at seeing themselves in the metaphorical connotation of an invisible fence and a heart longing for adventure.
BenDedek Review: "9-1-1 What Is Your Emergency" By Lucia - Retired Dispatcher #160
Apr 9, 2014
The personal comments made by the author gave me a sense of the person herself and I have a strong feeling that we would get on well together. Some parts of the book were hilarious, some parts were disturbing, some parts were moving and some parts just defy my ability to understand what America must be like. There sure are a lot of crazies out there folks.
M. Stevens-David Review: "A Meaning for Danny" by Brigid Marlin
Apr 9, 2014
This story, as told by a distraught mother, details her interaction with a non-understanding husband, the educational system, a myriad of health professionals and their differing opinons and the public in general, was enough to make a "normal" person wish to escape in any way they can.
M. Stevens-David Review: "The Colors of Blue" by Lance McCulloch
Apr 2, 2014
The characters throughout the story were very well-developed and interesting and frankly, I was sorry to see the story end. Mr. McCulloch should be very proud of this, his first book and I for one, hope that he continues.
M. Wallace Johnson Review: "What's Next for the People of the Earth" by Phyllis Gordon
Mar 30, 2014
I found in this book that whether the author was comparing Heaven and Hell or using Old Testament Scriptures to back what is in the Book of Revelations, Scripture quotes were made to 'stand alone' with no attempt made to 'extrapolate' meaning. The author obviously believes that it is the 'Word of God' itself that has the power to convince, not the words of mere mortals or particular theologies. From my reading of the PDF copy of her work, she has done an excellent job. I believe that the author has succeeded in accomplishing her objective.
Milt Gross Book review: "Avalon Bay" by Ronald Von Freymann
Mar 30, 2014
How the couple discern the intent of the terrorists and actively thwart the plot becomes a somewhat gripping tale. The climax occurs on the two ferries, which are held by authorities in the harbor between the two locations when they are told of the plot. The action is fairly intense. I would recommend this book for anyone interested in defense against terrorism or in that topic generally. A good read for perhaps a price for the new paperback that is a little too high.
M. Stevens-David Review: "Sunshine after Rain" by J. R. Lucy
Mar 26, 2014
I was so looking forward to reading this book because the writer and myself are exactly the same age. But upon completing this 283 page book, I was rather disappointed
Milt Gross Book review: "The Day of the Beast" by Zane Grey
Mar 23, 2014
Behavior that is common today was just beginning in those days right after the First World War. I kind of chuckled at the "evil" goings on in Lane's hometown, since they are so common today. But when Grey penned this book -- "not a western romance" the reader is warned on the cover, these behaviors were still new in the U.S.
M. Stevens-David Review: "I Am a Wish" by Marie Callegari
Mar 23, 2014
This children's book is lovely from the cover page right through to the final one. It is so well-drawn and colorful that children won't want to put it down or even share it with their siblings.
M. Stevens-David Review: "An Angel Without a Name" by Mary E. Sims Heidi Harmon
March 21, 2014
Having been born in the northern part of Maine myself, I was very interested in reading how the author had been born and raised in a poor Black family in the south. I would have liked reading more about that part of her life.
Milt Gross Book Review: "Small Change, Big Gains" by Thomas H. Stoner Jr.
March 9, 2014
Thomas H. Stoner Jr., a veteran energy entrepreneur, joined a group to form the Social Venture Network, built the first independent national energy services company, was CEO of a large independent developer of carbon credits under the Kyoto Protocol, took that company public on the London Stock Exchange's Alternative Investment Market in 2006 and became a CEO of the "clean coal" industry. After 25 years in alternative-energy industries, Stoner spoke out about the harmful effects of climate change by writing this book.
M. Stevens-David Review: "Beach Mysteries" by Anne Hotchkis
Mar 6, 2014
I just received my copy of "Beach Mysteries" by Anne Hotchkis and sat right down to read it. Noting that the book was written for ages nine and up, I found the photography/drawings to be exceptional and beautiful. I believe that most parents might purchase this book to read to children of all ages.
M. Stevens-David Review: "The Chronicles of Elizabeth Highland"
Mar 5, 2014
Upon receiving this book, "The Chronicles of Elizabeth Highland," Life, Love, Soul...Mate, by Elizabeth Highland, I had hoped that her personal story of living, dating and loving in this modern world, would be very interesting. But alas, that was not to be.
BenDedek Book Review: "My Country and My People" by Lin Yutang
Mar 4, 2014
Having spent the last few years writing an account of my life in China and being near the final page, I have wondered if some of the statements I have made about China and the West were merely personal perspective for which I might later be reprimanded. Having now read "My Country and My People" I know that I have truly understood the culture of China and its people. Mr. Lin relates that Chinese have 'feminine emotional' thinking as opposed to 'masculine rational' thinking (p 249) and says that while they are well mannered to family, friends and acquaintances, "beyond that limit the Chinese as a social being is positively hostile toward his neighbor." He points out that the Chinese have a genius for contentment as well as a shrewd view of life derived from an old, mature, grown-up culture rather than the rash idealism to be found in self-important, young and foolish western cultures.
BenDedek Book Review: "Joseph of Arimathea" by Brian Mellor
Feb 26, 2014
If you have the time and inclination to read an interesting historical fiction then by all means buy this book, although cost wise I think that the nook book price is most appropriate. I personally feel that the author would have benefitted by opting for their "Advanced Editorial" service. It seems obvious by some of the spelling and paragraph spacing errors in the latter part of my PDF version of the book, that this service was not purchased
Milt Gross Book Review: "The Judge's Wife is Missing" by the late Dale German
Feb 23, 2014
The Judge's Wife is Missing is so well-written I thought the publisher was a "traditional" publisher, that is the publisher pays the writer for the manuscript and publishes it. The late author, Dale German, worked for the Atomic Energy Commission and Boeing Aircraft before his retirement. He died in 1999. The book was published in 2013. This is the first self-published book I've read that I think is really good.
BenDedek Book Review: "Shadows of Ghosts" by Stefan Haucke
Feb 19, 2014
The book is very well written, with excellent dialogues and effective descriptive narratives and it is I think, from a 'primary text reading' perspective, a great story for children. Its full beauty however is to be found in the way it presents all of these other issues, and under cover of the primary plot, teaches children to rise above both the baser instincts of man (prejudice) as well as inhumane (biased) political and social ideology.
M. Stevens-David Review: "Flying High" Calvin Lehew & Stowe Dailey
Feb 19, 2014
I was very touched by "Flying High: A True Story of Shared Inspiration", in that, upon reading the final chapter last night, I lay in my bed and found that my thoughts kept running back to random passages from the book. This is a wonderful book, beautifully written and YES, I will certainly recommend it to others.
M. Stevens-David Review: "The Balance Myth, Rethinking Work - Life Success" by Teresa Taylor
Feb 16, 2014
Like her, initially, we "want it all" and we all want the various aspects of our daily lives to be wholesome and happy. However, the author soon found that one really can't "have it all" and that is when the true "learning" really begins. This is a very well-written book and I would recommend it to any and all. Nicely done in getting her point across.
M. Stevens-David Book Review: "I Know All Save Myself Alone" by Lisa Monde
Feb 16, 2014
The writer, Lisa Monde, should be commended on this creation. She had done a beautiful job and I must say, the ending made me sad. Would I recommend it, YES and I'm keeping it for my personal library.
Milt Gross Book Review: "Botswana, Egypt, and Great Bear Rainforest" by Patti Wheeler and Keith Hemstreet
Feb 16, 2014
The three are well written, which says a lot for both the writers and the editors at Greenleaf Book Group Press, which published the three this year on acid-free paper. This traditional publisher, which means it doesn't publish your book because you pay them to do so, "specializes in the development of independent authors and the growth of small presses."
M. Stevens-David Book Review: "Psychotic Skank" by Zena Livingston
Feb 14, 2014
If you are drawn to stories about sexual exploration and sexual exploitation, then this is the book for you...if you can get past the blatant sexuality of the book's characters and focus on the story, it can be very interesting.
M. Stevens-David Review: "Weight Loss Surgery: The Real Skinny" by Nick Nicholson, M.D., & B.A. Blackwood
Feb 12, 2014
I absolutely loved this book! It was so comprehensive, clear and easy to understand. I loved the "font" size and the dark print that headed the chapters, making it easier to read.
M. Stevens-David Review: A Twist of Lyme:Battling a Disease That "Doesn't Exist" By Andrea Caesar
Feb 11, 2014
I, as the reader cannot simply tell you of how horrible Lyme disease can be, but this young woman has the ability to describe and define all the various twists and turns this monster takes as it makes its destructive way through her body.
Milt Gross Book Review: "Four Score and More" by La Vera Edick
Feb 9, 2014
That being said, the part of the story dealing with her childhood in Nebraska and early adulthood was interesting and contained information I found helpful. The early-year part was pretty good, and informative, for example I had never heard of a "cob box" next to the wood stove. The family fed some livestock corn on the cob -- perhaps not cooked with butter and salt added -- but the critters didn't eat the cobs. So the family threw the cobs into the cob box and burned them in the stove.
Milt Gross Book Review: "The Lost Art of Walking" by Geoff Nicholson
Feb 2, 2014
Nicholson does write that he himself has done a lot of walking, some of which he describes. He also writes about walking itself, "...You can dress it up any way you like, but walking remains resolutely simple, basic, analog. That's why I love it and love doing it. And in that respect -- stay with me on this -- it's not entirely unlike a martini. Sure you can add things to martinis, like chocolate or an olive stuffed with blue cheese or, God forbid, cotton candy, and similarly you can add things to your walks -- constraints, shapes, notions of the mapping of utopian spaces -- but you don't need to. And really, why would you? Why spoil a good drink? Why spoil a good walk?"
R.P. BenDedek Book Review: "An Exceptional Zephyr" by Dorian Dalta
Feb 2, 2014
The writer does a good job of getting us inside the old man's head and leading us into empathy. Mr. Dalta does not spare us the physical degradation that Rahja suffers; the pooping his pants and being taken to the toilet and made to do childish exercises. There are a few funny moments in those baser aspects of life.
Jarod Chen Book Review: "I am Angelo: Sense of Direction" by Ekaterina Yuvasheva
Feb 2, 2014
"Sense of Direction" is obviously the overture to a series of Angelo's adventures. While it might be the beginning of what might be hailed as another classic fantasy series, a more polished writing style and some innovative features to distinguish Angelo from Potter will be needed in later episodes to help the series establish its own identity.
M. W. Johnson Book Review: "That You May Know Him" by Clifford Deister
Feb 2, 2014
I do not challenge the author's integrity, but as one might hear preachers preach from time to time, 'words have power' and in an age when Christianity is split into many different and often conflicting theological camps, how we phrase our expressions can lead people to assume something that was not necessarily what we intended to convey....I would like to say that I would recommend this book, irrespective of anyone's knowledge of the Bible or personal relationship with Christ.
M. Stevens-David Book Review: "Was I a Stranger in My Homeland?" By Malavi Sivakanesan
February 1, 2014
This book may be small in many respects but it has a beauty in the way it has been printed and from the inclusion of many of the author's family pictures. I found it very educational and interesting and would not hesitate to recommend it to others.
M. Stevens-David Book Review: "In the Mists of Time" by Richard D. Baldwin
Jan 29, 2014
This is a story about two young men, artists, who move to a dilapidated farmhouse along the Maine coast and after buying the property, they discover a secret about the previous owners that takes the reader back to the sailing days when slaves were being brought to our American shores. This book was originally published in "2006" under the title "The Gibbs' Place Mystery."
Milt Gross Book Review: "I was that Masked Man" by the late Clayton Moore with Frank Thompson
Jan 26, 2014
Moore tells of his early life in acrobatics and other endeavors but focuses, of course, on his playing the Lone Ranger. Not the original actor, but Moore played the Lone Ranger for years in many of the 221 TV episodes and two movies and in retirement traveled as himself portraying the Lone Ranger. Forced out of that role for several years by a restraining order, he eventually was permitted by the producers to go back to his travels as the Lone Ranger.
R.P. BenDedek Book Review: "The Entity" by Norman Harrison
Jan 26, 2014
Mr. Harrison is a great story teller. Normally I don't like detective stories except maybe for Agatha Christie novels. This one was superb. It was quite different to anything I have ever read and would make for a great movie. The book has a rather surprising ending as one would have expected but one which I did not predict, and it sets the groundwork for the forthcoming sequel, "The Entity: The Doomsday Chronicles."
R.P. BenDedek Book Review: "The Foxes of Caminus" by Laura Burroughs
Jan 22, 2014
The story's hidden and mystical location combined with advanced technology and young people with extraordinary gifts is reminiscent of 'Harry Potter', 'Stargate Atlantis' and 'The X-men,' and its focus on personal development combined with recognition of the divine reminded me of 'The Travelers' by J.L. Sconce. Throw into the mix some spies, detectives, kidnapping, murder and other drama and of course 'love,' and you have a very complex presentation, which the author pulls off quite well.
M. Stevens-David Book Review: "Comes a Soldier's Whisper" by Jenny La Sala
Jan 22, 2014
When I received my latest book to review, "Comes a Soldier's Whisper" I immediately began reading it. It is a compilation of wartime letters written by an American soldier to his sweetheart back in the United States. I couldn't wait to begin reading his letters, but for me personally, they were disappointing. The letters were so "sanitized" that there really wasn't much of interest left in them.
Milt Gross Book Review: "One Man's Meat To Us by the late E.B. White"
Jan 19, 2014
"I should, I am sure, remember the clear sparkling days, bright and cool, that come toward the end of summer....." White wrote at the end of the book. As I write this, we are in the middle of the cold days of January, which only brings back those end-of-summer days as a distant memory. A distant memory seems to me to be what One Man's Meat is all about.
M. Stevens-David Book Review: "Cairo Unzipped!" By Mona Fuad
Jan 17, 2014
This story provides readers an opportunity to delve into the culture and history of Egypt and King Farouk, their very powerful and corrupt leader. I found the story to be well-researched and well-written and I hope readers will take the opportunity to read "Cairo Unzipped" also.
R.P. BenDedek Book Review: 'The Travelers' by J.L. Sconce
Jan 17, 2014
I enjoyed reading 'The Travelers' by Joseph Sconce but recognize that it may have limited appeal. If you can get beyond your own 'theological' perspectives, I think that you will find this an interesting book to read. The story (written from a Swedenborg perspective) is about the afterlife and as such it might not be a topic of interest to many people and certainly not to those with a 'set in stone' theology. It is also a very long book of more than 600 pages. With a background in Theology, Psychology and Sociology I personally found the book extremely interesting. Mr. Sconce's perceptive understanding of human nature is quite obvious and the tale -- irrespective of one's theology -- provides fine insight into the way humans interact or perhaps more to the point - 'react.'
Milt Gross Book Review: "The Dead Do Speak To Us" by Dayton Foster
Jan 12, 2014
Foster, on the other hand, spent 14 years studying old burial grounds throughout the U.S. and Europe, due to a love of history, philosophy, and photography, according to a paragraph called "About the Author." Words in a cemetery, read by just a few or by many, do lead us ahead to that time when our lives on earth end. I sometimes would like to ask question to those who have gone before to their place beneath a tomb. But I can't. Well, I can, but they probably won't answer.
M. Stevens-David Book Review: "Promise Fulfilled" by Theresa Bryant
Jan 8, 2014
It's a story about a woman, who, after having been brought up in a very loving family, upon the accidental demise of her parents, finds that she has been an adopted child. Upon being told of her adoption, she dissolves into a total breakdown that carries on throughout the whole story.
Milt Gross Book Review: "The Dead Cattle Ranch Mystery" by Madeleine Carroll
Jan 5, 2014
The story is a good juvenile. Frank and his mother move to a ranch, while Frank's father is in the armed forces in Germany. The boy has to learn to ride and do ranch chores, which he does. The mystery is that cattle are dying, and Frank takes it upon himself to become the sleuth who solves the mystery. Despite too many comments that folks in the small town resent outsiders, hey, say it once -- Frank and friend follow some clues, get themselves kidnapped by the bad guys, but free themselves when left alone by the bad guys who had tied them to chairs.
Book Reviews for December 2013
Milt Gross Book Review: "The Heritage of the Desert" by Zane Grey
The Heritage of the Desert, typical of his books was all accurate western in that he detailed extensively scenes from the West and filled those scenes with adventure and, in this case, romance. Although no humor took place in this story, it was a comedy because of its happy ending -- hero gets heroine in marriage and a happy ending with her relatives being on board.
Milt Gross Review: "Twelve Years a Slave", written by Solomon Northup
Northup wrote the book in 1858 after being rescued from slavery in 1853. Northup was a free black man in New York State until he was tricked and kidnapped in 1841, before the Civil War partly by accident freed all slaves and subjected them to the horrors of the years following. found the book much more complete and detailed as to the facts of Northup's unbelievably terrible experience than the movie.
M. Stevens-David's Book Review: "Mert, The Anxious Evergreen" by Claire Bowman
I received my copy of "Mert, The Anxious Evergreen" yesterday afternoon and being still a child at heart, I simply couldn't wait to read it. I liked the colorful cover and simple illustrations of the book.
M. Stevens-David Book Review: "David's Miracle" by A.D. Erving
I can well-remember what it was like to be a cheerleader for our high school basketball team back in the 1960s and you showed what it was really like for the players and the pressure they endured and overcame, to finally emerge the winners.
Jerrold Sobel Book Review: Insula - Island of Hope by John and Ventis Plume
Insula the book is a compendium of personal accounts by displaced Latvian families fleeing to Germany in fear of a second round of Russian invasion, during the waning days of World War II. The idea is fine, many of the stories are quite interesting but being dependent exclusively on personal accounts which go into the most minute details of their experiences gets a bit tough. Being devoid of a narrative, the book is rendered a little bit lifeless because each account is almost a replica of its antecedent.
M. Stevens-David Book Review: "How Blue are the Ridges" by Ken Ollis
I was very excited to receive this book and looked forward to reading it. It is a very comprehensive tome detailing a family's close interaction with the whiskey "bootleg" industry and the "mafia" interaction in the south during the great depression in the United States.
M. Stevens-David Review of Books by Rabbi Kenneth Ian Segel
As a writer of stories for children myself, I thoroughly enjoyed reading another writer's work. I found the story 'The Amazing Sparkey' about a family's dog, to be both charming and well-illustrated. Again, I found the story charmingly written with a lesson in giving and kindness and beautifully illustrated also. I would recommend this to others as well. Thank you Rabbi Segel for allowing me to read it.
Martha Stevens-David Book Review: "How Are You, Mother Earth?" by Gordon Hunter
I was amazed at what I didn't know about our beautiful planet and I kept rereading pages and reciting the science data to my very interested husband. Gordon Hunter is an award-winning professor of biology with forty-two years of experience in the sciences as a radar instructor in the US Air Force, a public school general science teacher, and a science teaching consultant for public school teachers.
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