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R.P. BenDedek

Magic City Book Reviews July1st - Dec 31st 2014
By R.P. BenDedek
Dec 31, 2014 - 7:15:07 PM

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On July 5th 2014 I published an article about our change of direction toward book reviews and published the list of book reviews that had been published at Magic city as at June 30th 2014. There were 75 books listed on that page. Since that time we have continued to do book reviews and below is the list of published book reviews since July 1st, 2014. There are a total of 69 reviews.

During the period up to June 30th there had been 124 articles submitted by book authors, and the new list from July 1st to December 2014 may be found HERE

I will cease to be Editor of this Site as from December 31st 2014, and at this stage I have no idea what plans are in the pipeline in relation to book reviews and the Book Baskets which I introduced. Whatever happens, I offer my thanks to all the Reviewers, Authors and Publicists who have been involved in this undertaking this year.

R.P. BenDedek

July 1st to December 31st 2014 Book Reviews

E.M. Parke Review: "Living and Teaching Authentic Christianity" By Gordon Haresign
Dec 24, 2014

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.

E.M. Parke Review: "Monastery to Matrimony" by Mary Ann Weakley
Dec 24, 2014

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.

Martha Stevens-David Review: "Secret Intelligence: Dark Rim" By Enoch Chang
Dec 21, 2014

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.

Milt Gross Book Review: "Nor the Battle to the Strong" by Charles F. Price
Dec 21, 2014

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.

Martha Stevens-David Review: "The Blueberry Patch" by Laura Lee Royale
Dec 17, 2004

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.

Martha Stevens-David Review: "Redemption" by Ian Prattis
Dec 17, 2014

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.

Milt Gross Book Review: "Moo" by Jane Smiley
Dec 7, 2014

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.

Martha Stevens-David Review: "Send Me some Love In The Mailbox" by Cherie Turlington
Dec 7, 2014

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.

Laure McCourt Lopez Review: "Read Matthew to Live Your Life, Read John to Save Your Soul" By Douglas Kindred
Dec 3, 2014

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.

Martha Stevens-David Review: "Lord Forgive Me... but I was a (Business) Bullsh*t Consultant" by Anthony Bunko
Dec 3, 2014

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.

Martha Stevens-David Review: "Wishes and Dreams" by I.H. McDonald Jr.
Dec 2, 2014

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.

Milt Gross Book Review: "Heidi" by Johanna Spyri
Nov 30, 2014

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.

R.P. BenDedek Review: "The Third Heaven Conspiracy" by Giulio Leoni
Nov 25, 2014

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.

Milt Gross Book Review: "Lost on a Mountain in Maine" told by Donn Fendler to writer Joseph B. Egan
Nov 23, 2014

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.

Estelle Parke Review: 'Why Did Jesus Have to Die?' by Chris Conrad
Nov 23, 2014

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.

Milt Gross Book Review: "A Woman's Eye" introduced and edited by Sara Paretsky
Nov 16, 2014

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.

Laure McCourt Lopez Book Review: "Casting Lots" by William D. McEachern
Nov 16, 2014

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.

Milt Gross Book Review: "Awol on the Appalachian Trail" by David Miller
Nov 9, 2014

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.

R.P. BenDedek Review: "The Spirit of Things II" by Carole Mann
Nov 9, 2014

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.'

Milt Gross Book Review: "Home" by Beth Powning
Nov 2, 2014

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.

Estelle Parke Book Review: "The Secret Hidden in Plain Sight" by Hoppy Bishop
Nov 2, 2014

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.

William Fankboner Book Review: "Reading Like a Writer" by Francine Prose
Nov 5, 2014

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.

M. W. Johnson Book Review: "Reliant" by Kellyann Bowman
Nov 6, 2014

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.

Milt Gross Book Review: "The Peninsula" by the late Louise Dickinson Rich
Oct 26, 2014

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?

Milt Gross Book Review: "The Binghams of Louisville" by David Leon Chandler and Mary Voelz Chandler
Oct 19, 2014

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.

R.P. BenDedek Review: "Speak Your Truth" By Denise A. Dorfman
Oct 24, 2014

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.

Milt Gross Book Review: "Becoming Joey Fizz" by Stuart A. McKeever
OLct 12, 2014

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.

R.P. BenDedek Review: "The Living Rainbow" by Amy LaNiece Stewart
OCt 12, 2014

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.

Milt Gross Book Review: "Blizzard" by Phil Stong
Oct 5, 2014

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.

Milt Gross Book Review: "Sin City" by Harold Robbins
Sep 28, 2014

The story involves crime, violence, sex of course, and other seedy activities and is somewhat complicated. The conclusion turns out to be a happy ending with the lead character, Zack Kiordan, meeting his wife and children and planning for them to live happily ever after. The action travels to China and other places in the world. It heavily involves a Chinese wealthy gangster and other players.

Milt Gross Book Review: "American to the Backbone" by Christopher L. Webber
Sep 24, 2014

Aided by a family in his flight to freedom and then accidentally finding his way to the North, James W.C. Pennington rose in society to become the pastor of a church in Hartford, CT. As one of the nation's first black abolitionists, he began and continued his entire life an effort to educate Americans about the plight of those still held in slavery. He traveled to England and elsewhere in Europe in his quest to see slavery ended.

Milt Gross Book Review: "And Grant You Peace" by Kate Flora
Sept 14, 2014

A problem with writing this review is that the book is not as it actually would be -- in publishable form. A label on the front cover states, "Advance uncorrected proof," and that makes it hard to imagine the ready- to-sell copy. The author has written a number of crime mysteries of which one "has been optioned for a movie," according to a paragraph about her. The story involves a Muslim crime family and gang that carries out the mayhem and murder until the good-guy cop, Joe Burgess, puts a stop to it all and saves a heroine from death -- death by being tied to a chair with explosives set to make her next home Eternity.

Martha Stevens-David Review: "Down the Drain with Jane" by Jane T. Braun
Sep 10, 2014

Having traveled to a few foreign countries and lived and dealt with peoples from lands other than America, I could easily relate to "Jane Tessitor Braun's story" as she gathered her young children and followed her husband and his career from one foreign country to the next. As a reader and fellow writer, I found Jane's writing to be insightful and educational and there wasn't one unkind word to be found.

Martha Stevens-David Review: "A Cry from the Dust" by Carrie Stuart Parks
Sept 7, 2014

Not only does this book hold you mesmerized from the very beginning, it keeps you interested until the very end. I found that the author, Carrie Stuart Parks, certainly knew her stuff. She was able to insert the main characters into the storyline in such a way that the reader feels as though he/she is right there and part of the story.

Milt Gross Book Review: "Man From Mt. Vernon" by Burke Boyce
Sept 7, 2014

In Man From Mt. Vernon, I found the most detailed description of the American Revolution and George Washington's life I have ever read. This includes, among many incidents, the story of Benedict Arnold's turning traitor and siding with the British, the long winter at Valley Forge, PA, which, incidentally was named after an iron forge that had once been there, of the war itself, the great assistance of the French, and the surrender of the British.

Martha Stevens- David Book Review: "I Thought I Wouldn't Tell It" By Deloris Dallas
Aug 31, 2014

This book interested me from the very beginning and I must say, it was not an "easy" read. It tells the story of a young girl's growing up on the Island of Jamaica and the ordeals she encountered in just trying to survive. This book will make one take a hard look at the things we take for granted and we might not like what we finally see. We, as human beings, need to be cognizant of the fact that just because all is right in our world, it just might not be so, in others.

Milt Gross Book Review: "Standing on Principal" by Frank Vetro
Aug 31, 2014

One outcome of what happened was clear in that by the end of the book, Vetro had still not been returned to his previous administration position and had excepted a teaching position that was on a much lower scale. I would not recommend Standing on Principal for its writing or literary value, but I do recommend it for its apparently true story of justice gone wrong. The writer was definitely wronged, according to the book.

Martha Stevens-David Book Review: "Grand Ma Ma and Her Grand Grand Kids"
Aug 29, 2014

They are colorful, beautifully illustrated and she also took the time to write in such a way that most of the sentences rhymed, and children of all ages especially love that. I loved the fact that she incorporated multicultural ethnicities in the drawings so that anyone in any place around our vast planet can relate to the story line.

Milt Gross Book Review: "Hound-Dog Man" by the late Fred Gibson
Aug 24, 2014

This was a juvenile story in 1949, but I doubt if many kids could understand the language or follow the tales these days. That could be the result of modern education and publication, where things get kind of watered down for juvenile consumption. I'd kind of like to experience today's juvenile, say a junior or senior high school student, reading Gibson's tale of a black dog that was laced with good outdoor adventure from start to finish.

Laure McCourt Lopez Review: The Elephant and the Stake by Joanne Belvedere
Aug 22, 2014

As an early childhood education teacher I would incorporate this story in an integrated curriculum unit focusing on the culture and environmental landscape of Sri Lanka. This book would also lend itself as a modern take of fable in a comparison/contrast unit of Aesop's Fables and modern literature.

R.P. BenDedek book Review: "The Rise of the Black Knight" by HW Cumming
Aug 13, 2014

Although I didn't get around to it while in Australia, late this afternoon (Sunday August 10th) I decided to bite the bullet and start reading it. Surprise surprise! I couldn't put it down. It was a great story. It is definitely not an 'action' story about knights doing battle, but rather a 'detective mystery' which commences with a 'natural tragedy' that leaves three young princes curious to understand the events that played out before their eyes. Oh - it does also involve talking dragons. (I love dragon stories).

Martha Stevens-David Book Review: "Solider Boy" by Allan Green
Aug 13, 2014

This is absolutely the best story/writing that I have encountered in a very long time. It is a story that draws one in and never lets one go until the very last page and then the reader doesn't want it to end! Mr. Green, the author, should be commended for the way he held the reader's attention throughout and his ending brought me to tears if the truth be known. I, for one would love to read anything else he may write. Job well-done.

R.P.BenDedek Book Review: "A Covenant People" by James P. Eckman
Aug 10, 2014

This book by James P. Eckman is a very informative and many faceted presentation of the history of Israel. If it were to be given a different title, then 'History of Israel 101' would be a very appropriate one. Because of my over-familiarity with the subject matter, halfway through I was tempted to write my review. I'm glad I didn't! Chapters 12 through 15 were for me somewhat of a revelation, and I eagerly sat at the master's feet and soaked in as much as I could. It provides the reader with what I consider to be an evenhanded academic approach to the realities on the ground.

Martha Stevens-David Review: "An Idiotic Savant" by Russell Stewart
Aug 6, 2014

If the reader can overlook these simple grammatical errors, they will find Mr. Stewart's stories to be very interesting. And I must say, Mr. Stewart related to me that he has been approached by several producers in "Hollywood" to come and discuss the possibility of a movie being made from his story. I wish him the best of luck in this latest endeavor.

Milt Gross Book Review: "A brief history of Witchcraft" by Lois Martin
Aug 3, 2014

Witchcraft has its roots much farther back in history than I had imagined, although I had guessed the purpose of its accidental beginnings was to explain the unknown. I was wrong. It was possibly to explain a social condition that still occurs, according to the author. After reading this well-written book, A BRIEF HISTORY OF Witchcraft, I wondered if witchcraft in its simplest form was -- perhaps is -- a way for those who feel oppressed to rid themselves of poor treatment by the rich.

Laure McCourt Lopez Review: "One for the Heart" book by G. Raye Jones
Jul 30, 2014

I once had a professor who said you could always tell when a reader was engaged in a good book: after reading for some time, the reader would pause and look up with a sign of personal reflection upon the face. That is how this book affected me. It isn't just a matter of reading words but rather reading the musings of a heart that has so much to share with the reader. I highly recommend this thoughtfully crafted collection of poetry to enjoy during those contemplative moments when one wishes to step back from the busyness of life and reflect upon that which is lasting and meaningful.

Laure McCourt Lopez Review: "Bella and Harry; Let's Visit Maui!" by Lisa Manzione
Jul 27, 2014

Having been bitten by the travel bug many years ago, I was intrigued with this fanciful excursion of the beautiful island of Maui, one of Hawaii's eight main islands. Who could ask for more charming tour guides than Bella and Harry, brother and sister Chihuahuas, as they invite young readers to join them on a trip that explores different customs, cultural diversity and historic landmarks. I especially appreciate how the author uses child-friendly descriptions that are clear and involve the five senses. Kudos to author Lisa Manzione and to Kristine Lucco for her illustrations.

Milt Gross Book Review: "Arcadia" by Lauren Groff
Jul 27, 2014

Arcadia is a three-part novel about those who attended a fictitious version of Woodstock called Arcadia in New York State. It shows the characters while at Arcadia, then in middle life, and finally in old age. If you've ever thought seriously about being a hippie, try this 2012 Hyperion, New York, NY publication, a fictitious look at the very real experience.

Martha Stevens-David Book Review: "Tormented Prison" by Sky Gram
Jul 23, 2014

This is a very difficult story to read because it is about a small child who is a victim from the very day of her birth. As a mother myself, I found some of "Sky's" story too graphic to even read but as the old saying goes, "fore warned is fore armed." Would I recommend this story to others? YES!

M. Stevens-David Review: "One Chance, One Moment: Book One - The Mandy Story" by Judith Kohnen
Jul 22, 2014

I found myself hurrying to get my household work completed so that I could resume the story again and that sadly, from all the books I review, doesn't happen very often. As the author noted in her "press release" this book was first written in 1986 and revisions were made several times over the ensuing years but I can now state, the "wait" and the reworking were well-worth it. Would I recommend this book to others? ABSOLUTELY! Wondeful work, wonderful presentation and am waiting for the next!

Martha Stevens-David Book Review: "Scotch Rising" by S.J. Garland
Jul 22, 2014

This very interesting story set in the 1700's, begins with a young man, Esmond Clyde-Dalton, who comes from a very wealthy English family and tells of his trials and tribulations as he makes his life in his own way. Edmond has to make a decision that will ultimately change the rest of his life. I found this story to be very interesting and well done.

M. Stevens-David Review: "Greyhound Therapy" by J.R. Conway
Jul 20, 2014

The story tells of the trials and tribulation that Sheriff Craig Spence faces on a daily basis and how the Sheriff's Department in a small town in Wyoming, deals with the inhabitants, the drug problems and just trying to live in a very unbalanced world.

R.P. BenDedek Review: "The Legacy of Two Gemini Knights" by Geoff Logan
Jul 20, 2014

Travelling far and wide and caught up in everything from Arthurian legends, the Crusades and the murder of a Pope, William McBride's journey is really one of deep spiritual self-discovery during a period of great turmoil in Europe's history. Topics covered for which background material was required included: the political differences between Scotland, England, France, Spain and the Vatican; the Crusades; the history of the Templar knights; the history of the Celts, Druids, Christians and Muslims and of course the religious history, legends, superstitions and eschatology of those religions. I heartily recommend "The Legacy of Two Gemini Knights" to anyone interested in historical tales or ancient Celtic legends and the like.

Milt Gross Book Review: "Thomas Paine and the Promise of America" by Harvey J. Kaye
Jul 20, 2014

The book states that, "Though elites denied Paine a place in 'official' commemorations of the Revolution, Americans never actually forgot his memory...." Much of the book reviews those who quoted Paine and praised him as the one whose words helped bring about the U.S. One such figure, William Sylvis, who, "Reflecting the influence of Common Sense, he drafted the manifesto of the National Labor Union in the fashion of the Declaration of Independence."

M. Stevens-David Review: "Let Me Tell You a Story" Charles Keith Hardman
Jul 16, 2014

"Let Me Tell You a Story" by Charles Keith Hardman contains 12 short stories that I found very interesting about topics that I normally do not choose to read. And these stories certainly make one think about all the things they have been told from their very birth.

Martha Stevens-David Review: "The Basket of Fruit" by Margaret Hooton
Jul 14, 2014

At first glance, one assumes that this story is just another "children's" book story but upon deeper reading, it becomes apparent that it is not. The author, along with the lovely illustrations, takes the reader to another realm that most children's book authors dare not go. I read the book twice so as not to miss anything in the drawings or the words and found it to be very insightful in regard to the aspects of "human nature."

M. Stevens-David Review: "Ghost Light" by Sarah Romine
Jul 13, 2014

"Ghost Light" by Sarah Romine clearly illustrates the dangers that not only young people can fall into in when venturing into Hollywood in attempt to achieve their dream, but what can happen to everyone from anywhere. This book should be "required" reading for any and all who are leaning in the "Hollywood" direction.

R.P.BenDedek Review: "Strike at the Heart: The first mission" By L.W. Berrie
Jul 13, 2014

'Strike at the Heart' by L.W. Berry is a very well written, fast paced and interesting story that deals with a variety of elements including science fiction, military warfare, ancient history, medicine and love. When I turned the last page I just wanted to scream. 'What happens now?' I demanded to know of nobody in particular. Clearly the book is designed for a sequel which I really want to read, and I think that the storyline would make a great movie.

Milt Gross Book Review: "Kill Crazy" by William W. Johnstone and J.A. Johnstone
Jul 13, 2014

While the tale features a bank robbery, a brother in jail, a brother who will not limit his crime to free his brother, and MacCallister's taking care of all the bad guys, there is a side tale of an abandoned gold mine on the ranch that MacCallister had inherited.

M. Stevens-David Review: "Callaloo: A Jazz Folktale" by Marjuan Canady
Jul 11, 2014

The story is fast paced and filled with Caribbean dialect "words" that add to the charm of this "children's story. The story contains many of the elements that make for a good tale; i.e. mystery, humor and love. I think it would be fun to read to children because as "Americans" nearly all of us have come from a far off land or island at one time or another.

M. Stevens-David Review: "Foothold in the Mountain" by Constance Caruso
Jul 9, 2014

Her extremely sad tale takes us from her birth to present day and of all the books I have read, I found this story to be extremely difficult to complete. Not due to the fact that it wasn't well-written but due to the fact that it drew the reader in until one could actually visualize Connie's deep love for her family and her child and the hell she endured throughout most of her life.

M. Stevens-David Review: "Nobody Knew She Was There" by Andrew Glascoe
Jul 8, 2014

This is really a son's story about his mother that takes one from Toronto, Canada back across the Atlantic to northern Europe. It deals with the sad fact that we, as humans, often reside upon this earth a good number of years and when we are no longer here, our own close relatives, when asked who or what we stood for, they cannot find the words to truly define us or our lives.

M. Stevens-David Review: "Travels with Gannon & Wyatt GREENLAND" by Patti Wheeler & Keith Hemstreet
Jul 8, 2014

The authors should be commended for their ability to write this beautiful, totally believeable story. I'm very pleased to say, I wasn't disappointed in any way. I loved the "sharing" of the story by the brothers and I loved the pictures/drawings of life in that far off frigid land and the descriptive phrases took you by the heart and hand, to a never, never land.

M. Stevens-David Review: "GO GREEN!" A Family guide to a Sustainable Lifestyle "Disney books"
Jul 8, 2014

This book will be enjoyed by children of all ages, their parents and grandparents. There is truly a "mark of genius" in this "Disney" publication because it deals with aspects of everyday life and life's problems and gives examples on how to achieve the "GO GREEN" goals that everyone can understand.

M. Stevens-David Review: "The Last Human" by Ink Pieper
Jul 6, 2014

This short but powerful story serves as a notice to all mankind that what we think we know and can believe in, really isn't so...As I got about half way through the story, it dawned on me that even though we, Americans, have always been told that "we" are the most powerful nation on earth, that isn't always the truth.

M. Stevens-David Review: "Borderline Hero" by Kenneth Konecnik
Jul 6, 2014

The story illustrates the issues that are featured almost daily on television and in our newspapers, concerning civil rights, abortion/anti-abortion laws and the problems the United States is facing with illegal aliens coming into this country on a daily basis.

M. Stevens-David Review: "Justice for Lorraine" by Conrad Cohen
Jul 4, 2014

Mr. Cohen needs "closure" to all his pain and suffering and the loss of his one and only great love and thus far, he had not been able to find it. He is a good man who served his country in war and peace and should not have had to go through what he has. I think everyone should read this very powerful story because something of the same ilk could happen to any one of us.

M. Stevens-David Review: "Scripted in Heaven" by Lourdes Duque Baron
Jul 2, 2014

This well-researched story about a doctor, his "God" and his family, carries the reader along and one is reluctant to put the book down even for a moment. The author fully details the family's interaction with "Padre Pio da Pietrelcina" the patron saint of healing and her own husband's ordeal with cancer.

M. Stevens-David Review: "The Shaman's Daughter" by Nicki Royall Peet
Jul 2, 2014

The author, Nicki Royall Peet, with all of her studies and degrees has done herself proud in the research of this work. I found her story to be very believable and educational and I, even with my small amount of "Indian" heritage, was immediately enraptured and captured by this Indian tale.

© Copyright 2002-2014 by Magic City Morning Star

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