US Review of Books - Book Review Service

US Review Blog Twitter Facebook Instagram GoodReads Linked-In USR Subscribe US Review RSS feed

Book Reviews

search engine by freefind

The US Review of Books connects authors with professional book reviewers and places their book reviews in front of subscribers to our free monthly newsletter of fiction book reviews and nonfiction book reviews. Learn why our publication is different than most others, or read author and publisher testimonials about the USR.

Recent Reviews

Focus Review

Featured Reviews
 

US Review News

Recent Book Reviews

 

Focus Review
Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Death of a Nation: Plantation Politics and the Making of the Democratic Party
by Dinesh D'Souza
All Points Books


"One of the most powerful weapons of historical revisionism is silence."

There are many ways to lie, the most egregious being the distortion of facts through deliberate manipulation, obfuscation, or refusing to correct untruths. The majority of media, which serves the ideologically hysterical, has turned history on its head. The American campus too has been in large part courted to this fool’s dance. In boot step, they declare one political party as racists, while whitewashing the other party's legacy of slavery, Jim Crow laws, and a stunning diminishment of a race of people. Indeed, this latter political party has much to cover-up—bigotry and social upheaval that have torn the country apart (i.e. The Civil War, the 1960s, etc.) and threatens to do so again. However, the average learned American is so deeply confused by circulating propaganda and ignorant of history beyond World War II that they will become cockeyed when these facts are introduced. ... (read more)

Read the US Review of Books Previous Edition

back to top

Featured Book Reviews

 

Forbidden Love

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Dating Policy
by Suzanne Eglington
Xlibris


"I couldn’t get past the kiss as that employee handbook taunted me on my coffee table."

Mallory Kennedy’s company has a strict "no dating" policy that threatens to derail her first real chance at love with Todd Duvall, a quality control manager in her office who sends her heart racing every time he walks by her. She admires his confidence, his Scandinavian features, and his work ethic. When Todd begins to show interest in her, too, her work life and romantic life become entangled. Adding to the fray, Mallory also finds that Todd has deeper secrets that threaten their future even more than the company’s policy on dating. ... (read more)

back to top

Uncommon Bravery

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Cordelia Lionheart
by Ron Fritsch
Asymmetric Worlds


"'Father,' Cordelia said, 'I fear you'll soon regret being so stubborn, so unwilling to admit your kingdom isn't the peaceful, orderly realm you dream it to be.'"

Cordelia, the youngest daughter of King Lear, is beginning to lose faith in her father’s ability to rule as a fair and just king. Between rumors of unrest, distrust among the soldiers, her sisters’ and their husbands conspiring for the throne, and the occasional assassination attempt, it seems that King Lear’s peaceful reign is coming to an end. Cordelia soon finds herself in the midst of an oncoming war as Lear declares her his heir. With her life on the line and the future of the kingdom at stake, will Cordelia be able to fight back and keep the kingdom at peace? ... (read more)

back to top

Max's Story

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Case of Emil Diesel
by Patricia Menton
Xlibris


"Art survives. That is all that matters. Each piece tells our history. It is our gift to future generations. It is our legacy."

This novel is a fictionalized account inspired by a true story. It involves a private art collection illegally seized by the German Democratic Republic in the years during the Cold War. ... (read more)

back to top

History & Folklore

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Gods and Heroes: Itan Legends of the Golden Age Book One
by Oladele Olusanya
Xlibris


"Ile-Ife was the birthplace and origin of all the gods of our people, who in those days walked the earth and lived among mortal men."

Blending history with folklore, myth, and a little surrealism, this book follows the exile and migration of the Yoruba tribe from Nubia, the founding of Ile-Ife (today’s region of West Nigeria), the various adventures and conquests of its people, and the rise and fall of the civilization of Oyo. Readers are introduced to historical figures as well as gods and goddesses and learn how the actions and choices of these individuals have shaped Yoruba culture and tradition.... (read more)

back to top

A Complicated Character

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Raven's Resurrection: A Cybertech Thriller
by John D. Trudel
Trudel Group


"Raven slung his rifle. He walked over and stood behind them, his Sig leveled, finger on the trigger."

In the author’s latest thriller, America is not as secure as its average citizen might think. Radical Islam poses a serious threat to the nation, but only a few understand just how extensive the reach is of its practitioners. Raven has experienced firsthand how dangerous the nation’s enemies can be, but many of them, in turn, will learn what a deadly adversary he can be. ... (read more)

back to top

A Ray of Hope

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

A Real Daughter
by Lynne McKelvey
Savant Books & Publications LLC


"He doesn’t get it, she thought, pausing beside the baby mastodon and its imploring trunk. Doesn’t get that Mandy is a child in mourning, a child in mourning for her mother."

Secrets have always played a major role in novels. From secret passageways in adventure tales to secret betrayals in spy yarns to secret familial revelations in Victorian comedies, tragedies, whodunits, and more. A secret is also at the center of this literate psychological drama that unspools in late 1970s Los Angeles. It is a secret that engulfs its keeper completely—a secret that results in unimaginable consequences when shared. ... (read more)

back to top

Exploring Self

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

A Walking Shadow
by Gary Bolick
Unsolicited Press


"He called the desert the perfect place for him because so little moved. Just one big photograph, so it provided the illusion that his life was back to normal."

There is an exceptionally fine line between intense introspection and prolonged navel-gazing. That line is a tightrope author Bolick walks precariously in this tale of one man’s unyielding search for enlightenment. Bolick’s protagonist desperately wants to come to grips with personal answers to profound questions such as why are we here, what does consciousness really mean, and can we ever truly understand one another or, for that matter, ourselves. The author encases these soul-searching queries in a story that dispenses potential answers much like a time-release capsule—a few now, a bit later, and eventually perhaps enough to ward off congenital melancholia. However, these intermittent answers raise additional questions. Does the patient stand a chance of actually being cured or merely treated? Should his doctor heed the proverb, “Physician, heal thyself”? ... (read more)

back to top

Getting Away

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Jubilant Journeys
by Connie Spenuzza, M.S. Ed.
Libros Publishing


"The stone symbols of these unborn babies stood shoulder to grey stone shoulder."

Part memoir, part travelogue, and part genealogical study, this book is joyously refreshing. It is also poetry in motion. For example, instead of "China is too big to see in one trip," the author writes, "We barely scratched the surface of this commanding dragon." ... (read more)

back to top

Forever

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

They'll Never Die
by Don Calmus
Fulton Books


"'I have died a couple of times, and there's nothing out there but cold dark space.'"

Generally, engineers and other professionals don't morph into successful writers. But Don Calmus, a retired engineer, has writing talent and took the time to study the craft, enabling him to write this stellar novel. Not only should he not "stay in his own lane," he should write a sequel. ... (read more)

back to top

Becoming a Leader

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Unlocking the Natural-Born Leader's Abilities: An Autobiographical Exposé
by Salar A. Khan, MD., MBA.
Xlibris


"…natural-born leaders...have an innate skill set conducive to becoming leaders. They are optimistic, selfless, and do not seek external rewards or glory."

Illustrating the author’s own journey to leadership, this autobiography/memoir was written to pass on experience gained by a lifetime of service. A young child at the time of the India/Pakistan partition, his family resettled in Pakistan. With those early years in turmoil, his parents were his teachers. Once the author entered school, his brilliant older brother became a role model. Challenged by his family, the author assumed responsibility for household duties and volunteered for additional tasks. On his father’s advice, Khan became a doctor serving in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and America. From experience gained, he declares it our duty to find out what we are capable of. ... (read more)

back to top

Still the Same

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Complete Food Substitutions Handbook: Including Options for Low-Sugar, Low-Fat, Low-Salt, Gluten-Free, Lactose-Free, Soy-Free, and Vegan
by Jean B. MacLeod
MacLeod How-To Books


"Honey - 1 cup
- 1 cup light agave syrup/nectar
- 1 cup Coconut Nectar
- 1 cup rice-based nectar, such as Just Like Honey"

In today’s culinary world, any group meal is bound to feed someone with food allergies, a specialty diet, or just a preference against certain ingredients. Or maybe you have found a new recipe, the prep begins, and then suddenly you realize you’re missing an important ingredient in the pantry. Perhaps even the item in question is out of season or unavailable in your area. This book aims to solve such problems by providing a comprehensive, A-to-Z resource for quick reference to substitute virtually any ingredient needed in cooking with something else, either in a pinch or if your dinner plans include people with dietary restrictions. With more than 500 pages of suggestions, this aims to be the only book you need when it comes to food substitutions. ... (read more)

back to top

Making a Leader

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Growing Influence: A Story of How to Lead with Character, Expertise, and Impact
by Ron Price and Stacy Ennis
Greenleaf Book Group Press


"'Are you happy where you’re at? Do you feel like you’re fulfilling what you’re meant to in life?' ... it was a question she knew she needed to answer..."

This leadership book isn’t your common offering about building a great team, establishing good relationships, and building trust to bring out their best (not that you won’t learn valuable information about those things). But as strong leaders know, delivery is everything, and this small offering delivers valuable insights and knowledge in a big way. ... (read more)

back to top

True Sherlock

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

A Most Diabolical Plot: Six Compelling Sherlock Holmes Stories
by Tim Symonds
MX Publishing


"Not ‘til the Last Day, when the bugle blows for me, shall I forget the most diabolical attempt ever made on my friend Sherlock Holmes’s life."

This well-written and entertaining collection of six short stories centered around the ever-popular Sherlock Holmes and faithful Dr. Watson is filled with the intrigue fans of the fictional detective have long enjoyed. Three stories are case studies recorded by Watson after Holmes retires to keep bees in Sussex. The other three begin with the early prison release for good behavior of Holmes’ old nemesis, Colonel Sebastian Moran. His good behavior is short-lived, and soon Holmes and Watson are fast on Moran’s trail in the first offering (from which the book takes its name). Most of the other stories follow the standard formula of a Sherlock Holmes’ mystery with an unsolved crime and Holmes’ deductive reasoning on full display. The one exception, though perhaps slight, is “Die Weisse Frau” (The White Lady). This story centers around a German spy during World War I, and though Holmes unravels a mystery, the story is more centered on espionage. ... (read more)

back to top

Compulsively Readable

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Tatiana's Day
by Katia Perova
iUniverse


"'It’s not that simple. It’s more like what I did to myself. I’ve done some horrible things in this marriage.'"

University students Tatiana Dobrova and Oleg Isaev meet in Moscow in 1990, and a whirlwind romance begins between the studious Tatiana and the charming Oleg. Within months, they are married, and Tatiana continues her studies while Oleg pursues new business opportunities spurred by the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The chronicle of their marriage and the monumental societal changes taking place in Russia combine to tell a riveting love story. At the heart of this captivating tale is the evolution of Tatiana as she loses herself in a marriage full of betrayal and psychological manipulation. Oleg’s workaholic tendencies, frequent affairs, and cruelty are destructive forces in the marriage, and Tatiana descends into reckless behavior that threatens to consume her. Enticed by the luxury of her life with Oleg, Tatiana ignores the truth of their marriage until the desperation becomes unbearable, and she reclaims her life. ... (read more)

back to top

Construction Fun

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Vroom Vroom Beep Beep
by Elden Friesen
FriesenPress


"Now that we’re done for the day, lets go home and rest up so we can Vroom, vroom, again tomorrow."

The dump truck says “vroom vroom” when it carries loads of dirt and takes the dirt where it is needed. It says “beep, beep, beep” when it backs up. The Dozer says “roar, vroom, clackety” as it pushes mounds of dirt. The grater, which makes roads smooth, also says “vroom.” The fuel truck says “glug, glug” as it fuels the other machines. The safety truck says “vroom, vroom” as it looks out for workers’ safety. Finally, the excavator says “vroom, whirr, varoom” as it loads trucks all day. When they all work together, they make a variety of sounds: vroom, glug, roar, clackity, beep. What will happen after a long day of working together? Will they celebrate or go home to rest? Is the job complete, or will they come back tomorrow? ... (read more)

back to top

Generations of the Chesapeake

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Family Matters
by D. C. Moses
Cherry Street Publishers


"But what had happened to Alex and Barry…so busy, so loving, so passionate for self-discovery, so yearning for self-transcendence?"

The untimely death of their son, Lu, is a shadow that haunts and looms over the Byrnes family. Each one grieves his loss in their own private way while attempting to find a way forward, immersing themselves into their careers and daily life. Then father, Barry, faces a life-changing decision when his company requests to relocate him to Washington. This sets in motion the mixed feelings and introspection by Barry and his reluctant wife, Alex, who contemplate the uncertainty of their future so close to retirement. They each reflect upon the early years of their marriage and life before and after Lu’s death. Others in the family must also come to terms with the tragic familial loss. As they each face uncertainty in the way forward, they learn something of themselves and one another. ... (read more)

back to top

Grief Assistance

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

37 Lessons on How to Gain from Loss: A Believer’s Journey from Trial to Triumph
by Huma Zuellah Ahmed


"All our relationships are temporary. All our things are mortal. Despite that, we completely depend on them for security."

This guide on how to find the positive in an intensely negative situation comes from the author’s own personal experiences dealing with the illness and death of her mother. Ahmed was used to taking her mother to and from doctor’s appointments with her long-term diabetic care, but when her situation deteriorated, and she was given a cancer diagnosis, things escalated quickly. From learning how to accept her mom’s situation to promising to be part of the fight, her journey has ups and downs, victories and losses. Ultimately, her mother lost the fight against cancer, but the author was able to achieve tremendous personal growth in the process and was inspired to write this book to help others walking down a similarly difficult road. Outlining 37 distinct lessons, she hopes others will learn as she did to use tragedy as a possibility for growth. ... (read more)

back to top

Seven Sisters

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Seven and an Eighth: The Journeys of Ignomatius
by Retta Flagg
Integrated Spirit Publishing


"There is an ancient Greek legend about seven sisters who were the offspring of Atlas and Plieone. The true story of the sisters reveals the feminine nature of the Divine and the introduction of the ancient mysteries into human consciousness."

In a wonderfully expressive story of the Seven Sisters, the book takes us through the tales of goddesses and gods, of love and healing, of sexual magic and nature, of mystery and mysticism. It is told to Ignomatius, a human woman, who relates her journey into the Source with her openness to the Divine and the Divinity. She is guided by The Hooded One through dream states, although these dreams are into a higher realm than one’s everyday dreams. Through meeting with the Seven Sisters as well as a number of gods, Ignomatius learns about the Divine Feminine. The focus is on the goddesses who have been neglected throughout history. She travels throughout the ancient world along with these Pleiadean sisters where she also comes across the Tree of Life and its lessons. All of these lessons are to teach her, and all of humanity, what is needed in order for the world to survive and then to thrive into a deeper sense of love and light. ... (read more)

back to top

Classroom Conflict

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Origins of School Violence
by Sean M. Brooks, Ph.D.
PIL Publishing


"The purpose of this case study was to understand urban high school educators’ perceptions and experiences with conflict resolution and violence prevention within their pre-service and in-service education."

At a time when school violence is on the rise and solutions are sought by a society reeling from its effects, Brooks examines the problem through existing research, a case study, and rigorous analysis. He concludes that teachers are ill-prepared despite pre-service teacher training programs and professional development to manage the conflict and violence inherent in the modern-day classroom. ... (read more)

back to top

Intense Conflict

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Endowment: One Woman’s Journey of Soul and Spirit
by Zoe Charis
Stratton Press


"Many pillars of Rachel’s ideological framework concerning things of the church shook, crumbling."

In this emotive story, author Charis shows her heroine Rachel at first acting the role of the contented, obedient wife of Jonathan, a popular Christian preacher. Everything seems right in their lives… so why does she attempt suicide? Piecing Rachel’s life together through memory and memoir, we see how the death of her son Taylor—who was killed fighting in Iraq—undermined her placid view of the world. Taylor never felt his father’s love or approval, nor has Rachel. Since questioning the implacable, arrogant Jonathan is impossible, Rachel decides to die. Luckily, she is saved and, in recuperation, meets a young artist, Ariel, whose vibrant paintings begin to restore her faith in herself. But will Rachel’s metamorphosis now threaten Jonathan’s career plans, since he has been assured of worldwide fame through a meeting with the President? ... (read more)

back to top

Lovelorn

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Endless Days
by Jayne McGregor
Xlibris


"When you are totally in love, your brain just seems to go into a state where you lose your common sense."

Arianna is a single mother when she falls head over heels for handsome surgeon Dr. Nick Caravelli. What starts out as a not-so-serious relationship between the two blossoms into a whole world of trouble. Soon after the two become engaged, Arianna starts to learn the truth about some of the not-so-handsome parts of Nick’s life. Wherever Nick goes, problems seem to follow behind him like something from a soap opera. Whether it’s his ex-wife and her attorney or the corrupt doctors he works with, Nick somehow manages to get himself tangled in the mess. Arianna soon discovers she’s tangling herself in the web as well… only this web isn’t made of silk but of jail cell bars. What happens when blind love leads you down the wrong path? ... (read more)

back to top

A Wordsmith

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

My Medley of Stories
by Juna Davies
Stratton Press


"It has been a rewarding life, especially after my decision to up my selfish desires and to give over my life to the Lord."

A sincere Christian takes a sharp, intelligent look at many aspects of life. The opening short story about a Muslim girl converted to Christianity sets the tone. A lengthy speculation on the life of the family of Mary, the mother of Jesus, is imaginatively based in scripture. Five brief accounts concern people who touched the author in some way related to her faith, followed by eight articles exploring marriage through scripture. For example, a wife has to submit to her husband, and he has to be a provider and decider, but understandable and forgivable exceptions occur when a woman has to work to earn money for the family or when a husband is physically abusive. Davies expounds firm opinions about the First Amendment and the teaching of Darwinian Evolution, concluding with insights on the coming tribulations and new “revelations” found in the Book of Revelation. ... (read more)

back to top

Making Sense

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Contentment and Mindfulness
by Robert Leihy
Book-Art Press Solutions


"Man’s inhumanity to man is a significant source of human suffering."

Using his knowledge of Buddhism, Leihy weaves together a multitude of examples and references to demonstrate the benefits of deep relaxation and emotional detachment in the day-to-day lifestyle. Specifically, a compelling argument from Buddhism that Leihy references is the idea that suffering is inevitable, and “all of life is suffering,” but what is controllable is one’s attitude towards it. ... (read more)

back to top

Hollowman

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Chasing Diamonds
by David T. Straw
Book-Art Press Solutions LLC


"His hell wouldn’t be dark red caverns with fire and chains. It would be trips to the grocery store, shopping, and ordering drinks."

Everett believes the choices you make in life determine your happiness. Nothing but misery comes from rumination on mistakes, lost opportunities, or cowardice. He should know; at age 36, he is a well-liked, successful employee recruiter, a devoted father of two young girls, a faithful husband who loves his wife in the same way he loves ice cream or lacrosse, and a gentleman in a world of decreasing human connection and refinement. But his beguilement with the protective magic of childhood summers at a charmed lake, the permanent sting of an Ivy League rejection, and his conviction that pushing away his soul-mate, Scarlett, ruined his chance for romantic love, have him crying in the shower, aiming his car at trees, and contemplating an affair. ... (read more)

back to top

Owning It

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The King of New York City: The Life of Charles Barnes Towns
by Gary W. Neidhardt
Westwood Books Publishing LLC


"Towns asserted so many alcoholics were ending up in mental institutions, jails and prisons because society did not know what else to do with them."

The so-called “King” of New York City, Charles Barnes Towns rose from humble beginnings on a family farm. Although he had very little formal education, he eventually had virtual domination of a medical field most others had heretofore ignored—addiction. A little over a hundred years ago, “people could go to their local druggist to purchase as much morphine or opium as they could afford…” Medical journals contained ads for such products as Glyco-Heroin for everything from coughs to pneumonia. Around 1901, Towns, a former insurance salesman with no medical background but an astonishing gift of gab, announced he had a secret cure for addiction, opened a hospital in an upscale area of New York City, hired a respectable physician, and began to claim astonishingly high success rates for his techniques. He later disclosed that the remedy involved three medicinal (but poisonous) herbs combined with high doses of laxatives. ... (read more)

back to top

Spirit & Resilience

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Pages and Leaflets of North Oxfordshire: My Lineage Pre-1700–1959
by Angela Fortnum
AuthorHouse UK


"...I became curious to learn about my roots and began to research my maternal grandparents."

Intrigued by the stories her mother used to tell, Angela Fortnum sets out to research her family history. What she finds is a rich well of information about her ancestors and her hometown and about the spirit and resilience of both that inevitably shape and influence her life. ... (read more)

back to top

Substance & Joy

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The View from Kings Point: The Kings Point Writers Club Anthology, 2018
by Edward R. Levenson, ed.
Xlibris


"Writers, or those in any creative enterprise, should be open to a variety of means by which we can reach our goals."

Florida’s southern east coast is home to The Kings Point Creative Writers’ Club, a group of creatives living in a retirement community whose eighteen months of endeavors are anthologized in this entertaining collection. Their offerings range from memoir to art and poetry to fiction, but all are interwoven with the indefatigable human desire to create, to share something of oneself with the world. Readers will learn much from this group whose members share life experiences such as selling programs at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, gifting an antique railroad set to Frank Sinatra, and traveling to Israel. The collection also holds ten prints of original paintings, a collection of moving poems, musings on the art of writing, stories of family, humorous anecdotes, and an entertaining retelling of Genesis. ... (read more)

back to top

Road of Life Rules

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Every Day Is a Gift: A Couple's Cancer Journey
by Margaret P. and John F. McEwan


"Experience teaches us that when things are going along smoothly, you can expect some challenge to be put in your path."

When Margaret and John McEwan received the news that John had cancer, they had been married 36 years and had three children and two grandchildren. In the next five years, more grandchildren would be born, and the couple would face wildly escalating hopes and predictably discouraging sorrows because of his illness. Both were forward-looking, positive people who believed that “every day is a gift.” They dealt with their situation within an orderly, optimistic framework. They shared details with their children, omitting the possibly short—six months to a year—lifespan prognosis which John vowed, successfully, to override. The time they had together included lengthy and painful treatments, good, better, and worse news, and many short but memorable vacations. John continued to work almost to the end. Margaret has since founded an award in his name in the school system where he was employed, with the inspiring designation embodying his lifelong ethos: “Do What’s Best for Kids.” ... (read more)

back to top

Will to Live

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Panther & Me!
by Barb McCarter-Walker
Book-Art Press Solutions


"My Breast Cancer never came back. Thanks Panther. You keep saving my life, over and over, and over again!"

Living her whole life with a disability, the author of this book tells the audience about her struggles and the gut-punching moment when a doctor told her that she had no more time to live. There was nothing to be done. Her children convince her to leave the house and adopt a puppy after trying for years to be selected to receive a service dog, especially since she has professional experience training dogs from her youth. After rescuing Panther from a home where she was mistreated and misunderstood, she finds the will to keep on living in the face of a hopeless diagnosis. In fact, she not only continues to live but thrives. Thanks to the support of her children and her new wonder pup and certified service dog, Barb lives a happy and fulfilling life. ... (read more)

back to top

Protecting Her

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

In the Line of Duty
by Lisa Arnoux-Brown
Westwood Books Publishing LLC


"She was in love and that scared her. Giving her heart to a man who might break it or leave her was not what she was looking for."

Emma Grant is a smart, hard-working English professor with “cafe-au-lait skin and soft brown eyes.” In steps a mysterious “Jamaican man,” catching Emma off guard as she struggles to maintain professionalism with the attractive student. A divorced woman, she is fettered by her past, specifically to her ex-husband, Matt, with whom she shares the custody of their seven-year-old daughter, Sam. Matt is “like a dog with a bone” and still harbors feelings for Emma. During nights and weekends, Emma leaves behind her campus life, devoting her attention fully to Sam. But her campus life is suddenly complicated by the witness of illegal drug activity and detective Earl Solano’s (“Jamaican man”) revelation that he is working undercover and investigating a drug ring at Queen’s College. ... (read more)

back to top

Another Groundbreaker

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Jeannette Rankin: America’s First Congresswoman
by Peter Aronson
Double M Books


"I believed then as I do now that women are the ones who must be concerned with the needs and development of the human race."

This second book in The Groundbreaker Series for middle-grade readers is a biography of Jeanette Rankin, America’s first congresswoman, who was elected in 1916. Born in Montana in 1880, Rankin’s pioneering spirit is evident throughout her early life on her family’s ranch where her parents instilled strong values and then later at college where she begins to set a course for her life that is not a traditional trajectory toward marriage and family. Instead, she begins to seek career opportunities in social work and eventually becomes a leading suffrage advocate working tirelessly to push for a woman’s right to vote. As a congresswoman, she solidifies a legacy of pacifism, casting a vote against entering World War I and World War II. ... (read more)

back to top

Family Trials

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Marvin's Garden
by Joseph Brisben
Book-Art Press Solutions


"I was just the housewife, and something told me it was my role just to go along. If I had said anything, what was going to happen to me might have happened sooner."

Narrated by the title character’s long-suffering, deceased wife Madge, this is the story of a thoroughly reprehensible brute’s treatment of his cowed wife and son. Marvin is a swindler in his business dealings and a narcissist who disowns his son because he disapproves of the girl he chooses to marry. Marvin also physically assaults his wife. After Madge begins working at the telephone company, coworkers convince her that she must leave Marvin. Too intimidated to ask for a divorce, Madge decides she must murder him, but her efforts are complicated by an illness from which she eventually succumbs. But after her death, her friend Betty carries on (in her memory as it were) to inadvertently bring about what Madge longed for. ... (read more)

back to top

Highs and Lows of Christmas

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

A Holiday Alphabet Book: For Adults
by Harmony Bentosino
Book-Art Press Solutions


"H for holidays—Jesus is only one reason for this best, most wonderful season"

This Christmas picture dictionary reads like a children’s book but contains very funny and adult themes. A reader will find a humorous, at times sarcastic, and relatable alphabetic portrayal of the joys and challenges of navigating the holidays as an adult. Bentosino emphasizes the themes of debt (B for bills, C for cards and going into debt from stamps), food and drinks (D for dinner, E for eggnog, G for gingerbread, Y for yummy Christmas treats), feelings associated with the holidays (A for anxiety and J for Jolly), popular holiday traditions (F for frankincense, M for Mary, K for kisses, N for Nutcracker), and decorations (L for lights, P for poinsettia). ... (read more)

back to top

Love Woes

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

A Mania of Love
by J N Pratley
Book-Art Press Solutions


"Our fantasy lives comingle with our conscious ones in a sometimes indistinguishable fashion, as if we are two different persons fighting for supremacy."

Clarence Nelson is a classics professor on sabbatical holiday in Hydra, Greece. He aims to write a book about the Greek poet Archilochus, or Archie as he calls him, using his time on Hydra for both research and relaxation purposes. While befriending both residents and visitors of Hydra, Clarence meets Lena, an expat French woman with whom he starts an affair. His novel, in turn, becomes a part autobiographical and part fictionalized modern-day account of Archie. Soon, the passion between Clarence and Lena turns nasty as she threatens to blackmail him, and their relationship becomes tense and complicated. As Clarence throws himself deeper into his novel, the lines between fiction and reality blur as he takes dangerous inspiration from Archie as to how to resolve his mistress woes. ... (read more)

back to top

Cassious House Continues

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Spirit of Cassious House: To Find Truth, Valour, and Honour, One Must Find the Courage to Search Among the Lies Book II
by Linda Key
Book-Art Press Solutions LLC


"His spirit haunts and roams Cassious House looking for his one true love; it's been like this for over three hundred years…"

Three hundred years ago, Prince Timothy Andrew was wrongfully cursed for a murder that he did not commit. A curse was put upon the house in which he lived, the Cassious House in Kelton Heights, trapping all of the good spirits inside. Now the town, and its twin, Welleston Village, thirty miles away, are brought into modern times. Set approximately six weeks following the conclusion of Key’s previous novel, Alyssia Franklin-Jenkins begins to investigate the house when she encounters the prince’s spirit and falls in love. A conspiracy is brewing at the nearby university regarding the new Natural Disasters Research Facility. Secret meetings, conspiracies, and mystery surround the Cassious House. Can Alyssia get to the bottom of everything in time? Is she the key to finally breaking the curse? ... (read more)

back to top

Bible Enthusiasm

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Hebrews: It’s Not How You Start – It’s How You Finish: A Study Guide to the Most Encouraging Book in the New Testament
by Dr. Kathy Stewart
Book-Art Solutions Press


"Hebrews is a book of exhortation. Within these wonderful words of exhortation, however, are embedded very important instructions and equally severe warnings."

The New Testament book, Hebrews, is an important, inspiring text. Though its authorship is a mystery, its salience consists in its messages of the necessity of holding firmly to God’s love and his revelations as delivered by Jesus. No one prior to the advent of Jesus had his power or dominion—not the angels, Adam, nor even Moses. Yet Jesus would do His work in human form, as a “brother.” Hebrews delivers warnings, reminding its readers, Stewart says, to “take the Word of God very seriously.” Stewart believes Hebrew’s target readers were Ebionites, an early Christianized Jewish sect that took Jesus as the Messiah but not as divine. To Stewart, this group resembles those who, professing Christianity, drift away when the going gets too tough. Perseverance in faith is the central focus of the book of Hebrews. “It’s how you finish” that counts. ... (read more)

back to top

Better Writing

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Editing - 10 Steps
by Bonny Franke
Westwood Books Publishing LLC


"The experiences, style, or attitudes of the writer may be the only distractions that deter the story from being well told."

Emerging from written guides produced by Franke for the discussion group Writers Anonymous, a gathering of multi-level writers which she led for four years, this book grew into a comprehensive guide for authors of both fiction and non-fiction writing. Specifically addressing the writer as editor, the book is a valuable tool for any writer wishing to improve skills and produce a clean manuscript. ... (read more)

back to top

The Architect

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

PPaP: Practicable Professional Architecture Practice
by Kalavati Somvanshi, FAIA
Westwood Books Publishing LLC


"Construction document process begins immediately after the design development phase because the whole team is aware of what would be going forward."

Put together like a seminar presentation just as much as it is a book, PPaP functions as an action plan for aspiring architects or simply those who need to find a new way of doing things in their practice. With only a partial focus on the actual conducting of architectural design and the craft itself, this book lends its attention largely to the entire process that takes place the moment a firm is tapped to design a structure. From preliminary feasibility studies and putting together an RFP all the way to the bidding process and conducting site supervision during construction, this helpful guide provides direction through every step that isn’t glamorized or well-known to outsiders. ... (read more)

back to top

Going Straight

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Trails Southwest: In the Southwest Trails Series
by Diane M. Cece
Westwood Books Publishing LLC


"The plains outside of Las Cruces had a fleet of toiling cowhands sailing on a sea of stampeding longhorns."

The Old West comes back to life in this adventure yarn set in and around Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico during the late 1800s. Divided into two parts, it tells the story of Tom, a young man who experiences a life-changing tragedy and is forced to make his own way in the world. As youth frequently do, he makes mistakes along the way, falls in with bad company, then tries to turn his life around before it’s too late to reverse course. This book puts one in mind of similar stories such as the 1972 film The Culpepper Cattle Company. There are even resemblances to Larry McMurtry’s classic 1985 novel Lonesome Dove—a tome that basically raised the standard for all western novels and has yet to be equaled. ... (read more)

back to top

Surviving the Case

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Split Second-Decision II: Apprehended
by Vickie Swan
Westwood Books Publishing LLC


"Feeling lost, devastated, and shocked all at the same time, Chris didn’t know which direction to start looking for Anita."

Following the tumultuous events of the previous book, Anita, Chris, Delia, and Suzanne lack even a moment’s peace. Suzanne is unsure if she can live with her daughter after the acts she committed in the name of justice and vengeance, but as the truth begins to unfold, their ordeals only strengthen their bonds. The police and other agents are hounding Anita, trying to get her to crack and confess to the explosion that she caused to eliminate the criminal mastermind, Dante. When a mysterious assailant invades her home, Anita and Delia have no choice but to defend themselves, though Anita loses her unborn child in the process, and further suspicion is cast on the group. Trying to conduct their own investigations and simply survive proves difficult as every suspicious activity leads the local police back to them. ... (read more)

back to top

On the March

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Adventures of the Ninth Legion of Rome, Book 1: The Sacrifice
by Hurley D. Mahan
Westwood Books Publishing LLC


"The forces around the stones were charged during solstice times...especially when the moon was full...There had been stories of the disappearance of things...and appearances."

In this historical fantasy, time travel occurs from Britannia in Roman times to twentieth-century England during World War II. The Ninth Legion―with its commander, centurions, and soldiers―must switch from fighting the early Scottish Picts to join the battle against Hitler’s Germans who are attempting to invade England by air and sea. ... (read more)

back to top

Chicano Rising

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Chicano Homeland: The Movement in East Los Angeles for Mexican American Power, Justice, and Equality
by Louis R. Negrete
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform


"...[activists] left a proud legacy of Chicano collective anger at injustice, boosted cultural identity, and underscored the determination to struggle for social justice."

With current cries about building a wall, this timely book details the history of the Chicano movement that began in the 1950s and continued through the mid-1970s. Early Chicano activists were among the first anti-war protestors since Vietnam death records for Chicano soldiers were considerably higher than their "Gringo" (white) officers. Calling themselves the Bronze nation, the activists aligned with national racism groups against prejudice toward all colors. During these twenty years, Chicanos added many groups to their “enemy list.” Due to various provocations, the list has included churches, the law, politics, and government officials―both Democrats and Republicans. When activists used non-passive methods, the police were added to the list and, eventually, immigration authorities for attempts to deport undocumented migrant workers. ... (read more)

back to top

An Intrepid Storyteller

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Cognition
by Jacques St-Malo
Ballista Press


"How can a clock tick if time itself doesn’t know in which direction to flow?"

How does one explore scientific, philosophical, cultural, and moral questions without wading laboriously through the muck of debate and diatribe? If you’re this author, you weave it all into a tapestry of good old-fashioned adventure. Nothing takes complicated intellectual queries and injects them with pulse-pounding energy quite like a rousing thriller—which this novel certainly is. ... (read more)

back to top

A Spiritual Journey

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Power of Love: A Transformed Heart Changes the World
by Fran Grace
Inner Pathway Publishing


"Love has a healing effect on body and mind because the energy of the heart is more powerful than mental and physical systems."

This lengthy, semi-autobiographical tome introduces us to the author and her mentor and teacher, David R. Hawkins, who greatly impacted her view of spirituality. Readers will also meet a multitude of people, both contemporary and historical, whose lives give testimony to the book’s thesis: love is a powerful and transformative force that transcends barriers of hate and loss. It even overcomes the dogmatism and bias prevalent in many religious sects. ... (read more)

back to top

A Bad Marriage

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Red Flags Matter: I Was His Crooked Hillary, Weak Obama, and Fake News
by Marie Shukaitis
Westwood Books Publishing LLC


"If one has narcissistic personality disorder, they may come across as conceited, boastful, arrogant or pretentious."

After more than twenty years of marriage to a man who was eventually diagnosed as having narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), the author has composed a book about her harrowing experiences. She and Dennis had one date during which she learned that he had custody of three children, had read many of the same books she had, and wanted to see her again. On their second meeting, she agreed to marry him. Almost immediately she had the first strong “red flag” clue as to his personality dysfunction when he brought nine books on their five-day honeymoon and during those five days met her only for meals and at bedtime. ... (read more)

back to top

Life Details

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Lost Without Him
by Carol Scutt
Xlibris


"We fell in love with each other all over again. We were so happy together."

Retelling the story of her relationship and marriage with the love of her life, the author of this story recalls and presents an autobiography packed with fond memories and plenty of hardship. After a childhood with an alcoholic father and stretches of intense poverty, Carol eventually meets the man she will marry while working at a Kroger’s in Indiana. Shortly after tying the knot, Paul, her husband, is drafted to serve in Vietnam. For more than a year, the couple had to be separated due to war, but their love and faith kept them together, even as more hard times awaited them upon Paul’s return. Through creating a family, success at work, the looming possibility of potential divorce, and both health and family issues, Paul and Carol’s love passed all tests up until Paul’s passing in 2016. ... (read more)

back to top

Being Aware

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Mindful Philosophy
by Michael J. Snow
AuthorHouse UK


"Notice, when the mind is quiet, how you feel. Just observe. Let the senses play as they will, but without interference from the mind."

An incredible work into mindfulness, philosophy, and mindful philosophy, the book examines the principle of non-duality, an acceptance of the dialectical (both/and) instead of the duality of either/or. It examines the four precepts for non-dual philosophy which then leads the reader through a number of religions/philosophies/psychologies, as well as science, to relate the unity within these beliefs and traditions. By exploring Christianity, the works of Plato and Socrates, Gnosticism, Sufism, Buddhism, Taoism, Advaita Vedanta, indigenous traditions, the Transcendentalists, and the Perennial Philosophy (as well as others) the reader is given significant information that reveals the underlying principle of the Divine and divinity. The examination of our psychologies with people such as Carl Jung and Ken Wilber along with scientific evidence reveals the necessity of focusing on mindful practice in order to help us to grow as humans into the wealth of the spirituality that engulfs us. ... (read more)

back to top

The Rock'n'Roll Life

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Leon Lewis Band
by L. M. Levin
iUniverse


"Music is the only thing we know. Music is our lives. We do it because we must. That’s just the way it is."

Childhood friends Jackie and Lee form The Leon Lewis Band in the 1960s out of a common love and talent for all things musical. They find great success in the studio and on the stage with songs that capture the social and political upheaval of the times. They also forge lasting friendships and familial bonds with band members and an entourage of fans and acolytes. Levin chronicles the lives of these musicians with this first-person account narrated by founding member Jackie Klein, a Brooklyn boy who leaves his chaotic but lively neighborhood behind for a life on the road with his beloved band. Historical detail and a cast of characters combine to tell this story of music, love, politics, and friendship. ... (read more)

back to top

Marriage Ministry

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Preparing for Marriage: A Paradigm Shift
by Kunle and Wumi Ajayi
AuthorHouse UK


"This book addresses preparation for marriage well before it is time to say ‘I do.’"

The Ajayis are a married couple and also medical professionals who believe that marriage, like the practice of medicine, requires careful and thorough preparation. Many marriages fail for lack of adequate prior understanding of the requirements of that time-honored institution. While in college, Kunle attended marriage seminars based on Christian principles, and he and Wumi were later led to practice marriage ministry. They strongly emphasize keeping God as a focus in marriage. One’s youth, they state, is the best time to begin preparing for marriage. Start by asking yourself what you expect from marriage, what is its purpose, and what you want in a spouse. Remember that you must turn from childhood relationships when you marry. Train yourself through books, seminars, mentoring, and prayer. Above all, as in other aspects of life, pursue excellence in your married relationship. ... (read more)

back to top

Rising Prose

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Rise and Shine: Fire Child
by Veronica Red
Xlibris AU


"Showing the world what I have proudly learned and so truly love."

With the use of resplendent colors from the opening pages, the illustrations by Raquel Rodriguez represent hope and the opportunity to explore one’s passion and nature. For children, the energy and optimism that flows through Red’s writing are infectious. Whether it’s pursuing one’s creativity in music or dance or performing on stage in front of an audience, the collaborators of this work help younger audiences overcome initial fears and move forward boldly in the direction of their aspirations and interests. ... (read more)

back to top

New Kid

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Little Brown Bear
by Judy Anne
Xlibris AU


"Then Little Brown Bear reminded them all that just because someone was different didn’t mean they were not nice."

The Brown Bear Family moves into a village where only yellow bears live, and Little Brown Bear starts at the village school. The students look at him strangely and refuse to play with him. The school’s lights go out, and Little Brown Bear tells another student that he likes playing ball, doing puzzles, and drawing. The other bear agrees that he also likes doing those things, so he asks Little Brown Bear to be his friend. The friend tells Little Brown Bear that even though they look different, they still like the same things. The next day, a family of white bears moves in, and Little White Bear starts at the school. The students look at him funny, and Little Brown Bear reminds them that just because the new student is different does not mean he is not nice. From that day on, each new bear is accepted. ... (read more)

back to top

Aboriginal Culture

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Native Companions: Dreamtime Mysteries
by Jenni Barnett
Xlibris


"Rex needed to know more about his unwritten history: something he could not learn from anyone else."

Rex Graham is an Australian anthropology student working on his thesis about pre-European Aboriginal culture and history—his history. After the death of his beloved grandmother, Rex takes a walkabout to Yaraan Grove, searching for inspiration and knowledge. Resting under Gran Yan, a sacred Aboriginal tree, Rex enters his own Dreamtime as the ancient tree begins to recount the various legends of the Booran tribe. ... (read more)

back to top

Big Solutions

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Byzantine Pineapple (Part 1) with Corporation X
by Bill Poje
Xlibris


"Those inside the Byzantine pineapple gain, and those outside lose out. And whether morally right or wrong, it is all legal!"

Anybody fed up with modern society has heard or repeated the classic axioms about the rich getting richer, the middle class attacking the lower class for using their tax money to sustain themselves, and how the system is designed to protect special interests while turning a blind eye to the everyman. In this book, the author approaches these issues head-on, proposing the demolition of needs-based systems in favor of blanket coverage for all people, so that anybody who needs healthcare (not health insurance) or a place to call home is covered. Additionally, a direct formula to make a flat tax rate possible is included, replacing the labyrinthine tax laws and loopholes with a simple formula of addition that explains how every dollar and cent is allocated. The ideas might seem radical or drastic to some, but big problems take big solutions. ... (read more)

back to top

Failing

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Silent Cries of a Military Wife
by Myla Silence
Xlibris


"Everything I was feeling brought me back to the pain in my childhood."

This book is like an eye-popping punch to the gut. The author is brutally honest about neglect and abuse and how the cycle repeats itself. If you never quite understood it before, you will sympathize and comprehend it better by the end of this autobiography. ... (read more)

back to top

The US Review of Books is dedicated to fair and honest coverage for all books. We are a leading book review site, often visited for professional book reviews examples.