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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.

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The Best-Ever Adventure
by Eric Artisan
Eric Artisan Books


"Their kingdom was the most wonderful place and they had everything their hearts desired."

A young prince and princess live in an ideal world where they can do as they please, and everything they do pleases them. However, soon they begin to feel a longing to experience “everything.” They consult the wizard, who asks them if they are sure they want to undertake such an adventure, cautioning them that in order to experience everything, they must go through the bad as well as the good. The two don’t even know what the word “bad” means and take “good” for granted, but the mixture somehow sounds exciting. The old wizard mixes a potion for them to drink, advising them to act like ordinary people as they confront the new land. Soon they are on a little boat and travel to separate places and live different lives. ... (read more)

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Mormon Trials

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Way to the Shining City: A Story of the Early Mormons in Missouri and Nauvoo, Illinois
by Elaine Stienon
AuthorHouse


"He said the time had come when men of high reputation in the sight of God could take extra wives..."

Gabriel Romain is a young doctor among the Mormons who began relocating to the city of "Far West," Missouri, taking refuge after the church's financial speculations in Kirtland, Ohio, had failed. By 1838 there were more than four thousand Mormons in Far West. This novel joins Gabe and his sister Marie, escaped slave Eb, his friend Nathaniel, and others as they re-orient themselves in this new place. Tension builds again between believers and other Missouri citizens, culminating in Governor Boggs's infamous "exterminating order" after mustering 2,500 militia troops to put down the "Mormon rebellion." Joseph and Hyrum Smith negotiated a surrender by October of 1838, and the body of believers once again forfeited their property and rights to gain safe passage to Illinois. Most of the novel concerns Gabriel's wedding to Bethia, who seems to suffer from depression, and his encounter with the rapidly changing circumstances of life in Nauvoo, Illinois. ... (read more)

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His Abiding Love

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I Am Yours and You Are Mine, God’s Love
by Rev. Kelvin McKisic
Go to Publish


"Love is both an attribute of God and a description of his being."

Minister and author McKisic presents a guide to understanding love in its ultimate sense: that of God for his human creation. His love was evident when, after the disobedience of man in the Garden of Eden, God took the slow but sure steps to create and offer his son to the world, giving us, McKisic says, "an out from the effect of sin." God had already fashioned a beautiful natural world from which food and water and beauty could be gleaned. The author allows the reader to follow the progression of God's chosen people as they were oppressed in Egypt, then led out of that domination and into the land of milk and honey. Moses was selected as the leader of the Israelites, assigned by an appearance of God in a burning bush. Moses felt unworthy and unequal to this huge task. But at every juncture in this journey, Moses would see that God's love provides. God arranged that the chosen people would have sufficient wealth when they left Egypt. They were also guided by a pillar of fire by night, given a rain of manna each day, and the staff of Moses to purify water for their drinking. ... (read more)

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Liberation From Self

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Art of Forgiveness: A Promise of Peace
by Carolyn CJ Jones
Gate Lady Publishing


"It’s as if someone was saying, because you don’t understand something, have a question, or need a hand, you’re defective for some reason."

Demonstrating the dichotomy between a life lived in two entirely different worlds, Jones holds nothing back in describing her own journey and providing a pathway for others to achieve the same level of peace. At its core, the narrative is an opportunity to experience authentic introspection and tackle heavy topics like anger and resentment head-on. ... (read more)

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Sincerity

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Beyond Death: Continuing Stories in the Afterlife
by Sally Muir
Outskirts Press


"What I call my ‘voice’ is telepathically communicated guidance from a source that loves, guides, educates, comforts, and blesses me."

Just before and immediately after her good friend Ninette passed away at age ninety, author and spiritual seeress Muir began receiving messages from her that became the basis for this fascinating vision of life after death. Ninette, like Muir, had been drawn to study at the Sancta Sophia Seminary and become an ordained minister through that pathway. For nearly a year, Muir heard and transcribed Ninette's sage counsel, described in scrupulous detail from that realm known to some as the Other Side. ... (read more)

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Fun & Delightful

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Five Mile Charlie: A Special Pony for Carly
by Kimberly Adams
Mascot Books


"As Charlie settled into his new life on Five Mile Farm, he became known for taking care of the other animals in the meadow."

On an idyllic country farm lives an adorable little girl named Carly. Her life in this delightful world of animal companions and days spent playing in the sunshine with baby animals are close to perfect. According to her, the only thing missing is a pony. Word gets around to all the creatures in the surrounding area that Carly is pining for a pony. The Queen Bee, Nora, decides to grant the girl's wish. Her best scout bee, Journey, finds a "pony" that is a bit unusual. Once Carly discovers the new creature in her pasture, she falls in love with him instantly. She does not care that Charlie is a llama and not a pony. The two become fast friends and begin the first of many adventures together. The animals also enjoy Charlie's company, and he feels protective of them. ... (read more)

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True Thought

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Wisdom of the Men
by Clint Arthur
Wharton MBA Books


"Everyone wants home runs. No one wants to do the work."

One of the great aspects of the modern age is that it is now easier than ever for promising authors to share their stories, and some of their tales really need to be shared and discovered. This engaging book is one such offering. It is told by a talented and earnest storyteller who has managed through a tenacious drive to propel himself towards success. Along the way, he formed a compelling recipe for personal achievement and collected anecdotes from a laundry list of famed celebrities. ... (read more)

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Social Scene

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Cromby's Axiom
by Gary J. Kirchner
FriesenPress


"He was an outsider, looking at the world dully, as if through bad optics, as if it were black and white when it should have been brilliant colour."

Kirchner paints a bleak, highly controversial picture of humanity's future in his debut novel that is reminiscent of other dystopian masterpieces like The Matrix. Kirchner places the reader in the mind of its protagonist, Tommy (or "TeePee" as his raving fan base calls him), to ponder whether privacy and independence are more important than a constant connection with others on a level that is beyond words. Like The Matrix's Neo, Tommy is metaphorically "unplugged" from the technological world he has been rooted in and forced to make a difficult choice: join a band of independent thinkers, known as the Ketchen, who dream of a revolution that will free the minds of all, or re-integrate himself back into the Hive, to be embraced by the love and adoration of eight million people. ... (read more)

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Redemption

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King of Tennessee
by David Alan Shorts
LifeRich Publishing


"I’m not a looter; I’m a squatter. I didn’t want to grab stuff and go; I wanted to grab stuff and stay."

Stewart Rainquest has always been a handful in school and with his grandmother. With a father who died serving in Afghanistan and an addict mother in and out of prison, his life is by no means idyllic. However, he chooses to process this pain by lashing out as a bully and a constant troublemaker. While being driven home by his granmother after being suspended from school and threatened with expulsion, Stewart is only thinking about how to turn his discipline on its head and enjoy the time off school when the unthinkable happens. A flash of light in the sky is followed by the mysterious disappearance of his grandmother and countless other people. In the blink of an eye, life has completely changed for Stewart, who now has to rely on his wits and skills to survive on his own. ... (read more)

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Humor & Soul

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Spirituality for Badasses
by J. Stewart Dixon
PIE Publishing


"There’s a lot we know. But there’s a hell of a lot more we don’t know. Mystery is badass."

Fundamentally, everyone wants the same things: to be happy, understand life and their role in the grand scheme of things, and achieve inner peace. Enough books have been written on the subject to fill an entire library on their own. Yet, for many, the slow, soft, passive approach to attaining a higher level of awareness is completely ineffective. The author of this book prefers a higher gear when it comes to growth in spirituality. Achieving mindfulness through the plan laid out in this book involves a cross-country road trip, an iguana, a biker bar, white water rafting, and one of the fastest roller coasters around. There's still plenty of inward glancing, deep tissue massage, and meditation to calm the mind, but this book sets out to prove once and for all that you don't have to be a badass to make sense of the universe. But it helps. ... (read more)

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Delicious Pursuit

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Chocolate Runs Through My Veins: The Insightful History of the Women of Chocolate
by Connie Spenuzza, M.S. ED.
Libros Publishing


"The first Spanish chroniclers found the Mesoamerican-style chocolate beverage offensive."

In this exploration of chocolate and the role of women in its production, readers find an engaging read that spans history and cultures. The book immediately acknowledges that "eaten in its many chocolate forms, it is the most popular sweet treat in the world." More significantly, the book becomes a memoir, detailing the author's life and experience with chocolate's long and important history. It is an elegant unveiling of the women linked to Central America's chocolate history. Intriguingly, many women were "accused of sorcery because of their knowledge of chocolate and natural healing," and others were "branded and imprisoned for their chocolate larceny." The book also removes the sweet spotlight from Europe and places it on countries like Ecuador. Additionally, the book sheds light on not only the historical injustices the chocolate trade placed on women but also the ones the modern chocolate industry places on children. ... (read more)

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The Genetic Engineering Question

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The New Eugenics: Modifying Biological Life in the Twenty-First Century
by Conrad B. Quintyn, Ph.D.
Archway Publishing


"There has been a long-standing belief in human civilization that technology can solve any problem that arises."

The term "eugenics" harks back to an earlier era when it was deemed medically and scientifically appropriate to modify or eliminate people—whether adult or embryo—who were considered mentally or physically less-than-perfect specimens. The "new eugenics," controlled by determined scientists whose limitations are few, can have equally powerful if more subtle implications. It involves, Quintyn asserts, "modifying nonhumans to benefit homo sapiens." The chemical engineering of plants and producing genetically altered pigs, monkeys, and other animals are examples of potentially useful areas of study, but all carry dangers, many as yet unknown. Transgenic animals have been developed to be disease resistant or less environmentally harmful, but in the course of evolution, what will their impact be? Should society produce smarter, taller people? Should certain traits, such as homosexuality, be suppressed? The salient question Quintyn raises is: what are, or should be, the limits of such scientific exploration? ... (read more)

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Wide Cast of Characters

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Foresight
by Monique Gliozzi
Tellwell Talent


"Isabella hummed gently to her brother younger by five minutes, to soothe him and encourage him to hold on until help arrived. Help would come. It had to."

Orphaned as children by an earthquake, Isabella and her twin brother, Marco, are adopted into a wealthy family in California. Since hitting her head during the earthquake, Isabella has been able to see visions, even going so far as to see the spirits of her parents the day they died as they bid her farewell. Disturbed by the strangeness and unbelievability of her foresight, Isabella keeps the tingling feeling and the reason for why she gets her headaches a secret. ... (read more)

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Riveting

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Unconventional: A Memoir of Entrepreneurism, Politics, and Pot
by Jamie Andrea Garzot
Girl Friday Books


"I saw the potential to create a store that was different, that did not have the ‘stoner’ customer at its center but instead embraced all customers."

Scores of inspirational, entrepreneurial memoirs are appealing, but few are quite so riveting as this title. With humor and the same point-by-point fastidiousness displayed in developing her pioneering cannabis dispensaries, Garzot outlines her entry and ascendency into an industry in which she originally had no interest. Never a consumer of cannabis, Garzot's life took an unexpected turn when she sought relief for insomnia and discovered that a single cannabis edible brought her a full night's rest. From there, she became a pioneer in the virtually unregulated California market that, even after many years of regulation, still has many peculiarities. Dispensaries still engage in cash-only transactions because most banks don't allow accounts for dispensaries, a situation created by the federal status of "pot." ... (read more)

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Faith

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Starlight in the Dawn: The poetic priestess who chose to fight
by Naveen Sridhar
KDP Amazon


"Fate and faith are like friends who fail. Yet Enheduanna remained faithful to her faith, her only friend."

Set on the banks of the Euphrates in 2286 BCE, Sridhar's narrative is driven by compelling worldbuilding and character development. While the novel revolves around Enheduanna, the high priestess of the Temple of Ur, each character has a well-developed backstory that is instrumental to bringing the intricate system of government, politics, and power (and often the abuses of each) to life. Through the narrative, audiences will gain exposure to age-old questions such as the constant clash between church and state. ... (read more)

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Unforgettable Story

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Eban and the Dolphins
by Carolyn Davis


"I think that he could be a leader—perhaps a liaison between us and humans."

Lost and adrift in the foster care system, Eban retreats to the ocean, where he is drawn to a pod of bottlenose dolphins that he discovers swimming near his coastal town. Initially, he connects to the patterns of sounds coming from the dolphins. As he spends more time with the pod, he begins to see these amazing animals as the family that has eluded him all his life. In a lovely twist on the coming-of-age tale, Eban joins the pod of dolphins and escapes into a world he chooses rather than remain to suffer in the human world that leaves him sad and disconnected. Growing up with the dolphins as his family, Eban becomes a beautiful bridge and healing force for animals and humans. With a deep knowledge of the oceans and the needs of dolphins, Eban is able to channel his experience into environmental activism, and his life becomes an inspirational call to action for all young people. ... (read more)

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Epic Clashes

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Asim’s Extraordinary Journeys Book 1
by Tommy Lee Davis
Stratton Press


"Everyone chose to give their lives for this purpose."

An army arrives in a quiet, peaceful village. It unleashes destruction and sorrow as the soldiers kidnap the male children, murder many of the villagers, and leave an inferno burning in their wake. This heinous act of violence sets the surviving men of the village on a quest to rescue the children from the king's heavily guarded castle. As they embark on their journey, they first seek the help of the warrior Asim, who will bring battle-hardened skills to the villagers. While the rescue at the castle is the ultimate noble aim of their quest, along the way the avengers will clash with combative creatures and beasts and will encounter a punishing landscape. They will also recruit willing allies who will join the noble cause to save the kidnapped children. ... (read more)

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Deeply Moving

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In the Shadow of an Eagle
by James Safreno
Goldtouch Press


"This park, that I am trying to create, I want it so beautiful I wish it to come near to the Garden of Eden."

In this novel, Safreno moves the saga of the York family forward to the 1960s. James York, a direct descendant of Soaring Eagle with Many Coups, is in high school. From the start, he seems to have much in common with his extraordinary ancestor. However, his life is not adventurous and exciting. He is a lackluster student, a mediocre athlete, and seems to have little direction. ... (read more)

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Straightforward

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Time Force
by Pedro Wilson
Page Publishing


"It was too late. The villagers came out jumping with arrows, spears, and with tomahawk-like-handled weapons, attacking McDermitt’s small group…"

Lance Johanneson is only nine years old when he has a conversation with his grandpa about the strange lights in the sky during a storm and the particular pattern of thunder he hears. His grandpa shares a similar experience he had when he was younger and tells Lance a secret. When the storm and thunder ring out again, Lance can only watch as his grandpa drives into it and out of his life. Meanwhile, Peabo Bondsmith's brilliant mind sets him apart early in his life. He doesn't fit in with the other kids but begins making plans for his future early. ... (read more)

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Transformational

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Crossing the Digital Faultline
by Sri Manchala
ForbesBooks


"As our data predicts, some 30—40 percent of companies across industries will not survive the onslaught of digitalization."

Sweeping foundational changes brought about by digitalization over roughly twenty-five years have affected nearly every business industry and government to the point where today every board member, CEO, and business and IT leader find themselves "on the fault line of this earthquake of change," writes Manchala. Data shows that the ever-accelerating digital transformation trends—which shall only increase exponentially in the coming years—will leave no business in any industry untouched. As the author began to study mass digitalization and its multitude of implications in 2016 through a global transformation study, data from more than five thousand large, small, and medium-sized companies were examined and interpreted, representing "every major business and IT function" from among twenty different industries worldwide. The multifaceted results of this large-scale study have informed the creation of Manchala's detailed and exhaustive monograph. The deeply applied analysis identifies the seminal notion of leadership as the single most significant factor determining success (or lack thereof). ... (read more)

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Overseas Adventure

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Until Death Do You Part: An American Family Meets Their Sicilian Cousins
by Wm. Hovey Smith


"Frank took the gun from Roger, slapped in another magazine, pointed it towards the car, and gave it a burst of bullets. The screams stopped."

The Calase family is going to Sicily to see relatives they have never met. Robert and Nancy, along with Robert's brother William, are taking their children back to where their family came from a generation ago. They are bringing their daughter Mary, who works as a hairdresser downtown with William, and their sons, Frank and Roger. Roger is a failed portrait painter who just broke up with his girlfriend in San Francisco and is heading back to the family home in Louisiana. Frank is a Marine, grounded from flying due to injuries, who has learned while on his way home for leave that his wife filed for divorce. Although the Caleses suspect that the Sicilian branch of the family may be involved in some illegal activities, they don't imagine that they are a major part of the Sicilian mafia. Amidst growing bloodshed, Luigi, also known as the Claw, plans to marry two of the young Sicilian ladies to the American brothers as a show of strength to the other mafia families as well as to get them out of the country and away from bloodshed. And Luigi is not a man to disappoint. ... (read more)

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Espionage

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The Armadea Event
by William Cleve Davidson
Stratton Press


"Only one problem I can think of is that none of us knows anything about spiders, or handling spiders."

While genetic specialist Richard Williams seeks to develop an antitoxin to counteract the poison of the infamous yellow dart frog in an experiment involving nuclear isotopes in Brazil's Amazonian jungle, horticultural bioengineer Audrey Sanders labors at Louisiana State University with her test crop of cotton stimulated to grow naturally colored fibers. Sanders accepts a lucrative job offer from LouGen, a prominent corporate laboratory known for its work in genetic engineering. This firm will reward her richly with a generous salary, patent royalties, and the use of state-of-the-art facilities. ... (read more)

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Well-Paced

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Three Princess Series
by Bobby Cinema


"Robbie tackles Lord Alden to the table and both of them falls down on the floor. Both of them drop their guns."

This book is a collection of three thematically related novellas. Each one involves a princess, in some form or another, and the challenges they face. The first tale features a young Albanian princess living in California. She attends a local high school without letting others know she is a princess. She is a great softball player and a baseball fan, but her life changes when she meets one of her favorite professional ballplayers who seems to have lost his game. The second story is about an English princess whose father owns a large oil company that recently lost its oil. Her father's rival has plans to take over the company and marry the daughter, even if he needs to break the law to do so. However, the princess has other plans and travels to America with an idea to save the family business. The last story follows a young man who lives in New York. He is a librarian and has a fear of open water. His father was a rescue swimmer for the Coast Guard and drowned on a mission when the protagonist was nine. However, when his best friend wins tickets for free swimming lessons and gives them to him, he suddenly comes face to face with his fears and his beautiful swim instructor, an Olympic champion referred to as the Princess of the Water. ... (read more)

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Enlightenment

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The Gifted One
by William D. Hoy
Stratton Press


"Maji still has the Beretta in his hand, and his fingers reflexively squeeze off two rounds."

Andre Roberson is an adventurous young man who spends his time traveling and seeking mental enlightenment as well as physical fitness. Andre's father runs a very successful company that covers Andre's expenses. When news arrives that his father has had a stroke, Andre and his new best friend, Jing Xian, head to San Francisco. They discover that Andre's father is in good health, although there is some stress at the company. The three take the opportunity to go on a camel safari across the Sahara Desert. What begins as a great trip ends in tragedy after a wall collapses, killing Andre's father and paralyzing Andre from the waist down. However, Andre and Jing believe there may be more to the death than just an accident. ... (read more)

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Eye-Opening

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God Answered Me in Tough Times: My First Deaf Missionary Trip to Kenya, Africa in 2006
by Carl Moore
Stratton Press


"Carl Moore is one of the most prolific writers among the deaf community of the Churches of Christ."

Moore is a deaf Black American who does missionary work for the Church of Jesus Christ. When he visits Africa, the deaf children in Kenya touch his heart in a way that transforms him and encourages him. This inspiring true story follows Moore through his travels to a variety of schools for deaf children and churches for the deaf and hearing in the East African nation. The narrative quotes Bible passages to reveal what prayers and scriptures supported the author when he felt fear, anxiety, and uncertainty. Challenges during travel test his faith and challenge him to find courage and strength to overcome adversities. The book also includes photos of the people and places Moore visited. This narrative is as relatable as it is heartwarming. ... (read more)

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Character-Driven

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Unyielding Destiny
by Spiros Gratsias
Hildebrand Books


"Roy Easten was an honorable man, a true hero and leader of men. Frank was a low-life criminal."

Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, the maximum-security prison on an island near San Francisco, is supposedly escape-proof. In 1962, after twenty-eight years of exposure to the island's unforgiving damp, the structure is deteriorating. Inmate Frank Morris, adopted son of New York's Cabineri crime family, is sent to Alcatraz after numerous prison breaks. He is one of three to make a successful escape into the deadly waters of San Francisco Bay. Swimming to freedom, he returns to New York and criminality. But Frank cannot forget Roy Easten, a young lieutenant who died to protect him in the Korean War. At Alcatraz years later, a fleeting encounter with a young visitor wearing Roy's dog tags convinces him his hero has, in a way, found him posthumously. 1978 finds Roy's son, Scott, fighting organized crime as an assistant D.A. Will Frank's gratitude to Roy motivate him to save his son's life and risk the mafia's wrath? ... (read more)

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Attention-Grabber

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My Side of the Bars
by Cleo Dunnit
Stratton Press


"There is definitely something very strange about having a serial killer tell you, 'God bless you.'"

Dunnit shares her daily experiences working as a psychiatric nurse at Sullivan Correctional Facility. Her book is written in the form of diary entries spanning a roughly six-month period. Having worked in a variety of nursing settings, when the opportunity for employment as a "forensic psychiatric nurse" presented itself, Dunnit writes she thought it "might be interesting to study the criminal mind." Indeed, the day-to-day stories of her work inside the maximum-security prison not only maintain high interest throughout the memoir but prove to be equal parts humorous, enlightening, revealing, disappointing, and inspirational. The reader comes to know intimately the corrections officers, fellow nurses, an impossibly horrible boss, and other staff with whom Dunnit works. Also revealed is a plethora of quite colorful inmate patients, who populate the stories rather like a cast of over-the-top characters, confirming the adage that truth can be much stranger than fiction. ... (read more)

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Thinner

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Binge
by Anne Pfeffer
Bold Print Press


"I. Sabrina Hunter, would lose forty pounds by mid-July…"

Sabrina Hunter is driven, creative, and dependable. At twenty-four, she landed a job as an executive assistant to a Hollywood talent agent. However, three years later, she is browbeaten by her unappreciative boss, worried about her troubled sister and her sister's cocaine junkie boyfriend, angry at the mother who abandoned her when she was nine, and… fat! Her chronic overeating started when she took her current job, and now food is her chief comfort in stressful situations. She even keeps a junk food drawer in her desk at work for emotional emergencies. ... (read more)

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Childhood Struggles

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Been There, Done That: Recounts of a Lifetime Journey
by Rachi Ngaine, MSPA, CPA, CGMA
Christian Faith Publishing


"I invite you to ponder the highlights of trials and tribulations that God helped me overcome during the early stages of my 'lifelong journey.'"

Author Ngaine was born in Kenya when it was under the colonial rule of Great Britain, a child of a large family who earned their living and survived through hard work in what would seem to most readers as very deprived conditions. He slept on dirt floors in a grass-thatched hut with no toys, no medicines, and the constant attack of bugs and even rats. Work was the inarguable rule, and as the author humorously notes, obesity was practically unknown. His early task was herding goats. He believes these conditions, along with the Christian influence introduced by missionaries, helped to build strong character. ... (read more)

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After Pearl

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Hula Girls
by Eric B. Miller
Milbrown Press


"When Joe tried to strangle her, she did what any woman would do. She crossed him off her list."

This character-driven novel explores the social and psychological terrain of a gorgeous, American military housewife in Hawaii in the 1940s. Every plot turn is thought-provoking. Mrs. Claudia Wyler transforms significantly. She starts out eager to please her handsome husband, clumsy in her efforts, and apologizing all the time. Meanwhile, U.S. Navy Lieutenant Jack Wyler is having an affair and demands that Claudia be more competent. Though double standards of the era stifle Claudia, she is a sharp judge of character. She is also charming. However, the picture-perfect dream of the little white house in Hawaii is a façade, and the couple struggles to thrive in the hypocritical, pre-war U.S. Navy social scene. ... (read more)

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Moving Story

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Missionary Maverick
by Robert C. Goddard
Stratton Press


"The highest education I know of is to know God's will through His Word and practice it in our daily lives."

Goddard records his remarkable experiences, from farming on a Nebraska homestead to serving more than forty-four years as a missionary in South America. His early years were spent helping on the family farm, being educated in a small local school, and braving the extreme weather conditions that ultimately drove the family to Montana. Goddard, then a teen, worked at various kinds of employment operating machinery and dealing with crops. During the Depression, he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps and was drafted into the U.S. military toward the end of World War II. In Nebraska, he met Helen, the girl of his dreams, and married her as soon as possible. The two had experienced Christian conversion and would ally with a mission service to travel to Paraguay to teach, learn from, and work alongside local tribespeople, planting mission initiatives that still thrive today. ... (read more)

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Spiritual Dedication

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God’s Opportunity: Revised and Expanded Edition
by Hampton Scott Tonk
Stratton Press


"This book is written from the viewpoint that, ultimately, all Christians are historically related to one another, whether we like it or not."

Sincerely believing that all Christians can unite in a worldwide initiative to spread the gospel, author Tonk presents this thoughtful material as a basis for inspiration and study, pointing the way to that hopeful result. The wide-ranging work embarks with the essential question of whether and how God speaks to humankind even now. Tonk has collected numerous prophecies arising from gatherings or conferences of different groups of Christians, prophecies that speak words from God in "our" contemporary language. He examines the meaning of holy scripture and specific beliefs of Protestantism, Eastern Churches, Western Catholicism, and Judaism in scrupulous detail, demonstrating his genuine ecumenical viewpoint. He also opines on such modern "strains" of theology as "Political Correctness" and "Generalized Sexual Confusion." He proposes a "Great and Holy Council" and suggests planning stages and an agenda for this envisioned global event. ... (read more)

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Articulate Guidance

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Make Your Own Job: Anytime, Anywhere, At Any Age
by Wm. Hovey Smith
Stratton Press


"It is best to position yourself in front of the pack and have your newly created job ready to move from hobby status to that of money making business that will insure your and your family’s future."

This generous, comprehensive entrepreneurial guide posits that the modern workplace is a shifting, impermanent, and patently disloyal institution that can lead an unprepared worker to a surprising state of unemployment or underemployment at a moment's notice. Entrepreneurism is the answer here, as a preemptive safety net for savvy workers who recognize the precarious lack of security in working for employers who might downsize, relocate, or lay off workers at any time, leaving employees out of work and, but for a new business venture, lacking the means to maintain financial stability and social, emotional, and physical wellbeing. In short, the message here is to be a skilled, trained, and capable worker and to be prepared to use those skills in one's own business if and when the time comes. ... (read more)

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Stream of Consciousness

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Seven Islands of the Fog
by Thomas Terraforte
Stratton Press


"True knowledge comes from observing life in a way nobody ever has."

There is no disputing that Subsa the City of Weeds, Scio the Island of Knowledge, Tantamount the Island of Merchants, Dragoon the Prehistoric Island, Cat's Wall the Island of Wizards and Humanoid Cats, and Ignis the Island of Fire, all exist in the fog. But does a mythical seventh island also exist? If so, where is it, what is its name, and how does one reach it? It has a reputation as a place where anyone can find one's heart's desire. If it is real, it will bring absolute and perfect joy to all who visit. Representatives from each known island band together and, using submarines and magical birds called whirlies, set out for that elusive destination, seeking their heart's desires according to what their respective cultures have taught them to value. Will individual pursuits of so many ideas of what constitutes perfect joy destroy the cooperation they have forged? ... (read more)

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Brave Front

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

A Conspiracy of Silence: Franklin D. Roosevelt Impact on History
by Harry S. Goldsmith
Stratton Press


"FDR was the political glue that held the various factions together within the Democratic Party."

Most people who contract polio fall sick before the age of five. Yet one of the most famous polio sufferers, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, enjoyed vigorous health until he was thirty-nine. Newly unearthed medical records show he was also experiencing congestive heart failure, soaring blood pressure, and prostate cancer by the time he died in 1945. Given the global volatility during World War II, news that the president was a dying man would have suggested that the United States was vulnerable to attack from Germany. Thus, he was always falsely described as healthy, and all of his medical records were suppressed. By 1985, FDR and most of his inner circle were long dead, so why does a retired medical secretary's law firm refuse to release to her a document containing the truth about his condition? Can the author, a medical historian, prove FDR's deteriorating health directly impacted the war's outcome? ... (read more)

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In Others' Shoes

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Strata Various
by Bruce Bentz
Writers' Branding


"[W]elcome to… our eclectic catchall of subjects that we hope to successfully patch together into a comfortable quilt of usable ideas."

Between jobs and at loose ends about his unraveling marriage, inventor/designer Adam Mann receives an offer from a government agent, Anna Forthright, to lead a workshop for government employees interested in developing a new approach to confronting civic problems of the day. Having read Adam's work, Anna believes he's the man to lead them forward. They plan a five-day workshop in DC. While successful in producing viable solutions, both for Adam and America, the workshop also presents new challenges. ... (read more)

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True Love

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Common Threads II
by L.A. Champagne
iUniverse


"She wanted Liz and Joe to see what the four witnesses, now saw: Beauty, love, and truth."

In postwar America, the news that a young married couple is expecting their first child usually delights everyone who hears it. Most such announcements open doors of potential new homes wide and serve as the foundation of new friendships. In the South, however, most couples belong to the same race. That isn't true for Joe and Liz Allen. Joe is black, and Liz is white. In their native Canada, this is tolerated, but in the Deep South, miscegenation is illegal. An international drive to Joe's new job in Mississippi first introduces them to longstanding generalized racism. ... (read more)

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Sock Excursions

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Pookie and Her Polka-Dotted Socks
by Jo Burns
URLink Print and Media


"Sunday is a rest day for Pookie; but all she can think about are Her polka-dotted socks."

This simple story for very young children follows Pookie, a young girl who loves her polka-dotted socks. Every day, Pookie wears a different color of these socks on her daily adventures. The book takes the reader through each day with the illustrations not only of Pookie and her socks but on a variety of excursions such as swimming with an octopus, exploring outer space, or hanging out with bears and apes. The storyline is repeated through seven days regarding her thinking about her socks while struggling with an underlying message that goes beyond just wanting to wear something warm and colorful on her feet. These lines repeat the phrase, "On (a specific day of the week) Pookie Loves wearing her (insert color) Polka-dotted socks." After her many exciting experiences throughout the week, the quote above (which closes the book) comes across as quite ironic. ... (read more)

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Dynamic Characters

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Soaring Eagle with Many Coups
by James Safreno
Goldtouch Press


"He nodded and turned around to leave when I added, 'I feel I am a person who has no place in this world, not St. Louis in the white world, not the Shoshone village and not here.'"

This story is the incredible life journey of Jack York as he relates it to his grandchildren. He vividly describes his boyhood during the 1800s in the wild, surviving on his own and being adopted by the clan of the Mandan. His new family provides the love and safety he needs. Jack's numerous adventures cross over territories and cultures. He learns important lessons from being observant of people and his natural surroundings. Trusting in himself and his abilities is easy. However, trusting in others is his biggest hurdle. His stories of hunting, fighting his enemies, and living with the Native Americans keep the grandchildren glued to his side. The adventures ignite their imaginations while he weaves in lessons about love, friendship, and the meaning of life. Jack's fortitude and intelligence drive him through tragedy and hardship. His life's journey has many turns and twists as he navigates living in several cultures and being fully engaged in both sides of his family. ... (read more)

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Personal, Yet Spiritual

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Holy Exchange
by Penny McCoy
Stratton Press


"Do my children know their eyes
Are the lamp of their soul
Will they exchange their sight
Blinded by the world"

Over twenty years ago, the author of this book experienced a vision that would see power taken from the powerful and corrupt and given to the righteous and godly to create a more heavenly kingdom here on Earth. Describing the various ways in which humanity around the world has strayed from the path, the vision given to her by God is outlined, showing how and to whom resources and glory will be received. Containing original prose, biblical verses, and lyrical, poetic segments, the format and structure of the book change to best illustrate the plan for this monumental societal change. ... (read more)

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Satanic Forces

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Walking with Demons
by Jane Dolynski
GoToPublish


"Yes, my life became a living walking hell with demon people."

Author Dolynski faced extreme adversity and, through it, became more spiritually guided. Her account of the many threads of personal agony and triumph begins when, having a full-time job in a department store, divorced, and living on her own, she is compelled inwardly to apply for part-time work at a new store. She falls in love with the manager, though that feeling is never openly declared. She senses his presence inwardly as he begins to "live" with her at home. But at work, he is tempted and won away by a wicked co-worker whom she comes to identify, along with others at the store, as "demons" who steal from the company and cruelly taunt her. This hateful treatment continues to pervade her work life with workmates dressing in red and making obscene gestures and postures in her presence. However, she will find love in her later years and gain strength and encouragement to combat the demons that have so often beset her through her Christian faith. ... (read more)

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Dog Tales

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Peaches and Jake and 19 Cobras: Oh, My!
by Paula Bailey
Xlibris


"Jake is on duty in the living room. He stays pretty close to the front door so that he can see everything."

Peaches and Jake are rescue dogs and starring in their second book. They are always on the lookout for the "19 Cobras" and their relatives, the "Delta Very Aunts." The author uses these wordplays to have the dogs talk about the Covid virus and basic practices people can use to stay safe. Also, the playful dogs have their own adventures. They can be mischievous and end up in doggie jail, help their owner bring in the mail and earn treats, or even take trips in the RV and pretend they are driving. The dogs are quite upbeat characters and enjoy their days. They have expressive faces, and their hijinks are accompanied by photos of them in action. ... (read more)

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Pursuing Purpose

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Those Who Made a Difference, Book 2
by Terry Bosgra
Writers' Branding


"He had difficulty functioning in a traditional classroom, resisted authority figures and was eventually suspended; in school he was a little terror."

For the countless individuals who are in a never-ending search for inspiration, Bosgra's compilation of difference makers that left an indelible mark on the world is a highly informative read. Through comprehensive research and dedication, the author has compiled two entire volumes highlighting the world's shining stars, past and present. In many ways, the author's work is like Blinkist for the encyclopedia: the essence of each contributor is encapsulated within a page, giving readers the spark they need while leaving the door wide open for audiences to dig even deeper into the individual's life. ... (read more)

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Intriguing Premise

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Quantum Life: There Is a Better Way to Live
by Dr. M. Teri Daunter
Balboa Press


"And if Spirit is Infinite, then there cannot be a place the Spirit is not."

This fascinating book examines the idea of the Quantum Life—a way of approaching life that empowers one to realize that the true purpose of life is to be an active creator in a universe that is both conscious and connected. In fact, consciousness is at the center of what is known as the Quantum Life. The book's introduction describes this belief as presenting an "inherent psychology of Consciousness." ... (read more)

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Caregiving

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Finished Business
by Donald Gallehr
URLink Print & Media


"This middle ground is the new frontier where traditional and alternative medicine work together as partners, not competitors..."

This is a touching memoir of a husband who cared for his dying wife while she lived with brain cancer. It is honest and engrossing and can help with end-of-life questions and conversations. The last year of Diana's life involved medical treatments, blindness, and a state of being bedridden. Nonetheless, her experience inspired her husband and gave him a sense of the meaning of life. ... (read more)

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Crisis

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Lethal Elixir
by Dennis Ross
Archway Publishing


"'I hope this treatment helps. Let’s pray we don’t see others showing up in the emergency room tonight or tomorrow with Ebola.'"

When a hospital lab technician falls deathly ill from what is suspected to be the Ebola virus, Dr. Maggie Hamilton is called in as the resident infectious disease specialist. However, it soon becomes apparent that the afflicted man has not left the country and seemingly hasn't made contact with anyone who may have given him the deadly virus. So how did he get sick? The worst-case scenario proves to be true as FBI agent Mack Johnson is assigned the case of a suspected bio-terrorist attack. A network of Chinese nationalist spies is indeed concocting a more virulent strain of Ebola with the intent of releasing it at key government locations and crippling the U.S. before it can establish a means to prevent such attacks. Will Maggie and Mack uncover the plot before it's too far gone to rein in? ... (read more)

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Reflections

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

From Dusk to Dawn: The Vicissitudes of Life
by Henry Krauss
Xlibris


"Where did my energy go? I climbed mountains
ran with the wind-climbed the great oak.
Now it’s hard to walk, climb steps."

Filled with scintillating imagery that captures the vivid shades of Mother Nature, Krauss' poetry encapsulates life's ups and downs from the prism of the landscape. The weakening and melting of snow, as well as the sweltering burn of the sun, are particularly prevalent to magnify and mirror one's monumental life events on both sides of the spectrum, ranging from the euphoria of love to the devastation of cancer. ... (read more)

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Magic

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

A Poetic Spanking: Three Books in One
by Anthony Toomer
Archway Publishing


"When Jesus graced these grounds
He had plenty of things to do.
He had to save me,
And he had to save you."

Readers find verses of praise, exultation, advice, politics, race, and romance in this poetic triptych. Toomer's three-book compilation opens with Say His Name, a personal, spiritual journey that states that "the gate to destruction / Is wide and vast." Readers also learn how "A thank you is given for each day of peace and no sorrow" and how that simple act can make all the difference. Centering the work is the second book, Loving You. It reminds one that "Life without love / Is a woeful experience" and how "True love will have you singing too." The emotional Can You Feel Me Now? closes the trilogy. Here, readers enter a divisive America, where "Even God has tears in his eyes." As violence and racism unfold, readers learn that "For as long as God / Continues to be left out / No healing shall come about." Nonetheless, the book's epilogue offers hope for a better tomorrow. ... (read more)

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The Dark Side

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Virus
by J. E. Stock
Xlibris


"The government is rapidly leaning into the lessons it learned from the SARS outbreak of 2002-2004, and which proved highly effective during the COVID-19 pandemic."

Dr. Michael Gates, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in 2025, raises with his supervisor the idea of function research on influenza viruses but to no avail. He thinks the threat these now pose will be worse than COVID-19. Across town, FBI and Secret Service agents discuss social credit scores and conspiracy theories. Gates calls the Chinese ambassador who funds the research. ... (read more)

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Broad Scope

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Code Name: Zeus: A Geo-Political Saga
by Gary Andersen
Stratton Press


"I worry about my son and daughters. They are still young and quite adaptable, but this would be a tectonic shift for my family."

Kursk, Texas, is the setting for this story of tough immigrants, their loyalties to capitalism, and, at times, ambiguous loyalties to one another. They cope with hostile forces, as well as unique potential, during the twentieth century. Russian immigrant Robert Barzinsky and his junior partner, the savvy and tough Jack Barnett, develop a secret project. ... (read more)

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Perserverance

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Fluttering Leaves and the Fighter Pilot
by Colonel William D. Garner, PH.D.
Xlibris


"Each of us would be literally stuffed into a small black box, barely shoulder width, less than thirty inches in length and about the same dimension in height. It seemed more like a matchbox."

In this expansive and captivating read, readers follow the story of Bill Garner. His passion for airplanes led him to a United States Air Force career after studying at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After graduating with distinction from his undergraduate pilot training class, the author received various assignments as a jet flight instructor, an F-100 fighter pilot, and as Assistant Professor of Aerospace Studies at the University of Georgia before entering combat. Readers then follow the author through a long combat tour of 241 missions and into retirement. All along the way, the narrative offers inspirational, positive messages about the power of a strong work ethic, dedication, and perseverance. ... (read more)

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Recollections

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Survivor’s Odyssey: From Oppression to Reconciliation
by Richard Weiner
Xlibris


"When did I realize that I was not just another German child, that I was merely tolerated, later reviled, and finally cast out?"

The author's long journeying took him across the globe and into the innermost regions of mind and heart, striving to understand the shattering effects of the Nazi regime on him and his German homeland. As a young child, he had Christian or "Aryan" friends in his Wittenberg neighborhood, not yet grasping his family's social isolation. By age ten, he knew it was "all but mandatory" to greet passersby with "Heil Hitler," as Nazi operatives ensured that Jews obeyed new, onerous regulations. Once, his family's home was invaded by thugs who destroyed their furniture and possessions. Weiner's parents applied for asylum, first in England and finally in the U.S., where immigrants sailing into New York's harbor "dropped to their knees in tears" upon seeing the Statue of Liberty. The author made good use of his U.S. education and military service and has revisited Germany more than once. Though considered fortunate to have escaped the worst Nazi horrors, Weiner spent years grappling with his trauma through psychoanalysis, religious exploration, and finally, forgiveness. ... (read more)

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Well-Written Saga

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Hillingdon Files
by Paul A. Cooper
AuthorHouse


"Dazed, left flat on my back, but very conscious of the overriding smell of butane gas, burning wood, and brick dust, I tried to get a hold on my senses and establish whether I was damaged."

In this international tale regarding kidnapping and ransoms, murder, money laundering, and a syndicate consisting of very dangerous people, the author takes readers through the experiences of DCI Greg Richards, who is attempting to save his police partner and her sister from impending death. His partner, Aleysha, and her sister Maya have been kidnapped. Richards and Kevin (a cousin of the women) chase them around the world, trying to find and save them while they are all working on the case of Hillingdon, an IT worker, who discovered a dangerous computer file that left him in the hospital. Finally finding the two women in Latvia, the men and various police and government agencies try to rescue them and put a drug-running enterprise to death. As the plot thickens, so does the intrigue. ... (read more)

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Confidence

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Solita and the Purple Moon
by Miriam Isabel Elliott
AuthorHouse


"Oh, Purple Moon, I love you! Stay and be my friend. Hold on to my window until it is day again!"

A little girl named Solita lies awake in bed, alone and afraid. The moon appears from behind the clouds, speaking words of comfort through her bedroom window. The moon becomes purple, as that's the color she likes best. Night after night, the moon visits—sometimes appearing in different shapes, sometimes in the company of others. There are nights when the moon doesn't appear at all, and Solita cries herself to sleep. Sometimes it's waxing or waning and invites her into the night sky to travel over sea and land. When Solita returns to her room, the moon leaves to visit and comfort other scared little girls. ... (read more)

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Slavery Revisited

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Slavery 101: Mercer Moments in American History
by Ken Mercer
Westbow Press


"The United Stated may be the only nation on earth to go to a Civil War with the result being the emancipation of slaves."

Author Mercer's study guide offers twenty questions, followed by twenty chapters elucidating the answers. Questions begin with the Declaration of Independence from when it was debated among the colonists. Southern states objected to and managed to expunge clauses stating grievances against the English for bringing slavery to the Thirteen Colonies. Mercer establishes that slavery has existed on earth for more than 8,000 years. However, many people believe it began in America. He reminds readers that Vermont—at the time a republic and where a war was fought and won by those who opposed slavery—abolished the practice in 1777. Remarkably, only five percent of all African slaves were brought to the U.S., begging the question of why other countries are not being cited for reparations. Most Republicans in the American Congress supported voting rights for former slaves, while Democrats largely opposed them. Major Muslim countries didn't officially abolish slavery until the twentieth century. Additionally, the Muslim slave trade, rarely mentioned in schools, targeted both women and whites and affected fifty times more victims than the trade in the U.S. ... (read more)

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Greater Understanding

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Brotherly Love
by Carl Moore
Stratton Press


"Carl had the advantages of not only developing his language skills, but also learning what life is all about."

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the author's childhood was challenging. Black and deaf, he was one of seven children. His mother and two of his siblings were also deaf. However, his family made no allowances for the disability, always stressing oral communication. The boy didn't understand much of what was going on around him. Going to a school for hearing impaired children was a great help, for there he learned speaking and lipreading. But social challenges persisted. His black friends considered him too ambitious, while white children considered him different, even dirty. He warmly credits his brother for acquainting him with Black English and thanks his parents for raising him to be self-disciplined and hard-working. From the age of ten, he took on many jobs. He pursued higher education, gradually becoming a strong advocate for better understanding and conditions for deaf people in ministerial and socially active spheres. He is a lifetime member of the Pennsylvania Society for the Advancement of the Deaf. ... (read more)

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Constant Growth

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Secret to Perfect Living
by Kofi Dwira
GoToPublish


"The second resurrection will be after the period of the millennium of Christ's appearing."

Many are told from a young age the story of the temptation in the garden of Eden. Satan issued suggestions contrary to the directives of God and led Eve and Adam to reject their creator. As the spirit of satanic rebellion inhabited Adam and Eve, the whole human race became corrupted with sin and the default possession of Satan for all generations of humanity. That is where the universal struggle against personal sin and spiritual redemption took root. As this book so carefully lays out, it was that communal and unintentional rejection of the divine that eventually led to the plan of salvation. As the author states, much stems from the example of Jesus and knowledge of his sacrifice. The principles of death manifested in the character of Jesus are the principles of living a perfect life. In this book, one learns the sure way to be like God and, thus, the secret to perfect living. ... (read more)

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The Tale Unfolds

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Hunted
by Monique Gliozzi
Tellwell Talent


"'I’m only saying that just 'cause a woman is pregnant doesn’t mean she can’t still do stuff,' Clara offered. Then she was gone."

In this sequel to Foresight, Gliozzi continues the story of Isabella, a talented detective who has a sixth sense (dreams) that usually helps her solve her cases. However, now the stakes have escalated. Though newly married and pregnant, Isabella has no intention of slowing down, not when Peter Steil—a murderer who killed his parents and twin brother—is on the loose. Even if she has to cross the world to see her duty through, she will do so. ... (read more)

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Military Intrigue

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Arlen's Gun: A Novel of Men At War
by Edgar Doleman
AuthorHouse


"It was as if nothing, absolutely nothing, was out there except wind crying in misery and, somewhere below, unseen, invisible bad guys and good guys, hiding in the jungle, cursing the rain."

One of the military's key unspoken commands is "hurry up and wait." Fortunately, readers don't have to wait long at all to get knee-deep in this insightful and engrossing novel of men in the Vietnam War. While countless words have been written about civilians' and politicians' reactions to the war, perhaps not enough has been chronicled about the men who served—what they saw, how they felt, and whether or not they were able to cope. This book does that by putting readers in the air, on the ground, and most of all, in the thick of things. ... (read more)

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How Animals Survive

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Wildfire: Woodpecker’s Amazing Adventure
by Rita “em” Emery
Page Publishing


"Looking back, nothing can diminish my wonderful stay at the wildlife center."

Woodpecker, content in his natural environment in the Woodland Hills of northwest California, wakes up one morning to find hazy skies and the odor of smoke in the air. Still, he can fly out of his tree home to forage for food as usual with his friends. But the next morning, everything has changed for the worse. His habitat is blackened. Fire is evident and coming closer by the minute. Human firefighters are "trying their best to hold the line" while the flames spread. Woodpecker can barely breathe, stumbling and finally falling from his branch to the ground, gasping for every breath. ... (read more)

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Generosity

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

One Acorn's Journey: The Legend of Angel Oak
by Rhonda S. Edwards
iUniverse


"Will harmony between nature and humankind allow the legend of Angel Oak to continue?"

Angel Oak, the oldest oak tree in North American, started as an acorn hundreds of years ago. This is the story of that one acorn's journey to full growth. According to the legend, this journey was helped by a prayer from a native elder, Hatokwassi. Hatokwassi was a wise Kiawah woman who inhabited the land that is now Johns Island, South Carolina. When she found the acorn, she imagined it could be a tree that would offer shade for Kiawah children, a tree that would provide more acorns. From these acorns, the Kiawah people extracted precious oil. Hatokwassi imagined a tree that could give shelter and sustenance for birds and squirrels. ... (read more)

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Peaceful Meditation

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

On Life’s Terms
by Richard Wanderman, M.D.
Writers' Branding


"The rest is but a reflection
Cast from shadows of
A promise of unfathomable deception"

In this quietly powerful collection, readers find a variety of poems celebrating nature, the self, and ultimately life itself. They take part in quiet moments of observation, where snowflakes fall and reveal the wonder of individuality. One can meditate and discover how solace and the self offer the ultimate refuge from the storm. Other poems encourage readers to embrace their potential and let nature help dictate their life's course. Ultimately, the collection urges people to live life to the fullest and remember that "Life offers a blank page / Neither printed nor written upon / Only you have the pen." ... (read more)

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Coming Storm

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Prelude to War: Bloody Kansas
by Neil Gillis
Xlibris


"'Remember me? You should. I sent two of you bastards to hell and now it’s your turn!'"

Zeke Evers is only thirteen years old when his life is changed forever. He is a simple boy content to work on his family's farm. The world's larger problems seemed far away and not relevant to him. Unfortunately, Zeke lives in Kansas in the mid-nineteenth century, and his father's outspoken views about freeing the slaves make him a target for the Missourian Red Leg militia. When the Red Legs murder Zeke's entire family while he is away at an auction, he settles on revenge as his desired outcome. He murders two of the men responsible immediately before lying low and then signing up with the Kansas Jayhawks to finish the fight. As the Union threatens to crack under the pressure of this crucial issue, Zeke has decided which side of the battle he is on before being fully grown. The only question is whether or not he can survive. ... (read more)

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China Influence

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

War Between US and China
by Winston Langley
Xlibris


"COVID-19 has affected China’s growing influence but not in such a manner as would permanently reverse the development of that influence."

A glance at the day's headlines or viewing of the nightly news often portrays the United States and China as two predators in a cage, slowly circling each other and trying to balance a need to survive with the knowledge that one could easily destroy the other. Much like the Soviet Union during the Cold War, China has been positioned in the Western world as the next great superpower and must disrupt what America enjoys to ascend to power. But this line of thinking extends far beyond today's fiction and propaganda, as even academic texts present war as an inevitable outcome that the two societies draw nearer and nearer to. The author of this book, a professor emeritus of political science and international relations, lays bare the flaws in this thinking and offers a path by which conflict can be entirely avoided through diplomacy and forward-thinking. ... (read more)

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Ethics of Poverty

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Man Who Transformed Africa: The Rebirth of a Continent
by Peter D. Cimini
Halo Publishing International


"Am I talking to a realistic person with a dream or a very naive delusional religious leader?"

A new pope sets out to lift up the impoverished on the entire continent of Africa. That is an incredible and lofty goal, but it is also a successful story plot that Cimini conjures in his epic historical novel. The author's remarkable book lays out what could have been. "You have... authority to do something spectacular... for almost a billion people," pointed out Pope Francis Xavier's secretary, Father Susanto. Readers learn much while fantasizing about saving the world: "At the beginning of World War II, Pope Pius XII established the Vatican Bank for funding charitable services around the world...." ... (read more)

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