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September 2020

Book Reviews

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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 publishe testimonials about the USR.

Recent Reviews

Focus Review

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Recent Book Reviews

 

Focus Review
Book Reviews - US Review of Books

HomoAmerican - The Secret Society
by Michael Dane
Amazon.com Services


"This Secret Society, of which I am a member, is no more visible to me than I am to them."

With the rise of noteworthy novels and biographies from LGBTQ writers such as Paul Lisicky, Noelle Stevenson, Brandon Taylor, and Ocean Vuong, Dane joins the ranks with his hefty, detailed memoir. The reader is invited into Dane’s private, life-long search for identity. With intimate detail, the author reveals a well-traveled, storied life where somewhere along the way he “stopped being a real character,” only recognizing himself in reflections. He examines the painful moments of childhood and his chaotic passage into adulthood. We follow him as he roams among outcasts, immersing himself into an invisible society that is known only to a few. Dane probes the duplexity of visibility and invisibility, like a dancer on stage in front of audiences and an object of desire, yet continuously feeling lonely and invisible. For Dane, he moves through a world of night. He wanders in shadows and “darkness, of passion and pleasure.” ... (read more)

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Featured Book Reviews

 

Light, Fun Mystery

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Orphan Rock
by Bronwyn Rodden
Amazon.com Services


"And for a second, as a moth passed nearby, its wings dusted angelic white glistening in the harsh light, he felt a tiny shaft of hope. Then nothing."

In a mystery regarding the murder of Jack Spandel, a local real estate agent, the book takes us through a variety of potential culprits related to Spandel's death. He had offended others in a variety of ways, both personally and professionally. His body was found close to a high-class restaurant and a local park that served as a gay cruising area, although he supposedly wasn't gay. Along with the possibility of a secret deal regarding mines in the area, a problematic marriage, a difficult teenager, affairs, and the question regarding a Chinese co-worker and the death of another person, Jack's murder is a difficult case. Detective Ros Gordon and others are tasked with finding the murderer, all while dealing with Gordon's probationary status and past and present relationships. And how does her former relationship with another cop influence her work and affect her case? ... (read more)

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Stunning Historic View

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

General in Command: The Life of Major General John B. Anderson
by Michael M. Van Ness
Kӧehlerbooks


"While he had been abroad, he dreamed of home and now at home, he held firmly to the relationships formed abroad."

Biographies, by nature, are a peek into an individual's lifespan and contributions to society. In this book, however, Van Ness successfully manages to not only give a glimpse of Major General Anderson's life but also delivers insight from a unique vantage point into many of the most pivotal moments in American history. At the same time, this work is genuinely made special and personal by the continuous efforts of the author, Anderson's grandson, to both learn and chronicle his grandfather's gargantuan impact. In his quest to fully unearth the life of a remarkable general, Van Ness combines his family knowledge with relentless research, leaving no stones unturned in his mission to shed light on one of the principal figures of the 20th century. ... (read more)

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Musings & Insights

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Woven Flag
by Margaret Fourt Goka
BookVenture Publishing LLC


"Childhood is a spaceship full of friends
that rockets into the future.
I will be there when it lands
like a kitten on its feet"

In her second book of collected poetry, the author has organized her musings and insights into six categories. Each chapter follows the themes of home, animals, places, riddles, caffeine and wine, and family respectively. The home chapter is the most explored, following memories of homemaking and raising children with all the energy and chaos they can bring. The chapter on animals considers the impact of family pets and wonders what life would be like in animal form. The chapter on places recalls old residences and other colorful memories of location. When writing on the theme of riddles, the poet considers things that are somewhat contradictory or mysterious about life. Not surprisingly, the chapter on caffeine and wine is a treat for the sense of taste, using language to express flavor. Finally, when exploring the topic of family, Goka revisits the endless tasks of homemaking, as well as considering her dual role as both mother and child. ... (read more)

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Quests & Beauty

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

A Stone for Bread
by Miriam Herin
Livingston Press


"'The issue was never authorship, Rachel. The issue isn't authorship at all.' He turned and stared at her, his eyes bloodshot from the wine. —“What it's about is murder. And not just by the Nazis. I too was complicit.'"

There's quite a mix of character and circumstance in this novel of mystery, history, and soul-searching: a seasoned, enigmatic poet whose heyday was two generations ago; a very pretty and engaging graduate student just starting out her life today; a shadowy Frenchman whose nearly century-old actions have long-lasting consequences. These three contrasting personalities set this very original tale in motion, but the plot grows from there into a dramatic, almost journalistic who-what-where-and-why saga that spans not only generations but also equally disparate scenarios. One scenario involves a quest to discover the true authorship of some famous concentration camp poems. Another is a quest to figure out how we decide who we are and what we need to do with our lives. Indeed, there may be several quests that are part of this story, but Herin weaves them together as a single seamless tale. ... (read more)

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Compulsion & Desire

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

HomoAmerican - The Secret Society
by Michael Dane
Amazon.com Services


"This Secret Society, of which I am a member, is no more visible to me than I am to them."

With the rise of noteworthy novels and biographies from LGBTQ writers such as Paul Lisicky, Noelle Stevenson, Brandon Taylor, and Ocean Vuong, Dane joins the ranks with his hefty, detailed memoir. The reader is invited into Dane’s private, life-long search for identity. With intimate detail, the author reveals a well-traveled, storied life where somewhere along the way he “stopped being a real character,” only recognizing himself in reflections. He examines the painful moments of childhood and his chaotic passage into adulthood. We follow him as he roams among outcasts, immersing himself into an invisible society that is known only to a few. Dane probes the duplexity of visibility and invisibility, like a dancer on stage in front of audiences and an object of desire, yet continuously feeling lonely and invisible. For Dane, he moves through a world of night. He wanders in shadows and “darkness, of passion and pleasure.” ... (read more)

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Week by Week

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

52 Weeks of Practical Applications to Biblical Principles: A Guide to Practice What You Preach or Teach. How to Live the Word of God from Day to Day!!!
by Dr. Catherine Braswell
Xlibris


"To walk in the Spirit is to take a strong stand against the works of the flesh."

Dr. Braswell’s work is a resourceful guide for practicing Christians and spiritually curious souls as a whole to understand how to apply the Bible’s teachings to nearly every instance of daily life. Oftentimes, the individual will read a passage from the scriptures and wonder not just about its meaning but its relevance to their individual circumstances. This handbook is as comprehensive as it gets with scripture, interpretations, and even an opportunity for its readership to take notes at the end of each week’s section. ... (read more)

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Coming of Age Through History

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Born Crazy
by Bonnie Sanford Collins Bostrom
The Canelo Project


"The journey requires of us the ability to leap into darkness, play tag with time and break our own hearts."

Bostrom's childhood in the 1940s on a remote ranch in northeastern New Mexico gives her a unique grasp of the rhythms of the natural world, and the simple life oriented toward family and community that shaped her requires a great deal of stamina, resolve, and patience. Bostrom reveals much about the matriarchs of both sides of her family as well as paying homage to the patriarchs, offering a window into the ongoing manifestation of the divine feminine that arises in all cultures. The title seems to nod not only to the oddities and imperfections of Bostrom's life but to the crazy wisdom that is inherent in the very act of living. She humorously points out in one essay that sperm are both male and female, a simple but revelatory fact not acknowledged in what many see as the patriarchal slant of American culture. ... (read more)

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Battle Frontiers

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

When a Toy Dog Became a Wolf and the Moon Broke Curfew: A Memoir
by Hendrika de Vries
She Writes Press


"Being the old, dark child of the past, I was the one bound to my mother through the secret memories that everyone wanted to leave behind and forget."

De Vries's memoir tells of her time as a child in Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation. Her father, the traditional provider and protector, is taken to a German POW camp, and the young de Vries and her mother are suddenly left alone in an occupied city with no one to depend on but themselves. As the war goes on and the occupation lengthens, food and safety become scarce. De Vries' mother begins to take bold steps to ensure the safety and welfare of her child. Even as suspicions run high, and neighbors report neighbors, de Vries' mother begins associating with the resistance. She even shelters a young Jewish girl in their home, fully aware of the danger that brings to herself and her own daughter. ... (read more)

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Dark Stories

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

This Side of Water: Stories
by Maureen Pilkington
Regal House Publishing


"So there you were, all happy and unaware, in the heart of his secret plan, until he slipped his two slim fingers inside you and helped himself to your soul."

This is a book of secrets. It is not the grand, specific, or cartoonish kind, like who stole the diamonds or who canoodled which forbidden partner. No bright smoking guns and fingerprints sparkle here. Rather, the secrets explored and exposed are of the far more deadly variety. They are the ones that grow inside people, mixed with innate shame and desires, the very essence of humanity, along with its incriminating frailties. No one is supposed to know these secrets. But apparently someone does. ... (read more)

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Myths & Signs

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Suicide Dilemma: Finding a Better Choice
by Rebecca Morgan Gibson, LCSW and Lynn Mills
Cosworth Publishing


"You don’t have to be a mental health professional to recognize that someone is suicidal. If you respond and reach out in a caring and intelligent manner, the person may be saved."

A down-to-earth reader regarding suicide, the book covers significant information that the lay public needs to understand not only to be knowledgeable about the subject but to be an ally for those who suffer, including the suffering of one’s self and one’s own suicidal ideation. Topics include preventing suicide, losses, the myths and truths regarding suicide, symptoms of depression, talking to a suicidal person, treatment and recovery, and seven stories of people who have been suicidal. It ends with a discussion of the main points regarding suicide and how to survive when someone you love commits suicide. The book also offers research regarding this issue. ... (read more)

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Time Out of Time

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Shock Wave 2: The Book of Vallora
by Florian Louisoder
Amazon.com


"We see time as this big thing that spans eternity and we forget to appreciate and value the moment."

In this second book in the author's series, time travelers Scott and Linda DeSantis return from Atlantis to their own time; however, the world they find is a much different place than the one they left. History has rendered an alternate reality in which America, defeated by Germany in the Second World War, is now a totalitarian nation. Technology is used to keep watch and exert control over the American public. For Scott and Linda, this new world in which they have arrived, one in which their own children are unrecognizable to them, is one of danger. They are immediately hunted by old enemies who are now in power and find themselves trying to escape to safety, all while being under surveillance by this new and frightening government. The two have one goal: to stay alive long enough for the secrets held in the Book of Vallora to lead them back to their real home. ... (read more)

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True Acknowledgment

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

My Spiritual Checkup
by Catherine Braswell
Xlibris


"You don't have to worry about rushing through your checkup because it is your need that He is here to take care of."

Just as people of all ages schedule appointments with their medical doctors throughout the year to ensure that all is well with their physical bodies, so too must one check in with one's maker, God, to assess spiritual issues in one's life. This is the primary argument posited by Braswell's self-help book. If we take the time to check such vitals as blood pressure, any significant changes in weight, x-rays when bones are thought to be broken, and preventative medicine including mammograms and the like, it is equally important, writes the author, that we make "appointments" with the Great Physician—our primary care provider, Jesus Christ. "The Lord is very concerned about the whole you," Braswell writes, "and He wants to address and fix everything." The author, who herself is a licensed practical nurse as well as a current pastor and Christian counselor, lays out for the reader in thirteen chapters a plan of action. ... (read more)

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Hisotrical Time Travel

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The King’s Broad Arrow
by Kathryn Goodwin Tone
Marron Press


"He let out a cry when he hit the water—too surprised by the impact and the ice-cold temperature to stifle it."

Tone's historical novel tells the story of young Sam Nevens during America's Revolutionary War. Sam and his best friend, Eamon, can't help but talk about the friction between the colonies and Britain. Sam's father owns a mill and has to leave the best trees picked out by British surveyors for the British Navy. Being caught cutting one down can have severe consequences. Although both boys are too young to join the militia, Eamon has a plan to go to a neighboring town, lie about his age, and join the fight. Sam doesn't believe he has the courage to be a soldier and isn't sure that fighting a power as strong as Britain is a good idea. However, Sam will be swept up in the revolution nonetheless, as he is caught trying to hide one of the trees his father cut down that was reserved for the British. He is captured and put on a prisoner ship. From this point, Sam begins to meet a rich selection of characters as he becomes more and more involved with the revolution and the reasons for which it is fought. Sam will interact with and help notables such as Thomas Paine and George Washington, as well as help print some of Paine's pamphlets from Ben Franklin's deserted house. Eventually, Sam even ends up fighting for the militia under the command of a young Alexander Hamilton. ... (read more)

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Ailing Body

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Is the Church Sick?
by Catherine Braswell
Xlibris


"There is a remedy and cure for the church, and it is found in Jesus, the Word of God."

In this lively, extended analogy, author Braswell poses questions regarding the various sorts of dysfunctions that may be afflicting the Christian church and its congregants. First, she imagines the church with a virus and suggests some candidates for the virus' symptoms: pride would be a major suspect, and weakness or laziness are other possibilities since once the church reaches a "certain depth of maturity, fatigue sets in." Such sickness can begin in the church leadership and spread to the congregants. What about coronary heart disease? The church may have blocked arteries, loss of appetite for the "food" of the spirit that has been watered down over time. If such a disease is causing a blockage in the church, God is needed to perform major surgery. ... (read more)

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Healthy Soul

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

A Spiritually Fit You
by Catherine Braswell
Xlibris


"So now, what happens when your sight is spiritually operating at 20/20 on a regular or daily basis?"

The concept of fitness has almost unanimously been conceived as that of appearances—both physical and tangible—and that of mental health. However, now more than ever, spiritual health is a key component of one's existence, a bridge between strong mental and physical health. Integrating scriptures to accompany the author's lessons and salient advice, Braswell's work focuses on the aspects of the spirit that will help keep the wandering mind from going astray permanently. The author's vision employs a combination of a realistic outlook (understanding that human nature is, at its core, imperfect and fallible) with hopeful exuberance. The Bible is mankind's spiritual compass. When utilized and adopted into daily life, it will not only allow one to stay strong of mind during adversity but also live in the grace and mercy of God regardless of the outcome. ... (read more)

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To Live 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)

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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)

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Secret History

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

White Seed: The Untold Story of The Lost Colony of Roanoke
by Paul Clayton
Amazon.com Services


"He was playing his part in all of this, pretending that they could make a go of it in this God-forsaken place."

Maggie Hagger is just one of many passengers leaving England and making her way to Chesapeake, Virginia, in 1587 as one of the future citizens of Sir Walter Raleigh's colonies. Raleigh's Virginia promises the start of a new life to Maggie and others—like the newly appointed Governor John White, as well as Captain Stafford and his soldiers—but first, they must survive the journey to the Americas. Yet Maggie and the other colonists soon learn that settling down in Chesapeake will be much harder, as tensions between the Native American tribes there and prior English settlers still exist. Labeled as one of America's oldest mysteries, the failed colony of Roanoke is at the heart of this novel, which explores the possibilities of what went wrong and what happened to the inhabitants. ... (read more)

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Suffering Loneliness

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Surrounded by Others and Yet So Alone: A Lawyer's Case Stories of Love, Loneliness, and Litigation
by J. W. Freiberg
Philia Books


"Loneliness, I realized, is the sensation of inadequate connections to others, just as hunger is the sensation of inadequate nourishment and thirst is the sensation of inadequate hydration."

Consisting of five stories taken from the author’s work as a lawyer, this book offers a study in the causes of subjective chronic loneliness in those whose connections with other people “fail to provide the security, nurturing, and soothing care that others enjoy from their healthy connective networks.” In looking over his many years of case studies, the author narrows down the types of misconnections experienced by the chronically lonely into five categories: “Tenuous Connections,” in which the connections between clients are uncertain or unreliable; “One-Way Connections”—for example, unrequited love; “Fraudulent Connections,” wherein one’s relationship is based on deception and manipulation; “Obstructed Connections,” where one is prevented from being emotionally available; and “Dangerous Connections,” in which the relationship can cause devastating emotional and physical harm. For each of these misconnections, Freiberg includes a case study from one of his past clients to illustrate how people who are in relationships with others may still suffer loneliness because of the failure of their relationships to offer healthy connections. ... (read more)

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Bursting with Magic

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Epics of Rathhild: Volume I: The Darkness Within
by Jabari Ashanti
AuthorHouse


"In the distance, a dragon sprouted up from behind one of the mountains. Kitara and were-wolves marched side by side. He couldn't stop this."

The first volume in Ashanti’s series introduces the readers to the many characters and creatures inhabiting the Kingdom of Rathhild. Weakened from years of a bloody war, the kingdom now faces a new threat: an evil sorcerer, Raul. Jay, considered by some to be a demon because of his glowing red eye, attempts to hunt down and kill Raul in distant lands before he can cause too much damage. However, by the time Jay finds Raul, it is too late. Raul has an army with dragons, were-wolves, Walkers, and mind-controlled vampires to attack Rathhild. Forming an unlikely alliance with his estranged brother, Levi, and Bryce, the vampire lord, Lawrence must rally his outnumbered forces and defend against the onslaught. ... (read more)

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Transition to Chapter Books

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Doc's Dog Days: A Hickory Doc's Activity Book
by Linda Harkey


"'Doc, you can learn a lot about a book by eating its binding.'"

Linda Harkey, a former educator and museum docent as well as a hunting dog enthusiast, writes children's books about the beloved and oft-visited topic of canine capers, making the old new again by featuring a specific breed close to her heart—German short-haired pointers. In this third book of her series, the adorable black-and-white illustrations by Mike Minick are begging to be colored and doodled upon with markers, pencils, or crayons, making this both an educational and a fun diversion likely to be appreciated by kids and their caregivers, parents, and teachers. ... (read more)

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Light in Darkness

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Virtual Playdate: A Socially Distanced Kid’s View of the Coronavirus Crisis
by Jordana Landsman
Vanalden Media


"My teacher and I were doing fine
At school she ruled, I towed the line
This homeschool staff is not so cool
They should enroll in teacher school."

This small book of verse delves into the realities of life under the threat of the coronavirus as seen through the eyes of children suddenly faced with having to stay home from school. The collection lends a bit of humor to the everyday realities of life in a "safer at home" environment. Subjects such as dealing with daily baths, modified social lives, and parents are broached from a kid's unique perspective. The volume is divided into four sections—"Safer at Home," "Zoom and School," "Social Life," and "Grownups. The epilogue, "Teddy Bear in the Window," is a touching tribute to the human spirit: "The teddy bear in my window / Is kid code for "I'm still here!" / I'm biding my time, I'm playing my games / I haven't disappeared." ... (read more)

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Awakening

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Lord Chamberlain's Daughter
by Ron Fritsch
Asymmetric Worlds


"That was the story people told about me. I'm glad, of course, it wasn't true."

Lord Chamberlain's daughter, better known as Ophelia, has a new story to tell. In this satisfying remake, Ophelia's fate is markedly different from the one Shakespeare assigned her. In this story, she is alive and well and ready to talk about her childhood friendship with Hamlet and Horatio, palace intrigue, and the warmongering of men in power. Shakespeare's setting remains, and the time and place of the original play are intact, but the plot has gone astray, reimagined and rebranded with a powerful female protagonist driving the action of the familiar story's milestones: the murders and resulting power shifts. The story is structured as a confessional of sorts by Ophelia to Fortinbras, who visits her after he learns that she is alive and living in the countryside. Ophelia begins her story by filling in the details of her adolescence at Elsinore castle, roaming freely with her brother Laertes and pals Hamlet and Horatio, while her father, Polonius, advises Hamlet's father and strategizes a war with Norway. She continues through her own awakening to the suffering of the common people in the war effort, the corruption of the castle, and her own heart's desire. With her motives revealed and her secrets shared, Shakespeare's heartsick, mad Ophelia is transformed into a savvy woman of power and rebellion. ... (read more)

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No Average Tale

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Defending Guns
by Steven Prevosto
World Castle Publishing, LLC


"The wind rushing wildly through the trees and over the land is like the spirit of man driving him to feel fulfilled in his pursuits."

In 1878, bad guys are hired by Douglas Pitt, whose goal is to take land surrounding Kansas City for a large cattle ranch. The hirelings include the town's sheriff and deputy, who obey Pitt's orders at whatever cost. Most of the other hirelings are already on wanted posters. The main good guy is Anthony Augustus Peters, a traveling actor from New York and quick-shot gun aficionado. He meets Fox Cloud, a Lakota Sioux and former child captive who knows English. They pose as bounty hunters wearing clever disguises from Anthony's makeup kit. Another important yet unseen character is Anthony's deceased wife, Mary, who inspires his death wish. Dressed in black for the final scene, will Anthony get his death wish as in Hamlet's tragedy? Can this adventure end well? ... (read more)

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Ideal Women

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Viral War: A Fairytale of Perfect Women
by Josephine deBois
AuthorHouse


"And now, perfect women; yes, but we always managed to make women perfect."

In New York City, Samuel, an ordinary traffic cop, manages to thwart an attempted kidnapping. This sets him on an investigation like no other. He befriends Sohee Suh, the acclaimed Korean singer who was almost kidnapped. Sohee's DNA carries a secret that Samuel works to uncover, exposing a complex plot involving sex trafficking, government coverups, and biological warfare. ... (read more)

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Manhattan Nexus

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Cooperative Lives
by Patrick Finegan
Two Skates Publishing


"Hanni gathered her belongings and left the church. There was clarity in her mother's pronouncement, 'This is how God repays sinners.'"

Set in recent history, the author's book uses a Manhattan co-op as its nexus—a place where all of its characters reside or have a history of residence. From the outset, a shared address seems to be all that binds these individuals together as they, in true New York City fashion, keep their heads down and worry about their own survival rather than the lives of everyone else in the crowd. However, bonds are revealed in time. Some are being made with each passing day; others have dissolved or been hidden from years before. What starts as a metropolitan microcosm unfolds and grows to encompass stories of fortunes won and lost, international intrigue, and lives that hang in the balance after every small and large decision. ... (read more)

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Musings & Insights

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Woven Flag
by Margaret Fourt Goka
BookVenture Publishing LLC


"Childhood is a spaceship full of friends
that rockets into the future.
I will be there when it lands
like a kitten on its feet"

In her second book of collected poetry, the author has organized her musings and insights into six categories. Each chapter follows the themes of home, animals, places, riddles, caffeine and wine, and family respectively. The home chapter is the most explored, following memories of homemaking and raising children with all the energy and chaos they can bring. The chapter on animals considers the impact of family pets and wonders what life would be like in animal form. The chapter on places recalls old residences and other colorful memories of location. When writing on the theme of riddles, the poet considers things that are somewhat contradictory or mysterious about life. Not surprisingly, the chapter on caffeine and wine is a treat for the sense of taste, using language to express flavor. Finally, when exploring the topic of family, Goka revisits the endless tasks of homemaking, as well as considering her dual role as both mother and child. ... (read more)

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A Mormon Story

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Children of a Northern Kingdom: A Story of the Strangite Mormons in Wisconsin and on Beaver Island, Michigan
by Elaine Stienon
AuthorHouse


"Gabriel has only seconds to realize that they must leave everything behind, even the animals and the tools. He blinks. How can he tell the others?"

An unholy trio of bigotry, fear, and religious persecution hovers like a malevolent cloud over this narrative of Mormon settlers in the American Midwest of the1800s. Cruel, oppressive, and violent behavior repeatedly confronts the principal characters in Stienon's historical novel. Yet it is not the monstrous conduct of their persecutors that will remain with you at story's end. Rather, it is the faith, strength, and resolve of the oppressed that will surely leave the most lasting impression. ... (read more)

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A Father-Daughter Bond

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

My Dad Took Me to Outer Space
by Regina Tranfa
Mindstir Media


"We got into a rocket he had secretly been building and took off to Outer Space."

In this sweet and colorful children’s picture book, a father surprises his daughter with a spaceship trip to a friendly psychedelic outer space that resembles a happy, high-functioning rainbow version of the earth—minus the gravity, oxygen, and water. Familiar institutions abound, from hip space kids en route to school to an ice cream parlor full of sweet-toothed humanoids to an alien kitchen that is Jetsonesque in its mid-space display of slick appliances at the center of home and hearth. The traveling pair move through space with the simple, peaceful appreciation of observers, neither interacting nor assessing what they see. This is a world to behold, and the special context is that they see it together. ... (read more)

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Evocative & Meaningful

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Sister Marguerite and the Captain
by Mark Barie
Barringer Publishing


"'You live to fight. I fight to live,' she snapped."

In this second novel of a historical series steeped in romance and warfare, the tale begins aboard a French ship in 1756. Captain Antoine Dauphin, a professional soldier, and the Ursuline nun, Sister Marguerite, a former socialite with flaming ginger hair and a temperament to match, struggle to understand their attraction as they head to New France and later struggle with their imperfect love. Set against the backdrop of two wars, this anti-romantic drama follows the couple’s tumultuous lives over nearly two decades as their discordant desires and personal failings repeatedly challenge them. Stalked at every turn by unfortunate circumstances, the couple is also confronted by Marguerite’s malicious former suitor, who seeks to destroy them in rounds of mutual revenge. ... (read more)

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Effortless Storytelling

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Goin’ Home
by Phyllis Staton Campbell
Gold Touch Press


"Now, if I could just talk to your husband. Maybe he can explain why there’s the corpse of a dog in my embalming room with old man Blake in the chapel crying, and blessing me, and saying you sent it."

The second in a series that began with Where Sheep May Safely Graze, Campbell's new novel returns to the town of Pleasantville for another pleasant slice of life that, like reality itself, isn't always filled with pleasantries. Not everything is always what it seems. That may be a cliché, but in this breezy murder mystery and comedy, it doesn't seem like one, simply because of the fresh and original story twists and turns that give it staying power. When the main characters come home after a storm nearly obliterates their village, they find themselves living right in the middle of that cliché, thanks to a series of odd events, including a killer who has returned home after fifty years in prison, a cloudy-headed woman who starts a new job at the beloved town church, a dog that turns up at the morgue, and a secret from long ago that is finally revealed. ... (read more)

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Loyal Dogs

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Littlest Patriots
by L.M. Haynes
Christian Faith Publishing


"…Jerry realized that while he treasured his Purple Heart, it was just metal and ribbon."

Professor Malcolm McDougal must attend an inventor's convention across the country from his home. For the two weeks he will be gone, someone will need to look after Lily, Benji, and Karat—his three dogs. They are his best friends, so he only trusts someone special to keep them. That someone is Jerry, the professor's older brother, recipient of a Purple Heart for injuries sustained during World War II. The medal is Jerry's most valued possession. But when it goes missing during a monthly outing to the local military burial ground, Jerry must decide whether the medal itself or the sacrifice it represents is more important to him. Meanwhile, the three dogs know only that Jerry's treasure is missing, and they must find it. Will Lily's and Benji's puggle tenacity and Karat's golden retriever loyalty help them locate the memento? Will Jerry fully appreciate their small, silent display of patriotism? ... (read more)

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First and Only

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

You Are a New Creation
by Maureen Schuler
Christian Faith Publishing


"For as long as I can remember, the Catholic faith was the cornerstone of our lives."

"As for any assault against yourself, consider that my will permits it to prove virtue in you and in my other servants. And assume that the offender does such a thing as an instrument commissioned by me. For often such a person’s intention is good; there is no one who can judge the hidden heart."—God the Father to St. Catherine of Siena

For over fourteen years, the author contemplated these words, trying to fit together how their message worked within the scope of her life experiences. Finally, she had a breakthrough realization: the bad things that happen to us are not just things that God allows to happen for our good, but those that he designs to happen to foster the creation within us of "His divine image." It is this realization that transformed an extremely painful experience in Schuler's life to one of beauty: "an awe-inspiring story of God's work of creation in my life." It is this story that Schuler feels compelled to reveal in her memoir, and she states that it is her "hope that this writing will be a manifestation of the beauty of God's creation." ... (read more)

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A Woman's Journey

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Lucy, Go See.
by Marianne Maili
Chez Soi Press


"She marveled at how she was living her dream, doing exactly as she wanted, on a great adventure, on her own."

For Lucy Pilgrim, who craves adventure, modeling is the far-off dream and ticket to freedom out of rural Iowa. From New York and Chicago to Japan and Barcelona, Lucy finds herself navigating the industry and her power as a woman simultaneously, coming into her own and relying on her looks to carve out a place for herself. ... (read more)

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What a Woman Can Do

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Portrait
by Maya Rushing Walker
Apollo Grannus Books


"She was either hiding something, or she was so complicated, had so many hidden levels, that there really was no core to her -- merely onion-skin layer after onion-skin layer."

Lady Catherine Claverton is on the outskirts of society in Bath due to the unfortunate circumstances of being born both female and crippled. With her father on his deathbed, the Claverton earldom will end, but Catherine learns that she can inherit her mother’s family title and continue her mother’s line if she can marry and have a child. Catherine has two prospects for a husband: her old friend Sir Lyle Barrington or the newcomer Captain Avebury. Both men have captured Catherine’s affections, but each one has a secret that could sour the future countess’s plans. However, neither secret is as dangerous as Catherine’s. ... (read more)

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Finding the Past

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Coming Home to Greenleigh
by Maya Rushing Walker
Apollo Grannus Books


"I’m biased, she thought. No, scratch that. I’m damaged. I can’t give a good recommendation because I can’t think straight about broken relationships. Especially since I was the one who was left behind."

Set in the New England town of Greenleigh, the book abounds with small-town musings, nosy people, and family dramas. Elisabeth (Beth) Burnham stays behind for her dysfunctional mother in a place and home she loves, while the man she adores, Shawn Waterstone, leaves for higher grounds as a lawyer in NYC. Beth receives her law degree and returns to Greenleigh, only to unexpectantly meet up with Shawn when she needs a job. He has just moved back home to help his father after his mother dies. What transpires is an ongoing question: will they end up together again, or will Beth run off with a stranger? Beth becomes her own force of nature and shows some moxie, something that was missing in her earlier life. ... (read more)

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Towering Heroes

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Forest Dragons (Book Two: The Huntress Trilogy)
by Paul Fletcher
PageTurner Press and Media


"She gripped Kajika's arm tightly and with panic she spoke. 'If they see him they will try to kill him.'"

For years the final word on high fantasy has been reserved for a simple homebody and his magic ring and populated by a succession of dark lords, towering fortresses, and crafty wizards. In the author's tale, this long-held genre trend may have finally abated. Mira, Kajika, and their friends are on a quest. A menace is creating conflict in nearby villages, and the disturbance has spilled out toward the company's own daily life. Mira is an accomplished huntress with a gender-bending attitude towards action while she leads her group of friends on this quest. It's a fascinating read that achieves the beauty and grandeur of a Kurosawa epic. ... (read more)

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Struggling to Surface

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Fleeing the Past: The Delta Tango Trilogy, Book One
by Christopher LaGrone
Morgan James Publishing


"Until this moment he had failed to grasp the essence of what he was becoming involved in. How dire must their situation have been to choose to place all their possessions into a backpack and walk to a different country?"

Seeking a fresh start to escape from his troubled past, Layne Sheppard chooses to apply to the Border Patrol Academy in hopes of graduating and getting a stable job working as an agent for the U.S. Border Patrol. Little does he know that graduating, let alone getting accepted into the Academy, will be more daunting than he could have ever imagined. Using his own experience in the U.S. Border Patrol, Lagrone paints a detailed and intimidating picture of the physical and mental hardships that must be painstakingly endured in order to work as an agent. ... (read more)

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A Historical Discography

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

When Life Was Like a Cucumber
by Greg Wyss
Page Publishing


"The sad truth was that I had become nothing more than a derelict."

This work of historical fiction is written ostensibly as a memoir by its narrator, Jeffrey Hesse. But author Wyss does more than describe the life of a kid who comes of age in the 60s and 70s, an era full of curiosity, adventure, drugs, and free love. His writing is descriptive and fluid. "We were a sorry sight, three wild-haired East Coast hippies rising like filthy ghosts from a landscape of chocolate pudding," says Hesse, describing how he and his friends emerge unscathed but dirty from a car accident where the vehicle lands in a mud pit. ... (read more)

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Revelations Revealed

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

A View from Above: Options for Understanding the Revelation of Jesus Christ
by J. W. Murphy
PageTurner Press and Media


"Revelation's symbols are intended to portray meaning rather than literally expressing the details of earthly events."

The author bravely attempts to examine the final book of the Bible, the Book of Revelation, in this hefty tome. The work begins with an amusing seven-page list of historical attempts at using Revelation to predict the end times. The relevance of the book, what prophecy is, and how Jesus changed the Jewish notion of an eternal kingdom are then explored. The relatively recent idea of a "rapture" based on John Nelson Darby's interpretation of Revelation 20 in 1827 is examined and dismissed as unscriptural. The "Antichrist" figure is shown to emerge from the Apostles Paul and John's understanding of Genesis 3:15 and the long list of candidates. This list begins with pagan Roman emperors like Nero and Caligula and continues to the Papacy, which the author points out was common in Protestantism. An examination of how the book relates to martyrs in the first three centuries is looked at as well as the impact of the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. ... (read more)

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Simple Righteous Living

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

A Guide to the Narrow Path: Walking with Yahweh
by Edward Monjay
PageTurner Press and Media


"Realize every day on the narrow path is a test. Do we want the truth, or do we want what the masses want?"

In the author's view, Christmas, Easter, and all other Christian holidays are pagan celebrations. The Hebrew Torah lists 711 sins that displease Yahweh, including observances of such non-Jewish festivals. It is possible not to commit such transgressions if one obeys specific scriptures that address them. Strict adherence to these principles starts with calling God by His true Hebrew name of Yahweh, and not, for example, God or Lord, which derive from pagan gods' names. Yahweh is a God of mercy and grace, and Yahshua, His son, was the embodiment of those attributes. But exactly how powerful is divine grace? Can a person lose their salvation? Is it possible to live under the law and grace at the same time? Which laws of the Torah should modern seekers of the truth keep, and with which can they dispense? Anyone seeking unadorned answers to these and other questions about righteous living may find them here. ... (read more)

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Holy Place

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Jerusalem: The City of God
by Jeffrey L. Gross
PageTurner Press and Media


"...Jerusalem had been left in ruins while those who now ruled over the Jews had forbidden them to even reside in their venerated city."

This book presents a series of interlocking images/pieces that have for millennia created the current puzzling view of the holy city of Jerusalem and nearby mountains. Since all Hebrew temples were destroyed, Gross begins in the introduction with the Dome of the Rock. Chapter 1 leaps backward in Hebrew history to Abram and his son Isaac on top of Mt. Moriah. Moses brings the freed Hebrew slaves from Egypt to Mt. Sinai, where he introduces the Ten Commandments. Moses viewed the promised land from Mt. Pisgah, but Joshua led the Israelites across the Jordan into the land. Having defeated most of their enemies, Israel’s King David climbs through the subterranean Gihon spring to conquer the Jebusites’ stronghold, renaming it Jerusalem. ... (read more)

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Points of Interest

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Crazy Old Man: An Anthology
by Harold Cohn
Outskirts Press


"Do not restrict your thoughts with worries of spelling, neatness, or grammar. Let your thoughts flow with abandonment."

Cohn's offerings form an engaging compendium of poems, short essays, glimpses of history, and humorous observations. "How to Survive a Writer's Workshop," referenced in the above quotation, is one example of the author's wry viewpoint. In a talk with a trash can, "The Receptacle" presents a sardonic imagining of the item's probable future: filled with unsavory articles, painted by gang members, abused by garbage men, and finally, "when your bottom is rusted through," replaced by another, brand new can. Another view of trash, "It's In the Can," references Cohn's work in park maintenance, when noting that the foods thrown away, from steak to burgers, reflect America's economic ups and downs. A short play, "Midnight," depicts the violent deaths of two hard-working cabbies. ... (read more)

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Terror, Horror, Fear

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Devil’s Jail: The John Abbott Story
by John Ivor Mitchell
iUniverse


"In a damp dark corner somewhere in the world of consciousness, a tiny malignant seed of loathing and malice surfaced."

A creepy story of evil, this book takes us through the horrors of ClearStream, a town in the Appalachian Mountains, whose inhabitants were tortured, raped, and killed by the devil. But one brave man, John Abbott, was able to contain the demon and also helped to capture the Boleyn Red Witch. The book focuses on John's heroism and his family through the years and up to the current generation of John the XXVII and his participation in a witch convention. It further examines a down-on-his-luck man, Phil. Phil is a journalist, who while on vacation, becomes a part of the story as evil again raises its ugly head. More deaths, including crucifixions, a bevy of witches, a possession state, evil spells, and the importance of shoes (yes, shoes) round off the story. ... (read more)

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An Escalating Narrative

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The Only Truth That Matters
by Joan W. Hunter and Steven Cobos
Joan Hunter & Steven Cobos Books


"Body was face down when we got here. I had the boys turn him over. Ruined their shoes."

In 1944 Los Angeles, a world war is continents away, but the home front is proving pretty dangerous. Santa Monica police lieutenant Gomez is coming up on his sixtieth birthday and having to deal with bodies being carved up, Tommy guns spraying sidewalks, and murder masquerading as suicide. ... (read more)

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Real West

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Chad’tu: A Western Novel
by Kelsie R. Gates
Westwood Books Publishing


"I stopped and gazed down at the most beautiful, lush green valley I’d ever seen. It took my breath away. I had found my ranch."

Chad is ten years old when he gets separated from the others. He is traveling in a wagon train westward across the great plains with his parents and other families in search of a new life. He decides to take a swim in the cooling waters as a quick respite from the day's relentless heat. But after being missed, he is never found, even after a prolonged search and rescue. What happens instead will change the course of Chad's life forever. Once rescued and brought back to health by a Comanche named Shatika, Chad's name is changed to Chad'tu—something more akin to a proper Comanche name, Shatika raises the boy as his son. He provides for him, shows him how to hunt for food, and teaches the boy his native tongue. In essence, Chad'tu is raised as an Indian—something which will prove beneficial more than once later in his life and adventures. ... (read more)

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A New Lore

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Treasure of Crystal Cave
by Kelsie R. Gates
Westwood Books Publishing


"One will come to save country and kingdom, blown out of a dark night's wind down to Earth like an angel."

Sixteen-year-old Miiliinda, a mysterious being endowed with magical skill, finds herself swept away from her home of Chinnder and thrust into the midst of a great quest for the kingdom of Fen-Milar. After an introductory lament of past trials from the cave explorer, Alaric, Miiliinda elects to join forces with him and traverse the dominion in a daring pursuit to rescue his imprisoned love. Together, the two new friends embark on a mystical scavenger hunt for the long-sought-after and ever-elusive Crystal Cave. The cave is reputed to be the home of unsurpassed riches. And for every chase, competition, and obstacle that the pair overcomes, through each labyrinthine path or ominous cave they search, they come closer to overpowering an oppressive queen and restoring a rightful heir to the throne. ... (read more)

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Always There

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Kisses by the Moon: Kissing and Hugging in Cyberspace: How To!
by Tom Sherman and Piper Nichols
Lettra Press


"…even the sliver of the moon can hold oodles of hugs and kisses. It holds them in its curve, like when I hold you in my arms"

Stemming from a family situation wherein particular family members were often leaving and having to say goodbye, this book shares a creative “system” the authors established to keep in touch when not physically close. They chose the moon as a “high-tech” communications device for relaying comforting hugs and tender kisses between one another. In their book, a grandparent explains to an inquisitive grandchild how the process works. By simply looking skyward toward the moon, wonderful thoughts about “the person you miss” can be thrown via hugs and kisses. Sometimes a strong throw is required since the moon is so far away, while other occasions call for a “gentle, loving toss,” since the receiver of the celestial communication is someone dear to one’s heart, and the desire is to hold that person in close comfort. ... (read more)

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Restorative Prose

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Woods an Autumn Weave Gold: A Collection of Poetry Classics - Vol VIII
by Jane Summers
Xlibris


"Autumn sacred, My prayers, My family!
An autumn learning, An autumn art
To learn, every, any, Not to disturb,
An art, true!"

It is clear from Summers' poetry how important and inspirational autumn is to her. Each poem is dedicated to the wonders and sights of the season. She relishes in and reminds us of the sensations and symbolism of the harvest: multi-colored sceneries, autumnal flowers and plants, the expected familiarity of apples, pumpkins, and squash. She finds solace and renewal in the vibrant beauty of its tones and scents that offer tranquility and mystery. For Summers, autumn presents an opportunity to celebrate the joys of family, the warmth of home, the passage of time, and the healing powers for the soul. ... (read more)

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Love Stung

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Lilbeebye Stings Bully
by Theresa Shields
Xlibris


"'I need you to take care of some bullies in my class!'"

Lilbeebye is a little girl with a big superpower. She steps into her costume and becomes Super Honey Girl. She shoots her sweetness into bullies, and they are changed forever. The author writes, "She started with the first bully in the class... and stings honey love right into their hearts." ... (read more)

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Serious Play

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Silly Lilly
by Ariel Patten
Xlibris


"Lilly was a little girl. And in her dreams ballerinas twirled."

Lilly is an adventurous little girl who spends her days immersed in a whirlwind of exciting games, playing in her flower garden, and riding a pretty horse of her very own. Whether she is twirling like a ballerina, building towers of blocks, or baking, she always finds an unexpected outcome. However, Lilly can be a little clumsy, and her vision for playtime doesn’t always go as planned, resulting in spilled blocks and the occasional inedible cake. Enjoying a close relationship with her mother, she begs for her to read stories to her, which fill her head with hopes for her future. Then, drifting off to sleep, Lilly enjoys lovely dreams of perfect block towers, delicious cakes, and the perfect playtime. ... (read more)

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Underlying Themes

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Lessons From Tales: What We Can Learn From Short Stories and Jokes
by Eric Wei
Partridge Publishing


"All things shall pass. The darkest hour will also pass in sixty minutes."

Nothing lasts forever. Almost any bad situation could be worse and will eventually get better. When you ask a question, don't correct the person answering until they finish their reply. Watch what you say when little kids are listening. And whatever you do, be specific when you make any request, or you just might find yourself turned into a box of chocolates. Aesop's fables are not the only sources of lessons like these. Jokes can contain them, too, and even the seemingly straightforward conversations of children can hold subtle insights into life's truths. This deceptively simple little book may adjust your perspective about unfavorable situations, cajole you into checking your ego at the door, encourage you to solve problems creatively, or caution you against trying to please everyone you meet. No matter which lesson resonates with you, you will finish this book with a fresh appreciation for time-honored life lessons. ... (read more)

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Thoughtful Devotions

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

One Almighty
by S S Sunner
Workbook Press


"The wise one will find union with the Lord."

Composed of both prose and poetry, this book of highly personal spiritual praises, contemplations, and reflections is emotionally charged with the passion of the truth seeker. The book opens with a melodic plea for readers to “pretty please read it, give it a shot.” A series of fifty-five poems written in couplet form, most of which are praise verses, follows. For example, the author states, “Truthfulness is itself a goal / truthfulness can play a big role.” Next, a section consisting of sixty-two short devotions is designed to enhance one’s spiritual study and aid in the pursuit and development of one’s spiritual life. Concepts such as, “They will know the compassion of the Lord, who, through His Grace, Praise Him and meditate on His Holy Name,” reinforce and direct the reader’s faith. ... (read more)

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Narrative Force

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Best Tall Tales in Short Stories
by Winnfred Smith
Westwood Books Publishing


"Now he understood. You can’t save everyone, but you save those you can."

With twenty short stories and three personal nonfiction essays, Smith's book is filled with a diverse array of characters and situations under genres such as action, mystery, romance, magical realism, or a combination of these. Despite the different themes and types throughout, Smith's style of writing is quite evident throughout the collection. He writes with a direct, conversational tone, with the stories relying heavily on dialogue for plot rather than movement. That's not to say that there aren't stories with a bit of action, especially those that follow federal agent narrators.. Either way, the focus on dialogue makes reading these short stories a breeze. At times, Smith also experiments with playful writing—stories that start off directly addressing the reader as if they were in conversation with the narrator. In some of these stories, it comes off as awkward, but in others, it helps fortify the narrator's character through their voice. ... (read more)

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Election Trouble

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Naked Truth: Or Equality, the Forbidden Fruit
by Carrie Hayes
HTPH Press


"'I am not ashamed of any act of my life!'"

Hayes delivers an audacious debut novel that, at its core, is about the fight for sexual equality in late nineteenth-century America. But it is desire, disloyalty, bawdiness, hypocrisy, prophecy, and several other narrative elements that give that core its many engaging dimensions. In the story, an enticing spiritualist named Tennessee and her sister Victoria take America by storm with their needs, ideas, beliefs, and actions. One even decides to run for president! What's more, it is a world populated with many historical figures, including Harriet Beecher Stowe and Susan B. Anthony. Of course, just because the sisters are exceedingly bright and seductively cunning does not mean they can't find themselves in serious trouble, legal and otherwise. They do, and that simply adds another component that makes this book at once wholly traditional and completely original. ... (read more)

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History Alive

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Blood and War at My Doorstep: North Carolina Civilians in the War Between the States, Volume I
by Brenda Chambers McKean
Xlibris


"North Carolina women did not wait for the state to secede before they began making flags."

During the chaos and conflagration of the American Civil War, civilians and combatants alike suffered and struggled. McKean’s research emphasizes activities of patriotic white North Carolinians while including Union soldiers, Union sympathizers, and slaves in this chronicle of the early years of the war. We see women sewing flags, uniforms, and clothing, volunteering in hospitals during epidemics of measles, smallpox, and scarlet fever, writing letters to officials on behalf of families and troops, and even, in the case of such indomitable spirits as Abigail House and Mary Ann Buie, stalking the battlefields to aid the wounded and soliciting supplies for men at war. Most men joined the Confederate Army, while a few stayed behind, managing state and local government. When the Northern armies invaded, many slaves escaped to possible freedom. Union troops aided them to farm for sustenance, serve in the military, and practice trades vital to the war effort. ... (read more)

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Master Storyteller

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Crossing the Digital Faultline: 10 Leadership Rules to Win in the Age of Digitalization and Uncertainty
by Sri Manchala
Trasers Publishing


"As in any earthquake, the forces causing the upheaval on the Digital Faultline are below the surface and therefore invisible."

Manchala has been a prominent researcher, consultant, and expert in digital-age business processes for many years. Based primarily in Silicon Valley, he has worked on many related initiatives for almost a quarter of a century. In his highly informed opinion, far less than ten percent of companies succeed as they should in the modern digital environment, simply because their leaders don't know how to use the rapidly changing rules, tools, and protocols of digital technology. It's what he calls digital disruption. This comprehensive yet highly approachable book fully examines digital disruption by explaining it in easy-to-understand terms with undemanding charts, graphs, and images. It relates it to common concepts, such as the disorder caused by earthquakes, and presents several steps, principles, and action plans to help business leaders and ordinary people make modern digital life more predictable, less disruptive, and far easier to deal with. ... (read more)

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