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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.

Recent Reviews

Focus Review

Featured Reviews
 

Recent Book Reviews

 

Focus Review
Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Loserthink: How Untrained Brains Are Ruining America
by Scott Adams
Portfolio


"If any part of your argument depends on asking critics to ‘prove it isn’t true,’ you are thinking like a cult member."

Famed Dilbert cartoonist and public commentator, Scott Adams, wants to bust us from our metal prisons. We all find ourselves trapped inside dead end thinking from time to time, some more often than others. He calls this “looserthink.” It’s essentially a flawed way of thinking—either through ignorance or bias—that blocks our success and even worse detracts from societal progress overall. The worst state of existing within mental bars, which occurs more often than we care to admit, is being unaware of its existence within ourselves. To escape, Adams says, it’s all a matter of training. ... (read more)

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Featured Book Reviews

 

Healing

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Jeannie Ann’s Grandma Has Breast Cancer
by Diane Davies
Beaver’s Pond Press


"Cancer can make our feelings hurt, way down deep inside."

Children are terrified by the thought of losing parents and grandparents, and cancer is a particularly frightening and mysterious illness for any age group to confront. Author Davies uses her talents as a grandmother, educator, breast cancer survivor, and patient advocate in this concept picture book that speaks frankly about the fears, tough questions, and emotional responses that both children and adults have when confronting this medical challenge. ... (read more)

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Disney Days

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Kem Weber: Mid-Century Furniture Designs for the Disney Studios
by David A. Bossert
The Old Mill Press


"'It’s the only furniture I ever dealt with that had a soul. It had an energy that came off of it.'"

At the close of the 1930s, Walt Disney was putting together his legendary studio complex in California, designed from the ground up to provide his team with everything they needed to do their jobs. Also enjoying success in his field, German architect Kem Weber was pushing the style of modernism in the areas of furniture design and architecture. Searching for someone who could capture his vision completely, Disney struck up a partnership with Weber that led to the designing of a whole new line of furniture that combined flexibility and modulation with extreme specialization. These designs and pieces of furniture served as an iconic hallmark of the Disney Animation Studios for decades after their creation as well as in a resurgence toward the end of the previous century. ... (read more)

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Humanity Explored

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Amadeus! What Makes a Human Human?
by Josephine deBois
PageTurner, Press and Media LLC


"'What makes you a better person if you are made in one way and not the other? And how would you even know the difference?'"

Ludwig Mann is a conductor riding the heights of fame and execution in his profession. Organizing orchestras in sell-out live performances and selling popular recordings around the world, life seems to be in the palm of his hand. Still, he is plagued with insecurities and doubt about his work, his life, and his romance. On the one hand is Tiffany Yun, a talented pianist whom he has bound his existence to despite fate and culture keeping them apart. On the other is Josephine deBois, his manager, who has been with him every step of the way and is deeply committed to him. The pressures of being a celebrity and always in demand compound this unsure aspect of his nature, but a deeper, darker secret is hidden from even Ludwig himself. ... (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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Finding a Way

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Up from Adams Street
by Larry Crane
Maine Authors Publishing


"I wished I could be more definitive in my plans. She wished she had been more definitive in hers. It felt as if we were balanced on the edge of a knife and could fall off on either side."

Growing up in Illinois just after World War II, Crane recounts his childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood. Born into a blue-collar family with limited means, he is constantly cognizant of disparities between his living conditions and those of many of his contemporaries. He realizes that participating in sports is a potential entrée into worlds that seem beyond his. Plus, Larry loves the games. He plays baseball, football, and basketball. He caddies at golf courses. As he grows physically, he senses the need to expand mentally and philosophically too. A scholarship helps, then a surprise appointment to West Point follows. Each step up the ladder of opportunity, however, is taken with a self-inhibitor in place—an emotional regulator that keeps his innermost feelings trapped inside him. ... (read more)

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Strange Reality

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

All Roads Lead to Lawrence
by Craig Leener
Green Buffalo Press


"And it’s through basketball that I measure my life and figure out the people who are in it."

Engaging readers in a fast break followed by an easy layup and a slam dunk, author Leener returns to Zeke Archer’s world where athletic prowess plus metaphysical curiosity equip this youthful character to meet life’s challenges and obstacles. As the story opens on a basketball court in urban Los Angeles, Zeke is engaged in the biggest tournament game of his life, while his older brother Wade is dying a world away in Afghanistan: “I realized I was no longer on the basketball court. I was crouched on my haunches beneath the scorching sun. The sound of Jefferson’s pulsating crowd dissolved into a whir of truck engines. And I still had the ball.” As his team loses, and Zeke’s entire world dissolves around him, he reaches out to his autistic friend, Lawrence, a math prodigy who intercepts messages from the 7th Dimension. ... (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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Scary

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Matt Monroe and the Haunted House
by Edward Torba
All Points Press


"Thick fingers of low-lying fog floated toward Matt. Curiosity urged him to walk forward, but what lay ahead?"

After their last adventure in the magical realm of Paragon, Matt Monroe and his friends are eager to get back to what passes as normal life for them. Back in school and under the watchful eye of their parents, Matt hides a series of terrifying nightmares about his arch-nemesis Damien, and Josh is hiding his unhealing wound suffered at the hands of a dragon. When Matt is out delivering papers, he encounters Nathaniel and Annabelle Parker, two children who were murdered in the town nearly a century ago. This contact leads to a new supernatural adventure that only Matt and his friends in The Brotherhood can embark upon. With vengeful ghosts, deadly poisons, and the shadow of Damien’s influence in every danger, the group of teens and their allies must be ready for whatever comes their way. ... (read more)

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In the Queen's Service

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Reversible Mask: An Elizabethan Spy Novel
by Loretta Goldberg
MadeGlobal Publishing


"As a doctrinally conservative Catholic serving a Protestant queen, Latham had almost concluded that he could not reconcile his religious faith with fidelity to the State."

Sir Edward Latham is a conflicted man. A Catholic knighted by both Protestant Queen Elizabeth I and the Catholic Mary Queen of Scots, he strides both worlds as spy and counterspy with the disdain of the conflicted. Never quite fitting into the role of knight for either sovereign, and finding himself having to hide his true religious bent when in the service of Elizabeth, perhaps it is inevitable that he becomes a spy for both factions. As his story unfolds, readers are taken on a marvelous journey of intrigue throughout a fascinating historical period. ... (read more)

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Culture & Life

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Talk Till the Minutes Run Out: An Immigrant’s Tale at 7-Eleven
by Benedicte Grima
HigherLife


"Nur Ali momentarily closed his eyes on the brightness of the store . . . He reached with the fragile tendrils of memory to conjure up, at the very least, the smell of fried dough and freshly brewed tea."

Informed by the author’s decades of study and fieldwork in the Middle East, this powerful novel explores one Pakistani family’s efforts to navigate the post-9/11 world of violence, cultural displacement, and exile. The main character, proud middle-aged patriarch Nur Ali, immigrated to the United States from northern Pakistan’s Swat Valley when the area turned into a warzone, making earning a living impossible. Ali found a community of expatriates and a job working the night shift at 7-Eleven. Enduring 15 years of exile, Ali worked to support not only his immediate family but also an extended network of relations, his only connection to them coming through constant telephone calls and dreams of returning. The chapters alternate between describing his family back in Pakistan—their marriages, births, and deaths—and descriptions of his grim, unchanging existence behind the counter. ... (read more)

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Beloved Pet

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Toby
by Phyllis M. Cutler
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform


"When grandma takes me for a walk she is very proud to walk with me. People stop and say how cute I am."

Toby, a golden labrador with a loving family, tells his story in this “autobiography” of the everyday life of a family dog. Always on the hunt for food scraps and looking forward to visits from grandma or the kids getting home from school, Toby is a lively, energetic dog with a twinkle in his eyes. Despite some necessary leg surgeries and even being afflicted with seizures, Toby doesn’t get slowed down by much thanks to his disposition and the love of his family. From stories of neighborhood walks to the joy of opening presents at Christmas time, Toby recalls all of the special memories and moments of his life shared with his beloved family. Though his energy sometimes gets him into trouble, Toby is always interested in being a “good boy” in the eyes of the people who take care of him and love him. ... (read more)

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New Kingdom

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Lamellia: The Wizard in the Forest
by Gloria D. Gonsalves
AuthorHouse UK


"I will fly high to the sky
where nobody hears me cry
and ask so many questions why."

Lamellia is a kingdom of mushrooms, and Tiara, an Amanitan mushroom, is a princess there. In the past, Tiara had been adopted as a human child, but the forest of Eucalyptia cured her and transformed her back into a mushroom. When Tiara meets some Little Brown Mushrooms, she learns that their friend is missing and may be in the Greener Forest, a place from which no one has ever returned. The Greener Forest is ruled by Evilia, an evil wizard. As Tiara ventures into the evil wizard’s territory, she faces great danger. However, she may also be able to learn the truth about why her mother was imprisoned for causing her sickness and weakening the other mushrooms. Courageous and kind, Tiara leads a potentially dangerous quest to face an unknown foe, learning more about herself and her family in the process. ... (read more)

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Forgiveness

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Melody of the Mulberries
by Tonya Jewel Blessing
Capture Books


"'If you tell a bad dream before breakfast, it will come true. Appalachian Folk Belief'"

This second book in the author's Big Creek series begins with the second generation of the Ashby family: Emerald, Ernst, and Coral. Set in the 1920s and in West Virginia's Appalachia, the story is a sequel to Whispering of the Willows, and fans of the first book will have much to discover and enjoy in this volume. The strength of the continuing story rests in the author's weaving successfully and nearly seamlessly the multiple stories of the book’s many diverse characters. The characters themselves are developed extraordinarily well, including the crimes of the family's nemesis, Charlie, who is in prison for kidnapping and rape. Coral is determined to visit him in order to tell him of her forgiveness of his crimes perpetrated on the family members and the redemption for him that she feels is possible through Christ. ... (read more)

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New Love Begins

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Soulmate Prophecy: Book One - The Birth
by Yasmina Haque
Dorrance Publishing Co. Inc.


"I don’t know who she is and I don’t want to believe that I’m desperate for an imaginary girl."

Everyone in this first volume of the author’s trilogy needs a change of pace. Lovelin Khan, a bestselling romance author, is bored with beautiful northern Michigan and is hitting the proverbial wall with writer’s block. Dr. Kaelyn Stonebridge, a brilliant research scientist, has spent his life in an underwater facility and is devoted to his work of perfecting genetically enhanced plants and animals. Born worlds apart, the contemporary characters gradually connect through Laila and Khale, strange and inseparable twins born to Maya and Amir, a couple betrothed at birth in ancient Egypt and eager to marry and carry on with their conjugal life. For their part, Laila and Khale cannot stand to be separated for more than a few hours at a time. ... (read more)

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Necessary Change

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The NEW Team Habits: A Guide To The NEW School Rules
by Anthony Kim, Keara Mascareñaz, and Kawai Lai
Corwin


"Using a step-by-step guide . . . provides some of the support of a coach with the flexibility and cost efficiency that come from implementing on your own."

The NEW School Rules is a philosophical approach to implementing change in school organizations . This approach depends on working together in teams, being willing to adopt new habits, and then share successes and mistakes with coworkers. This guide helps individual members to practice what they learn by involving everyone in teams. Habits thus reinforced become second nature. The SEPAD method uses five steps to develop these habits: Spark, Expand, Practice, Apply, Debrief. The first three steps are discussed in a group meeting and will require five to forty-five minutes each depending on the habit being implemented. The Apply step is modeled within the meeting but then involves three weeks of individual practice in the real world. The last step is a thirty-minute debriefing session where members critique their results. Throughout the organization, teams will be in various stages of beginning, implementing, and completing the SEPAD method. ... (read more)

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War Heroes

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

WWI Crusaders: A Band of Yanks in German-Occupied Belgium Help Save Millions from Starvation as Civilians Resist the Harsh German Rule. August 1914 to May 1917
by Jeffrey B. Miller
Milbrown Press


"The oncoming sound of heavy boots swept into the paper shop moments before the bell above the door tinkled."

As the First World War began to spread throughout Europe, Germany’s occupation of neutral Belgium struck many as a concerning action. With many of the able-bodied men shipped off for slave labor, the writing was on the wall that the country would stagnate and soon face a crippling food shortage. Efforts from within Belgium were being concocted to provide for the people, but without adequate access to resources and guarantees from the warring powers, nothing could be accomplished. Meanwhile, a group of Americans led by Herbert Hoover was helping American tourists out of the war zone but soon decided that intervention had to be taken in Belgium’s food crisis, as well. They had the protection as a neutral interventionist organization but lacked the infrastructure to disperse the aid appropriately. ... (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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Noah's Ordeal

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

A Perfect Confluence
by Peter Bridgford
Black Rose Writing


"He had no idea what trials and tribulations might lie ahead for him on this river, but he secretly hoped they would all be as easy to get through as this first set of rapids."

Crime caper meets riverine adventure in this whimsical yet riveting tale. Noah is a likable jerk, an ex-addict on the mend who foolishly messes around with the local mob boss’s daughter. He’s not interested in Papa Guerro’s offer when Lizzie announces she’s pregnant after the one-night stand: marriage or certain death. This small-time godfather runs a funeral parlor and forces his victims’ families to use his services, so there’s no possible escape. ... (read more)

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Winter's Journey

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Breath of Joy: Winter Whispers
by Kathy Joy
Capture Books


"Christmas is a collision and a kaleidoscope...
a collage, and...
a moveable feast."

Prepare to take a photographic journey through the winter season with all its wonders and glories in this lovely book that combines poetry and photography. Always venturing towards the silver lining, the text guides the reader through the joys and pitfalls of the winter season to reflect on everyday blessings. For instance, Joy points out that taxes may be higher, but this is so that they can lead to retirement benefits, guiding the reader to view this unpleasant task through a more positive lens. ... (read more)

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Both Languages

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Learning to Read in English and Spanish Made Easy: A Guide for Teachers, Tutors and Parents
by Susie Garza Navarijo
Dorrance Publishing Company Incorporated


"This book is my attempt to help teachers, tutors and students of all ages who wish to learn to read in a much simpler and faster way."

An experienced elementary and bilingual teacher of English as a Second Language has devised a thorough methodology for assisting students with the complexities of both English and Spanish reading and writing. Her book, which serves as a practical workbook with space to write and draw as learning progresses, begins with her assertion that though both languages have many exceptions to their standard rules, these are not as daunting as might be thought and can be overcome or avoided by using simple, straightforward approaches. ... (read more)

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International Fumble

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Rotten to the Core
by Rob Murphy
AuthorHouse UK


"Everyone knows how corrupt FIFA are as an organization."

International intrigue abounds in this novel that explores Russia’s bid to host the World Cup in 2018. The story opens with high stakes wheeling and dealing in full swing to secure the Euro 2016 football championships, which will have reverberations for the World Cup staging. As the story progresses, the inner workings of bids for international sports competitions are explored alongside the preparation by host countries as they grapple with funding, resources, and infrastructure. The behind-the-scenes machinations of football competitions prove interesting material to illuminate a myriad of political, economic, and social issues. ... (read more)

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Lady Victoria

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Princesses and Peas: A Christmas Love Story
by Terry Boucher
Xlibris


"Taryn couldn't sleep because she was worried about her parents, just as she told Kevin. A true princess is tender in her heart, not in her body. And no pea can measure that."

Duty, honor, love, tradition, stereotypes (and the breaking of them), feminism. veracity, and tenderness all come together in this familiar and well-told tale of a prince who is expected to marry a princess—or a woman of a high-ranking family. His mother, Lady Victoria, arranges a meeting between Prince Kevin and the mayor's daughter, Dorothy, at Christmas time. While Victoria plans a test of putting a pea under three mattresses to measure Dorothy's social standing, Dorothy practices a little lying in an untruth that she tells Kevin. Meanwhile, Kevin has met an eccentric marital prospect named Taryn. Taryn and her brother are invited by Kevin to stay at the palace overnight after they become stranded, and the reader, as well as the king, know that the prince and the capable stranger are an excellent match. After resisting the idea for a while, Lady Victoria is convinced of it as well after a talk with her husband. ... (read more)

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Numbers Zoo

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

What Happens to Numbers 1 to 10?
by Agnola Charles-Snowball
Xlibris


"Here we are once more. Do you want to count with us again for sure? Okay, let’s begin. Clap your hands, and shout it out."

It’s time for little ones to have fun counting numbers. In the case of this colorful children’s book for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers, the numbers one through ten actually represent people—friends who, among other activities, spend a fun, adventurous, and educational day at the zoo. The author has dedicated the book to her three grandchildren, whose “love for stories has inspired” the writing of this book by a loving grandmother. Readers are invited at the outset to count along with friends Jane and Mariah, and through their escapades at the zoo, we learn just what each number is up to. ... (read more)

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Stick Up for Dreams

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Girls Wear Combat Boots Too
by Dee Bryant
Xlibris


"Grace, you can become anything you want to be. Never stop believing."

Grace was pushed off a ladder when she was six years old by a boy who subsequently apologized. However, the fear stuck with her, and she has been afraid of heights ever since. She dreams of being a parachutist in the military like her mother. When she goes to the air show on the military base, her dreams are solidified, and Grace knows that this is what she wants to do in the future. She works to overcome her fear of heights by starting small with a jump off her porch and working her way up to the slide she had once fallen from. When the boys at school say that only men can become parachutists, Grace sticks up for her dreams and tells them about how her mother was a parachutist. She attends Bailey’s Parachute Camp where she gets to participate in a flight-and-jump simulation. Grace does a great job, and she knows she will make a great parachutist one day. ... (read more)

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A Killer

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Assassin’s Curse
by Dafydd While
AuthorHouse UK


"And in their way, assassins are no more or less than the gardeners of the human world."

Debut novelist While takes readers into a shadowy world of assassins and secret agents in an improbable setting—an old library built deep in the picturesque heart of a mountain near Vostok, Russia. Gustav Horst, a German kid from a rich but recently deceased family, is apprenticed to Luciano Boccielli, a former military comrade of his father’s. On his first day in the assassin guild’s training arena, an unnamed narrator describes Gustav’s predicament: “Only the best will advance through this obstacle; the rest will be cut down as if they never existed.” Boccielli reveals that his personal goal is to “destroy authority and bureaucracy from within, killing each authority, one by stinking one.” After two weeks of intensive training with Boccielli and other experts with various skills, Gustav is sent into the outside world to perform his first hit. ... (read more)

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A Son's Tribute

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Tuesdays with Ted
by Russ Woody
Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing


"To be with a parent while they are dying is one of the most human of experiences."

Woody, an Emmy and Golden Globe winner, enlists his considerable talent as a television writer in this bereavement memoir, a tribute to his father’s experiences with ALS. The older Woody suffered a particularly aggressive form of this degenerative disease that steals everything in slow degrees from its victims. “While ALS is insidious in its creeping acquisition of the body—its gradual and cruel denial of one function after the next—selfishly it afforded me precious time to be with my father before he was gone.” ... (read more)

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Up in the Air

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

I'll Have the Chicken
by Robert Kavula
Authors Press


"That night I continued landing that airplane in my sleep, and I continue to have dreams of flying problems to this day."

In this riveting collection of stories by a former Navy and commercial airline pilot, the reader obtains a firsthand view of the goings-on from inside the cockpit door. This is a genuine and often humorous account of the many trials and tribulations, moments of joy, and moments of “stark terror,” as Kavula puts it, that the pilot experienced during his decades of flying. Very much part of the reason for writing this book, the author relates, is the many times he would share a story from his years in aviation, only to be told, “You should write a book.” Tales of near collisions (both in flight and on the runway), of losing engines and generators yet somehow making a safe landing, and downright humorous conversations between pilots during flight are here for the reader’s enjoyment. ... (read more)

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Changing Times

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Out of Exile
by Ted Torgersen
Amazon Digital Services LLC


"Like a trace of something, almost gone,
shooting across your sight,
without a word to sound its way,
across the long night it goes"

Writing with a perspective born and molded out of the turbulence of the academic community in the 1960s, the author of these poems and songs combines high concept philosophy with the simple plight of the common folk hero. The end result is a lyrical style that strikes the emotions of the layperson and resonates with the big ideas of the learned. Many of these selections reflect inward and ask hard questions about what weights we accumulate and carry through each season of life. From the emotions of the change-minded 60s and 70s to a more world-weary modern voice, there’s always a strong optimism that proclaims that even though the outside world changes, peace can be found with enough exploration of the inner self and a willingness to find love within and without. ... (read more)

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Lost City

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Atlantis: Insights From a Lost Civilization
by Shirley Andrews
AuthorHouse


"Even though they lived long ago, Atlanteans were basically like us: equally as intelligent, they laughed, smiled, and loved, grew frustrated, angry, and determined."

Atlantis has fascinated people since Plato first wrote about a highly advanced, utopian society consisting of people who were moral and spiritual until they let greed and immorality control them, eventually leading to their downfall. This book is the work of one who has spent a lifetime enthralled by the story of Atlantis. Andrews states in the book’s introduction that it is her belief that Atlantis is more than Plato’s literary invention, and that “. . . Atlantis will eventually be included in our history books.” ... (read more)

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Transformation

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Inner Butterflies
by Nicolette L. Toth
AuthorHouse


". . . into a place no one knows how to explain."

Divided into three sections—"The Sour,” “The Savory,” and “The Sweet”—Toth’s book presents worlds of questions, worlds of observations, and worlds of dedication and rejection. Readers first enter “The Sour,” where poems like “guilty for me” present human fragility and irreparable brokenness. Recognizing that pain and suffering can reshape a person and his or her outlook, “The Savory,” with poems like “street sign,” reminds readers that choice and free will not only offer freedom but also other sets of confusion that make existence both worthwhile and frustrating. Finally, in “The Sweet,” readers reach a final, jovial reward. Poems like “clear skies” and “inner butterflies” remind readers of the sweetness of life, despite its turmoil, and that after life’s heavy rains, “rainbows are the sky’s smile,” After all, even the worst day can transform into a better one eventually. ... (read more)

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Power, Control, Identity

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Avarice Deception: The Lost Queen
by Angelika Jasmine
Box Office Media Creatives


"As far as the sabotage, would you want to compete against a Queen?"

Serena Gelsomino is an orphaned fiorriee about to attend her first courting to find a fiorriee mate and Prytore master to serve. A ceremony of status, wits, and political matches, Serena’s first courting already exceeds expectations when she’s presented with a yellow dress, reserved for the elite, and catches the interest of Peyton and Prytore Keon of the esteemed Silviu House. As Serena learns what is to be expected of her once chosen, the stakes are raised even more when her identity is revealed as the rightful queen of the fiorriee people, and she finds her loyalty and love being tested. ... (read more)

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A Single Mother

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

From the Heart and Mind: A Touch of Healing Written in Rhyme
by Jessica Crane
iUniverse


"As I pass some trees, to a view that stops me in my tracks.
Everything is dead, the trees are burnt, and life is what it lacks."

Crane’s work digs beyond subtlety with direct yet thought-provoking poetry that drives right to the essential questions that audiences will relate to, evoking feelings of vulnerability and contentment through love, loss, and an intimate connection with the Lord. Gut-wrenching discussions are not dressed up; instead, she uses figurative language and imagery to tackle topics like depression head-on with a simple yet meaningful scheme of rhyming couplets, AABB, etc. ... (read more)

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Musings

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Thing of Beauty Is a Joy Forever: A Colorful Life of an Immigrant in America
by Frank A. De La Rosa
Xlibris


"May you find enough strength to determine your own worth by yourself and not dependent on another judgement of your accomplishments."

In this collection of poetry, photographs, letters, and musings, readers will discover the many-faceted life of an American who came to the United States for academic pursuits and made the decision to remain and build a life in America. Dedicated to his late wife, Grace, the book offers photos of family, friends, and the author’s beloved garden. The author is an avid gardener, and many of the photos included in this, the second of De La Rosa’s books, depict his own personal gardens as well as subjects of interest concerning his immediate family members and friends. The poems included in this volume delve into such subjects as faith, grief, work, love, and thoughts on living a good life. Heartfelt advice is dispensed through a number of letters written to his daughters, sons, and even Facebook followers in this deeply personal work. ... (read more)

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Vulnerable

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Romantically Erotic Deadly Spiritual Society
by Jennifer M. Garnatz
Xlibris


"I hear the music,
I hear the wailing,
I hear the falling
of water thumping,
gushing,
bubbling,
roaring,
racing down the waterfalls"

This Jamaican-born poet writes pieces that, at times, can be very intimate, very sensual, and quite revealing. In her poem, “The Shower,” we read evocative descriptions such as “Excitedly horny / your teeth tug / at my underwear. / Now / I am naked. / You lift me up, / carry me / into the shower.” These poems are raw, full of carnal emotion, and paint erotic pictures. But, lest her work be pigeonholed, there is more going on here as well. ... (read more)

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Beirut Intrigue

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Block 82
by R. H. Duncan
iUniverse


"She felt her freedom and identity in her own country had been stolen. Those who were occupying Lebanon were also occupying her soul."

Beirut in the 1980s lies dying and “torn up in civil war” in Duncan’s historical and political novel. Her protagonist, Nadia, witnesses unforeseen destruction of Lebanon from Israel’s invasion. Forced to flee Beirut, Nadia reluctantly joins her family for shelter at her Uncle Hamed’s modest farmhouse in Labweh. In the absence of her father, Nadia’s mother, Jawaher, tries to maintain some semblance of a normal family life. Meanwhile, Nadia’s brothers struggle with the unstable situation internally and externally. ... (read more)

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Dreams Realized

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Harvest of Riches: A Guide for Young Entrepreneurs and Families
by Joe R. Fowler, PhD with Pamela Fannin Wilkinson
Xlibris


"When starting a business, a person needs to address certain questions pretty much in a prescribed fashion."

Many people dream of starting their own business, chasing their dreams, and being their own boss, but how does someone get started? Where can a new entrepreneur turn to get solid, real-world advice? In this book, the authors outline the thinking and actions that they put into starting their own businesses in the fields of engineering and gift retail respectively. Identifying best practices and acknowledging the sacrifices and potential for missteps along the way, readers will learn about what worked for them to create two very different businesses functioning on a local or global scale. Focusing on the required dedication and principles, the book’s goal is to help the reader identify within themselves the person they need to be in order to handle the details of hiring, accounting, growth, and expansion. ... (read more)

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Extraordinary Grace

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Angels Are Every Where: Who’s Your Angel?
by George Fuller
Xlibris


"I know now that God had put earthly angels here for me despite my flaws. Now that I can look back, I can see the wonders of his grace."

Set in the American South from the 1950s to the present, this memoir paints an honest portrait of the author’s experiences and frames them with gratitude. Fuller grew up as an African-American during segregation, survived bullying, endured an accident leading to extensive burns, worked as a tobacco puller, overcame drug abuse, and lost several loved ones in a short time. His spirituality—specifically, belief in angels—kept him going. At various points, Collier hears voices of guardian angels giving him direction and comfort. For example, shortly before a friend dies, a voice says, “He won’t be around long. There’s nothing you can do.” Earthly angels are humans placed in his path to provide aid and advice. A notable example is the author’s grandfather, Papa Badge, who functions as a surrogate father, one who is helpful, wise, and steady. The story is narrated chronologically, beginning with childhood experiences in North Carolina, leading to coming-of-age during the 60s and 70s, and concluding with a wider spiritual outlook in later years. ... (read more)

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A Look to the Left

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Liberal Record: Everything You Need to Know
by Marcelo Brazzi
Xlibris


"Lies and propaganda worked in 1935, and they work today."

What does social security and the right to smoke marijuana for medical reasons have in common? They are all accomplishments of social and fiscal liberals. As such, they all were once fearfully opposed by social and fiscal conservatives, who predicted the downfall of the nation through each of them. Eventually, but always slowly, the conservatives embraced all of them. This is not true for such contemporary issues as affordable health care, increased minimum wage, abortion, and gun control. The public must be able to make informed decisions, one way or the other, keeping in mind eight laws of politics that explain how conservative politicians disseminate misinformation. Otherwise, as it nearly did in the 1860s, the country might dissolve. ... (read more)

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Outside Baby

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

“I See a Bee!”: Baby’s First Sentences
by Maren McCarthy
Xlibris


"’I see you!’ says Baby.
‘I love you,’ says Mama."

This imaginative and delightful early reader introduces simple, short sentences intended to be read aloud with young emerging readers, who will no doubt find joy in following along. As the author notes, hearing one’s child utter his or her first sentence is indeed a special milestone. After repeated readings, very young children should be able to read the simple words on their own and, with even more practice and exposure, be able to string the words into the provided sentences. These are sentences with elementary, basic ideas—perfect for those little ones just beginning their exciting journey towards being able to read. Many present straight forward concepts, such as “I see a bee. Owls perch on trees. Bears eat honey. The snail hides under the leaf.” Others play to the child’s sense of discovery, such as “Look at the sky! There is much to see.” ... (read more)

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Rewarding End

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Adventures with Alzheimer’s
by Andrea Lee
iUniverse


"There is a definite learning curve when you are new to the disease and thrown into being a caregiver for your parent."

In a very readable account of her mother’s Alzheimer’s disease, the author writes about her relationship with her mother and with other family and friends regarding the day-to-day interactions with someone suffering from this illness. Initially, she discusses the beginning of her mother’s diagnosis and how she immediately became a caregiver for her mom while she was also attending college. The book then takes the reader through the process of how she began to learn to manage the caretaking and the routine developed, as well as to how the author learned to focus on taking care of her own needs. She then notes she began by writing on Facebook about her mother’s and her adventures, which led to the writing of this book. The rest of the book focuses primarily on the dialogue of their ongoing conversations and their photographs. ... (read more)

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Escaping Fear

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Flashback from Hell: How Evil Can You Be?
by Angel in Disguise
iUniverse


"It is your life and God is the only one, to give and take it away."

An immigrant recounts her first harrowing years in the United States and what she learned from them. When the government in her native land (she does not give its name) was in extreme disarray, she was brought by her father to America, where he chose to settle in a barren, desert town in California that had little to offer compared to the vibrant culture of her birthplace. The author, who had been studying for a teaching degree back home, met a man who wanted to marry her and take her to Ohio. Once there, she soon regretted her decision. Her husband was neglectful, unfaithful, dictatorial, and violent, often beating her. She was able to scrape by based on her high intelligence that brought jobs and promotions. Finally, to protect herself and the son who had become the center of her life, she returned to the West, finding her profession teaching blind students, one of whom eventually became her loving spouse. ... (read more)

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The Journey

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Edge of Dawn: When No One Cared, I Did!
by Brett
Xlibris


"The thing I like about me was I never gave up. I was always positive. That was and still is my outlook."

The author can recall pleasant times from his childhood in a black neighborhood in a small town in Maine. Yet he suffered trauma, twice sustaining serious burns, rejected by his mother who favored his older brothers, and then, in high school, jailed after being falsely accused of theft. Though he had credible witnesses, he was found guilty and spent several months in jail and rehab. Determined to get ahead and to own a house, he took various jobs, getting promoted more than once but also being fired, and once being accused by a white co-worker of harassment. After a stroke, he was unable to pay his mortgage. Through his continued efforts, navigating complex social systems, and getting help from several organizations, he was finally able to pay for his home and receive assistance to which he was entitled. Feeling free at last, his next goals include traveling through America by train and plane. ... (read more)

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To Love & Prosper

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Children in the Park
by Rosemarie E. Bishop
Xlibris


"Lilith walked the gardens she had created for herself with her ethereal magic. Fallen angel? Demon? Witch?"

In a novel that combines the immanent with the transcendent, the story takes us through the relationship between Lilith, the First Woman, and Samael, the Archangel of Death, and the ongoing saga of their interactions with humans, dead children, spirits, and faeries. The human story revolves around Steve and Elaina Maldier, an architectural engineer and an interior decorator respectively, who are summoned by Marcia Cranston in order to refurbish her mansion in Maine. Yet this journey begins with a secret that Steve is keeping from others, including his wife. Other family members also become involved as the human relationships keep expanding. As they focus not only on the changes for the mansion, the humans become entrenched with the ethereal, through good and evil, and who will survive an onslaught of terror. ... (read more)

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Honor & Respect

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Poppies on the Hill
by Ted Landkammer
Christian Faith Publishing


"Sarah was in the fifth grade and walked back and forth to school. After school, she would stop with her friends at Mrs. Brannigan’s house."

Nine-year-old Sarah and her younger brother Joey live with their family in a house in a close-knit community. Whenever Sarah walks home from school with her friends, they all stop at her neighbor Mrs. Brannigan’s house for fresh cookies. One day, when Mrs. Brannigan doesn’t greet the children, Sarah decides to investigate. Learning that her neighbor is feeling ill, Sarah decides to return the kindness she receives by keeping her elderly friend company and taking care of her. The exchange continues with Sarah receiving some poppy seeds to plant on the hill behind her house. When the season is right, Sarah’s hill blossoms in vibrant color, but Mrs. Brannigan passes away before Sarah can share it with her. Heartbroken, Sarah must find a way to properly remember her kind neighbor. ... (read more)

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What's Cooking?

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Coveted Recipe
by Astrida Barbins Stahnke
Xlibris


"So here I am --an accused ragana, a Hexe or whatever, full of information and knowledge like a honeybee weighed down with pollen but can do nothing about it."

Mara Liebman, a skilled baker, has left her hometown for mysterious reasons. She ends up at Fernau, a walled-off town, where she is put to work as the town’s baker to meet the Henker’s demand for sweets. Mara’s baked goods are so delicious that the Henker and his citizens repeatedly ask for the recipe, which she refuses to share. But the fear of the Bakkerhexe runs deep in the community, as well as the Henker’s greed, and she soon finds people’s suspicions turned against her. Will Mara be able to prove her innocence, or will she succumb to the same fate as the women before her? ... (read more)

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Peace of Mind

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Safe Haven of Jesus
by Steven Turnwald
Hancock Press


"Help God mold your soul into a treasure fit for His kingdom, into Safe Haven with Jesus."

Gifts of the spirit have influenced author Turnwald to share his thoughts with fellow Christians. After an experience in the United States Air Force that left him mentally traumatized and in need of rehabilitation, he began to understand that in times of such tribulation, Jesus is the only secure, trusted refuge. He often references the idea of “synapses” or connections that can be made with God. He compares the functions of the physical body to the way that God moves through us and influences us, allowing us to slough off that which is impure and unneeded through meditation and prayer. The synapse brings peace and allows mastery over the mind, which would otherwise be constantly preyed upon by Satan in the attempt to control our will and our choices. “Happiness will be revealed” to those within God’s haven. ... (read more)

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Searching Happiness

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Raw Intentions
by Sarah Schneider
AuthorHouse UK


"She wanted to be responsible for her own happiness, to be strong enough to overcome moments of weakness and times of irrationality."

Debut novelist Schneider addresses new adult readers in this gripping semi-autobiographical drama. Beset by the pitfalls of drug and alcohol use, casual sex, and the surreal cyberworld of instant messaging and social media, Savannah Jacobs’ naiveté gained from a proverbially idyllic childhood causes her to stumble through her first year at university. Like many youngsters, she loses focus on her studies, drawn instead to the bright lights and posturing of the bar scene and her fantasies of true love. Ultimately, when Savannah seems to have found a measure of experience and equanimity in dealing with her same-sex friendships and her mostly unsatisfactory relationships with young men, her world is marred by tragedy. ... (read more)

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Disappearing

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Witch’s Blood
by Anne Wall
AuthorHouse UK


"Frustrated threats and deafening screams shattered the tranquility of the once peaceful Scriptorium."

What if you woke up one morning to find that the written word, whether it be in books, on billboard signs, or cards, started to disappear? Unfortunately for Alfie, this is exactly what happens while celebrating Christmas with his family, and it turns his world upside down. As a third installment in the Librarius Quest series, the reader journeys once more with Alfie and his companions on an exciting adventure as he discovers that the cause of the disappearing words is another trick up the Bletherwytch’s sleeve. Will he stop her in time so that the written word doesn’t disappear for good? ... (read more)

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Anti-Matters

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Rubicon
by J. R. Desylva
iUniverse


"Without notice, although expected, the man came alive from a dead immobility, fighting against his restraints, snarling like an animal reminiscent of the Wolf Man."

A large military-industrial corporation, the Consortium Corporation, has deep roots in space exploration and development of space resources that soon make them de facto rulers of the planet Boa. Their attempt to set up a base and explore a far off planet called Tartan, where the entire previous population has been destroyed, sets off a chain reaction that includes murder by nanobots and then, soon after, the arrival of belligerent alien ships intent on invading and subjugating Boa. A time traveler from the future arrives just when this species, the Arbitrators, attempts its first attack on Boa. He anonymously downloads descriptions of antimatter and wormhole technology to the web and waits for the present-day scientists to download and use it. There is a balance of power in the universe, and it is not long until the methane-breathing Vermillion appear in the night sky on a planet located in Boa's vicinity. The Vermillion affirm the use of antimatter, and the Consortium gains in power from this knowledge. ... (read more)

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Nine Stories

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Short Stories and Assorted Nightmares
by Mark A, Snyder
Archway Publishing


"He spends the remainder of the evening entering search terms such as “clairvoyant” and “parrot” into the browser, but the searches produce nothing meaningful."

Composed of nine short stories, this collection possesses a wonderful blend of horror and science fiction. Regardless of genre, each story is unique and quickly grabs the reader’s attention from beginning to end. There are stories such as “The Long Fall,” in which Lieutenant Edward J. Mayfield is awakened from a nightmare only to find himself in a situation every bit as frightening as any nightmare. “The Abandoned” is centered around a lonely divorced man who encounters a prophetic parrot that changes his life in ways he could have never expected. “Cam4” follows the plight of a man who installs cameras around his property as a safety measure, only to have one mysteriously disappear yet to be seemingly still recording from nearby. Snyder’s writing is clear and precise, with each story’s plot taking unexpected turns into the unusual and bizarre. ... (read more)

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Truth Time

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Were They on The Moon In 1969?: Yes They Were
by Erwin Kostomai
Xlibris


"So what does it take to believe or not believe something?"

In a society that is increasingly doubtful of history’s defining moments, from landing on the moon to September 11th, Kostomai’s work demonstrates the ideal method to present an argument and debunk conspiracy theorists. From the Mercury and Gemini programs that preceded Apollo to highlighting and examining every aspect of the Apollo missions, this text is supremely comprehensive and impartial. Both sides of the argument debating the factuality of the moon landing are portrayed concisely for the audience to reach their own judgment. The heart of the controversy is whether Neil Armstrong’s historic “leap for mankind” was orchestrated and intentionally misrepresented to the public during a time when multiple nations were part of the space race. While some critics like Bill Kaysing, a NASA scientist, claimed that the landing was scientifically improbable and unreliable, others cited Stanley Kubrick’s timing for his space film 2001: A Space Odyssey as a ploy to film the moon landing. ... (read more)

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Uncollected

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Uncollected: Uncollected: Poems of Love and Madness
by Michael Adelman
Xlibris


"But, I am not a giant.
your star fades over the horizon,
the moon belongs to the night."

When words simply don’t cut it, poetry comes to the rescue. Adelman’s compilation examines the essence of being human, from love to loss, with unabashed furor and energy. Interestingly, a range of love forms is portrayed in Adelman’s text: the nostalgia of falling in love for the first time, unrequited love, sensual love, and the insanity of love among others. The poet is an open book, using his work to share and reflect upon his own life experiences. ... (read more)

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Desire

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Yearning Heart: Poems of Contemplation and Stillness
by Hilary K. Sinclair
AuthorHouse UK


"But we cannot abort the process of destruction on our own;
We must live through it, embrace it and savour it."

In a compilation resplendent with thought-provoking imagery and pinpoint use of figurative devices to evoke the desired emotion, it is the full-page illustrations accompanying the prose that audiences will find further captivating. From introspective commentary that elicits a calming, even meditative feel to faith-based poems and contemplations of time, Sinclair’s poetry is expansive and fundamentally sound. ... (read more)

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Resilence & Spirit

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Mining Town Memories: Story in Poem
by Billy Ray Bibb
AuthorHouse


"I was a thriving leaf in the top of my tree.
I was green and alive as life could be."

Often overshadowed, the mining community is front and center in this narrative-based poetry compilation. Bibb’s portrayal of Minden, Virginia, is rife with nostalgia and uses poetry to shed light on the incessant dangers faced by miners. From his own perspective, mining towns may not have the glitz and glamour of more prominent cities. However, it is undeniable they have traits that are not readily available: grit and a genuine affinity for their neighbors. ... (read more)

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Depth of Thought

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Crevice in the Forest
by Janusz Czubakowski
Xlibris


"Dust drifts through them
Yet their shadows fall.
Whispering, earnest to attain
Knowledge forever lost
Or what became our world."

Seeking a return to the more traditional form of poetry, one infused with meter, consistent rhyme scheme, and a plethora of timely and invigorating figurative language, Czubakowski uses his poetry compilation as a way to pave the path to poetry’s more classical form. In nearly every poem, the presence of scintillating imagery, including but not limited to “ash of smoke” and “fingers of light,” serves to establish tone and present a captivating visual for audiences. ... (read more)

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A Solid Philosophy

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

What There Is, As It Is: The Epigrammatic Poems of Ludwig Feuerbach
by Martin Wasserman
Xlibris


"What else is love
but an eternity
of pain and joy
in one single breath?"

Those who are not students of philosophy or 19th-century German history probably know Ludwig Feuerbach not by name but by the phrase he penned: “you are what you eat.” Though we have lost the context for that comment in everyday vernacular, this book presents the thoughtful, epigrammatic poems that Feuerbach wrote, translated into English in a way that maintains the structure and the message of these profound but brief works. Examining such big questions as the identity of the self, the nature of faith, and the attainment of happiness, each poem provides a sharp, snappy perspective that makes these great unknowns feel more manageable. While Feuerbach may not be a household name in the United States, his quick wit and sensible perspective will be easily digested by any and all readers of this collection. ... (read more)

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Romance & Desire

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Loving the Amazon
John Andrew Donix
Xlibris AU


"'There is a girl, a girl you love?' Should I be cynical? I answered, 'Yes.' 'You’ll be stronger without her,' she said."

Andy is a young man learning his desires and needs through a whirlwind romance with the young but experienced and confident Melissa. Though they connect immediately and with a truly uncommon intensity, their own personal demons drive them apart and send Andy on a journey of self-discovery and horizon-broadening. When Andy finds a new partner who educates him in a new sexual style, Melissa finds her way back into his life and puts Andy at a crossroads. Eager to work his way into a happy future with Melissa once more while also knowing that he has issues he must work through, Andy relishes in the debauched, erotic, but also romantic pleasures of the present while also not putting off the things he needs to work on within himself. ... (read more)

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Cloning & Christianity

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The 8th Sacrament: Our Cloned Body of Christ
by Anonymous
Xlibris


"Clones are often depicted not as unique individuals but as ‘spare parts,’ providing organs for the clone’s original."

Cloning is one of the more controversial subjects amongst conservative Christians, as it is believed that natural conception is the beginning of life. With this as a foundational principle, it is believed that people should not be playing the role of God by artificially inducing it. In this book, however, the author not only puts forth a case for it to be considered a viable option but also that it is inherently sacred. ... (read more)

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Underground

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

A Miner’s Family Life: Memories of Minden, West Virginia
by Billy Ray Bibb
AuthorHouse


"I want to express the feelings, the fear, the responsibility, the nobility of coal mining – digging every day at death’s door and not actually knowing if it is real."

The life of a coal mining family is rendered in nostalgic detail in this memoir and family history. Bibb tells stories of his childhood and adolescence growing up in West Virginia in the throes of the mining life, which offers his family steady work but often at the expense of their health. While much of the book celebrates his rural upbringing and strong family and community bonds, Bibb also wonders about the dangerous side effects of coal mining and the inequities between the coal magnates and the workers they employ. At times, he extends his insight to include the plight of the working class, victims of hazardous working conditions and mistreatment fueled by profit-seeking managers and corporations. With a steady mix of biographical detail and social criticism, the book helps bring to light ignored and forgotten communities built and maintained on the backs of workers. ... (read more)

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Sacrifice

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Journey to Twilight
by Charmayne Hafen
Capture Books


"Whenever the sun goes down or rises, all the cairns in the Land of Real-Time, the land you live in, open up."

When Lorna Wilson’s parents get divorced, she must deal with her life changing completely. Her mother relocates to Phoenix, Arizona, and within days of the move, Lorna finds herself embroiled in the “Crestwood Challenge,” a bicycle race instigated by the neighborhood braggart, Sam Black. Lorna is sure she can beat Sam in the “challenge,” and the two go head to head. However, the race takes Lorna on an unexpected journey when she is suddenly transported to another realm. In this strange land, she meets a creature named Trix and finds herself embarking upon a quest that will eventually allow her to obtain her heart’s desire. A tragic accident forces Lorna to again realize that life can change suddenly and one’s desires with it. Now she must rethink what in life is most important to her. Can Lorna give up what she wants most in life in order to help a new friend? ... (read more)

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Traveling with Purpose

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Essential Checklist for Smart Travelers
by Godfrey Harris and Kenneth M. Katz
The Americas Group


"As this encyclopedia’s ultimate editor, you will make this book the authoritative document on your personal travel likes and dislikes."

After an incident in which one of the two authors discovered that he had inadvertently left behind a number of important travel items, he joined with a colleague—both seasoned travelers in the fields of foreign affairs and international travel—to write this personal reference book in which individual “needs and conveniences, likes and dislikes, can be recorded, tracked and changed as circumstances require.” Harris and Katz have organized the reference book into sections on topics such as travel calendars, things to do before leaving, basic considerations, budget calculations, and a set of checklists for leisure, business, personal, and emergency travel. Additionally, there is a chapter dedicated to evaluation of the trip (what worked, what didn’t work so well, and space for miscellaneous notes). The authors note that their “book is designed to help readers list everything they like to have with them on any trip away from home, [and] allows readers to select what they will need for any specific purpose.” ... (read more)

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