My Favorite Teacher Was an Ironworker

Rick Taylor

AuthorHouse, 348 pages, (paperback) $17.72, 9781463405489
(Reviewed: July, 2012)

Dr. Rick Taylor’s cathartic, inspiring memoir, punctuated by his youngest son Scott’s optimistic world-view, is an excellent guide to living life as well as possible. Funny, sad and thought provoking, Taylor’s recollections revolve around the discovery that life’s lessons can be learned from those we least suspect — in this case, Taylor’s precocious son Scott.

[…]

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7 Stories and a Play

D.M. Jones

Xlibris, 160 pages, (paperback) $24.99 AUD, 9781469179254
(Reviewed: July, 2012)

New Zealand author D.M. Jones refers to this collection as “light reading, meant to entertain,” and these stories and play fulfill, and exceed, that promise. She may well turn out to be New Zealand’s answer to Britain’s Helen Simpson.

Conversation and interior monologues that track alongside it are vividly real in these stories. In “The […]

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All That Remains

Melva Haggar Dye

iUniverse, 317 pages, (paperback) $19.95, 9781469796215
(Reviewed: July, 2012)

In Melva Haggar Dye’s All That Remains, Little Alexa has vanished without a trace over a year ago. Her mother, Thea, is convinced she’s alive, though two other young girls snatched in the Dallas area have been found dead. The tension has irrevocably broken her marriage, so Thea packs and leaves, eventually landing in Santa […]

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Brooklyn Crazy Guy

Michael Castello

Trafford, 192 pages, (paperback) $14.77, 9781466911666
(Reviewed: July, 2012)

Brooklyn Crazy Guy chronicles a criminal’s life. Raised in East New York, Michael Castello, the book’s author, evolved from a juvenile menace into a seasoned career-criminal who spent 25 years in prison and 11 years as a fugitive. Set in Brooklyn, Philadelphia and Baltimore, the book details a man bent on madness and depravity who […]

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Green Gravy, Monster Bread and Other Adventures

Alice Breon

Xlibris, 242 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781465377241
(Reviewed: July, 2012)

Spanning 25 years, from the author’s coming of age in Chicago during World War II to life in Japan as a mother of four in the ’50s and ’60s, Alice Breon’s stories about her life are rich in description (and photographs), poignant and humorous.

Married to a career Air Force officer, Alice found that her […]

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Zen Brush, Tao Words

Gene Lavon Porter, MA

Trafford, 79 pages, (paperback) $14.99, 9781426962097
(Reviewed: July, 2012)

One of the classics of world literature, the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu, has, since the sixth century B.C., influenced and inspired millions. Its 81 spare, lyrical chapters offer a metaphorical roadmap to living in harmony with the universe.

Gene Lavon Porter’s Zen Brush, Tao Words presents a new take on this canonical work. […]

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So You Want to Be a Leader?: Advice and Counsel to Young Leaders

Col. James H. Benson. Sr. USMC (Ret.)

Trafford, 147 pages, (paperback) $18.95, 9781425116286
(Reviewed: July, 2012)

What does it take to be a leader? Why do some people succeed, while others, despite intellect, credentials or experience, do not? Are leaders born or made?

These and many more questions are raised–and answered—by Col. James H. Benson’s compendium of advice, comprised of quotes and stories from sources that include the classics, history, philosophy, […]

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The Chenango Kid: A Memoir of the Fifties

Roger K. Miller

AuthorHouse, 217 pages, (paperback) $16.95, 9781468553307
(Reviewed: July, 2012)

Born in 1941, Roger K. Miller grew up in Binghamton, New York. Long after he departed, he became a newspaper reporter and editor. Used to putting words on paper, Miller has now written a memoir looking at how he became the man he became by exploring his life through high school graduation. Perhaps to give […]

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Saving Godzilla and the Other Dinosaurs

Eve Hunt

Xlibris, 24 pages, (paperback) $15.99, 9781462845231
(Reviewed: July, 2012)

Eve Hunt’s new illustrated children’s book tells the entertaining story of Edward and his rambunctious collection of best friends. Together, the boys bury Edward’s favorite collection of toy dinosaurs in a construction site, culminating in mysterious, magical results.

Edward lives in a house with his Mom, Dad, twin sister Elizabeth and his dog Brazier. His […]

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The Soldier’s Oath

Christopher Lewis

iUniverse, 205 pages, (paperback) $15.95, 9781469744773
(Reviewed: July, 2012)

Christopher Lewis recently served in the U.S. military, and the young author has used that experience to animate his first novel. It fairly bursts with Lewis’s memories of boot camp (“This is the sorriest pile of crap I have seen in my life,” an army trainer shouts at his clumsy recruits); the bonds of brotherhood […]

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