My Dad the Runner

Raymond A. Ramirez

Xlibris, 63 pages, (paperback) $15.99, 9781469171319
(Reviewed: September, 2012)

In his introduction to My Dad the Runner, author Raymond A. Ramirez writes that “Life may be knocking you down but you are measured by the number of times you are able to get up.” His memoir gets that message across.

The book features three segments: Ramirez’s childhood, military service, and life afterwards. The middle […]

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The Crowned White Eagle

Anthony P. Kowalski

Xlibris, 116 pages, (paperback) $15.99, 9781469168906
(Reviewed: September, 2012)

Growing up in a Polish-American household, Anthony P. Kowalski was fascinated by his heritage. With the thinnest of clues — the name of a tiny village in Poland — he begins the search for his relatives to piece together the family history. After some initial vacation trips to Poland, he was able to make several […]

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The Silent Partner

Terrence King

Trafford, 311 pages, (paperback) $19.11, 9781466916395
(Reviewed: September, 2012)

Terrence King’s The Silent Partner begins with a description of a sullen and outraged angel who God assigns to help a struggling columnist get his first book published. Homer – for that’s what God names the angel even though she is female – is “at once bruised and lovely, with a chubby face” which is […]

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Conversations with Hitler & Stalin

Ayad Gharbawi

AuthorHouse, 390 pages, (paperback) $20.47, 9781456773410
(Reviewed: September, 2012)

The Iraqi-born author of this peculiar, intermittently compelling volume, a “writer, painter and poet” educated at Tufts University in Boston, has a profound interest in the bloody fantasies of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. His fiction takes the form of a series of imagined interviews with the two dictators conducted by an inquisitor called “X.”

[…]

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Poems From the Heart

Collins Graham

Xlibris, 94 pages, (paperback) $15.99, 9781477104583
(Reviewed: September, 2012)

The first thing you notice about Poems from the Heart by Collins Graham is that every poem except for one is in all capital letters–which is off-putting because it seems as if they’re shouting at you. This is unfortunate, because if his poems are any indication, Graham is an earnest man with a humble heart. […]

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The Making of a Pacific Citizen

Hugh L. Burleson II

AuthorHouse, 421 pages, (paperback) $22.99, 9781425971083
(Reviewed: September, 2012)

Dwight Eisenhower and Monkees’ lead singer Davy Jones make cameos in Hugh L. Burleson’s informative, highly readable memoir about his life in the U.S. Foreign Service. Bold-faced names are just the spice, though, in this delightful story of a diplomat’s satisfying career and marriage, beautifully told.

Born in 1927, the son and grandson of Episcopal […]

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Beekemose

Desmond Nicholas Bamford

AuthorHouse, 43 pages, (paperback) $13.66, 9781468577730
(Reviewed: September, 2012)

Beekemose is a set of seven very short stories written for children by Desmond Nicholas Bamford. They feature creatures called the Beekemose: “blue, kidney-shaped beings that live at the North Pole. They live in an igloo and spend much time fishing.” Most of the Beekemose stories revolve around the creatures finding human objects and puzzling […]

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Sleepy Faces in Sleeping Places

Laura K. Runion

Trafford, 23 pages, (paperback) $16.10, 9781466940208
(Reviewed: September, 2012)

A goldfish sleeps with his eyes wide open and bunnies snuggle in a nest of their mommy’s fur in Sleepy Faces in Sleeping Places, a rhyming picture-book take on animal sleep habits, complemented with soothing watercolor paintings by William L. Dowdy.

Debut author Laura K. Runion begins the picture book with a catchy introduction to […]

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Why Be Fundamental

Kevin S. Holland

AuthorHouse, 127 pages, (paperback) $11.70, 9781456736293
(Reviewed: September, 2012)

When you love something, you take that something very seriously. Kevin S. Holland loves his Baptist faith, and in his book, Why Be Fundamental, he comes out with two guns a’blazing in defense of his religion and in support of a strict adherence to the written word of God in the Bible. “In recent years,” […]

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Lovingly and Orderly

Theodore "Ted" Shorter, Jr.

Trafford, 387 pages, (paperback) $21.99, 9781466932876
(Reviewed: September, 2012)

The genesis for Ted Shorter’s Lovingly And Orderly was the death of his mother, Pauline, in 2000. Perhaps equally sad was the aftermath, as Shorter and his four siblings became locked in a probate dispute over Pauline’s meager estate — a house on Chicago’s West Side, a few thousand dollars and her personal items. The […]

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