Prayer Prescribed

Anne Borik, D.O.

Xlibris, 113 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781465363374
(Reviewed: December, 2011)

Prayer Prescribed begins by describing disconnect syndrome: people disconnected from themselves, others, their surroundings and even God. Author Anne Borik then provides a system she calls Sign Chi Do to connect body, mind, and soul with breathing, moving and music. The uniqueness of this program lies in the fact that it’s grounded in prayer and […]

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The Quiet Doorman

D.H. Crammond

AuthorHouse, 408 pages, (paperback) $17.99, 9781449069032
(Reviewed: December, 2011)

This British cat-and-mouse suspense tale pits Andy Gray, a doorman at a nightclub, against Detective Inspector James Campbell, a police officer on the hunt. Andy is a man on the way up, the favorite son of the nightclub owner Hal Rubins, who soon promotes him to partner. He has another line of work, however: he’s […]

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A Novel Cuisine

John Skotnes

Xlibris, 287 pages, (paperback) $13.99 UK, 9781465351616
(Reviewed: December, 2011)

An ingenious title does not always foretell clever content; it happens, however, with John Skotnes’s A Novel Cuisine. This lighthearted romp set in Cape Town, South Africa, is witty and titillating, if initially frustrating – the latter because of the main character’s conflicting characteristics: Norman Frye is at once arrogant, sensitive, funny, vulnerable and acerbic.

[…]

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The Crazy Life of Brendan Behan

Francis Gray

AuthorHouse, 280 pages, (paperback) $15.49, 9781449068950
(Reviewed: December, 2011)

The very Irish Brendan Behan (1923-1994), like his contemporary, the very Welsh Dylan Thomas (1914-1953), was as much an American invention as of his own native land. Like Thomas, he followed the pattern of the wildly drunken and charismatic writer that had its origins in the internationally renowned Ernest Hemingway. As did “Papa Hemingway,” these […]

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The Reluctant General

Billy R. Cooper

Xlibris, 208 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781465345837
(Reviewed: December, 2011)

Blacks in the mid-’50s who lived in poverty in the Texas flatlands had two paths they could walk. They could absorb racial slurs and discrimination and become bitter. Or they could assume the attitude author Billy Cooper learned from his grandparents: work hard, be positive and aim for the top. Cooper’s memoir, The Reluctant General, […]

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Discovery of Gods Unseen

Somapala Dematapitiya

AuthorHouse, 428 pages, (paperback) $20.49, 9781449070830
(Reviewed: December, 2011)

As a young man growing up in Sri Lanka, author Somapala Dematapitiya believed in the existence of the gods as shared by his grandfather, but categorized them as “unreasonable, unjust and unkind, and thought that the best treatment they deserved was to be left alone.” However, he changed his mind later in life when, to […]

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Poems for Henry

Siueli Eleni Mone

Xlibris, 72 pages, (paperback) $15.99, 9781465388230
(Reviewed: December, 2011)

Containing bright, bold letters mailed from a warm, generous heart, Sueli Eleni Mone’s Poems For Henry: Reflections is as crowded and breathless as the life she tries to find words to describe. And while the subjects – faith, family and work – are often commonplace, the contexts are decidedly not. Many of the poems are […]

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Deadly Pleasures

Mary Firmin

iUniverse, 304 pages, (paperback) $19.95, 9781462042371
(Reviewed: December, 2011)

Sex and the City meets James Patterson in this tale of friendship that’s peppered with enough thriller action to make Deadly Pleasures a solid guilty pleasure.

At the heart of the story is Southern California real estate agent Megan Riley and her three friends who each are at different stages in their relationships. Out of […]

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Growing Up: Life on a Wisconsin Farm

Thomas Fortney

Trafford, 220 pages, (paperback) $19.00, 9781426929144
(Reviewed: December, 2011)

In Growing Up, Tom Fortney recounts a way of life that has mostly vanished, taking readers back to his family’s Wisconsin dairy and tobacco farm in the 1930s and ’40s, when he was a kid.

The book’s 40-plus chapters are short, some only a page or two, each recalling an aspect of that life. Fortney […]

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Doctor Thomas Monro

Mora Abell

Trafford, 216 pages, (paperback) $20.00, 9781412099738
(Reviewed: December, 2011)

Thomas Monro, treated the insane in Bethlem Hospital (better known as Bedlam), specialized in watercolor treatments of English landscape, and mentored many fine artists–most notably J.M.W. Turner. It has been difficult to give a full account of Monro’s life because so much of the material required for a fully developed biography remains in the hands […]

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