Neptune’s Chariot

Irv Sternberg

Outskirts Press, 316 pages, hardcover, $26.95, 9781432718848
(Reviewed: November, 2010)

The author of several well-received regional mysteries, Sternberg (No Laughing Matter, 2007, etc.) hits his literary sweet spot with this imaginative throwback set on the high seas circa 1855. As the novel opens in Boston, a highborn lady named Elizabeth Godwin argues vehemently against returning with her family to her native England, begging to join […]

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Salt in Our Blood: The Memoir of a Fisherman’s Wife

Michele Longo Eder

Dancing Moon Press, 431 pages, (paperback) $16.95, 9781892076441
(Reviewed: November, 2010)

While fishermen bear the physical risks of their sea-going profession, their family members carry the emotional burdens. So it was for Eder, who started a journal in December 2000 to chronicle the life of her commercial fishing family in Newport, Oregon. Eder’s husband Bob operated two fishing boats. Her sons Ben and Dylan pitched in […]

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Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend

Cheryl Carpinello

Outskirts Press, 122 pages, (paperback) $10.95, 9781432737047
(Reviewed: November, 2010)

In this sweet, if uneven introduction to the lore of Camelot, a spirited young Guinevere struggles to accept her destiny.

Just before her 13th birthday, as she prepares to become a queen, Guinevere slips off into the forest with 7-year-old friend Cedwyn to hunt for a rabbit she hopes will bring her luck. She stumbles […]

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Peace at the Edge of Uncertainty: Finding Beauty in Mystery, Reclaiming Truth from the Myth of Certainty

Neil Hanson

High Prairie Press, 122 pages, (paperback) $17.95, 9780982639108
(Reviewed: November, 2010)

In a stream-of-consciousness memoir taking the form of an open letter to his deceased father, Hanson explores and explains a profound spiritual connection to something larger than himself (i.e. God), which he was unable to comprehend fully until he sat at the dying man’s hospital bedside.

Recalling an out-of-body/near-death experience while unconscious during a high-school […]

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Carnal Weapon

Peter Hoffman

Dog Ear Publishing, 294 pages, (paperback) $19.95, 9781608440597
(Reviewed: October, 2010)

Move the cable show Mad Men from Madison Avenue to Wall Street, throw in a pinch of Mickey Spillane and slather in Harold Robbins. The result is Carnal Weapon from first-time novelist Hoffman, who commits the neophyte sin of melding genres (spy yarn, ’50s morality play) without adequate finesse.

Set in the Eisenhower ’50s, protagonist […]

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What They Could Not Forget: Holocaust Memoirs of Leo and Wyera Ringel

Nancy Ringel as told to Jenni Hadden

Publishing for the Generations, 108 pages, (paperback) $14.95, 9780615196626
(Reviewed: October, 2010)

Over many years, author Ringel elicited her parents’ reluctantly told stories of wartime-era persecution. The culmination is this slim and moving, albeit scattershot narrative. Ringel’s mother Wyera was born in Poland and raised Protestant but was persecuted…

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Good to Go: A Guide to Preparing for the End of Life

Jo Myers

Good to Go Publishing, 208 pages, (paperback) $19.95, 9780979817809
(Reviewed: October, 2010)

Having seen more than her fair share of death through the passing of her mother, father, elderly neighbor, and various other relatives, author Myers learned the right way to approach the end of life‚Äďand the wrong way. In a book that’s part self-help guide and part memoir, colorful first-person stories of Myers’ friends and family […]

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Beezer and Boomer: Lessons on Living and Dying from My Canine Brothers

Doug Koktavy

Brothers Press, 312 pages, hardcover, $24.95, 9780982126004
(Reviewed: October, 2010)

In this deeply sentimental tribute to his beloved Labrador retrievers, Colorado resident Koktavy tells his story of caring for companion animals during their final journeys in life. Beezer was diagnosed with kidney disease at age nine and died within nine months. His brother Boomer was crippled with bone cancer two years later and also died. […]

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