Origin of the Arabic Numerals: A Natural History of Numbers

Adel S. Bishtawi

AuthorHouse, 359 pages, (paperback) $18.73, 9781456785864
(Reviewed: January, 2012)

Born in Nazareth, Palestine, Adel S. Bishtawi has published short stories, novels, histories, and hundreds of articles and interviews in Arabic and English. In addition to printed material, his resume includes TV documentaries. Origin of the Arabic Numerals is a scholarly attempt to trace the numerals back to ancient hand and finger signs.

Along with […]

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Tales of a Hollywood Housewife

Betty Marvin

iUniverse, 318 pages, (hardcover) $32.95, 9781440198298
(Reviewed: January, 2012)

Betty Marvin was married to Lee Marvin from the start of his career as a struggling actor in Hollywood to his triumph in Cat Ballou (1965). In his company, she met Walter Matthau, Simone Signoret, John Wayne and many other stars. In her new memoir, Tales of a Hollywood Housewife, she provides vivid glimpses of […]

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Keep Getting Up

Ann L. Stanford

Xlibris, 530 pages, (paperback) $23.99, 9781436309523
(Reviewed: January, 2012)

This compelling memoir recounts author Ann Stanford’s incredible journey from childhood in a one-room shack in Kansas to a remarkable diplomatic career, culminating in heading the American Consulate General in Lyon, France, the first African-American woman to hold this position.

Along the way, she details the challenges she had to face, primarily racism and discrimination. […]

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Mother’s Dawn, Black Swamp

Soonja Kwon

Xlibris, 87 pages, (paperback) $15.99, 9781465356116
(Reviewed: January, 2012)

Divided into four parts, Soonja Kwon’s third poetry book is a mature appreciation of a mother and father’s struggles to raise a family in a South Korean fishing village. Part I focuses on the mother, at times an abstract conception, at other times a specific individual. In “Rubber Gloves,” Kwon plays with the imagery of […]

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The Further Adventures and Life of Jack Dawkins, Also Known as The Artful Dodger

Alan Montgomery

Trafford Publishing, 209 pages, (paperback) $17.95, 9781426931000
(Reviewed: January, 2012)

In his debut novel, author Alan Montgomery imagines the life of Jack Dawkins –the character in Dickens’ Oliver Twist who is also known as “the artful dodger” – after he is deported to the U.S. for his crimes as a pickpocket.

The story begins as a frightened Dawkins awaits transfer from his jail cell to […]

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Two Ticket Ride

Sweigart Brothers

Xlibris, 281 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781465381521
(Reviewed: January, 2012)

There was a time when Jake Riley led special forces teams into missions impossible, but now, unemployed, unhappily married, and dangerously depressed, he hops on his Harley with a woman he barely knows, hoping to feel powerful again. As Jake pushes his ride to the limit with his new, troubled woman complaining behind him, they […]

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The Lost: Caprian 1

C.C. Lea

Xlibris, 146 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781465396983
(Reviewed: January, 2012)

The Lost appears as the first in a contemporary fantasy series, centering on a secret dynasty of supernatural beings sharing a private island in Virginia. When vampire Samuel Vardan issues a challenge to the households of Caprian Island, Caprian Elder Kyle Gruder knows that too few supernaturals from his generation remain on the island to […]

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Climates of the Mind: A Bipolar Memory Including the Therapy Journals

Allen Jeweler

iUniverse, 122 pages, (paperback) $13.95, 9781440193507
(Reviewed: January, 2012)

The National Institute of Mental Health has estimated that 2.6% of American adults suffer from bipolar disorder. There is no shortage of textbooks, articles and scholarly papers on the topic. But a view from the inside is rarer. Jerry Jewler, a successful ad man who transitioned into academia and spent nearly 30 years as a […]

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Humanity in the Midst of Inhumanity

Shahkeh Yaylaian Setian

Xlibris, 240 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781462884230
(Reviewed: January, 2012)

Here is an eloquent cri de coeur by a writer, teacher and humanitarian activist whose parents survived the infamous Armenian Genocide. It is a valuable addition to the literature of that event, not least because the author’s main goal is reconciliation between Christian Armenians and Turkish Muslims, whose forbears committed this first mass murder of […]

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The Adventures of Anna and Andy Hummingbird

Linda P. Young

Xlibris, 42 pages, (paperback) $21.99, 9781456895686
(Reviewed: January, 2012)

Linda P. Young has written a warm series of adventures starring two young hummingbirds named Anna and Andy. With help from the “Nice Lady” and her husband, who tend their feeders, these curious little birds thrive and grow.

This picture book is actually a series of five, short, interconnected adventures. In the first story, we […]

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