“Saved” is not Home Free

Ted Bush

Xlibris, 80 pages, (paperback) $15.99, 9781453500880
(Reviewed: June, 2011)

In this delightful primer on the essentials of Christianity, retired forester and devoted Episcopalian Ted Bush argues that religious conversion isn’t just a one-time event but an ongoing process that is as repetitive and important as breathing. To be born again in spirit, he contends, is like being born physically: it is the first wobbly […]

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Concepts of Islam

Naeem Abdullah

Xlibris, 274 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781456852436
(Reviewed: June, 2011)

African-American Naeem Abdullah converted from his childhood Christian faith to Islam after hearing speeches by the late Malcolm X. When the Nation of Islam movement split after the death of founder Elijah Muhammad, Abdullah followed the leadership of Muhammad’s son, Warith Deen Muhammad, rather than that of Louis Farrakhan. Concepts of Islam is Abdullah’s second […]

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The Heart of a Pilot

Thomas Lee Bangart

Xlibris, 246 pages, (paperback) $15.99, 9781450061636
(Reviewed: May, 2011)

Thomas Lee Bangart, now in his 80s, grew up nearly dirt poor in Billings, Montana. After a ride in a barnstormer’s plane at age 5, he decided he wanted to be a pilot and, with determination displayed throughout his life, achieved his goal, becoming a bush pilot, then an Eastern Airlines pilot, and finally leaving […]

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Chicken Hill Chronicle

Norman B. Cohen and Lawrence E. Cohen

Xlibris, 313 pages, (paperback) $15.99, 9781456874353
(Reviewed: May, 2011)

Frail at age 82, retired shoe store owner Norman B. Cohen seemed an unlikely candidate to write a memoir. Then, at a family Labor Day picnic, Norman snapped when his sister referred to their deceased father Abe, also a shoe store owner, as a “good businessman.” Angry at the apparent myth that Abe had run […]

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grydscaen: retribution

Natsuya Uesugi

Xlibris, 273 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781453564158
(Reviewed: May, 2011)

This episodic novel jumps right into the action some time in the future as an underground rebel force with psychic powers called the Packrats uses guerilla warfare against an established military, the Psi faction, comprised of soldiers who also have psychic powers.

Although the author provides a cast of characters at the beginning, grydscaen: retribution […]

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The Golden Heart

Emil Kackos

Xlibris, 105 pages, (paperback) $15.99, 9781453576731
(Reviewed: May, 2011)

Young readers (ages 8-11) with a love of action over character development will have fun with this tale of fire-breathing dragons and magic spells. Emil Kackos’s The Golden Heart pits a small gang of multi-specie tweens against an evil wizard determined to take over the world. Good-hearted and fearless, the new friends rise to the […]

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The Sphere

Cormeel Booysen

Xlibris, 243 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781456857325
(Reviewed: May, 2011)

The people and places in The Sphere are as elusive as the “Light Gray, Almost White, Almost Silver” of the subtitle. Characters have only first names. Countries — the protagonist, Victor, is from Azania — are unfamiliar. Even the time frame — travel is by horsecart and sailing ship, streets are cobblestone, yet mysterious “spheres” […]

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Why Did He Kill?

Jack Stahl

Xlibris, 269 pages, (paperback0 $19.99, 9781456884055
(Reviewed: May, 2011)

Jack Stahl uses the case of Klaus Schmitt, a depraved Viennese finance heir, to pose his novel’s title question. Klaus’ successful father, Conrad, plans to groom him for a career as prestigious as his own. Klaus, however, fails to meet his father’s expectations and, as a teenager, robs and kills a man for thrills. Klaus’ […]

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The Other Side of Innocence

Gerald Myers

Xlibris, 340 pages, (hardcover) $32.99, 9781456862961
(Reviewed: May, 2011)

Mystery author Gerald Myers changes course with The Other Side of Innocence, a coming-of-age novel that contemplates whether or not the past can be forgotten.

Kelly Masters has a successful career and a happy marriage, but an invitation to his 40th high school reunion unearths buried memories. As Kelly recalls his senior year during the […]

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Wally the Worm’s Adventures on the Farm

Jim Rinaldo

Xlibris, 26 pages, (paperback) $15.99, 9781456891022
(Reviewed: May, 2011)

In this engaging children’s picture book, Wally is a worm with big plans for his morning: he wants to wiggle all the way across the barnyard to the apple trees, where he aims to munch into “a big juicy apple for breakfast.” That may sound simple enough, but when you’re a worm, the mission presents […]

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