Honest Sid

Ronald Probstein

iUniverse, 208 pages, (paperback) $17.95, 9781440141874
(Reviewed: November, 2011)

For Ronald Probstein, growing up in New York City during the Great Depression was as unconventional as it was unpredictable. His father, Sid, was a gambler, ticket scalper, bookie, and horseplayer, and Ronald’s boyhood hangouts were the betting parlors, cigar shops, boxing gyms, and area racetracks where his father conducted business.

Known as “Honest Sid,” […]

Read full review...

Circuits and Bumps

Philip Condon

Trafford, 482 pages, (paperback) $33.48, 9781412099301
(Reviewed: November, 2011)

P.A. Condon’s literary gem of a memoir, written at age 80, shares sensitive details of his hard-scrabble life with the deft story-telling of Frank McCourt and a healthy dose of Julian Barnes’ keen wit. His reminiscences uncover an emotionally vulnerable childhood and a deep love of family, books, music, mountains, flying and teaching.

The book […]

Read full review...

The “Tell Me a Story” Book

S. Steele

AuthorHouse, 116 pages, (paperback) $13.99, 9781425979935
(Reviewed: November, 2011)

Here’s a book that sounds promising: a former YMCA camp director shares a dozen suspense stories to read aloud around a campfire or at bedtime. Unfortunately, S. Steele’s premise is flawed by poorly crafted stories that are far too graphically violent to read to children.

Steele sells the book on the back cover as a […]

Read full review...

Kingdom Come

Rob Murphy

AuthorHouse, 500 pages, (paperback) $15.47, 9781456782115
(Reviewed: November, 2011)

Kingdom Come is a speculative thriller that exploits ideological fault lines within the United Kingdom. In 2015, an increasingly conservative Britain has stumbled into potential economic prosperity by discovering oil off the coasts of Scotland and Wales, but the leaders of those regions see it as a way to seek independence from the UK. The […]

Read full review...

The Adventures of Big Dog: Troubles and Triumph

Donald Draayer

Xlibris, 44 pages, (paperback) $21.99, 9781465348951
(Reviewed: November, 2011)

Donald Draayer’s children’s chapter book centers on two children, their parents and the loveable but sometimes infuriating dog next door.

Dirk and Dawn, especially Dirk, constantly beg their parents for a canine addition to the household. When their neighbors ask the family to care for their golden retriever known as Big Dog for two days, […]

Read full review...

Hitler’s Silver Box

Allen Malnak

Two Harbors Press, 316 pages, (paperback) $16.95, 9781937293369
(Reviewed: November, 2011)

In his mystery and suspense debut novel, Allen Malnak fashions a compelling story that opens in the present but has roots in world events 50 years past.

As the chief ER resident at Chicago’s Cook County Hospital, Dr. Bruce Starkman is consumed with his career. While taking some hard-earned time off, Starkman receives devastating news: […]

Read full review...

The Tangled Web of Patent Number 174465

Russell Pizer

AuthorHouse, 368 pages, (paperback) $17.99, 9781438984025
(Reviewed: November, 2011)

This intriguing study explores the controversy surrounding Alexander Graham Bell’s 1874 patent for the telephone. As author Russell A. Pizer details in his book, on the same day that Bell applied for his patent (the #174465 of the title), a rival inventor, Elisha Gray, applied for a less expensive type of patent called a “caveat” […]

Read full review...

A Sunny Day

Wendy Sparkes

AuthorHouse, 20 pages, (paperback) $11.49, 9781438969770
(Reviewed: November, 2011)

In this wholesome Christian picture book, a young boy and girl learn to appreciate the world around them and find the good even in bad experiences.

A Sunny Day is the third book in the British series, Stop and Smell the Roses, which follows siblings Jude and Annie as they learn moral lessons from the […]

Read full review...

Get Clarity: The Lights-On Guide to Manifesting Success in Life and Work

Cathy Hawk and Gary Hawk

Get Clarity Press, 218 pages, (paperback) $27.95, 9780983584704
(Reviewed: November, 2011)

The Chinese call it chi, Hindus call it prana and Americans call it vital energy. Obtaining and benefiting from this invisible life force is the subject of Get Clarity, a self-help book by a husband-and-wife life coaching team.

Cathy and Gary Hawk based their book on what they’ve learned during more than 20 years of […]

Read full review...

A Hunter’s Blood: The Crimson Contracts

Kyle Robertson

Xlibris, 166 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781436323635
(Reviewed: November, 2011)

Drakx Slazakohn is a bounty hunter in the year 3041. Although there are still police officers and a military force in Kyle Robertson’s episodic science fiction thriller, bounty hunters get all of the tough jobs, and they have discretion about whether to bring in their contracts dead or alive. Drakx is the best at what […]

Read full review...