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Wisdom & Wordplay
9781912256266 $13.99 hc amazon.com
Synopsis: Robert Eddison, a national journalist and playwright, has recorded every original thought he has had since June 1997. They now run to many thousand and take the form of witty, and often profound, one-line observations on an awesome variety of (150) different subjects, ranging from childbirth to political correctness. Publications in which they have most recently appeared include the Week and the London Times. Well known around the world for his witty one-liners, Robert has amassed a huge following on social media including more than 33,000 Twitter followers and 14,000 Instagram followers.. His first book, volume one, contains a selection of his finest aphorisms to entertain and amuse the masses.
Critique: Wisdom & Wordplay: 300 Original One-Liners to Enrich Your Day lives up to its title with hundreds of snazzy catchphrases. The tongue-in-cheek observations include, "Legislators who are a law unto themselves ignore their own laws", and "It is small, not great minds, that think alike". A pleasure to page through, either a little bit at a time or all at once, Wisdom & Wordplay is highly recommended.
All's Well: Where Thou Art Earth and Why
John Lefebvre Press
9780995904231, $17.95, HC, 189pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: A freewheeling rollick through the history and future of our species, "All's Well. Where Thou Art Earth and Why" by Canadian musician, composer, author, entrepreneur, retired lawyer and philanthropist John Lefebvre blends philosophy, metaphysics and ethics into an original and lyrical meditation on refining our place in the universe.
150 generations out of the caves, we think we know our place in the vastness of the cosmos. Only 100 years ago we hardly knew that our Sun is just another star. Today, we still believe we re the most intelligent beings to exist. Yet simple arithmetic suggests there are at least 10 trillion thoughtful species elsewhere. We re not alone in the universe, just lonely: when we sufficiently mature, others may be in touch.
"All's Well" suggests that this maturation will be deeply rooted in our acknowledgment that -- at our core we are vessels of consciousness, astonishment and love. With this positive summary of the human condition, Lefebvre argues that the United States foundational ideals form the correct basis for a set of Universal Rights and Responsibilities, excepting that they never were, and still are not yet, universal.
Moreover, says Lefebvre, when those with privilege accept accessible freedoms while being careless with those who have not been so fortunate, they have not earned such freedom but are merely taking liberties. Even these liberties come with responsibilities: to protect all humans from deprivation, and all the natural bounty from degradation. To accept that these responsibilities have no borders, and to act accordingly, has never been more pressing.
Interweaving small, autobiographical glimpses of Lefebvre's remarkable life and career, "All's Well" is nevertheless a story of us all, providing a rare and lyrical perspective on humankind and what both parts of that word truly mean.
Critique: An inherently fascinating read from cover to cover, "All's Well. Where Thou Art Earth and Why" is impressively thoughtful and thought-provoking. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "All's Well" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to both community and academic library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "All's Well" is also available in a paperback edition (978-0995904200, $10.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.99).
The Travel Shelf
Shepherd Canyon Books
9780936034065, $17.95, PB, 310pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The compulsion to walk yet another Camino de Santiago trail draws Susan Alcorn to the north coast of Spain. In Healing Miles, her vision is hiking through lively cosmopolitan cities and remote hilltop villages, pausing to sample delectable pintxos in coastal San Sebastian and sip sidra (hard cider) on Oviedo's trendy Calle Gascona. She finds that and more. There is the challenge of walking many miles each day, but there is also time to gaze out upon long stretches of sandy beaches, witness the ocean's moods as it blasts seawater up through blowholes, and look out from mountain paths across valleys blanketed with fog. Layover and shorter days provide opportunities to visit museums, Neolithic cave paintings, and cathedrals.
And throughout, there are rich experiences with others in terms of bonding with new people, sharing news with friends at home, listening to local bands, and happening upon colorful festivals. Yet, she also sees that life goes on -- no matter how much you want to do something, your body may protest, and no matter how remote the journey seems, news may arrive from home that a family member needs more care - stressing you to your utmost limits.
At 74, Susan Alcorn sets out to hike across Spain on two lesser-known, and more difficult, Camino de Santiago pilgrimage trails -- the Caminos Norte and Primitivo. This is not an easy venture, no matter what your age. Though not everyone has the time or inclination to walk seven-hundred miles across Spain as she and her husband did, all can appreciate the struggles and joys of walking the Camino Norte route along the Bay of Biscay, and of both the Norte and Primitivo Camino routes as they cross the mountains to arrive in Santiago de Compostela.
In the pages of "Healing Miles: Gifts from the Caminos Norte and Primitivo", those readers contemplating walking either of these trails will enjoy the substantial section of practical information. They will also learn how to plan and pack for such an adventure, the pros and cons of albergue life, and what to expect in the way of weather, terrain, and trail signage.
Throughout "Healing Miles: is the larger story and universal story of aging as Susan must confront the issues of her own not-so-young body and her mother's decline. Doing so is not an easy task, but with her own determination and the gifts from others as well as from the trail itself -- she does so.
Critique: An inherently fascinating and consistently engaging read from cover to cover, "Healing Miles: Gifts from the Caminos Norte and Primitivo" is an extraordinary account that is both exceptionally well written and accessibly organized/presented. Very highly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary American Biography collections, "Healing Miles" will have a particular and specially appealing interest for members of the now aging babyboomer generation -- as every armchair traveler who has every dreamed of hiking through foreign lands in general, and the back-country of Spain in particular.
The Language Studies Shelf
Lexicon: American Style 2
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 S. Parker Road, #515, Parker, CO 80134
9781478701170, $15.95, PB, 186pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Entertainingly written with an admirable wit and wisdom, Patrick Ragains' Lexicon: American Style 2: Exercising Our English Language, Our 'Flexicon' is a comprehensive compilation of eighty-one chapters, each of which discusses a unique element of American English and American lifestyles. The Introduction pays tribute to America's greatest lexicographer Noah Webster, Jr.
Through Ragains' sharp, often humorous, breakdown of words, names, and phrases, he encourages others to be able to communicate more effectively. By separating each segment of American English for thorough examination, Ragains hopes to help readers better understand and articulate their common language.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Lexicon: American Style 2: Exercising Our English Language, Our 'Flexicon'" is an extraordinarily entertaining, informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking read that will be of special and immense interest to anyone with an interest in the English language. While very highly recommended for both community and academic library Linguistics & Language Studies collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Lexicon: American Style 2: Exercising Our English Language, Our 'Flexicon'" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).
The Biography Shelf
Have Pen, Will Travel
9780996278379, $14.95, PB, 332pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "I avoided writers very carefully because they can perpetuate trouble as no one else can." -- F. Scott Fitzgerald.
"Perpetuating Trouble" is the personal memoir of novelist Chris Orcutt and shows how true this quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald truly is.
Debunking the myths, Orcutt reveals that the writing life is really one of crushing solitude, chronic dissatisfaction, mood swings and self-doubt, and where successes, when they come, are like diner mints -- sweet, but short-lived. And everyday life is equally stressful, with callous urologists, curmudgeonly painters, flirtatious receptionists, personal feuds and petty thefts.
For the writer, all of this leads to one thing--perpetual trouble.
Yet, Orcutt's deep love of language, his saintly wife, and his indomitable sense of humor keep him going. Whether picking up two female hitchhikers who later turn out to be aliens from another planet, or divesting himself of a hoard of tacky paintings, or using philosophy to get out of a traffic ticket, Orcutt finds the humor and the art in his trials.
It's also a life of love and sadness, as he recounts a whirlwind love affair with a ravishing redhead, and the death of his beloved writing companion, his cat.
In the end, Orcutt discovers that to be a writer, he must be part adventurer, crusader, humorist, lover, philosopher, and, of course, troublemaker.
Critique: An absolutely fascinating and entertaining read from cover to cover, "Perpetuating Trouble" will have particular interest for anyone familiar with (or themselves living) the life of a writer. While emphatically and unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Perpetuating Trouble" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.99).
Diary of a Schizo Bitch
c/o Author House
1663 Liberty Dr. Suite #300, Bloomington, IN 47403
9781532021237 $10.99 pbk / $3.99 Kindle amazon.com
Synopsis: When I was 15, my house caught on fire. Ever since then I have experienced auditory hallucinations. This is my chance to rant, cry, laugh, and prove to the world that schizos can be successful. This is my chance to show that people with mental illnesses can do well.
This story shows my ups, my downs, and random things that people will probably either laugh or cry out of embarrassment. But I know you should read it if you ever had someone struggle with a mental illness, or if you yourself ever have.
This is my memoir. People ask me, "Hey, aren't you a bit young to write that?" And they aren't wrong. But if I can help even one person, well that will be worth it. -Your Favorite Schizo
Critique: The raw, real, and unfiltered memoir of 22-year-old author Lily Bennett, who has high-functioning schizophrenia and aspires to become a therapist so she can help others like herself, Diary of a Schizo Bitch is a glimpse into the hard realities of growing up made even harder by debilitating mental illness. The highs and lows, as well as difficulties of fighting against severe depression, suicidal thoughts, and an eating disorder are laid bare, in hope of reaching out to and helping others who struggle against similar demons. Highly recommended. It should be noted for personal reading lists that Diary of a Schizo Bitch is also available in a Kindle edition ($3.99).
Mark D. Walker
Peace Corps Writers
9781935925811, $18.00, PB, 332pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In the summer of 1971, a naive young man must decide his path upon graduation from a small university in Colorado. Amidst the turmoil of the counterculture years and the looming possibility of being sent to Vietnam, he concludes that he wants to travel, serve, and, if possible, save the world.
As a Peace Corps volunteer Mark embarks on a vigorous cross cultural experience in a Caribbean and two Central American countries, with a final stop in one of the more isolated areas of the highlands of Guatemala. Though beset with a fear of the unknown and feelings of profound isolation due to being the only volunteer in a remote village, he eventually gets to know and appreciate the people of the rural communities he is privileged to live among.
After a near-death experience takes him to another part of Guatemala and eventually to a horse town, Mark meets the love of his life, Ligia, who will bear him three children and be part of a lifelong commitment to and appreciation of this beautiful and unique country. Much of the courtship process will take place on a coffee plantation owned by Ligia's family, where Mark experiences a different side of Guatemalan society.
While Ligia selflessly abandons her own career to focus on establishing a stable bi-cultural home for their three children during the violent Guatemalan Civil War, Mark's "wanderlust" takes him on a four month solo trek through Latin America and then a country change based on threats from a guerrilla group.
Mark's thirteen-year career promoting rural development through various international NGOs begins when he sets up a local development agency in Guatemala to help the poorest of the poor, whose plight is at least partially due to the policies of his own government.
Eventually family circumstances force a radical career change and a return to the US to begin a thirty-year calling. Inspired by the "extreme do-gooders" he'd met along his journey, he takes some of the wealthiest American families in the world to meet some of the world's poorest in some of the most isolated, unstable countries. This leads to many adventures, with both wealthy and poor growing from their shared experiences.
Mark's career comes to a sudden and unexpected turn after he is let go as the CEO of one of these international NGOs, and this frees him up to focus on his three children and his six grandchildren. This twist in the road also provides a new opportunity to reflect on what he has accomplished, where he's failed, and where the international NGO community has come up short.
Critique: "Different Latitudes: My Life in the Peace Corps and Beyond" is more than just another travel memoir. It is an engaged and engaging story of one man's physical and spiritual journey of self-discovery through Latin American, African, European, and Asian topography, cuisine, politics, and history. Informative, compelling, impressively candid, "Different Latitudes" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to both community and academic library Contemporary American Biography collections in general, and Peace Corp History supplemental studies lists in particular. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Different Latitudes" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.00).
Driving in Reverse - The Life I Almost Missed
Austin Macauley Publishers
9781786935113, $18.95, PB, 313pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Author Lindsay Wincherauk is down on his luck and headed for midlife collapse. Working two dismal jobs to pay his trendy Yaletown rent, grieving the sudden loss of two friends and family members, and dumped by the love of his life - Lindsay looks for the nearest exit.
He decides on a whim to escape to Europe with his buddy Dave. By a twist of fate, his life turns completely upside down when he attempts to renew his passport and discovers he's the main character in a dark family secret. Reeling from the shock, Lindsay grabs his bags and blasts through 11 countries in 31 days. Wincherauk's story moves at breakneck speed as he describes his flight through pain and madness, spinning into surreal side trips where he meets an inferno of wild characters.
Back in Vancouver, while driving a suicidal man to work, a light goes on and Lindsay knows what he must do: write his story. He's come precariously close to self-destructing and knows that until the hidden pieces of his life are uncovered, something would be missing. Writing his way through the dark chapters, with wit and candor, he breaks through to the other side - reborn.
Critique: A unique and compelling, intensely personal and exceptionally candid memoir, "Driving in Reverse - The Life I Almost Missed" is an extraordinary account of an extraordinary life. Deftly written, complex, thoughtful and thought-provoking, "Driving in Reverse - The Life I Almost Missed" will linger in the mind and memory long after the book itself has been finished and set back upon the shelf. While unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary Canadian Biography collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Driving in Reverse - The Life I Almost Missed" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.72).
The Shadows in My Heart
Mary Havens, author
Lynn Wiese Sneyd, contributor
Tumbleweed Mask Press
PO Box 870547, Wasilla, AK 99687
9780692947548, $17.95, PB, 322pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: It seems to be one of the immutable laws of the universe that big families will inevitably cultivate chaos.
Mary Havens knows this all too well. One of twelve children, she grew up on a picturesque Wisconsin dairy farm. Holidays, graduations, marriages, and newborns filled the farmhouse with the light of laughter and hugs.
But for Mary, the unspoken eclipsed that light. Unresolved grief, abuse, religious dogma, and secrets left her in the shadows, lost and alone. Recorded in the pages of "The Shadows in My Heart", Mary's profound story is one of determination, survival, and the ability to rise above the fray.
"The Shadows in My Heart" is a story that will be too familiar to some and unfamiliar to others, but will pull at the heartstrings of everyone who reads it.
Critique: Written with an impressive candor, "The Shadows in My Heart" is an inherently engaging read from beginning to end and will prove to be an enduringly popular and appreciated addition to both community and academic library Contemporary American Biography collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "The Shadows in My Heart" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).
Robert A. Siegel, M.D.
3101 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC 27607-5436
9781483468365, $39.99, HC, 486pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Gynecologist Reflections" is Dr. Robert A. Siegel's personal and professional memoir that also encompasses authentic patient histories. Readers will find themselves intimately connected to the patient, the doctor and the too often dramatic medical issues which they are bound to resolve together.
Each individual episode vividly depicts an individual woman's unique medical and emotional challenge which intrudes upon her health and life. Medical problems are not only harrowing enough to tear individuals and families apart but can also act to strengthen individual resolve and bind family members closer together.
Many episodes inspire hope, end happily and provide an opportunity for a sensitively appropriate sense of humor. The patient is the primary focal point. The doctor's moral, ethical, legal, physical and psychological challenges are conflated with those of the holistically treated patient.
The bond that grows between the doctor and patient is the writer's spiritual sustenance for the practice of medicine and the professional fulfillment of a childhood dream.
Critique: An inherently informative and engaging read from cover to cover, "Gynecologist Reflections" is impressively well written, organized and presented, making it an ideal and valued read for medical students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject. While very highly recommended for both community and academic library Health/Medical collections in general, and Gynecology supplemental studies reading lists. It should be noted for students, academia, and anyone with an interest in gynecological medicine that Dr. Siegel's "Gynecologist Reflections" is also available in a paperback edition (9781483468341, $26.99).
The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Ghost Pines Publishing
9781937223274 $14.84 pbk / $5.99 Kindle amazon.com
Synopsis: In the decades since an innocent human slave was taken to Castle Dragon, against her will, for the sole purpose of bearing a son for the monarchy, much has changed in the Realm: Alliances made in secret have flourished; sons born of veiled paternity have grown to adulthood; and dangerous warlocks, seasoned witches, and cunning shades have risen to powerful positions.
Yet all is not as it seems. Beneath the shadow of an eerie double moon, a dark, tormented evil is rising... Stirring. Awakening. A prophecy is beckoning: "It is time. It is time." And a lethal dragon prince is growing restless to seize the throne of his bestial ancestors.
King Demitriwill never step aside. Mina Louvet--indeed, all the Sklavos Ahavi are caught between worlds. And the web of lies spun by the eldest dragon prince--the treachery, deception, and perversion--may very well spark a war of fire and fury unlike anything the Realm has ever seen--or hoped to survive.
Great reward requires greater risk, and every beating heart will be wagered in this high-stakes game of blood and reckoning.
Critique: Also available in a Kindle edition ($5.99), the second novel in the "Dragons Realm Saga", Dragons Reign is a fantasy novel of intrigue, betrayal, and a rising tide of darkness. The complex interplay of heroes, villains, and ambiguously self-serving factions in this character-driven epic will keep the reader riveted to the last page! Also highly recommended for connoisseurs of the genre is the first title in Dragons Realm Saga, "Dragons Realm" (9781937223175, $14.84 pbk / $5.99 Kindle).
Jeff W. Horton
World Castle Publishing
9781629898162, $21.99, HC, 302pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The year is 2076, the year of The Great Schism, the year the struggle between liberals and conservatives, the culture war, split America in two. It's also the year the Second American Civil War began. By the time it's over, the United States of America is no more, having been divided into two provinces.
Nearly a century later the Corporate Synod forces citizens in the Red Zone to accept mandatory genetic modifications. Some "mods" greatly enhance intelligence but strip people of their humanity. Other mods increase physical strength and stamina that make workers in the factories more productive, but significantly decreases their lifespans. Meanwhile, The New Zion Church imprisons or executes anyone caught worshipping the God of the Christian or Jew, or anywhere other than the NZC.
In the Blue Zone, however, life is good; if you're one of the very select few who are members of the elite Gentry Class. For the vast majority who are not, however, food is increasingly scarce, disease and starvation are rampant, and government slavery is spreading rapidly.
Daniel Washington leads the People of the Founders, the Red Zone resistance movement. At first, he works only to topple the corrupt Red Council and restore freedom in the Red Zone. After he meets Kayla Ross, however, leader of the Militiamen Freedom Fighters, the resistance movement against the Gentry in the Blue Zone, they join forces, and together they discover they can do far more together than falling in love, they can start a revolution.
Critique: A deftly written and simply riveting read from cover to cover, "Future Schism" is an original, dystopian, action/adventure science fiction at its very best. While strongly and unreservedly recommended for community library Science Fiction collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicates SF fans that "Future Schism" is also available in a paperback edition (9781629898179, $12.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).
The Lords of Oblivion
Peter W. Blaisdell
Blaisdell Literary Enterprises
9780999220511, $14.95, PB, 304pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Bradan is fifteen centuries old, but looks 30 years of age, and lives in San Francisco. He's an environmentalist, drives a haunted Tesla and keeps a wolf. Life's good and he's almost forgotten his youth in war-torn, ancient Britain where he acquired the secret of near immortality, but also betrayed his civilization.
Then Bradan is confronted with his past when the two Celtic priests who orchestrated his treason are resurrected. The priests come to revere San Francisco's natural beauty and try to erase humanity by provoking a catastrophic earthquake that will return the city to a pre-urban state.
In this collision of modernity and nature, Bradan must work desperately to use his limited magical skills, current technology, and his wits to challenge the priests. If he doesn't win this battle, he'll be annihilated along with millions of other souls.
Critique: Deftly written by Peter W. Blaisdell, "The Lords of Oblivion" is a simply riveting literary fantasy/magical realism novel about a lethal conflict that starts in the Dark Ages and ends in modern San Francisco, all in the space of one conjuror's lifetime. Impressively original and consistently entertaining from beginning to end, "The Lords of Oblivion" is especially and unreservedly recommended, especially for community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated fantasy fans that "The Lords of Oblivion" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.95).
The Polski Trilogy
Leon H. Gildin
Dorrance Publishing Company
585 Alpha Dr. Suite 103, Pittsburgh, PA 15238
9781480950405, $29.00, PB, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: THE POLSKI AFFAIR
When her husband and children vanished during a Nazi sweep of the Warsaw ghetto, Rosa Feurmann sought refuge with the partisans operating on the outskirts of Warsaw. Learning of unusual happenings at the Hotel Polski, a small and undistinguished hotel, located at the edge of the ghetto, Rosa was sent to try determine why Jews were seen entering and in some cases leaving the Hotel, and to report back to the partisans.
Unfortunately, Rosa's role was discovered, she was never allowed to report back, and she came under the direct supervision and control of the Hotel's Nazi commandant.
What she did to survive haunts Rosa for the rest of her life and when called to testify at the commandant's War Crimes Trial she is forced to lie to protect and defend her own fragile ego. Conflict with her family over her days and months spent at the Polski is a never ending source of unhappiness.
THE FAMILY AFFAIR
The story of Rosa, now known as Anna, continues in Israel where she has lived following her release, along with a group of others, from the Hotel Polski. Her family has grown and a fortuitous discovery of one of her sons who survived the Holocaust, as well as the introduction of others, all in some way related to the commandant of the Hotel, continues to open new wounds for Anna, giving her no peace, and, in certain ways, tearing the family apart.
THE FINAL AFFAIR
Years have passed, new characters come into the picture who, without meaning to, continue to bring Anna's recollections of the Hotel Polski and her survival to mind, but a series of totally unexpected, and unforeseen happenings finally brings peace, forgiveness and comfort to Anna and reunites her family.
Critique: A deftly crafted saga by an author with a genuine flair for originality and narrative driven storytelling, "The Polski Trilogy" is an inherently engaging read from beginning to end and will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to both community and academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Polski Trilogy" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $24.00).
Found In Time
J. K. Kelly
J.K. Kelly Consulting LLC
PO Box B, Media, PA 19063
9780999409909, $11.65, PB, 318pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Two extraordinary warriors take on the challenge of battling their country's enemies in today's complex world. Why do they believe they will succeed where others have failed? They possess a new top-secret weapon -- the ability to travel back in time.
Major J.J. Jackson, a highly decorated Marine whose focus in life is to seek & destroy terrorists, is tasked by the Joint Chiefs of Staff to test the revolutionary technology that promises the U.S. a military and political edge over foreign and domestic threats. When JJ goes rogue and asks a higher power to save the woman he loves everyone's lives will be changed forever.
General Dick Stewart, Chairman of JCS, oversees the program they are hiding from a contentious White House and the CIA. As a supporter of JJ's career since the death of the younger man's parents, Stewart must watch his own back as he tries to look after the Major and his eclectic group of patriots.
For JJ's team of six men and women, time travel becomes their magic bullet. But when a new American President comes under siege, those who were 'found in time' must lock and load. The team will need to ratchet up their aggression to defeat the most dangerous enemies the country has ever seen and this time it will be on American soil.
Critique: A deftly crafted and impressively original military science fiction action/adventure novel by an author with a genuine flair for engaging and holding his reader's total attention from beginning to end, "Found In Time" by J. K. Kelly is especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated science fiction fans that "Found In Time" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.70).
The Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Sherlock Holmes and the Nine-Dragon Sigil
9781787050358, $16.95, PB, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: It's the year 1906. Rumours abound that a deadly plot is hatching - not in the fog-ridden back-alleys of London's Limehouse district or the sinister Devon moors of the Hound of the Baskervilles but in faraway Peking. Holmes's task - discover whether such a plot exists and if so, foil it.
But are the assassins targeting the young and progressive Ch'ing Emperor or his imperious aunt, the fearsome Empress Dowager Cixi? The murder of either could spark a civil war. The fate of China and the interests of Britain's vast Empire in the Orient could be at stake.
Holmes and Watson take up the mission with their customary confidence - until they find they are no longer in the familiar landscapes of Edwardian England. Instead, they tumble into the Alice In Wonderland world of the Forbidden City.
Critique: An absolute 'must read' for the legions of Sherlock Holmes fans, author Tim Symonds has done full justice to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's legendary detective in "Sherlock Holmes and the Nine-Dragon Sigil". While certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs that "Sherlock Holmes and the Nine-Dragon Sigil" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).
9781976507915, $12.99, PB, 266pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In the dead of winter, handwriting expert Claudia Rose journeys to Maine to retrieve a manuscript about convicted female serial killer, Roxanne Becker. The manuscript, written by Professor Madeleine Maynard, who was, herself, brutally murdered, exposes a shocking secret: explosive research about a group of mentally unstable grad students selected for a special project and dubbed "Maynard's Maniacs".
Was Madeleine conducting research that was at best, unprofessional -- and at worst, downright harmful, and potentially dangerous? Could that unorthodox research have turned deadly? Claudia finds herself swept up in the mystery of Madeleine's life and death. But Claudia soon realizes that Madeleine left behind more questions than answers, and no shortage of suspects.
The professor's personal life yields a number of persons who might have wanted her dead -- and her academic success and personal fortune clearly made her the envy of fellow faculty members. The University anticipates being the beneficiary of Madeline's estate, but that seems in question when a charming stranger, claiming to be Madeleine's nephew, turns up brandishing a new will.
The local police chief prevails upon Claudia to travel into town to examine the newly produced, handwritten will. Rushing back to Madeleine's isolated house to escape an impending storm, Claudia becomes trapped in a blizzard. With a killer.
Critique: A simply riveting read from cover to cover, "Written Off" by Sheila Lowe is an impressively entertaining and deftly crafted novel of suspense from a novelist with a complete mastery of the genre and a genuine flair for originality. While very highly recommended, especially for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs that "Written Off" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).
9780983506713, $16.00, PB, 360pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Biochemist Emma Caldridge joins Jackson Rand, pharmaceutical CEO, on a humanitarian mission to deliver vaccines to remote villages in Africa. But after narrowly escaping a crew of trained assassins, Emma realizes that there is more to this mission than she anticipated. Rand is keeping secrets from her, information that could cost both of them their lives... not to mention millions more.
After its eradication nearly forty years ago, the smallpox virus is once again threatening the world. With no known cure and limited stores of vaccine, the highly contagious, deadly and disfiguring disease has the power to wipe out entire cities. Rand's company was hired to secure the last known vials, but some have gone missing in Africa and a ruthless government now hunts them for use as a biochemical weapon.
Emma must locate these vials before the killer plague is unleashed on the innocent, ravaging a world that never expected to see it again. She runs to the border, finding and freeing hostages as she does. But an insurgency is rising around them, blocking their every attempt to escape. Surrounded and with no choice but to head to the desert, Emma must stop the virus and lead her ragtag team to freedom -- if the Sahara doesn't kill them first.
Critique: A simply riveting thriller of a read from cover to cover, "Blood Run" showcases author Jamie Freveletti's genuine flair as a novelist for originality and being able to fully engage her reader's attention. While unreservedly recommended for community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Blood Run" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.99).
Full Service Blonde
c/o Flattop Productions Inc.
9781945501005, $15.00, PB, 306pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: It's Christmastime in Sin City as aspiring journalist Copper Black meets Victoria McKimber, an outspoken prostitute at one of Nevada's legal brothels. Victoria has offered Copper the exclusive right to tell her story. Not only will the Las Vegas Light's "calendar girl" get a byline, but she can also impress her boyfriend and parents when they arrive for the holidays.
Copper is busy with work, Christmas shopping, and fantasizing about a whole week with her long-distance boyfriend. She's also helping her brother, a civic-minded pastor who is spearheading plans for a new center to serve the homeless. Things are hectic but under control when shocking news breaks. Victoria McKimber has turned up dead.
As she investigates the violent death, Copper evades enemies, juggles boyfriend, work, and family, and races against time to save her brother from a sinister plot. Unless she can expose the truth about Victoria McKimber, somebody just might get away with murder.
Critique: The prequel to author Megan Edwards' novel "Getting Off On Frank Sinatra", "Full Service Blonde" is an original and riveting mystery by a master of the genre. An unfailingly entertaining read replete with unexpected and narrative driven twists and turns, "Full Service Blonde" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs that "Full Service Blonde" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Yes Means Yes
Steven M. Wells
9780692908884, $14.99, PB, 323pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: New grad student Katie Russell hears a violent struggle in a student's apartment above her own. Upstairs, she discovers Ava's naked and unconscious body lying on her bed. After a young man threatens Katie and runs away, she takes Ava to a hospital for an invasive sexual assault exam. Ava's inexplicable refusal to file a complaint forces Katie to testify in a university hearing, one that results in meaningless sanctions. Outraged, Katie teams with a stalwart retired police detective in a perilous attempt to seek justice and takes a clandestine job within the police department. As she searches for another victim, one willing to testify in court, she confronts issues of Title IX, rape culture, criminal law, and a university administration that prefers sexual assault to remain secret. In the book's urgent climax, Katie is drawn into the case on a personal level, with more than justice on the line.
Critique: It is noteworthy that author Steven M. Wells wrote "Yes Means Yes" with two objectives in mind -- to explore the complex and emotional issue of sexual assault on college campuses, and to craft a compelling legal thriller that keeps the pages turning. By presenting a foundation of research based on current law and realistic case descriptions, and by interviewing sex-crime prosecutors and recent college graduates, the facts are authentic and the narrative based on experience. The result is a simply riveting read from cover to cover and a novel that is unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary American Fiction collections. Of particular relevance in terms of today's '#MeToo and 'Times Up' movements, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Yes Means Yes" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).
9780692853054, $14.99, PB, 278pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: An American agent buried decades in Moscow serving as accountant to former members of the Kremlin and the Red Mafia has finally come under suspicion. He is revered by his underworld Russian associates, for no one manipulates money better. Fearing for his life the Harvard educated financial wizard surprised Langley with a call for assistance: "I need to get out. They've bugged my apartment and follow me everywhere. I know too much, and they're afraid I'll defect with all their secrets."
Only two people know of the mole's existence, code named Tuck, his handler and CIA Director Martin Bradley who flew into action to save this remarkable American agent. His insightful reports from Moscow have come faithfully for years. Martin's job won't be easy. He will send his best agents to get Tuck to a safe house and out of Moscow, not an easy task with former KGB agents and the FSB breathing down their necks. Not only that, the existence of the mole must be kept from the Russian government to prevent an international incident.
If this weren't trouble enough Martin's close friend and assistant, Clive Winthrop, slated to take over the Agency upon his retirement has been murdered. The DCI fears the worst. One of their own at the top is a traitor.
Critique: A simply riveting read from cover to cover, Carter Dreyfuss' "The Mole" is a deftly scripted novel by novelist with a genuine flair for originality and narrative driven storytelling replete with unexpected twists and turns. Certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense/Thriller Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Mole" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781978210738, $14.99, PB, 294pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Amid the engravings of the evangelists, the stained glass, the marble, the serenity of Savannah's Cathedral of St. John the Baptist are two dead and naked bodies. One of the victims is a priest; the other, a teenage girl. And now John Robert Griffin, a savage killer, wants to help Tate Drawdy solve the crime. That way, there will be more of Drawdy left for him. Drawdy must survive a horrifying clash with the priest's killer in time to face Griffin. But something's wrong. Drawdy's beginning to suspect someone else out there wants him dead. And he's starting to make mistakes.
Critique: It is interesting to note that author Michael Ludden is a former Deputy Managing Editor at the Orlando Sentinel, where he directed an investigation that won a Pulitzer Prize. He's written for magazines, advertising and marketing firms, edited books and been a senior writer/editor at CNN's Headline News. Therefore it's no surprise to find out with his novel "Tate Drawdy" that he has a genuine flair for narrative driven storytelling and is a master of the mystery genre, Exceptionally well written and replete with unexpected twists and turns, "Tate Drawdy" is unreservedly recommended, especially for community library Mystery/Suspense collections. Dedicated mystery buffs should be aware that "Tate Drawdy" is also available for their personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).
The Fiction Shelf
Encounters Unforeseen: 1492 Retold
All Persons Press
9780999196106, $32.95, HC, 550pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: After 525 years, the traditional literature recounting the history of Columbus's epic voyage and first encounters with Native Americans remains Eurocentric, focused principally (whether pro- or anti-Columbus) on Columbus and the European perspective. A historical novel by Andrew Rowen, "Encounters Unforeseen: 1492 Retold" now dramatizes these events from a bicultural perspective, fictionalizing the beliefs, thoughts, and actions of the Native Americans who met Columbus side by side with those of Columbus and other Europeans, all based on a close reading of Columbus's Journal, other primary sources, and anthropological studies.
The drama alternates among three Taino chieftains (Caonabo, Guacanagari, and Guarionex) and a Taino youth Columbus captures, Spain's Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand, and Columbus himself. It depicts the education, loves and marriages, and other life experiences each brought to the unforeseen encounters and then their astonishment, fears, and objectives in 1492 and 1493. The focus includes the Taino "discovery" of Europe, when Columbus hauls the captive and other Tainos back to Spain, as well as the chieftains' reactions to the abusive garrison of seamen Columbus leaves behind in the Caribbean. Throughout, the Taino protagonists are neither merely victims nor statistics, but personalities and actors comparable to the European, and their side of the story is forcefully told.
"Encounters Unforeseen" weaves a fascinating tapestry of scenes and dialogues from the historical record, often incorporating text from primary sources. Isabella plots her dynastic marriage, argues with Ferdinand over who's supreme, and wages war to expand their kingdoms. The chieftains take multiple wives to consolidate their rules, vie to marry the beautiful Anacaona, and battle Caribe raiders. An unknown Columbus conceives a fanciful voyage, marries advantageously to promote it, and yet suffers an agonizing decade of ridicule and rejection. Guacanagari rescues Columbus when the Santa Maria sinks, but Caonabo questions Guacanagari's generosity, and Guarionex is vexed, having witnessed a religious prophecy of Taino genocide inflicted by a "clothed people." Columbus teaches his captive Christianity, initiating the following centuries' collision of Christianity with Native American religions and spirits. The result is a gripping, personal, documented, and bicultural portrayal of the voyage that reshaped the course of world history, written at its 525th anniversary.
The Taino stories depict both events known to have occurred (e.g., the chieftains' ascensions to power, the prophecy of genocide, the captive's baptism in Spain) and known practices or experiences (e.g., inter-island canoe travel, a hurricane, a Caribe wife raid, a batey game). The Isabella and Ferdinand stories include their establishment of the Inquisition, subjugation and Christianization of the Canary Islands, completion of the Reconquista, and expulsion of the Jews from Spain, illustrating European doctrines of conquest, enslavement, and involuntary conversion and how the sovereigns ruled over Old World peoples before encountering Native Americans. The Columbus stories portray his pre-1492 sailing experiences and the evolution of his world outlook, and his thoughts during the encounters embody the concepts underlying the European subjugation of Native Americans over the following centuries. Stark societal differences are illustrated, with the Europeans practicing slavery and the Tainos sharing food as communal property.
Of special note is the Sources section which briefly discusses interpretations of historians, anthropologists, and others contrary to the author's presentation, as well as issues of academic disagreement.
Critique: An impressively crafted work of riveting fiction from beginning to end, author Andrew Rowen has firmly grounded his truly exceptional novel in historical fact. The result is nothing less than a literary masterpiece that is as deftly complex as it is consistently entertaining. While highly and unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Historical Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Encounters Unforeseen: 1492 Retold" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.69).
Michael E. Oppitz
1663 South Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781543435023, $29.99, HC, 356pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Robbie Jasper is a graduating high school student who lives in a family whose parents are controlling as well as neglectful towards his interests and needs. Mr. Jasper is an Architectural Engineer who is gone a lot and travels the world maintaining his family's wealthy lifestyle while Mrs. Jasper is more concerned about what others think about her than she does about her family.
Robbie's father schedules a 10 day canoe trip down the Rio Grande River in an attempt to mend family bonds that have been taken for granted for years. Their trip is met with disaster with Robbie being the only survivor.
Robbie then embraces the grounded values, principles and simple lifestyle of the River Rat who found and saved his life on the Rio Grande and becomes a River Rat, himself. With Robbie's genius aptitude still intact, he is able to help his customers in ways that no one could have possibly foreseen.
Critique: A work of fiction that is enhanced with the author's own acquaintance and expertise with the Rio Grande, "River Rat" by Michael E. Oppitz is an impressively engaging and entertaining read from beginning to end. While unreservedly recommended as a unique and enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "River Rat" is also available in a paperback edition (9781543435016, $19.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).
Shelton R. Johnson
Summit's Creek Publishing House
9780692937501, $24.99, PB, 246pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: When white, middle-aged Mr. Wilder accepts a position teaching extracurricular creative writing at Booker T. Washington High, a predominantly black institution, he knows there will be challenges. The only reason he got the job is because no one else wanted to apply to a school at the center of a heated controversy: since a straight-A African American student was killed by a white teacher, racial tensions at the school (and throughout the town of Norfolk, Virginia) have been at boiling point. Mr. Wilder grew up in a town where there were more Confederate flags than jobs, so he understands the struggle - and he wants to make a difference.
Even though no students voluntarily join his after-school activity, he eagerly accepts the three troubled teens forced to participate. Jaylen, Curtis, and DeSean are resistant, but Mr. Wilder's persistence pays off when they begin to reveal their unique writing talents. Despite the conflicts that arise from the boys' social struggles and creative differences, Mr. Wilder unites their energies by entering them in a writing competition. They each have a story to tell, and in spite of the racially charged environment and meddling principal, Mr. Wilder is determined to make their voices heard.
Critique: An impressively crafted novel from beginning to end, "Mr. Wilder" is a consistently absorbing read and one that showcases author Shelton R. Jonnson's genuine flair for originality and narrative driven storytelling complete with unexpected twists and turns. While "Mr. Wilder" is very highly recommended, especially for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that it is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.99).
Where Triples Go to Die
9781629015149, $19.95, PB, 406pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In "Where Triples Go to Die" by Phil Hutcheon, we are introduced to African-American superstar Juke Jackson and white counselor Malcolm Wade, each of whom is facing a relationship crises at home.
The two of them forge a bond at school as Wade guides Jackson's quest to join the legion of African Americans who transformed our national pastime. An array of intervening campus issues including date rape, unplanned pregnancy, revenge porn, academic integrity violations, and the aftershocks of war among them are all part of the stresses and demands that must be dealt with.
Critique: A unique, deftly written, irreverent, iconoclastic read from cover to cover, "Where Triples Go to Die" illuminates the messy intersection of sports, race, and romance in contemporary college life -- and demonstrates author Phil Hutcheon's undeniable talent as a novelist and genuine flair of narrative driven fiction. While highly and unreservedly recommended, especially for community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Where Triples Go to Die" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).
Don Quixote and Candide Seek Truth, Justice and El Dorado in the Digital Age
W & B Publishers Inc.
9781635540413, $17.99, PB, 300pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: After years of living off their celebrity, Don Quixote and Candide join forces to seek adventure in the modern world. In this re-imagining of literary history the two meet Cyrano De Bergerac, Merlin, Sherlock Holmes, the crew of the Starship Enterprise, Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, Dean Moriarty, Elizabeth Darcy (nee Bennett) Mr. Darcy and multitude of historical figures, and share unexpected encounters with people from their past.
While Don Quixote remains rooted in days of yore, Candide is preoccupied with exploiting all things modern.
"Don Quixote and Candide Seek Truth, Justice and El Dorado in the Digital Age" by Stefan Soto is rollicking fun-filled tale that will entertain the well-educated and erudite readers with tongue-in-cheek humor as they join Don and Candide on their quest to find truth, justice and El Dorado in the digital age.
It is interesting to note that author Stefan Soto was raised by a Romani Princess and a Ukrainian circus performer. He resides on an English Canal and has no known address. His early works were banned by most right-thinking European powers. Stefan also invites his readers to investigate Cervantes' and Voltaires' original treatments of the title characters.
Critique: Unique, original, and above all, entertaining, "Don Quixote and Candide Seek Truth, Justice and El Dorado in the Digital Age" is an inherently fascinating read from cover to cover. A classic in the making, "Don Quixote and Candide Seek Truth, Justice and El Dorado in the Digital Age" is decidedly and unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections, as well as the personal reading lists for anyone who appreciates a well crafted literary and historically derived work of complex, multifaceted fiction. Simply stated, "Don Quixote and Candide Seek Truth, Justice and El Dorado in the Digital Age" is one of those novels that will linger in the mind and memory long after th book itself has been finished and set back upon the shelf.
9780983333418, $15.00, PB, 362pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: A 1000-year-old Viking is discovered frozen on the slopes of Mt, Hood, Oregon - three thousand miles further west than any previously known Viking exploration. While the world focuses on this remarkable discovery, Josh Kinninger's world is falling apart.
Three personal catastrophes have left him bitterly angry and emotionally unmoored. But inspired by the Viking discovery, Josh begins his own westward journey to wreak a bizarre vengeance on the morally corrupt individuals who have piqued his ire.
As we read of how that Viking comes to reside in Oregon, we also discover that Josh isn't the only Kinninger who attempts to run away from his problems - and the problems of his country - by heading west.
Josh's ancestor Jefferson undertakes a journey by wagon train to Oregon to escape the violent strife preceding the Civil War; and Jefferson's namesake descendant, one hundred years later, begins his own journey west to leave behind the Jim Crow South to make a new life for himself in San Francisco.
Critique: A richly layered multi-narrative story by an author with a genuine flair for originality, wit, and a deftly command of the comic and the tragic, "W" by John Banks dexterously interweaves many stories and styles into a truly memorable and inherently fascinating read from cover to cover. While enthusiastically and unreservedly recommended, especially for community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "W" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).
The Infinite Now
9781943006342, $16.95, PB, 280pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In influenza-ravaged 1918 Philadelphia, Fiora Vicente, the freshly orphaned and forward-thinking daughter of the local fortune teller, has goals. She has ambitions. But when faced with a future she hasn't planned, she has second thoughts -- and casts her community into a stagnant bubble of time. Inside the bubble, life among Fiora's superstitious neighbors continues, but nothing progresses, swamped by a steady stream of unspent seconds. As the pressure builds Fiora realizes she must find the courage to collapse the bubble -- or risk trapping her dreams in an unbearable, unyielding, and infinite Now.
Critique: As an original and deftly written novel that is a consistently and absorbing read from beginning to end, "The Infinite Now" reveals author Mindy Tarquini's genuine gift as a narrative driven storyteller. While unreservedly and enthusiastically recommended, especially for community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Infinite Now" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.69).
Main Street Rag Publishing Company
PO Box 690100, Charlotte, NC, 28227
9781599486291, $14.95, PB, 235pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The James Bay Region of far northern Quebec is one of the most isolated locations on Earth. Dan, his wife Deb, and their young daughter survive the crash there, but Deb's leg is broken, and no one is looking for them -- or even knows they're missing.
Dan may be better trained athletically than anyone alive to cover hundreds of miles of broken ground on foot. His training as a health professional, though, gives him unique insight to the agonizing deterioration of his body and mind as his journey unfolds, and his analytical mind finds constant metaphor in his continuing metabolic breakdown.
His physical progress is paralleled with a careful and tender examination of Dan's and Deb's ambivalent marriage, and the tension between them as ambitious elite athletes in the very different worlds of the road marathon and the trail ultra.
Critique: A deftly crafted and impressively original novel by an extraordinarily skillful author, "Running Out" is an absorbing and entertaining read from beginning to end. Replete with dramatic and unexpected twists and turns, "Running Out" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community library fiction collections in general, and the personal reading lists of dedicated cross country runners in particular.
In the Interest of Faye
Golden Antelope Press
9781936135486, $17.95, PB, 257pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: When the elderly Margaret DuPont agrees to sell the building which houses Hirsch Gallery, its young director Faye Brooks determines to save the gallery. She tries showing off the art; she tries flirting with the buyer, a coffee mogul named Bobby Sterling; she tries renting the place from him, though raising Sterling's exorbitant rent presents further challenges.
By themselves, Faye's efforts would not succeed, but over her five years as Hirsch director she has developed loyal supporters who want her and her gallery to succeed. And then, there's her father, a successful architect whose protective streak at times seems overwhelming. Those who want to protect Faye's interests include her clever friend and neighbor Norman; his precocious niece Lily; her favorite cab driver; a homeless artist turned grant writer; a punk-rocking intern named Zoe; and Anouk, the Dutch woman whom Faye had earlier persuaded to allow several Van Gogh artifacts to come from Amsterdam to Albany.
What exactly are Faye's best interests? How does a thoughtful and artistic young woman balance the needs of a gallery and its community against her own need for independence and growth?
Critique: A skillfully crafted novel providing the reader with a consistently entertaining and truly memorable literary experience, "In the Interest of Faye" showcases author Lisa Brognano's genuine flair for originality and narrative driven storytelling. "In the Interest of Faye" is an extraordinary and highly recommended addition to personal reading lists, as well as community and academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections.
Wanted: A Forever Home
9781524633028, $12.95, PB, 338pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Wanted: A Forever Home" by Janet Goodwin is a heart-warming tale showcasing the thoughts, fears, loneliness, and joy of Senora, a toffee-nosed house cat, and ten very individual and determined street cats whose lives are all torn apart until they meet up with Gentleman George, a Portuguese mountain dog whose one mission in life has always been to obey the commands of his master.
When George is commanded to find the scent of Bella, a street cat whom he has never seen, and return her to her forever home, his task proves far more complex than he could have ever imagined. But his troubles are only just beginning when he later finds himself shepherding a flock of cats across the Spanish countryside with all its unexpected twists and turns.
Critique: A unique, original, and thoroughly entertaining novel by an author with a genuine flair for the kind of narrative driven storytelling that holds the reader's attention from cover to cover, "Wanted: A Forever Home" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Wanted: A Forever Home" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).
The Spanish Knight's Secret
Peter H. Christopher
9781460297070, $33.99, HC, 456pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In 1565, a young Spaniard, Juan de Guaras, receives an exquisite brooch in the shape of a Maltese cross from his parents to commemorate his becoming a Knight in the Order of St. John. But within four months de Guaras dies in the defense of Fort St. Elmo against the Ottoman Turks during the Great Siege of Malta; and the brooch meant for his beloved, Maria, and their son-is lost to history.
By chance, 450 years after the siege, watercolors commissioned by the Order in the 17th century for their ledger are on display for the first time in the Museum of Fine Arts in Valletta. Kiyoko Bartolo, a professor from the University of Tokyo who specializes in jewelry of the European Renaissance, recognizes the drawing of de Guaras' brooch.
Famous throughout history not only for its magnificent gems, but as a key to the wealth that de Guaras had obtained as a corsair raiding the richly laden merchant ships of the sultan, Suleiman, the Magnificent. Kiyoko learns that it was last recorded in 1923 when the Communist Party inventoried the jewelry belonging to the Russian royal family that was held in the Hermitage.
Twenty years later, during the German Siege of Leningrad in World War Two, it mysteriously disappears. Kiyoko, determined to locate the Maltese brooch, enlists European colleagues she's befriended during Renaissance seminars to assist her in her search. However, the closer they come to finding the brooch, the more resistance and violence they meet from unknown parties who want the brooch, and its secrets, for themselves.
Critique: All the more impressive when considering that "The Spanish Knight's Secret" is author Peter H. Christopher's debut as a novelist, it is a compelling and deftly crafted historical read from cover to cover. Christopher has a genuine flair for originality and narrative driven fiction. An exceptionally entertaining read replete with unexpected twists and turns, "The Spanish Knight's Secret" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community library General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Spanish Knight's Secret" is also available in a paperback edition (978-1460297087, $18.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).
The Atlantic Affair
Gary Paul Stephenson
Lang Book Publishing
9780994144676, $23.99, HC, 427pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: A loner receives instruction to collect a newly imported car and drive it to a specific street by a certain time with very precise instructions on initiating the car alarm. He follows them exactly. His last ever act.
The British Prime Minister activates the Cobra room and initiates martial law. In the United States, President Johnson sends aid in the form of two aircraft carriers plus his Presidential army headed by Thomas.
After their first Sumatran tiger release, Langham and his group are attacked by paramilitaries with worrying consequences.
Axmann transfers from his submarine to a freighter, taking his sinister package with him and heads up the St Lawrence Seaway and makes his way to Yellowstone National Park.
Critique: An original, impressively crafted, and compelling read from beginning to end, "The Atlantic Affair" is the second title in the author Gary Paul Stephenson's 'Charles Langham Adventure' series that deftly melds Fact and Fiction together to produce a truly riveting novel from beginning to end. While unreservedly recommended, especially for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Atlantic Affair" is also available in a paperback edition (9780994144683, $14.99). Also still available and highly recommended from Lang Book Publishing is the first volume of this simply outstanding series by Gary Paul Stephenson, "The Pacific Affair" (9780994129062, $24.99 HC; 9780994129031, $14.99 PB; Kindle, $2.99).
Drip: A Gothic Bromance
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781541102125, $12.95, PB, 318pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: J.D. and George are as thick as thieves and have been ever since the fourth grade. J.D. is the troublemaker, the stud: the alpha. George is the sidekick, the misfit: the loser.
Upon graduating college, J.D. has convinced the only job creator in rusty Middlestop to hire them. BrewCorp, the hot new coffee and retail chain, is offering a vice presidency to the employee with the boldest plan for growth, and J.D. is determined to be the guy. When not sleeping with co-workers, he hatches his pitch for a one-of-a kind data pipeline. He is unbeatable -- until George grabs the promotion. Now J.D. wants answers. What follows in his quest to find them and to deal with the monstrous truth of their relationship.
Critique: A deftly crafted novel of wit and originality, "Drip: A Gothic Bromance" by Andrew Montlack is a clever and inherently fascinating read by an author with a genuine flair for narrative driven fiction. While highly recommended, especially for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Drip: A Gothic Bromance" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).
The Metaphysical Studies Shelf
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781544896755, $13.99, PB, 212pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Spirit Land The Peyote Diaries of Charles Langley: Against Witchcraft and Evil Ones" is the true story of Charles Langley, an Englishman from London, who became apprentice to a powerful Navajo Indian medicine man in the remote desert of the American Southwest. His early experiences of Navajo witchcraft, divination and healing, and of the visions induced by the peyote cactus, proved so remarkable and so other-worldly, he quickly realized that others would have difficulty believing them.
Encouraged by the medicine man Blue Horse, and using skills honed as a top British journalist, Langley began to keep a detailed diary of the extraordinary events he witnessed in the company of this powerful American Indian medicine man. It is from these diaries, nearly half a million words in length (much of which must remain secret) that this compelling first person account has been crafted.
Readers will learn of the daily fight against witches and witchcraft. Of skin walkers, who are human shape shifters the Navajo believe can turn themselves into animals and birds; of visions, and of extraordinary feats of divination and healing, as well as fascinating insights into the unique culture of the Navajo tribe.
As Blue Horse's apprentice, Langley finds himself inhabiting a parallel world filled with exactly the kind of ancient mysticism and beliefs that his western upbringing and education have taught him to scoff at. But which increasingly become the everyday reality of his life. Eventually, he must choose either to continue his big city existence, with its comfortable lifestyle and preconceptions, or accept that the terrifying world of Navajo witchcraft is real and that, despite the risks, he must explore it to the end.
Critique: An extraordinary and unique account that is an inherently fascinating and impressively informative read from beginning to end, "Spirit Land The Peyote Diaries of Charles Langley: Against Witchcraft and Evil Ones" is essential reading for students of Native American spirituality and religion. While especially and unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Metaphysical Studies and Native American Cultural Studies collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Spirit Land The Peyote Diaries of Charles Langley: Against Witchcraft and Evil Ones" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).
The Self-Help Shelf
When Good Samaritans Get Mugged
David R. Stokes
Critical Mass Books
9780996989299, $16.99, PB, 200pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: When someone tells you that "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." they meant well, but they were not being completely truthful. They mean for us to be strong in the face of criticism, verbal abuse, and the bullying behavior of others. That words don't matter. But we all know better.
When was the last time a stick or stone was hurled at you? Now, when was the last time what someone said hurt you? There is a certain feeling of unfairness when people who are trying to do good even trying to serve the Lord get hurt along the way. We get depressed. We think about getting even. We think about quitting.
In fact, one of the most common reasons people stop trying to make a difference has to do with getting hurt and not getting through or over it. Good Samaritans get verbally mugged all the time.
In the pages of "When Good Samaritans Get Mugged", author David R. Stokes details practical strategies for overcoming the depression, frustration, anger, fear, and discouragement we experience when we feel the pain of criticism, rejection, and personal attack even though we are trying to do the right thing. His underlying and pervasive message is that there is hope, and there can be healing when well-meaning Samaritans are denigrated, despised, ridiculed, berated, and verbally abused.
Critique: Inspired and inspiring, "When Good Samaritans Get Mugged" is an extraordinary, life-changing, life-enhancing read that is especially and unreservedly recommended for community and academic library Self-Help / Self-Improvement collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "When Good Samaritans Get Mugged" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.99).
GPS: Your Guide Through Personal Storms
c/o Author House
1663 Liberty Dr. Suite #300, Bloomington, IN 47403
9781532014413, $13.99, PB, 114pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Storms, both real and metaphorical, are always affecting our lives -- even when everything seems calm. We are always driving into a storm, driving through a storm, or driving out of a storm. These storms can last for minutes, hours, days, weeks, or even years.
Dr. James Coyle is a chaplain and mental health specialist who in the pages of "GPS: Your Guide Through Personal Storms" shares life lessons on recognizing these storms and navigating them so you can continue in your desired direction. Drawing on his personal experience, including a suicide attempt, divorce, and career challenges, he helps you: pinpoint the choices you've made that have led to specific outcomes; focus on the important things that anchor your existence; help yourself by helping others; and approach each day with hope, faith, and love.
"GPS: Your Guide Through Personal Storms" is a compendium of anecdotes, true stories, and exercises as part of lessons in navigating life's most difficult curves, potholes, and steep climbs.
Critique: As impressively 'user friendly' in organization and presentation as it is 'real world practical' with respect to insights and applications, "GPS: Your Guide Through Personal Storms" is an extraordinary and highly recommended addition to both community and academic library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "GPS: Your Guide Through Personal Storms" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).
Prove Them Wrong
9780984609437, $14.95, PB, 136pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: It seems to be a part of the universal common experience that when we try to accomplish something, especially something that is not a simple continuation of the way things are, there will be opposition voices predicting failure. Nevertheless in every generation there have been those who persevered despite the cynics, despite the defeatists, despite the odds, despite the restraints of the status quo.
Nancy Shugart is an award-winning businesswoman, the author of three books, a professional speaker, and was a master educator in the public schools for more than two decades. Since going blind at the young age of eight, she's heard the word "impossible" on every step of her personal life journey. She chose to prove those who decried her attempts to succeed wrong in their pessimism. Today she's a national speaker and peak performance trainer on blasting past barriers and being at the top of your game!
In the pages of "Prove Them Wrong: Be the One to Make It Happen" Nancy draws upon her more than 40 years of experience and expertise to offer her readers the seven powers that, when developed, can thrust them into their own circle of high-achievers with the confidence to step away from the killjoys and achieve their own definitions of success.
With illustrative examples of achievers in business, education, high tech careers, the military, sports, writing, real estate, and more despite unrelenting barriers and naysayers shouting -- You can't! that are presented in "Prove Them Wrong", the reader will seek how 'real world practical' the overcoming of limiting beliefs and prejudices really are.
Critique: Impressively informed and informative, exceptionally well written, organized and presented, thoroughly 'user friendly' in tone and content, "Prove Them Wrong: Be the One to Make It Happen" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to both community and academic library Self-Help/Self-Improvement instructional reference collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in pursuing their personal goals regardless of the opinions of others that "Prove Them Wrong" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).
Christel B. Wendelberger
Forward Communications LLC
9780999255308, $15.00, PB, 158pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Mindful Gratitude: Practicing the Art of Appreciation" is sparkling collection of personal essays by Christel B. Wendelberger that will capture the heart, engage the imagination, and help the reader to find the extraordinary in life, no matter what their current circumstances may be.
In the ten essays comprising "Mindful Gratitude will be discovered magic in the mundane, celebration in loss, and a deep appreciation for all that is. But viewing life through a lens of gratitude takes practice, especially in our sometimes messy, busy, imperfect lives.
Each of these essays is followed by reflective journaling questions designed to help the reader: Find their own story; Explore its meaning; Celebrate the beauty that exists in their life right now.
Christel's underlying message is that gratitude is one of the simplest and most profound gateways to greater peace, joy, wellness, and better relationships.
Critique: As thoughtful and thought-provoking as it is inspired and inspiring, "Mindful Gratitude: Practicing the Art of Appreciation" is an exceptionally engaging read from cover to cover and will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to both community and academic library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections and personal reading lists.
The Military Shelf
Long Daze at Long Binh
Steve Donovan & Fred Borchardt
PO Box 44625, Madison, WI 53744-4625
9780998615905, $24.95, PB, 380pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The collaborative account of Steven Donovan and Fred Borchardt, "Long Daze at Long Binh" is a humorous and personal history about the Vietnam War as seen through the eyes of two draftees who, like roughly 2.5 million other Americans, were sent to the war zone not as combat troops but as support personnel.
The authors met on the day they were inducted in 1965 and then proceeded to follow identical paths for the next two years. This included bunking side by side for a year in South Vietnam as Army medics with the 24th Evacuation Hospital. Their stories were at times hilarious, at times horrific and at other times heart-rending. But every day was an adventure for these two young men who never knew what might be lurking around the next bend in the circuitous road of life.
"Long Daze at Long Binh" is a lighthearted but highly informative look at what life was like in a combat zone where there were no front lines and no clear distinctions between friend and foe.
Critique: Exceptionally well written with the text being presented in 'first Steve, then Fred' format, "Long Daze at Long Binh" is an inherently fascinating and exceptionally informative read replete with wit, a little wisdom, a bit of insight, and a whole lot of information on what the Viet Nam War was like for two side-by-side draftees. A unique and valued contribution to the growing library of Viet Nam War histories and memoirs, "Long Daze at Long Binh" is unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library collections and supplemental studies lists. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated military buffs that "Long Daze at Long Binh" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.99).
The Gun Club
Winthrop & Fish
9780999075302, $15.99, PB, 356pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In the pages of "The Gun Club: U.S.S. Duncan at Cape Esperance", by Robert Fowler, (who is a documentary filmmaker, off-Broadway producer, screenwriter and director, and the son of the U.S.S. Duncan's torpedo officer), the U.S. Navy's first planned battle of WWII is told through the extraordinary, little-known story of the U.S.S. Duncan, which was the first Allied warship to penetrate a Japanese battle-line. From their first encounter with their celebrated captain and tyrannical executive officer, to a deadly night afloat in shark-infested waters, to a homecoming turned into a PR campaign, "The Gun Club: U.S.S. Duncan at Cape Esperance" is a vivid day-to-day account of life on a warship, told largely in the words of the survivors, and is one of the most detailed and compelling accounts of a war cruise ever written.
Critique: An impressively informative and deftly crafted military maritime history, "The Gun Club: U.S.S. Duncan at Cape Esperance" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to community and academic library World War II history collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students and military buffs that "The Gun Club: U.S.S. Duncan at Cape Esperance" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
The Christian Studies Shelf
"18": Faith for the Next Generation
Bob Lenz, Rich Melhelm, Jenica Halula
9780985671693, $15.00, PB, 264pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The "18" is a symbol signifying a mission to transform the lives of youth with the hope of Jesus while they are under 18 years of age and to set a spiritual path for their lives over the age of 18.
"18": Faith for the Next Generation is a funny and thought-provoking exchange between two friends from different faith traditions. As Rich and Bob interact, they expose the urgency of sharing God's love with people under the age of "18".
"18" is an insightful look into the science and theology of early faith formation from a doctor in linguistic philosophy and a youth evangelist. "18" speaks to every stage of development and season of life.
Through deeply personal stories, Bob and Rich offer encouragement, challenges, and practical advice from firsthand experience.
These "18" experiences are simple but profound. Each practice is easily personalized to fit families of all shapes, ages and sizes, enriching the lives of both children and adults.
Critique: Thoughtful and thought-provoking, engaged and engaging, "18": Faith for the Next Generation is a unique and extraordinary approach to instill and enrich a spiritual awareness as part of a youth ministry, making it truly exceptional, accessible, and unreservedly recommended reading for all members of the Christian community who work with young men and women. It should be noted that "18": Faith for the Next Generation is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Prayer, Peace and the Presence of God
Harvest Prayer Ministries
c/o Prayer Shop Publishing
9781935012801, $10.99, PB, 84pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "I'm sorry, Mr. Butts, but you have lymphoma and you are already in stage four."
Those words would rattle anyone. Those are the words Dave and Kim Butts heard just 10 days into Dave's beginning to write this book on prayer and peace. God literally put Dave into a situation where Dave would have to live out what he was planning to teach others in his book.
As believers, we know that we are supposed to walk in Christ's peace day by day. But when the trials, struggles, and stresses of life come upon us, many of us do not appropriate or experience that peace. Instead, we look at our circumstances and worry.
In the pages of this 30-day devotional, you will find the shalom (the peace) of Jesus! Each day you will be encouraged by a verse on peace, gently be taught how to live that verse out, and then be guided in praying that peace into your life.
Critique: "Prayer, Peace and the Presence of God: A 30-Day Journey to Experience the Shalom of Jesus" is directly commended to the attention of every believer in the Lord Jesus who wants to experience and walk in the peace of Christ, no matter what life throws at them. This is one of those inspired and inspiring reads that will linger in the mind and memory long after the book has been finished and set back upon the shelf. Also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99), "Prayer, Peace and the Presence of God: A 30-Day Journey to Experience the Shalom of Jesus" is unreservedly recommended for the personal reading lists of all members of the Christian community regardless of denominational affiliations.
Seeking a Familiar Face
9780996238021, $14.99, PB, 178pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: May Patterson has written "Seeking a Familiar Face: The Transforming Journey of Connecting with God" specifically for anyone has ever felt disappointed, like their life isn't as fulfilling as they had always dreamed it would be, that they are laden down with responsibilities, feeling overwhelmed and empty, or maybe even a bit caged.
Many people in the Bible felt the same way. Most had difficulties. Some felt stuck. Others were depressed. Afraid. Uncertain. And some simply wanted to get closer to God. So they set out on life's grand adventure seeking God and encountered the One who fulfilled their longings and changed their lives forever.
The underlying message of "Seeking a Familiar Face" is that the same can happen for us in this day and age. "Seeking a Familiar Face" guides the reader on the transforming journey of connecting with God, through simple, yet extraordinary ways.
It doesn't matter if we are already seeking Him or just getting started, "Seeking a Familiar Face" will encourage us to go a little farther toward locking hearts with God. "Seeking a Familiar Face" features engaging narratives from 10 biblical characters; stories, humor, and practical ideas for seeking God; thought provoking questions to discuss with a friend or group; and fresh hope for deepened intimacy with God.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented from beginning to end, "Seeking a Familiar Face" is one of those intensely life-affirming and inspiring volumes that can spark a personal spiritual renaissance and lead to an appreciation and acceptance of what life and faith have to offer. While highly recommended for personal reading lists, it should be noted that "Seeking a Familiar Face" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
The Pets/Wildlife Shelf
c/o Fox Chapel Publishing Company
1970 Broad Street N., East Petersburg, PA 17520
9781621871255, $19.99, PB, 224pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: A Certified Professional Dog Trainer and AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator who studied dog training and behavior at CATCH Canine Trainers Academy. She offers basic and advanced manners classes, and conducts workshops in jumping, door dashing, sidewalk snacking, and leash walking, Kate Naito is manners program director at Doggie Academy, a Brooklyn dog training and behavior counseling organization.
Nearly every client who contacts is desperately looking to stop his or her dog's undesirable behavior. In response, Kate developed "BKLN Manners" as an empowering four-week group class for busy owners who want the fastest path to a polite dog. Now available in book format, this comprehensive system utilizes clever management techniques and positive training strategies to help owners transform their dogs from unruly to urbane.
"BKLN Manners" offers no-nonsense, easy-to-implement solutions to: B: Barking; K: Knocking people over; L: Leash walking problems; N: Naughty when alone. "BKLN Manners" also addresses uniquely urban challenges like dodging chicken bones on the sidewalk, counterconditioning on crowded streets, neighbors? noise concerns, and more. Written in a problem-and-solution format with the needs of busy urban and suburban dwellers in mind, it can help any dog owner insure that their canine companion acquires polite BKLN Manners both indoors and out.
Critique: Providing a complete course of profusely illustrated, step-by-step, instruction that is thoroughly 'user friendly' in tone, content, organization and presentation, "BKLN Manners" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Pets/Wildlife instructional reference collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of dog owners that "BKLN Manners" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $18.99).
All Hands on Pet!
Susan E. Davis, PT
Joycare Onsite, LLC
9780989275026, $21.95, PB, 250pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "All Hands on Pet!: Your How-To Guide on Home Physical Therapy Methods for Pets" by Susan E. Davis (who has been dubbed "Doctor Dolittle of the PT World," by Northwestern Medicine Magazine, a publication of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine) offers safe and effective actions pet owners can apply through the animal's entire life spectrum.
The information provided applies to multiple species: canine, feline, avian, exotics and farm animals (non-equine). "All Hands on Pet!" includes 38 photos with directional arrows, plus informative explanations in an approachable style; fills the gap where the demand for physical therapy services for pets outweighs the availability of qualified providers; cross-references to Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation for Animals: A Guide for the Consumer; offers prudent tips, techniques, and advice typical of that given to Susan's own clients; and features illustrative real stories of courage from Susan's actual patient caseload.
Critique: Impressively comprehensive, accessibly organized and presented, exceptionally informed and informative, "All Hands on Pet!: Your How-To Guide on Home Physical Therapy Methods for Pets" is an invaluable and thoroughly 'user friendly' instructional reference for pet owners wanting the best for their animal companions at home or on the farm. While very highly recommended for both community and academic library Pets/Wildlife collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "All Hands on Pet!" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
The Gardening Shelf
River Stones Grow Plants, fourth edition
Richard C. Campbell
To Soil Less
9780692862797, $39.95, PB, 272pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Now in a fully updated and revised fourth edition, "River Stones Grow Plants" tells the tale of Richard Campbell's 1994 encounter with his uncle, Dr. Thomas Logan, who unintentionally dropped of a few watermelon seeds in his gravel bed designed for weed block with lawn fabric separating the soil from the gravel.
The next spring a watermelon grew. The roots simply lined above the lawn fabric under the rocks, separated completely from the soil. After years of observations, testing and research, Campbell determined that sedimentary rock is made up of the sediment of the sea, or decayed organic life fossilized into a rock. This rock is call river rock, river stones or pea gravel. Add water to the rock in an ideal environment, drop in some seeds, and you have a living ecosystem capable of plant production.
"River Stones Grow Plants" is Campbell's personal and detailed account of developing the modern-day application of geological agriculture. Campbell's accidental discovery in the mid-1990s picks up where scientists left off and shares 24 years of observations, testing and refinement for contemporary society to use and leverage for life's growing applications.
Geological agriculture is defined as the study of using river stones as the growing medium for plants absent the use of soil and fertilizers. The common term is referred to as gravel gardening.
Critique: An inherently fascinating, beautifully and profusely illustrated, impressively informative, exceptionally thoughtful and thought-provoking read specifically designed for non-specialist general gardeners, "River Stones Grow Plants" is a unique and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Gardening & Horticulture collections and the supplemental studies reading lists of all dedicated and adventurous gardeners.
The Health/Medicine Shelf
The Challenged Addict
Hannah Carlson Jurewicz
Bick Publishing House
9781884158445, $29.95, PB, 170pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "The Challenged Addict: Addiction Recovery with Concurring Developmental Disorders" by Hannah Carlson Jurewicz (a licensed professional counselor and certified co-occurring disorders Professional and diplomat) showcases the concept of Supported Sobriety as a breakthrough approach to person-centered, evidenced-based, recovery treatment and support for those most challenged to achieve stable sobriety.
"The Challenged Addict" offers structured, interactive exercises and tools that adapt the principles of recovery in a manner that works for these individuals with mental health, social, intellectual or other learning disorders through daily practice and repetition, without which, they will not likely be able to achieve or sustain recovery. Individuals and their professional providers will likely experience stronger focus on recovery, more meaningful, measurable progress, and a greater sense of satisfaction and effectiveness through living the 24-hour plan, strategies and tools.
Critique: Instructively insightful, impressively informed and informative, exceptionally thoughtful and thought-provoking, notably well organized and presented, and 'real world practical' in concept and implementation, "The Challenged Addict: Addiction Recovery with Concurring Developmental Disorders" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, clinic, community, and academic library Addiction Recovery instructional reference collections and supplemental studies reading lists.
James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review
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