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The Greatness of Gratitude
J. B. Powell
1663 South Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781796015034, $29.99, HC, 252pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In "The Greatness of Gratitude", J. B. Powell takes a naked look at what it means to live a thankful life. We are reminded that while we have little or no control over many of the things that come our way, we have power and governance over how we react to them.
"The Greatness of Gratitude" provokes us to evaluate how we treat each other, manage our relationships, and utilize our time. We are moved to consider the biblical foundation for gratitude and the discipline and intricacies of living a gracefully grateful life.
Simply stated, "The Greatness of Gratitude" moves the reader to live thoughtfully and thankfully so that gratitude becomes the dominant thread that is woven in the fabric of his life.
Critique: Thoughtful and thought-provoking, insightful and sagacious, erudite and deftly presented, "The Greatness of Gratitude" will prove to be a welcome and prized addition to both community and academic library Spirituality & Inspirational collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Greatness of Gratitude" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781796015027, $19.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).
The Parenting Shelf
It's A Jungle Out There
Nathaniel A. Turner, JD, MALS
Two Crabs and a Lion
9780989587907, $15.95, PB, 118pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: As a child who experienced a tumultuous childhood, Nathaniel Turner was reluctant about being a dad. But his reservation ended when he first saw The Lion King. In a short eighty-seven minutes, all of his fears about parenting turned to jubilation.
As a result of that life-changing Disney film, Nathan Turner loves being a parent, so he wrote "It's A Jungle Out There: Power Parenting Lessons Inspired by The Lion King" in order to share with others the simple yet invaluable lessons he learned about loving a child from animated characters.
"It's A Jungle Out There: Power Parenting Lessons Inspired by The Lion King" is comprised of insights on the connection between great parenting and elevating humanity and provides easy to follow instructions on how to improve any parent-child relationships.
Critique: Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in narrative style, organization and presentation, "It's A Jungle Out There: Power Parenting Lessons Inspired by The Lion King" is impressively informative, engaging, thought-provoking, inspired and inspiring. While strongly recommended for all community library Contemporary Parenting instructional references and guides, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "It's A Jungle Out There: Power Parenting Lessons Inspired by The Lion King" is also easily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).
Editorial Note: Nathaniel A. Turner is an education activist and author of multiple books, including Raising Supaman and Stop The Bus: Education Reform in 31 Days. Turner has appeared in numerous media outlets, including Black Enterprise, iHeartRadio, The Good Men Project, The Washington Post, and U.S. News & World Report. As a zealous advocate that every person has an opportunity to maximize their human potential, Nate shares through courses, workshops, and conferences 'The Life Template, ' a backward design life process he first developed to help his son meet the rigorous educational requirements of the top colleges and universities.
The Biography Shelf
Being a Victim by Just Being Me: Lonon Memoir
Keisha S. Lonon
9798634618951, $12.99, PB,125pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Most people will stay on auto-pilot until the pain of staying the same outweighs the pain of change." Anonymous Advocate
At the age of five, there were many things that held power over a young lady's life. These forces were fear, anxiety, depression, PTSD, detachment, separation anxiety, insecurity, and mistrust -- and they all led Keisha Lonon's nontraditional suicidal attempts.
Nobody saw the symptoms until the disease had taken its toll. She was lost on the path she was following because she walked in silence. A broken home can break an individual and cause mental health conditions, leave a person in jail, and even lead to death.
In Keisha's memoir, "Being a Victim by Just Being Me", her readers will meet a little girl who grew up to earn her master's degree in Forensic Psychology and who wants to share with them an abundant love and the secret to changing their own lives when they are impacted by a daily victimization from others.
Keisha aligned herself with others who had the same mindset as she did, and it was a game-changer. Success is not defined by a bank account, but by peace and happiness within ourselves. "Being a Victim by Just Being Me" will help point the way on any personal journey to find that peace and happiness.
Critique: Inspired and inspiring, "Being a Victim by Just Being Me" is an extraordinary memoir and one that carries a life-changing, life-saving message. Deserving of as wide an appreciative readership as possible, and also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.99), "Being a Victim by Just Being Me" is unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary American Biography collections in general and supplemental curriculum studies Domestic Partner Abuse reading lists in particular.
The Music Shelf
Playing Fiddle In The Streets
9781952483028, $16.95, HC, 32pp
Synopsis: As Liesel Soley reports being told by a fellow musician waiting to go on stage to perform in Tully Hall, New York City: "I would rather die than be caught playing violin in the streets."
Liesel is a Juilliard graduate and Fulbright Scholar. But was of an entirely different opinion. For her, playing in the streets was a good venue in which to perform. She felt then, and feels now, that communication is communication, and where it happens is not the point.
Critique: "Playing Fiddle In The Streets" is a compilation of four truly memorable stories about her experiences as a street musician that readers will find to be inherently fascinating, thought-provoking, and entertaining. Simply stated, "Playing Fiddle In The Streets" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal reading lists and community library collections.
The General Fiction Shelf
Around the Sun
9781951937386, $TBA, PB
Synopsis: It's 2016, and Mark White, a 40-something widower, is in even worse shape than he realizes, which would surprise many people. He is the founder and CEO of White & Partners, a tremendously successful public relations firm in Washington that has clients all over the world, including in many emerging nations, within high-tech start-ups, and in domestic government entities. For those who need their companies' reputations burnished or, just as important, salvaged, White & Partners is their best bet, their go-to.
But after Mark's wife, Monica, a very successful artist, was killed in a hit-and-run accident, leaving him with their young son, Colin, the magnate fell into a deep depression. Now he is gulping pills and drinking too much while trying to be a corporate superman. Soon, exhausted and rattled, he breaks down and White & Partners suffers, big time. And on top of this, he knows that he is neglecting Colin, who, not surprising, has trouble coping himself.
Will Mark work out a salvation for himself and his boy?
Critique: A minor masterpiece of literary fiction, "Around the Sun" clearly showcases author Eric Bovim's impressive narrative storytelling skills as a novelist. "Around the Sun" is a fully engaging and unreservedly recommended addition to personal reading lists, as well as community, college, and university library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections.
The Poet's War
c/o Epigraph Publishing Service
9783951979601, $18.95 PB, $9.99 Kindle, 430pp
Synopsis: It is Europe's darkest time in near memory. American warrior poet Alistair Stears, thrown into Italian WWI through his mother's love for an Italian colonel, experienced a convoy of the dying through burning provinces of Italy in the terrible retreat of 1917. It brought from him the great English poem of the Italian war.
One war later, all gracious things await destruction, knowledge is burned, thought coarsened, manners trashed, perverted faith and truth follow the dictators' flags - vultures to grace. Stears is a famous poet now, married into German-Italian nobility and determined with his wife to fight the Axis powers. He risks everything to protect Italy and all else he loves.
He finds that the bravest and fiercest resistance may be the rightness of a poem, the closing of a letter, the welcome of guests, the embrace of a bride, faith toward a fallen friend--and that it may also come from the barrel of a gun. Spanning both world wars, "The Poet's War" finds loyalty, patriotism, war, deception, intrigue, romance, love, and death swept up in a maelstrom that spans generations and changes Europe forever.
Critique: A deftly crafted and inherently engaging read from cover to cover, "The Poet's War" especially recommended for personal reading lists, as well as community and academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections as one of those eloquent works of literature that will linger in the mind and memory of the reader long after the book itself has been finished and set back upon the shelf.
The Bomb Squad: Clash of The Patriots
Neil Perry Gordon
9781732667778, $13.99, PB, 411pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: At the stroke of midnight, a devastating explosion at Black Tom Island, an armaments depot, rocks New York City awake; and so begins "The Bomb Squad: Clash of The Patriots", the story of two patriots in World War I, each willing to put his life on the line in order to achieve a glorious victory for his cause.
Serving the Fatherland is Dr. Harold Schwartz, administrator of the prestigious Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital and a German spy. Along with his father, a dealer in lethal weapons and a lifelong friend of Kaiser Wilhelm, Schwartz is hell-bent on distracting the Americans from entering the war.
Meanwhile, the British Secret Intelligence Service recruits highly regarded New York City police detective Max Rothman to assemble a team of German-speaking specialists, known as the Bomb Squad. Their mission is to investigate the sudden surge of German espionage activity wreaking havoc along the Eastern Seaboard and among steamships attempting to cross the Atlantic.
"The Bomb Squad" follows these men's exploits through an interconnecting tale of love, loss, friendship, and betrayal, stretching from American shores to the epicenter of German power during a time when the world is at war.
Critique: A deftly crafted historical novel of World War I, "The Bomb Squad: Clash of The Patriots", author and novelist Neil Perry Gordon has provided an extraordinary and memorable entertaining read of espionage and suspense that is laced throughout with unexpected twists and turns. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Historical Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Bomb Squad: Clash of The Patriots" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).
Someone Else's Secret
Lake Union Publishing
9781542022354, $24.95, HC, 354pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Lindsey and Georgie have high hopes for their summer on Martha's Vineyard. In the wake of the recession, ambitious college graduate Lindsey accepts a job as a nanny for an influential family who may help her land a position in Boston's exclusive art world. Georgie, the eldest child in that family, is nearly fifteen and eager to find herself, dreaming of independence and yearning for first love.
Over the course of that formative summer, the two young women develop a close bond. Then, one night by the lighthouse, a shocking act occurs that ensnares them both in the throes of a terrible secret. Their budding friendship is shattered, and neither one can speak of what happened that night for ten long years.
Until now. Lindsey and Georgie must confront the past after all this time. Their quest for justice will require costly sacrifices, but it also might give them the closure they need to move on. All they know for sure is that when the truth is revealed, their lives will be forever changed once again.
Critique: All the more impressive when considering that "Someone Else's Secret" is the debut novel for author Julia Spiro, this deftly crafted and narrative driven story of the challenging yet enduring friendship between two women is a thoroughly absorbing read. This is the kind of novel that will linger in the mind and memory of the reader long after it has been finished and set back upon the shelf. While unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Someone Else's Secret" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781542022361, $14.95), in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Brilliance Audio, 9781799755463, $24.99, CD).
Could It Be?: A Spiritual Journey
9781952483011, $16.95, HC, 25pp.
Synopsis: Death is imminent. A very caring and loving Kendra is at odds with her rather obstinate husband of many years, Franz. Yes, the subject of death and life has always been a source of considerable friction and so avoided for the most part, but Kendra now feels an urgency to bring it up once again as she wants to help Franz.
Critique: Told in the form of a thought-provoking and entertaining novella, "Could It Be?: A Spiritual Journey" will have a very special appeal to readers who have or our now having to deal with failure, painful losses and tremendous hardship and seek comfort, hope and encouragement -- especially in this present time of pandemic, economic distress, and societal unrest. "Could It Be?: A Spiritual Journey" is a timely and timeless little volume that is highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library collections.
Blue Light Press
9781421836515, $21.95, PB, 282pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Hope Ellson is from the wrong side of the tracks, but her genius transcends class. When Hope joins FearToShred, a Silicon Valley extreme gaming startup, Hope's mission is to groom the scrappy company for prime time. Enter Doug Wiser, her very married ex. While the two work in tandem, nefarious forces are at work behind the scenes. Adding to the excitement of this thriller are the stars and heroes of surfing and skateboarding.
A deftly scripted and inherently riveting novel, "Extreme" by Joan Gelfand plays out against a problematic background of women in tech, dubious business ethics and outright dangerous stunts, "Extreme" is an original, entertaining, and compelling read. While especially recommended for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Extreme" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.97).
Editorial Note: Winner of the Cervena Barva and Chaffin Fiction Awards, Joan's work has appeared in The Huffington Post, Vanity Fair, Rattle, Pank! The Meridien Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Chicken Soup for the Soul and over 200 literary journals, blogs and magazines. A member of the National Book Critics Circle, Joan has worked for California Poets in the Schools, Poetry Out Loud, Chiat/Day Advertising and other Bay Area companies. She currently coaches writers and teaches in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Rules for Moving
Lake Union Publishing
9781542006378, $14.95, PB, 411pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: To the outside world, beloved advice columnist Lane Meckler has all the answers. What no one knows is that she also has a secret: her life is a disaster, and it's just gotten worse. Her husband, whom she was planning to leave, has died in a freak accident. Her six-year-old son, Henry, has stopped speaking to everyone but her. Lane's solution? Move. Growing up, that was what her family did best.
But when she and Henry pack up and leave, Lane realizes that their next home is no better, and she finally begins to ask herself some hard questions. What made her family move so often? Why has she always felt like an outsider? How can she get Henry to speak?
On a journey to help her son find his voice, Lane discovers that somewhere along the way she lost her own. If she wants to help him, she'll need to find the courage to face the past and to speak the truth she's been hiding from for years.
Critique: An impressively original, deftly crafted, thoughtfully entertaining novel by an author who is able to engage and hold her reader's rapt attention from beginning to end, "Rules for Moving" is an original and unreservedly recommended addition to any community library Contemporary General Fiction collection. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Rules for Moving" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Brilliance Audio, 9781799746225, $14.99, CD).
David Paul Collins
c/o Author House
1663 Liberty Dr. Suite #300, Bloomington, IN 47403
9781462031849, $29.95, HC, 320pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: When Jack Sligo runs away from his loving Boston-Irish family, he hopes to get a summer job on a cruise ship. His dream becomes a nightmare when he meets two strangers who give him mysterious drinks in a waterfront saloon.
Jack wakes up, far at sea, shanghaied aboard the African freighter, SS Iron Prince. The ship's first call is a remote jungle port in Venezuela where there's plenty of rum, women, and thieves, but no opportunity for escape. Well, he wanted adventure -- now he has it with a vengeance!
Critique: Although a work of well crafted fiction by David Paul Collins, it's interesting to note that "Shanghaied" is based on an historically true story! A superbly written action/adventure novel by an author with a genuine flair for the kind of narrative driven storytelling style that keeps the reader's attention fully riveted from first page to last, "Shanghaied" is especially recommended for community library General Fiction collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated action/adventure fans that "Shanghaied" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781462031832, $19.95) and in an inexpensive digital book format (Kindle, $0.99).
Anu Tara Tiki
Lorraine Saint-Hubert & Ludovic Des Leuques
9780578652665, $19.99, PB, 363pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The Antarctica discovery by Emile, a modest French tourist, of a fragment of antique stele covered with cuneiform writing triggers a merciless fight between greedy businessmen and idealistic scientists.
Professor Samuel Kahn, an American sumerologist at Harvard, sees this stone as an opportunity to make his fortune by selling it to an industrial mega-group interested in exploiting the sub-soil of Antarctica.
Father Dorian Green, a former Irish catholic priest and Oxford-based unconventional archaeologist, hopes this artifact will prove his theory that there was a forgotten primary global civilization, whose remains lie under the ice of the Antarctic continent.
Kate, a French young woman au-pair with the Kahn family and Kevin, English archeology student at Oxford, find themselves embarked in the adventure of a lifetime!
Critique: An impressive, effective, and entertaining collaboration between authors Lorraine Saint-Hubert and Ludovic Des Leuques, "Anu Tara Tiki: A Black Stone on the White Continent" is a superbly crafted and impressively original techno-thriller of a suspense novel and certain to be an especially popular addition to community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Anu Tara Tiki: A Black Stone on the White Continent" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).
The Mystery/Suspense Shelf
The Crow's Nest
Moonshine Cove Publishing
9781945181832, $15.99, PB, 294pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Submerged in a crude submarine hundreds of miles from shore and holding ten tons of cocaine stolen from a ruthless drug lord, Chase Brenner's only chance to save his family rests with a drug addled smuggler and a desperate gambit to outwit the cartel.
Chase Brewer, a crewman on a commercial tuna seiner, barely escapes death after his boat and its crew are destroyed by el Hermandad -- a sinister cartel hell-bent on eliminating all witnesses to its unique smuggling operation. After surviving an arduous voyage in a flimsy boat, he seeks answers and a little retribution. Hot on the trail for clues, Chase rescues Jonny LeBeau, a Louisiana shrimper forced into smuggling by the cartel but now on its hit list after skimming drugs. When the cartel realizes Chase survived and a witness is on the loose, both men are now in its crosshairs.
In a desperate gambit to bargain for their lives, Chase and Jonny hijack a narco-submarine with ten tons of cocaine. The secrecy of the cartel's billion-dollar enterprise hinges on silencing this dubious pair of extortionists. Jonny, though, proves he's as cunning as the cartel's most savage sicario. But the cartel plays its trump card and Jonny faces the moral dilemma of his life -- ditch Chase, the man who saved him from death, and escape with riches beyond his wildest dreams or lose it all and, maybe, his life to ransom Chase's wife and children after they're kidnapped by the cartel.
Critique: A deftly crafted novel that expertly blends action and eroticism, "The Crow's Nest" impressively showcases author Richard Meredith's genuine flair for originality and the kind of narrative driven storytelling that fully engages the reader's rapt attention from first page to last. Very highly recommended, especially for community library Contemporary Suspense/Thriller collections, "The Crow's Nest" is the stuff of which action packed, cliff-hanger caper, colorful character infused movies are made! It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Crow's Nest" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.99).
Packard Island Publishing
9780978618490, $24.95, HC, 278pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Investigative reporter Emerson Moore heads to Chincoteague Island to recover from physical and mental wounds brought on by his near-death escape in Cuba. He decides to ponder his future and rest quietly in the home of legendary Chincoteague Island duck carver Roe "Duc-Man" Terry, but his peaceful idyll is disrupted when he becomes embroiled in a drug trafficking operation on the Delmarva Peninsula.
With the help of Roe Terry and Chuck "Big Daddy" Meier, Moore's investigation unearths information that results in a lethal confrontation with drug lord Max Steiner at Steiner's Kings Creek waterfront fortress in Cape Charles. Moore accompanies the Drug Task Force on several raids in hopes of building a case that will stick against the slippery Steiner, but the closer he comes to nailing Steiner, the odds stacked against him become deadly.
Accustomed to perilous working conditions, Moore must leverage every bit of his skill and fearless daring to survive as he finds himself one foot in the grave especially when he ends up unceremoniously dumped into a sealed coffin. Will he be able to escape, or will this be the end of Mr. Emerson Moore?
Set on Virginia's Delmarva Peninsula, the plot includes the annual Chincoteague Pony Swim; a lethal encounter in a Cape Charles restaurant; and shoot-outs near Accomac, Ocean City and the Redeye Fishing Club, plus an ensemble of spirited reprobates. "Assateague Dark" is packed from cover to cover with pulse-pounding, non-stop excitement and high stakes action!
Critique: Another deftly penned suspense thriller of a read from author Bob Adamov, "Assateague Dark" is his thirteenth mystery adventure novel and continues to showcase Adamov's natural flair for originality and a narrative storytelling style that is laced with unexpected plot twists and turns that will keep and hold the reader's fully entertained and rapt attention from cover to cover. "Assateague Dark" is very highly recommended, especially for community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections.
The Labyrinth in Winter
9780989489683, $15.95, PB, 347pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: A body floating in the Harlem River. A phone call asking for help. A call that leads government lawyer Devlin Wolfe into the murky world of dark money and Wall Street, and behind the scenes of the glittering Metropolitan Opera where everything is seemingly linked together -- the murder of a top financial figure, the laundering of illegal funds into a political campaign and two otherworldly divas battling it out for supremacy in a new production the press has taken to calling the "Haunted Aida.
Against the setting of the coldest Manhattan winter anyone could remember, so cold that snowflakes scattered like dust and didn't even melt in the full light of day, he must find answers!
Critique: A deftly penned suspense thriller of a mystery novel by an author with a complete mastery of the genre, an entertaining originality, and the kind of narrative storytelling style that is compelling and keeps the reader's rapt attention from first page to last, "The Labyrinth in Winter" by Michael Blair is especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs that "The Labyrinth in Winter" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).
The Chosen Ones
Micro Publishing Media
9781936517305, $16.95, PB, 288pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Brody Yates has fallen on hard times. Fired from his job as a sports reporter for a major newspaper, he decides to go undercover as a trainer in order to infiltrate the backstage world of figure skating.
Somebody has to do something. One of the world's top male skaters is in danger. He will be dead before the end of the Olympics. If Brody can't stop it, at least he must find out why it happened.
Brody has one chance to save someone's life and to turn his around by breaking the story of a lifetime.
Critique: "The Chosen Ones" by Lisa Luciano is a deftly crafted combination of sports fiction and suspense thriller. An inherently riveting read from first page to last, "The Chosen Ones" is especially recommended for community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of ice skating fans and mystery buffs that "The Chosen Ones" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
9798618278690, $9.99, PB, 307pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: What would you do to protect someone you loved? And is there potential for evil in all of us? Perhaps it merely requires the right circumstances and lack of willpower to allow it to take over.
Dr. Mark Bishop is what many would consider a typical family man. His best friend Hank has always had his back, and life is good until something happens to Mark's daughter that changes the trajectory of all their lives.
Mark is forced to act fast to figure out what he owes his friend, and what he owes his family before it all goes too far!
Critique: In "Fatal Flaws", novelist and doctor Clyde Lawrence draws upon his extensive medical background to create a superbly crafted, emotionally powerful, inherently moving and impressively realistic mystery that is replete with unexpected plot twists and turns that will keep the reader fully engaged from first page to last. While certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated vigilante justice fans that "Fatal Flaws" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).
Smash and Grab
Wild Coyote Press
9781734450552, $12.99, PB, 258pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Callahan Security, knows he's out of his depth. The woman he came to the Bahamas to investigate was kidnapped, and he was taken right along with her. He knew the sexy lady lawyer was trouble. He just had no idea how much. Taken. Again.
Lacy Carmichael on the other hand, was not new to the "Kidnap and Ransom" game. After all, when your father was one of the largest arms dealers in the world, danger comes with the territory, and she'd learned how to talk or fight her way out of almost anything. But this time Logan was grabbed with her. She has no choice but to reveal her secrets in order to save both their lives.
Searching for a way out of the mess, and fighting their mutual attraction, will take all of Logan's and Lacy's collective skills. Unfortunately, deception and betrayal by those they trust the most changes the rules of the game, and they find themselves battling for their lives and their love!
Critique: Another riveting Callahan Security novel by author Lori Matthews, once again her readers are treated to a deftly crafted, impressively original, exceptionally entertaining with the publication of "Smash and Grab". Blending romance, suspense, action and adventure, "Smash and Grab" is an ideal and recommended addition to community library collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of the growing legion of Callahan Security fans that "Smash and Grab" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).
The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Fairview Chronicles: A Wayward Proposition
Johnathan Paul, author
Andrew Dunn, illustrator
9781948692106, $18.95, PB, 216pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Good boy, Mr. Covington," an ominous, disembodied voice calls out from the darkness of the woods. After hearing the voice Randall comes to his senses and feels his hand gripping tightly to a knife, a knife buried in the back of a man dressed in black!
With chaos and anxiety "Fairview Chronicles: A Wayward Proposition" begins the journey of author Johnathan Paul's mystical fantasy series. Mixing dark fantasy with sci-fi and a pinch of cosmic horror we are introduced to the world of Fairview and the exploits of the disgraced history professor Randall Covington.
Randall travels to Fairview with one goal in mind, to find redemption. As he arrives he finds that there are otherworldly forces at work, and he may find redemption, but at the cost of his life.
Critique: A master of the paranormal/horror fantasy genre, "Fairview Chronicles: A Wayward Proposition" showcases author Johnathan Paul's exceptional flair for originality and the kind of narrative storytelling style that grips and compel's the reader's full and total attention from first page to last. Certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary Science Fiction & Fantasy collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Fairview Chronicles: A Wayward Proposition" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
The Military Shelf
Soldiers of Freedom
Mount Sopris Publishing
9781943593279, $16.99, PB, 430pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Soldiers of Freedom: The WWII Story of Patton's Panthers and the Edelweiss Pirates" by Samuel Marquis is the story of the 1944-1945 War in Western Europe and the final Allied struggle to conquer Nazi Germany. It's a personalized story told through the eyes of William McBurney, a tank gunner in the 761st Tank Battalion, the first African-American tank unit in U.S. history; dynamic General George S. Patton, Jr., commander of the U.S. Third Army; and Angela Lange, a sixteen-year-old German resistance fighter with the anti-Nazi Edelweiss Pirates in Cologne.
While Patton's forces liberate France and Belgium, fight in the grueling Battle of the Bulge, and cross the Rhine to conquer Germany, U.S. tanker William McBurney and his Black Panthers must fight two wars at once: one against the German army, the other against the racism of their fellow white soldiers. Meanwhile, as the Allies drive into Germany, Edelweiss Pirate Angela Lange must survive the Allied bombing of Cologne while she engages in fierce resistance against the Hitler Youth and Nazis and is hunted down by the Gestapo.
Revealed in the meticulously told real-life heroism of the 761st Black Panthers and the legendary General Patton to liberate Europe, as well as the Edelweiss Pirates to combat Nazism, "Soldiers of Freedom" is an impressively historically accurate account of the final epic struggle in WWII Western Europe to defeat the Nazi war machine and all it stood for.
Critique: Deftly written, organized and presented, "Soldiers of Freedom: The WWII Story of Patton's Panthers and the Edelweiss Pirates" is the fifth volume in author and military historian Samuel Marquis' World War Two series. A unique and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and university library World War II history collections and supplemental curriculum studies, it should be noted for the persona reading lists of students, academia, military history buffs, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Soldiers of Freedom" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).
The Political Science Shelf
Re-Making the American Dream
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200, Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781728326641, $23.99, HC, 236pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: What happens when the values of Duty, Honor, Country clash at West Point with the religious teachings of the Liberty Baptist Church in Burnt Prairie, Illinois?
In the pages of "Re-Making the American Dream", David Vaught takes his readers on a journey in the Vietnam War era when the he was confronted by Colonel Al Haig, who was soon to join President Nixon's White House and later to serve as President Reagan's Secretary of State. As well as meeting Admiral Moorer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in a federal courtroom.
Waging a vigorous official defense of compulsory chapel, while Vaught stood up for freedom of religion under the First Amendment, (and despite them all having sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States), "Re-Making the American Dream" is the story of a constitutional clash between Church & Sate -- and its aftermath.
Critique: An inherently fascinating and thought-provoking read from first page to last, David Vaught's memoir and treatise "Re-Making the American Dream" is especially recommended to the attention of students, academics, political activists, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the political processes involving the constitutional separation of Church and State, military discipline and personal responsibility, and the resolution of seemingly iconoclastic and order disrupting social/political issues in an American that is today so dramatically polarized. While very highly recommended for both community and academic library Political Science collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Re-Making the American Dream" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781728326634, $13.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.49).
Gleb Tsipursky & Tim Ward
c/o John Hunt Publishing, Ltd.
9781789043990, $19.95, PB, 271pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In the pages of "Pro Truth: A Practical Plan for Putting Truth Back Into Politics", collaborative authors Gleb Tsipursky and Tim Ward answer the pressing question of: How can we turn back the tide of post-truth politics, fake news, and misinformation that is damaging our democracy?
The answer is that we do it by empowering citizens to recognize and resist political lies and deceptions.
Using cutting-edge neuroscience research, "Pro Truth" reveals the tricks post-truth politicians like Donald Trump and his enablers use to exploit the public's mental blindspots and cognitive biases. "Pro Truth" then shares effective and practical strategies to protect ourselves and others from these threats.
"Pro Truth" also addresses the damage caused by the spread of fake news on social media and provides effective techniques for fighting digital misinformation.
The message of "Pro Truth" is that it is by exerting pressure on politicians, media, and other public figures, by creating new incentives for telling the truth, new penalties for lying, and new ways of communicating across the partisan divide, that we restore fact based decision making to our politics.
To put this plan into effective action requires the rise of a Pro-Truth Movement -- a movement which has already begun, and is making a tangible impact -- and putting truth back into local, state, and federal politics.
Critique: A timely and critically important contribution to our current and on-going struggle against the debasement of democratic principles by agents of an American plutocracy, corrupt would-be autocrats like Donald Trump, and the reform of institutional flaws in our governance such as racism, the corruption of money in our political process, and the incompetence of the American federal response to the current Covid-19 pandemic, "Pro Truth: A Practical Plan for Putting Truth Back Into Politics" should have the widest possible readership and is especially recommended for community, college, and university library Contemporary Political Science collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of political science students, academia, political activists, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Pro Truth" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
The Money/Finance Shelf
Day Trading QuickStart Guide
9781945051623, $39.99 HC / $9.99 Kindle, 397pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Day trading is speculation in securities, specifically buying and selling financial instruments within the same trading day, such that all positions are closed before the market closes for the trading day. Traders who trade in this capacity with the motive of profit are therefore speculators. The methods of quick trading contrast with the long-term trades underlying buy and hold and value investing strategies. Day traders exit positions before the market closes to avoid unmanageable risks and negative price gaps between one day's close and the next day's price at the open. (Wikipedia)
"Day Trading QuickStart Guide: The Simplified Beginner's Guide to Winning Trade Plans, Conquering the Markets, and Becoming a Successful Day Trader" is a comprehensive instruction manual and guide specifically designed for the complete beginner who may have never bought a single stock before. It will also prove invaluable for people who tried day trading in the past but didn't find success because of phony gurus and courses. It has practical value for existing traders who want to hone their skills & increase their earning potential, as well as anyone who wants the freedom of making full-time income with part-time effort!
"Day Trading QuickStart Guide" covers; The Inner Workings of the Derivatives Market; Futures Trading Contracts, How They Work and How to Maximize their Efficiency; How to Day Trade Options and Use Options Contracts to Hedge Against Risk; The Mechanics of Forex Trading and How to Use Foreign Currency Markets to Your Benefit; as well as Day Trading Fundamentals, from the Anatomy of a Trade to Powerful Trade Plans For Serious Returns.
Also featured is a Technical Analysis for finding and executing winning trades; Trading Psychology; the interpretation of Market Charts; Technical Indicators, Patterns, Trade Plans. Of special note is the identification of common mistakes that new Day Traders must avoid.
Critique: Expertly written, and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Day Trading QuickStart Guide: The Simplified Beginner's Guide to Winning Trade Plans, Conquering the Markets, and Becoming a Successful Day Trader" should be considered mandatory reading for anyone considering the Day Trading of stocks in today's highly volatile marketplace. While unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Day Trading QuickStart Guide" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781945051814, $27.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review
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