1 to 19 of 19
Review Date: 12/30/2012
Helpful Score: 1
The Almond Tree written by Michelle Cohen Corasanti is a fictional account of one familys struggle to overcome adversity. Utilizing knowledge of the geo-political history of Israel and Palestine, the author builds a dramatic and interesting background that makes the events believable and dramatic.
The story centers on Ichmad Hamid who grows up in an occupied country where he and his family are unwelcome and hated. Through the course of his life, we see him respond to injustice, grief and other violent losses with perseverance and intelligence following the example and wisdom of his father.
This inspiring journey of rising above devastating circumstances, refusing to resort to hate and finally finding a platform of peace is a well-written work of hope allowing the reader to walk in the shoes of another perspective.
A remarkable novel with a powerful message simply communicated.
Review Date: 7/25/2013
Amazing Matilda by Betty Stevens is a thoughtful and sweet story for young children and early readers. The telling of how Matilda grows and changes can help introduce children to concepts of persistence and patience as they face challenges in life and physical changes as they grow and learn.
I received this copy from the author in exchange for a review and found it both entertaining and educational, this story is sure to become a favorite.
Review Date: 9/13/2014
The Coal Tattoo is the third installment in a series by Silas House. This sweet novel is strong enough to stand on its own if you haven't read the first two books in the series, A Parchment of Leaves and Clay's Quilt. This a story primarily of two very different sisters as they walk through various trials, sometimes successfully and sometimes just by enduring. It is also a reflection of life in a rural area and the influence of coal mining on a community. As lives of the sisters unfolds the reader discovers how events in their past affects the characters present choices and values and leads them to uncover strength within.
Review Date: 4/24/2013
Helpful Score: 1
Comes the Night (Casters) by Nora Wilson and Heather Doherty is the first book of the series that brings three very different personalities together in this paranormal mystery. The book seemed a little disconnected at first as the events begin to unfold and the characters are introduced. In fact, the experience of meeting the characters in the story was similar to the way the characters met one another and gradually became friends. As the characters mature through some very harsh events, their actions - both noble and not so noble - carry the reader through many emotions. The conclusion was bittersweet and set the stage for new adventures. This reader is looking forward to seeing more of this writer and the Casters.
Review Date: 11/28/2013
Contagious: Why Things Catch On written by Jonah Berger is a natural next-step for readers who enjoyed Maxwells Tipping Point. While the writer did not definitively answer the question posed within the title, the anecdotal style was helpful in developing a higher awareness and perspective going forward. A bit repetitious, the book probably should have concluded about two-thirds of the way. However, worth the read if you are looking to re-position a community or business.
Review Date: 1/6/2013
Escaping Life written by Michelle Muckley begins slowly as the author takes time to set the scene and the circumstances of this mystery in detail. This technique actually adds to the mood of the story as the writer gently unfolds a painful tale of loss and betrayal and the ripples these events generate in the lives of the characters. Muckleys characters are believable and the murderer is hard to identify for most of the story. The suspense builds as the truth bursts out into the open with a dramatic final scene.
There are technical hurdles to overcome due to poor editing but the story is still a good read for a rainy day.
Review Date: 9/28/2013
Framed: A Historical Novel About The Revolt Of The Luddites written by Christy Fearn was an unexpected disappointment. I received a free copy of the book in exchange for my review and found the title to be quite misleading. Instead of a historical novel, it was a short romance story. The characters never fully developed nor was the promised tale of the Luddites. Instead, the writer wasted my time with free love sexual encounters and descriptions of rape. The telling of the tale is fragmented as the chapters did not flow evenly but were more like snapshots as the author jumped from one point in time to another. This technique is meant for use in a full-length novel where the characters and plot were more developed and a scene shift was relevant to the story.
Furthermore, it is not clear why or what political statement was declared at the end of the book. Both the writer and the reader would be better served if it had it been cut during the editing process. Framed is likely a first attempt by an undisciplined novice who has not taken the time to develop their craft along with a clear viewpoint.
Review Date: 3/8/2014
Hard Winter: The Novel by Neil Davies is set in a fictional post apocalyptic future. Centered on the experiences of one very damaged human, the author takes the reader on a journey of hardship, loss and transformation. The story line is quite believable and the finale satisfying. It took a few chapters to connect but moved swiftly as the characters evolved and began to interact.
A fun read for a wintry weekend.
Review Date: 5/27/2013
A life Less Ordinary by Victoria Bernadine is a delightful book about a life in transition. The characters are believable and it was easy to make a connection to the lead character. There was quite a bit of time spent on supporting characters, which would probably make for great television. The story line followed the twists and turns of a discovery journey and left the reader hopeful without actually tying up all the loose ends. Very true- to life and a fun summer read.
Review Date: 8/18/2013
Making Soap from Scratch: Complete Beginner's Guide to Natural Handmade Soaps by Summer Vautierc is a well-organized and clearly written handbook. The author walks the reader through each step of the process while providing background and safety information. The experience of reading this book was equivalent to having the writer available to demonstrate the process in a workshop setting. This guide would likely benefit those who have never attempted to make soap as well as veteran crafters. The treasure trove of recipes included adds great value to this resource.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in order to provide a review. The author was able to communicate her knowledge and expertise to this novice in a pleasant manner while pointing out potential dangers and pitfalls of the process. A great find for adult crafters and gift makers.
Review Date: 10/7/2018
Just finished reading Mr. Dickens Carol. It was a little slow to get rolling but turned out to be worth it in the end. The setting reminded me of a Horatio Alger novel especially with the walks about London and the orphans on the street and in the workhouses.
It is a fictional perspective (not all facts are true), written by a true Dickens' fan, speculating the background behind the classic, "A Christmas Carol." If you are a fan of Dickens, you would enjoy this charming read.
Review Date: 4/21/2013
The Mythic Guide to Characters: Writing Characters Who Enchant and Inspire by Antonio del Drago is a well-written book for the aspiring screenwriter. In this wonderful learning tool, the author explains the differences in each of the character types that your story will need to include as it progresses and how those differences interact with each other. The Mythic Guide shows you how to understand your characters for who they are. It also makes you aware of how to make clear delineations between them, so each of them speak in their own voice and do not all sound like you. It is a great book to add to your writers library.
Review Date: 11/16/2013
Pause: How to Turn Tough Choices into Strong Decisions written by Joan McIver Gibson, Ph.D. is a thoughtful, easy to follow guideline for working through conflict and challenges. The authors gentle approach helps the reader to discover objectivity and clarity through a change in perspective. A must read for leaders and managers in all walks and disciplines.
Review Date: 2/1/2013
The Problem Is You written by John Burke identifies some patterns and character traits that may contribute to a lack of success. However, it does not offer concrete steps or actions the reader might employ to turn around their circumstances. The tone is more like a newsletter or blog rather than an actual book and appears to be a superficial view of the topic.
Review Date: 2/1/2013
The Collected Bartleby and James Adventures by Michael Coorlim is a collection of four well-executed mysteries. As the reader progresses through each of these stories, they enter into the steam punk setting and style of the characters. The unfolding events reveal the depth of each character and create a world for the reader to visit, even if it is only for a little while. The author is a clearly skilled wordsmith as evidenced by the clear images brought forth in the telling.
Unfortunately, the authors personal agenda was too evident and the tales would be a better read if objectivity allowed the reader to form their own opinions on political or religious issues. This is a fun and entertaining selection that leaves you looking forward to more adventures with these brilliant detectives.
Review Date: 12/29/2012
Unshackled & Free: True Stories of Forgiveness is a collection of testimonies complied by CJ & Shelley Hitz. Grouped into three sections - "Forgiving Others," "Asking God's Forgiveness" and "Forgiving Yourself," the reader follows a path to personal freedom through the experiences of others. This is not a self-help book outlining steps or offering a corrective sermon but rather a shared experience from those who have gone before us. As the reader hears from various people - a professor, a stay-at-home mom and a former addict/criminal among others - the stories draw you into the real-life experiences of people learning to overcome adversity and harm.
There are no simple formulas or pat answers here, just real people at various stages in their lives that have and are learning to forgive others. Like the psalmist, David, they have dared to acknowledge their pain, pass through a dark and scary path and reach a place where they can once again praise God and walk among others in community. Their stories will touch your heart with their familiarity, awaken your sense compassion with their candid narrations and bring hope to the wounded areas of your life.
Whether you are struggling with hurts from your past or looking for encouragement in your own journey, I highly recommend this thought-provoking collection.
Review Date: 3/30/2013
The Vaporizer by Lee Driver is a fast-paced detective novel with a paranormal twist. This sixth book in the Chase dagger series is full of mystery as this story unfolds within a backdrop of unknowns. The characters are believable and easy to like as are the villains making this a believable read. Very suspenseful as our lead characters find their way in and out of dangerous situations while discovering and unexpected romance. A good read for any day, looking forward to book seven.
Review Date: 3/25/2013
Who Tells The Moon to Sleep? Written by Haley Whitehall, this book is a fictional portrayal of a little girl who lived as a slave on a tobacco farm. The story is told from the childs perspective as she begins to notice that not everyone is treated the same. Sad and thought provoking, this is an excellent read-a-loud book for early readers. The book is also suitable as a resource in the classroom to support discussions about slavery and treating others equally.
Review Date: 9/13/2014
You know Who I Am is a fast-moving romp through Los Angeles. Diane Patterson has brought together elements of a mystery, a murder, characters with colorful backgrounds and a witness on the run. The reader is brought into the action and is filled in on the go as the protagonist, Drucilla Thorne, uncovers evidence about her husband's murder.
The characters are interesting and fun as you get to know them however, the story moves too fast to really develop a foundation. The book was a pleasant, light-hearted read that ended before any real commitments were made by the characters or this reader. Hoping this author takes the time to build background into her next story which I look forward to reading.
1 to 19 of 19