Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Review of "A Tangeled Web"

In 2040 animals were legislated out of normal life, only permitted to live in government sanctuaries. Plants were frozen in suspended animation. Food and water supplies dwindled as the world population continued to increase. Most people were immersed in technology including robotic pets and lost sight of nature, but not all. A small group of people secretly preserved animals and planned to move to a deserted island to live in harmony with them in a natural environment. Sadly there were pitfalls, among them disorganization and discontent, threatening the success of the project. Does Zarrella give us a realistic peek into our future, or is this just fiction? You decide. 3 Stars      

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Review of "Dobyns Chronicles"

This yarn details the life of Charley Dobyns and his clan. Born in 1872 near Bonham, Texas, Charley was an honest, loving, country boy who would endure many difficult events in his life. He lost his parents to Yellow Fever at the tender age of sixteen, and vowed to raise his younger brother, David and sister, Viola. He found work and help along the way until he met Mila who would become his wife. Charley and Mila, persevered through the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl of the 1930's and a murder, all the while raising a family and never losing site of his brother and sister. Charley died on July 4, 1955 but his legacy lives on with his great granddaughter Shirley McLain. 4 Stars  

Friday, March 27, 2015

Review of "Countdown to Atomgeddon"

This story describes the race between the United States and the Third Reich to develop the atom bomb. There is a complicated spy ring trying to steal information from the United States, hinder development, and ultimately delay the test at Trinity Site. They were led to believe that Jumbo was the test bomb as a cover for Gadget, the real test bomb. Many pains taking operations were enacted to delay Jumbo's arrival at Trinity Site. Protagonists, Blake and Nate discover what's going on, and help the government to identify and capture some spies. Howell writes with an underlying sense of humor throughout. 3 Stars

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Review of "Double Spy"

This autobiography is not only cleverly written, but most entertaining. Peter, a journalist in his late twenties, finds himself enveloped in espionage during the Cold War. As an agent for the Dutch Secret Service (BVD), he's recruited by the East German Intelligence Service (HVA) to spy on the Dutch. Loyal to the BVD, Peter has the time of his life, at the expense of the Germans, delivering useless if not public information, and being paid to do so. But this is not a James Bond or Will Cochrane type novel, no fast cars, no diabolical technology or armament, but there is a little romance. Peter defines his story with an unyielding sense of humor that will surely delight you. 5 Stars  

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Review of "As Waters Gone By"

This is the story of a man's loss of his wife and children in a landslide in Mabeta New Layout, Cameroon. Pa Lang was in Silver Spring, Maryland, visiting his daughter and son-in-law when the rains came to his village, and swept away his family. Upon his return to bury the bodies, he is accused of causing their deaths by his superstitious peers. Through an invocation of his dead wife by a witch doctor, he's proven innocent of any misdoing. The tragedy cripples his spirit until he meets Gladys Amateh with whom he has a romantic relationship until his death. 2 Stars

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Review of "And the Whippoorwill Sang"

The story begins with the marriage of teenagers, Micki and Butch, and soon after children begin to arrive. Butch has a penchant for work, leaving Micki to struggle with housework, kids, and the occasional unruly animal. For a while their lives parallel those of many other couples until they decide to split. But they can't live without each other, so together they chart a new course. Again the sea winds blow, but they manage to ride out the storm, until suddenly tragedy strikes. A drunk driver runs down their daughter, Noelle, and after an agonizing ten days in limbo, she goes to heaven, leaving the family stricken with grief. The family pushed on in sorrow until two years later to the day, when their daughter, Kim gave birth to Ian, with a persona akin to Noelle. 5 Stars          

Monday, March 16, 2015

Review of "Living Beyond Nightfall"

Living Beyond Nightfall is the story of a courageous woman who learned the injustices of life growing up in segregated Louisiana. Encouraged by her father's love, Troy persevered, got a college education, a job in corporate white America, and a husband. But, after a divorce, and with four small children to raise, she found herself at a crossroads. Does she accept a management position with a prominent financial institution, or contribute her experience and talent to a historically black institution? The path Troy chose brought her to face greed, politics, and a false accusation by her own cultural community. During five years of litigation to clear her name, Troy not only found that her faith held her together, but also helped to rebuild her broken spirit. 3 Stars      

Friday, March 13, 2015

Review of "Align with the Wild"

This little book should be read by everyone who can read. Dr. Armstrong explains in detail what industrialization has cost the environment. She tells us how to get back in touch with nature, and what we can do to help sustain the earth for generations to come. There are problems however. First, we need to accept the simple truth as it is. Second, we need to identify what we individually can do to turn things around. Finally, and this is the hardest part, get off our lazy back sides and do something. Stop using plastic bags at the grocery store; it takes 20-1,000 years for them to decompose. Turn off the garden hose while washing your car, save some water, there's only so much of it. Maybe even grow a back yard vegetable garden, or participate in a community garden. Way to go Doc, this is a good one. 5 Stars

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Review of "Stone in a Sling"

Gentle, gripping and inspirational is this chronicle of a young man adrift in the world, struggling to find direction. With a loving nudge from his father, Scott decides on a stint in the U. S. Army. Intent on being a Green Beret, he puts all his energy into being the best he can be until he meets Trena. Married and with his first child on the way, Scott changes course. From medic to intelligence to acquisitions, he accepts changes in his (MOS) Military Occupation Specialty. When he leaves the army, he goes to college, takes (ROTC) Reserve Officer's Training Corps, and goes back in as an commissioned officer. Paralleling his heroic military career is his family life and spirituality which molds him into a well rounded success, and far from that struggling young man. 5 Stars