September 28, 2016
by Jack L. Kennedy Close your eyes. Fantasize. Try fantasy for fall. No one stretches and adorns that literary genre better than Jim Webster, pictured, who in two new paperback novel ...more
September 04, 2016
by Jack L. Kennedy People, not preaching, promises or pessimism, form the rapidly beating, reassuring heart of Gospel Memories -- The Future Can Rewrite Our Past, a book deceptively larger than ...more
August 12, 2016
by Jack L. Kennedy Mark Spivak, author of Friend of the Devil (Black Opal Books) instantly proves to hungry skeptics that it Is possible for a journalist to cook, eat, drink fine wine and write ...more
June 26, 2016
by Jack L. Kennedy Pain, comfort, relief and recovery are terms which often vary in meaning, and may take years to adequately discern and define. But butterflies, even broken humans depending ...more
May 17, 2016
by Jack L. Kennedy-- Warfare uses many weapons, and internal battles are the most difficult. That is the major lesson perhaps in The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit are REAL by longtime ...more
April 26, 2016
by Jack L. Kennedy Using the right ingredients is important when choosing or writing books. But when introducing the power of the printed page to a younger audience, three varied new volumes show ...more
January 22, 2016
January 02, 2016
by Jack L. Kennedy After the holiday turkey and cheese dip are gone, why not turn instead to some food for thought. Ancient Alien --Theory Decoded by Robert Sickler (XLibris) may not be ...more
December 11, 2015
FACINATION WITH A RIVER Recommending a particular book specifically for holiday gift-giving could be a limiting idea given that every day is a good excuse for buying a book. For any excuse and ...more
November 24, 2015
by Jack L. Kennedy Does the future mirror the past? Doug Welchman apparently thinks so, in his science fiction fantasy, Psi’ Ops and the Battle of Minds. (XLibris) Militarism, dictatorship ...more
September 08, 2015
by Jack L. Kennedy Benor Dorfinngil embraces the term “virgin territory” from both human and geographic perspectives. The lusty, life-loving lead character in British fantasy ...more
August 26, 2015
by Jack L. Kennedy Anyone who likes dogs, colorful characters and good writing will read A Dog’s Choice by Allan Meyer. (Arizona Vintage Investments) The book is the perfect prescription for ...more
August 06, 2015
by Jack L. Kennedy Determination, dedication to others and lack of prejudice in any sense are good qualities for anyone. Their development help make The Lucile James Story a broad, universal ...more
July 04, 2015
by Jack L. Kennedy Life can be a dream, or a nightmare, a varied and vivid cast tells readers in Lucid—Othernaturals Book Two self published by author Christina Harlin, pictured at left. ...more
June 20, 2015
by Jack L. Kennedy Many elements make good teachers, and learners – and the lifetime process never stops. That is the most evident, memorable message in A Teacher’s Tale by Joe Gilliland (True ...more
May 13, 2015
by Jack L. Kennedy Good real estate is often difficult to find today. The most elusive, debatable plot, perhaps, is “common ground,” Rachel Held Evans says, forcefully, faithfully and from ...more
March 27, 2015
by Jack L. Kennedy Working together builds individual strengths, but life is not always harmonious, even for rising music groups. If you like country music, romance and “soap operas,” you ...more
March 06, 2015
by Jack L. Kennedy Magnetic books have many faces. From Working to Wisdom by Brendan Hare (Jappa Flats Publishing) is like a mirror, reflecting the march of time. Its sub-title, "The ...more
February 06, 2015
by Jack L. Kennedy Literary treasures worth digging into are often hard to find. Custer’s Gold by M. John Lubetkin (Bookstand Publishing/2014) is an exceptional excursion down many roads. The ...more
January 21, 2015
by Jack L. Kennedy History blends with mystery, nostalgia with charm in Craig Ewald’s historical novel, Only Jody Knows”. (Author House) Anyone with a broad appetite for good writing, ...more
January 09, 2015
by Jack L. Kennedy Motivation is a powerful force, and propels colorful characters to do often questionable things under pressure. That is certainly the case with Mike Tyson, pictured at ...more
December 30, 2014
Brian David Bruns thought riding into the mist during the nearly 500-mile bike ride across Iowa "was cooling." Everyone else, he writes, thought it was like "riding into a steam bath." by Paul ...more
December 20, 2014
by Jack L. Kennedy Sometimes, the most compelling characters in a book are not human. That is the case in “Hants” by Arthur James (Blackstone). The title refers to a three-generation farm that ...more
December 17, 2014
Gift-giving can be a frustrating experience: What to get that person who has everything. Two books have crossed our desk that solve gift-giving for someone who also enjoys art books. "Days of ...more
November 25, 2014
by Jack L. Kennedy Those wanting to lose pounds while gaining hope, common sense and good humor will find the perfect recipe in Slim by Design by Brian Wansink (William Morrow.) Any parent, food ...more
November 15, 2014
Molly McAme with her pet mouse, Nibbles, confronts Santa on Christmas Eve. Is there a child, preferably a little girl, whom you would like to become excited over the reading of books? Well, 'tis ...more
November 05, 2014
by Jack L. Kennedy Good stories led by lively, creative people quickly cross geographic boundaries. One of those books that should appeal to a wide readership is The Calamities of Kalamity ...more
October 08, 2014
by Jack L. Kennedy Four words the reader might not readily associate with military subjects perhaps best describe both Hal Moore, A Soldier Once and Always and its young, widely recognized author, ...more
September 24, 2014
by Jack L. Kennedy Raising Abel subtitled “The Life of Faith” by Ronald Ragotzy, M. D. (Balboa Press) has medicinal properties without even claiming them. It might be just what the doctor ...more
August 27, 2014
Molly and Nick, two characters in a new children's book by Marissa Irvin Gould, can't wait to share their new presents with kids at school by Mari Winn Taylor Marissa Irvin started playing ...more
August 04, 2014
by Jack L. Kennedy Books can capture both the heart and the head, and often do both. Mind, body and soul are all elements in a concise, caring, literate and loving approach to several ...more
July 26, 2014
by Jack L. Kennedy Life has many plot twists. Hidden Relationships of The Homicide Detective by Herman L. Hinton (XLibris) is not a typical detective story, although it is written as if it were ...more
June 23, 2014
by Jack L. Kennedy Finding reliable and readable advice in print is not always easy. Sometimes, alleged experts offer their vast or half-(v)ast knowledge in very authoritarian ways, as ...more
June 03, 2014
by Jack L. Kennedy In a sense, Colin Brown has written an at times unconventional “travel book.” His feelings are evident early in Outside the Camp, subtitled "The wisdom, humility and ...more
May 16, 2014
by Jack L. Kennedy Some alleged experts often are “barking up the wrong tree” when they give advice about pets. There are many misconceptions (a.k.a. old wives tales but why not credit ...more
May 16, 2014
Many stories have been written about the ferocious tornado that cut through the center of our town, Joplin, Missouri on May 22, 2011, but they were written mainly for an adult readership. Carolyn E. ...more
May 03, 2014
by Jack L. Kennedy Author Ean W. Burchell knows what book he distrusts the most: the Holy Bible...anyone’s view or translation of it. The onetime educator/skeptic has compiled his ...more
April 18, 2014
by Jack L. Kennedy-- Do you ever feel worlds apart from someone? Or do you suspect those around you are from another planet at times? Even those readers who may see science fiction as galaxies ...more
March 30, 2014
by Jack L. Kennedy Books, like the authors who pen them, can have both good and bad moments. This is certainly true of A Twist of Lyme, by Andrea H. Caesar and edited by Nancy Grossman ...more
March 13, 2014
The Northwest Passage is a sea route through the Arctic Ocean, along the northern coast of North America via waterways amidst the ice-ridden Canadian Arctic Archipelago, connecting the Atlantic and ...more
March 09, 2014
by Mari Winn Taylor "You know what they say about the Bootheel?" Elsie Arnold asks her police detective friend Bob Ashlock in a scene revealing the possible location of one of the abused ...more
February 15, 2014
by Jack L. Kennedy If good books are a banquet, The Foxes of Caminus by Laura Burroughs (Burroughs Books) has something for all tastes and ages—with a dash of surprise and spice. There are enough ...more
January 31, 2014
by Jack L. Kennedy Colorful, memorable characters and Lamar author Ben Reed all show strengths from which readers can benefit in Truth with Stretch Marks. The Missouri Southern State ...more
January 14, 2014
by Jack L. Kennedy Sacrifice The Essence of Life brings life to the old adage, truth is stranger than fiction. It was Mark Twain who explained that "fiction is obliged to stick to ...more
January 13, 2014
by Jack L. Kennedy You cannot judge a judge by his cover. That is one of the themes of The Judge’s Wife is Missing by the late Dale German (Abbott Press, division of Writer’s Digest.) It is ...more
January 07, 2014
"To bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance."--George Washington by Paul Teverow My native Rhode Island claims the oldest Jewish religious structure in the United States, the Touro ...more
December 30, 2013
by Susan Branch For a thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat, you can't do much better than Ripples in Opperman's Pond by Douglas P. Zipes. You'll keep turning pages as the ...more
December 24, 2013
by Jack L. Kennedy The most lasting structures are preserved by the memories of people, built of bricks and stones but mortared together by faith. That may be the major message of the small ...more
December 22, 2013
by Jack L. Kennedy-- Faith and relationships build upon each other. Joe Camp, a St. Louis native, is the father of several successful movies about Benji, the loveable little canine. Camp ...more
December 15, 2013
You may be too prissy to follow the suggestions offered in the travel book, Naughty Girl's Guide to Los Angeles by Sienna Sinclaire (Naughty Girl Press, 2012). Although the Ozarks are a long ...more
December 05, 2013
The Nation of Brunei, with a population nearing a half million in 2012 and extensive petroleuum and natural gas fields--Forbes ranks it as the fifth richest nation out of 182 with such resources--is ...more
November 23, 2013
by Susan Branch Spycraft and insider medical knowledge combine to give the reader of this thriller something special. In the book Osprey (EXLIBRIS, 2012) Peter Williamson has dedicated his ...more
November 13, 2013
by Jack L. Kennedy Sometimes, a few words can describe modest but powerful books. Falling Into Place by Hattie Kauffman, pictured, (Baker Books) is such a volume. Yes, she is an Emmy ...more
October 29, 2013
by Jack Kennedy The premise of The Actor by Douglas Gardham (iUniverse Inc.) starts out promising. The Canadian’s first novel has intriguing autobiographical elements. We are told that ...more
October 10, 2013
by Jack Kennedy Life has been a complex, emotional, paradox for Denver newsman/editor M.J. Burke Sr. Funeral in a Feminine Dress is labeled a memoir. The often physically and emotionally ...more
September 27, 2013
by Jack L. Kennedy Anyone who has ever been a small, confused, but maturing child will be drawn in to Little Joe by Michael E. Glasscock III.(Greenleaf) The initial premise is powerful yet ...more
September 11, 2013
In December of 1991 the Soviet Union (the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, or U.S.S.R.) was officially dissolved. From it emerged Russia (the Russian Federation) and a number of independent ...more
August 23, 2013
by Mari Winn Taylor Nostalgia. The word creates a warm, fuzzy feeling. If "nostalgia" refers to an overall interest in the past--places, persons and things from one's earlier life or what ...more
August 18, 2013
by Jack L. Kennedy History is basically made by people. Recalling the narrative, we cite big events, headlines, global crises, wars and tragedies. But Widow Walk by Gerard LaSalle ...more
August 04, 2013
by Jack L. Kennedy Paul J. Pitlyk fought two wars, simultaneously. One was in Vietnam, as a neurosurgeon in 1965. The other conflict was constantly within himself. The stark tale that ...more
July 31, 2013
by Mari Winn Taylor HAVANA, 2003 Author Celso Gonzalez-Falla must have felt pleasure in being able to report that one of Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista's more brutal followers, one that took ...more
July 19, 2013
by Jack L. Kennedy The past always leaves something for the present. We may not realize the value of the legacy until many years have gone by. Uncle Martin’s Family, a Memoir by Joyce ...more
June 30, 2013
by Jack L. Kennedy Few people have fond memories of reaching age 50. Jan Atkinson, author of Menopausal Killer Sharks, (iUniverse) has many diverse, often profane, sometimes witty ways ...more
June 26, 2013
by Susan Branch Why do we read memoirs? Usually, it's to find out how others cope with the events of life that we all must experience. Sometimes, it's to make contact with exotic lifestyles that ...more
June 23, 2013
by Jack L. Kennedy The word “hustler” in sports or other human endeavor usually relates to energy, willingness, and other virtues physical or mental. But in The Sporting Stings (Black ...more
June 04, 2013
by Jack L. Kennedy The title of the thin little volume from AuthorHouse seemed intriguing. How to Stay Married for at Least 100 Years offers some humor, a lot of advice, and a “preachy” ...more
May 24, 2013
by Jack L. Kennedy Politics, power, intrigue, pressures past and present often make good reading, when expressed by a good author. That certainly is the case in the intellectually and ...more
April 26, 2013
by Jack L. Kennedy Writing can be like cooking. At times, all the ingredients for a tasty meal are there. Mixed together by a knowledgeable hand, they do make a satisfying souffle. On the ...more
April 12, 2013
by Jack L. Kennedy A Touch of Nerves (D. C. Hampton) has more twists and turns than a rutty Ozark roadway. It is a well written tale of how nerve gas disappears from an army research ...more
March 24, 2013
by Jack L. Kennedy Although there is a good thread throughout with purposeful intentions, the sewing of the fabric of Bring Forth the Light by an author penned Emmanuel (Balboa Press) seems ...more
March 17, 2013
by Jack L. Kennedy-- Ty Vincent M.D., a family practitioner from Wasilla, Alaska (think Sarah Palin), was hungry to give good advice to the masses about health. Thinking Outside the ...more
January 13, 2013
by Jack L. Kennedy Pit big business against a small, active, creative person and you have a promising plot for a book about an alert young teen that crosses into several areas of ...more
December 23, 2012
by Jack L. Kennedy MAURINE H. BEASLEY-- Books and the people in them can be magnetic. They can attract a variety of readers for many reasons. Women of the Washington Press by Maurine H. ...more
December 19, 2012
by Jack L. Kennedy Call Me a Survivor by Michael J. Carnes is a small, unpretentious volume on its face. But it takes only a few pages to be drawn into a story that this well-known ...more
November 21, 2012
This is the Hour of Lead--Remembered, if outlived, As freezing persons, recollect the Snow-First-Chill-then Stupor-then letting go.....--Emily Dickinson, from her poem "After great pain, a formal ...more
October 30, 2012
Happy Halloween! "Witches" is a woodcut, circa 1500, by Hans Baldung Grien, a German who chose not to follow in the footsteps of his family of professionals, and instead become an artist. His ...more
October 30, 2012
by Jack L. Kennedy Manhood and Other Stuff is rather direct. The subtitle is “The Testosterone Principles 2.” The extremely self-confident author is TC Luoma, the publisher Balboa Press.  ...more
October 18, 2012
by Jack L. Kennedy-- Are you certain you know where you are? Or even who you are? Do forces keep shifting around you? Are you finding that what you thought was reality is actually mystical, ...more
September 26, 2012
by Jack L. Kennedy It sometimes may seem that life is an uncertain, winding and often confused experience, with day to day movements lived through a haze. We wonder when and how it will end ...more
September 18, 2012
by Jack L. Kennedy They say you can’t tell a book, or person, by the cover. Backstage by Ron Hull (University of Nebraska Press), with Hull on the front cover in an interviewer’s chair, is ...more
August 28, 2012
by Jack L. Kennedy The most interesting friends often are the ones who seem quite different from you, but given a chance they will grow on you and surprise you. They are hard to forget, and ...more
August 23, 2012
by Susan Branch While most of us will not face the sudden, crushing tragedy that confronted Samantha Light-Gallagher, all of us will suffer losses and, yes, tragedy in our lives. Samantha ...more
August 09, 2012
by Jack L. Kennedy "We must remember that in time of war what is said on the enemy’s side of the front is always propaganda, and what is said on our side of the front is truth and ...more
August 03, 2012
by Susan Branch A 7-year-old is ripped from her home and sent to a concentration camp in the Ukraine. How will this affect her development and life? There are two saving graces in young ...more
July 24, 2012
Meet the smiling Stammer Family, Danielle and husband Andrew, Emily at age 3 and Ethan at 17-months, Easter/April 2011. What happens when you haven't been paying attention to the weather forecast ...more
July 23, 2012
by Jack L. Kennedy When Mike McDonald’s wife was raped and murdered by an outlaw biker gang, the Persian Gulf war Marine veteran set off on a mission. In Thunder Road by David Donaghe ...more
July 06, 2012
by Jack L. Kennedy Ruby Hillsman had conviction, a variety of experiences as a nurse for more than 30 years, minister’s wife for 20, and business owner. She also had an idea. Why not, ...more
June 27, 2012
by Jack L. Kennedy College students often may seem scary. They imagine they see good grades, misjudge their personal or intellectual strengths, have friends who seem odd to their ...more
June 19, 2012
Mark Rohr, author of the book Joplin - The Miracle of the Human Spirit greets a visitor at a book signing he held recently at the Joplin Public Library. Large in stature, Mark Rohr presents an ...more
June 12, 2012
by Jack L. Kennedy A Father’s Day thought--do not just keep your memories in the top drawer of your dresser. Pass them along. This is the dominant message of Top Drawer Dads Celebrating ...more
June 04, 2012
by Jack L. Kennedy Author Michael Fontana has a unique and often compelling idea. In The Sacred Machine (DWB Publishing) two backwoods self-professed country preachers go down a rocky ...more
May 29, 2012
by Jack L. Kennedy A good book can be like a fine tapestry, with many different threads carefully and tightly interwoven to make a picture with which various folks and times can identify.  ...more
April 16, 2012
By Jack L. Kennedy-- During an election year, political rhetoric often claims that what happens in Washington is criminal. Appropriately, perhaps, Executive Deception by Pat Riley has cops, ...more
April 10, 2012
by Susan Branch-- Sherman is famously quoted as saying "War is Hell," but he didn't bother to add that desperate, unscrupulous men and women involved in war will commit any crime, no matter ...more
April 03, 2012
by Susan Branch So you don't remember much of the history you learned in school? Or you don't remember the details, just a general idea of what happened? Or you remember only the major ...more
March 29, 2012
by Susan Branch Have members of any generation experienced as much change in their lifetimes as those born in the first half of the twentieth century? Some of them, like the author of Essays ...more
March 24, 2012
By Jack L. Kennedy A sincere appreciation for life and location and people adds more smiles to your miles and makes the journey last a lot longer in both head and heart. That certainly is ...more
March 07, 2012
by Jack L. Kennedy The importance of both physical and spiritual health is a subject in which many can identify. I Fought the Lord, and the Lord Won, a memoir by James W. Anderson (West Bow ...more
February 27, 2012
by Susan Branch Fifty is a big and threatening birthday for many women, but Amanda Wilson, the main character in Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines finds it totally intimidating. She has more ...more
February 24, 2012
By Jack L. Kennedy A Murder in West Covina subtitled Chronicle of the Finch-Tregoff Case bills itself as “a based on fact dramatization.” It is written by James L. Jones, M.D. That ...more
February 21, 2012
Some readers may be a bit leery over paying any sum to read a book entitled, "Scammed." After all, it would be so easy for an author to borrow what he exposes. Christopher Elliott, however, is ...more
February 10, 2012
By Jack L. Kennedy Survival stories often are compelling. In The Streets Terry L. Dorn, pictured, tells us his life story as he tries to find new paths for both body and soul. It is a very ...more
February 05, 2012
Robert C. Samuels, at about age 45, woke up very early one morning thinking nothing of the slight weakness in his left leg. When he woke up a second time to begin his daily routine, he realizes that ...more
February 03, 2012
By Jack L. Kennedy How to Write a Killer SAT Essay in 25 Minutes or Less by Tom Clements (TC Tutoring) is a promising venture that appears to be two books in one. It is what the title ...more
January 27, 2012
Small boys with swords and guns often fantasize about defending their neighborhoods, their streets, their homes or their church from bad guys. In Sanctuary, Pittsburg, Kansas native Terry W. Drake ...more
January 21, 2012
by Susan Branch Quick! Name a famous African American athlete who competed in the Olympics. Jesse Owen may come to your mind first, but there are many other possibilities. You probably ...more
January 18, 2012
Moinette will make you think twice before uttering a racial slur or thinking that African Americans are lucky because they got free passage here. She is the principal character in Susan ...more
December 28, 2011
A work that "will raise the viewer's consciousness" is how author Michael Kaminski categorizes his unauthorized account of the life and work of filmmaker George Lucas. The Secret History of Star ...more
December 18, 2011
Food for thought as found in good books is the perfect Christmas present, and will brighten your Festival of Lights without adding a calorie. This is certainly the case with Mindless Eating, ...more
December 13, 2011
by Susan Branch Some read to be entertained, some to be enlightened. There is food for thought for both groups in Pamala Kennedy Chestnut's fictionalized book, More Than Rice--"journey ...more
December 11, 2011
by Susan Branch Those were the days...To the boomer generation, there are many things about Growing Up the Greek Way in the Big Apple (iUniverse, March 2011) that will bring back memories, ...more
December 02, 2011
By Jack L. Kennedy Try wrapping teaching, testing, tutoring, sex, attempted murder, egos, child abuse and discrimination into one book. At times, Chain Gang Elementary (Thornbriar Press) does ...more
November 03, 2011
By Jack L. Kennedy Searches often are difficult, winding, and multidimensional. That is certainly the case with The Falling Away by T.L. Hines (Thomas Nelson, Sept. 14, 2010). The book, ...more
October 13, 2011
I was on finishing the placement of an order when amazon, consistent with its policy, tried to dazzle me with other things to buy. Well, one of the things that popped up was the suggestion ...more
October 11, 2011
Lovers of history line up at Hastings Books on September 24, 2011, to have copies of Joplin autographed by its author, Leslie Simpson. by Mari Winn Taylor A building doesn't have to be old to ...more
October 02, 2011
By Jack L. Kennedy Passion and knowledge are important tools for any communicator. They are just as valuable for dentists who write books on gum disease as they are for great novelists. Dr. ...more
September 22, 2011
For those who like their information in one place, they will appreciate the efforts of Joplin middle school teacher Randy Turner doing what he does best on "The Turner Report"--chronicling the day's ...more
August 30, 2011
Pictured are David Hallman and Bill Conklin at Casa de los Arcos in Puerto Vallarta where they stayed every February for many years. (Photo compliments of the author) by Mari Winn Taylor For ...more
August 19, 2011
By Jack L. Kennedy Dave McKenzie's memoir The Spirit's Journey (iUniverse) may be many things. Often it is what the title says, a tale not so much of an auto engineer turned experimenter, ...more
July 14, 2011
By Jack L. Kennedy One sure way to chill out during July: read a book. Surprises are between the covers, particularly if the authors are new or unknown and need your support or solace. The ...more
July 12, 2011
The real Rusty, a stray who wound up at the home of author Janus Moncur in Tennessee, says he "escaped from a puppy mill to find a good life." A new book by first time author Janus Moncur--well, ...more
June 14, 2011
By Jack L. Kennedy Some books leave the reader up in the air. In the case of The Lonely Sky: The Personal Story of America's Pioneering Experimental Test Pilot, that is a stimulating, ...more
April 30, 2011
By Jack L. Kennedy Four words might appropriately describe the heart of Kent Farnsworth's cogent collection of thoughts about education: people, plans, caring and rigor. His thoughtful ...more
April 29, 2011
by Susan Branch Young Cambridge art historian Adam Locke doesn't believe that his friend and colleague Reggie Crawford died in a car accident, nor yet that he committed suicide. Locke soon ...more
April 07, 2011
By Jack L. Kennedy If you have several generations of political clout, history, ego and money in the family, write a book about it. If your name is Adlai Stevenson III and you cannot find a ...more
March 29, 2011
by Susan Branch A young boy, growing up in a society that he gradually realizes is corrupt, amidst the turmoil of the 1960's--sound familiar? But this is not just another American coming of ...more
March 23, 2011
by Susan Branch Valladine! As 10-year-old Henry, his parents, his uncle and his pregnant aunt flee across the Pyrennees to escape from the Nazis, his aunt's labor pains start. He and the ...more
March 15, 2011
This image from the postcard collection of Galen Augustus provided the cover illustration for Larry Wood's new book, Wicked Joplin. Wicked Joplin The name should get everyone's attention. ...more
March 06, 2011
By Jack L. Kennedy Many believe that the best way to judge something is to experience it firsthand. Others rely on the prophesies of pundits commenting upon things from afar, their academic ...more
February 22, 2011
What do you think of the Bible? Swear by it? Swear by it and never even read it? Prefer to have someone else interpret it for you? The following book reviews discuss authors who dare to delve into ...more
February 13, 2011
by Jack L. Kennedy Joe Camp knows dogs and did well as the creator and producer of Benji movies a few years ago. Joe Camp knows and loves horses, too. He went into seven printings with The Soul ...more
February 03, 2011
by Susan Branch There’s a missing word that book reviewers and literary critics alike could use to describe certain books. Perhaps “impetus” would be the best choice to fill this gap. It’s the ...more
January 24, 2011
In an article, "Zapping Fat" (Tulsa World, May 2007) science writer Cary Aspinwall writes that Dr. Leslie Masters who at the time operated Advanced Skin Solutions, was making about $2,000 a pop ...more
December 15, 2010
by Jack L. Kennedy Stories about strong, creative, caring and versatile women who are former journalists and educators are always nourishing reading. But when one such figure writes about ...more
December 07, 2010
Dear Ms. Branning, I decided that there was no better way to review your book, An American Woman's Letters to Turkey--Yes, I Would Love Another Glass of Tea (Blue Dome Press, 2010) than to ...more
November 04, 2010
by Jack L. Kennedy Buffet lines are the best, this reviewer and pseudo-gourmet thinks. You can easily take your time, choose from a wide variety at your leisure, and find it all both ...more
October 02, 2010
by Jack L. Kennedy 'Ever know anyone who appeared to be all style and no substance? Add five more "anyones" to that. Add a wandering plot with lots of spoiled, silly, sensual, ...more
August 31, 2010
by Jack L. Kennedy A wise elder once said, "You can't tell a book by its cover." He or she must have been referring to Who Needs Hollywood, subtitled "The amazing story of a small time ...more
July 19, 2010
Civil War Veterans Buried in the Baxter Springs, Kansas Cemetery, by historian and genealogist Earleene Spaulding is a book that has just been released. From what started out as a collection ...more
July 07, 2010
George Washington Carver on a daily nature walk (Photo courtesy of Tuskegee University) George Washington Carver's desire to do something significant with his life should be an inspiration to ...more
June 25, 2010
by Jack L. Kennedy Some writers are frightening. But in Beth Cooper's case, that is a recommendation, not a criticism. Her Ghosts of Kansas (Schiffer) is an excellent volume to take to ...more
May 29, 2010
Photographer Marcelo Bendahan captures the look of Israeli society in his book of photos depicting Jerusalem. Jerusalem is a city of many contrasts. It is a melting pot of people from all over ...more
May 16, 2010
by Jack L. Kennedy Back to the Homeplace, a first novel by William Leverne Smith of Hollister, MO (Vision to Action Publishing) is in some ways unique, as it updates the cliche of the "return ...more
April 18, 2010
Boris Spassky, Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov, and Viswanathan Anand, as youngsters under 20 years old, have won the World Junior Chess Championship. In 2007 add Daniel Naroditsky, pictured, who ...more
April 16, 2010
by Jack L. Kennedy Perhaps, the televised so-called reality shows have us a bit jaded when it comes to determining what is truth and what is fiction. It is often difficult to tell which ...more
February 21, 2010
by Jack L. Kennedy Vern Miller was a character. To author and apparently good friend Mike Danford, he was Vern Miller: Legendary Kansas Lawman (iUniverse, 2009). To a substantial number of ...more
January 16, 2010
by Jack L. Kennedy The term "foreign correspondent" for many conjures up the image of someone buckling their swash and charging bravely into battle to prove that the pen is mightier than ...more
November 20, 2009
by Jack L. Kennedy Some older cowhands along this Internet trail will recall the early Saturday cowboy shoot-'em-up movies at the Fox, Paramount or even the odoriferous Orpheum theaters.  ...more
November 06, 2009
by Jack L. Kennedy Often the most important things come in small packages and little moves do not loom large until years later. That may be the major lesson in The Side-Yard Superhero by  ...more
November 01, 2009
Two books, were called to our attention that in some way deal with finding a sense of self worth and with it dealing with what life offers. Dougie Goes to School, the second in the "Dougie's ...more
October 07, 2009
by Jack L. Kennedy Often, fiction is truer than reality. Sure, fans of "Survivor Samoa" on television would not believe that, perhaps, but author Mitch Jayne proves it again, in  ...more
September 26, 2009
Stephanie Rockey from the Washington, DC metropolitan area is the founder of a dating service called True Life Partners. She decided to share the knowledge she gained from hundreds of client ...more
September 02, 2009
Vampires, whether in historical fiction or in modern novels requiring blood-curling realism, always are a source of fascination, especially for youngsters. But is there becoming too much obsession ...more
July 02, 2009
Research is showing that children who have been read to at an early age are better prepared to succeed in school. Reading aloud to children helps stimulate brain development as well as to provide an ...more
March 07, 2009
Noe O. Vaca ("Ozzie"), a former Ecuadoran educator but now an American citizen living in South Carolina, is spending his later years writing short stories and translating and interpreting ...more
November 14, 2008
by Jack Kennedy A slice of life Willa Younger, unfortunately, may represent a declining art. From 1977 for some 22 years, she was the food editor and a columnist for The Joplin Globe. ...more
October 24, 2008
by Jack Kennedy Titles can be deceptive, just like people. A Recipe Book for Tutors; Teaching the Kinesthetic Learner by Cynthia Parsons (Rowman & Littlefield) may at first blush sound ...more
August 11, 2008
by Jack Kennedy Three varied volumes which might be worth a few minutes of non-demanding summer leisure time have crossed this reviewer's desk. If you do not expect much from them, these ...more
June 30, 2008
Review by Jack L. Kennedy Several years ago, a little girl growing up with her big brothers in a farm town suburb of Kansas City met a horse. She would tell stories of the part-Arabian, ...more
April 11, 2008
Reviews by Jack L. Kennedy It is often difficult to find the right words, written or oral, when you are under stress or need to comfort others. Two authors of recent inspirational ...more
March 07, 2008
An early newspaper clipping shows conductors standing at a dangerous crossing where two rail lines intersected. An interesting book for the lover of trolleys--and not of Aaron Buerge's restaurants ...more
February 04, 2008
Reviews by Jack Kennedy It is never the wrong time to pick up a good book, if you can find one. The current bibliographic buffet includes a variety of morsels, some tasty, some tantalizing ...more
January 17, 2008
Review by Mark Adams "A light hearted romp" will not be found in any descriptions about The American Lie: Government by the People and Other Political Fables (Paradigm Publishers, July 2007), ...more
October 30, 2007
Ever meet a real, live ghost? That may seem like a chilling contradiction in terms until you read Fiddler's Ghost (Wildstone Media, 2007) by well-known Ozark folklorist Mitch Jayne. Jayne is a ...more
August 22, 2007
by Jack L. Kennedy-- Kennedy was night police reporter, then education writer, for the Wichita Eagle for nine years before leaving for the Lincoln, NE Journal in October, 1973--three months ...more
July 09, 2007
by Jack L. Kennedy This book is a mystery not only because it is a detective yarn, titled A Nick Turner PI Novel: Love's Worth by first-time writer F. D. Bersey Jr., but because the ...more
June 01, 2007
by Jack L. Kennedy Thrown together in a small book that barely touches their accomplishments, what do 18 leaders have in common? Not much, at least on the surface--and, perhaps, that is ...more
May 24, 2007
by Dr. Stephen L. Timme,professor of botany and director and curator of the Theodore M. Sperry Herbarium, Department of Biology, Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, KS Michael Roedel and ...more
February 28, 2007
by Jack L. Kennedy James L. Castner's novel The Tsantsa Homicides has something for just about everyone. It would be a mistake if the reader were to put it down before the often-chilling ...more
October 31, 2006
by Jack L. Kennedy Mindless Eating may be the most nourishing book you read all year. It is full of tasty morsels dipped in a rich, creamy, sometimes sarcastic sauce of humor, spiced with ...more
October 19, 2006
by Jack L. Kennedy In 1952 a recent Joplin High School graduate enrolled at what is now Pittsburg State University went downtown to check out the environment. He found, at about Fourth and ...more