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Home-->Book Reviews
Foodie/critic writes first culinary thriller >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Butterflies and miracles >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Stopping just one more "hit" >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Three children's books are recommended >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

How Stark Bros. changed its business model >> Book Reviews jkennedy

UFOs: U.S. government's big secret >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Reading the Sweet Oak >> Book Reviews mariwinn
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

How human characteristics span time >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Fantasy books: the great escape >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Master vs. dog: Who really wins? >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

The Lucile James story >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Ghost author probes the unconscious mind >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Education is a lifetime process >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Battling cynicism with faith >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Romantic novelist Inglath Cooper woos fans >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Growing older, living well >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Not yet Custer's Last Stand... >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

What happened to Jody Bucklin? >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Enjoying a good blow to the skull >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Surviving the RAGBRAI >> Book Reviews teverow
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

Tale of passion and greed is set in New Hampshire >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Exploring St. Louis and the Ozarks in pictures >> Book Reviews mariwinn
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

Food for thought this holiday season >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Author pens new poem for Christmas >> Book Reviews mariwinn
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

"Kalamity Kate" remains memorable >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Author gains fame as military biographer >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Raising Abel, just what the doctor ordered >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

World of tennis is introduced to young readers >> Book Reviews mariwinn
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

Pope Benedict XVI's beliefs examined >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Learn a homicide detective's hidden relationships >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Pet advice made easy >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Defining the modern day church >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Debunking animal myths >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

lily--a true hero of the Joplin tornado >> Book Reviews mariwinn
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

Religious debate: How much of a skeptic are you? >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Escape to a galaxy far, far away >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Battling Lyme disease after a late diagnosis >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Grab a life vest for a journey of a lifetime >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Prosecution of incest is subject of gripping novel >> Book Reviews mariwinn
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

Need ideas for improving education? >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Celebrate with everyday folk >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Sacrifice is fundamental >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Books for lovers of detective stories >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Aspect of history often overlooked >> Book Reviews teverow
"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

Thriller keeps reader at edge of his seat >> Book Reviews sbranch
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

Churches: Beyond brick and stone >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Learn the art of raising horses >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Mish-mash media >> Book Reviews mariwinn
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

Everyone loves a tale of the rich and famous >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Spy vs. spy is a page turner >> Book Reviews sbranch
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

Hattie Kauffman surmounts a difficult life >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Creating a fantasy; Gardham's inaugural attempt >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Surviving family dysfunction >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Reminisces of an orphaned life >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

A spy or not a spy, that is the question >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Remembering the past: Carthage, Missouri >> Book Reviews mariwinn
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

Book is treat for historical fiction fans >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Many faces of blood in Nam >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Revolution and the demise of Cuban landownership >> Book Reviews mariwinn
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

Meet Uncle Martin's Family >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

50 and still smiling? >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

A memoir of a gay man >> Book Reviews sbranch
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

Dave Heeren is more than a statistician >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Is godly intervention enough to save a marriage? >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Novel of intrigue is great summer read >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Recipe for matrimonial magic >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Taut tale of terror is a must read >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Need the advice of a medium? Meet Emmanuel >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

A doctor speaks out >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Author's second book is hit with young readers >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Author chronicles changing journalism scene >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Sexual survivor speaks out as an adult >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Now is the hour of lead... >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Autobiography of a witch >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Authoring one's manhood >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Would you like more control of your life? >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Recovering from addiction to alcohol >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Public television revealed by an early contributor >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Murder in Appalachia >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Crushing fate: Suddenly widowed >> Book Reviews sbranch
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

How the national press embraces war >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Holocaust survivor's story: Living fearlessly >> Book Reviews sbranch
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

Facing disaster and becoming survivors >> Book Reviews mariwinn
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

The ride of your life is a vendetta >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Health food for the soul >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

If city limits' sign reads Sagasus, beware >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Out of the rubble a miracle is revealed >> Book Reviews mariwinn
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

In celebration of Dads >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Who wins the religious debate? >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Author stresses importance of family ties >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Seedy side of government is revealed >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Book about Civil War takes novel approach >> Book Reviews sbranch
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

History made entertaining >> Book Reviews sbranch
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

Seaman discusses his Apollo years and more >> Book Reviews sbranch
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

Lifting one's spirits in Ireland >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Recovering one's life--a journey >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Internet junkie tackles life-changing birthday >> Book Reviews sbranch
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

West Covina murder case is now a Kindle title >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

We've all been scammed; admit it >> Book Reviews mariwinn
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

Bi-polar sufferer helps others face life >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Beware when blue water suddenly turns white >> Book Reviews mariwinn
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

Acing the SAT essay >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Preserving a sanctuary during wartime >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Author immortalizes long-lost Olympian >> Book Reviews sbranch
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

Award-winning author tackles theme of slavery >> Book Reviews mariwinn
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

How characters evolve in Star Wars series >> Book Reviews mariwinn
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

Heart-wise cooking is double entendre >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Human trafficking for the uninitiated >> Book Reviews sbranch
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

Mike Pappas shares growing up in New York >> Book Reviews sbranch
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

When fact and fiction tell the whole story... >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Dark side revealed but still mysterious >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

I survived the Joplin tornado--NOT! >> Book Reviews mariwinn
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

Joplin: a trip down memory lane >> Book Reviews mariwinn
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

Does your toothbrush have dust on it? >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

5:41, insight into the Joplin tornado >> Book Reviews mariwinn
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

Sixteen days to say good-bye >> Book Reviews mariwinn
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

Catching the spirit >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Everybody's writing a book these days... >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Rusty describes his dog's life for readers , 4-8 >> Book Reviews mariwinn
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

Soaring with a test pilot >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Crowder College exemplifies author's theories >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Nazis and drug companies share unholy alliance >> Book Reviews sbranch
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

Publishing the insightful black book >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

A glimpse back in time: apartheid South Africa >> Book Reviews sbranch
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

Fiction writer offers intriguing historical trip >> Book Reviews sbranch
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

How Joplin earned its naughty reputation >> Book Reviews mariwinn
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

State of education: teachers at the forefront >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

The Bible - its significance is debated >> Book Reviews staff
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

Camp's equine saga continues >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Trenton: Past glimpses, present complexities >> Book Reviews sbranch
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

Searching for beauty not just skin deep >> Book Reviews mariwinn
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

Eleanor Roosevelt revealed >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Author shares her love of Turkey and tea >> Book Reviews mariwinn
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

Author answers, What's the matter with education? >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

La-ti-do, to Dickfish we go >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Joe Camp's answer to Who Needs Hollywood >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Baxter Springs author compiles book on cemetery >> Book Reviews staff
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

Get to know George Washington Carver >> Book Reviews staff
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

Be scared to death..or at least fascinated >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Complexity of Jerusalem revealed >> Book Reviews mariwinn
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

Ozarkan author pens tale of family relationships >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Youngest chess author shares secrets >> Book Reviews k-knapp
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

When politics overcome justice: an exposé >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Friend pays homage to Vern Miller, Kansas lawman >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Greg Dobbs takes us to the wrong lane >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Baxter's heyday captured by Joplin author >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Arkansas college head reminisces about friendship >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Three authors offer tips for life >> Book Reviews mariwinn
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

If the animals could talk... >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Searching for true love in the real world >> Book Reviews mariwinn
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

Name your reading pleasure: dark side or not >> Book Reviews staff
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

Here's a trio of books to read to youngsters >> Book Reviews staff
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

English exposure to Cumandá >> Book Reviews mariwinn
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

Former Globe columnist is memorialized >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Book reviews: Reading with the kinesthetic method >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Book reviews: From Branson to Bible verses >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

The joy of communicating with horses >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Inspirational books for gift-giving >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

All you want to know about Missouri trolleys >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Selections from small publishing houses >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

On being cynically realistic >> Book Reviews mambo
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

Novelist captures the spirit of the Ozarks >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

BTK killer incarcerated but still a mystery >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

First-time author entertains with P.I. yarn >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

A look beneath the faces of history >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

New guides for ID-ing Missouri birds and flowers >> Book Reviews sltimme
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

The killer's M.O. makes for a chilling tale >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Mindless Eating is a nourishing read >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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

Wagner authors book on Eisenhower republicanism >> Book Reviews jkennedy
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






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