Required Reading

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Books I have authored.

Many times I receive books for FREE to give them an honest review. I do not get paid to give a good or bad review. Spotlights are promotional and should be regarded as advertising for the book spotlighted. Regardless of where or how I got a book, my review will be as honest as I can make it.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Mad to Glad by Angie Harris

This is a children's book that uses the Mindfulness meditation practices to help kids feel better about themselves and to deal with normal childhood experiences.

I would have liked to have seen a bit more information in the forward of the book about  Mindfulness meditation.  I Googled it to give me a better frame of reference in reviewing the book.   The goal of the book is highly laudable.  Helping children deal with day to day issues is something every parent deals with on that same day to day basis.   The exercises may help.   I don't have access to any kids at the moment to get an informed opinion based on an age related perception.

As a retired public school guidance counselor I can see value in the book and the suggested exercises. 

Web site:

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Dark Angel by Ron Felber

At the risk of redundancy,  Jack Madson is back and wallowing in self inflicted despair once again.  This book is not for the faint of heart, topics and descriptions are nearly painful to read and frankly impossible to comprehend.  Nazi or Neo-Nazi machinations directing American black ops research is the dominating theme. 

Felber appears to have a very low regard for the positives in life.   His characters are dark and severely flawed.   Jack Madson's introspection could be labeled as dark and hopeless.   His self medicating has reached new highs while providing him with physical new lows.

There is eventually a possible initiating factor in what fuels Madson's seemingly schizophrenic nature.

The book is often confusing and disjointed.   Madson's wife and daughter have cameo roles.   Incongruities such as Madson being able to pull, seemingly out of thin air, his requisite pain killers and sleeping pills tend to stop you in your tracks and wonder, where did that come from?

Considering all of the black operations that have been  exposed over the years, it does not seem too unlikely that some of the paranoia shown by Madson could be real.  

As I said on my previous Felber reviews, I can't say I enjoyed it primarily due to the graphic nature of some of the scenes but it certainly was an interesting book.   From this and his previous books I can only  conclude that Felber has strong feelings that society is overall corrupt.  Jack Madson is a true anti-hero. 

I recommend the book, it should make you ponder your own reality.

Web Site:

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Miracle Cure By Harlan Coben

Coben has an eclectic style.   This book reminded me more of a Michael Palmer or Robin Cook book due to it's medical crisis focus.  The crisis is AIDS and the setting is in those frightening years of homophobic panic and AIDS patients facing no future.

This book highlights the dangers of obsession regardless of what that obsession might be and whether it is socially acceptable or not.  I'm not sure if Coben meant this book to be a social commentary beyond AIDS but the well meaning tunnel vision of some of the characters show the lengths people will go to achieve their goals.  

This was illustrated by journalistic jingoism, sexual degradation, exploitation of children, medical malpractice, sociopathology running amuck and more.   The scenes taking place in Bangkok  were particularly difficult to read.

While the topic is a touch dated with the advent of successful treatments for AIDS,  it still provided enough social panache to hold your interest.  .   It is also hard to believe the incredible disconnect and discrimination that occurred in the book's time setting.

This was a compelling book.

I highly recommend.

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Terminal Freeze by Lincoln Child

Lincoln Child tends to write about improbable but entertaining "strange" occurrences.  I'm never sure whether to post my reviews on Azure Dwarf which is my Sci/Fi/Fantasy site or here.   This book is set deep in the arctic circle and alludes to global warming.   The glaciers and snow pack are dwindling at unprecedented speed.  A team of scientists are exploring that impact on the ecology and are sponsored by a "science"  cable channel.  What the team uncovers changes the parameters of the study and escalates into mayhem. 

There are no truly central characters in the book.   There are some characters that get more page time than others but none are truly memorable.   The story follows an Alien type of format.   As too much detail tends to lead to spoiling the story, it is sufficient to state that blood, guts, mayhem, fear, secret research and government cover ups are all included in the plot.

I recommend the book.

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Ten Shoes Up by Gary L. Stuart

This is the second cowboy story or Western I have read by Staurt.  The first was The Vallles Caldera.  I don't normally read Westerns.   I was a bit surprised that I liked it.  Angus Esparazza is the main character and a big chunk of the book is the exploration of his character.   This is the first book in the series and explains how Angus becomes an occasional lawman.

Angus is a thinking man in an action time environment.   He is forced to examine his personal morals when faced with questionable definitions of crime.  

The setting is, once again, a strong  point to the story.   You can picture the rushing mountain rivers and majestic peaks.   The plot is involved and you are forced to do a modicum of research to find out if that is really the way the old west was.   

I enjoyed it and recommend it.  BTW I didn't find a real Ten Shoes Up mountain with a very brief Internet search. 
Site:  http:

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.