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"I'LL TAKE CARE OF YOU": A DANGEROUS WOMAN'S SEDUCTIVE PROMISE

 

I’ll Take Care of You, by Caitlin Rother

Book Review by Dennis Moore

 

March 29, 2014 (San Diego)--I always look forward to the next Caitlin Rother novel, as she seems to never disappoint. Rother’s I’ll Take Care of You may very well be her best and most incisive to date. This New York Times bestselling author has followed up on her riveting and controversial true crime novel, at least locally; Lost Girls, with another true crime novel that will not let you put the book down; I’ll Take Care of You. I found myself being more engrossed in being an avid reader, than actually a book reviewer.

HOST OF EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE’S BOOKSHELF RADIO SHOW DISCUSSES, DRAMATIZES AND SIGNS NOVEL, SILENT BIRD, AT CASA DE ORO LIBRARY MARCH 29

Event is free and open to the public

March 24, 2014 (Casa de Oro)--Reina Lisa Menasche, radio host for East County Magazine’s “Bookshelf” radio program on KNSJ, 89.1 FM, will discuss, dramatize, and sign her new novel, Silent Bird, at the Casa de Oro Library on Saturday, March 29 at 10 a.m.

Reina Menasche calls her first love “writing fiction,” though she fulfills many other artistic and professional roles.  In addition to hosting “Bookshelf” (highlighting “local literary luminaries—and some great books to read!”), she is also a social worker, university instructor, and actress.  Her first novel, Twice Begun, was a finalist in the 2013 San Diego Book Awards, and her new novel, Silent Bird, won the Outstanding Fiction Award from the Southern California Writers Conference in 2009.

SILENT BIRD: ENGAGING FROM ITS PROVOCATIVE START TO RACING FINISH

 

 

Silent Bird by novelist Reina Lisa Menasche

Book review by Ariele Johannson

Silent Bird, a novel by Reina Lisa Menasche, could be remembered for its exotic French landscape and romance, or for its treatment of difficult subjects. Maybe it will be reread for its charming humor, an inner view of two young lovers moving too fast, or Pilar, the protagonist learning to adjust to a new culture with its linguistic challenges. There are great descriptions of the meeting of two divergent cultures through the budding and then continually strengthening relationship of Pilar and her lover.

It could also be remembered for its irresistible combination of all of these, but it will be remembered.

OFF MY ROCKER: A ROLLICKING BACKSTAGE LOOK INTO A LIFE DEVOTED TO MUSIC

 

Off My Rocker, by Kenny Weissberg (Sandra Jonas Publishing House, Boulder, Colorado, 2014, 311 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

January 15, 2014 (San Diego)--Kenny Weissberg, the former producer and promoter of the internationally acclaimed Humphrey’s Concerts by the Bay series in San Diego, has lived the life that many of us could only dream about.  It is reflected in his wildly entertaining tell-all book, Off My Rocker.

BOOK REVIEW: SAN DIEGO'S JUDGE MAYOR

 

By Nadin Abbott

January 14, 2013 (San Diego)-- “This book is both an invitation and a warning. The invitation is to seek to be all you can be and try to make a difference. The warning is that the best intentions can be misunderstood and sidetracked by events beyond your control.” Dick Murphy writes this near the beginning of his memoir, a remembrance of his life in San Diego city politics.

Why would a resident of the East County even care? The book also details some of the projects that Murphy was involved in his decades in San Diego city politics that have directly affected our region, not just San Diego city. Some of these issues  are still resonating today, around ten years after Murphy left the political arena.

BOOK REVIEW: ON TEACHING WELL MAKES THE GRADE FOR TEACHERS SEEKING TO IMPROVE SKILLS

Click to buy this book

On Teaching Well: Using Classroom Instructional Strategies to Increase Your Teaching Effectiveness, by Dr. Dee L. Fabry (Ready or Not Press, Cheyenne, Wyoming, 2012).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

January 5, 2014 (San Diego)--Dee L. Fabry, Ph.D, along with 18 eighteen high school teachers in a graduate level course on effective teaching practice, shares their journey of improving the cognitive skills of students in Fabry’s groundbreaking book; On Teaching Well: Using Classroom Instructional Strategies to Increase Your Teaching Effectiveness.

The author, Associate Professor at National University, School of Education, Teacher Education Department in La Jolla, serves as the Master of Arts in Teaching Program Lead, teaching classroom teachers returning for their post graduate degrees. This makes her eminently qualified to lead these high school teachers in a graduate level course in effective teaching practice, which has resulted in this innovative book. Her research and scholarship is focused around improving teaching and student learning outcomes.

BOOK REVIEW: MURDER IS A FAMILY AFFAIR

 

Murder Is A Family Affair, by Donalie Beltran, (Killing Time Press, LLC, 2013, 352 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

November 8, 2013 (San Diego)--Donalie Beltran, an author with strong religious convictions, has written an historical true crime novel that uncovers the ancestry of a sordid and evil past that belies her faith: Murder Is A Family Affair. The author sets the stage for this story and  the tone of this well-written novel by asking a rhetorical question: “Do you have a murderer in your family – maybe a violent tempered wife beater – those who feel they have a right to take a life?”

THE BLACK BOOK: GRANDSON OF ADLAI STEVENSON OFFERS REFLECTIONS ON HISTORY, WIT, AND POLITICS

 

The Black Book: Lessons from American History – Abraham Lincoln to Modern China, by Senator Adlai E. Stevenson, III (The Stevenson Family, 2009, 299 pages).              

Book Review by Dennis Moore            

  “Once a man holds public office he is absolutely no good for honest work.” --Will Rogers

September 22, 2013 (San Diego’s East County)-- The Black Book: Lessons from American History – Abraham Lincoln to Modern China  is a guide-- a road map for future politicians authored by Adlai E. Stevenson III.  He  laments changes in the electoral process and the loss of civility in politics, also speaking of opportunities in politics being limited by money and a media which restricts comments to one or two minutes while focusing on the game, the trivial and the sensational.

The book began as a brown loose-leaf binder in which the author ‘s great-grandfather, Adlai E. Stevenson  (1835-1914), collected anecdotes and maxims, stories and sayings during his life as a county prosecutor, congressman, assistant postmaster general and U.S. vice president under Grover Cleveland. His grandson, known to friends and family as “the Guv,” expanded the collection in a large black binder during his life as an official in the Roosevelt and Truman administrations, governor of Illinois, Democratic presidential candidate in 1952 and 1956, and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations.  

OUT: BOOK BY LOCAL AUTHOR TURNS SOCIETY INSIDE-OUT

 

 

 

By Laura Preble

Reviewed by Walter G. Meyer

Out is inside-out.

West Hills High School teacher and East County resident Laura Preble has authored a new book, Out, which turns society inside out. The book’s publication is well-timed to coincide with the Supreme Court hearing two cases about gay marriage, because at the heart of her book is an alternate universe in which being gay and same-sex married is the norm and being straight, or as the book puts it, “perpendicular” is the aberration.

TWICE BEGUN: IT ALL BEGINS IN THE CLOSET

 

Twice Begun, by Reina Lisa Menasche

Book review by Miriam Raftery

March 17, 2013 (San Diego)--Paris Jablonski has a seemingly idyllic life in San Diego with her charming French husband and young daughter.  But that illusion is shattered on her seventh anniversary, when she finds love letters in her husband’s closet from a woman in France.  

Twice Begun, a novel by San Diego author Reina Menasche, opens  with this line: “Before I stepped into the closet, my life felt like an Impressionist masterpiece—filled with elusive light yet made of simple dabs of color that even a child could paint.”

But  Paris is given no opportunity to absorb the shock, caught in the moment not by her philandering husband, Serge, but by the family dog tailed closely by Paris' 7-year-old daughter, who asks innocently,  “Mommy, why are you in the closet?”

PALAST SCORES ANOTHER HIT WITH BILLIONAIRES AND BALLOT BANDITS: HOW TO STEAL AN ELECTION IN 9 EASY STEPS

Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps, by Greg Palast (Seven Stories Press, New York, NY, 2012, 300 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

February 23, 2013 (San Diego’s East County)--Greg Palast,author of the New York Times’ best sellers The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, Armed Madhouse, and, most recently, Vultures’ Picnic, has followed up in a similar satirical vein with Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps.  An internationally acclaimed investigative journalist, Palast has roots in California; his parents were long-time residents of La Mesa.

SINGLE IN SAN DIEGO: BETWEEN BOYFRIENDS OFFERS AN ESCAPIST ROMP FOR READERS

Between Boyfriends, by Sárka-Jonae Miller, ATG Publicity, San Diego

Review by Miriam Raftery

February 18, 2013 (San Diego)--Between Boyfriends hit three Amazon best-seller lists the week after Valentine’s Day, ranking #9 for humor books, #11 for humor e-books and #54 for women's fiction.  Written by San Diego-area resident Sárka Jonae Miller, this book is the ultimate chick-lit read—a light-hearted romp focused on the travails of Jan, a college student dumped by her boyfriend, an SDSU student.  The moment proves an epiphany, as Jan resolves to stop dating and find fulfillment as a single woman.

Raised in pampered privilege, Jan’s problems soon get worse when she loses her parents’ financial support and must learn to be a self-sufficient.

After  two days spent  wallowing in a a self-pitying stupor  following  the breakup with her boyfriend, Jan awakens in her apartment. Appalled upon looking in the mirror, she whacks her hair with manicure scissors. Then she clears out the medicine cabinet of souvenirs from losers she has dated, determined to rid herself of ghosts of boyfriends past.

BOOK BATTLES BULLIES AT WORK

 

Review By Walter G. Meyer

Infinity Publishing

February 21, 2013 (San Diego)--In her book, Back Off! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying at Work, Catherine Mattice knows whereof she writes. At one of her first jobs out of San Diego State, she was bullied at the nonprofit where she was working. It wasn’t that long ago, but bullying, if it was thought of at all, was considered a schoolyard, not a workplace phenomenon.

She decided to do something about it. She got her Masters in Organizational Communications at SDSU, writing her thesis on workplace bullying. For her research, she inverted a survey on workplace bullying and instead of asking targets what they thought of being bullied, she asked why people were bullies. She even dedicated it to “The Post-it Nazi,” to her former co-worker who inspired it.

BOOK REVIEW: JUST IN TIME FOR VALENTINE’S DAY, LOCAL MYSTERY AUTHORS TAKE A STAB AT WRITING ROMANCE NOVEL IN NO CATS, NO CHOCOLATE

No Cats, No Chocolate, by Ken Kuhlken and Alan Russell, Hickey’s Books, La Mesa

Book review by Miriam Raftery

February 10, 2013 (La Mesa)--What happens when a pair of formerly acclaimed but now down-on-their-luck mystery novelists hit rock bottom? 

In No Cats, no Chocolate,  local authors Ken Kuhlken and Alan Russell  pen themselves in as the main characters.  Best noted for their literary-quality mystery works,  they resolve to make some quick cash writing a romance novel after an outline sent as a lark lands an assignment from a publisher.  Delilah Bluefeather and Violet St. Claire ( the authors’ noms de plume), are born. Worse, they must complete the task in days, while on a road trip to jump-start their careers  with a coveted appearance on Oprah’s show.

The book  is a sequel to Road Kill, in which the same quirky duo embarked on a journey to convince readers across America to buy their books.  It’s a clever literary trick for the authors to write themselves in as characters in their own works—and create a series to boot.  As a former participant in a writing critique group led by Kuhlken, I can’t help wondering how many quirky traits described in the book are fact – and which are fiction?

BOOK REVIEW: ADVENTURES AND DANGERS ABOUND IN TRAVELS WITH A ROAD DOG

Travels With A Road Dog: Hitchhiking Along the Roads of the Americas, by R.K. (Charleston, SC, 2012, 364 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

December 26, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--Reading East County resident R.K.s’ memoir, Travels With A Road Dog: Hitchhiking Along the Roads of the Americas, immediately conjures up thoughts of Woodstock to me, and all things associated with that time and place in American history and lore. It was a time of expression of freedom and adventure, which the author certainly demonstrates in her book.

BAJA CALIFORNIA PLANT FIELD GUIDE, 3RD EDITION, OFFERS A LUSH LOOK AT REGION’S FLORA

Baja California Plant Field Guild: 3rd Edition, by Jon P. Rebman and Norman C. Roberts (Sunbelt Publications, San Diego, California, 2012, 451 pages).

The desert regions of Baja California and Southern California satisfy my need for scientific adventure while providing a sense of excitement towards botany, reverence for nature and its unaltered  beauty, appreciation for the complexity of natural history, and an overall feeling of peace and purpose.  -Jon P. Rebman

Book Review by Dennis Moore                    

December 18, 2012 (San Diego)--Having lived in Baja California for a number of years and traveled all over this beautiful country of Mexico, from Cancun, Cantamar, Rosarito Beach and Tijuana, I have gained a great appreciation of the book written by Jon P. Rebman and Norman C. Roberts; Baja California Plant Field Guild: 3rd Edition.  For those with an interest in the outdoors south of the border, this book, rich with beautiful photographs and descriptions, would make an appealing holiday gift.

BOOK REVIEW: OBAMA TALKS BACK

Obama Talks Back: Global Lessons – a Dialogue with America’s Young Leaders, by Gregory J. Reed, Esq., (Amber Books, Phoenix, Arizona, 2012, 294 pages).

Update: Obama Talks Back has received an NAACP Image Award nomination for literature. The winner will be announced live on TV from Hollywood February 1, 2013.

Book Review by Dennis Moore

December 17, 2012 (San Diego)--Gregory J. Reed, Esq., CEO and Founder of Keeper of the Word Foundation, has written a poignant and heartfelt book that resonates with me for a number of reasons: Obama Talks Back: Global Lessons – A Dialogue with America’s Young Leaders.

ORIGINS OF MAN REVEALED THROUGH DREAMS IN SCI-FI FANTASY NOVEL: QUANTUM LOVE GENE

The Quantum Love Gene, by Raymond J. Pilon (Choice MaKer Productions, Victoria, BC, Canada, 2009, 136 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

December 15, 2012 (San Diego)--The Quantum Love Gene by Raymond J. Pilon has been described as possibly a hotter product than Avatar, and after reading this spellbinding fantasy science fiction novel, I am inclined to agree. The book is based on dreams, which the author’s wife describes as “automatic handwriting.” It incorporates many of the aspects of Avatar, as well as some of those in Ray Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles.

The premise of Pilon’s book is that we are all “Spirit Beings” and that we evolved from an ancient alien civilization called the Pleiadians that actually traveled to earth and inhabited our planet some 26,000 years ago. Pilon is a master story-teller in how he weaves together the mysteries of Stonehenge, the pyramids, the most intriguing crop circles, and many other unexplainable structures.

BOOK REVIEW: ATHENIA TORPEDOED

Athenia Torpedoed: The U-Boat Attack that Ignited the Battle of the Atlantic. By Francis M. Carroll. Annapolis, MD. Naval Institute Press, 2012. 254 pp. 41 photographs. Notes, bibliography and index. $29.95

Reviewed by Walter Hall

“It’s the end of the world; the end of everything.” US Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy reported to President Roosevelt on eve of Britain’s declaration of war, Sept 3, 1939.

December 14, 2012 (San Diego)--Very few readers today will remember that the first Americans killed in World War II were not at Pearl Harbor. Almost two years earlier, 30 Americans were among the 112 lost when the German torpedo that opened the Battle for the Atlantic struck and doomed the Donaldson Lines ship Athenia

CHOCOLATE AND CORN FLOUR: HISTORY, RACE, AND PLACE IN THE MAKING OF "BLACK" MEXICO

by Laura A. Lewis (Duke University Press, Durham, North Carolina, 2012, 370 pages)

Book Review by Dennis Moore

November 29, 2012 (San Diego) -- Before reading Chocolate and Corn Flour, I did not know that there was such a thing as a "Black" Mexico.” Having lived in Tijuana, Mexico for a number of years and visited a number of Mexican cities, such as Cancun and Rosarito Beach, this book comes as a revelation to me.

BOOK REVIEW: LOST GIRLS OFFERS CHILLING AND RIVETING INSIGHTS INTO KING AND DUBOIS MURDERS

Lost Girls, by Caitlin Rother (Kensington Publishing Corp., New York, NY, 2012, 372 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

November 10, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--New York Times Bestselling author Caitlin Rother, a San Diego resident and journalist, has written a true-crime book that I am sure will resonate with all parents: Lost Girls. Pulitzer-nominated author Rother delivers an incisive, heartbreaking true-life thriller that touches our deepest fears. It is the story of John Gardner, who raped and murdered local San Diego teens Chelsea King and Amber Dubois.

Rother dedicates her book to the memories of King and Dubois, and all other girls and boys who have been lost to sexual predators. She feels that by shedding light on these dark events, she can only hope that it will help prevent similar tragedies in the future.

BOOK REVIEW: HOPE BEGINS IN THE DARK, REVISED EDITION

Hope Begins In The Dark: 40 Lymphoma Survivors Tell Their Exclusive Life Stories, By Jamie Reno (Edwards Brothers Inc., Ann Arbor, Michigan, 2012, 246 pages).

Book review by Dennis Moore

October 2, 2012  (San Diego) -- Cancer, in all its forms and manifestations is an insidious disease, that does not discriminate.  It comes in the form of breast cancer, leiomyosarcoma, primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), prostate cancer, Askin's Sarcoma, or lymphoma, among many more. PSC, a rare disease that scars the ducts that carry bile from the liver to the small intestine to aid digestion, is the form of cancer that took the life of former NFL star Walter Payton.

Jamie Reno, journalist, singer-songwriter, patient advocate and 15-year survivor of stage IV non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, has written an all-new edition of a book that I had earlier had the honor of reviewing; Hope Begins In The Dark: 40 Lymphoma Survivors Tell Their Exclusive Life Stories.

BOOK REVIEW: THE NECROMANCERS: OR LOVE ZOMBIES OF SAN DIEGO

The Necromancers: Or Love Zombies of San Diego, by E.Z. Graves (Contemporary Instructional Concepts, San Diego, CA, 2012).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

August 12, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--San Diego resident E.Z. Graves, who teaches college English composition at Grossmont College in East County, has written a horror science fiction novel: The Necromancers: Or Love Zombies of San Diego, using El Cajon and La Jolla as a backdrop. Reading like George Romero's Dawn of the Dead or the movie Blade with Wesley Snipes, The Necromancers: Or Love Zombies of San Diego, will certainly keep those who are horror or science fiction buffs entertained.

 

STAGE READING FOR RESCUE AT PINE RIDGE TONIGHT

Novel celebrates Buffalo Soldiers’ historic rescue of the 7th cavalry

August 2, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Camp Lockett in Campo, a now-sleepy border town in San Diego’s East County,  was the last home of the Buffalo Soldiers.  Best known as the all-black cavalry brigade that fought valiantly in the Civil War, the 9th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers were also lauded for their rescue of  7th Cavalry soldiers from hostile Indians.  The novel Rescue at Pine Ridge, by Erich Hicks, culminates in this rescue,  also shining light on the heart-wrenching  and often brutal resettlement of Native American tribes 14 years after the massacre at Little Big Horn.

Hicks has completed a screenplay for a film trilogy based on the book, garnering support from acclaimed actor/director Bill Duke.  Tonight at 7 p.m., a stage reading will be held at the Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum, 4130 Overland Avenue in Culver City. The event is open to the public; RSVP at (818)760-9948. 

Actors in the production Table Read are:

Starring: Keith David in the role of Sergeant George Jordan / Medal of Honor recipient & Certificate of Merit.
Starring: Richard Gant in the role of Sergeant Thomas Shaw / Medal of Honor recipient.
Starring: Brent Jennings in the role of William Othello Wilson / Medal of Honor recipient.

BOOK REVIEW: LIVING RESOURCEFULLY, YET VERY WELL

 

Living Resourcefully, Yet Very Well, by Susan A. Mahalick (Amazon.com, 2012).
 
Book Review by Dennis Moore
 
July 15, 2012 (San Diego)--Susan Mahalick, an expatriate who grew up in New Jersey and later lived in Iowa before moving to Baja California,  has written a thoughtful and practical guide to being frugal and resourceful.  Living Resourcefully, Yet Very Well is a book based on her own personal learning and life experiences, starting when she was a little girl. She indicates in this well written and thought provoking book that  she learned to save from a very young age and still remember her “little bank book.”

BOOK REVIEW: MURDERING THE MOM—A SOUL-SEARCHING MEMOIR

 

 Murdering The Mom: A Memoir, by Duff Brenna (Wordcraft of Oregon, LLC., La Grande, Oregon, 2012, 217 pages).
 
Book Review by Dennis Moore
 
July 9, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--Duff Brenna, a long-time East County resident and graduate of San Diego State, where he also taught and garnered several faculty awards, has written a candid and somewhat disturbing memoir of growing up in a dysfunctional family. Murdering The Mom: A Memoir resonates with me, for there are some aspects of this brilliantly written and insightful book that are eerily reminiscent of my mother and how she had to raise 10 of us – basically by herself.

THE RX FACTOR: A PRESCRIPTION FOR SUSPENSE

 
Book Review by Dennis Moore
 
Warning!
 
Do not start reading this book until you have the time to finish it. Ripped from the headlines, this novel of unrelenting suspense will keep you up all night and have you talking about it for weeks to follow.
 
June 5, 2012 (San Diego)--That is the caveat given by the publishers of this book written by J. Thomas Shaw, who co-founded one of the fastest growing independent mortgage banks in the United States. In most instances this type of hype does not live up to its billing. The Rx Factor is that rare exception! If I didn’t know better, I would think that The Rx Factor was a Robert Ludlum or John Grisham spy novel, reading like Ludlum’s The Matarese Circle. This book has everything that captivates one’s attention – conspiracy theory, sex, murder and betrayal, along with an intense love interest.

BAJA LEGENDS, BY GREG NIEMANN (SUNBELT PUBLICATIONS, SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, 2002, 260 PAGES.)

 
Book Review by Dennis Moore

May 12, 2012 (Baja)--Greg Niemann, author of Baja Fever, and life-long Baja Buff who has traveled all over the peninsula known as Baja California in Mexico, has written a well-researched and easy-to-read history of the people and resorts that make Baja what it is today.
 
What is Baja anyway? “Baja,”  which means “Lower” in Spanish, refers to an 800-mile long peninsula separated from Mexico’s mainland by the Gulf of California – or the Sea of Cortez, if you prefer. The peninsula is comprised of two Mexican states, Baja California (Norte), with Mexicali as capital, and Baja California Sur, whose capital city is La Paz. To make it easy Norte means “North” and Sur means “South.”

NEW ENTREPRENEURIAL PRESIDENT BOOK FOCUSES ON FORMER UC SAN DIEGO CHANCELLOR ATKINSON

May 7, 2012 (San Diego) -- Richard C. Atkinson, who served as chancellor of the University of California, San Diego for15 years, was barely four weeks into his tenure as president of the University of California system when the UC Regents voted to end affirmative action in August 1995.

How he dealt with the admissions wars—the political, legal and academic consequences of that historic and controversial decision, as well as the issue of governance—is discussed in a new book by Patricia Pelfrey recently released by the University of California Press entitled The Entrepreneurial President: Richard Atkinson and the University of California, 1995-2003.

THE FIVE MEAT SMOKING COMMANDMENTS

 
Chef Ted Reader’s brings on the smoke and the flavor with these tasty tidbits
 
April 29, 2012 (Toronto, Ont.)  --  With Spring already here, and Summer around the corner, people are gearing up to entertain guests during the warm summer months. Meat smoking is becoming very popular in local restaurants this season, and Chef Ted Reader has come up with these five easy tips from his new book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Smoking Foods, to help you get rolling the first time you fire up your smoker, and every time to follow.

 

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