Book reviews

Book reviews

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON AND HER "HARD CHOICES" FOR AMERICA

 

Hard Choices, by Hillary Rodham Clinton (Simon & Schuster, New York, NY, 2015, 535 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

August 23, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) - Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former First Lady of the United States, Senator from New York, and Secretary of State, has written an insightful and finely calibrated work; Hard Choices. This book, or memoir, takes us inside national and international politics from the perspective of someone who has actually lived and breathed it for the majority of her life, making her eminently qualified to speak on subjects such as climate change or nuclear proliferation. Being the author of several bestselling books, including her memoir Living History, and her groundbreaking work on children, It Takes a Village, Clinton demonstrates her compassion and humanity in this book.

DAVID MCCULLOUGH: PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM RECIPIENT

 

The Wright Brothers, by David McCullough (Simon & Schuster, New York, NY, 2015, 320 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

 

If I were giving a young man advice as to how he might

succeed in life, I would say to him, pick out a good father

and mother, and begin life in Ohio.

  • Wilbur Wright

August 5, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) - David McCullough, 2-time Pulitzer Prize winner, for Truman and John Adams, and 2-time National Book Award winner, for The Path Between the Seas and Mornings on Horseback, as well as the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, demonstrates in his #1 New York Times Bestseller; The Wright Brothers, why he is deserving of those honors and accolades.

SCREENPLAY ALLEGES COVERUP OF CEDAR, WITCH CREEK AND PARADISE FIRES

 

East County News Service

July 28, 2015 (San Diego)—Circling the Wagons, a screenplay by Ed Clark, an electrical engineer and insurance investigator, alleges that an electrical design flaw caused the 2003 Cedar Fire as well as the 2007 Witch Creek and Paradise fires.  Moreover, he contends the flaws have not been fixed and public safety remains at risk.  San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) denies those claims.

THE WRIGHT BROTHERS VS. GUSTAVE WHITEHEAD: WHO ACTUALLY MADE THE FIRST FLIGHT?

 

Gustave Whitehead: First in Flight, by Susan O’Dwyer Brinchman (Apex Educational Media, La Mesa, CA, 2015, 432 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

July 23, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) - I was absolutely astounded and flabbergasted after reading Susan Brinchman’s Gustave Whitehead: First in Flight, for all my life and throughout elementary school and into college I had been taught that the Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, were the pioneers of modern aviation. In this fascinating and well documented and researched book, Brinchman states: “Paul Jackson, Editor-in-Chief of the century-old Jane’s All the World Aircraft (2013), often referred to as ‘the bible of aviation history’, announced in its Centennial Issue, in March, 2013, that Whitehead was ‘first to fly’, ahead of the Wrights, and was the inventor of the airplane, based on the mountainous evidence accumulated over the previous eight decades.”

THE SENATOR FROM MASSACHUSETTS, BY WAY OF OKLAHOMA

 

A Fighting Chance, by Elizabeth Warren (Picador, 2015, New York, NY, 377 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

July 19, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) - Elizabeth Warren, the senior senator from Massachusetts, a former Harvard Law School professor and an expert on economic issues, as well as the author of nine books, including All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan and The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Going Broke, has written an insightful book that should resonate with us all; A Fighting Chance.

THE KEYS TO ENTREPRENEURIAL SUCCESS: BEING AUDACIOUS

 

The Audacious Woman: Blaze Your Own Path To Prosperity, by Pamela Y. Toussaint, MBA (Courageous Women Publications, 2015, 118 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

“Looking and acting like a leader depends on getting three things right, a trio we refer to as Appearance, Communication, and Gravitas. Individuals who nail each of these elements exude true executive presence.”

~ “Executive Presence” By the Center for Talent Innovation

July 8, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) - Pamela Y. Toussaint, MBA, the president and founder of Ultimate Image Coach, has authored with her daughter, Tamara Toussaint, JD, the quintessential book on women’s empowerment; The Audacious Woman: Blaze Your Own Path To Prosperity. A personal branding consultant, corporate trainer, author, and keynote speaker, Toussaint came from humble beginnings to write this well researched and documented book. Born and raised in a small village in Jamaica with three sisters and brother, her mother was widowed when Pamela was 10 years old. Against all odds, motivated by the values her mother instilled, Toussaint achieved success as a corporate executive and community leader in the United States. She took an audacious step to re-write her life’s story, and re-branded herself as The Ultimate Image Coach. Click to view.

DESERT BIGHORN SHEEP: WILDERNESS ICON - AN IMPRESSIVE AND POIGNANT WORK

 

Desert Bighorn Sheep: Wilderness Icon, By Mark C. Jorgensen, photography by Jeff Young (Sunbelt Publications 2015, 144 pages)

Review by Miriam Raftery

July 8, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – Desert Bighorn Sheep: Wilderness Icon is an impressive and poignant work that comprehensively chronicles the past, present and future of bighorn sheep, particularly the desert bighorn found in the Anza-Borrego desert and rugged portions of San Diego’s East County.

FOR THE LOVE OF POETRY

 

Trails To The Stream: Poetry and Inspiration for Everyday Living, by Priscilla Koranteng (Poised Publishing LLC, 2014, 136 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

July 4, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) - Priscilla Koranteng, author of two earlier books reviewed by this writer in the East County Magazine; Janju: The Voice of One Girl and Janju: A Village Girl in a City World, and the owner and publisher of Poised Publishing LLC, as well as an HR consulting firm; Poised HR Solutions LLC, has written a moving and insightful book on poetry: Trails To The Stream: Poetry And Inspiration For Everyday Living.

A CHARMING STORY OF FRIENDSHIP FOR KIDS 0 - 6: IS THE LIZARD REAL OR IMAGINARY?

 

The Huge, Gigantic, Humongous Lizard; in my Living Room, by Anat Tour (Amazon, 2015, 26 pages)

Book Review by Dennis Moore

June 29, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) - Anat Tour, an East County resident and high school math teacher, has come a long way since our initial meeting at a Barnes & Noble Author Forum that I was moderating in La Mesa in April of 2011. Then, an unpublished author, Tour asked me at the end of the event how to get her Mama’s Shoe published. I suggested getting it published as an eBook with Barnes & Noble, which she did, and now with her 7th publication; The Huge, Gigantic, Humongous Lizard: in my Living Room, she is a firmly established author and illustrator.

THE CAT’S MEOW: HOW TO SPEAK CAT

 

By Mimi Pollack

June 25, 2015 (San Diego)--There are two camps in the world: dog lovers and cat lovers. However, there are many, who like me, love and appreciate both. The popularity of cats has grown and today more households have cats, and they have questions about their cats.

Cats can be such mysterious creatures! We wonder what they are thinking when they stare at us. To help clear up this mystery, Gary Weitzman, president of the San Diego Humane Society, and Aline Alexander Newman have co-authored an informative book  called How to Speak Cat.

WHERE ARE THE WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION?

 

Iraq: The War That Shouldn’t Be – You Decide, by M.M. Chantiloupe (Xlibris Corporation, 2010, 305 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

May 16, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) - Although the Iraq war is over, we are still feeling the residual effects of that controversial campaign, and it is put into perspective by San Diego resident M.M. Chantiloupe in her book; Iraq: The War That Shouldn’t Be – You Decide. Chantiloupe writes a scathing analysis and rebuke of the Bush Administration in this well-written and incisive book. She asks rhetorical questions that gets us all to think about why we actually went into that war and the harm that it has done to America and Iraq, as well as the world itself. Central in her discussion is the false pretenses of weapons of mass destruction. Chantiloupe writes in a scholarly fashion her analysis of this war and its residual effects, such as the current threat of ISIS, or the Islamic terrorist threat.

FOLLOWING MICHAEL HALPERIN'S GUIDANCE TO A SUCCESSFUL SCREENPLAY

 

Writing The Killer Treatment: Selling Your Story Without A Script, by Michael Halperin, (Michael Wiese Productions, Studio City, CA, 2002, 171 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

May 8, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - Who better to write a book about screenwriting and the movie and television industry, than Michael Halperin? He has been called “the foremost authority on screenwriting in America.” Halperin has written for television, screen, and stage, and has published both fiction and non-fiction books. Halperin’s Writing the Killer Treatment: Selling your Story without a Script, sets the standard for advice and instruction in modern storytelling for those aspiring to be screenwriters.

"LOVE MARATHON" AT THE LOS ANGELES TIMES "FESTIVAL OF BOOKS" AT USC

 

By Dennis Moore

April 16, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) - Nuria Garcia Arteaga, whom this writer had the honor of writing a review of her publication Love Marathon in the East County Magazine, has taken a long and circuitous route to attend and participate in the 20th Annual Los Angeles Times “Festival of Books” at USC. She has traveled thousands of miles to showcase her artistry at this event. Now living in The Netherlands, but originally from Peru, this author and entertainer will bring to the “Festival of Books” a dazzling compilation of music and literature. Click to view.

THE NEPHILIM: THE FIRST VAMPIRE

 

The Tempting: Seducing The Nephilim, by D.M. Pratt (BroadLit, Sherman Oaks, CA, 2015, 345 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

The children of the supernatural beings who had married these women became famous heroes and warriors. They were called Nephilim and lived on the earth at that time and even later.

  • Genesis 6:4 – Contemporary English Version

April 8, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - This gripping and riveting work of fiction by renowned author D.M. Pratt, The Tempting: Seducing The Nephilim, has the tone and theme of this well-written book set in the dedication of the book, as the author states: “And to all the women who have been taught to want the happily-ever-after dream, but courageous enough to face reality and still be willing to fight for true love”, and in the very first paragraph in the first chapter, when she states; “That dance led to the greatest seduction she had ever experienced in her life and ended with an orgasm so intense she was told she arched back and hit her head hard enough to give herself a concussion – which left her unconscious and in coma for over a year.” Pratt actually admits jokingly and with a smile, in a YouTube video: “There is a lot of sex in this story, I guess I have to get myself a boyfriend!” See video.

FATHER JUNIPERO SERRA AND OTHER SAN DIEGO LEGENDS

 

San Diego Legends 2nd Edition by James Scheffler Innis (Sunbelt Publications, Inc., 2015 - 290 pages).

Book Review by Jacqueline Carr

April 6, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - San Diego Legends 2nd Edition by James Scheffler Innis is filled with a plethora of information about famous and infamous San Diego Legends.  The stories are all interesting; some are quite humorous, while others are important history lessons.

'A WRITER DOES NOT LEARN HOW TO WRITE...A WRITER IS BORN TO TELL STORIES'

Love Marathon (“La marathon del amor”), by Nuria Garcia Arteaga (Smashwords, 2013)

Book Review by Dennis Moore

‘A writer does not learn how to write … a writer is born to tell stories’

 

March 15, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - Nuria Garcia Arteaga, this accomplished author and musician from Lima, Peru, now living in The Netherlands, has written and compiled a work of art that explores romance and intimacy; Love Marathon (“La maraton del amor”). Love Marathon is a trilogy that follows the lives of three women, Malucha, Maniro and Magnolia. The three women hail from disparate socioeconomic backgrounds and exemplify the novel’s epigraph: “Latin American women are like their nations, some self-destruct, others are destroyed and a few survive.” This trilogy of stories in Love Marathon; Between Drizzle and Hate, Menkori and Of Sun and Moon, captures the essence of human endeavor and frailty. The book is written in English and Spanish. Click to view video.

A LONG WAY FROM JAMAICA WEST INDIES!

 

 

Driven: When Obstacles Take Center Stage , by Magetta Chantiloupe (Austin Macauley Ltd., London, England, 2014, 379 pages).

“Keep guard over your eyes and ears as the inlets of your heart, and over your lips as the outlet, lest they betray you in a moment of unawareness.”

Anne Bronte, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

Book Review by Dennis Moore

March 4, 2015 (San Diego) - Looking from the outside at Magetta Chantiloupe and all that she has accomplished in life, one would think that this San Diego resident and author of Driven: When Obstacles Take Center Stage, has always had it together. But looks would be deceiving, as this Certified Financial Planner with the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards – retired General Stock Broker and native of Jamaica West Indies, and mother of four adult children has fought and struggled to attain all that she has accomplished. Also the author of Iraq: The War That Shouldn’t Be – You Decide, Chantiloupe has been a world traveler – she has cruised the world, 41 of which were on the CUNARD Line. Her actual achievements and overall story could fill several books.

"DO YOU BELIEVE IN MAGIC?"

 

Old Magic - Lives of The Desert Shamans  - Nicholas Clapp (Sunbelt Publications, Inc., 2015-209 pages).

Book Review by Jacqueline Carr

February 17, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - The title of this book piqued my interest.  I was engaged from the start and wanted to know who the Shamans were and what sort of magic they performed.  I immediately looked up the meaning of the word Shaman, and in accordance with the Oxford English Dictionary - a Shaman, is a priest or priest-doctor among various northern people of Asia—applied by extension to similar personages in other parts, esp. a medicine-man of some of the north-western American Indians.

JANJU'S NEW SCHOOL IN THE CITY

 

Janju: A Village Girl In A City World, by Priscilla Koranteng (Poised Publishing LLC, Lanham, Maryland, 2014, 147 pages.)

Book Review by Dennis Moore

February 17, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - Priscilla Koranteng has followed up on her earlier Janju: The Voice Of One Girl with the natural progression to Janju: A Village Girl In A City World. It expands on the leadership qualities of a young girl in a small village area of Africa identified in the earlier book to that of her being in a much larger city environment. As with her earlier book Koranteng underscores the unique and endearing qualities of a young girl that seems to embolden her family and all those that come into contact with her. Clearly, Janju is a born leader. Why this particular book? The author indicates that as a young girl she always loved to read and write, and that she would basically write about anything, but little did she know or realize at the time that she had the ability to write poetry, fiction and non-fiction. Looking at her own life and now living abroad – she realized that the African child is sometimes distorted and limited to hunger and poverty – which is still the case. Koranteng emphasizes that the underlying resilience with which these kid survive is sometimes left out of the story. Thus, the fictional and warmly humanistic character Janju.

MURDER AND MYSTERY IN LA JOLLA

 

 

 

NAKED ADDICTION – CAITLIN ROTHER (Wildblue Press, Evergreen, Colorado, 2014, 415 pages).

Book Review by Jacqueline Carr

January 27, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - The story takes place in the wealthy La Jolla California area.  It’s a story that holds your interest from start to finish.  Ms Rother is a superb story teller who writes fluidly, and vividly.  She has a canny way of introducing her characters into the story line so one gets a vivid description of the person. The use of imagery helps the reader relate to the role each character plays in the story.

A BORN LEADER, WITH THE STRENGTH TO RALLY HER VILLAGE TOGETHER AND MOTIVATE OTHERS

 

 

 

Janju: The Voice Of One Girl, by Priscilla Koranteng (Poised Publishing LLC, Lanham, Maryland, 2014, 150 pages.)

Book Review by Dennis Moore

January 27, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - Priscilla Koranteng, an author and businesswoman born in Ghana, West Africa, to a teacher and politician, and who grew up with a lot of optimism and the zeal to achieve the best in all she could, has written a warm and fictional account of a young girl growing up in Africa; Janju: The Voice Of One Girl.

POEMS AND MUSINGS FROM AN ASPIRING AUTHOR AND LITERARY ENTHUSIAST

 

 

 

A Selected Few Just For You, by Jacqueline Carr (Jacqueline Carr, Middleton, DE, 2014, 178 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

“Endurance is one of the most difficult disciplines, but it is to the one who endures that the final victory comes.”  - Buddha -

January 22, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - Jacqueline Carr, an author and Adjunct Instructor at York College (CUNY), and literary enthusiast, has written a novel which is an expression of her innermost thoughts and observations; A Selected Few Just For You. One that stands out to me is that of Ralph Waldo Emerson, which states:

A CASE FOR REDEMPTION: SOUL SALVATION

 

On Earth As It is In Hell, by Cortina Jackson (48HrBooks, 2014, 204 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore                                                                                                        

January 17, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - Cortina Jackson, a doting mother of two sons, with a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice, and over 15 years of law enforcement experience, has written a fictional novel that reaches within the depths of your soul to examine your relationship with God and the Devil; On Earth As It Is In Hell. Although fictional, one gets the impression that this book is based on the author’s life experience, especially after reading excerpts of the book and numerous phone interviews with her. With Jackson’s experience and knowledge in law enforcement, she has seen firsthand that; oftentimes, life is scarier than fiction. This has given her a basis for the material in her writing that often seems too detailed to be true. The gory and graphic aspects of those doomed to Hell, such as this fiery inferno continually burning the skin from their bodies, seems so disturbingly realistic. It is actually scary! This born-again Christian has written a spellbinding novel. Listen to audio intro to book here.

AKRAM: DAUGHTER OF IRAN, A MOTHER'S LOVE FOR HER DAUGHTER

 

Akram, by Akram Arastehjoo (The Scriptory, Stacy Thunes Krieger, Menlo Park, California, 2014, 115 pages).

Screenplay Review by Dennis Moore

January 7, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - Akram Arastehjoo, a descendant of the great Persian Empire, which we now know as Iran, tells her own and personal family story that encapsulates the long and illustrious history of kings and queens, in a screenplay written by Stacy Thunes Krieger, Akram. The author actually derives her name from the Holy Quran; meaning generosity, or “most generous.” This is pointed out by Krieger in this well-written and warm story.  Arastehjoo is unabashed in her pride for everything that is Persian, and rightfully so. It comes across in my interview of the author and throughout the story. I have been made aware that Iran actually converted from the original name of Persia to Iran in 1935, but it did take some getting used to. Many seem to prefer that bygone era of Persia, and all it stood for, including the iconic Darius the Great.

THE JILLIAN HILLCREST MYSTERIES AND MURDER IN WINE COUNTRY

 

Hilltop Sunset: A Brynn Bancroft Mystery, by Joyce T. Strand (McCloughan and Schmeltz Publishing, LLC, Henderson, Nevada, 2014, 299 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

December 24, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) - Hilltop Sunset: A Brynn Bancroft Mystery, by Joyce T. Strand, reads like a John Grisham or Robert Ludlum book. It has all the elements of intrigue, romance and suspense that we have gotten accustomed to from these noted authors and icons of literary fiction. As they are master storytellers, we find similar traits in Strand’s well-written book.

A COLLECTION OF QUOTES FROM "MAMA"

 

What Mama Said, by Gladys Seedorf (Seedorf Publishing, Battle Creek, Michigan, 2013, 91 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

December 7, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - In dedicating this book to her mother, Willie Jewel Peterson, first time author Gladys Seedorf writes a heartfelt memoir that will resonate with many readers; What Mama Said. It certainly resonates with me, as it brings about poignant reminders and experiences I had with my own mother. Having interviewed the author over the phone, also contributed to the affinity that I have for Seedorf’s writing style.

JUDGE NOT, THAT YE BE NOT JUDGED!

 

Judging Me: One Woman’s Journey From Abuse And Betrayal To Triumph, by Mary Elizabeth Bullock (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, North Charleston, South Carolina, 2013, 162 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

“The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children.”  - Dietrich Bonhoeffer                                                   

November 30, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - Honorable Mary Elizabeth Bullock’s inspiring memoir describes a hard-won life of achievement. In the face of overwhelming adversity, Bullock – who is blind and has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and systemic lupus – made her name as an experienced trial litigator, respected business law professor, and federal civil rights judge. Her motivation for becoming an attorney and later a federal judge, actually started in East County San Diego, as she became an elected official for a pilot program stemming from the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), referred to as Utilities Consumer Action Network (UCAN).

WHEN ALL THE ODDS SAY THERE IS NO CHANCE, HOPE REIGNS TRUE!

 

The Healing Shower, by Eloise Laws (Knowledge Power Books, Valencia, California, 2012, 131 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

 

When all the odds say there’s no chance,

Amidst the final dance,

I’ll be your comfort through your pain

I’ll be your shelter in the rain.

  • Stevie Wonder

Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter, musician, political           activist and philanthropist.

November 13, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - Eloise Laws, an award-winning vocalist, Tony-nominated actress, author, and breast cancer survivor – in her debut book The Healing Shower, shares her personal journey, surviving the “ups and downs’ of breast cancer. Inspired by the outpouring of love and support she received from family and friends, prompted her to write this thought provoking and deeply moving book. In this thoughtful and well-written book are all the tools one who is suffering from a life-threatening illness will need as a guide when considering a “Healing Shower” before or possibly returning home from surgery. As East County’s Jamie Reno attested to in his book Hope Begins in the Dark, which this writer also had the honor of writing a review of in the East County Magazine, cancer can be a never ending battle. San Diego City Councilwoman Marti Emerald is also fighting this debilitating disease of cancer.

EAST COUNTY'S RENAISSANCE WOMAN

 

Mama’s Bees, by Anat Tour

Book Review by Dennis Moore

With podcast interview on "East County Magazine Live!" KNSJ 89.1 radio show.

San Diego’s East County resident Anat Tour, is at it again, with her latest book offering, Mama’s Bees. This prolific writer has penned her 6th children’s book, since we initially met while I was moderating an Author Event at Barnes & Noble Grossmont bookstore in La Mesa, and she asked me for some advice on how to get started. A few weeks later Tour had published as an eBook, Mama’s Shoes. The interesting thing about Mama’s Bees, as told to me in a phone interview with Tour, is that it is actually inspired by a true story.

LEADING A CHARMED LIFE!

 

Sticks and Stones and Broken Bones: What a Charmed Life I Lead, by Linda Lee King (Abbott Press, Bloomington, Indiana, 2014, 269 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

October 17, 2014 (San Diego)--Linda Lee King, a recovering Catholic, news reporter, and publisher of a weekly newspaper, the Free Press News, who has struggled with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) since childhood, encapsulates that and all her experiences in a riveting book, Sticks and Stones and Broken Bones: What a Charmed Life I Lead. Growing up in 1950s America where children did not speak until spoken to and when the Catholic Church concealed many occurrences of inappropriate behavior, one moment in her young life caused trauma that would haunt her into adulthood. That sets the tone for this well-written book.

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