Book reviews

Book reviews

'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.

THE HURT AND PAIN A CHILD REMEMBERS

 

The Remembered Self: A Journey Into The Heart Of The Beast, by M.J. Payne (Dog Ear Publishing, Indianapolis, Indiana, 2014, 180 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

October 11, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) - M.J. Payne, a graduate of the University of Kentucky Honors Program and a member of Phi Beta Kappa, has written a sordid story of human sexuality and trauma based on a true story; The Remembered Self: A Journey Into The Heart Of The Beast. If not for my numerous communications with her I would think it a work of fiction, for some of it is too graphic and traumatic beyond belief, but it did actually happen according to the author. Payne does not attempt to sugar-coat this story, and what happened to her starting as a child, and perhaps that is therapeutic for her.

NATIVE AMERICAN WOMEN HAVE SHOWN US THROUGH THEIR CONTRIBUTIONS THAT THEIR PLACE IN HISTORY IS WELL-DESERVED

 

100+ NATIVE AMERICAN WOMEN WHO CHANGED THE WORLD, by KB Schaller (Peppertree Press, LLC., 2014, Sarasota, Florida, 213 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

                                                             

“Be ashamed to die before you have Won some battle for humanity.”

 - Horace Mann (1796-1859), spoken to a college graduation class  a few weeks before his death.

 

September 26, 2014 (San Diego's East County)--Generally when we think of Native American women and their contributions to history and society, Pocahantas and Sacagawea come to mind. That is, until this groundbreaking book by Cherokee/Seminole heritage author KB Schaller, M.Ed., 100+ Native American Women Who Changed The World. Warriors, educators, an aerospace pioneer, a Catholic saint…100+ Native American Women Who Changed the World is a stellar collection of historical and contemporary women of indigenous heritage who have contributed to the survival and success of their families, communities – and the United States of America. This book is destined to be in classrooms throughout the country.

CHILD OF THE STORM: HOW AN ANGRY YOUNG MAN FOUND A BOND WITH THE SEA AND CHANGED OUR LIVES FOREVER

 

Child of The Storm, by Kirk Lee Aeder (Mutual Publishing, LLC, Honolulu, Hawaii, 2012, 306 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

September 12, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - Kirk Lee Aeder, currently a resident of Hawaii, the acknowledged birthplace of surfing, has written an iconic book about how an angry young man formed a bond with the sea and changed our lives forever; Child of The Storm.It has been described as “One of the most compelling, tragic, yet inspiring stories in the history of surfing.” It is all that, and much more! Aeder’s book is the story of Chris O’Rourke, a shy young Irish boy from New Jersey who had an affinity for playing in the water. It chronicles O’Rourke’s family being unexpectedly forced to flee their East Coast home and lavish lifestyle, and journey as far west as possible, La Jolla and the shores of the Pacific Ocean. It is very possible from reading this heartfelt and well written book, that the presumed anger in this young man came about as a result of this sudden uprooting of his family.

DEJA VU: PRELUDE TO MICHAEL BROWN AND FERGUSON, MISSOURI

 

The Lynching of Cleo Wright, by Dominic J. Capeci, Jr. (The University Press of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, 1998, 274 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

August 25, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - Terry Teachout, a New York Times critic, playwright, and inveterate blogger, and I have something in common. He and I were both born in the “bootheel” of Missouri, he in Sikeston and I in Charleston – in the area of one of the most tragic and heinous lynchings in the annals of America; the lynching of Cleo Wright. We both, also have weighed in on Dominic J. Capeci’s book; The Lynching of Cleo Wright, which has been described as “a creatively conceptualized anatomy of a lynching, and “Capeci places the lynching of Cleo Wright within the context of the city of Sikeston, the state of Missouri, and the nation.” This book should also be viewed in context with the ongoing furor and debate of Ferguson, Missouri and the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by a white policeman.

MIRACLES ACTUALLY HAPPEN: AUTHOR CREDITS DIVINE INTERVENTION

 

Lasting Impact: My Miraculous Recovery From Total Paralysis, by John Miksa, with Scott P. Leary, M.D. (Tate Publishing and Enterprises, LLC, Mustang, Oklahoma, 2014, 224 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

August 17, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - Yes, I believe in miracles, for in my lifetime I have witnessed and been personally involved in miracles. John Miksa has authored a book, with the assistance of Scott P. Leary, M.D., about the ultimate miracle; Lasting Impact: My Miraculous Recovery From Total Paralysis.

THE RISE AND FALL OF THE LOS ANGELES LAKERS

 

Laker Girl by Jeanie Buss, Triumph Books, Chicago, Illinois, 2013, 310 pages.

Book Review by Dennis Moore

The Los Angeles Lakers are at a crossroad in history and basketball lore and legacy. These last few years have not been kind to them, and author and Lakers’ VP in charge of basketball affairs Jeanie Buss puts it all in perspective in her book Laker Girl. She writes a candid tell-all account of the Lakers’ rise to basketball and sports’ glory, and their descent into implosion on a scale that is astounding, especially considering the legendary history and beginnings of this franchise.

SAID I WOULDN'T TELL IT...BUT I JUST CAN'T KEEP IT TO MYSELF

 

Book Review by Dennis Moore

July 19, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - Tameka Hicks is on the Dean’s List at Xavier University in New Orleans, but as proud as she might be of that achievement I get the feeling from reading her book; Said I Wouldn’t Tell It…But I Just Can’t keep It To Myself, that she is most proud of being on “God’s List.” Being given up at birth by her parents and after being placed in from foster home to foster home, Hicks describes in this spiritual and heartrending book how her trust level had bottomed out, describing in vivid detail how she was abused mentally, emotionally and physically. This young lady has aspirations of being a CEO of a Fortune 500 company and building her own ministry. From talking with her and reading this book, I can say that she is well on her way.

BAJA CALIFORNIA: A GUIDE FOR SURVIVAL IN A LAND OF BEAUTY

 

My Gold Coast: Baja A Practical Guide 2nd Edition, by Susan A. Mahalick

Book Review by Dennis Moore

Susan A. Mahalick, having grown up in Middlesex, New Jersey, has written an indispensable primer and guide for those considering visiting or an extended stay in Mexico; My Gold Coast: Baja A Practical Guide 2nd Edition. The author states: “A sampler of information and interesting things to do in this part of Baja. This book represents 11 years of living and thriving in a wonderful climate with a culture that is both delightful and welcoming to people from other countries It is not just about the low cost of living, it is about an experience of community with fellow expatriates and locals alike. This is what makes this place so special.”

TRANSFORMING EARLY LEARNERS INTO SUPERB READERS: PROMOTING LITERACY AT SCHOOL, AT HOME, AND WITHIN THE COMMUNITY, BY ANDREA M. NELSON-ROYES, EdD

 

Book Review by Dennis Moore

Andrea Nelson-Royes, EdD, an educator, researcher, author, and parent who has a passionate interest in how children learn to read and how to keep them reading, has authored a book that demonstrates all that she has experienced and believes in; Transforming Early Learners into Superb Readers: Promoting Literacy at School, at Home, and within the Community. It starts for her at home with her own children, endeavoring to give them the opportunity at the best possible education that they can get. Being a mother of four children gives her ample time and opportunity to test her passion for the education of other parent’s children.

SUCCESS IN SCHOOL AND CAREER: COMMON CORE STANDARDS IN LANGUAGE ARTS K - 5, BY ANDREA M. NELSON-ROYES, EdD

 

 

 

Book Review by Dennis Moore

Every Child in America deserves a world-class education. Today, more than ever, a world-class education is a prerequisite for success. America was once the best-educated nation in the world. A generation ago, we led all nations in college completion, but today, ten countries have passed us. The issue is not that their students are smarter than ours. It is that these countries are being smarter about how to educate their students. And the countries that out-educate us today will out-compete us tomorrow.

We must do better. Together we must achieve a new goal, that by 2020, the United States will once again lead the world in college completion. We must raise the expectations for our students, our schools, and ourselves – this must be a national priority. We must ensure that every student graduate from high school well prepared for college and a career. -- President Barack Obama (2010), 44th President of the United States

“A Blueprint for Reform: The Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act”

"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

With podcast interview by editor Miriam Raftery on "East County Magazine Live!" radio show KNSJ 89.1 FM: Listen.

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.

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