book reviews

STRENGHTENING YOUR SPIRITUAL FOUNDATION FOR OPTIMUM HEALTH: A DOCTOR’S GUIDE TO UNLEASH HEALING POWERS

By Pennell Paugh

March 13, 2023 (San Diego’s East County) – Carrolle Jean-Murat., M.D., a Mt. Helix resident, announces publication of her latest book, Strengthening Your Spiritual Foundation for Optimum Health: 18 Ways to Unleash Your Innate Healing Powers.


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HOOKER AVENUE: A GRIPPING LEGAL THRILLER

Reviewed by Pennell Paugh

February 12, 2023 (San Diego) – Hooker Avenue is the second in the Queen City Crimes series by San Diego author Jodé Millman. Attorney Jessie Martin lives in upstate New York's Hudson Valley. Driving at night, she is on her way home during a violent thunderstorm when she spots something.


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5 STEPS TO SOLO TRAVEL: A WOMAN’S GUIDE TO TRAVEL IN HER PRIME: PART A

By Pennell Paugh

February 9, 2023 (San Diego) - Dr. Mary Travelbest’s guide book is full of tips and on the road recommendations. She helps you to get the best deals, pack light, and ensure your safety. She takes you through stages to develop a level of comfort with less and less structure. I’m still on stage one, but I now have the yen to plan a short trip.


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LEDERER’S LANGUAGE & LAUGHTER

Reviewed by Pennell Paugh

February 2, 2023 (San Diego’s East County) -- Lederer’s Language and Laughter is Richard Lederer’s sixtieth book. It is full of humor from all sorts of situations from making puns about situations, to quoting signs and newspaper headings. There is humor bound to entertain everyone.


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YOUR FABULOUS FIRST BOOK: HOW TO WRITE WITH CLARITY, CONFIDENCE AND CONNECTION

Reviewed by Pennell Paugh

January 26, 2023 (San Diego) - Your Fabulous First Book provides support and guidance to the first-time, non-fiction writer. By helping an author overcome writing blocks and other challenges, starting with finding a subject, San Diego author Andrea Susan Glass pulls the writer along until their book is completed and, hopefully, published.


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RED CHAOS: THRILLER FROM THE RED HOTEL SERIES BY ED FULLER AND GARY GROSSMAN

Reviewed by Pennell Paugh 

January 1, 2023 (San Diego’s East County) – Red Chaos details events across that sound very much like events that have happened across the globe. All the crimes have but one perpetrator but it’s not a person, it’s a nation.

“Hello, Mr. Reilly. Please hold for Mr. Shaw.”

 

The call was from Chicago—Nancy Barney, the assistant to E.J. Shaw, President and CEO of the Kensington Hotel chain, one of the world’s largest hotel corporations. Shaw was Dan Reilly’s boss.

 

“Dan, we have a program,” Shaw said.

 

We. Reilly immediately knew the we was about to become he, his problem.

 

“Where: What?”

 

“A murder in our Mayfair property. In a London suite.”

 

“Oh God!” Reilly’s mind raced. The hotel was hosting a regional oil conference. He stated to ask for detail, but Shaw interrupted.

 

“A visiting oil minister….”


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THE DEVIL’S HALF ACRE: THE UNTOLD STORY OF HOW ONE WOMAN LIBERATED THE SOUTH’S MOST NOTORIOUS SLAVE JAIL

Book by Kristen Green, reviewed by Pennell Paugh

November 21, 2022 (San Diego) -- In The Devil’s Half Acre, Author and former San Diego Union-Tribune journalist Kristen Green provides details about Black lives in America, starting in 1619 and ends in recent times. Green takes us from slavery, through details about the lives of Blacks during the Civil War and after. More specifically, she closely shares details about 19th-century Richmond, the center of slave trading, giving the reader a view of slavery from an enslaved person’s experience.


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THE SPIRIT OF SHY MOON LAKE: A HAUNTING READ BY REINA LISA MENASCHE

Reviewed by Pennell Paugh

October 19, 2022 (San Diego’s East County) -- The Spirit of Shy Moon Lake is a spooky, sometimes creepy, often mysterious tale, filled with tension and foreshadowing. Award-winning local author Reina Lisa Menasche is also the long-time host of the “Bookshelf” segment on East County Magazine’s radio show.


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BOOK REVIEW: HISTORIC TALES OF LA JOLLA

By Patricia Daly-Lipe

Reviewed by Pennell Paugh

October 14, 2022 (La Jolla) -- Location, location, location. This is the mantra for real estate. But it is precisely “location” that helped define La Jolla. Historic Tales of La Jolla tells the story of the place: its name, even its initial creation by natural forces, followed by the people who found and fell in love with it. This is history from a personal perspective. What did La Jolla do for the people who came, and what did these people do for La Jolla and, in many cases, for the rest of the world?


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'I DID IT' : GINA CHAMPION-CAIN EXPLAINS EPIC PONZI DOWNFALL TO LA JOLLA AUTHORS

By Ken Stone, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  La Jolla couple Barbara Bry and Neil Senturia with their new book on Gina Champion-Cain. Times of San Diego photo illustration

September 2, 2022 (La Jolla) - Gina Champion-Cain hasn’t read her own book.

The former toast-of-the-town businesswoman, whose San Diego career became toast, is the speaker in “I Did It: The Largest Woman-Run Ponzi Scheme in American History.”

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REVIEW: RESET BY SARINA DAHLAN

Review by Pennell Paugh

August 27, 2022 (San Diego) – Reset, a romantic science fiction story by San Diego author Sarina Dahlan, is thought-provoking. Reset will make you cherish your life’s loves and losses—allowing them to give your life deep meaning and purpose.


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RIVER WOMAN RIVER DEMON WEAVES A SPELLBINDING TALE

Reviewed by Pennell Paugh

August 11, 2022 (San Diego) - River Woman River Demon by San Diego author Jennifer Givhan weaves together the threads of folk magick, with personal and cultural empowerment in a first-person spellbinding psychological thriller. (The term `magick’ is used by spiritual believers in in supernatural powers, to differentiate from `magic,’ or staged magicians’ tricks.)


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WAREHOUSE DREAMS: A LOCAL AUTHOR’S DELIGHTFUL FANTASY NOVEL

Book by Theresa Halversen

Reviewed by Pennell Paugh

July 21, 2022 (San Diego) -- This delightful fantasy by San Diego author Theresa Halversen is a fast, fun read from the first page to the last. The story in Warehouse Dreams occurs in a world where the quality of each person’s genes reflects their parents’ wealth.


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FRAZZLEBRAIN: BREAK FREE FROM ANXIETY, ANGER, AND STRESS USING ADVANCED DISCOVERIES IN NEUROPSYCHOLOGY

Book by Gina Simmons Schneider PhD

Reviewed by Pennell Paugh

June 26, 2022 (San Diego) -- While we often cannot control stressful life events, we can learn to control our brain's response to those circumstances and reduce our suffering. Relief from worry and stress can be found through powerful techniques grounded in clinical experience and neuroscience described in Frazzlebrain.


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THE THIRD SECRET: PROPHECY PROMPTS PAPAL INTRIGUE

Reviewed by Pennell Paugh

June 9, 2022 (San Diego) – The Third Secret by Marco De Sio combines historical fiction and political intrigue. The tale is told through the life of an Italian immigrant, Big Al. His story takes us from a small fishing village in Italy to the United States, through two world wars, and into intrigue within the Vatican that could transform the future of the Catholic Church.


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MYSTERY AT THE BLUE SEA COTTAGE: A TRUE STORY OF MURDER IN SAN DIEGO’S JAZZ AGE

Reviewed by Pennell Paugh

May 28, 2022 (San Diego) – Mystery at the Blue Sea Cottage: A True Story of Murder in San Diego’s Jazz Age by James Stewart is a wonderful book for history buffs. The author investigates a real case during the 1920s. A jazz dancer’s body turns up on a San Diego beach.

Twenty-year-old Fritzie Mann was four months pregnant. Did she commit suicide, accidentally drown, or was she murdered?


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THE COLONIZED AND THE SCRAMBLE FOR AFRICA: LA MESA AUTHOR’S TRUE STORY DEPICTS STRUGGLES IN KENYA

Reviewed by Pennell Paugh

Author to hold book signing at Julian Library on May 10 at 1 p.m.

 

May 5, 2022 (La Mesa) -- The Colonized and the Scramble for Africa, the first of The Colonized series, provides true stories of how the author, Wanjirũ Waramaher family and community lived in abject poverty on British colonial farms in Kenya.

Warama, a resident of La Mesa, is a member of the San Diego Writers and Editors Guild. She will host a book signing in Julian at the County Library on May 10 at 1 p.m.


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PHARMACIST EXPLAINS HOW DRUGS CAN MITIGATE MENTAL ILLNESS

By Dr. Michael Mantell, San Diego Jewish World, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

December 8, 2020 (San Diego) - One of the many benefits of being a long-time weekly writer for this publication/website, is the opportunity to review books that hold special meaning for me. So when Don Harrison, our beloved editor, inquires if I’d like to review a new book, the title, the content, or the author will interest me, or not. When it came to our friend Ben Dishman, Pharm.D., BCPP and his new book, "I Can Treat That...Well Maybe?” there was no question but that I wanted to read and review this book.


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"A CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER: NARCISSISM IN THE ERA OF DONALD TRUMP" A MUST READ

 

Book review by Joe Gandelman, Editor in Chief, The Moderate Voice

Reprinted with permission from The Moderate Voice, a member of the San Diego Online News Network

January 22, 2017 (San Diego's East County) - A Clear and Present Danger: Narcissim in the Era of Donald Trump was written before the election — but boy is it needed to be read now.

It’s a thoughtful volume comprised of contributions by psychiatrists, doctors, psychologists– and a notable storyteller-author-clinical-psychologist that’ll be read for many years and deserves to be read and studied. Because there is a history of narcissism in world history and politics. And in world history, leaders who fit the definition of having narcissistic personality disorder often don’t often fare well — and their countries may fare worse. One thing they do: they backhand societal and political norms, often get away with it and can change their societies, often little by little, sometimes abruptly — and often legally.


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ASK AN AUTHOR: REVIEWS IN EXCHANGE FOR FREE BOOKS: ETHICAL OR DANGEROUS?

 

By Sarka-Jonae Miller

August 26, 2015 (San Diego) -- “How is it possible to acquire genuine reviews for a book when most reviewers want FREE books to review? If a reviewer has a Free book have they been compromised or influenced to provide a good review? I have been approached by fellow authors requesting reviews on the understanding of you scratch my back and I will scratch yours! I have of course turned down all such requests! Over the past few weeks Amazon has started to address this issue by removing reviews that they consider to be inappropriate or not genuine or verifiable. I would be most interested in your understanding of the current and future book review process.” - Mike Wilkins

Let's first address the idea that a free book automatically means a positive review. That is not the case. Any author who has run a successful giveaway knows that you're more likely to get negative reviews than positive ones from people who download free books.


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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.


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