Book reviews

Book reviews

BOOK REVIEW: BAREFOOT IN BAGHDAD


Barefoot in Baghdad, By Manal M. Omar (Sourcebooks, Naperville, Illinois, 2010, 242 pages.)

 

Book Review by Dennis Moore


Barefoot in Baghdad is a Muslim American Woman’s Story of Struggle, Sisterhood, and Love in the Chaos of Iraq

 

July 29, 2010 (San Diego) -- Manal M. Omar, author of Barefoot in Baghdad, an international aid worker from an Arab and Muslim heritage, has provided valuable first-hand insights into events a world away following the 9/11 World Trade Center disaster. One of the book's major characters is now a prominent member of San Diego's Iraqi community.


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SAN DIEGO BOOKSHELF: A TERRIBLE MISTAKE

 

 

A Terrible Mistake, The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA’s Secret Cold War Experiments, By H.P. Albarelli, Jr. (Trine Day, LLC, Walterville, Oregon, 2009, 826 pages.)
 

Book Review by Dennis Moore

 


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WATER-WISE PLANTS FOR THE SOUTHWEST: A WISE ADDITION FOR YOUR BOOKSHELF

 

 

Review by Miriam Raftery
 

July 17, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – Thirsty for ideas to use less water yet still have attractive landscaping?

 

Water-Wise Plants for the Southwest (Cool Springs Press, 2010) offers a wealth of practical solutions ideal for homeowners in San Diego County, where drought, cutbacks in water supplies and rising water rates have become a way of life. Editor Diana Maranhao sought advice from four experts: Nan Sterman, Mary Irish, Judith Phillips, and Joe Lamp’l. All are garden writers; the first three have expertise in specific geographic areas (California, Arizona, New Mexico) while Lamp’l provides green gardening tips.


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NEW BOOK ON LA MESA KICKS OFF CITY'S CENTENNIAL

 

JUNE 17, 2010 (LA MESA) --The new book, La Mesa, highlights the history of the city in over 200 evocative historical images of notable events, institutions, landmarks and individuals in the area.

 

The book marks the kick off of the 2012 City of La Mesa Centennial celebration, and all author proceeds are being donated to the La Mesa Historical Society, from whose archives the images come.

 


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BOOK REVIEW: THE BRACELET'S SAGA OF CHILD ABDUCTIONS HAS TIMELY RING

 

The Bracelet, By Charles A. Bonner (Verily Publishing Company, Sausalito, California, 2009)

Book Review by Dennis Moore

June 17, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) -- Several years ago, my then 11-year old daughter, Brandy, escaped the clutches of a would-be child molester in Chicago, right after she had gotten off the bus from school. Heaven forbid, my daughter could have just as well been one of the victims of a child sex slavery ring, such as Charles A. Bonner writes about in The Bracelet. This is a must-read book that I highly recommend.


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SERENI-TEA: SIPPING SELF SUCCESS

 

Sereni-Tea, By Dharlene Marie Fahl (Transformation Media Books, Bloomington, Indiana, 2009, 209 pages.)



Book Review by Dennis Moore

 

June 9, 2010 (San Diego) Author Dharlene Marie Fahl, a protégé of Mark Victor Hansen (Co-creator, #1 New York Times best selling series, Chicken Soup for the Soul), has an ambitious goal: to become Amazon’s next best-selling author. From what I have read of her book, Sereni-Tea, this East County resident is on her way. She has used tea as a means to examine our roles in life and the spirituality that we all possess. She redefines success from the inside out – all while sipping tea. An upcoming graduate of the East County Leadership program, Fahl will introduce her book at The World Tea Expo, June 11-13 in Las Vegas.


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BOOK REVIEW: THE FRANKLIN SCANDAL



The Franklin Scandal, By Nick Bryant ( Trine Day LLC, Walterville, Oregon, 2009, 652 pages.)

Book Review by Dennis Moore

May 23, 2010 (San Diego) –Author Nick Bryant reveals a tragic and sinister tale of a nationwide pedophile ring that pandered children to a cabal of the rich and famous, stretching from Southern California to cornfields of Nebraska and beyond to our nation’s capitol. The Franklin Scandal reveals political powerbrokers who had access to the highest levels of our government and connections in the CIA. One of those powerbrokers is Lawrence E. "Larry" King, Jr. (no relation to the TV talk show host of the same name), identified by other sources as the primary pimp of the nationwide pedophile ring.

This book gripped me and held my attention like none I have ever read; I couldn’t put it down. The Franklin Scandal is riveting!


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BOOK REVIEW: THE MAVERICK AND THE MACHINE


Governor Dan Walker Tells His Story

By Dan Walker

Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale, Illinois, 2007, 338 pages. Available on Amazon.com

Reviewed by Dennis Moore

April 25, 2010 (San Diego) -- While sitting on the balcony of Dan Walker’s home overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Baja California a few years ago, the former Governor of Illinois asked me a question that would later give me insight into him and his book about Illinois and Chicago politics, The Maverick And The Machine. The book was winner of the "memoirs" category in the San Diego Book Awards in 2008.


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SAN DIEGO BOOKSHELF: LINKING NUTRITION TO MENTAL HEALTH PROVIDES FOOD FOR THOUGHT

 

by Ruth Leyse-Wallace PhD, RD
iUniverse, Lincoln, Nebraska, 2008, 299 pages.

 

Reviewed by Dennis Moore

 

April 20, 2010 (San Diego) -- You are what you eat! That is the premise of Dr. Ruth Leyse-Wallace’s book on nutrition and mental health, Linking Nutrition To Mental Health. The book provides a scientific exploration of the correlation between eating right and mental health.


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BOOK REVIEW: NAVY STRATEGIC CULTURE

 

Navy Strategic Culture: Why the Navy Thinks Differently.
By Roger W. Barnett. Annapolis. Naval Institute Press. 2009. 223 pages. Notes, bibliography and index. $28.95

 

Reviewed by Walter Hall

 

“Seapower is our heritage…Seapower is not merely a fleet of ships and planes. Seapower reaches into every phase of our national life.” --Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz

 

April 20, 2010 (San Diego) --San Diego is still a Navy town. Navy is spoken here; Navy values and modes of thought are as ubiquitous as naval memorials and street names. What is it that renders those “that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters” such a special breed?


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BOOK REVIEW: EASY AS PIE AT BOBBY’S DINER

 

By Susan Wingate (May 2010, Blue Star Books)
Book review by Dennis Moore

April 12, 2010 (San Diego)--If ever the expression, “Love is Blind,” would apply, it would be in the book by Susan Wingate, Easy As Pie at Bobby’s Diner. Georgette Carlisle, the owner of Bobby’s Diner in Sunnydale, Arizona, falls hard for Hawthorne Biggs, and basically everything he tells her. But it turns out that Hawthorne, whom Georgette is engaged to marry, has been leading a clandestine life of murder and corruption, unbeknownst to her. He conspires with others to steal the diner from Georgette, while love blinds her to his true intentions.


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JAMES JOYCE’S ULYSSES—AND WHY EVERYONE SHOULD READ IT

 

A St. Patrick’s Day reflection on a writer's own odyssey

 

By E.A. Barrera

 

"We may now imbibe freely of the contents of bottles and forthright books"
Morris L. Ernst, Co-Founder of the American Civil Liberties Union. December 11, 1933.

 

March 13, 2010 (San Diego) -- The same week this country ended Prohibition, America opened the doors to let people legally read James Joyce's Ulysses. With St. Patrick's Day once more at hand, the greatest of 20th Century novels and the author whose genius gave us at look into our own daily souls deserve a brief remembrance.


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BOOK REVIEW: SPEAK TO YOUR LIFE: DAILY DEVOTIONALS


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SAN DIEGO BOOKSHELF: ROUNDING THIRD--A DASH FOR EAST COUNTY


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BOOK REVIEW: POLICE AND PUBLIC SECURITY IN MEXICO


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LOCAL AUTHOR’S FANTASY NOVEL “ICE SONG” RECEIVES CRITICAL PRAISE

GENDER-BENDER BOOK RATED “BEST OF 2009” BY BARNES & NOBLE, SCHOOL LIBRARY SCHOOL JOURNAL, AND ROBOTS AND VAMPS

 


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BOOK REVIEWS: LOCAL AUTHOR OFFERS TREASURIES FOR DOG AND CAT LOVERS

 

 

Reviews by Dennis Moore

 

December 21, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) -- If you're looking for last-minute holiday gifts for the pet lovers on your list, I heartily recommend  Richard Lederer's newest books.

 

Most of us are either a cat lover or a dog lover--though Lederer, author of A Treasury for Cat Lovers and A Treasury for Dog Lovers, seems to be both. I have to confess that I am more of a dog lover, although cats have been a part of our household out of deference to my daughter. There seems to be something about the innate qualities of cats and dogs that have people attracted to one but not the other. Lederer, a San Diego author and host of the "A Way With Words" radio show,  explores these differences with humor and insight, helping readers understand  the motivations and behaviors of dogs, cats and their owners.


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BOOK REVIEW: ANZA-BORREGO: A PHOTOGRAPHIC JOURNEY

 

Anza-Borrego: A Photographic Journey. By Ernie Cowan.
Foreword by Diana Lindsay (Anza-Borrego Foundation and Institute).
San Diego. Sunbelt Publications. 2008. Illustrated with full color plates. 80 pages. $19.95.

Reviewed by Walter Hall

 

Cowan captures the essence of this grand desert Park and shares it with the world in this heartfelt account. Mark C. Jorgensen, Superintendent, Anza-Borrego.

December 17, 2009 (Borrego) -- This is the story of a desert love affair. A romantic journey suitable for all ages. San Diego author Ernie Cowan put his heart on his sleeve for Anza-Borrego many years ago. With this luminously illustrated volume, it is easy to understand why.


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BOOK REVIEW: THE STRAIGHT-UP TRUTH ABOUT THE DOWN-LOW

 

The Straight-Up Truth About the Down Low

 By Joy Marie

 Book Review by Dennis Moore

  

December 9, 2009 (San Diego) -- While having dinner at a friend’s home this past Thanksgiving, my friend told me that her friend’s husband had left her after more than 30 years of marriage for a man that he had been having a homosexual relationship with for years. This occurrence, which seems to be more commonplace than previously thought, is the topic profiled in The Straight-Up Truth About The Down-Low, a book written two co-authors using the pseudonym Joy Marie.


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BOOK REVIEW: SAN DIEGO BAY: A CALL FOR CONSERVATION

 

San Diego Bay: A Call for Conservation

 

By the Students at Jacobs High Tech High. Foreword by E. O. Wilson. Preface by Jane Goodall.

University of California San Diego Sea Grant Program. San Diego. 2009. Paperback. Illustrated. 344 pages. $24.95.  Distributed by Sunbelt Publications, El Cajon, CA.

 

Reviewed by Walter Hall

 

Part history, part politics, part biology, part artistic reflection and all heart…a remarkable testament to the power of project-based learning in a complex and changing world. -- Allison Alberts, Zoological Society of San Diego.

 

San Diego teacher Dr. Jay Vavra and his colleagues at Gary and Jerri-Ann Jacobs High Tech High have quietly accomplished something extraordinary. Over the past six years, under the rubric of the San Diego Bay Study, they engaged some 250 students in original research leading to ecological assessments that today are invaluable references for San Diego’s civic leaders, policymakers and conservation advocates.


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BOOK REVIEW: CHAPTER & VERSE: CROSSWORDS AND OTHER PUZZLES ~ GENESIS, BOOK ONE ~ BY T.J. JOHNSON

 

 

Xulon Press, ISBN # 9781604773200
Available through author’s website at www.hayneskid.com , Amazon.com, and Barnes & Noble

 

Review by Dennis Moore


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NEW SPORTS BOOK SCORES WINNING LOCATION FOR LAUNCH PARTY

SAN DIEGO, CA October 20, 2009 Join author Joey Seymour in celebrating the launch of his new book San Diego’s Finest Athletes: Five Exceptional Lives on Thursday, November 5th. The launch party for the book, published by Sunbelt Publications of El Cajon,  will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at the San Diego Hall of Champions.


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GALAPAGOS AUTHOR TO PRESENT SLIDE SHOW, SIGN BOOKS IN EL CAJON OCT. 13

October 9, 2009 (El Cajon)--Bette Blaydes Pegas, local author of Chasing a Dream in the Galapagos: A Personal Evolution, will be at the Rancho San Diego Library in El Cajon on Tuesday, October 13th. Pegas will give a slideshow presentation on her life-changing trip to the Galapagos in the library’s conference room at 5:30 PM. She will also be available afterward to sign copies of her book.


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BOOK REVIEW: TRUE CRIME STORIES (PART II)

 

I’M IN THE TUB, GONE. By Richard James Carlson

 

Publish America, Baltimore. 2004. 123 pages.
Available at the San Diego Police Museum and on Amazon.com

 

Reviewed by Walter Hall

 

“Today is the final day of this life…”

 

Only once in a long while do we encounter a book that just won’t let go. This is one of those books. The subject is suicide; the format is simple: a collection of the notes left behind. Identities are protected, but the texts are rendered just as they were found. Unvarnished. No commentary. Just a last wish, an edgy accusation, or a lonely cry against the coming night. Each voice wallops the unsuspecting reader from a different corner of life.

 

An experienced SDPD emergency negotiator, Richard Carlson introduces the collected letters and notes with a personal appeal not to give up. He is addressing two audiences: those who would consider taking their lives and the rest of us. After absorbing even a handful of these notes, readers will find it difficult to argue.


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BOOK REVIEW: TRUE CRIME STORIES

 

EAST OF SAN DIEGO. The Lost History of the East San Diego Police Department, 1912-1923. By Gary E. Mitrovich

 

San Diego Police Historical Association, San Diego, 2008. 112 pages, illustrated.  Distributed by Sunbelt Publications, El Cajon, CA.

 

Reviewed by Walter Hall

 


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BOOK REVIEW: FIRE, CHAPARRAL, AND SURVIVAL IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

 

by Richard W. Halsey

 

Second Edition, Revised and Updated
Sunbelt Publications, San Diego. 2008. 232 pages, illustrated, color plates.

 

Reviewed by Walter Hall

 

“The Viejas fire in ’01, the Galivan fire in ’02, and then again during the Cedar fire in ’03. It’s always the same damn thing.” -- A weary incident commander back on the fire line


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BOOK REVIEW: HOWARD DEAN’S PRESCRIPTION FOR REAL HEALTHCARE REFORM: HOW WE CAN ACHIEVE AFFORDABLE MEDICAL CARE FOR EVERY AMERICAN AND MAKE OUR JOBS SAFER

By Howard Dean, M.D.
Chelsea Green Publishing

 

Reviewed by Miriam Raftery

 

The free market just doesn’t work in medicine. You can’t be an informed consumer. I never saw someone with severe chest pain jump off the table and say, Doctor, I’m going to the cheaper guy down the street.” -- Howard Dean. M.D. , on a recent book tour in San Diego


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LEAVE NO MAN BEHIND: THE SAGA OF COMBAT SEARCH AND RESCUE

 

George Galdorisi and Thomas Phillips.
Minneapolis, Zenith Press. 2008. 642 pages.

 

Reviewed by Walter Hall

 


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HOPE BEGINS IN THE DARK

Book Review by Dennis Moore

Jamie Reno, an award-winning journalist and an 11-year survivor of stage IV non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, has written a book about the resilience of the human spirit. Hope Begins in the Dark chronicles the lives of 50 lymphoma survivors, revealing their exclusive stories. The book speaks of the frailty of our existence as human beings and the lengths that we will go to in order to maintain a certain semblance of a quality of life.


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