Keoni has a really big question he keeps asking people but nobody gives him the answer he is looking for. After many years of being friends with Old Fisherman he never thought of asking him his big question, until the day of the storm when he saw the rainbow. Keoni couldn't understand why his friend was looking at the rainbow and crying.
Keoni's question was a really good one about God. I learned something about God that I didn't think about before. When Keoni got the answer to his big question from Old Fisherman he was happier than happy! I didn't really think about seeing God until I go to Heaven. I think other Christian children would enjoy learning about God in this way too. Even some kids that don't know about God should read this book to understand God more.My favorite part of "Keoni's Big Question" by Patti B. Ogden was when Keoni told Old Fisherman he could see God inside of him. This was so sweet. If you can see God in someone they must really be a good person.
Listen to interview on Inside Scoop Live
Read interview with Patti Ogden
Monday, March 30, 2009
Michael Kasenow resourcefully tracks the plight of the oppressed and exploited "alley people" of Galveston, Texas in the post Civil War era. "The Last Paradise" is a stirring story of the strength and endurance of these unwavering men and women fighting to keep their dignity through the trials of injustice and bigotry in the age of Jim Crow.
In an environment where hypocrisy and corporate corruption are intent on spawning racism, prejudice, and poverty, Michael Kasenow weaves a powerful story of the courage, strength and survival of downtrodden men and their families. The alley people reflect an inner strength of character lacking in the affluent, town "bullies," the bigoted police officers, and the unscrupulous civic leaders in an atmosphere of political tension.
The story moves forward with well-chosen words that begin at a lazy pace, casual, yet compelling - a nonchalance in keeping with the era and locale - Galveston in the early 1900s. Kasenow uses friendly moving banter among friends mixed with cutting barbs, sarcasm and prejudice to develop his characters. His descriptive word pictures draw the reader into his narrative as he describes the "crooked ambiance of Tin Can Alley" or how "the docks bustled with organized chaos."
Vivid and detailed descriptions bring to life the architecture and commerce of downtown Galveston, the harbor, St. Mary's Orphanage, the salt marshes, and the wetlands.
A master at character development, Kasenow's colorful cast include the regulars a Bleach's Bar, the "working girls" upstairs, Boss Conner and his wharf crew, the nuns and children at St. Mary's orphanage, Bishop and his family, Jenny and Sara Conner, Newt, and Maxwell and young Cody.
Kasenow writes with such realism I felt the shame and humiliation of Bishop and his family as they were intimidated and harassed brutally before their friends by representatives of the law. In his account of the after effects of the Great Hurricane of 1900, Kasenow engaged the reader in all five senses: the stench of fear and death, the tenderness of touch in providing comfort, and the seeing of loved ones – thought dead. I felt the cooling water on a parched throat, heard the thrashing of hurricane force winds, and was left with the haunting memory of devastation left behind after the storm.
"The Last Paradise" contrasts the emptiness of greed and the lust for power with the hopefulness and moral fiber of the alley people of the Galveston wharf. The novel is brutally forthright as it portrays an honest look at the brutality of evil men. On a lighter note Kasenow includes both rollicking and subtle humor and a thread of romance throughout the story.
As in his poetic writings, Kasenow reveals the strength and triumph over despair, which produces healing through kindness with the reward of hope during harsh and chaotic times. "The Last Paradise" an editors choice book, is destined to establish Michael Kasenow as a serious historical fiction author.
Monday, March 23, 2009
In "Breakaway: How I Survived Abuse" the author Nadia Sahari tells us the story of her life. Unfortunately, many of the events that she experienced in her early years were heart-wrenching because they involved sexual and physical abuse. She bares her soul to us as she describes horrific events that she experienced. I think that it was important for her to do this, so that if the reader is going through the same experiences, they will know that they are not alone and that there is hope. For a person who is not experiencing abuse, Nadia's story will give them an understanding, and answer many of the "why" questions that run through the heads of people that have not had these experiences, such as, "Why didn't she tell anybody?"
In addition to dealing with the abuse, Nadia also had issues regarding being from a different culture. Being of Lebanese descent, her family was not receptive to her mixing with the Americans. She endured a great deal of abuse from her father, for going against him on this issue. Her family also tried to keep her very naïve about life, which set her up for being in situations where she did not know how to handle herself. The fact that she was a good person at heart, really shined through the pages, and made my heart go out to her. She endured abuse and betrayal by family members, then a spouse. In the end though, Nadia came out on top. This will give women who are in similar situations much hope. She also offers a list of resources to access for more information and help.
I loved reading "Breakaway: How I Survived Abuse" because it taught me how strong someone can be, and also to never give up hope. Others will see this message as well. I hated that it had to be a true story, because of the amount of pain and suffering Nadia was forced to endure. This is not something that a person could wish on anybody. By sharing her story with the world, Nadia Sahari has made her life story one that will inspire others. I admire her for being willing to do this. I think that everyone should read this book.Read interview with Nadia Sahari
Monday, March 16, 2009
Dwayne Murray, Sr.
I find it difficult to assess this book fairly, since the world in it is so far removed from the one I choose to live in and was blessed enough to be born into as well. Let me make one thing very clear – I do not condemn anybody for living a life different from mine. Life is all about making choices, and we are free to make the any way we want. But such utter wickedness and unlimited capacity for violence make my head hurt, to say the least. They also make me be thankful for being who I am and where I am in my life right now. Yet I have to admit that in its own way, this is a brilliant book. The author has a very distinctive voice, and his descriptions of urban life of a significant percentage of the United States' population are priceless. His characters are three-dimensional and so fantastically twisted that one has to be fascinated by them. To keep matters more interesting, the one that should be the good one, the beautiful and seductive Raven, is anything but good; and the other that should be the bad one, the drug addict Crystal, will surprise everybody with her platinum character. The tale of the beautiful Raven, blowing into the lives of the tenants at 666 Cypress Avenue in Bronx like a welcome fresh breath of air; and then doing her best to blow them apart like a tornado, will make anybody think twice about moving into any building carrying the unlucky number 666…
Dwayne Murray's "Like a Good Neighbor" is not a pretty book, but it is decidedly a powerful one. Keeping it real is an important attribute, and they do not come much more real than this.
Examining and putting forward the turbulent environment of college students anywhere and at any time makes any specification of place and time necessary, thus the writer does not give an exact location or an exact date For those that focus on detail this may be hard to overcome but this dismissal of information lends to the universal relevance of the characters.
I could see myself, as you will be able to see yourself, among the group of self-centered, free-wheeling, fun-loving college students. We are not always proud of who-we-were during those years of discovery but every experience you go through makes you grow stronger. With characters that are not all good or all bad, we read of a group that is loveable and dislikeable all in one. Sometimes, and definitely in this case, extraordinary things transpire in the most ordinary of circumstances.
With "Childsong," Thor Polson uses his talent with words to create a piece of work that was definitely worth the twenty-year wait. This is not meant to be an easy read, but once you become engrossed in the story, and you will, you will not put this book down. When you are reading the final sentence ("They sat silently in the park and listened to the wind in the trees.") you will realize life is what you make of it.Read interview with Thor Polson
Monday, March 9, 2009
Mark Delama is a young, very idealistic aid worker, stationed in Ethiopia during the Mengistu's rule. His idealistic viewpoint is slowly, but surely being shattered the more he deals with a variety of corrupt politicians, policemen and assorted thugs posing as the good guys. In a short period of time he's been arrested, threatened by a variety of officials and also made aware of the dangerous games some of the highly placed locals are playing for personal gain. There are several moving side-plots, involving the local people, most notably a young Sudanese freedom fighter, Gatwech, who becomes a pawn in a dirty game of power; and Mr. Belai, an old man who wants to do the right thing for his family, but pays dearly for that desire. Those two are loosely connected by Lucy, whose character is not my favorite in the book; and I dare to say most readers will agree with me after having read the book. There are plenty other villains in it, some more likeable than others, and some of them utterly intriguing, Tesfaye probably being the most unexpected one. This heady mix of international intrigue (my favorite being the games Americans and British play with each other), oppressive local brand of Communism, exploitation of locals, sparkly emeralds, the heady scents and flavors of Africa as well as some breathtakingly beautiful descriptions of Africa is cleverly intermingled with scenes from Mark's private life and his developing love story with a young American journalist, Val. Author's love and knowledge of Africa are very much evident, and his descriptions are powerful and make a real impact.
I would recommend "The Tethered Goat" by Nicholas Winer to anybody interested in the politics of the 80s, the real Africa or anybody who enjoys a fast-moving, thrilling and hard-hitting story. I am looking forward for more illuminating reading from this talented author.
In this wonderful, historically-based narrative by PapaGino, the main character, Shani, creates an entire new world while also finding her own. Overall, the book was fantastic, but I feel that it jumped around a lot, and at times, went a little too fast. Although the book's storyline was excellent, it seemed to have a lot of grammatical errors.
Shani is a very outgoing young girl whose personality will inspire many young readers. In the book, the people of the Kush realize that wherever Shani's descendants are living that their great ancestors will be found there as well. Shani's experiences show us that we are always surrounded by the people we love, and the people who love us. I learned that you can accomplish your goals and dreams if you really put your mind to it.
Anyone between the ages of 6 and 9 would enjoy this book, even though there are some difficult pronunciations. It would be a really good book to read to a young child or a toddler. My favorite part was when the king explained how the great ancestors were present wherever their descendants were.
When PapaGino writes in the future, I would like to see more detail and explanation as to what happens over the course of the 100 years that were left out in the story. Each chapter in "The Legend of Moon Mountain" was very entertaining, and kept the story moving forward. I could feel the emotions of the characters on every page. The story definitely keeps your attention. The author gets the message of the story across superbly, and I look forward to reading many more of his books.Read interview with author
Monday, March 2, 2009
It starts out with Jack telling that he has to write an autobiography for a project. He starts out telling about himself and Christine. The whole book is told from different people's perspectives, Jack's narrating his part of the story and then Christine and Jack's other friends telling other parts.
My absolute favorite part about the book was the cover. The bear showed that the author is still young at heart even though he isn't a child anymore. The word life written in rainbow font shows that even though life gives you lemons at times, if you look at everything the bright way, nothing will ever seem that bad.
Overall, I would say that this book was good, but kind of confusing. A lot of times, I couldn't tell what was happening so I had to reread passages or even chapters to understand what the author was getting at. When the point of view changes throughout the book, many times you are left wondering as to what has happened in the pages that you have just read.
Confusing parts aside, this was a very cute love story that showed loss and gain and how one girl helped a guy find himself and learn who he should really be. I would recommend "Life: An Autobiography as Told by Jack Gunthridge" to anyone on a voyage to find their self, because once you have seen someone else's insight into their life, your life becomes easier to understand.
John C. Hughes
Hypnotism, prevalent in Europe, was attempted to be introduced to America by Marquis de Lafayette just after the Revolutionary War. Immediately before sailing to America he wrote a letter to George Washington introducing Mesmer's discovery of animal magnetism and the promise to reveal the secret. However, after Lafayette arrived and was wined and dined by the Thirteen States, he didn't even mention it. At that time the notion of hypnotism dropped until the 1840s when Charles Poyen, a French missionary, brought it up again. However, erroneous notions surrounded the art and didn't excel in America as proponents has expected. It wasn't until after the Civil War that Phineas Parkhurst Quimby, a follower of Poyen, became a skillful hypnotist and during the six years (1860-1866) of his practice treated over twelve thousand persons.
From that time on, but not without struggle of acceptance, hypnotism for healing purposes excelled. In 1976 Milton H. Erickson, well known as the American forerunner of hypnotism, received the newly created Benjamin Franklin Gold Metal Award for the highest level of achievement in the theory and practice of hypnotism. Hypnotism is widely used and accepted today for healing purposes by medical professionals as well as certified hypnotherapists.
When the opportunity came up for me to review this book, I was elated. Being a former certified practitioner of hypnotherapy I still have my interests in the modality and was pleased to re-visit the history. John C. Hughes is a master writer of history. "The Illustrated History of Hypnotism" brings out his skills, not only as a writer of history but also as an authority in the field of hypnotism. Hughes' work is well researched, concise, and educational. Every student and practitioner of hypnotism must consider adding this book to their library of resources, as well as every school that teaches this modality must add it to their curriculum. I highly recommend this classic!