Welcome to our website. This site is here to provide a community for all you book lovers. I've set up a discussion area for you to discuss your favorite books. We'll have reviews of old and new books in the Reviews section. Upcoming titles and information from major publishers will be listed in the news/home page section, as well as updates on when new reviews have been posted, community information, etc.

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Review: The Visitors Book – Sophie Hannah

Posted on: November 22nd, 2016 By Rick Rhodes

 

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 Hardcover: 96 pages
Publisher: Sort of Books (October 22, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1908745525
ISBN-13: 978-1908745521
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Synopsis

A collection of short stories with a supernatural twist.

Review

This was a great collection of short stories. Each one had a bit of a supernatural twist. I won’t review each individual story, because that would involve spoiling them as they are short stories. But with the long winter months coming up, this is a great book to read by the warm fire. Each one details a specific character’s story and their being thrust into the world of ghosts. The stories are well developed and kept my attention. If I had one thing negative to say it might be that at times, I wasn’t sure if it was from the viewpoint of a dead person, or a living person looking into the world of the dead. Overall though, a great set of stories and a very enjoyable book. If you like ghost stories, then be sure to pick this up.

About the Author

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Wendy at Partners in Crime Tours for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Review: The Body in the Birches – Katherine Hall Page -

Posted on: October 11th, 2016 By Rick Rhodes
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: William Morrow (May 12, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062310828
ISBN-13: 978-9780062310828
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Characters:

Synopsis:

Review

Sophie Maxwell and her entire family was spending time at the Birches. Her Uncle Paul, whose wife died a year earlier was finally getting around to reading her will. But the fun vacation turned to tragedy, when Bev the family housekeeper is found murdered on the beach. Sophie gets Faith Fairchild, a neighbor and amateur sleuth to look into it. Was it her Uncle Simon? Her mother? And why was she killed? Was she somehow connect to the will?

I really liked this, it wasn’t as fast paced as I would have liked, but it was an enjoyable story. A lot of time, four chapters, was spent on character development which seemed a bit excessive at times. But the characters were interesting, and had realistic personalities and motivations. The plot was kind of run of the mill. But overall, I found it to be an enjoyable mystery.

About the Author

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to at William Morrow for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Review: Life is Beautiful: How a Lost Girl Became a True, Confident Child of God – Sarah M. Johnson

Posted on: October 6th, 2016 By Rick Rhodes
Life is Beautiful
Hardcover: 198 pages
Publisher: Morgan James Publishing (August 25, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1630474886
ISBN-13: 978-1630474881
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Synopsis:

Review

Sarah Johnson and her family were going on a mission trip to help build schools in Guatemala. Enroute to the small village, the plan she was on crashed. Eleven of the fourteen people on board were killed, including her father and brother. Her mother was seriously injured, and events would also damage their relationship. This memoir is a record of that time, her struggles, her families flaws, and how she managed to overcome the most traumatic even to occur in her lie and how she found her faith again.

This book was a very quick and very short read. The author is very detailed about things that went on, and about her family. Some of it was very sad, such as her dad’s meth use, and her mother’s anger issues with her over events of the wreck. I found her to have a very inspiring and interesting story, and it kept me turning the pages wanting to see how someone can still see the good in life when almost everything they’ve loved was taken from them.

About the Author

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to at for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Review: The Shifting Sands of Cam Ranh Bay – Janice Stroud Sentif, Lt. Col. Carolyn J. Eberhart

Posted on: October 4th, 2016 By Rick Rhodes
The Shifting Sands of Cam Ranh Bay
Paperback: 216 pages
Publisher: Shifting Sands (February 22, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0615608043
ISBN-13: 978-0615608044
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Synopsis:

Review

The Vietnam War, we hear all about the soldiers, the battles, and the politics. One area though, we hear little about and that’s about the combat nurses. From 1964 to 1975 there were only 7500 women to serve in Vietnam. This memoir is the story of some of those women. We follow along from one receiving their first orders, through all the daily life and perils, to the end when they finally get to go home. But it’s not one woman’s story, but the stories of many women.

I loved this book. For the first time, I was able to see every step of the process for a soldier going through the war. In the process I learned a lot about the Vietnam War, the military, and the nursing program. The author did a great job in compiling all the anecdotes and putting it all together into a cohesive timeframe. The prose flowed very easy, and I found it very easy to read and understand what was going on. Overall a terrific memoir on a seldom noticed faction of the Vietnam War.

About the Author

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to at for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Review: Jane Doe January – Emily Winslow

Posted on: September 29th, 2016 By Rick Rhodes
Jane Doe January
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: William Morrow (May 24, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062434802
ISBN-13: 978-0062434807
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Synopsis:

A memoir detailing a woman’s struggle to find and put her rapist in jail.

Review

This was a very difficult book for me to read, not because it wasn’t well written, but because of the subject matter. Emily Winslow was a junior at Carnegie Mellon University. She was majoring in drama, and doing very well. Then her world changed. As she was headed into her apartment, a man grabbed her, forced her into her apartment, where he raped her. She would spend the next twenty years trying to have this man convicted.

This book while about a very dark subject matter, was a very nicely written memoir. She details every aspect of the case, going into very detailed explanations of her research, the case itself, and her life as a result of this heineous crime. There were times where I was drawn into her story, and when you think things are finally turning out, obstacles get put in her path. Still, she manages to tell a vivid story of a very painful aspect of her life. I’d not heard of her prior to this, but by the time I was through I had gained a ton of respect for her. Considering the subject matter, I’m not sure who I’d recommend it for,, maybe for those wanting to maybe understand things from an insider perspective. But if you can deal with the subject matter, than pick up a copy. Be sure to drop back by and let us know what you thought.

About the Author

Emily Winslow is an American living in Cambridge, England. She trained as an actor at Carnegie Mellon University’s prestigious drama conservatory and earned a master’s degree in museum studies from Seton Hall University. For six years she wrote for Games magazine, creating increasingly elaborate and lavishly illustrated logic puzzles. She lives with her husband and two sons.

Trigger Warnings

Contains recollections of rape.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Danielle at Harper Collins for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Review: Bobby Rydell: Teen Idol on the Rocks – Bobby Rydell

Posted on: September 27th, 2016 By Rick Rhodes
Bobby Rydell
Paperback: 266 pages
Publisher: Doctor Licks Publishing (April 29, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0997385103
ISBN-13: 978-0997385106
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Review

He was riding high on the rock & roll mountain in the 1960s. Hanging out with people like Fabian, Frankie Avalon and even Sinatra. But the ride was brief. Along with the glamour of rock and roll came a lot of womanizing, and alcohol problems. In this memoir, Bobby Rydell tells all. From his humble beginnings in South Philadelphia to the top of the music charts, and to the crashes that came afterwards. A rock and rollercoaster of a ride through life.

I found this a very interesting and very fast memoir to read. It was rather short at 148 pages, but very fact filled. I learned about him, about the music world during that time period, and some of the pitfalls these “teen idols” would find themselves falling into. For fans of the early days of Rock & Roll, of Bobby Rydell, or just music in general, I’d definitely recommend this book.

Trigger Warnings

None

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Rebecca at The Cadence Group for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Review: The Darkling Child – Terry Brooks

Posted on: June 13th, 2016 By Rick Rhodes
The Darkling Child
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Del Rey (June 9, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0345540794
ISBN-13: 978-0345540799
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Synopsis:

Reyn Frosch has trouble. Everytime he’s threatened, people end up dead, and he doesn’t know why. There are two people that do know, Arcannen and Paxon Leah. Paxon wants to protect him, Arcannen wants to control him. Reyn is caught in tug of war with no idea which side to trust.

Characters:

Paxon Leah – Wielder of the Sword of Leah and Defender of the Druids.
Arcannen – Dark Wizard
Reyn Frosch – A man discovering he has the ability of the Wishsong.

Review

In this followup to The High Druid’s Blade, the reader now finds Paxon Leah as the defender of the Druid Order. The story begins as he’s called into the office of the Ard Rhys, Aphenglow Elessedil, who proceeds to tell Paxon that she’s dying, and she has one more mission for him. He escorts her to the Hadeshorn, where her spirit joins with that of all the other druids. When Paxon returns, he’s notified that one of the Druids has noticed a familiar pattern in the waters, showing the use of some form of magic. This is where the plot than switches between that of Reyn Frosch, a young man with magic he doesn’t understand, Arcannen who is wishing to possess control of Reyn’s magic, and Paxon’s group who want to protect Reyn.

I really enjoy this. This series has seemed like a slight departure for Mr. Brooks. While you still have the normal trappings, good, evil, wishsong, there’s no global threat but only the threat of Arcannen wanting to seize power. In some ways, this is a fantasy version of a political thriller. That I think was the interesting aspect to it. Like all of Mr. Brooks books, which I’ve read, I found myself loving this one, and I look forward to when I have time to crack the cover on it, and return once again to the world of Shannara.

About the Author

Terry Brooks is the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books, including the Dark Legacy of Shannara adventure Wards of Faerie; the Legends of Shannara novels Bearers of the Black Staff and The Measure of the Magic; the Genesis of Shannara trilogy: Armageddon’s Children, The Elves of Cintra, and The Gypsy Morph; The Sword of Shannara; the Voyage of the Jerle Shannara trilogy: Ilse Witch, Antrax, and Morgawr; the High Druid of Shannara trilogy: Jarka Ruus, Tanequil, and Straken; the nonfiction book Sometimes the Magic Works: Lessons from a Writing Life; and the novel based upon the screenplay and story by George Lucas, Star Wars:® Episode I The Phantom Menace.™

His novels Running with the Demon and A Knight of the Word were selected by the Rocky Mountain News as two of the best science fiction/fantasy novels of the twentieth century. The author was a practicing attorney for many years but now writes full-time. He lives with his wife, Judine, in the Pacific Northwest.

You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Review: The Culture of Open – Nick Berg

Posted on: June 7th, 2016 By Rick Rhodes
The Culture of Open
Paperback: 148 pages
Publisher: NSB Publishing (April 2, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0692659919
ISBN-13: 978-0692659915
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We’ve all seen the extremes that companies will go to in keeping their secrets. But many times, keeping these secrets can cost a company. In The Culture of Open, author Nick Berg details what openness is, how companies can be more transparent, and the benefits of doing so. He also covers examples of companies who adopted transparency and who didn’t, and how each was impacted.

Overall, I found this company fascinating. As a former programmer, I’ve seen what the benefits of having things like open source software can be. The book was well written, and was very informative. The real world examples are something everyone could understand. The text is written, so even if you aren’t a business professional, you can still understand it, so the author doesn’t get too technical. I find that quite a relief in this type of book. So if you’re a CEO of a large corporation, or a small business owner, and you want to give yourself that edge, than pick up The Culture of Open, I have a feeling it might help you.

About the Author

Nick Berg Executive level strategist with over 20 years of innovation and global business experience, Nick Berg advises C-level peers on the impact of particular people, processes and technology solutions for the corporation as a whole. He believes true value is the fluency in both business and technology. As a business process improvement consultant, Berg advises Fortune 500 companies on cultural and business transformation.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Author for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Review: Finding Unauthorized Faith in Harry Potter – Nicole L. Rivera

Posted on: April 21st, 2016 By Rick Rhodes
Finding Unauthorized Faith in Harry Potter
Paperback: 260 pages
Publisher: Hickey’s Books (July 13, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0996524207
ISBN-13: 978-0996524209
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Synopsis:

A look into all seven books in the Harry Potter series and how you can draw parallels between them and the Christian religion.

Review

Harry Potter, a world of Magic and dark forces. The idea of their children being exposed to it, is a big drawback to parents. Due to their religious beliefs, they object to their children reading about Wizards and witchcraft. The same argument has been used since I was a teenager playing Dungeons and Dragons. However, parents have the right to be concerned. No one wants to tell them what they can and can’t believe. But Nicole Rivera was a big Harry Potter fan and also a woman of faith. She set out to see how the two compare, and Finding Unauthorized Faith in Harry Potter is the result.

Each section of the book details one of the books in the Harry Potter series. I liked it being divided like this, because it can be used as a kind of reader’s guide. Read Harry Potter and the Sorcer’s Stone, then read about how various bible passages parallel the lessons that can be drawn from it.

I found the book very interesting, although a bit spoiler filled as I’ve only read the first book in Harry Potter. That fact aside though, it was well written, and well researched, and was obvious to me that it was a product of Ms. Rivera’s love for both the Bible and Harry Potter. I’d recommend this for all ages, and especially those who might be intersted in Harry Potter, but a bit reluctant. It’d be a good opportunity for both parent and child to read the books together, and discuss them.

About the Author

Nicole RiveraThere is a quote that says, “If you can quit, quit. If you can’t, you’re a writer.” Ever since I could write, I loved to write, especially stories. Stories are my passion which is why I wrote “The Parable of Harry Potter” series (book 1 released), to explore one of my favorite stories of all time!

My goal is to write the books I would want to read. I believe that in writing what I want to read, I will write what others want to read.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes the Author for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Review: The Jericho River – David W. Tollen

Posted on: April 19th, 2016 By Rick Rhodes
The Jericho River
Paperback: 356 pages
Publisher: Winifred Press; 2 edition (August 4, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0985451726
ISBN-13: 978-0985451721
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Synopsis:

Jason Gallo is the son of a father who is an avid historian. After his mother dies, things become difficult between he and his father. Then his father is found in a somewhat comatose like state. Jason is tasked with going on an adventure that can only occur through a dream state. This adventure takes Jason on a journey through the entire history of western man.

Characters:

Jason Gallo – Young explorer.
Rim-Hadad – A Barbarian
Tia – Egyptian Temple Priestess.

Review

This book while aimed at younger readers, I found very interesting. Each chapter begins with a note from Dr. Gallo, father to Jason. This note informs the reader of the historical facts behind what Jason will be witnessing in that chapter. The overall plotline is rather simple, Jason must find his father who is lost. Along the way, Jason meets many companions, which in a way is similar to Wizard of Oz and many other such stories. This historical blending into the storyline I found very fascinating, and ended up really enjoying it, and even at my age, found that I learned a bit about history, which was it’s intent.

Overall the book is good for young teens. There are some scenes of mild violence that may not be suitable for some readers. The characters are well developed and very interesting. Overall for teens and pre-teens just beginning to learn world History, I think this would be great book to expose them to. I’ve discovered from experience that a lot of people learn and retain more when the subject is made fun, and this does make the subject fun.

About the Author

David W. TollenDavid Tollen writes novels that teach history and science — as well as works of nonfiction about technology law.

David’s first novel, THE JERICHO RIVER, won first place at both the London Book Festival and the Next Generation Indie Book Awards. It also won a bronze medal in the Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews and Awards Contest, among other honors. THE JERICHO RIVER is a novel that uses fantasy to teach the history of Western Civilization. It’s published by Winifred Press. (The book’s first edition was released under the author pen-name “David Carthage.” The current/second edition uses the author’s actual name.)

David’s second novel — not yet published — is SECRETS OF HOMINEA, a middle grade fantasy that teaches history and science.

David is also the author of THE TECH CONTRACTS HANDBOOK: CLOUD COMPUTING AGREEMENTS, SOFTWARE LICENSES, AND OTHER IT CONTRACTS FOR LAWYERS AND BUSINESSPEOPLE (Second Edition). It’s published by the American Bar Association, and it’s the number-one bestseller for the Intellectual Property Law Section of the ABA. THE TECH CONTRACTS HANDBOOK is a how-to guide for drafting and negotiating IT agreements, written in simple English.

David earned law degrees from Harvard Law School and Cambridge University in England, as well as a B.A. in history from U.C. Berkeley. He’s the founder of Sycamore Legal P.C., a San Francisco technology and intellectual property law firm. He also provides training and expert witness services related to negotiating and drafting IT contracts.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Rebecca at The Cadence Group for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.