Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Cross The Bridge To A Better Life: Discover Your Adventure by David McGee

5 of 5 stars  *****

An excellent, easy-to-read book by Pastor David McGee, who has an interesting history, himself, that adds the flavor of his intellect, experience, and study to the Word of God applied in today's world.

Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever by Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard

5 of 5 stars  *****

I savor this account of Lincoln's last days here on Earth. The short, well-written, information-packed chapters allow me to read it as I do the Bible, daily, for a brief time, so I may absorb the content slowly. I read books and listen to Audiobooks during the same period so Killing Lincoln's format makes this convenient. 

Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard craft a work of art with their honest, in-depth research. History should display the truth as much as humanly possible and Killing Lincoln presents this noble attempt at doing just that for this most memorable slice of time.

Thomas Paine: Enlightenment, Revolution, and the Birth of Modern Nations by Craig Nelson

5 of 5 stars  *****

I now understand why I knew very little about Thomas Paine, other than he being the author of "Common Sense." His brilliance and enigmatic nature cause devotion and hatred, depending on one's philosophy of life and government. Many contradicting, defamatory claims about this man have been dispelled but some are kept alive still by those less informed. His writings are studied and quoted widely. 

Author, Craig Nelson, reveals Paine's deep and honest pursuit of truth. It seems that those who pursue truth above all else cause the most controversy since most people are not keen on incriminating exposure. This biography does not only show Thomas Paine's greatness but also his deficiencies; hence, the opportunity for his enemies to slander and assault him. Some of Paine's most worthy adversaries were once his closest friends. 

The challenges of Thomas Paine's writings inspire some and enrage others. For any man to write such powerful prose that arouses countries to either employ him or convict him is a testament to his profundity. 

I shall endeavor to read his other masterpieces, "Rights of Man" and "The Age of Reason."

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Millennium #3) by Stieg Larsson, Reg Keeland (Translator)

5 of 5 stars  *****

A superb story excellently plotted throughout three books: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and this, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, which culminates this fascinating story with an ending that does not disappoint but leaves one wanting more. 

Once I learned that Stieg Larsson passed away, I felt compelled to complete his wonderful trilogy. I am very pleased that I was able to enjoy his talent, once again, with this last account.

The Sum of All Fears (Jack Ryan #6) by Tom Clancy

5 of 5 stars  *****

An excellent yarn in typical Tom Clancy fashion, intrigue, danger, and the human element of compassion in the midst of a nuclear war scenario.

Anthem by Ayn Rand

4 of 5 stars  ****

A good read/listen about a dystopic world whereby an extreme, collective society exists with law and hierarchic structure that is contrary to human nature. Ayn Rand develops her philosophy of Objectivism in this story about the rebirth of the individual.

Stone Of Destiny by Ian R. Hamilton, Alex Salmond (Foreword)

4 of 5 stars  ****

Slow moving but interesting enough to entertain along the quest for the fire of freedom symbolized by the Stone of Scotland.

Special Choice Recipes by Kappa Books, Inc.

4 of 5 stars  ****

Many recipes from around the world that includes jellies, puddings, and international main favorites like prepared meats: Florentine Beef Pinwheel, Garlic-Stuffed Sirloin, Curried Beef Kabobs with Tomato Couscous, and Creole Pepper Steak. I could go on with other dishes but I am getting hungry.

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks (Goodreads Author)

4 of 5 stars  ****

Plenty of action in this fast-paced Sci-fi thriller that keeps one glued to their seats.

The Harbinger: The Ancient Mystery that Holds the Secret of America's Future by Jonathan Cahn

5 of 5 stars  *****

Jonathan Cahn writes a superb fictional narrative about a non-fictional occurrence that spans over 2500 years. Listening to The Harbinger on Audiobook, narration by the author, is a pleasure and appropriate since the message it delivers is meant to be heard by everyone. I am going to buy the book, next, so I have it for reference at my fingertips.

Jonathan Cahn came to my attention via Glenn Beck when this book was first published. Glenn recommended Cahn's profound work then and still does today for those who have not read or heard it, yet. I was, also, recommended this book by the many people who have experienced it and for whom I have great respect.

The Flowers of War by Geling Yan, Nicky Harman (Translator)

5 of 5 stars  *****

The brutal war between Japan and China in World War II leaves an indelible impression on a young girl in a Chinese convent. This is a story that brings war to the audience in a realistic portrayal that finds the greatness of the human spirit amid the pain and sacrifice of tragedy.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

4 out of 5 stars  ****

I listened to this book, Audiobook, and enjoyed the narration by Frank Muller as much as the rich language and writing style of Charles Dickens. I was there, in every scene, hearing every thought that occurred simultaneously with every action, including body language. I have never listened to any other book that achieved such a vision. Because of this expert rendition, I enjoyed the story. An old classic was fresh and interesting.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot by Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard

5 of 5 stars  *****

An excellent read that makes me have a whole new respect for JFK and Jackie.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

3 of 5 stars  ***

I listened to the Audiobook version and found it to be okay but really not my cup of tea. It reminded me of soap opera too much.

Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate A Cappella Glory by Mickey Rapkin

4 of 5 stars  ****

An enjoyable story about the goals of talented young people achieving their dreams in the midst of young adult drama.

Fifty Shades Freed (Fifty Shades #3) by E.L. James (Goodreads Author)

4 of 5 stars  ****

The third book of E. L. James's Fifty Shades trilogy Fifty Shades Freed, is just as descriptive and interesting as the first two books but a little too long.

Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades #2) by E.L. James (Goodreads Author), Becca Battoe (Reading)

5 of 5 stars  *****

The second book of the Fifty Shades trilogy is more romantic and revealing. It ends as the start of a thriller. Now to listen to Becca Battoe's entertaining narration of E. L. James's last book, Fifty Shades Freed.

Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades #1) by E.L. James (Goodreads Author), Becca Battoe (Narrator)

5 of 5 stars  *****

E L James writes a beautifully descriptive, erotic romance that questions the values of today's society by reflecting unlimited wealth with kinky porn. Filters of restraint and respect make the character, Christian Grey, both desirable and despicable simultaneously for Anna Steele, the young virgin who discovers her own sexuality through Mr Perfect's imperfections. Hence, the tension of the story that either holds one's attention or disgusts one to the point of putting Fifty Shades of Grey down, never to be reopened, lest one indulge in sinful behavior.

I laugh many, many times throughout Becca Bettoe's talented narration, especially when in Anastasia Steele's mind and conscience, her inner goddess. Becca's voice is the perfect age for Anna and her inflections, along with E L James's excellent use of vocabulary, paint every scene, erotic or not, into a poignant, entertaining vision. 

I immediately start listening to the second book of this trilogy, Fifty Shades Darker.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Islamic Antichrist by Joel Richardson

5 of 5 stars  *****

Joel Richardson researches and writes a very important and interesting book that compares the Bible and the Qur'an revealing 21 uncanny similarities between the two when it comes to the Antichrist. The two-part Audiobook narrated by Richard Powers allows the listener enjoyment while being educated. I recommend this book in any format because the content applies to a most serious subject, the threat of Islamization in the world by an ideology that is setting the stage, as predicted, for the end of days.

The World of O.Henry by O. Henry, Frank Muller (Translation)

4 of 5 stars  ****

William Sidney Porter, O Henry, entertains with the language as well as the story. This collection of short stories is an example of the diverse adventures inside this classic author. The collection includes: The Gift of the Magi, The Reformation of Calliope, One Thousand Dollars, The Pimienta Pancakes, The Badge of Policeman O’Roon, The Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen, Caught, The Whirligig of Life, Makes the Whole World Kin, The Cop and the Anthem, Memoirs of a Yellow Dog, The Last Leaf, A Newspaper Story, The Skylight Room, A Retrieved Reformation, The Rubaiyat of a Scotch Highball, The Passing of Black Eagle, The Green Door, Whistling Dick’s Christmas Stocking, The Furnished Room, Springtime รก la Carte, and A Madison Square Arabian Night. I am particularly fond of Memoirs of a Yellow Dog and The Passing of Black Eagle.

Disinformation: Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategy for Undermining Freedom, Attacking Religion, and Promoting Terrorism by Ion Mihai Pacepa

5 of 5 stars  *****

Very sobering account of the history of Disinformation used to change the minds of impressionable youths by infiltrating education, politics, business, the military, and changing the history of a country to usurp one ideology for a false one based on lies and deception that resorts to murder and intimidation to achieve its goals. The director of this double DVD set, Stan Moore, utilizes the personal accounts of those who have lived in Communist countries and moved to the United States of America just to see the same process occurring here in America today. I highly recommend this DVD set and/or book to everyone interested in Truth before it becomes too late to preserve the greatest nation that has ever existed in history.

Fight: Are You Willing to Pick a Fight with Evil? (God's Man Series) by Kenny Luck

5 of 5 stars  *****

Kenny Luck writes a book for Christian men that inspires in ways not anticipated and bases his research on the Word and his own struggles with the world and the flesh. This is a book for the times as a war against Christianity is obviously underway.

When Good Men Do Nothing by John J. Matey

5 of 5 stars  *****

I savor this book for all its common sense, inspiration, and excellent research. I especially relish the bonus speech by 40 year-old Noah Webster at the end of the book. I highly recommend this book to everyone, especially the silent Americans who are shying away from a call to action.

Ping: A Frog in Search of a New Pond by Stuart Avery Gold (Goodreads Author), Christopher Lane (Narrator)

1 out of 5 stars  *

Stuart Avery Gold writes motivational books for people to be successful in their endeavors whether it be business or life in general. Ping: A Frog in Search of a New Pond is predictable and old hat. Maybe I am full of this genre from past readings but I am neither inspired nor entertained by this book.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

No Higher Power by Phyllis Schlafly, George Neumayr

5 of 5 stars  *****

Schlafly and Neumayr explain the rise to power and the ideological differences between the Far-Left Progressives, Barack Hussein Obama and those who support, pave, and administer that power; and the Judao-Christian ideology that defines the United States of America from its inception. No Higher Power reviews the history of the man, President Obama, and the personnel in the machine that has been operating for decades culminating in the last two presidential victories. The intricacy for the fundamental change promised by this Progressive regime may be understood by listening to the audio version, narrated by Dianna Doman, or reading the book. The authors research back up their claim that there is an Obama declaration of war on religious freedom, the books subtitle. 

Much of the book is a review of events but much of it is, also, an education that enlightens one to the guiding principles behind the radical change Americans are now witnessing. This book renders reasons for the otherwise inexplicable actions of those in power. 

I recommend this book for the eye-opening realization that power wields to control, not necessarily govern, the masses; and this determines whether or not one believes that the people hold any power, whatsoever, or are sheep, led by an elite Progressive machine which promotes the illusion of individuals having power.

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

1 out of 5 stars  *

I got through this book but I did not enjoy it. The depressing subject was not what I expected. I was neither enlightened nor entertained.

Explore the Bible Study Guide Job Ecclesiastes Making Sense of Life by Warren McWilliams, David Briscoe (Content Editor)

5 of 5 stars  *****

An excellent book to discuss with a group of people the meaning of life. Such study guides and group discussions deepen my understanding of scripture and afford peace in my life in the midst of chaos.

Spirit of the Reformation Study Bible-NIV by Anonymous (Manufacturer)

5 of 5 stars  *****

The last book in the Bible brings the entire Bible full circle, from predicting Christ to the return of Christ. What was taught in Genesis is still taught in Revelation as to how to behave while here on earth. Without being too revealing, the Apostle John, who walked with Christ, describes events to yet take place with extravagant symbolism that rivals any prophet that came before him. A prophet, himself, John writes what he is told and what he sees. The book, like all other books of the Bible, is Divine.

This reader comes away from reading Revelation with this intended message: If, after reading this book, one's direction is not pointed toward the straight and narrow path which is necessary to enter the Gates of Heaven, then the path one is on will be harder to alter.

Rules for Patriots by Matt Kibbe

4 of 5 stars  ****

A pocket primer to answer the assault by Saul Alinsky's, Rules for Radicals, which is in play today.

Obama and Islam by Robert Spencer and David Horowitz

4 of 5 stars  ****

This short little paperback is an astute assessment of the president based on his background and associations, including his advisers, with Islam. Robert Spencer and David Horowitz point out that the policies and actions of this administration try to marry two opposing ideologies with catastrophic results for Americans.

the Zombies - She's Not There (1964) Where's the Book? It's Not There!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Audubon Backyard Birdwatcher: Birdfeeders and Bird Gardens by Robert Burton, Stephen W. Kress, Jan Mahnken (Illustrator), Stephen Kress

4 of 5 stars  ****

A beautiful reference book for birders and nature lovers.

How to Write & Sell Your First Novel by Oscar Collier, Frances Spatz Leighton

4 of 5 stars  ****

Great advice for preparing to write and presenting one's work, who to see, and how to behave. The Do's and Don'ts at the end of the book are especially helpful.

The Complete Microwave Book by JCPenney

4 of 5 stars  *****

A great book that first explains how Microwave cooks before instructing how to cook Appetizers to Desserts. Important reference and guide to those who need to cook quickly if their lifestyle is fast-paced or if they simply wish to spend less time cooking and more time eating, playing, etc...

Christianity The Illustrated Guide to 2000 Years of the Christian Faith by Ann Marie B. Bahr (Chief Consultant)

4 of 5 stars  ****

An elegant coffee-table book portraying 2,000 years of Christian events through descriptive verse and exquisite paintings.

Occupy Wall Street The Communist Movement Reborn by David Horowitz, John Perazzo

4 of 5 stars  ****

David Horowitz and John Perazzo reveal Occupy Wall Street as the movement backed by Far-left radicals, anarchists, and Communists based on their claims of social injustices.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Anna Karenina (Anna Karenina #1) by Leo Tolstoy, Nadia May (Read by)

4 of 5 stars ****

An epic romance considered one of the two best novels ever written, both by the same author, Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina whisks the reader back to late nineteenth century Russia where the noble class enjoys the best the world has to offer. Alongside the hard-working common folk who enjoy the simple pleasures of life, are the upper echelon in this society's political and military ranks who live by their own standards which define what is acceptable beyond the limits of the law. These limits are exceeded by Anna Karenina, wife to a dignified, wealthy, and respected government official, when she gives in to the charm of a handsome military officer, Count Vronsky, who is smitten by her beauty.

Anna is content with her life as a loving mother to her only son and a faithful wife to her dedicated husband up until Count Vronsky poses a question. He asks her if she wants him to leave her alone and, if so, send him away and he would comply. Anna's void in her life, unfulfilled romance in her marriage, tugs at her heart until she totally yields to her personal desires and tells the Count that she does not want him to go away. A scandalous affair ensues. 

Anna tells her husband about her love and happiness with Count Vronsky, who is also in the public's eye amid their common social duties. Heartbroken, her husband decides to maintain honor and dignity by ordering his wife to stop seeing Count Vronsky because divorce is a religious scandal too damaging. Anna continues her love affair which becomes apparent to the public marking her as a woman of scorn. Anna even leaves her beloved son and bares the Count a daughter who is adopted and raised by Anna's husband so that the child would not suffer the hardships with outcast parents. 

Count Vronsky eventually loses interest in Anna when she proves to be paranoid and jealous; rapt with guilt and shame due to the rejection she receives from a society that accepts grace and discretion. The Count requests and accepts reintroduction into his military post that grants him participation in all social functions where he becomes his charming self once more but without Anna. 

Sleeplessness, alcohol, and drugs lead Anna Karenina to desperation, hopelessness, and despair. Following her own desires to satisfy that one aspect of her life, proves to be a disappointing, lonely existence. She ends her pain by throwing herself on the tracks before an onrushing locomotive.

This reader cringes at the soap opera theme of this story but is still appreciative of experiencing the talent that Leo Tolstoy demonstrates in the story's presentation. A genre, Romance, that can seem "trashy" to many, elevates to sublime with Tolstoy's eloquence and deep understanding of people in complex situations. Tolstoy reveals in this classic novel how selfish pursuits, arrogant pride, and irresponsibility to duty leads to ultimate, unbearable misery.

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Tao of Warren Buffet: Warren Buffett's Words of Wisdom: Quotations and Interpretations to Help Guide You t Billionaire Wealth Enlightened Business Management by Marry Buffett, David Clark, Anna Fields (Narrator)

4 of 5 stars  ****

Warren Buffet offers wisdom that made him a billionaire but I do not feel I shall have the same results as he in this day and age. However, his business acumen and attitude toward life do teach sound decision-making that can improve one's station in life. I listened to this book on a two-CD set.

Chef Sato's Natural Desserts by Sato Saturo

4 of 5 stars  ****

An easy read of mouth-watering desserts, many made without sugar or dairy products. Satoru Sato instructs how alternative ingredients are more than satisfactory pleasing one's sweet tooth with his irresistible desserts.

Everyday Roasting by Janeen Sarlin, Chuck Williams

4 of 5 stars  *****

Preparation, cooking, baking, and presentation are all beautifully presented in this hard-covered cookbook dedicated to roasting. The art of cooking is detailed within these pages.

Barack Obama's Rules for Revolution by David Horowitz

4 of 5 stars  ****

A little paperback book that informs the reader how Barack Obama is the consummate Saul Alinsky pupil.

America: Then & Now : Great Old Photographs of America's Life and Times-And How Those Same Scenes Look Today by David Elliot Cohen

5 of 5 stars  *****

A glorious pictorial view of "Then and Now" Americana. Susan Wels does a superb job associating quotes and text to the pages that come alive today regardless of the era in which the photographs were taken. What a splendid way to live in the past for the few moments it takes to gaze at these old photos that capture the significant along with the seemingly insignificant moments in time.

God & Caesar: Christian Faith & Political Action by John Eidsmoe

5 of 5 stars  *****

I thoroughly enjoy John Eidsmoe's style in writing this book as he applies scripture to today's social problems. Without condemning anyone, John logically and intelligently states a case from a humanistic point of view and then a Biblical one. He backs his opinions with sound historical evidence and moral conviction. I quote and share a few of his comments: 

“The framers were realists; they recognized that the best constitution in the world could be distorted and destroyed by men determined to do so.” 

Source of national strength. By providing leadership, guidance, restraint, security, and values, the family unit promotes the greatness of the nation. Should the family fail in these responsibilities, the nation will suffer as a result.” 

“A graduate can be academically excellent but morally and spiritually bankrupt. We need to consider these dimensions in education as well.”

Standard Macrobiotic Diet, by Michio Kushi

4 of 5 stars  ****

Learn what, how, and when to eat certain foods in an holistic approach to health. Michio Kushi brings the Macrobiotic Diet to America where it receives praise for healing and balancing those who apply it as a regimen component on their path to vitality.

Basic Home Remedies: A Macrobiotic Guide to Special Drinks, Compresses, Plasters, and Other Natural Applications by Michio Kushi, Alex Jack (Editor)

4 out of 5 stars  ****

Michio Kushi not only has healthy eating tips with preparation and choice foods but he also has time-tested and personally proven treatments using certain foods and spices for ailments and optimum health. This reader has used ginger compresses to reduce swelling in the right knee after arthroscopic surgery. Amazing results when applied as an homeopathic remedy. These options reduce the amount of narcotics one needs when applied properly.

The Last Jihad (The Last Jihad #1) by Joel C. Rosenberg (Goodreads Author), Dick Hill (Narrator)

2 out of 5 stars  **

Joel C. Rosenberg writes an episode of fictional adventure based upon a possible espionage scenario post 9-11 involving newly found oil in the Mideast and Iraq. The identified characters in the story did not make this reader feel for them the way a Tom Clancy novel does. If made into a movie, this plot would play out on the FX channel for men.

Conversations with Arthur Conan Doyle by Arthur Conan Doyle, Simon Parke

4 of 5 stars  ****

Conversations is a most interesting interview with, and autobiography of, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The autobiography is directed by the interviewer, Simon Parke, so it is not comprehensive and crosses into the category of biography, as well. The Audiobook does cover prominent events in Sir Arthur's life as foretold in his own words. Most of the discussion centers around the controversy of Sir Arthur's religious and philosophical convictions; namely, his belief in contacting the spirits of those who have died. Regardless of the clamor that surrounds this man, his command and presentation of the English language is eloquent and thoughtful in conveying his message with his unique style.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

5 of 5 stars  *****

Donna Tartt's superb character development and excellent use of vocabulary and sentence structure weaves a thrilling narrative of suspense and intrigue that leaves one wanting more.  The Secret History is an account of a young, thoughtful man's experience in a New Hampshire college where he becomes accepted by an elite inner circle of friends taught by a deeply profound and much acclaimed teacher of esoteric and ancient language, specializing in Greek. The secret occurs when this group encounters a life-and-death moment in the woods after much preparation and experimenting with the precepts of archaic cultures. The plot ensues with the human emotions struggling with the intellect to keep the secret among themselves.  Tartt is simply marvelous at creating empathy for these characters while surprising one with twists and turns until the final chapter and epilogue.

When God Winks: How the Power of Coincidence Guides Your Life by Squire Rushnell

5 of 5 stars  *****

What a pleasure When GOD Winks: How the Power of Coincidence Guides Your Life Squire Rushnell is to read. Celebrities are example references in many of the stories within this story. Real life events are the bulk of the book while personal tests and considerations comprise the rest. By taking the few, fun, self-exploring exercises, this author is fully aware how God's wink blesses his life. This profound anonymous quote is one of this book's wonderful life lessons, "We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give." - Unknown
A Divine sense of humor demonstrates some of the coincidences, God winks. Awareness on the Divine path that is one's destiny, is an undercurrent message throughout the book. 

I highly recommend When GOD Winks: How the Power of Coincidence Guides Your Life as a reminder that there is a Divine presence in all life Who hones and directs His creation. This realization brings about praise and gratitude to the Creator as this reader is grateful and praises Squire Rushnell for sharing his talent in writing this book.

Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Kurt Andersen (Goodreads Author), Joyce Bean (Narrator)

3 of 5 stars ***

Deep observations by a master of the English Language.

5 of 5 stars  *****

Superb writing and excellent narration, The Little Friend is a long but enjoyable novel that involves the death of an adolescent and a mystery that ensues delighting the reader with every character introduction, descriptive presentation of the location and scenery, and the dialect of the region that is ripe with voice inflections separating each character from one another. The author's talent takes one away to Mississippi with all of its bug infested, humid, mucky weather and unique class of people who interact with a rapport appropriate for the time. The ending surprises this reader who yearns to discover what becomes of the characters as they mature.