Saturday Book Review: “The Conversations We Never Had”

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.

When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review, courtesy of Midwest Book Review:

the conversations we never had jeffrey konis

The Conversations We Never Had

by Jeffrey H. Konis

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478767299

Synopsis*:

This is the dream of a grandson, who had taken his grandmother for granted, to have a second chance, the opportunity to learn about his family from the only person in the world who knew them, who remembered them. My father remembers nothing about his real parents for they were dead by the time he was nine. Olga, his mother’s younger sister, survived the Holocaust, found my father hiding on a farm in Poland and later brought him to America to raise as her own. He never asked her any questions about his parents. Though I later moved in with Olga for a period of time, I repeated history and never asked her the questions my father never asked. Olga has been gone for more than twenty years, along with everything she could have told me, leaving me with a sense of guilt and profound regret. The Conversations We Never Had is a chronicle of my time spent with Grandma “Ola” and tells the stories she might have shared had I asked the questions.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Critique:

The Conversations We Never Had is about the regrets of a son who wishes he’d probed more of his family history while its elders were still able to tell him about the past; but it doesn’t end with the burial of his Grandmother Olga, the last person to have known his father’s Holocaust experiences in Europe.

Instead, it blossoms into an investigation of what was, a realization of what could have been, and a family history that incorporates not only conversations made; but those which should have taken place.

How did the family matriarch make the kinds of decisions that would allow her family to survive, adopting and bringing her nephew (the author’s father) to a new country? How did his father survive under impossible conditions, and how did she find him after the war to bring him to a new life? The author’s regrets of not asking the right questions, only to piece together truths from a patchwork of possibilities decades later, is wonderfully portrayed: “Grandma Ola was the only person in the world who could give me some insight into my father, what he was like as a child, a son – to an extent – as a student, though I knew he must have been exceptional in this regard, given that he overcame a language barrier, simultaneously learning English and the sciences, among his other courses; he did this successfully enough to go to medical school. And yet I never had an in-depth conversation with Grandma about my dad and, for the life of me, I have no idea why I didn’t. At least I could, and did, ask my father these questions as I navigated my way through the biased nature of his responses, to get as much truth as possible.”

Many Holocaust family stories come from the horse’s mouth in the form of reminiscences of parents and grandparents translated through the memories and notes of their descendants. Jeffrey H. Konis adds a new twist to this approach in covering not only the conversations that took place; but those which were unsaid.

As he surveys issues of Jewish livelihood and independence (among many other subjects), Konis comes to realize the forces that shaped and led to his career and life choices, and brings readers into a world enlightened by these discussions of Jewish heritage past and how they were passed down and, in turn, translated into life decisions made by future generations.

The precise links between these translations and applications past to present are enhanced by the author’s introspective assessments of what is presented to him, and what it means for his own life: “If I couldn’t find a Jewish girl to marry, the selection would be greatly enhanced were I to allow myself to marry someone who converted. But what about everything Grandma was just telling me, that even one who has converted is still not the same as one who was brought up Jewish? It made me think of something my dad once said about Grandma Ola. He told me that, yes, she had raised him like a son, but she wasn’t his mother. He said it wasn’t the same.”

The result is more than another Holocaust survival story: it’s a perceptive and examining survey of how ideals, thoughts, traditions and culture are handed down in families, surveying the types of questions asked and those left unsaid, and their impact.

Readers of Holocaust literature and biography will find themselves drawn to the family and personalities surrounding Jeffrey H. Konis and will be particularly delighted to understand how Jewish traditions and family messages helped him shape his own decision-making process.

reviewed by Diane C. Donovan of Midwest Book Review ]

Here’s what some other reviewers are saying:

Jeffrey Konis’ book “The Conversations We Never Had” was a beautiful reflection of a man’s relationship with his ailing grandmother’s sister, who acted as his grandmother throughout his life. Over many conversations, Konis was able to tease out memories of her life and upbringing in pre-WW2 Germany, as the spectre of Nazism started to overtake Germany, with all of the horrors that entailed. These stories helped Jeffrey better understand his grandmother and her sister, as well as his father’s temperament, which was enlightening. “The Conversations We Never Had” highlights the importance of talking with our elders before it is too late, to gain some of their wisdom and to hear the stories which shaped their lives and personalities. It was a lovely tribute to Konis’ forebears, and I would love to read it again.

– Amazon Reviewer Janelle Collins

They were of a generation that longed to forget, that shied away from discussing the horrors inflicted upon their people, and hardly, if ever, voluntarily offered up stories around the Sunday dinner table.Talking about such a painful time brought back the pain. So it is no wonder that Konis’ grandmother, Ola, pushed on with her life, loved her family and chose to live for the day and remain silent on her past and how the Holocaust tore her family apart. Inevitably, though, the author comes to realize and deeply regret the missed opportunity to have those telling conversations about the Holocaust with Ola when she passes away. Konis, however, bases many of the conversations in the book on fact, having a vital resource in his father, who was 9 years old when the Nazis invaded his town. It is a fascinating read and I was quickly drawn in by his depiction of Ola’s youth, her sister and her father. The book certainly makes one stop and think and regret those lost opportunities and conversations with our elders.

– Amazon Reviewer Pamela J.


saturday self-published book review

Thanks for reading!  Keep up with the latest in the world of indie and self-published books by watching this space every Saturday!

Self Publishing Advisor

selfpubicon1

Saturday Book Review: “The Thundering Herd: Farm Life in the 1950’s and 60’s”

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.

When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review, courtesy of Midwest Book Review:

the thundering herd farm life john e peltier

The Thundering Herd:
Farm Life in the 1950’s and 60’s;
Looking Through the Lens of Duty in Vietnam.

by John E. Peltier

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478765332

Synopsis*:

These stories begin with brief family histories that bring the Peltier and the Scottish Keillor families together. John was the fifth of the twelve children that Wilburn and Barbara Peltier raised on the flat salt grass prairie of Southeast Texas after they married. The life they created for their family on their rice farm and cattle ranch provided fertile ground for the life experiences that are shared in these settings. At the age of nineteen, naive and fresh from the farm, John was drafted into the U.S. Army.

After surviving boot camp and medical corpsman training, he found himself in Vietnam. John used his time in the military and its experiences as the backdrop to describe life growing up. Writing this book intensified the realization of the valuable life lessons that his family and the farm and ranch taught him. After mustering out of the Army in January of 1969, he settled back into civilian life and finished his education.

Disaster struck in 1969 when his father suddenly died of a heart attack at the age of 54, leaving five of his siblings still at home and all without a father. He discovered the two earthy loves of his live – his wife Janie and the vocation of construction – at the same time and place. As a result, Janie and John have a beautiful family and he birthed Peltier Brothers Construction, a company which has provided a great livelihood not only for him and four of his brothers, but for nephews down into the next generation. Both Janie and the company also taught him lessons he never expected to learn. Those stories, plus an incident with the fangs of a deadly rattlesnake and a light essay on grass and water, are included in this book.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Critique:

5.0 out of 5 stars — Nice summer read!

Regretting the loss of family history at the passing of his father, John Peltier set out on a personal journey to preserve the legacy of his family by penning “The Thundering Herd: Farm Life in the 1950’s and 60’s; Looking Through the Lens of Duty in Vietnam”. This series of memoirs spanning his early family history in the 1600’s to the present day is best described as extraordinary in its ordinariness. Once the early roots are established through family lore in the first two chapters, the contemporary Peltier family stories switch back and forth between childhood memories and current (Vietnam war) era events. Not unlike Forrest Gump, you join the Peltier family as they go through life experiencing from a personal perspective events such as Hurricane Carla, the Vietnam war, and the rearing of the next generations through both lean and prosperous times. In this day when everyone has their nose in technology, it provides a warm reflection of what life was like for families growing up in rural Texas in the 50s and 60s when kids would leave their homes and not come back until dinner time and parents did not have to worry that someone would take them.

reviewed by Dr. Eileen R. Garza of Midwest Book Review ]

Here’s what some other reviewers are saying:

A thoughtful, well-written, at times entertaining and educational, book illustrating basic family values that survive specific times or wars. It illustrates the best of American farm life and the kind of citizens it can produce.

This book is also another view of the Vietnam War, showing the human side of the country from a young solder’s point of view. His stories and photos illustrate things that the U.S. Army did to help the Vietnamese people, even the families of the enemy Viet Cong, that the public has not always been made aware. Especially interesting is the section on the author’s visit to the orphanage of the children born to U.S. soldiers. The children were sadly ostracized.

– Amazon Reviewer Amazon Customer

Regretting the loss of family history at the passing of his father, John Peltier set out on a personal journey to preserve the legacy of his family by penning “The Thundering Herd”. This series of memoirs spanning his early family history in the 1600’s to the present day is best described as extraordinary in its ordinariness. Once the early roots are established through family lore in the first two chapters, the contemporary Peltier family stories switch back and forth between childhood memories and current (Vietnam war) era events. Not unlike Forrest Gump, you join the Peltier family as they go through life experiencing from a personal perspective events such as Hurricane Carla, the Vietnam war, and the rearing of the next generations through both lean and prosperous times. In this day when everyone has their nose in technology, it provides a warm reflection of what life was like for families growing up in rural Texas in the 50s and 60s when kids would leave their homes and not come back until dinner time and parents did not have to worry that someone would take them.

– Amazon Reviewer E. Garza


saturday self-published book review

Thanks for reading!  Keep up with the latest in the world of indie and self-published books by watching this space every Saturday!

Self Publishing Advisor

selfpubicon1

Saturday Book Review: “My Truths: A Collection”

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.

When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review, courtesy of Midwest Book Review:

my truths a collection michelle farmer anderson

My Truths: A Collection

by Michelle Farmer Anderson

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 978147877793

Synopsis*:

“My Truths” is a masterpiece that reminds us of our humanity. This book welcomes you to partake in a meal that will most certainly nourish your soul; an open invitation to sit at the table with victory and defeat as you turn each page, as you read each phrase. Spend quality time in a world, the architecture planted firmly on a solid soil of magical words. The building, a smorgasbord of positive light and negative energy, all saturated with a very real passion for writing and a zest for living. The contradictions are deliberate and they play along with the theme of life… the ultimate support and unconditional love of a mother in HER clashes with the feeling of not belonging in OUTSIDER. The redemption of WINNING which speaks to insecurities ultimately overshadowed by strengths to BAD BOY- a potpourri of what could have been, and what might be. POISON is a haunting take on the drug epidemic and TOMBSTONE TALKS takes us to a cemetery where we can trust the secrets won’t be shared. My Truths is a book about life, death and everything in between.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Critique:

“My Truths” in poetic verse delves into many different aspects of life. Anderson has a unique style that takes readers on a journey thru many things we all take for granted. She deals with children, mothers and daughters, grandparents and romantic relationships. There is much to enjoy in “My Truths” that will hold readers interest to the last poem.

 

reviewed by Gary Roen of Midwest Book Review ]

Here’s what some other reviewers are saying:

This is a great collection of personal, yet relatable, thoughts and feelings. Each poem offers a different perspective on a person or time in Michelle’s life. Some pieces are deep and emotional, while others are inspiring and uplifting. A little something for every moment in life- great mix! You won’t be disappointed!

– Amazon Reviewer Amazon Customer

Written in an inspiring lyrical form. “My Truths” is a wonderful read for any occasion; to feed the spirit and to contemplate. Each poem transmits a personal touch of faith, hope and unique experience.

– Amazon Reviewer Amazon Customer


saturday self-published book review

Thanks for reading!  Keep up with the latest in the world of indie and self-published books by watching this space every Saturday!

Self Publishing Advisor

selfpubicon1

Saturday Book Review: “That Weekend in Albania”

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.

When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review, courtesy of Midwest Book Review:

that weekend in albania peter meehan

That Weekend in Albania: A Road Trip to Intrigue in the Balkans

by Peter J. Meehan

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478777090

Synopsis*:

An expatriate family takes a road trip to visit Albania’s historical sites, two months after 9/11 in the only Muslim country in Europe. Despite its historical location at the crossroads between Rome and Greece, Albania is still largely avoided by tourists—the country’s Stalinist past and reputation for money laundering in support of terrorism limits interest, but there are investment opportunities for multinationals.

Tony is working as a manager for a Vienna-based company that is having issues in a contract area near the Kosovo border. Drug and weapon trafficking persist in the former Yugoslavian province’s frontier despite a peace settlement having been reached. Tony hopes this weekend outing will convince his wife that a Mediterranean lifestyle is possible in Europe’s poorest country, and that it might restore some good will with his teenage daughter, who is visiting from a Vienna boarding school. The trip will be their first overnight stay outside the capital, but unbeknownst to him when he is informally asked by his consulate to note any illegalities en route, their destination is now a regional Albanian mafia centre. When Tony’s diplomatic contact becomes an Albanian mafia target, and the organisation hires a hit man to eliminate their problem, the expat suspects his sense of adventure is misplaced, and that dire consequences are still a possibility while the country attempts to modernise.

As Tony tries to deal with family and work issues while travelling across classic ruins and remnants of Albania’s heritage as a Christian bastion prior to four hundred years of Ottoman rule, the conflict to control the growing underground economy heats up. He and his family witness the nearly unknown Mediterranean coast road’s natural beauty, but the remains of an ancient past, and the consequences of the more recent brutal military dictatorship, continue to confront them.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Critique:

That Weekend in Albania is a thoroughly researched and well-written work of travel fiction introducing Albania to readers interested in adventurous travel. Peter J. Meehan presents this fascinating Balkan country through two perspectives – an ex-pat family’s, and that of Albanian entrepreneurs trying to create prosperity in a post-Communist world. The family must cope with issues such as midlife crisis and parent-child relations in a context of culture shock, separation, language barriers and an unfamiliar environment. The businessmen do not hesitate to use questionable means to achieve their ends, within a framework of recent conflict and ancient loyalties. Several thriller-like episodes, featuring fast cars on bad roads, furnish jolts of excitement. Altogether, this book is an interesting and informative vicarious journey through a new and unfamiliar country.

reviewed by Audrey Driscoll of Midwest Book Review ]

Here’s what some other reviewers are saying:

At first I thought that I wanted to keep reading T.W.I.A. because it revived memories of when I visited Peter in Tirana. Later, I realized that I wanted to keep reading because this is a very good, entertaining story. His geographical, cultural and historical descriptions are accurate, his characters real. I’m looking forward to Peter’s next book.Given his life around the world I’m guessing that he’ll have lots to tell.

– Amazon Reviewer Keith James

Well researched and full of detailed information on a largely unknown country. Added perspecies from foreigners and Albanians make for an interesting read. The fictional story of crime keeps the pace going between a story of a father daughter relationship. Highly recommended.

– Amazon Reviewer Amazon Customer


saturday self-published book review

Thanks for reading!  Keep up with the latest in the world of indie and self-published books by watching this space every Saturday!

Self Publishing Advisor

selfpubicon1

Saturday Book Review: “Hero of My Dreams”

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.

When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review, courtesy of Midwest Book Review:

her of my dreams j r pitts

Hero of My Dreams

by J.R. Pitts

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478769057

Synopsis:

The crew of the Arklardin Command Air Transport traverses a wormhole that empties them into the spiral Milky Way galaxy. Time is running out and they must find the one they seek. This is the third day of their search to find a hero who can lead Arklardin against an alien invasion. ZEUS, their on-board computer, directs them to a small blue planet. Kumari, the beautiful science officer who operates the advanced computer wonders, “Will we find the one we seek here?”
Arklardin is a peace-loving planet millions of light years from Earth. Their ancestors outlawed war centuries ago and nothing could have prepared them for this intrusion upon their serenity. An evil tyrant interrupted the nation of Pretoria’s winter games; his chilling words rang out across their fairgrounds: “Surrender or die.”
Kumari is filled with dread as she realizes her dreams are coming true. For over two years she has been tormented by visions of imminent danger to her world. She is perplexed and confused because the hero of her dreams always snatches her from the jaws of the dragon but never lets her see his face. If her hero is her fiance, then why does he hide his face? Surely if he is known to her, he would show himself. Kumari and her crew have been commissioned by the Pretorian king to search other worlds and recruit the warrior they so desperately need.
Dragoon is Lord and Master of the planet Zharbruk. His lust for power and conquest causes him to turn his eyes to his neighbor, the huge peace-loving planet of Arklardin. A secret alliance gives his forces what they need to begin the interplanetary assault. However,his vision of conquest is not limited to his own solar system. Once he has Arklardin under his heel, there will be other inhabited worlds to conquer. Will the universe bring forth a champion to defend this beautiful planet?
Meanwhile on Earth, a young, handsome war hero contemplates his life and the war he has come home from. Awarded the Medal of Honor for courage during a bloody action in Southeast Asia, he wonders if there is some grand design for his life. Has he endured the horrors of war for nothing, or has a Higher Power been preparing him for some worthy cause? He is confused at the direction of his life. Lieutenant Alexander Freeman last saw Veronica standing beside his best friend when he sailed off to war. He was not prepared for her Dear John letter to arrive the day his first tour of duty ended. It was at this time he began to have the dreams. A beautiful apparition often visited and seemed to be in peril. He knows it is only a dream but is puzzled at the strong emotions manifested.
Arriving back in his hometown of Wimauma, Florida, the war hero settles into the rustic life of a cattleman. One night as he lays beside the pristine Little Manatee River, absorbed in the beauty of the night sky, a bright light suddenly catches his attention.Alexander Freeman has no idea the events of this night will cast him into conflict out among the stars where he has always found solace. Destiny has finally found him and his life will never be the same.
Could it be possible these two young lives have connected in their dreams from worlds millions of light years apart?Have the dreams of Kumari and Alex brought them together for some purpose other than repelling the invasion? Is he truly her hero and can he, in the process of saving her, save her world?

Critique:

Hero of My Dreams by J. R. Pitts is a fantasy all readers must have. It is fast-paced. Tons of action, as well as immediate danger, plunge readers deeper into the story. A journey that travels beyond space into dreams. This romantic story packs a lot. A peaceful planet in danger of a horrible invasion and they only have so much time before they find someone who can save them. One man on earth might be just the one. Alex, already a hero from fighting a war in his country keeps having dreams of a woman. What he doesn’t expect or know is that the woman is real and her planet is in trouble. Dreams, love, fate, and war are all tied in beautifully by this talented writer. I normally am very picky when it comes to fantasy novels and this one has met every one of my expectations. I was instantly taken into the foreign world created in this stunning fictional piece. The characters were believable. Enemies can be defeated and dreams can come true. I loved reading Hero of My Dreams. Overall, I highly recommend it to readers everywhere.

 

reviewed by Danielle Urban of Midwest Book Review ]

Here’s what some other reviewers are saying:

‘Hero of My Dreams’ by J.R. Pitts focuses on the princess of a peace loving planet (Arklardin). She is forced to fight for the freedom of her people against the evil Lord of Zharburk. This book has fantasy with intrigue, and romance with adventure. Written in an easy to read style, this book proves what a born storyteller J.R. Pitts is, because the entire driving force behind the book is the fact that it is unashamedly a fantasy story. With vivid atmosphere deftly brought to life, the author’s writing goes beyond creating a story in our minds; it truly feels like you’re walking in their footsteps. The fact that he manages to blend Sci-fi with the Medieval seamlessly is even more spectacular. The attention to detail only serves to make this story even more enjoyable. Can an earthling prove worthy of a princess’ love. Can a princess find the hero of her dreams? Open this book to find out.

– Amazon Reviewer Sara Knight

Hero of My Dreams is a fantastic book.It has fantasy,romance and adventure all wrapped up in one great book.It kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next. I laughed…I cried reading the romantic parts.You can feel the passion that J R Pitts has for writing when you read his books. If there was a rating higher than 5 stars J R Pitts would surely deserve it.

– Amazon Reviewer Connie B.


saturday self-published book review

Thanks for reading!  Keep up with the latest in the world of indie and self-published books by watching this space every Saturday!

Self Publishing Advisor

selfpubicon1

Saturday Book Review: “The Pursuit of Wisdom”

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.

When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review, courtesy of Midwest Book Review:

the pursuit of wisdom dean chavooshian

The Pursuit of Wisdom

by Dean Chavooshian

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478743255

Synopsis:

Like many, I have given the origin and meaning of life a great deal of thought in an effort to live it fully-with grace and intelligence. In the process, I discovered that theological/philosophical discussions on reality are empty without the consideration of scientific inquiry as they inform each other on the nature of human existence. We can benefit immensely from the great minds chronicled in this book that have dramatically changed the world and helped man imagine himself in it-leading to one’s own self-discovery. DISCOVER In Theology: (1) Is the soul immortal? Is reincarnation possible? (2) Islam’s holiest shrine in Mecca was built by the founding father of the Jewish nation. (3) How one man uprooted 1500 years of Roman Catholic domination with a simple document. In Philosophy: (1) Is the world pre-determined with orderly harmony or governed by man’s free will? (2) Is knowledge gained solely from experience and reasoning-or is it innate? (3) How the self-awareness of existentialism allows one to live an authentic life. (4) How 9th century Muslim scholars contributed to the foundation of modern civilization. In Science: (1) What makes all physical matter stable? How does matter reproduce itself? (2) Isaac Newton described gravity’s effect, but it was Einstein who showed how it originated. (3) Did man evolve or was he created? (4) The search for a unifying theoretical basis of all the sciences. SEE: thepursuitofwisdom.net.

Critique:

As informed and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking, “”The Pursuit of Wisdom: A Chronological Inquiry of the World’s Most Influential Seekers of Wisdom In the Fields of Theology, Philosophy and Science” is an extraordinary and occasionally iconoclastic read from beginning to end. While strongly recommended for community, college, and university library collections, it should be noted for students and non-specialist readers with an interest in philosophy, theology, and science, that “The Pursuit of Wisdom” is also available in a paperback edition (9781478743255, $16.95) and in a Kindle format ($4.99).

reviewed on The Philosophy Shelf of Midwest Book Review ]

Here’s what some other reviewers are saying:

An amazing amount of information and research of the greatest minds in history on Philosophy, Theology and Science. Each chapter provided clear and concise information and, in some cases, piqued my interest enough to want to explore additional readings suggested by the author. I feel this book would appeal, not only to those with little or no knowledge in these subjects, but, also, to those well versed in these fields as well. The book truly is the first step in “the pursuit of wisdom”.

– Amazon Reviewer B. Sitner

Concise descriptions of the ideas of 83 leading figures in the history of theology, philosophy and science. The subjects range from Abraham and Moses to Francis Crick and Martin Luther King, with stops along the way to consider individuals as diverse as Sun Tzu, Al-Ghazali, Francis Bacon, Isaac Newton, and David Hume. Obviously, no subject is considered in the depth that would satisfy an expert but no one can be an expert on all the subjects discussed. In each case the author briefly describes the life and times of subject and then describes the subject’s central ideas, making liberal use of the subject’s own words. The author does not try to debunk, minimize or exaggerate his subject’s contributions and treats all with due respect. One cannot read this book without reflecting on the common intellectual heritage of all mankind.

– Amazon Reviewer W.R. Stern

 


saturday self-published book review

Thanks for reading!  Keep up with the latest in the world of indie and self-published books by watching this space every Saturday!

Self Publishing Advisor

selfpubicon1

Saturday Book Review: “It’s Me, Achilles B: It’s Time to Say Hello”

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.

When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review, courtesy of Midwest Book Review:

its-me-achilles-b-its-time-to-say-hello by michelle bravo

It’s Me, Achilles B: It’s Time to Say Hello

by Michelle Bravo

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478755258

Synopsis:

Achilles B Is New in Town, and Ready to Meet You! Achilles B is friendly, sweet, and up for just about any adventure. He’s here to delight and inspire kids as he navigates challenges such as making new friends and starting school. He also gives fun, positive examples of how to make healthy decisions and keep an upbeat, kind outlook on life. Achilles’ intelligence and charm endear him to everyone he meets in this charming story for readers of all ages.

Critique:

Achilles B is a fun loving little dog who tells what it is like for him to adopt a family. In his own words he reveals his life with his furry friend Coco and the many adventures he is able to have in his life. “It’s Me, Achilles B”. is fun reading for any dog owner to enjoy. Though a kid’s title readers of all ages can enjoy Achilles B’s story.

 

reviewed by Gary Roen of Midwest Book Review ]

Here’s what some other reviewers are saying:

Many of us have dogs that are part of the family. We call them our “fur-babies” or the “grand-dogs.” And we’ve all seen (or heard stories about) dogs that are jealous when a human baby arrives on the scene and the dog is no longer the only little person in the house. But there are also those dogs who are incredibly close to their human siblings and treat the whole family as their pack.

Achilles B. definitely thinks of himself as an equal member of the family. He talks about his parents, and his friends (the kids), and the family pet (a cat named Coco). With the direct address style that young readers enjoy in books like Junie B. Jones, Achilles tells about his family’s move from Texas to Connecticut. He shares what his favorite activities are and how he helps with the family cat by chasing her around the house to make sure she gets enough exercise. He even enjoys having pancakes on snow days. (Who doesn’t love snow days?)

The friendly and positive tone of his explanation makes a move to a new home seem like an adventure rather than something scary. Achilles explains that his father got a new job, so he gets to meet new kids. He also finds out that kids are alike no matter where you live; they all enjoy having fun. His discussion of how the family chose their new cat and shared out the responsibilities for her care is a good introduction to talking about being good pet owners. Young readers will probably laugh when Achilles says that he volunteered to play with her, and they may even point out that he can’t feed her because he can’t open the cans of cat food.

Readers may want to write out stories from the viewpoint of their own pets. How do pets see their human family? What do they think of all the things that humans do, but pets don’t? With the popularity of the recent movie, “The Secret Lives of Pets,” there is plenty of inspiration. Others may want to write a story about a time they moved to a new home with their family.

Whether it leads to new stories and artwork being created, or simply creates an enjoyable reading experience, the book and Achilles will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy.

– Amazon Reviewer Suzanne R. Costner

Michelle Bravo’s story is full of emotion, magnetism and surprise. Through Achilles, we learn about the closeness of family and the love children and adults have for their pets. More importantly, we learn that family is ever changing, but love for one another, including the family pet, remains constant. After reading this book, I want to know more about this family and their day-to-day interactions with the world and one another. A truly delightful book for children. Adults will enjoy the read as well.

– Amazon Reviewer Gale Bellas-Papageorge, PhD

 


saturday self-published book review

Thanks for reading!  Keep up with the latest in the world of indie and self-published books by watching this space every Saturday!

Self Publishing Advisor

selfpubicon1