Please Feel Bad I’m Dead by M. Price

Book Reviewed by Timea Barabas

Please Feel Bad I’m Dead by M. Price is not your typical pleasant and easy read, but it is a memorable one. This satirical take on the absurdity of life and modern society aptly mirrors a shattered mind. The substance of the book can easily seep between the reader’s fingers as they are distracted by the author’s entrancing stylistic dance.

It all begins with Jhaegar Holdburn, a teenager living on the border, but where does it end? Jhaegar is a social outcast exploring the border regions of society, drifting through the incoherent flow of life. Even when he’s caught amid the action, he is enveloped by a sense of dissociation, drifting away on a self-reflexive cloud.

The book is a whirlwind experience of an imploding mind. Readers experience the nearly 300 pages of the book, from the mindset of Jhaegar, as an often incoherent, cinematic, and disruptive ride. Thus, the author aptly embodies mental illness in the form of Please Feel Bad I’m Dead. This chaotic narrative kidnaps readers and takes them on a surprise journey of self-destruction.

Grasp: Poems, Prose, and Essays by David Yuen

Book Reviewed by Lisa Brown-Gilbert

A penetrating observation of life portrayed through the lens of an astutely perspective awareness, David Yuen’s Grasp offers a collection of his literary mentations through poems, prose, and essays.

The variety that author Yuen presents makes for a creative mixture of literate inserts flowing with emotions, life lessons, spirituality, and intelligent inspiration. Meanwhile, there is no particular order to the book as a whole, but the reading still flows well with each narrative in the book bringing forward engaging food for thought.

Initially, what captures the attention within this book is the demonstration of author Yuen’s engaging writing skills starting with “Grasp” a chronicle that flows well while vividly setting the thoughtful framework of the interconnected elements of life, both seen and unseen, for the remainder of the work. In total, this is a work rife with the spiritual and worldly complexities of living life in this modern world. Flowing with insightful works like The Lessons So Far, as well as the emotionally inciting Death To Self, this is a book that is overall easily engaging and often keeps one rapt with intelligent dives into the light and dark aspects of being human in an often inhumane world leading to instances of quickly becoming disconnected from one another, as emphasized by his poetic excerpt of life in his poem-Rifts.

The Ranting of an Uneducated Reactionary by Oscar J. Phillips

Book Reviewed by Lily Andrews

The Ranting of an Uneducated Reactionary” is a remarkably ardent and precisely reasoned basal that examines the legislative and bureaucratic systems in modern-day America.

Here, Phillips notes that conservatism is a movement for happiness, unity, and social justice with a positive agenda to fight poverty, promote equal opportunity, extol spiritual enlightenment, and help everyone lead happier and more fulfilling lives. He neatly hammers any idea that conservative ideologies lack relevance in today’s rapidly-changing world. As the chapters unfold, the writer presents his viewpoints with candor and precision, examining different structures of governance while not shying away from sharing his atypical assessments.

The Ranting of an Uneducated Reactionary” is readable and consumable, well-written, and thought-provoking. Further, author’s command of facts is august. Having lived within a conservative environment, Phillips manages to bring lucidity to a subject that most analysts misperceive. While some of his beliefs on politics and socialism may appear contentious, his egalitarian approach to the various subjects that he discusses is what gives this book an elevated poise.

Salt & Light; The Complete Jesus by Jonathan Geoffrey Dean

Book Reviewed by Lisa Brown-Gilbert

An extraordinary deep dive into the life of an extraordinary man, Jonathan Geoffrey Dean’s Salt & Light; The Complete Jesus presents a masterful guide for inquiring minds to the definitive life and ministry of Jesus. The first edition to his two-book series, this book offers an intelligently posed wealth of knowledge, garnered from many years of research and fueled by the layman author’s ignited curiosity.

As a whole, the book was written in search of the entire true scope of Jesus’ life and works, particularly as an earnest way of seeking to answer three simple questions, 1. Who was Jesus? 2. What did he do? 3. What did he say? However, instead of focusing on the religious elements, author Jonathan Geoffrey Dean leaves his faith out of his search, choosing to focus primarily on the academic aspects, which works out very well throughout the book.

Albeit while there is no simple answer to discovering the complete life of Jesus, however, the level of work ethic, thorough research, comparative analysis, and discernment employed by author Dean raises the bar for other books of this nature to meet.

Moreover, as thorough, as it is well-written, this work provides a masterful reading venture that is part historical dissertation, populated with literate reaches into obscured aspects of biblical texts, such as the Gospels, and Acts, which contain elements of the true history of Jesus.
Moreover, the information contained in this book is catalytic in the way that it does well to offer definitive, perception-altering data when it comes to the life of Jesus, often bruising long-standing myths and alternate religious-based concepts previously known, concerning the life of Jesus. Meanwhile also included are instances of contact with those around him used to establish a credible timeline of his life and ministry.

Case of a Puzzling Book: A Maximo Morgan Mystery by William LeRoy

Book Reviewed by Dianne Woodman

Case of a Puzzling Book: A Maximo Morgan Mystery by William LeRoy is a tricky mystery told in a uniquely creative format. Readers are immediately drawn into a rollicking adventure set off by the actions of a baldheaded stranger who goes into the Twisted Sister Coffeehouse in the small town of Henryetta, Oklahoma. Popo Crowder owns the coffee shop that includes a free library book exchange with erotic novels and similar literary fiction as part of the collection. The literary works on the bookshelves are regarded with antipathy by Eppie, her twin sister. Eppie is part of a group that “edits” books of an “objectionable” nature. The differing points of view between Popo and Eppie have created a rift in the sisters’ relationship, which comes into play in the story.

When the baldheaded stranger takes Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence and leaves The Same Old Story by William LeRoy in its place, Popo is perplexed as to why words and sentences are missing from pages in the book. Popo hires private detective Maximo “Max” Morgan, whose role model is private investigator Brad Runyon, a character created by novelist Dashiell Hammett. Popo asks Max to look into why The Same Old Story is the target of intentional defacing of parts of the text. Is there more to the case than meets the eye? Will Max figure out who might be responsible for the vandalism and the purpose behind it?

Time Off for Good Behavior by Lani Diane Rich

Book Reviewed by Nancy Eaton

It all starts when Wanda Lane was testifying for a case involving the Hastings Gas and Electric Company. They were responsible for the explosion three years ago that destroyed Whittle Advertising. At the same time, the explosion nearly killed Wanda.

After a heated exchange with the defense attorney, whom Wanda called pencil face, she pulled back to take a swing at him. He did not see her swing coming as he turned to look at other Hasting Gas and Electric guys. The witness stand railing gave out and slammed Wanda’s head to the floor. She ended up in the hospital with a concussion and some swelling of the brain.

This was only one of Wanda’s problems. She kept getting calls from her ex-husband. He wanted her to forgive him – other times he would threaten to kill her. Wanda’s parents haven’t spoken to her in years. On top of all this, she lost her job. She is also “hearing” music as a result of her fall.

What can she do? She decides the only answer is to start over.

Behind Closed Doors by Susan R. Sloan

Book Reviewed by Nancy Eaton

When Valerie O’Connor met Jack Marsh, she fell head over heels in love. She met Jack while visiting her sister, Marianne, in Boston. They had several dates and when the time came, Jack just said goodbye to Valerie and told her he would write.

Valerie was unhappy. She had very strong feelings for Jack. In November, Valerie had a big surprise. Someone knocked on the door. Valerie’s father answered. It was a man who said, “Hello, sir, my name is Jack Marsh and I’ve come to marry your daughter.”

Everyone believed this was the beginning of a fairy-tale marriage. Or was it?

As time goes on Valerie realizes how little she really knew about Jack. She was Catholic and believed in her principles of being an ideal wife and mother. Jack, now an airline mechanic, arrives home many times late with the smell of perfume on his clothes. Many times, he is drunk and violent. Valerie puts up with this for some time.

Then, one day, something happened. Jack did something that Valerie could not ignore any longer. What did Jack do? How did Valerie respond?

Sam’s Letters to Jennifer by James Patterson

Book Reviewed by Nancy Eaton

Jennifer has been through a difficult time in her life. Her husband, Danny, and baby were killed in an accident. Jennifer receives an urgent phone call informing her that Sam, her best friend, and grandmother, was in the hospital. Sam packed and was on her way to Lake Geneva where she grew up. When Sam arrived at the hospital, her grandmother was in a coma. Reverend Farley gave her a key to Sam’s house.

When Jennifer arrived at Sam’s house, she was getting ready to place her bag on the vanity table and noticed something already there. It was a stack of about a hundred envelopes each numbered and addressed to Jennifer. Jennifer told Sam that she would like to hear her story one day. Apparently, this was the way Sam wanted to tell Jennifer about her life. Sam explained in the letters that she made a decision to tell Jennifer the secrets that she never told anyone before. As Jennifer began to read the letters, she was in for a big surprise. What was it?

Good Grief by Lolly Winston

Book Reviewed by Nancy Eaton

Sophie Stanton never expected to be such a young widow. She was only thirty-six years old when her husband, Ethan, passed away from cancer. After all, as Sophie states, “widows are supposed to wear horn-rimmed glasses and cardigan sweaters that smell like mothballs”. She had only been married three years. Sophie has a difficult time dealing with her loss and turns to items like Oreos and ice cream to comfort her. She falls apart if a telemarketer calls to ask for Ethan or when she receives mail with his name on it.

Her psychiatrist suggested she attend a form of group therapy to help with her healing. She was thoroughly disgusted with her mother-in-law who wanted to come over and help her clean out Ethan’s clothes so they could be given to Goodwill.

The Red Hat Society: Fun and Friendship After 50 by Sue Ellen Cooper

Book Reviewed by Nancy Eaton

The author of this book, Sue Ellen Cooper is the founder and Queen Mother of The Red Hat Society. When Sue had a friend who was about to turn 50 years old, she would give them a red hat. This soon became her signature gift. When she and her friends went out for tea, they would wear a red hat and something purple. At the beginning of the book, it gives a “Warning” – “When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple, with a red hat which doesn’t go…” It was here that the first chapter of the Red Hat Society was born. Can you believe that now there are over three hundred thousand Red Hatters across the USA and Canada and even around the world?

Losing My Faculties: A Teacher’s Story by Brendan Halpin

Book Reviewed by Nancy Eaton

This book is about Brendan Halpin’s experiences of being a high school teacher. It follows him through teaching jobs in an economically depressed white ethnic town, a middle-class suburb, a last-chance prevention program in the inner city and an ambitious college-prep urban charter school.

Halpin describes his first test as a student teacher where he states he failed miserably. He turned around to write something on the board and someone threw a piece of chalk. He turned around and said, “you know…that is not cool”. The class giggled. Halpin states that he knew he lost them right at that moment. From then on it was open season when Halpin turned his back – spitballs, chalk and basketballs were thrown. To make matters worse, the school had no kind of detention. You had to deal with this type of thing on your own.

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