Category Archives: Adventure

Grasp: Poems, Prose, and Essays by David Yuen

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.

Shapeless Summers by Hayden Thompson

Reviewed by Lily Amanda

Shapeless Summers” is an intimate and touching story of William Greenwood, a middle-aged man from England, who retired from his lifelong career as a seafarer. William moves to the Pacific Islands and takes up data engineering positions and later begins working as a development program manager.  William hopes to regain his vibrancy and his happiness and forget the painful memories and experiences he left in England. “Shapeless Summers” is a tale of loss, pain, soul-searching, and self-discovery.

 

A rare gem, this book displays the picturesque descriptions of the Pacific Islands, its people, their history, and traditions. With Thompson’s artistic proficiency, the author does a remarkable job highlighting the indomitable spirit of locality and solidarity. While here, William learns how to endure human lights with lightness and simplicity.  The author manages to capture the richness of the local people while also some of the challenges in these islands in an all-embracing duality. This makes the story relatable and resonant as well.

La Chimère of Prague: Part II (The Chimera of Prague Book 2) by Rick Pryll

Reviewed by Ray Palen

Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic and one of the largest and most bohemian cities in the European Union. It is important to have an understanding and a sense of Prague to truly appreciate this novel as the majority of it is set there during the late 1990s. Specifically, LA CHIMERE OF PRAGUE spans the length of August – December in the year 1998.

It was not that long before the action of this novel that Czechoslovakia saw a schism referred to as the Velvet Revolution and later the Velvet Divorce which saw the country split into the new Czech Republic and Slovakia. Prague is found in the former and by the late ’90s became one of the business and cultural centers in all of the EU. Author Rick Pryll knows all this only too well as he lived in Prague from 1997 to 2002.

Someone who knows and understands Prague even better is the protagonist in this tale, Joseph. He is an American ex-patriot American now living and working in Prague. He is not only leaving behind the U.S.A. but also the memories of his late love. In one of the most interesting love affairs in modern fiction, Joseph was involved with a bi-sexual mermaid who died under mysterious circumstances. He still intends to get to the bottom of her death but for now, must focus on his own life and moving forward.

New Yorkers: A Feisty People Who Will Unsettle, Madden, Amuse and Astonish You by Clifford Browder

Reviewed by Lisa Brown-Gilbert

When it comes to New York City, its dynamic environ and multicultural fusion of distinctive inhabitants, author Clifford Browder focuses his keen literary eye on his life and experiences as a seasoned resident there, as well as providing glimpses of the eclectic history of the city in his recent work, New Yorkers: A Feisty People Who will Unsettle, Madden, Amuse and Astonish You. Moreover, being no stranger to using the backdrop of New York as a setting for his previously published books, including a series set in nineteenth-century New York, titled Metropolis, author Browder once again provides an intriguing exploration of a very culturally distinctive locale.

Moreover, this is not your typical cut and dry biography, providing dry facts; instead, the read is a heartfelt memoir of a man and the city he lives, loves, survives and works in. The narrative keeps you rapt in its pages with a winning combination of information gleaned from Mr. Browder’s unique standpoint, research, and experiences from his many years as a resident. Consequently, author Browder does well with transfixing the mental eye with descriptions of his life as a longtime resident, including historical glimpses and insider tidbits of the better-known aspects of New York as well as the lesser-known and even the obscure.

Blood Memory Society by D.A. Field

Reviewed by Chris Phillips

Blood Memory SocietyWho would have believed that Dr. Will Dunbar, would be involved in a national emergency of far reaching proportions.

While diving in the Bahamas, Dr. Dunbar, Will, is summoned to Washington by a friend’s desperate plea for assistance. When he sees his friend, Colonel Ross Chapman the years seem to disappear between now and then, when they were both at West Point.

Although Dr. Dunbar is about to become the head of reproductive medicine at the Mayo Clinic, his friend is able to sidetrack him into working on this issue.

For the first-time Dr. Dunbar hears of a secret organization, The Blood Memory Society, that the government has been running since the beginning of the government in the United States. In the current case, the society has been renamed the Inherited Memory Society.

Timeless Travels: Tales of Mystery, Intrigue, Humor, and Enchantment by Joseph Rotenberg


Timeless TravelsWho is today’s American Jew? Joseph Rotenberg styles himself as a modern-day maggid (traditional Jewish storyteller), weaving tales from the everyday to the fantastic, each one bringing the reader a slice of the American Jewish experience. Just as Sholem Aleichem did more than a hundred years ago in his famous stories describing Russian Jewish life, these tales inform and entertain by uncovering little-known events and personalities that have impacted the American Jewish world. In the 1950s, the late Harry Golden, in his popular collections Only in America and For Two Cents Plain, introduced Jewish culture to many non-Jewish Americans. Joseph Rotenberg’s work updates that vision to depict the contemporary, modern American Jew who is today increasingly as much at home in the halls of the Ivy League, the corridors of power in Washington, the corporate boardroom, and the theater as he is in the beit midrash and the synagogue. You’ll laugh, cry, and wonder as you travel through Joseph Rotenberg’s incisive and at times laugh-outloud funny collection of tales.

Timeless Travels is a fascinating and thought-provoking account of the experiences and travels of Jewish people throughout history, by the talented author, Joseph Rotenberg. Timeless Travels will appeal to readers of all ages. I highly recommend this page-turning collection of short stories.”

Douglas R. Cobb – Reviewer for Bestsellersworld.com

Good Morning Diego Garcia: A Voyage of Discovery (Journeys) (Volume 2) by Susan Joyce

Reviewed by Douglas R. Cobb

Good Morning Diego GarciaWith Good Morning Diego Garcia: A Journey of Discovery (Journeys – Book 2), talented author Susan Joyce relates her further memoirs, which she began in The Lullaby Illusion: A Journey of Awakening (Journeys – Volume 1). The result is a fascinating book, combining the genres of memoirs and travel books, relating the author’s further adventures, when she and her husband, Charles, are invited by friends to travel in a yacht they are breaking in on its maiden voyage, and they travel to many exotic locations. Like in the first book, the author undergoes an internal journey of self-discovery as well as experiencing the journey of a lifetime places many people only dream of seeing.

Click Here for More Information on Good Morning Diego Garcia

Good Morning Diego Garcia begins with the narrator and Charles back in Ojai, California, after having spent a tumultuous time in Cyprus, living through the 1974 coup and war there. The couple are settling into a house they have rented, with Charles waiting on his old job to call him back and let him know work is available for him. They do not seem to be worried about financial matters very much, as Charles has money socked away in at least a couple of bank accounts for them to get by on.

A Bride for the Sheriff by Jewell Tweedt

A Bride for the Sheriff

Reviewed by Teri Davis

Life seldom happens as expected.

A few years ago, Claire Secord never imagined herself in her present situation.

She lived on a farm with her parents and was betrothed to Cal Davidson. The Civil War changed her expectations. Caleb never returned after leaving to fight with the Union forces. After four years there was still no word of his death. It was as if he had disappeared.

Her parents died leaving her alone.

Now in April of 1868, Claire discovers herself at another life decision. A family in nearby Gettysburg, Pennsylvania have hired her to be nanny to their rambunctious sons as well as having the household duties such as housework, cooking, and tending the vegetable garden. The family feels that Claire should be indebted to them for providing for her.

The Dust Will Answer by Richard Risemberg

Reviewed by Jud Hanson

The Dust Will Answer by Richard Risemberg is the author’s first attempt to become a mainstream author. Unfortunately, it is not a memorable attempt. One might even call it forgettable. I made it through less than half the book before giving up. The main shortcoming of the book is that it has no real hook to keep the reader’s interest for just over 200 pages. The plot consists solely of two guys searching for a girl. Neither of the three are particularly remarkable and that is what hurts this book the most.

Ox Herding: A Secular Pilgrimage by Jackie Griffiths

Ox Herding

Reviewed by Timea Barabas

If you are looking for a different kind of a travel journal, you might want to take a look at Ox Herding: A Secular Pilgrimage by Jackie Griffiths. Unlike the classical books of this genre, this novel takes you on an expedition to the previously untouched continents of a person’s psyche.

Just as the title suggests, this book is based on the Ten Ox Herding Pictures which are as Jackie Griffiths explains herself: “a Zen Buddhist philosophical classic that depicts the journey to enlightenment through ten distinct and progressive stages of spiritual development”. In fact the author gives us a brief description of these stages in the Introduction section. Although she admits to having doubts about her interference in the reader’s comprehension of her text (“I write this introduction with great trepidation, acknowledging that I’m running the risk of attracting attention to the finger pointing at the moon, rather than to the moon itself”), I find that some of the associations and explanations she puts forward here are necessary. The most useful intervention she had was introducing the reader to the Ten Ox Herding Pictures. Without this, much of the meaning of the novel would have been lost to me. However, going into the actual plot of the novel in this context seemed unnecessary to me.