Miscellaneous Favorites

In Alphabetical Order by Author Then Title

buy-from-amazon   This Luscious Life

By Kelley Black

This Luscious Life - By Kelley BlackAs author Kelley Black writes: This book is about living a luscious life. It's my heartfelt wish for every reader to live one. And since there is no recipe for simply knowing, no how-to-method for claiming personal power, no power-through technique for being receptive . . . I decided to write from my life experience. This life has cracked me open through joy and suffering. I can honestly say that it's been an odyssey of experiences both exhilarating in their happiness and excruciating in their pain. Somehow, its deep polarities have arrived in equal measure. I've been sparked by a profound awe for something unseen, something more than the external coincidence of my time alive. I know that for every bit of pain, I've also experienced the ecstasy of pleasure and pure joy. I also know that all of it, somehow, has worked in my favor to move me to a deeper connection and expression of my true self. My wish in writing this book is to give as I've received. Gratitude. Forgiveness. Love. These are our birthright. This book is my attempt at giving back to buy-now-button-amazonthe divine source in a world that has held me up even as I've fallen. It is my love letter to life.


buy-from-amazon   The Napoleon Connection

By Claude Brickell

napoleonconnectionThe Napoleon Connection is a Da-Vinci-Code-like mystery set in the French Quarter of present-day New Orleans. Hired by one of that city's more prominent citizens, young, accomplished art historian Michael Bennington must discover the whereabouts of a priceless artifact--believed to be a rare jewel--curiously missing from the city's famed Cabildo historical museum. Bennington dives into the assignment with an uncanny passion--his specialty is 19th century jewels--and ends up taking a virtual roller coaster ride through the city's fascinating historical past, uncovers both real and purported, if not positively bizarre, local legends, descends into the city's eclectic alternative undergrounds and even encounters a quasi-religious, sexually-provocative Roman Catholic cult. The first installment in 'The Jewel Trilogy,' The Napoleon Connection is an introduction into the entertaining exploits of the likable Bennington character.



buy-from-amazon   Desperate to Be a Housewife

By Meg Bortin

Desperate to be a Housewife - by Meg Bortin

"Tear gas and college riots in the '60s, Paris and love in the '70s, Gorbachev's Moscow and Afghan missiles in the '80s, Meg Bortin - aka Mona Venture - saw it all, did it all and wrote it all up, while enjoying serial love affairs and a lot of great meals along the way. More than a thrilling memoir, this is also an enthralling book about sex, love and the evolving challenges of being a woman in our time."
- Martin Walker, author of The Cold War: A History and the Bruno, Chief of Police mystery novels.

 Meet Mona Venture, Meg Bortin's alter ego in this exuberant memoir. She's young, she's modern, and she's desperate to solve a problem: how to reconcile her life as an independent woman with her longing for happily-ever-after.


 buy-from-amazonHotel Moscow: A Novel

By Talia Carner

Hotel MOSCOW- By Talia CarrierFrom the author of Jerusalem Maiden comes a mesmerizing, thought-provoking novel that tells the riveting story of an American woman—the daughter of Holocaust survivors—who travels to Russia shortly after the fall of communism, and finds herself embroiled in a perilous mafia conspiracy that could irrevocably destroy her life.
Brooke Fielding, a thirty-eight year old New York investment manager and daughter of Jewish Holocaust survivors, finds her life suddenly upended in late September 1993 when her job is unexpectedly put in jeopardy. Brooke accepts an invitation to join a friend on a mission to Moscow to teach entrepreneurial skills to Russian business women, which will also give her a chance to gain expertise in the new, vast emerging Russian market. Though excited by the opportunity to save her job and be one of the first Americans to visit Russia after the fall of communism, she also wonders what awaits her in the country that persecuted her mother just a generation ago.
A moving, poignant, and rich novel, Hotel Moscow is an eye-opening portrait of post-communist Russia and a profound exploration of faith, family, and heritage.buy-now-button-amazon 

 Hbuy-from-amazonemingway: The Last Daiquiri

By Nilda Cepero

hemingwaythelastdaiquiriA poetical biographical series of vignettes on Ernest Hemingway. A perspective that does not mince words, yet revels in time past using imagery to place us right next to Papa H from Paris to Key West to Cuba. The poems contain remembrances of a life lived and lived well, the limits of love and its unsettling elusive nature, hate and regret, death. A contemplative journey.

Nilda Cepero is an exciting Hispanic voice who writes with honesty and passion. Raised in Boston, she now makes her home in Coral Gables and Barcelona. Editor of LSR (Latino Stuff Review) from 1990-2005, and Ambos Mundos (2004-present), her writings have appeared in literary magazines in the US and Europe. An accomplished photographer and singer, she had her first exhibition, Paris: Poetic Images of Night and Dawn, at the Alliance Francaise in 2007; she recorded Nilda: Live at Jensens's to promote the traditional Cuban bolero. Her previous books are Sugar Cane Blues (1997), Lil' Havana Blues (1998), A Blues Cantata buy-now-button-amazon(1999), and Bohemian Canticles (2009).


 buy-from-amazon  Siren of the Waters

By Michael Genelin 

sirenofthewaters"In the end, we must acknowledge that we have been held spellbound by a master storyteller. Highly recommended.”—Library Journal Starred Review

“A truly fine novel. It’s filled with exactitude of place and people, taking us into a world that seethes with dangerous secrets. On that treacherous journey, Michael Genelin makes unfamiliar worlds seem knowable, and does so with great style.”—Pete Hamill, author of North River

“A terrific novel by a man who knows crime, knows Europe, and knows how to write. Siren of the Waters is a genuine pleasure.”—Thomas Perry, author of Silence

Jana Matinova entered the Czechoslovak police force as a young woman, married an actor, and became a mother. The regime destroyed her husband, their love for one another, and her daughter’s respect for her. But she has never stopped being a seeker of justice.

Now, as a commander in the Slovak police force, she liaises with colleagues across Europe as they track the mastermind of an international criminal operation involved in, among other crimes, human trafficking. Her investigation takes her from Ukraine to Strasbourg, from Vienna to Nice, in a hunt for a ruthless killer and the beautiful young Russian woman he is determined either to capture or destroy.





buy-from-amazon Forgotten: The Untold Story of D-Day's Black Heroes, at Home and at War

By Linda Hervieux

Forgotten, By Linda HervieuxThe injustices of 1940s Jim Crow America are brought to life in this extraordinary blend of military and social history—a story that pays tribute to the valor of an all-black battalion whose crucial contributions at D-Day have gone unrecognized to this day. In the early hours of June 6, 1944, the 320th Barrage Balloon Battalion, a unit of African-American soldiers, landed on the beaches of France. Their orders were to man a curtain of armed balloons meant to deter enemy aircraft. One member of the 320th would be nominated for the Medal of Honor, an award he would never receive. The nation’s highest decoration was not given to black soldiers in World War II.  In telling the story of the 320th Barrage Balloon Battalion, Linda Hervieux offers a vivid account of the tension between racial politics and national service in wartime America, and a moving narrative of human bravery and perseverance in the face of injustice. buy-now-button-amazon


buy-from-amazon  Adventures of a Continental Drifter

By Elliott Hester 

adventuresofacontinentaldrifterElliott Hester had just about had it–had it with pay cuts, had it with increasingly angry passengers, had it with low morale and had it with the always-present threat of danger. So when an enraged passenger had a meltdown over the in-flight meal, the veteran flight attendant took advantage of the leave of absence his airline offered and bought a ticket that took him around the world. He traveled to six continents–he decided Antarctica was way too cold–on a budget of about $60 a day, taking 34 flights on 14 different airlines and riding in 22 long-distance buses, cars and trains. Not surprisingly, he met many "characters" and had many adventures along the way, such as the corpulent Tahitian transvestite who tried to seduce him on a local bus or the very friendly Russian hooker, and not to forget the "Kamikaze-style" flies that plagued him in the Australian Outback. In Buenos Aires, people stared at him not with malice but with fascination ("Blacks in Argentina are as rare a sight as Mormons in South Central Los Angeles."). In Bangkok everyone from immigration officers to taxi drivers insisted he was a boxer ("You strong body. Mike Tyson."). He is taken aback by the pristine condition of the Singapore subway ("Walking into the Singapore subway is like stepping into the lobby of the Ritz."), although the city-state's Draconian laws got to be a bit overwhelming. But there's much more: India, Ethiopia, Egypt, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Estonia, Russia, Finland, Germany, Italy, Greece and Spain. Hester (whose reports appear regularly in the Tribune's Travel section) is a terrific travel companion–funny, self-deprecating and exceedingly open-minded. – Chicago Tribune





buy-from-amazon   French War Brides in America 

By Hilary Kaiser

frenchwarbridesIn 1944 and 1945, millions of American soldiers took part in the Liberation of France. It was impossible for these GIs, who brought with them freedom, health, and wealth, to avoid fraternizing with French women. Some 6,500 Franco-American marriages would later take place. Many of these women would cross the Atlantic to join their husbands, following the example of their compatriots who had wed doughboys after World War I. From the very beginning, such flirtations provoked the irritation of conservatives in France and of puritanical Americans. The former feared the debauchery of their young women, the latter the subversion of their boys. As for marriages, many difficulties first had to be overcome. Fearing an expensive inflow of war brides, who would benefit from free transportation to the U.S. and later acquire American citizenship, the U.S. Army and Washington put up obstacles. Many Americans also had a very sceptical attitude towards the integration of these brides, since French women--often dubbed "Oh-la-la girls--had the reputation of being frivolous, difficult to handle coquettes. This book, a collection of oral histories, tells the story of mademoiselle and the GI by following the destinies of 15 French war brides--three from World War I and 12 from World War II. All of these women encountered cultural shock as they discovered an opulent and open society, but one which was also materialistic and racially segregated. But the women got on with it and survived. Although about half of the marriages ended in divorce, only about 150 of the women returned to France. Most of them, in their own way, lived the American Dream. Today these women are both French and American. They reflect the image of a successful betrothal between two cultures.





buy-from-amazon   Bury the Hot: A childhood lost hiding from Hitler 

By Deb Levy

burythehotShe grew up celebrating holidays with Sal's family. She trick-or-treated with his daughter. Yet Deb knew nothing about Sal's past until he called out of the blue and asked her to write his story. There was a reason she didn't know. Sal hadn't even told his wife the details of his childhood. BURY THE HOT is the Holocaust story few have the tenacity or courage to share, and explores both a traumatized childhood, and how the repression of it impacts a marriage. It is the heartbreaking account of evading murder, and a brutally honest reflection of a life lived trying to escape the memories.

Deb Levy lives in New Jersey with her husband and three sons. Her writing has appeared on parenting websites and in Lilith Magazine.





buy-from-amazon   Thank You For Firing Me!

By Kitty Martini and Candice Reed 

thankyouforfiringmeUnfortunately, unemployment is on the rise—leaving many people anxious about how to recreate themselves and renew their careers after being fired. This fresh, funny, and smart guide will be their life saver, providing them with the information they need to thrive even in this tight economic environment. It will help jobseekers and prospective entrepreneurs figure out what they really want to do next, understand the changing job market, and find work in growth areas such as green technology. There’s also advice on retraining, freelancing and independent contracting, and Internet marketing options, as well as a chapter devoted specifically to women. Personal interviews with workers who changed their lives after getting laid off—and who are now doing what they love—offer additional inspiration.





 buy-from-amazon   Amazon Rainforest Magic: The Adventures of a Yanomami Boy

By Barbara Navarro

The magic of the Amazon rainforest enchanted artist Barbara Navarro as she spent the winter months withadventuresofaYanomamiBoy the Yanomami communities in Venezuela and Brazil over a period of twelve years. Recent developments in the Amazon, including the degradation of nature and of the way of life of the indigenous people who depend upon it for their survival, inspired her to write her children's book series which takes place in the jungle. The vividly illustrated stories in this series evoke daily life in the rainforest and the magical quality of the Yanomami's relation to the plants and animals around them. The first book, "Amazon Rainforest Magic: The Adventures of a Yanomami Boy", recounts the journey of Namowë, a thirteen year old Yanomami boy living in the rainforest, as he seeks a cure for his baby sister.




 buy-from-amazon    A Small Moment of Great Illumination: Searching for Valentine Greatrakes, The Master Healer

By Leonard Pitt 

asmallmomentWhen Leonard Pitt first caught a glimpse of Valentine Greatrakes, it was in a footnote in a history of science: “seventeenth-century Irish Healer” was all it said. Little did Pitt imagine that this accidental distraction would provide fodder for such a long adventure. Renowned for his healing powers, Greatrakes stood at the center of one of the great controversies of his age involving scientists, theologians, physicians, and philosophers. Many proclaimed his cures a miracle. Others denounced him as a quack.

Recent court battles affirm that the conflict between science and religion still rages, but what was the debate like in its earliest flowering? A Small Moment of Great Illumination visits England at the height of the Scientific Revolution to find the answer embodied in Greatrakes. Claiming he could heal others simply by touching them, Greatrakes became the target for a rising contest between the clergy and laymen who would champion the emerging scientific theories of the day. This biography traces his ascendance in the high societies of England and Ireland and his relationships with those who supported him despite the apparent contradictions of their respective fields.

This book pieces together the life and times of an enigmatic, though forgotten, figure. chapter 15!





 buy-from-amazon    Franklin and Eleanor: An Extraordinary Marriage

By Hazel Rowley 

Franklin and_EleanorThe literature on the lives of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt is vast as well as deep. Most of us are familiar with the basic facts of the seemingly practical partnership that forged an entirely new model for America’s first couple. Everyone agrees that their individual and joint contributions to the social, political, and cultural landscape of twentieth-century America are immeasurable, but most believe their personal achievements exacted an excruciatingly high personal cost. Rowley, refreshingly, disagrees as she paints a compulsively readable portrait of a vibrant partnership and a successful, albeit unconventional, marriage that nevertheless suited the ambitions and the temperaments of each partner. There are no good or bad guys in this glimpse into the intimate spousal accord that bound the Roosevelts together; both Franklin and Eleanor emerge as willing participants in an unorthodox covenant that defied societal norms and expectations in favor of a productive and mutually beneficial working partnership built on friendship, mutual admiration, and abiding intellectual respect. It might not be everyone’s idea of an ideal marriage, but it seemed to work for them, so why argue? --Margaret Flanagan





 buy-from-amazon    Places in Time

By Maxine Rose Schur 

placesintimeMaxine Rose Schur set out to see the world. With high spirits and little money, the author traveled not only far geographically, but emotionally, toward the hearts of others. She faced the violent grief of a Mexican sheriff, celebrated a wild elopement in Turkey and was initiated into a mysterious daily ritual with an Iranian forest ranger. Looking back, she tempers her youthful encounters with mid-life wisdom, capturing the spirit of all those she met, and evoking cherished places in time. ISBN 0-9649497-5-X, Floreant Press, 2005





 buy-from-amazon  Saving Myself  

By Jeanne Simonoff

savingmyselfSet in the early 1940s and 50s, SAVING MYSELF: A LOS ANGELES CHILDHOOD evokes the wonder and terror of the Simonoffs, the only Jewish family in a small section of Los Angeles. it is told from the viewpoint of a young girl trying to understand the early loss of her mother as well as abandonment by her friends because she is Jewish. The memoir comes full circle in a journey toward spiritual wholeness, expressing the universal wish for a sense of belonging.





buy-from-amazon    The Bright Side

By Max Sindell 

thebrightsideHi! This book is for you, not your parents. This whole process you're going through is tough. Believe me, I know. I've been there. Divorce ran in my family even before I was born. My parents were divorced when I was six, and I've had multiple stepparents, new families, and half-brothers. Divorce is a mixed bag, and it's easy to get overwhelmed with the huge changes that are taking place in your life. With so many disruptions, it's hard to focus on everything that's going wrong and everything you think you've lost. But this book isn't about that. When I went through my experiences with divorce, I was lucky enough to have my family and friends all help me with good advice. They helped me see the bright side of all these new experiences, and they helped me keep a level head and a positive perspective. In this book, I've put together the most important stuff I figured out to try to make this whole thing a little easier for you to deal with. I wrote this to be a practical book that deals with the everyday situations of divorce, and The Bright Side is full of useful information, like tips on traveling through airports alone, managing your schedule between two houses, or how to tell your parents that you won't take sides. Most important is The Divorced Kids' Bill of Rights, seven inalienable rights that kids have and need to know. So take a look--it's not that long. I hope it helps you out and makes your life a little easier. --Max Sindell





buy-from-amazon  A Vision of Angels

By Timothy Jay Smith

avisionofangelsA terrorist threat for Easter Sunday in Jerusalem sets off a chain of events that weave together the lives of an American journalist, Israeli war hero, Palestinian farmer, and Arab-Christian grocer.

Alerted to a suicide bomb plot, Major Jakov Levy orders the border with Gaza Strip closed. Unable to get his produce to market, Amin Mousa dumps truckloads of tomatoes in a refugee camp.

David Kessler, an American journalist, sees it reported on television and goes to Gaza for Amin's story. Hamas militants plot to smuggle a bomb out in David’s car and retrieve it when he returns home, but he’s unexpectedly detoured on the way. Meanwhile, a cell member confesses to the plot, and the race is on to find David and retrieve the bomb before the terrorists can.

Ultimately A Vision of Angels is a story of reconciliation and hope, but not before events as tragic as a modern passion play change the lives of four families forever.buy-now-button-amazon


buy-from-amazon Cooper's Promise

By Timothy Jay Smith

cooper s promiseCOOPER CHANCE, Army sharpshooter and deserter, wants to go home, but cannot knowing that he’ll be jailed. He’s ended up a mercenary in Africa in a gritty world of thugs, prostitutes and corrupt cops. He trades diamonds to survive and meets Sadiq, a young merchant as lost in the world as he is. They fall in love, but unbeknownst to Cooper, the youth has ulterior motives.

When huge oil reserves are discovered, the CIA offers Cooper a way home without jail time if he carries out a risky high-stakes mission. Cooper balks until a teenage prostitute he’s promised to save is trafficked and disappears. In hopes of rescuing her, Cooper agrees to carry out the CIA’s plot with unexpected consequences.

It is a literary thriller that was short-listed in 2011's Faulkner-Wisdom Competition (America's most prestigious competition for new works), and the screenplay adaptation has placed in two dozen contests, taking three Grand Prizes and two First Places. The publisher has already selected it for Editor's Choice.Buy Nowbuy-now-button-amazon




buy-from-amazon  With Robert Lowell and His Circle: Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Elizabeth Bishop, Stanley Kunitz and Others

By Kathleen Spivack

robertlowellandhiscircleIn 1959 Kathleen Spivack won a fellowship to study at Boston University with Robert Lowell. Her fellow students were Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton, among others. Thus began a relationship with the famous poet and his circle that would last to the end of his life in 1977 and beyond. Spivack presents a lovingly rendered story of her time among some of the most esteemed artists of a generation. Part memoir, part loose collection of anecdotes, artistic considerations, and soulful yet clear-eyed reminiscences of a lost time and place, hers is an intimate portrait of the often suffering Lowell, the great and near great artists he attracted, his teaching methods, his private world, and the significant legacy he left to his students. Through the story of a youthful artist finding her poetic voice among literary giants, Spivack thoughtfully considers how poets work. She looks at friendships, addiction, despair, perseverance and survival, and how social changes altered lives and circumstances. This is a beautifully written portrait of friends who loved and lived words, and made great beauty together.




buy-from-amazon  Unspeakable Things: A novelUnspeakable Things: A novel

By Kathleen Spivack

Unspeakable Things - By Kthleen SpivackA wild, erotic novel—a daring debut—from the much-admired, award-winning poet, author of Flying Inland, A History of Yearning, and With Robert Lowell and His Circle: Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Elizabeth Bishop, Stanley Kunitz, and Others. A strange, haunting novel about survival and love in all its forms; about sexual awakenings and dark secrets; about European refugee intellectuals who have fled Hitler’s armies with their dreams intact and who have come to an elusive new (American) “can do, will do” world they cannot seem to find. A novel steeped in surreal storytelling and beautiful music that transports its half-broken souls—and us—to another realm of the senses.




buy-from-amazon  Come and Go Molly Snow

By Mary Ann Taylor-Hall 

comeandgomollysnowOpening in a haze much like the one experienced by the main character, country singer Carrie Marie Mullins, Taylor-Hall's novel clears up a bit as the reason for Carrie's depression becomes clear. She has lost her young daughter in a tragic accident and lives in the shadow of her own childhood, which was marked by her father's suicide. She is slowly recovering under the care of two elderly women who keep her busy with housework and ask no probing questions. Meanwhile, her band needs their amazing country fiddler back, and her chance at stardom hangs in the balance. Taylor-Hall has composed a beautiful, moody novel with a character that will live in readers' hearts. Denise Perry Donavin --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.





buy-from-amazon    How She Knows What She Knows About Yo-Yos: Stories

By Mary Ann Taylor-Hall 

aboutyoyos"Everybody out here knew that she was a woman without a man," Jana, the narrator of "Advanced Beginners" realizes about her small farming community, then admits: "it was only natural that they should wonder why--she wondered why herself." The protagonists in Mary Ann Taylor-Hall's How She Knows What She Knows About Yo-Yos are all women without men, yet one would never mistake any of them for Bridget Jones. In fact--most pleasant of surprises--these stories aren't really about men at all: they're about place, and the complex web of personal history that binds people to it. Whether her fiction is set in Kentucky or the Caribbean, Chicago or England, Taylor-Hall's women enact a complex dance of movement and stasis, lighting out for the territory or setting down roots. Alone but not lonely, they crave sex but not necessarily companionship, a piece of earth to call home but not necessarily domesticity. In the delightful title story, a young woman raised as a fundamentalist stretches her wings in the wake of her mother's death. Unfortunately, the only way she can think to rebel is by building a stone wall between her property and the Baptist church. To convince her otherwise, it takes an itinerant yo-yo salesman (would that such a creature actually existed!), some dancing, candlelight, and a painful--and somewhat belated--loss of innocence. "Banana Boats" follows an elderly first-generation American as she grows forgetful, mourns her Chicago girlhood, and tends her ailing husband with his dreams and lies about distant lands. ("Her faraway place had always been a man," she remembers.) Other stories follow a writer's love affair with a remote English village and a young woman's quixotic efforts to become a farmer, leaving her "sometime lover and spiritual advisor" behind in town. Throughout, Taylor-Hall has such a lovely, light touch with character and scene that it's easy to forget how perceptive she is about women's lives. Read these stories once for enjoyment, then once again to sound their considerable depths. --Chloe Byrne --This text refers to the Paperback edition.





 buy-from-amazon   Detox Your Finances: The Ultimate Book of Money Matters for Women

By Justine Trueman 

detoxyourfinancesWhen times are tough and your money isn’t going as far as it used to, it’s vital to stay on top of your finances. But at times it seems that the world of money is aimed at men and it can be a daunting place for women. That’s why Justine Trueman’s "Detox Your Finances" is the ultimate accessory for the modern gal. It’s easy to read and packed full of indispensable insights. Now is the perfect time to detox your finances and make your money work for you.




buy-from-amazon   Pun Enchanted Evenings: A Treasury of Wit, Wisdom, Chuckles and Belly Laughs for Language Lovers -- 746 Original Word Plays

By David Yale

punenchantedevenings746 wildly original puns on every subject from Arizona to zealous crusaders! 14 ant puns certain to start a new fad!  Bi-lingual puns in English and Spanish, French, Chinese, Latin, Yiddish! The best new moron puns since the Fifties! You'll laugh out loud -- guaranteed! Plus information on the first scientific studies showing the mental superiority of pun-lovers!




buy-from-amazon   Saying No to Naked Women

By David Yale

sayingnotonakedwomenAbout family relationships & forgiveness. This is a story about how one man freed himself from porn values and sexual addiction. Shows invisible behavior patterns behind personal problems.