William Wright’s Dizziness and Vertigo-A Simple Guide to Figuring It Out

I received this book for a fair and honest review.

Overview: Do you remember my review for “Jailhouse Doc”? Well, Dr. Wright is back with a handbook straight from his specialty. He is, to put it simply, a doctor who deals with those suffering from dizziness.

Story Telling: It’s rather simple really. This book uses case studies to take us through the main causes of dizziness and vertigo.

Likes: Dr. Wright uses humor in some of his explanations in order to make his points. It made it so the reading wasn’t dry.

Dislikes: No matter how hard you try, you can’t get away from the medical terminology in books like this. It’s not so easy to pronounce.

Favorite Quote. It comes right after Dr. Wright gets through explaining how dizziness works. “Equilibrium, if not dignity, is restored.”

Favorite Story: It may be a little scary. Lorin’s story left me a bit unnerved.

Conclusion: I would highly recommend this book for those suffering chronic dizziness. After all why not go to an expert? It made my library strictly for the research potential.

When I Grow Up I Want To Be…a Nurse!

I received this book courtesy of Wigu Publishing for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Amber has a problem. During a soccer game, she broke her arm. What can she teach your child about being a nurse?

Story Telling: This is much like Wigu’s books on the army and veterinarians. We have a story aimed to interest children into joining a certain career path. In this case the tables of information deal with the history and specializations of the nursing department.

Likes: This is an interesting approach to the nursing lifestyle. Amber shows the nursing profession, not by playing nurse, but by needing one. Wigu’s author didn’t deny the roles that religion or military played in the career.

Dislikes: My problem with the story is how Mom got Amber to play soccer. The focus wasn’t on Amber’s likes or fears, but on her friends. It would have been better to suggest that she go to practice and try one game, if she doesn’t like it then she can quit. I had a problem with the approach taken, because it seems to push a collective-thinking lifestyle. As in: you don’t matter, the whole does. Amber’s wishes didn’t really matter, what mattered was that her friends deserved her to play soccer. This can be dangerous thinking.

Also, just learning about something won’t necessarily overcome your fears. Yes, there is a fear of the unknown. But in some cases, there is a greater fear due to knowledge.

Favorite Character: Mrs. Ellis or George fits this slot. They showed to be good examples of nurses.

Favorite Quote: I got this one when Amber saw the other team. “We must be on the wrong field.

Favorite Scene: When Amber and Sophia saw each other after the accident was pretty good. Oh, Easter egg time, Amber probably broke the small bone in her arm, but the illustrations show a radial brake with both bones.

Conclusion: I’m not quite sure what to make of this book series. On the one hand, it seems to encourage children. And on the other hand, the series seems to push an agenda. This particular books seemed to dance along a fine line between the two. The nursing sections were encouraging. The soccer sections can lead to a bitter life, especially if you always think that someone deserves your attempt. Read this series with caution, and be ready to explain the difference to your children.

Kevin Cole’s Days of Throbbing Gristle

I received this book courtesy of Mr. Cole for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Let’s meet Samuel Henry Hay, a poor boy from one of the unsavory towns in England. But, he has a plan. He is going to America as an exchange student. His host family won’t know what hit them. After all they aren’t expecting him to play them for all that they are worth. Methinks someone should have warned him about the country he was moving to.

Story Telling: Mr. Cole took an interesting path with this slice-of-life/coming-of-age novel. Sam has definitely given me something to think about. The small city/town life was well fleshed out, all the way to the unabashed gossip. A warning: this is a long book. (It comes really close to ‘War and Peace’ length.) Be ready for that one.

Likes: For the most part, it was the minor characters that made this story for me. Shauna definitely has good tastes. Who can go wrong wit George Strait? (Hey Sam? Not many will admit to listening to country in school.) Clyde and Bonnie Turner are some cool. I wish I could see their farm. It was a great growing point for Sam to have tried to help Heather.

Dislikes: Okay, this might be a little long. For starters, I accept that Jill is supposed to be a sympathetic character. She didn’t do a good job for my tastes. She knew what Donna Turner was like. Jill saw how domineering Donna was and where her priorities lay. Yet, with all of this knowledge, Jill doesn’t let loose her anger on Donna. Family honor for her sister’s heartbreak insists that she lays her rage on the head of the insecure, fifteen-year-old, former friend Heather. How many fifteen-year-olds are actually strong enough to face someone like Donna? Jill was wrong. Sam had more sympathy for Heather, and they despised each other.

Speaking of Donna, I have but one message for her. You aren’t a victim; you’re a dictator. Allow me to dip into my southern roots. It ain’t all about you. Donna and Neal got married for the wrong reasons. There was always adoption. Heather didn’t destroy her parents’ lives. Their choices did that.

You hear that Paul, Chelsea, and James? Your choices matter. It is too easy to blame someone else for all of your troubles. No amount of showing someone love will fix what is wrong with him or her. Paul was an obsessive personality. That is never good for a relationship, just ask any woman in a shelter. By the way Chelsea…women don’t even understand women. Sorry, that’s just how it goes.

Favorite Character: Um, this would have to be Clyde Turner. He took Sam horseback riding.

Favorite Quote: Clyde so has it right here. “That’s all you can do to stop wild animals from attackin you.”

Favorite Scene: Well I particularly enjoyed the time that Sam spent in Comfort. That was beautiful.

Conclusion: The story was okay. Paul ruined it for me. Well, the way everyone seemed to view Paul and the innocent angel, that is. Also the length of the book, as well as some of the situations that Sam found himself in, made it so that I am uncomfortable reading this one to/with anyone.

Koos Verkaik’s The Nibelung Gold

I received this book courtesy of Mr. Verkaik for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Wolf is any medium’s nightmare. With a few words, he can make or break a medium’s reputation. There is a reason, of course. Wolf is seeking evidence of the power of something called a ‘collective.’ A woman, Wera, warned him about a group of mediums who have joined their minds and powers together for a single purpose, calling themselves a collective. Will he find the evidence he needs to save Wera Kellar? Or will he not live long enough to see the beginning of the 20th century?

Story Telling: It was a pretty smooth ride up to the last third of the book. Then I kind of got lost. It seemed like the thread of the story went from finding Wera, to being a treasure hunt. Perhaps I missed something in the process?

Likes: Wolf’s single-mindedness was something to be admired. Wera did try to do the right thing, she was just up against powers stronger than she was.

Dislikes: Like I said, I lost the thread of the story around the time that Johan disappeared. Up to that point the purpose was to find Wera. Afterwards, we got pulled into a treasure hunt. Where did Viktor Blum get his ideas? Why didn’t we get to see who was stronger between Wolf and Blum? And who was Eckartt?

Favorite Character: Michaela was the best person around. She was a skeptic, but not so skeptical that she couldn’t accept the unexplainable.

Favorite Quote: From Wera: “Don’t forget about the collective!”

Favorite Scene: The point when Johan knocked the tar out of Dr. Blum was pretty cool. Perhaps the good doctor should have learned Dutch?

Conclusion: For the most part I enjoyed this story. I just wish that I hadn’t gotten lost in the reading.

Tricia Fields’s Firebreak-A Josie Gray Mystery 4

I received this book for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: The town of Artemis, Texas is in for a mess. There is a wildfire coming from the north, and another one has jumped the Rio Grande to the south. In the aftermath, tragedy seems to have struck. At the house of a home-town star, a body is found. Who is it? And why is the local country star not answering his cell phone? Josie, Otto and Marta are on the case, and, with help from the fire marshal, they’ll get to the bottom of this one.

Story Telling: Ms. Fields has done a good job on her story. Josie seemed quite real. I could have easily put myself in Artemis. And the mystery part kept me guessing.

Likes: This surprised me. I’ve read quite a few books written by women. And most of them get sexual fast. This one really didn’t. Dell was pretty cool. Just a good old boy, busy-body, dog-sitting, neighbor. He’s just my kind of guy.

Dislikes: I had as much love for Ferris, as I did Mark Sinner. Both of these guys had a major problem. Ferris was a people-user, and Mark had a problem with his station in life.

Favorite Character: Dell and Otto have to duke this one out. Such good examples of southern gentlemen.

Favorite Quote: You have got to give small towns credit. They don’t hide the fact that people talk. From the sign of the Hot Tamale: “The Hot Tamale: Quick Service, Authentic Recipes, and the Most Accurate Gossip in Texas.”

Favorite Scene: The atmosphere in the Hell-Bent after Billie’s accident, was pretty good. Mick showed some of his own insecurities at that time.

Conclusion: It was a good story. I enjoyed it and hope you don’t mind the trip to the border.

Carole P. Roman’s Fribbet the Frog and the Tadpoles-A Captain No Beard Story

I received this book courtesy of Mrs. Roman for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: It’s just another average day on Captain No Beard’s ship. Or it would be if the pirates didn’t find out that Fribbet has a problem at home. Can Captain No Beard maintain order and help Fribbet with his problem?

Story Telling: Well, I guess this is what you could call a two-for, in more ways than one. We have a cute story for children, with adorable illustrations, and it can pass on two lessons. You can show your children the life-cycle of a frog, as well as prepare them for the coming brother or sister.

Likes: The drama that Fribbet felt over his new brothers and sisters wasn’t belittled or treated like it was just one big misunderstanding. Captain No Beard, and the rest of The Flying Dragon’s crew, accepted the trouble for what it was. A big deal to one, was a big deal to all. That takes some skill to pull off while staying sincere.

Dislikes: The only thing that I’ve noticed is the fact that this story leans on the rest of the series. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, unless you cat the series in the middle.

Favorite Character: Picking just one of the pirates is a bit of a dilemma. It’s almost a cop-out to pick Captain No Beard. I guess I could go with Hallie.

Favorite Quote: Hallie gives us this one. “I got a little tadpole of my own!”

Favorite Scene: The best part was when we found out how Captain No Beard got the position of captain.

Conclusion: It’s a cute book. Enjoy it with your ‘tadpoles.’

Lawrence W. Gold’s State of Mind-Brier Hospital 8

I received this book courtesy of Dr. Gold for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Drs. Kim Powell and David Cohen are working on a new treatment for PTSD, Parkinson’s Disease, and aggression. Their treatment has already gone past the animal trials with little trouble, and they are working through the first phases of human trials. Then it happens. After a brutal murder, the courts order the project team to perform their treatment on the psychopath accused of the crime. If the treatment works, where does that leave justice for his victim?

Story Telling: Dr. Gold is a bit slow with his story at places. The science is what did it though. When it came to the treatments, the science bogged down the story’s momentum.

Likes: Abbie was much better in this book. It was interesting to see her as more of a friend than that of a psychiatrist or marathoner. Michael and Karen are back as well.

Dislikes: I didn’t like Kim. Being ethical is one thing. But she was so wishy-washy over what she should do, and she had the call to call it ‘being a conscience.” Really, she struck me as someone who is afraid of being held accountable for her actions.

Jose was my biggest problem. How bad does someone have to get before you stop making excuses for his or her behavior? Fro the record, I don’t believe that either Maria or her family received justice at all. Here a girl is brutally murdered, and all anyone can seem to think of is what is going to happen to Jose? Where are people’s priorities?

Favorite Character: this would be a toss up between Raul Diaz and Al Russo. They were both strong, stand-up men.

Favorite Quote: This is perfect. Straight from the DA’s office: ““I wish I could give you an answer,” Charlie said, “but I can’t. After many years as district attorney, I fully accept the fact that evil exists in this world.”” (Bingo, and I don’t even work for the DA.)

Favorite Scene: The best part, for me, was when Raul was giving his victim impact statement. It was good.

Conclusion: The story was good. I just didn’t agree with the sentencing. But, here in Texas, that wouldn’t be a problem.

Gary Rex Tanner’s The Oklahoma Gamblin’ Man

I received this book courtesy of Mr. Tanner for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Rex Tanner had an interesting life. These stories lead us from his early years in the Oklahoma countryside, to his time in California during the Depression and thereafter.

Story Telling: How many of us have heard stories from our parents and/or grandparents and were just fascinated by them? Well Mr. Tanner has taken this fascination one step further. He has written his Daddy’s stories down, making this a special kind of memoir.

Likes: Rex did a lot of bad things in this book, but–with a few exceptions–he did what he had to do for his family’s sake. It will really give you a feel for The Great Depression era.

Dislikes: The problem that I had with this book came in the last two chapters…er, the last chapter and the epilogue. The didn’t seem to fit with the spirit in the rest of the book.

Favorite Character: I liked Effie. She was able to keep a house full of children running, and still had time to teach those interested how to read.

Favorite Quote: Now I personally disagree with the assessment, but here we go. “Rex had one weakness in business: he was an eternal optimist.” Optimism can’t be that bad.

Favorite Scene: Rex going to speak with Frank, after his brother had pulled a knife on the bartender, was pretty good. Bet they were watching what they said in that bar for a while afterwards.

Conclusion: It’s a tidy collection of short stories. But if you want my advice, skip the last chapter and the epilogue.

Michael Don Fess’s The Secret DNA Code

I received this book courtesy of Mr. Fess for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Former college roommates, Bo and Ken, are working on a top secret research project. It’s not top-secret because they’re working for the government; it’s more like they are trying to hide it from the government. Too bad, because the NSA, the FBI, the Iranians, and the Saudis are all aware of their research to decode the universal parts of DNA. It’s not like it could get anyone killed though, right?

Story Telling: Mr. Fess had an unique idea. Can you imagine what the results would be if the evidence of intelligent design was found in our DNA? IN my opinion, though, Mr. Fess allowed his prejudices to bleed through the story.

Likes: I appreciate the fact that Bo and Ken, along with the other researchers involved, were determined to find the truth. Hanks and Smitty did a pretty good job protecting them as well.

Dislikes: Here’s the thing. Bo, seemed to pull some impressive contortions to keep from giving credit for intelligent design to an omnipotent creator that most believers refer to as God. Also, some of the believers in God–with exception of the Jewish professor in the researchers crew–were painted as ignorant, violent, or both.

Some of Mr. Fess’s research seemed a bit off. Marrying your first cousin will not make your children lose up to ten IQ points. Some families are just so large that, unless you met at the family reunion, you may not know–until too late–that you were related. Therefore I don’t agree that Muslims are somehow too ignorant to be anything but a clerk at a convenience store.

Conclusion: I don’t have a favorite character, quote, or scene from this book. It held a spirit of disdain for those who believe in God. And that ruined the story for me. You can read this book to see how the other side thinks, but be prepared.

Marsha Sramek’s The Great Grammar Book

I received this book courtesy of Ms. Sramek for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Ms. Sramek has written this book in order to help others learn the rules of grammar for their writing needs.

Story Telling: This seems like it would be a good book for a writer, doesn’t it? We have a diagnostic test and chapters separated in such a way as to make learning easy. It just doesn’t seem to work that way in practice.

Dislikes: While some of the sentences were grammatically correct, quite a few of them didn’t sound right. I mean if you’re a writer (or want to be one), then this doesn’t help much.

Then there was this one question in the diagnostic test. “Since the Bennets buy gourmet cereals, are always in Starbucks, and constantly wear designer clothes, they have a lot more money that we/us.” As you can see, it’s a ‘pick the right word’ question. The problem that I had was there was an implied word in the answer key. Implied, mind you. The word ‘do’ is nowhere to be seen in this question. Perhaps, this was a misprint. Otherwise, I see Ms. Sramek’s answer as cheating.

Conclusion: Like I said, the sentences might be grammatically correct. But, I think I’ll stick with Strunk’s “Elements of Style” for my writing needs.