H. Eugene Lehman’s Architects of Anglo-American Justice-Draftsmen of Common Law from Roman Britannia to the Constitution of the United States of America

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

Overview: Everyone has heard of a common law. Of course, it’s usually in the terminology of a ‘common law marriage.’ So, how about a history lesson on the American and English laws?

Story Telling: This is a history book. And like all history books, the historian is just as important as the time frames included.

Dislikes: Here’s my problem, history is everyone’s story. Yet, most historians only give one particular point-of-view. This happens to be an atheistic, progressive viewpoint.

Also, just because something is in the public domain, it doesn’t mean that people will necessarily go look the items up. If you are going to refer to the American Founding Documents, then at least include those documents in an appendix.

Likes: It was fascinating to learn about Alfred the Great, Good Queen Bess, and some of the background of the Revolutionary War.

It was also neat to see how communistic the Puritans really were.

Favorite Section: That would be the Doom book of Alfred the Great, and the section on the United States.

Favorite Quote: There are two, one from Alfred the Great, and one from Thomas Payne. Here’s the first: “My will is to live worthily, and after my life, to leave to them who come after me a memory of my good works.”

And the one from Thomas Payne. “I prefer peace, but if trouble must come, let it come in my time, so my children can live in peace.”

Conclusion: This can be an interesting book. But, by now, you should know my motto: do your own research.

Ben Blatt’s Nabokov’s Favorite Word is Mauve-What the Numbers Reveal about the Classics, Bestsellers, and Our Own Writing

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

Overview: Have you ever wondered if two books were by the same author, or co-author? Do you wonder if you can find your favorite author’s fingerprints? If you are a word-nerd or any fancier of the written word, this might be a book you find interesting.

Story Telling: This is a non-fiction book. It focuses more on the statistics, instead of the written word.

Dislikes: The major problem was the focus on the statistics, especially during the comparisons of male and female authors. You see, Mr. Blatt used e-books for his research so, in some cases, it was pretty evident that he hadn’t read the books. His example for the differences in men and women writers was J. R. R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit.” Yes, there aren’t any female characters in the unexpected party. But, that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t any mention of the women in Tolkien’s world. There are more ways to refer to women besides ‘she’ and ‘her.’ Besides, while men will write more adventures and war novels, women tend to write more romances and erotica (can you really tell the difference today?). Guess when genre requires both genders?

Also, the reading grade levels seem to be inaccurate. While the words might be simple or monosyllable, no one–in his or her right mind–would give “Fifty Shades of Grey” to an elementary student.

Likes: A lot of this was fascinating. Some of the ways they proved authorship was cool. Even when the authorship was a known pseudonym, the processed worked with surprising accuracy.

The quotes were fun, and–at times–encouraging.

Favorite Section: That would be the section on the differences in the cover designs.

Favorite Quote: Granted, this one isn’t from the author, but it fits. “Your style is an emanation from your own being.–Katherine Anne Porter”

Conclusion: This is a fascinating book. Just be careful about the knowledge you receive. Like the grade levels, you have to consider each book and the reader at the time.

Carole P. Roman’s If You Were Me and Lived In…the Mayan Empire

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

Overview: Let’s kick off the time machine. This time we’re heading to the Mayan Empire. What are we going to learn on this trip?

Story Telling: Once again, we have a historical cultural book.

Artwork: We get more realistic looking illustrations.

Likes: Somehow, Mrs. Roman kept the violence of the Mayans out of this book.

Conclusion: This is a decent starter book for Southern and Central America. However, wait until your children are older to continue the lessons.

Carole P. Roman’s If You Were Me and Lived In…Germany

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

Overview: It’s time to start a new journey. We’re on our way to one of the crown jewels of the European Union. What will Germany teach us on this trip?

Story Telling: Once again, we have a cultural travelogue.

Artwork: We have a mix-media platform with this book. The illustrations are mixed with photography.

Likes: We still have the pronunciation key. Also, the words are rather easy to pronounce, this time. That’s always a benefit.

Conclusion: This was an interesting book. Enjoy it wit your little ones.

Agatha Christi’s What Mrs. Gillicuddy Saw! Or 4:50 From Paddington

Overview: Mrs. Gillicuddy could’ve sworn that she saw something most unsavory through the windows of her train cabin. But nobody, in a position of authority, believes the old woman. She does have someone she can turn to. Here’s a puzzler for the elderly Miss Marple.

Story Telling: Once again we get a British Manor Mystery.

Dislikes: The grandfather of the Crackenthorpe family was totally wrong in my opinion. All Josiah did, was put a chasm of enmity between his son and his grandchildren. Families shouldn’t be fractured due to minor disagreements, especially disagreements on money. Unless, there’s a betrayal of trust (having an odd taste in art doesn’t count) or it’s a matter of life and death, the family unit should strive to stay together.

Likes: You might disagree with me, but I liked Miss Marple’s solution to investigating the crime.

Favorite Character: That would be Lucy Eyelesbarrow.

Favorite Quote: I’ll let you guess on this origin. “She and Jane had shown them all right!”

Favorite Scene: IT would be the conversation between the Lady Stoddard and Emma Crackenthorpe.

Conclusion: This was a fun book. If I may though, read this book before you read “A is for Arsenic.”

Christina Pfeiffer & Mary Robson’s Month-By-Month Gardening Pacific Northwest: Oregon, Washington, Lower British Columbia, Northern California

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

Overview: Are you living in the pacific northwest? Do you want to have a nice garden? This book might be of some help to you.

Story Telling: This is a reference book. It may be separated by month, but it is still a reference book.

Dislikes: This book does mention the top two poisonous plants–the castor bean and oleander–,but it does leave a gap in your knowledge. Please, do your research on the yew before you plant this tree.

Also, there didn’t seem to be any encouragement to master certain gardening skills. Instead Ms. Pfeiffer and Ms. Robson always advised the reader to seek the advice and help from the universities and the ‘certified’ experts.

Likes: This book does encourage people to try gardening.

Favorite Section: The specialty sections were quite fascinating.

Conclusion: Those gardeners focusing on the edible garden might find this book lacking. It is better suited, on the whole, for the ornamental gardener, as well as the new ones.

Holly Sterling’s Hiccups

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

Overview: Ruby and Oscar are playing when they run into a little trouble. Can Ruby help Oscar cure his hiccups?

Story Telling: We get a cute rhyming story for the young ones. It will be a plus if they already like Dr. Seuss.

Artwork: The illustrations are chubby little color pencil sketches.

Likes: Ruby showed some good problem-solving, and critical thinking skills. She certainly shows your little ones how to think outside of the box.

Conclusion: This was a fun story. Enjoy it with your little ones and their furry friends.

Dean Koontz’s The Servants of Twilight

Overview: Single mother Christine Scavello has had a bit of luck after years of an oppressed childhood. Unfortunately, nothing in her life has prepared her for this. Her son, Joey, for all of his sweetness, has run afoul of an old woman. There’s something about her that seems unnatural. She seems to have latched onto the idea that Joey must die. Who can Christine turn to in order to save her son?

Story Telling: This is a supernatural thriller. And please, don’t start thinking werewolves and vampires. I have yet to see Mr. Koontz write about those.

Dislikes: Mother Grace may have claimed to be working for God, but–truly–you only have to look at her fruit. Outside of putting an entire city ‘under the ban,’ has God ever demanded the death of a child?

Also I expected little more from the ending. This disconnect could be because this book was one of Mr. Koontz’s earlier novels.

Likes: Charlie was very determined to do the right thing by Christine and Joey.

Denton Boothe was the biggest help Charlie or Christine could have had.

Favorite Character: It would be either Denton Boothe or Kyle Barlowe.

Favorite Quote: Here’s something you might want to remember. “The thought is father to the deed, right?”

Favorite Scene: It would be when Henry and Charlie went to see Denton Boothe.

Conclusion: Like I said earlier, the ending is where I felt disappointment in the story. Other than that, we had quite the interesting ride.

Roger Stern’s The Death and Life of Superman

Overview: Superman has faced many enemies in his career. Darkseid and Mongul have both given him the fight of his career. Now, however, a monster arises that just might end Superman’s life. This begs the question: when one of earth’s greatest heroes fall, who will step into his place?

Story Telling: This book asks a good question: can a story told over the span of forty comic books be condensed into one volume? No, I’m not wading into the minefield of whether or not comic books are real books. I’m just saying that Mr. Stern did a good job.

Dislikes: Paul Westfield’s attitude about those with powers is horrible.

Likes: Bibbo was cool. What else do you call someone who respects his hero so much that he tries to better the world?

Jonathan and Martha held themselves together pretty well considering the circumstances.

And Emil Hamilton held a self-deprecating style of speech at times.

Favorite Character: It’s a toss-up. Now, you can’t call Superman, because if you don’t like Superman, why are you reading this book? For my toss-up, it’s between John Henry Irons, Jonathan Kent, and Bibbo.

Favorite Quote: This is something that more people should consider. “Power carries a lot of responsibilities, son, and it’s up to each of us to use whatever talents that we have to leave this world a better place than we found it.”

Favorite Scene: I loved it when Bibbo was handing out lunches to the homeless.

But it could also be when Batman foiled the assassination attempt at the funeral.

Conclusion: This was a terrific story. Though, I believe it was more of Metropolis’s story, and not Superman’s.

Carole P. Roman’s If You Were Me and Lived on…Mars

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

Overview: Are you ready for a new series? This series is taking us off planet. Let’s visit the red planet. What can we see here?

Story Telling: This is more of a scientific travelogue. At least, that’s what I would call it.

Artwork: These illustrations seem to be more pastels with watercolors. They have a good smoky look.

Dislikes: Why is it every time a book is supposed to be educational, we lose the fun? You can learn while having fun. In fact, you can learn better when you are having fun.

Likes: Um, some of the facts were interesting. Knowing the source of the names is something the literary-minded will enjoy.

Conclusion: This book is definitely for the budding astronomer. Enjoy it with your future astronauts.