KAYE TROUT'S BOOK REVIEWS

I specialize in reviewing Print-On-Demand (POD) published books for my website and Midwest Book Review. Please query by email: hgunther234@hotmail.com. If I agree to do a review, send your book and check for $25 to: Kaye Trout, 37 Valley View Dr. 3142, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

Friday, May 27, 2016

MR. NOMAD - Tales of a Traveling Teacher

By: Dave Webb
Published by: Createspace
Genre: Memoir
Rating: Very Good
ISBN:978-1532862250, $12.00, 220 pp

I generally start a review by quoting from the back cover, and this is no exception.

"In his memoir, veteran elementary school teacher Dave Webb recalls some of the most memorable events from his nearly thirty years in education. His many travels as a teacher have taken him to dozens of public and private schools and have connected him and his classes with the likes of award-winning authors, Hollywood actors, and students from around the world. He invites everyone to learn from both is successes and failures in his often funny, sometimes heartbreaking tale of one man's teaching career."

Mr. Nomad is a memoir and very nicely done with short, interesting chapters, thirty four in total, not numbered but titled, such as "The Substitute's Survival Guide", "Best of Both Worlds", "The Angry Mom", "Things Kids Say", and "Classroom Publishing" to name a few, and presented in a chronological manner, starting with "First Days of School" and ending with "The Last Day of School".

 At the end of the book, Webb has an "Appendix I: Share Fair" in which he describes some "neat" teaching ideas which he has picked up over the years, and "Appendix II: The Bookends of My Career (1988 and 2030)" is fun as he recalls trivia from 1988 and then makes predictions for 2030, when he plans to retire. 

There's lots of variety, and some chapters are more fun and interesting than others, but that's personal taste. Overall, there is something here for everyone. 

It's clearly apparent that Dave Webb is a dedicated teacher with a gift for inspiring his students through his creative approach to teaching. It's also clear that Webb is an accomplished, serious writer with nine published books to his credit.

Mr. Nomad is well written and well edited, and if you enjoy reading memoirs, I'm certain that you'll enjoy the Tales of a Traveling Teacher.

Reviewed by Kaye Trout - May 27, 2016

Monday, August 17, 2015

UNCLOG YOUR HAPPINESS - A Practical Guide To Living Blissfully

By: David J. Ring III
Publisher: Worn Key Press
Genre: Self help
Rating: Average
ISBN: 9786169236221, $ 19.99, 90 pp.

Quoting from the back cover:
"Ever-searching, never finding, we continue a never-ending journey, hunting for happiness. New scientific research has shown that the way we think causes us to be unhappy. Modern gurus, like Eckhart Tolle, exclaim the blissful state of 'no-thoughts'--the power of now. But the directions and instructions for getting there are lacking. Unclog Your Happiness is a practical and simple guide to reaching that place--using meditation and self-inquiry to shut down the brain's happiness-inhibiting default network--and reclaiming the ultimate blissful existence. 

"With the techniques in Unclog Your Happiness, you will be able to:
-Remove stress and eliminate fears
-Overcome anxiety and depression

"Finally, learn how to experience the power of now and live life peacefully and blissfully."

There are many self-help books on the subject of happiness and how to obtain it. Does this book provide us with any new, significant insights into this mystery? I think not, but on a positive note, the guidance is presented in a logical, concise, brief manner with sincere intent. The book is well written and well edited. 

On the subject of happiness, Abraham Lincoln said, "People are as happy as they make up their minds to be." Buddha said, "Be ye a light unto thyself." And John Smith, a journalist, wrote, "Meditation is like practicing to be dead." So many perspectives. If it works for you, that's all that matters. 

Reviewed by Kaye Trout 8/17/2015



Monday, December 16, 2013

BACK TO A FUTURE FOR MANKIND


BioGeometry – Solutions to the Global Environmental Crisis
by Ibrahim Karim, Ph.D., Dr.Sc.
Genre: Educational
Rating: Exceptional
ISBN: 9781449963958, $24.52, 344 pp.

Quoting from the back cover:

“WISDOM OF THE PAST MEETS THE SCIENCE OF THE FUTURE
-Bridging the gap between science & spirituality
-‘Geometric Alchemy’ in Architecture & Design
-Humanizing modern technology
-Harmonizing electromagnetic radiation
-Subtle energy secrets of the Great Pyramid
-An energy-based key to unlock ancient science
-Physics of Quality: Everything has a place in a universal symphony.”

To begin, Back to a Future for Mankind is a multi-dimensional text, similar to its subject matter—BioGeometry. At first glance, BioGeometry may seem overly complex to the average reader. However, Dr. Karim has presented his research and studies in a lay-reader-friendly manner to be understood by anyone who is interested in our global environmental crisis, the harmful effects of electromagnetic radiation—‘electrosmog’.

Back to the Future for Mankind is not a fast read…there is much to spark and hold your interest. When I said it was multi-dimensional, the primary chapters give you some idea: Bio Geometry (Worldview, Qualitative scales of measurement, Physics of Quality); Energy Secrets of the Pyramids; The Qualitative Side of Energy (What is Energy?); Shifts of Perception in Mankind (Carl Jung); Ancient Egypt (Isis and Osiris); The Great Shift (Can We Save Our Planet?); Ancient Knowledge; Appendices (The Process of Creating BioSignatures).

We live in a sea of vibrating energy…everything is moving and motion affects the environment. Shapes of objects have an effect on sound waves, stopping them, reflecting them or giving them additional qualities. This book will provide you with a contemporary vocabulary to help you understand the electromagnetic energy in which we live.

Back to the Future for Mankind is well written, well edited and presented in a professional manner to entertain and educate. It can be read for personal enlightenment or studied as an academic text. Whichever you choose, enjoy!

Kaye Trout – December 16, 2013








Monday, May 20, 2013

SAVING FAITH by Patrick M. Garry


Kenric Books, Eagan, MN
Genre: Fiction
Rating: Very Good
ISBN: 9780983370314, $14.95, 304 pp.

Quoting from the back cover:

“Because of a misguided medical diagnosis as an orphaned child, Jack Fenien was never adopted. Now, two years after leaving the orphanage, he works as a repossessor for a used car dealer.

“One night, he enters a bar looking for Ev Sorin, whose car Jack has mistakenly towed. Expecting violent anger, he is surprised when Ev reacts with indifference; but as Jack soon discovers, Ev – a disgraced journalist – has bigger problems on his mind.

“The next day, in the same courthouse to which Jack and Ev have gone to arrange for the release of Ev’s car from the impound lot, a nurse and young woman sit in a crowded courtroom opposite a row of lawyers, asking the judge to keep alive a comatose patient whose true identify is unknown but who has been given the name Faith Powers. After the hearing, Ev seeks out the nurse - not for years has he done a real story, and he feels a sudden urge to be a journalist again. It is an urge that will connect Jack with Clare, the troubled young woman who appears to have an almost fanatical attachment to Faith. Intrigued with Jack’s role as a repossessor, Clare sees him as a kind of modern moral prophet.

“Although the characters initially focus on investigating Faith’s real identity, they eventually come to use Faith as a catalyst for changing their own lives. But not until a seemingly random shooting occurs in the city do the characters become truly immersed in the mysteries of the patient and of each other.

Saving Faith is a rare accomplishment, a philosophical novel of ideas with an allegorical structure and popular appeal. Insightful satire and wit display the range of Garry’s fiction. His greatest appeal as a writer, beyond even his talent of allegory, is his overall perspective and elegiac tone, both here and in his deeply moving previous novel In the Shadow of War. His writing has a soul. It is redemptive and sustains a loving spirit of compassion, sacrifice and transcendence. Midwest Book Review”

Saving Faith is a novel that lingers in your mind, as though it were written by a Zen master. Are there happy endings, what is happiness, what is your perspective? It seems like a simple story until you try to relate it to someone and then its complexity surfaces. The heart of this novel and why it lingers is the orphan Jack Fenien’s perspective about life and love. Most of us are not orphans and have families which have had an impact on our lives. We are part of a family, have memories, photos, take it for granted and blame parents for our problems.

Yes, Saving Faith is a fictional novel; however, Patrick Garry does an excellent job of presenting a perspective on life from one no one wanted, one who understood disappointment at being rejected, one who saw casual sex as the making of more unwanteds. This is not your typical mystery-romance novel with a happy ending…it’s definitely more convoluted.

Patrick Garry is an excellent writer with a gift for connecting with his readers in a subtle yet provocative way. Saving Faith is well written, well edited, and highly recommended.

Kaye Trout – May 20, 2013



Friday, March 15, 2013

DOUBLE MAYHEM by Sam Berretti


Seeing is Not Believing - A Seekers Mystery
CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Genre: Fictional Suspense Mystery
Rating: Excellent
ISBN: 9781480291485, $13.99, 384 pp

Quoting from the back cover:
“They say for every person in the world there is a twin. For Doris Watson, that simple wisdom becomes a nightmare reality that threatens her and the ones she’s come to love. An ex-military engineer who leads a quiet life as an appliance designer, she is recruited to perform one uncomplicated task: take a handoff of secret plans from a Chinese agent who believes she is someone else. She accepts the assignment and the only person she can blame is herself. She opened the door. She said yes. Her lonely existence is shattered as headstrong men cross her path. Dangerous men with dangerous needs. Suddenly embroiled in mob killings, espionage, and policy investigations, she has become a billion-dollar target of sadistic crooks, the FBI, the NSA, and her psychotic look-alike. It is up to her to protect herself and the mysterious child who has been thrust into her life. No one is who they appear to be. No one is telling the truth, because the truth can make you dead. Forced to use all of her training and wits, she must find a way to survive.

“Some days you just shouldn’t answer the door.” 

Thoroughly captivating…fast-paced, action-packed, convoluted, intricate, personal, realistic, sensitive, contemporary.

Double Mayhem, Sam Berretti’s first novel, is an absolute winner…not missing a beat from the first paragraph…flowing, weaving, tantalizing to the finish.  Berretti is a gifted, consummate writer with a refined sense for balancing character, plot and description. The novel is well edited, and I’m certain you will not be disappointed. Looking forward to the next Seekers Mystery.

Kaye Trout – Reviewed 3/15/2013

Sunday, September 23, 2012

THE DIET DROPOUT'S GUIDE TO NATURAL WEIGHT LOSS by Stan Spencer, PhD

Fine Life Books
Riverside, CA
Genre: Health & Fitness
Rating: Very Good
ISBN: 9780983571704, $11.95, 131 pp.

Quoting from the back cover:

“ NO HYPE. NO FLUFF. This slim book is packed with myth-busting facts and practical advice.

“YOU WILL LEARN

-The truth about common weight loss myths

-The secret to losing weight and keeping it off

-Why ‘fat genes’ can’t keep you from being thin

-How to naturally boost your metabolism

-How to calm cravings and quit emotional eating

-How to keep a slip from becoming a binge

-How to eat less without going hungry

-How to get more exercise and enjoy it

-And much more...

“With this book you will create your own weight loss plan–your easiest path to naturally thin. Take your first steps on the path today and LEAVE DIETING BEHIND FOREVER.”

I like slim, little books packed with the facts you need to know. Dr. Spencer has put together a realistic program for you to consider in ten well-organized chapters. We all have read many books on dieting, and. I think Dr. Spencer’s Chapter 3 - Emotional Eating - presents a helpful key to the problem of overeating and eating properly. Learn to meditate, relax and focus, and you will find your desire for food lessens.

This little books doesn’t provide you with any miracle plan...just common sense eating and taking control of your life and eating habits. It is well-written and well-edited...a very professional presentation, easy to read, easy to understand.

Thank you Dr. Spencer for your contribution to this global problem.

Kaye Trout - September 23, 2012

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

RIME OF THE ANCIENT UNDERWRITER by Jim Salmon

How I Stowed the Day Job and Went to Sea
Hobblebush Books

Brookline, New Hampshire
Genre: Travel Adventure
Rating: Excellent
ISBN: 9780984592142, $ 18.95, 288 pp.

Quoting from the back cover:

“A circumnavigation wasn’t a desire, it was a need. Like Thoreau, I would not ‘when I come to die, discover that I had not lived.’”

“Jim Salmon found out when he quit his job as an insurance executive and signed onto a three-masted barque for a nineteen-month circumnavigation of the globe. Here now is an account of his voyage of discovery aboard the Picton Castle out of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. The world voyage was the subject of a popular, sixteen-part series on Canadian cable television called Tall Ship Chronicles.

“Jim weathered storms at sea and stormy relations aboard ship, tramped through a steamy Panamanian jungle, climbed the rarified summit of Kilimanjaro, and tracked wildlife on the high plains of East Africa and the Australian Outback. There are pirates and a mutiny, but mostly his account is about people, places, and the human condition as seen through the eyes of a corporate exec turned seafarer.”

A most excellent read! I thoroughly enjoyed Jim’s account of his adventures and travels. Rime of the Ancient Underwriter is well-written, well-edited and well worth reading. I had a unique perspective from which to enjoy Jim’s tale. I, too, was an underwriter at one time, for Fireman’s Fund American Life. I, too, was involved in delivering yachts: cooking, shopping in foreign ports, standing watch, working the lines–worked the port stern line through the Panama Canal. The Picton Castle stopped at ports with which I was familiar, and the bars are still in the same places.

For those of us who don’t have the driving need to circumnavigate the world, we can enjoy such an experience vicariously through the trials, tribulations, adventures, misadventures, good and bad times as recounted by this gifted author, Jim Salmon.

You won’t be disappointed.

Kaye Trout - September 5, 2012