I specialize in reviewing Print-On-Demand (POD) published books for my website and Midwest Book Review. Please query for a review by email to hgunther234@hotmail.com.

Friday, August 17, 2012


A. J. Neal Publishing
Genre: Self-Help
Rating: Unique
ISBN: 9780985144234, $8.95, 116 pp.

Quoting from the back cover:

“Satisfying as Your Favorite Chocolate, Without the Calories!

“Using the original Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory movie as a metaphorical backdrop, Life Lessons from the Chocolate Factory unwraps bite-sized nuggets of ‘zero calorie wisdom’ that are as relevant today as any other time. Whether or not you have seen the movie, this book reveals the simple, yet timeless lessons we can all embrace to help get hold of life’s real golden ticket–lasting peace of mind.


-    Raising you peace-of-mind ‘baseline’

-    Eavesdropping on your internal conversation

-    Realizing moments of decision can have lifelong consequences

-    Seeing the beauty in worn-out carpet

-    Appreciating why laundry days and Mondays should never get you down

“Christopher Holl may not have cornered the market on all the secrets to self-fulfillment–but as a father of four children, husband of 21 years, business executive and former U.S. Marine, he’s learned that life’s little lessons lead to advanced degrees in a contented life.

“Apply the nuggets of wisdom revealed in this book to your own life–you may find them as satisfying as your favorite chocolate indulgence, but with benefits that last long after the first bite!”

This little, well-designed, self-help book provides you with 10 lessons on how to become a good, productive, contented person. Christopher Holl draws upon various movies, not only Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, to convey his message. The size of the book, the layout, the dark type and spacing all contribute to Holl’s invitation to share his life lessons with you. At the end of each lesson, he presents his ‘morsels to munch on’, or the heart of the lesson, and at the end of the book is a summary of all the morsels.

Life Lessons from The Chocolate Factory is an easy, one-day read, but hopefully, you will find something unique that will stay with you a lifetime.

Kaye Trout, August 17, 2012

Saturday, August 11, 2012

ARCHITECTURE LAID BARE! by Robert Brown Butler

CreateSpace, North Charleston, SC
Genre: Nonfiction
Rating: Excellent
ISBN: 9781466345935, $24.99, 458pp.

Quoting from the back cover:

“If you are ever confused about what is happening in architecture today, or are ever vexed by an architectural problem in your home or place of work, or you would simply delight in knowing an everyday subject well, this is the reference to reach for. Written by an architect of fifty years’ experience who has authored six previously acclaimed books on architecture, this book gets under the skin of transient styles and trendy motifs and burrows to the very bones of what architecture is all about: those unchangeable anatomical elements that make a building function–to give you a fundamental, practical, everyday knowledge of these big boxes that enclose you nearly every waking and sleeping hour. Then you will be master of your architectural fate, not its slave....”

Architecture Laid Bare! is an excellent book: informative, well organized, clearly expressed and detailed, well-edited and creatively written in a conversational style. You don’t need to have a background in home construction to understand the subject, and Robert Butler shares his personal experiences in dealing with contractors and subcontractors. Interested in building green, want to understanding lighting in your home, want to conserve energy? These and all the multiple facets of a home are discussed. For a reference book, it’s a most enjoyable read, and I would highly recommend it to anyone.

Kaye Trout, August 11, 2012