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Showing Tag: "non-fiction" (Show all posts)

"On the Wrong Side of God: The Black Church" by Harry Boyd

Posted by Margaret Walker on Wednesday, May 13, 2020,


The history of black America contains a lot of twists and turns. In case you think this is obvious, On the Wrong Side of God by Harry Boyd highlights many subtle political deviants of which I was unaware. 

Boyd is reaching out to the black Christian Church: ‘This book is to draw believers back to the word of God and into an intimate relationship with Christ.’ It is engaging and readable, a lively testament to the work of the Holy Spirit. He is a committed black Christian with a deep love...


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"Photography for Well-Being 1" by Lee Aspland

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Friday, May 8, 2020, In : Book Reviews 


Although obviously a book which promotes the benefits of photography to help achieve wellbeing, I would definitely say that there is much more focus on the former part than the latter.  It was perhaps a touch surprising to find this book far heavier on the practical than the spiritual or therapeutic; I would go as far as to say that this is probably 80% practical guide to amateur photography, if written by an author clearly in touch with the practice of mindfulness.  In this respect, Lee does...


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"No Pianos, Pets or Foreigners" by Joe Palermo

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Sunday, May 3, 2020, In : Book Reviews 


Surprisingly, and perhaps a touch disappointingly, there is nothing in Joe’s book about the beautiful country and natural environment of Japan in this book.  What it focuses on, in fact, is the people; it is a glimpse into their everyday lives and the culture within their homes, workplaces and shared settings.  This is not a tourist guide for holidaymakers, so don’t be under that illusion; there are no recommended sights to see or traveller advice – it is simply what it is: a matter-of-...


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"How to Get the Best From Life" by Luis Pisoni and Aurora Mazzoldi

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Thursday, April 23, 2020, In : Book Reviews 


This is a nice book and a lovely sentiment, as the authors use their long life experience to provide practical cognitive solutions to our dealing with everyday problems and insecurities.  Looking at the book’s extensive footnotes and other appendix information, they don’t appear to be psychologists or experts in any particular psychiatric field, though their knowledge and approach does seem to hint at a wealth of counselling experience – I don’t know this for sure, though, and it woul...


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"Catamaran Crossing" by Douglas Carl Fricke

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Wednesday, February 26, 2020, In : Book Reviews 


This short, enjoyable memoir is a real gem.  Written with clear quality by an author with undoubted credentials to do so, we get to join Doug and his experienced sailor friends, crossing the Atlantic from the Canaries to Antigua, on their custom-built catamaran in the 1980s.  They are blessed for the first part of the journey to be joined by renowned boat designer John Shuttleworth, an expert in the field, who also writes a very welcome foreword to this book.  At times utterly tense, sometime...


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"Tomthunkit's Theory of the Universe" by Tomthunkit

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Wednesday, January 15, 2020, In : Book Reviews 

This book is a lot of fun… to an extent.  Insofar as it only means to be, up to a certain point, before it has a very, very serious umbrella message.  Beautifully presented, it addresses literally everything about the story of mankind, our role in the world, and our future role in it.  Up until the last quarter’s sermon, I don’t think Tom takes it particularly seriously.

Tom has a theory on everything, and that’s all this book really is, in the main.  He does his research, of course,...


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"From Doctor to Guinea Pig" by Angelique D.

Posted by Margaret Walker on Friday, January 3, 2020, In : Book Reviews 



Absolutely riveting. Written by his wife in a vibrant Greek style, From Doctor to Guinea-pig is the story of Alex, a Greek doctor in Zaire in Central Africa, gifted and generous, who contracts HIV. There are a lot of twists and turns to this story. Alex is not a typical AIDS patient.   

The author has the gift of making the little things in life absorbing to her readers. With honesty, compassion and humour, she has written a beautiful tribute to a remarkable man. 

Trained in the university ...


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"Non-Obvious Megatrends" by Rohit Bhargava

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Tuesday, December 31, 2019, In : Book Reviews 



I found this book a somewhat strange one to review – not because of its subject or writing, but because the author opted to send me selected extracts rather than the full book; overall, I estimate I was missing at least half, and have been left to write my review based in the 100 or so pages I received.  Still, nevertheless, I believe I have got the gist, and have surprisingly only found myself choosing to omit one star from my maximum rating for it, which is some testament to its quality. ...


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"Bucket Showers and Baby Goats" by Christine Brown

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Tuesday, December 10, 2019, In : Book Reviews 

I recently reviewed another book set in the Volta region, and the contrast between the two couldn’t be any more different.  If I’m being honest, Christine’s description of Ghana doesn’t sell the place to me at all – but, of course, I am being obtuse, because a travel guide was never her intention with Bucket Showers and Baby Goats; the book sets out to highlight the plight of a poverty-stricken and under-educated nation.  And, this she does extremely well.  One thing which is consis...


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"Choose A Reality... Any Reality" by Emmanuel Morfoboss

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Sunday, September 15, 2019, In : Book Reviews 


This short study explores and examines the multi-layered facets of human behaviour and cognitive decision-making, as if they are a very element of the physical make-up of our universe, which is a somewhat confusing, if interesting subject to get our heads around.

Using explanations of ancient philosophy, right through quantum physics and the construction of the cosmos itself, Emmanuel attempts to explain how our own differing perceptions of reality are really what directly contribute to the ...


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"WHEN I TURNED NINETEEN" BY GLYN HAYNIE

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Sunday, March 24, 2019, In : Book Reviews 



Glyn Haynie is a superb author, with whom I am already acquainted, having read and reviewed the follow-up: “Finding My Platoon Brothers”.  One thing which struck me when reading this book, compared to his reminiscences in the sequel, is that his humanity appears much deeper nowadays, than then at 19 – though perhaps this comes with age; perhaps reflection.  I couldn’t help thinking that very quickly into his tour of duty (weeks, maybe) he appeared already to be desensitizing to the ho...


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"Finding My Platoon Brothers" by Glyn Haynie

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Saturday, March 2, 2019, In : Book Reviews 



Instantly, even before starting the book, and then reading the introductory matter, the poignancy of this book strikes you, and you know immediately it is going to be an affecting read, compounded not only by the terrible trauma these poor young boys (little more than children, in many cases) experienced in the Vietnam war, but, perhaps in some ways more upsettingly, by the disgraceful injustice of vilification by their own country, upon their return.  To draw a positive, though, these experi...


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"READ TO SUCCEED" by Stan Skrabut

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Saturday, January 12, 2019, In : Book Reviews 



As somebody who reads prolifically in the course of my work, the title and tagline of Stan Skrabut’s “Read to Succeed” struck a particularly resounding chord with me, and I was very eager to find out more from what I assumed was a study into the nurturing power of reading as exercise for your brain; reinforcement of my own belief that reading increases ones wit, intellect, wisdom, logic and general capacity to improve one’s character.  This book does all that and more – it is incred...


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"Victoria's Voice: Our Daughter's Dying Wish To Share Her Diary And Save Lives From Drugs" by David and Jackie Siegel

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Monday, January 7, 2019, In : Book Reviews 



“Victoria’s Voice” is a tragic account of teenage depression and self-destruction, more tragic still because the tale is so common as to seem familiar, even though in reality the world Victoria occupied was probably a million miles from the majority of our own.  It seems very clear, right from the opening paragraphs, that Victoria was another sad victim of the American dream’s flipside, with all the artifice and superficiality that goes with that life of luxury; her death was one of m...


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"WINNING WITH DATA: CRM AND ANALYTICS FOR THE BUSINESS OF SPORTS"

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Friday, August 24, 2018, In : Book Reviews 

This is an incredibly relevant book which, although primarily based in the sports business, can certainly be applied to most industries in the modern, data-driven world.  In fact, for large parts, the sports aspect feels notably incidental; “Winning with Data…” is, in fact, much more than this: a must-have business guide, written by what is clearly a top professional in her field.  Fiona has a pedigree of the business side of sports; she is clearly highly connected, and I was left in li...


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"GOD: CHALLENGES FROM PHILOSOPHY AND SCIENCE" By Lynne Renoir

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Wednesday, May 16, 2018, In : Book Reviews 





If you are expecting an entertaining theological debate, or easy-reading brain-fodder, this is not the book for you.  What it appears, in fact (at least, the first half), is the publication of Dr. Renoir’s dissertation - a completely academic book, which would serve as a very useful study tool, rather than bedtime reading.  While she is an incredibly well-educated and highly eloquent author, the majority of readers will probably not be equipped to read and absorb such an academic style of w...

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"JUST ANOTHER GIRL'S STORY: A MEMOIR ON FINDING REDEMPTION" By Laura Eckert

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Friday, April 6, 2018, In : Book Reviews 


People write books for a variety of reasons – sometimes they have a lesson to teach, or a message to share, sometimes it is to make money, and sometimes for their own therapy. In Laura’s case, you get the distinct impression throughout that therapy is her reason; however, as you start to reach the final chapters of “Just Another Girl’s Story...” , you come to realize that the “redemption” to which she refers in the title, she is assuming from spreading her pro-life mess...


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"GOODBYE BUTTERFLIES: THE 5-DAY STAGE-FRIGHT SOLUTION" By Dr. David Lee Fish

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Monday, March 26, 2018, In : Book Reviews 


This is a very interesting and surprisingly entertaining self-help book, by an articulate and highly qualified author. Dr. Fish is not, as you might think from reading this book, a psychology professional, but, instead, a music industry one. Still, if reading this book assured me of one thing, it is that he more than possesses the credentials to write it. The book is touted as a “stage-fright solution”, and it certainly does offer this, but I feel a more appropriate title for this book w...

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"MY WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY..." By Andreas Michaelides

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Thursday, February 22, 2018, In : Book Reviews 





If you are expecting “My Weight Loss Journey...” to provide a fad diet to help you lose weight fast and easy, you will be disappointed. In fact, Andreas consciously chooses to dispel those two very words from your mindset, to his great credit. What this book actually is, right from the off, is more of a lesson than a ten-a-penny self-help guide. It is chocked full of good, honest advice; there are no tricks or agendas here - no lip service – just the hard truth: weight loss takes hard w...

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"UNDERSTANDING THE PATTERNS OF YOUR LIFE" By George Kouloukis

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Sunday, December 17, 2017, In : Book Reviews 





Initially I was expecting a self-help book, based on inward reflection and psychological therapy, but straight away I realized I was wrong, and what George Kouloukis’s book actually is is a mathematical theory, suggesting the existence of some natural global phenomenon which directly influences our luck in life, influencing good and bad “seasons” which change every 16-17 years.  In fairness to the author, the book’s blurb does explain this quite clearly.  Still, its content came as so...

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"I ONCE WAS LOST BUT NOW I'M FOUND" By Laura Koerber

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Monday, November 27, 2017, In : Book Reviews 




This book is devastating, heartbreaking and guilt-inducing, yet ultimately endearing - it is also very difficult to read without inward reflection. Right at the very beginning, Laura Koerber makes the point that we all turn a blind eye to the worst animal cruelty atrocities, under the false assumption that we are powerless to help, and methodically then spends the next 150 pages dashing this fallacy; as a so-called “animal lover”, it made me feel ashamed at my lack of action. I don’t th...


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"WHAT IS JUSTICE: A QUEST TO UNDERSTAND THE TRUTH" By T. Ajay Shankar

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Saturday, November 11, 2017, In : Book Reviews 




REVIEW PUBLISHED AT AUTHOR’S REQUEST.

I had half an hour or so to spare, so I thought I’d peruse “What is Justice?”, as one with a background and interest in this field.  It was sent to me as a short book, with the tagline “A Quest to Understand the Truth”.  In T. Ajay Shankar’s defence, I feel some of the unpleasant and actually quite rude reviews I’ve seen are a touch unfair, and it does sting a little seeing a fellow author treated to such harsh criticism.  That said, howe...


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"FINDING THE NARROW PATH" By Lin Wilder

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Sunday, September 24, 2017, In : Book Reviews 


This is the third of Lin Wilder’s books I’ve read, and the only non-fiction title, the first two being instalments 1 and 2 of her Lindsey McCall series.  It is the memoir of Lin’s own life and her diversion from, then return to religion.  Ironically, and somewhat surprisingly for me, it is the best I’ve read from her, without a shadow of doubt.  I may not be a believer to any degree, yet Lin’s biography had me spellbound, and I simply couldn’t put it down until midway (and even ...


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"OFF THE GRID: LIVING BLIND WITHOUT THE INTERNET" BY ROBERT KINGETT

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Friday, March 24, 2017, In : Book Reviews 



When I first picked up this book my initial presumption was that it was about how vitally important the internet is in the life of somebody with such a debilitating disability, and the struggles of life without it.  Of course, the immediate response to that of most people above a certain age is likely to be that blind people have always had to live without the internet, and it is only very recent times that have afforded the opportunity for the better quality of life it provides.  And while I...

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Restless by Jedidiah Appiah
*****
Faith / Motivation

Ultra Betrayal by Glenn Dyer
****
Espionage

IHVJ: The Love Code by Foster Grant
*****
Thriller

Revenge is Coming by Glyn Haynie
*****
Action Thriller

Why is Everything Closed? by Lauren Patterson
****
Children's

The Lightning Horse by N.L. Holmes
****
Historical Fiction

Nobody Would Listen by R.A. Merrill
*****
Autobiography

The Liminal Lands by Robyn Sheldon
****
Spiritual Memoir

Thryke by Simon Gary
*****
Comedy

Reborn by T.M. Parris
****
Spy Thriller

Lucifer's Star by C.T. Phipps and Michael Suttkus
***½
Sci-fi

A Prince Who Destroyed My Life by Asia Jamil
*****
Non-Fiction

Straight Outta Fangton by C.T. Phipps
***
Action/Comedy

Killer Instincts by Anna Lee Rose
***
Romance/Thriller

The Surgeon's Obol by Arthur Williams
****
Comedy/Medical

The Perfection of Fish by J.S. Morrison
***
Comedy/Offbeat

Bird in a Snare by N.L. Holmes
****
Historical Fiction

as Maryam's Tree Stood Witness by Ali Kasem
*****
Family Drama

A Sparrow Alone by Mim Eichmann
****
Historical Fiction

Suicide Squeeze by Steve Hagood
****
Action

Dr. Insomniac by Samatha Polisetti
****
Memoir

The Magdalene Deception by Gary McAvoy
****½
Mystery

Lying Beneath by Kevin Moran
***
Mystery Thriller

A Nation Interrupted by Kevin McDonald
*****
Thriller

The Best Week that Never Happened by Dallas Woodburn
****
Romance

The Dead Don't Sleep by Steven Max Russo
***½
Action

Think Laugh Cry by William Baga
****
Short Stories

The Shepherd God by Matt Taylor
*****
Historical Fiction

On the Wrong Side of God by Harry Boyd
****½
Non-fiction

Servant Leader's Manifesto by Omar L. Harris
*****
Business

Photography for Well-Being 1 by Lee Aspland
****
Photography

The Corral Ring by Thomas Richards
*****
Historical Fantasy

Call Numbers by Syntell Smith
***
Drama

No Pianos, Pets or Foreigners by Joe Palermo
***
Memoir

Raven by Sue Loh
****
Mystery

Not Pregnant by Karina Savaryna
*****
Memoir

How to Get the Best From Life by Luis Pisoni and Aurora Mazzoldi
***
Self-Help

Hotel Inspire by Douglas Warren
***
Drama

Return to the Madness by Glyn Haynie
*****
War / Action

The Final Weekend by Neal Cassidy
***
Comedy

Ivy is a Weed by Robert M. Roseth
****
Crime Thriller

Resilience During the Pandemic by Nick Arnett
*****
Motivational

Will and Mysteria by Christa Reynolds
****
Self-Help/Spiritual

The Power of Music and the ADHD Brain by Luz Galindo
****
Psychology

The Latecomers by Rich Marcello
***
Drama

Monsters Inside by Ric Rae
***
Sci-fi / Horror

Butterfly Lake by Robert J. Saniscalchi
****
Action

Our Teenage Years by T.J. Wray
****
Memoir

The Soloist by Donald Gates
****
Espionage

Lady Father by Rev. Susan Bowman
****
Memoir

Catamaran Crossing by Douglas Carl Fricke
*****
Memoir

Black Shade of White Justice by Cattleya
****
Fantasy/Romance

The Strawberry Road by Ritch Gaiti
****
Spiritual

Red Hail by Jamie Killen
****
Sci-fi/Mystery

Bullets and Bandages by Robert J. Saniscalchi
*****
War Fiction

Who's There? by Dimas Rio
*****
Short Stories

Beautiful Things by Eloise Kelly
****
Drama

Golgotha by Guy Portman
****
Dark Comedy

I Learned it From You by Kevin Douglas Wright
*****
Documentary

Boulder County by Marc Krulewitch
*****
Crime Drama

Stronger than Blood by Allan Mason
***½
Sci-fi

Bottomless Cups by Joel Bresler
***
Comedy

Non Obvious Megatrends by Rohit Bhargava
****
Non-Fiction

From Doctor to Guinea Pig by Angelique D.
*****
Biography

Freedom's Light by Robert J. Saniscalchi
****
Action Thriller

Bucket Showers and Baby Goats by Christine Brown
****
Travel Memoir

Four Calling Burds by Vincent Meis
****
LGBTQ / Drama

Promises to the Fallen by Glyn Haynie
*****
War Fiction

An Unwanted and Unwilling Hero by E. Gourm
****
Historical Fantasy

The Girl in the Scarlet Chair by Janice TRemayne
****
Paranormal / YA

Freedom Sex and a Meat Cleaver by Sherman Miles
*****
Travel Memoir

Freedom Sex and a Meat Cleaver by Sherman Miles
****
Historical Fiction

The Intelligence Factor by Mike Logsdon
***
Sci Fi / Action

The Apple by Devashish Sardana
****
Action / Adventure

Destiny's War by Pyram King
****
Historical Fiction

Black Volta by PEte K.J.
****
Drama

Payback by Steve Bassett
***
Noir Fiction

Were We Awake by L.M. Brown
****
Short Stories

Almost Persuaded by Nigel C. Ferguson
****
Crime Thriller

Do We Have A Center by Walter Frank
*****
Politics

World Football Domination
****
Sci-Fi

Sour Blood
***
Crime Thriller

Beware of the Thought Bubbles
*****
Children's

Beyond The Prison Of Beliefs
****
Science/Religion

Rocky Mountain Noir
***
Comedy

Rocky Mountain Noir
***
Science Fiction

Foster Care To Millionaire
****
Memoir

Flow Like A River
*****
Thriller

Secrets To Being Amazing
****
Self-Help

13 Dark Tales: Collection Two
****
Short Stories

The Wooden Man
*****
Children's

Count It All Joy
*****
Drama

Myth Agent
****
Fantasy

Voice of the Sword
***
Fantasy

No Quarter: Dominium
***
Adventure

A Trinity of Wicked Tales
****
Horror


****
Short Stories

The Day I Made Good
****
Crime Drama

Complete Poetry of Norman AJ Berisford
*****
Poetry

Chuck the Rooster Loses His Voice
*****
Children's

Living Blind Without the Internet
****
Documentary

Devil in the Countryside
****
Historical Thriller

Monoland: Into the Gray Horizon
****
Fantasy

Corrosive
****
Horror

Woodiss is Willing
***
Comedy

The Fear
***
Horror

Superi: Reborn
*****
Fantasy

Murder in the Medical Center
***
Drama

The Eye of Nefertiti
****
Children's

Not Exactly Shakespeare
****
Comedy

Finding the Narrow Path
****
Biography

The Wyndham Werewolf
****
Short Stories

Only Human
***
Supernatural

What is Justice
**
Documentary

The Rat Tunnels of Isfahan
****
Historical Fantasy

I Once Was Lost But Now I'm Found
*****
Documentary

Never Too Late To Die
***½
Thriller

Understanding the Patterns of Your Life
***
Non-Fiction

Happiness is Just a Pill Away
*****
Comedy-Drama

The Lucky Winner
***
Crime Thriller

Endohuman
***
Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Tummy Rumble Quake
****
Children's

Monoland: The Shimmering Mist
****
Fantasy

Goodbye Butterfiles
*****
Psychology

Treading the Uneven Road
****
Short Stories

The Cuckoo Colloquium
****
Comedy

When I Turned Nineteen
*****
War Memoir

Fortuna and the Scapegrace
****
Comedy

Gnosis
***
Young Adult

Buy or Die
***
Satire

Faithful Servants
****
Drama

Ghost Dog
***
Crime Adventure

Looper
****
Drama

The Sinister Urge
**
Drama

Read to Succeed
*****
Self Improvement

Gone to the Dogs
*****
Comedy-Drama

Die Back
****
Fantasy

Finding My Platoon Brothers
*****
War Memoir

Delivering Virtue
****
Comedy

The Room Above
***
Fantasy

Written By Blood: Conviction
****
Action

The Day My Kisses Tasted Like Disorder
****
Poetry

I Have Demons
****
Short Stories

Victoria's Voice
****
Real Life

The Revolutionary Youth
*****
Drama

The Dog Thief
*****
Short Stories

Appointment With Fear
*****
Children's

Mermaids Are Real
***
Fantasy

Legends of Persia
***
Historical Fiction

My Groans Pour Out Like Water
*****
Poetry

47 Hours
*****
Political Thriller

The Road to Alexander
***
Historical Fiction

Father Divine's Bikes
****
Drama

Winning With Data
*****
Business

Aquila
****
Historical Fiction

Lions, Leopards and Storms, oh my!
***
Children's

Sparrowhawk on the Horizon
***
Historical Fiction

The Warehouse Tour
***
Short Stories

Feast of Sapphires
****
Poetry

The Night Alphabet
*****
Short Stories

Just Another Girl's Story
***
Autobiography

No-one Listens
***
Poetry

The Irregular Inquests of Professor Peppercorn by Brennan McMahon
****
Poetry

Malthus Revisited
***
Suspense/Thriller

My Weight Loss Journey
****
Self-Help

Change of Chaos
****
YA / Fantasy

Fish Farm
****
Thriller

Songs to New York
****
Short Stories

I Claudia
*****
Historical Fiction

God: Challenges From Philosphy and Science
****
Philosophy

The Friar's Lantern
*****
Role Play

Crazy About Kurt
****
Comedy

Dark Cure
****
Action

Translucent Boy
***
Sci-Fi Fantasy

Dart by Dale Renton
****
Sci-fi Fantasy

Monoland: Beyond the Monochrome
*****
Fantasy

Choose a Reality by Emmanuel Morfoboss
***
Self-Help

Wacky on the Junk by Kathy Varner
****
Memoir

The Eden Complex by Elise Leise
***½
Sci-Fi / Fantasy

Tomthunkit's Theory of the Universe
***
Political / Non-fiction

Nobody Gets Out of Catering Alive by Joe Montaperto
****
Comedy/Memoir

Turning on the Christmas Lights by Nellie Woods
****
Short Stories

The Body in the Hole by Jonathan B. Zeitlin
****
Crime / Mystery

A Heart on the River by John Bauer
****
Comedy Drama

Let Yourself Be by CJ Lacsican
****
Memoir / Self-Help

Island Boy by Mark Bulahao
****
Drama

Hinterland by Lorna Brown
****
Drama

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GUEST REVIEWER:
Profession: 
Casual teacher; Special Education. 
Qualifications:  
Science degree, Diplomas in Education and Professional Communication. Edited Masters Athletics magazine for three years. 
MARGARET WALKER
Publications:  
One novel, His Most Italian City, published by Penmore Press and half a dozen published short stories.
Author Matt McAvoy
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