Bergers Book Reviews

Sylvester (Naxos Audio)

Sylvester
Author: Georgette Heyer
Read by: Nicholas Rowe
Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks
Genre: Romance
ISBN: 978-184-379-757-9
Length: 9 CDs (10:59:09)
Price: $59.95

Naxos AudioBooks website
Buy it at Amazon

Sylvester, Duke of Salford, has decided it’s time to marry. After consulting with his godmother, Lady Ingham, he reluctantly agrees to meet her granddaughter, Phoebe Marlow, to determine if she might be a suitable match. But Phoebe is horrified when she learns of his intentions, since she intensely dislikes him, and has cast him as the villain in her soon to be published novel.

When Sylvester and Phoebe suddenly find themselves stranded in a small country inn for a few days, they get to know each other better and question their initial impressions. But as circumstances unravel around them, their relationship goes from bad to worse. Is it possible that they both could be so wrong about the other?

Listening to Nicholas Rowe’s rendition of Sylvester is an absolute delight. Since the text is heavy on dialog, it reads more like a play than a book, and it is easy to immerse oneself fully in the story. Many scenes are laugh-out-loud funny, and the characters are well-developed and even comical in their actions. I absolutely adored Sylvester, and Phoebe is a spunky girl with a good heart. Anyone who enjoys a good, clean romance will love this book.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

July 31, 2014 Posted by | audio book, romance | Leave a comment

Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns Too Much of a Good Thing is Bad

Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns Too Much of a Good Thing is Bad
Author: Howard Binkow
Illustrator: Susan F. Cornelison
Publisher: Thunderbolt Publishing
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-0-9826165-3-6
Pages: 32
Price: $15.00

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

It’s Howard B. Wigglebottom’s birthday, and he plans to have everything he wants. But a huge brownie sundae for breakfast makes his tummy hurt, the large bag of bubblegum in his mouth prevents him from talking, and the whole bunch of balloons sends him flying across the sky. Why are all the things that normally make him happy making him so miserable instead? Is it because he’s got too much of a good thing?

Howard is a quick learner, and soon realizes that he needs to keep good things in moderation. A discussion guide at the end of the story also provides insights for kids in knowing when enough is enough. Discipline and moderation are skills kids need to be successful in life, and Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns Too Much of a Good Thing is Bad reminds them in a fun and non-preachy manner.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

July 29, 2014 Posted by | children | Leave a comment

Body Mind Therapies for the Bodyworker

Body Mind Therapies for the Bodyworker
Author: Kathy Gruver, PhD, LMT
Publisher: Infinity Publishing
Genre: Health
ISBN: 978-0-7414-8142-9
Pages: 198
Price: $15.95

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

Massage therapy is a wonderful way to pamper and nurture our bodies. But what if there are ways to incorporate deeper levels of healing during a session? Kathy Gruver explores these options in Body Mind Therapies for the Bodyworker.

A massage session doesn’t only have to work on the body. Massage therapists can also use stress reduction, affirmations, and visualization with a client, as well as many other healing techniques such as Reiki and aromatherapy, which can be used simultaneously. And should the client be open-minded, other non-massage therapies may be used.

Traditional medicine often ignores the powerful alternative healing options we have available to us, but Gruver reminds us that these should always be used with caution. Serious medical conditions are best treated by a doctor, and there are quacks selling snake oil to the unwary. But this book shows how to carefully use these remedies which often help in the healing process. Although some techniques are only discussed briefly, websites are provided for the practitioner who is looking for more information. Body Mind Therapies for the Bodyworker provides a nice overview of options available to any massage therapist interested in expanding her healing practice.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

July 25, 2014 Posted by | health | Leave a comment

Stella Strawberry: The Fruit of Love

Stella Strawberry
Author: Yira Bernard Jones
Illustrator: David C. Rhoades
Publisher: Lightning House
Genre: Children / Christian
ISBN: 978-0615632391
Pages: 32
Price: $12.00

Author’s website – buy it here

The fruits of the spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. In Stella Strawberry: The Fruit of Love, children are introduced to love.

This is not a fictional work, but instead it offers children various ways to look at love. Each concept is presented along with the corresponding Bible verse as reinforcement of God’s word to us on this subject. The final page is a prayer of thanks for God’s love and a request for help in loving others.

Stella Strawberry is beautifully written and illustrated, with a powerful message of God’s never-ending love for us and His demands that we show others that same love. This book would be a wonderful addition to any Christian home or Sunday School classroom.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

July 17, 2014 Posted by | children, Christian | Leave a comment

Mom Goes to War

Mom Goes to War
Author: Irene Aparici Martín
Illustrator: Monica Carretero
Publisher: Cuento de Luz
Genre: Children
ISBN: 9788415503200
Pages: 24
Price: $15.95

Buy it at Amazon

The Queen is about to go to war and the two princes listen intently as she explains her predicament. She is battling breast cancer, and there will be allies fighting with her and villains to conquer. But she hopes to be successful and feel much better when she is healed.

Facing something as difficult as cancer is scary for kids, and Mom Goes to War attempts to present this battle in a somewhat less heavy manner. Using the images of a battlefield, it shows kids that there is good reason to hope and they should never give up. Beautiful illustrations lighten the feel of this story, and a wealth of information is provided. This would be a wonderful book for any family dealing with cancer.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

July 16, 2014 Posted by | children | Leave a comment

Doon

Doon
Authors: Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon
Publisher: Blink Books
Genre: Young Adult/ Romance
ISBN: 978-0-310-74230-2
Pages: 400
Price: $17.99

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

When Veronica begins seeing visions of a kilt-wearing teen boy, she wonders if she’s imagining him. But when he follows her to Scotland, she’s sure there must be something more to his appearances. After being transported to the magical kingdom of Doon, she finally comes face to face with him – as the formidable Prince Jamie. But after practically begging Veronica to come to him, he now rejects her, declaring that she and her best friend, McKenna, are in cahoots with the witch.

Thanks to the intervention of Jamie’s brother, Duncan, who is sweet on McKenna, the girls avoid a long stay in the dungeon, and begin to explore this new world. They have only a short time before they will be able to go back home, and they try to make the most of it. But will they both find true love before they’re forced to leave?

Doon is inspired by Brigadoon, and is more romance than fantasy. Although this story takes place in a magical world, it feels more down-to-earth as the girls discover modern plumbing and pizzas. Although Veronica and Jamie have a turbulent relationship, one hopes they can sort through their differences and work things out. But the reader may very well end up swooning over Duncan’s sweet and tender ways with McKenna. This is an enjoyable read, and I’m looking forward to the sequel.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

July 15, 2014 Posted by | romance, teen | Leave a comment

My Big Dinosaur Book

My Big Dinosaur Book
Publisher: Ticktock Books
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-1-78325-045-5
Pages: 24
Price: $9.99

Buy it at Amazon

The Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods of earth’s history saw numerous dinosaurs roaming the forests and waters. My Big Dinosaur Book showcases some of these fascinating creatures.

Two-page spreads of each period show the various dinosaurs that lived in those prehistoric times. More information on individual dinosaurs is then presented in additional two-page spreads. Fun facts and detailed illustrations fill this over-sized book, making it an ideal addition to any classroom, library, or dinosaur lover’s bookcase.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

July 11, 2014 Posted by | children | Leave a comment

Engine Number Ten

Engine Number Ten
Author: Rose Ann Woolpert
Publisher: Graniterock
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-1-939341-01-3
Pages: 32
Price: $17.99

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

As folks moved westward in the late 1800’s, rock was needed to build houses and roads. Men and mules began the work, but they soon realized more powerful equipment was needed to move all the rock. Steam engines took over, until they also were not enough. Finally the diesel engine was used.

But one steam engine was called on for a last heroic effort, when the diesel engine got stuck in a landslide. After pulling it out, Engine Number Ten was retired and left to rust. But a man who was witness to the event determined to restore the old steam engine and use her in a train museum to give rides to kids.

Engine Number Ten shares some of the history behind the rock quarrying efforts in California, along with this sweet story about a special train. It promotes positive messages of the beauty in historical objects and the joy of helping others. But kids will especially love it because it’s a book about trains.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

July 10, 2014 Posted by | children | Leave a comment

Dying to Know

Dying to Know
Author: TJ O’Connor
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Genre: Mystery
ISBN: 978-0-7387-3950-2
Pages: 384
Price: $14.99

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

Detective Oliver “Tuck” Tucker has suddenly found himself in an unusual position – he’s dead and investigating his own murder. Finding his killer is important, but protecting his wife is his highest priority. Now if only interacting with the living wasn’t such a real challenge.

As Tuck figures out how to function in his new existence, he discovers clues about the events leading up to his own death. Those he always trusted have turned to suspects, and he doubts his own reasoning. But he has to learn the truth and somehow manage to stop his wife from being the next victim.

Dying to Know provides an unusual twist from the standard detective novel. As a ghost, Tuck is able to jump from place to place without any fear of detection, and can easily overhear conversations he normally wouldn’t, if he was alive. Yet his ghostly limitations provide drama and suspense, as the reader hopes he can step in to save the day. I really enjoyed this book, and I look forward to seeing more of this series.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

July 7, 2014 Posted by | mystery | Leave a comment

Copycat and a Litter of Other Cats

Copycat
Author & Illustrator: David Yow
Publisher: Akashic Books
Genre: Humor / Cats
ISBN: 978-1-61775-270-4
Pages: 160
Price: $23.95

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

The letters “C-A-T” form parts of dozens of words in the English language. Using this as his premise, David Yow has combined his love of both cats and puns in Copycat and a Litter of Other Cats. This unique book shares a cat-inspired phrase with Yow’s drawings of cats in situations representing the pun.

Grumpy Cat, Felix the Cat, Top Cat and Sylvester the Cat make guest appearances, joining Alley Cat, Tomcat, and Bobcat in this parade of bright-eyed cats. Copycat is a fun and whimsical book that any cat lover will enjoy.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

July 2, 2014 Posted by | cats, humor | Leave a comment

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