Bergers Book Reviews

A.D. 30

A.D. 30
Author: Ted Dekker
Publisher: Center Street
Genre: Historical Fiction / Christian
ISBN: 978-1-59995-418-9
Pages: 432
Price: $25.00

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Maviah was born of an illicit encounter by her father, Sheikh Rami bin Malik. Sold into slavery in Egypt, she lived there until the birth of her son, and was sent back to her Bedu people. Now her city has been taken by the Thamud, and her father has sent her on a mission to save them. With Saba, her father’s servant, and Judah, a Jew, she travels to see Herod, hoping for his help.

Saba and Judah are able-bodied and trustworthy men, and she soon comes to rely on them for her own well-being. But their mission runs into a snag. A side trip to Capernaum allows them to visit with Yeshua – a Jewish rabbi with a new and radical teaching. Maviah soon becomes convinced that this Yeshua speaks truth, and vows to follow his words.

Maviah is a broken woman who believes herself to be nothing more than a slave. But in speaking to Yeshua, she begins to believe she has value in her Father’s eyes. Can she trust him enough to overcome her fear and rescue her people?

A.D. 30 paints a wonderful picture of desert life at the start of the Christian era. We meet Jesus near the start of his ministry and share in the joy of those who have just found him. And we see, through Maviah’s eyes, exactly why he is so well-loved by his followers. Jesus loves her just as she is – even though she sees herself as unworthy.

I highly recommend this engaging and enjoyable book.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

October 29, 2014 Posted by | Christian, history | Leave a comment

My Big Fast Car Book

My Big Fast Car Book
Publisher: Ticktock Books
Genre: Children / Cars
ISBN: 978-1-78325-046-2
Pages: 24
Price: $9.99

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Do you know the top speed of the fastest car ever made? Or the most popular pace car at NASCAR races? Or the car that won every racing competition it entered in 1965? My Big Fast Car Book details these fun facts and more with large, full-color pictures.

Kids who love playing with cars will find themselves drawn to the real thing, as they imagine driving at top speeds on open roads. Formula One, NASCAR, the Autobahn, or drag racing, kids can live them all through these pictures.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

The most popular

October 24, 2014 Posted by | children | Leave a comment

Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns About Courage

Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns About Courage
Author: Howard Binkow
Illustrator: Jeremy Norton
Publisher: Thunderbolt Publishing
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-098261657-4
Pages: 32
Price: $15.00

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

Howard B. Wigglebottom is afraid of creatures lurking under his bed, loud noises, dogs, and the first day of school. He decides he can’t face any of them, so he’s never coming out of his room again. But when he meets a young bird who bravely flies for the first time, Howard realizes he doesn’t always have to be afraid. In fact, he can only really be courageous in the face of fear.

Howard decides to face all his fears head-on. With supportive friends and family, he does the very things he fears the most, and finds out that they’re not as terrifying as he thought. And when the first day of school arrives, he’s ready to face it courageously.

Children face many fears as they encounter the world around them. Some fears are healthy, such as those that protect them from harm. But some fears are really just a worry about the unknown, and these only prevent kids from trying something new. Howard is a great role model as he faces his own fears, conquering them in the process.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

October 21, 2014 Posted by | children | Leave a comment

Animals Everywhere!

Animals Everywhere!
Author & Illustrator: Simon Abbott
Publisher: Ticktock Books
Genre: Children / Animals
ISBN: 978-1-78325-077-6
Pages: 24
Price: $8.99

Author’s website
Downloadable fun activities – coming soon!
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There are many kinds of habitats, and each supports certain animal populations. Animals Everywhere! is an illustrated guide which provides some interesting information about them.

Habitats such as the rain forest, mountains, desert, and ocean are each presented in a two-page spread. In these pages, various animals that live in the habitat are illustrated in cartoon style, along with fun facts about them.

Kids will be fascinated to learn about the goliath bird-eating spider, which is as big as a pizza, or the male narwhal, which is also called the “unicorn of the sea” because it has a long, spiral tusk. These and other fascinating creatures fill the pages of this fun and colorful book.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

October 20, 2014 Posted by | animals, children | Leave a comment

Seven Saints for Seven Virtues

Seven Saints for Seven Virtues
Author: Jean M. Heimann
Publisher: Servant Books
Genre: Christian / Catholic
ISBN: 978-1-61636-845-6
Pages: 144
Price: $13.99

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

Most of us are familiar with the seven deadly sins, but are we also aware of the seven virtues? These are charity, chastity, diligence, humility, kindness, patience and temperance. The fastest way to defeat the deadly sins in our own lives is to work on developing these virtues in their place.

Seven saints provide wonderful examples of these virtues in action. In Seven Saints for Seven Virtues, these saints are presented for us to emulate. Their lives and struggles may have been difficult, but each overcame weakness and developed strong character. In addition to the saints, modern-day people who embody these virtues are introduced, so we can learn how to model them in today’s world. Prayers, suggested Bible reading, and action steps are also provided for developing each virtue.

We are all called to be saints. The lives of the virtuous men and women in this book will guide us as we attempt to follow that calling. All those who try to live holy lives will benefit from reading Seven Saints for Seven Virtues.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

October 16, 2014 Posted by | Catholic, Christian | Leave a comment

Heaven is Real But So is Hell

Heaven is Real But So is Hell
Author: Vassula Rydén
Publisher: Alexian
Genre: Christian / Spirituality
ISBN: 978-0-9830093-0-6
Pages: 224
Price: $24.95

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

Vassula Rydén was not living a particularly religious life when her guardian angel first appeared to her. And when God spoke to her, soon after, she was completely unprepared to face her many sins and atone for them. Once she was cleansed, she willingly took on her new role in communicating God’s Messages to the people, as He commanded.

Heaven is Real But So is Hell is Rydén’s story of her ministry. It shares some of the visions God has allowed her to see, as well as many of the Messages she received. Organized loosely by topic, this book touches on all the important ideas God has commanded her to tell us.

Originally, the Vatican disapproved of Rydén’s Messages, issuing a warning against them. However, over time, these Messages have gotten support from priests, bishops, and even Cardinal Ratzinger, before he became Pope. Rydén also claims that many who have seen her speak or have read the Messages have come back to the Church as a result.

I admit, I approached this book with healthy skepticism. But as I’ve also read the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, I realized there are interesting similarities. Both women issued dire warnings that come with potential blessings if we turn from our sinful ways, and both have been ridiculed and scorned by an unbelieving public. I have not read True Life in God, which is Rydén’s official publication of these Messages, but from what I’ve read in Heaven is Real But So is Hell, I see nothing that would be contradictory to my Catholic faith.

Prophets are often misunderstood in the era they’re living in, and their messages are only understood much later. If these Messages are truly from God, they will stand up to the test of time.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

October 14, 2014 Posted by | Catholic, Christian, spirituality | Leave a comment

Ask Anna

Ask Anna
Author: Dean Koontz & his dog Anna
Publisher: Center Street
Genre: Humor / Dogs
ISBN: 978-1-4555-3079-3
Pages: 96
Price: $20.00

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

Dean Koontz was surprised to find that his dog, Anna, was giving advice to other dogs. In Ask Anna, she shares her advice with the furry and forlorn.

Trouble with the cat next door? Anna can help. Body image problem – legs too short, tongue too long? Anna knows exactly what to do about it. Behavior issue – digging, chewing, scratching? Anna has the answer.

Filled with photos of dogs along with their various questions, Ask Anna is the perfect Christmas gift for your canine companion. And if you’re curious what he’s thinking, it might be wise to get yourself a copy, too. This adorable book is perfect for anyone who loves dogs.

100% of what the author receives from the sale of Ask Anna will be donated to Canine Companions for Independence, the nonprofit organization that trains service dogs for people with disabilities.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

October 12, 2014 Posted by | dogs, humor | Leave a comment

Down at the Dino Wash Deluxe

Down at the Dino Wash Deluxe
Author: Tim J. Myers
Illustrator: Macky Pamintuan
Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-1-4027-7798-1
Pages: 40
Price: $14.95

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

How do you handle the dirty dinosaurs in the city? You send them to the Dino Wash Deluxe. They’ll be scrubbed and polished until they’re squeaky clean. Working there is a dream job, unless you’re a bit scared of Tyrannosaurus Rex.

As the dinosaurs come in, each is handled in his own special way. Even T. Rex! And if the employees play their cards right, they might even get taken for a ride.

Down at the Dino Wash Deluxe introduces kids to several dinosaurs, and even includes a glossary at the end of the story. As they each bathe, various unique characteristics are described, bring these prehistoric creatures to life. Science and story rolled into one book, this is a fun read for kids.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

October 8, 2014 Posted by | children | Leave a comment

Wake Up, Man Up, Step Up

Wake Up Man Up Step Up
Author: Ray Arata
Publisher: Highpoint Executive Publishing
Genre: Men / Self-improvement
ISBN: 978-0-9839432-6-6
Pages: 260
Price: $21.99

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

Ray Arata’s wake-up call came when he was suddenly faced with a huge change at work and the end of his marriage. Although his circumstances had become unstable, he knew he needed to make adjustments to how he handled things, if he wanted to be happy. Wake Up, Man Up, Step Up shares some of the processes he went through to turn his life around.

Once a man has had his wake-up call, he will need to take action. In this book, Arata provides a roadmap of steps to success: create support for yourself, speak your truth, declare your want, identify blocks, break through old ways of being, embody responsibility, and integrate and manifest. These steps are explored with examples, explanations and journal entry questions, designed to help the reader get more in touch with himself and his underlying beliefs. Follow-up chapters help men focus on specific areas such as being a good parent, friend or spouse.

Wake Up, Man Up, Step Up is not a book men can simply read to absorb and understand the concepts presented. This is an interactive workbook, and the exercises won’t be effective without putting in the time and energy to get to the root of problems. But if you’re willing to make the commitment, this program will lead you to be the best man you can be.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

October 3, 2014 Posted by | men, self improvement | Leave a comment

Shark Baby

Shark Baby
Author: Ann Downer
Illustrator: Shennen Bersani
Publisher: Sylvan Dell
Genre: Children / Animals
ISBN: 978-1-60718-6342
Pages: 32
Price: $9.95

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

Shark baby is snug in his egg case, tied to a strand of kelp, wondering what’s outside. But when a storm hits, the rough ocean waves break the case loose, tearing it slightly. Shark baby can now see where he is and who he is encountering as he drifts about. But now he has a new question – what kind of shark is he?

Shark Baby introduces children to the life cycle of a shark and shows them a variety of shark species. A discussion guide with questions is also provided for classroom use. This book would be a great resource for science lessons.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

October 1, 2014 Posted by | animals, children, nature, science | Leave a comment

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