inspiration, non-fiction

On Admiration

Author: W.D. Wetherell
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
Genre: Non-fiction / inspiration
ISBN: 978-1-61608-071-6
Pages: 208
Price $14.95

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Today’s media sensations dazzle us with their talent, but do their lives bear emulating? While we can appreciate what they do in front of the camera, it may be hard to admire what they do in private. W.D. Wetherell has spent a lifetime watching others and formulating his opinions on why he admires certain people, and he shares them in this book.

Beginning in his youth, Wetherell has been making determinations about folks in the limelight. On Admiration takes us on a journey through his own life story, looking at some of these people. Writers, singers, athletes, cartoonists, and others have been influential, and he shares a little about each and the impact they had on him.

Rather than biographical sketches, we’re given only the information that was important to Wetherell. What he saw may not have been what the camera picked up, or what the critics pointed out, but these people demonstrated something that touched him in a deep way. And in writing this book, he shares about himself and his own hopes and dreams in learning from them.

On Admiration isn’t about today’s pop culture icons, but goes deeper than TV and movie talent. Instead it touches the heart and soul of art, as it used to be. If you’re looking for folks to emulate, you can’t help but be inspired by the list Wetherell has given us in this book, and maybe you’ll find some of your own heroes along the way.

Reviewer: Alice Berger


Voices: Reflections on an American Icon Through Words and Song

Author: The Choral Arts Society of Washington
Publisher: Dalmatian Press
Genre: Tribute
ISBN: 978-140373984-1
Pages: 96
Price: $24.99

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Rarely does a man have an impact on society like Martin Luther King Jr. As an acknowledgment of his achievements, the Choral Arts Society of Washington has orchestrated a collection of hymns that were loved by Dr. King, and that represent the ideals he stood for.

In addition to the music CD, this boxed set includes a book of memorable quotes that describe him and his actions. Several of his most important marches and speeches are shared by those who witnessed them and supported him in his efforts.

Martin Luther King Jr.’s tragic death cut short his mission before it was completed, but his vision continued to carry others forward in working for equality. He and his dream should never be forgotten, and Voices presents a moving tribute to a truly great American.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

dogs, non-fiction

The Sport of Schutzhund

Authors: B.J. & Peter Spanos
Genre: Nonfiction
Publisher: BJ Spanos Ink
ISBN: 1-884330-09-6
Price: $25.00

Author’s website

The Sport of Schutzhund is a book for dog lovers, but especially for those who have an affinity for German Shepherds. Schutzhund means “protection dog” in the German language, but it also refers to a specific breeding program “aimed at creating the ultimate working dog to serve mankind.” The modern goal of Shutzhund is to develop the German Shepherd breed to its fullest potential through a series of exercises called a trial.

The trial consists of three parts: tracking, obedience, and protection. Those dogs fortunate enough to successfully complete the exercise and obtain the coveted title join a very elite class of breeding animals. Schutzhund is for people of all ages and “offers the opportunity for dog owners to compete with each other for recognition of both the trainer’s ability to train, and the dog’s ability to perform as required.”

The Sport of Schutzhund is not meant to be a training book. Rather, it is an introduction to the sport as it is represented in the United States. Labeled a “photographic essay” the book features full-color images showing dog and trainer in every light. It is as close as you’ll come to the sport without attending the event yourself. Each chapter begins with a brief explanation of its content followed by a series of photographic descriptions. If a picture is worth a thousand words, the images in the book speak volumes.

I highly recommend The Sport of Schutzhund for anyone – especially dog lovers who enjoy good healthy competition.

Reviewer: Gene Berger


Our Purpose: The Nobel Peace Prize lecture 2007

Author: Al Gore
Genre: Nonfiction
Publisher: Rodale Inc.
ISBN: 1-60529-990-1
Pages: 60
Price: $13.00

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You may be well aware of global warming and the environmental problems facing our beleaguered planet. Or you may be one of the naysayers who believe those problems are contrived and part of some low-down conspiracy. Regardless, the enlightening words of Al Gore have got to hit a nerve.

Our Purpose is composed of Gore’s acceptance speech for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize and includes excerpts from his work, An Inconvenient Truth. They are both informative and captivating and should make even the biggest skeptics take pause. His sincere eloquence addresses the tragedies and irreversible damage that face the planet because of man’s carelessness. But he also speaks with enthusiasm of the possible triumphs humans would experience should we be smart enough to reverse the devastation.

If you are concerned with the world’s environmental problems and need some inspiration, I encourage you to pick up this compelling little book.

Reviewer: Gene Berger


Cosmic History Chronicles, Vol. 3

Book of the Mystery, Time And Art: Art As the Expression of the Absolute
Author: Jose Arguelles & Stephanie South
Publisher: Law of Time Press
ISBN: 0-9785924-1-7
Pages: 240
Price: $34.00

Author’s website
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The Cosmic History Chronicles attempt to answer the question, “What will further the self-illumination of the world?”In this third volume of the series, the authors look at art and how it has evolved cosmically.

The book is broken down into four parts:Art as a Cosmic Harmony, Art as a Dimensional Bridge, Art as the Practice of Life, and Transcendental Art:Evolving Cosmoplanetary Art Forms.

Two of the major art forms that are explored in this volume are rock and roll music and the internet.The authors explain the role music has played in the last several decades, and the use of the internet in establishing identities online as living art.Other art forms are also explored in lesser detail.

References are made to the previous volumes, so if the reader hasn’t already read those, parts of this volume may be a little confusing.The artwork is beautiful – unique and intriguing.

Some of this material is esoteric in explaining the evolution of these art forms, and ultimately where they will take us culturally and globally.This volume is an interesting exploration, and I found that I agreed with many of the authors’ observations.Time will tell if their conclusions about the future are correct.

Reviewer: Alice Berger