Bergers Book Reviews

The Listening Day Vol. 2

Author: Paul J. Pastor
Publisher: Zeal Books
Genre: Christian
ISBN: 978-1-9990557-0-0
Pages: 112
Price: $8.99

Author’s website
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God’s voice comes to us through sacred Scripture, but many of us long to hear Him speak directly to us in our circumstances. Drawing on Bible quotes, Paul J. Pastor provides a simulated dialogue between God and the reader in a series of meditations.

These one page meditations resemble prayer, where the reader asks God questions and God responds. In this second volume, Pastor envisions Him speaking to us of His power and majesty, reminding us of our powerlessness without His loving care and forgiveness for our trespasses. The reader can enjoy them sequentially, or thumb through the book for the topic that speaks to him most in that moment.

In The Listening Day series, God’s perspective is limited by our human understanding, as interpreted by Pastor. But these words are powerful and full of meaning for all of us. I highly recommend these innovative and inspirational meditation books.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

January 15, 2018 Posted by | Christian | Leave a comment



A few weeks ago I received a wonderful surprise in the mail. A box containing two gift-wrapped children’s picture books arrived, waiting to be read and enjoyed. Upon opening these presents, I discovered “Rock-A-Bye Room” by Susan Meyers (Abrams Books $16.95) and “Land Shark” by Beth Ferry (Chronicle Books $16.99). Both books are delightful reads.

Bookroo offers this monthly children’s book subscription for $17.99 + $5 s/h for one month, with other multiple-month subscriptions offers available. The value of the books received through this service will always exceed the subscription price. Bookroo’s goal is to find hidden gems that you don’t already own and aren’t likely to be found in stores or online. Their books are extensively reviewed by a panel of 12 families attending Stanford University and their combined 22 kids.

I was very impressed with the Bookroo books and their philosophy of selecting great reading material for kids, based on what kids (and their parents) would enjoy reading over and over again. I highly recommend this valuable service.

January 9, 2018 Posted by | children | Leave a comment

The Mindfulness Journal

Authors: S.J. Scott and Barrie Davenport
Publisher: Independent
Genre: Self-improvement
ISBN: 978-1946159069
Pages: 431
Price: $15.99

Author’s website
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When we are mindful, we are consciously aware of the present moment. But in our complicated, multi-tasking lifestyles, this mindfulness seems almost impossible. It’s too easy to worry about the car while doing the dishes and half-heartedly listening to the kids. But how different life could be if we paid attention to what we’re doing and immersed ourselves in the moment.

In The Mindfulness Journal, authors Scott and Davenport encourage us to experience a short period of mindfulness each day through journaling. Each week opens with a one-page topic, followed by seven daily journal pages. These topics are explored more deeply during the mindful journaling process. Topics focus on our daily activities, our thoughts, and our environment, as well as many others. Each is designed to help us observe our experiences, thoughts, and feelings without judgment, letting us fully appreciate the moment.

Some entries are better done in the morning, while some are best left to the end of the day. Taking the time to explore these on a daily basis leads to more self-knowledge and will create a better sense of direction and peace in life. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

December 23, 2017 Posted by | journal, self improvement | Leave a comment

You Are the Beloved

Author: Henri J.M. Nouwen
Publisher: Convergent Books
Genre: Christian Inspiration
ISBN: 978-1-101-90637-8
Pages: 416
Price: $26.00

Buy it at Amazon

Henri J.M. Nouwen was a Dutch-born Catholic priest, professor, and pastor, who gained international renown as the author of over 30 books on the spiritual life, including such classics as The Wounded Healer, The Inner Voice of Love, and The Return of the Prodigal Son. In You Are the Beloved, editor Gabrielle Earnshaw has compiled some of his most inspirational passages into a daily meditation book.

Each day’s reading is one page or less, making it easy to squeeze into a busy day. These beautiful meditations focus on God’s deep and eternal love for us, and encourage us to see that God is more intimate, more loving, and more longing to be in a relationship with each of us than we have ever imagined. Reading these inspiring and uplifting messages would be a perfect way to begin or end each day. I highly recommend You Are the Beloved.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

December 20, 2017 Posted by | Catholic, Christian, inspiration, meditation | Leave a comment

The Crown Jewel Mystery (A Sherlock Holmes & Lucy James Mystery #4)

Authors: Anna Elliott and Charles Veley
Publisher: Wilton Press
Genre: Mystery
ISBN: 978-0999119105
Pages: 118
Price: $5.99

Author’s website
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Lucy James is intent on discovering her heritage when she visits the Capital and Counties Bank. While attempting to break into a safe deposit box she believes holds some clues, she and her companion, Johnny Rockefeller, realize the bank is being robbed. But any notion of escaping is quickly thwarted, as the robbers discover them both in the back room.

Time begins to tick as the robbers struggle to complete their mission and begin to panic, threatening to kill everyone in the bank. Lucy knows it will take her quick wits and Johnny’s cooperation to free them all. But will they be able to act in time?

The Crown Jewel Mystery is a quick and fun read, drawing the reader into the story from the opening scene. Even though I picked this book up first, I didn’t feel I missed out on anything important by reading it out of sequence from the others. I didn’t know what to expect of a Sherlock Holmes takeoff story, but I was pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable this book is. Lucy James is a spunky heroine with a sharp mind of her own, and I look forward to reading the rest of this series.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

December 14, 2017 Posted by | mystery | Leave a comment

Danza! Amalia Hernández and Mexico’s Folkloric Ballet

Author: Duncan Tonatiuh
Genre: Children, Mexico, Dance
ISBN: 978-1-4197-2532-6
Pages: 32
Price: $18.95

Author’s website
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Everyone expected Amalia Hernández to grow up to be a teacher, just like her mother and grandmother. But when Ami saw folk dancers put on a show in a town square, she was hooked. She decided on the spot that she would be a dancer, too.

Soon Ami was enrolled in ballet classes, on her way to becoming a talented dancer. But ballet wasn’t enough. Ami wanted to add elements of the folk dances she loved so much into her ballet routines. After spending time traveling around the country, learning as much as she could from the local dancers, she developed performances to showcase them. The people loved them, and her dance troupe grew. Soon El Ballet Folklórico de México was traveling around the world.

Amalia Hernández was a pioneer in creating performances inspired by the folk dances of Mexico. Although she originally envisioned spending her time in the classroom, she devoted her life to teaching her students the beautiful dances she developed. Danza! is a wonderful story about this interesting and accomplished choreographer.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

December 12, 2017 Posted by | children, dance, Mexico | Leave a comment

The Runaway Dandelion

Author: Jill Regensburg
Illustrator: Leticia Plate
Publisher: EarthWardProject
Genre: Children / Nature
ISBN: 978-0998459608
Pages: 48
Price: $10.99

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One day, some large equipment arrives in a beautiful meadow and rips out all the trees and plants, before a huge house is built and a lawn planted. After the owners finish spraying for weeds, one lone dandelion survives, but she’s lonely. All her friends are gone. So when her yellow flower petals turn to a fluff of seeds, she floats away to another meadow that looks inviting.

Now she lives with people who care about the environment, and she’s much happier. They grow their own vegetables, use solar and wind power to heat their home, and play outdoors rather than watch too much TV. And best of all, they think dandelions are a tasty addition to their fresh salads. They don’t want to kill her – they really appreciate her.

Sustainable living is not an idea many city dwellers give much thought to, but even if one lives in the suburbs, it’s possible to be more mindful of the environment. Kids will learn about this concept as they follow the little dandelion to her new and nicer home. A glossary of terms is also included. I highly recommend The Runaway Dandelion.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

December 3, 2017 Posted by | children, nature | Leave a comment


Author & Illustrator: Satu Kontinen
Publisher: POW!
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-1-57687-805-7
Pages: 24
Price: $14.95

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Mokomaki are tiny birds who love to look for lost animals. A little fox has gone missing, so they search the forest to find her. Along the way they discover several more missing babies that they need to locate.

As the story unfolds, the Mokomaki listen carefully to the descriptions of the missing animals and try to identify them in the pages that follow. Sometimes they’re given clues to its appearance, and they need to study a group to see which one it is. As they look around, they discuss the situation with each other, offering assistance, giving new challenges, and providing some chuckles.

Mokomaki! contains cute computer graphic images and a fun concept for kids. Parents and children will enjoy searching for the missing baby animals.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

November 30, 2017 Posted by | children | Leave a comment

The Historical Heroines Coloring Book

Author: Elizabeth Lorayne
Illustrator: Kendra Shedenhelm
Publisher: White Wave Press
Genre: Women’s History / Coloring Book
ISBN: 978-0-9979098-9-0
Pages: 80
Price: $14.93

Author’s website
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In the 18th and 19th centuries, women made significant contributions to the math and sciences community. But they lived in a society where their roles were limited by their gender, and their achievements were often discounted or credited to the men they worked with.

The Historical Heroines Coloring Book introduces kids to some of these pioneering women through one-page summaries of their lives and accomplishments. An accompanying coloring page shows each woman in action in her field of science.

In the introduction, author Elizabeth Lorayne proclaims, “My hope is that through coloring these illustrations of strong, brilliant, hard-working women scientists, you will feel inspired to go forth and seize your own dreams and that you will in turn continue the circle of empowering yourself and others.” After reading this interesting and inspiring book, I believe she has achieved her goal.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

November 29, 2017 Posted by | art, children, history | Leave a comment

A Pocketful of Rainbows

Author: Joanne Lécuyer
Illustrator: Ana Santos
Publisher: Topsy Books
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-1-927353-73-8
Pages: 32
Price: $14.99

Author’s website
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Mattie enjoys watching the sky for rainbows, but she’s sad they only appear when it rains. One day she has an idea. What if she drew rainbows to give away so people didn’t have to wait for them?

After a day spent giving away all the rainbows in her pocket, Mattie comes home. She’s feeling a little glum that she doesn’t have any left to lift her own spirits. But Dad shows her a wonderful surprise Mother Nature has in store for her.

Mattie is a special girl who wants to brighten the lives of those around her. A Pocketful of Rainbows is a delightful read that will lift everyone’s spirits.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

Bergers Book Reviews spent some time chatting with Joanne Lécuyer. Please be sure to read what she has to say!

November 27, 2017 Posted by | children | Leave a comment