Heart to Beat by Brian Lima MD

Gift Guide Book Suggestion #4

Book Summary:

Success is not reserved for the smartest or most talented—it’s earned by those who want it the most. Heart conquers all and the triumphant always go all in, never settling for anything less than their best effort.

As a leading heart transplant surgeon, Dr. Brian Lima’s life story is a testament to that mantra. He’s living proof that slow and steady still wins the race, and that the American Dream is alive and well. He persevered through countless challenges growing up in a Cuban immigrant family and defied the odds every step of the way. To fulfill his impossible dream, Dr. Lima opted for the road less traveled, enduring nearly twenty years of rigorous education and surgical training at some of the most prestigious institutions in the world.
In Heart to Beat, Dr. Lima shares the lessons learned throughout his improbable rise to the pinnacle of success in the medical field. He breaks down the keys to advancing well beyond your comfort zone and perceived limitations, regardless of your field of interest. No dream is too far-fetched and his Heart Way approach to life will help unleash your full potential and surpass your wildest expectations!

Link – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/heart-to-beat-brian-lima/1134214090?ean=9781950892358

Review:

KIRKUS REVIEW

In this debut book, a cardiac surgeon recounts his successful medical career and offers a guide for readers wishing to achieve triumphs in their lives as well.

From the beginning, Lima proclaims his hope to inspire people from “all walks of life,” not simply aspiring doctors. Throughout the book, he details his personal history to reveal how he overcame obstacles. After his parents and siblings fled Cuba in the late 1960s, the author was born in Kearny, New Jersey, in 1976. At an early age, he was motivated to work harder in school after he watched a friend, also from a family of immigrants, win multiple awards at their eighth grade graduation. By high school, Lima focused on academics as well as athleticism, excelling in football. His devotion to the former was how he gained acceptance to Cornell University. He recalls that he accomplished this feat with a strong work ethic. He then stresses the importance of continuing to work hard even after finding success, citing “constant motion, growth, and development” as essentials. Another key element is gravitas, which in this book essentially means being consistently levelheaded under scrutiny or pressure. This links with later points, such as remaining ambitious in the face of self-doubts and conquering fears of failure. While much of the volume involves the figurative heart, Lima allots the final pages to the literal one, discussing the “rapidly evolving field of advanced heart failure” and providing tips on promoting a heart-healthy lifestyle.

Lima deftly blends a useful guide with an absorbing autobiography; he doesn’t concentrate excessively on either one. The hardships he faced in his own life will likely elicit readers’ sympathies, including losing both parents and his family’s initially seeing his older brother’s schizophrenia as satanic possession. Although clichés at first saturate the book (“in it to win it”; “eyes on the prize”), they gradually subside as the account progresses. The author writes in an easygoing language that doesn’t condescend to readers. He’s instead humble (asserting that his above-average intelligence is not innate but the result of persistent studying) and occasionally self-deprecating (wryly mentioning his “critically acclaimed writing”). As a result, his criticisms of social media and the current culture of “safetyism” don’t come across as contemptuous. For example, he notes that the latter may adversely affect readers’ ambitions if they are too wary of taking risks. Lima playfully incorporates the volume’s main theme of putting your heart into what you do. Chapter titles, for example, typically consist of wordplay (“For the Most Heart, Gravitas is Essential”). He even includes a “handy mnemonic” for recalling the specific points of the subtitle’s “HEART Way” (Hard work; Eager or Entrepreneurial; Aligned; Resolute; Thoughtfulness). There are instances of repetition; despite a chapter on avoiding complacency, Lima repeatedly returns to this notion throughout the book (for example, doing the “bare minimum” or “just enough”). Nevertheless, the work’s short length prevents the reiterations from becoming too conspicuous.

Helpful advice from a keen, assertive, and relatable physician.

Author Bio:

Dr. Brian Lima is a cardiac surgeon, associate professor of surgery, and recognized authority in advanced heart failure. He has published nearly 80 articles in peer-reviewed medical journals and presented at numerous national and international medical conferences. As the surgical director of heart transplantation at North Shore University Hospital, Dr. Lima helped launch the first and only heart transplant program on Long Island. Dr. Lima completed his undergraduate studies at Cornell University and was awarded a Dean’s Full Tuition scholarship to attend Duke University School of Medicine. During medical school, Dr. Lima spent a year at Harvard Medical School’s Transplantation Biology Research Center as a Stanley Sarnoff cardiovascular research fellow. He then completed his general surgery residency training at Duke University Medical Center, and subsequent heart surgery training at The Cleveland Clinic, where he was awarded the prestigious Dr. Charles H. Bryan Annual Clinical Excellence Award in Cardiovascular Surgery

Rosa by Barbara de la Cuesta

Gift Guide Book Suggestion #3

Book Summary

“There were little sins and big sins, and if you committed too many little sins you were more likely to go on to the big ones. Some sins you did in your mind and then, sometimes, you went on to let yourself fall into them.” Darkly witty and compulsively readable, Barbara de la Cuesta’s novella lets us into the private life and secret thoughts of Rosa, an undocumented home health aide grappling with menopause and her unruly body, unexpected romance, grown children who alternately worry her and fill her with pride, and how life is confronting her with everything she has ever denied herself or hidden away from. Rosa is a natural storyteller, insightful in hindsight about her own motivations and unflinching in her willingness to look at the girl she was and the woman she has become. Rosa is a daring, funny, and emotional story about a woman moving her life out of the margins and into the sun with the power of confession.

Amazon Link – https://amzn.to/37Yjayi

Reviews:

Rosa is a magnificent display of empathy, a chance to see through the eyes of those who are all too often dismissed with either disdain or pity. Rosa – the woman and the novella – does not ask for any of our pity. She does not ask for understanding. She only presents herself and her story, and what we make of it is up to us.

—Manhattan Book Review, five-star review

Author Bio:

Barbara de la Cuesta lived a number of years in South America, and has long been a teacher of English as a Second Language and Spanish. Out of this experience came her two prize winning novels, The Spanish Teacher, winner of the Gival Press Award in 2007, and Rosa, winner of the Driftless Novella Prize from Brain Mill Press in 2017. Fellowships in fiction from the Massachusetts Artists’ Foundation, and the New Jersey Council on the Arts, as well as residencies at the Ragdale Foundation, The Virginia Center, and the Millay Colony, have allowed her to complete these novels. She has also published two collections of poetry with Finishing Line Press, and her collection of short stories,The Place Where Judas Lost his Boots, has recently won The Brighthorse Prize for short fiction.

Adjustments: A Novel by Will Willingham

Gift Guide Book Suggestion #2

Book Summary:

By turns thoughtful and hilarious (even, inexplicably, both at the same time), this deeply Midwestern book quietly unfolds a vision for how to navigate in a world where we can’t always resolve things.

It begins with an old man’s call to the insurance company to get a minor house repair covered. Once the adjuster shows up, a journey both tender and tough is set in motion. These men need each other in ways it will take time to discover.

To complicate matters, the adjuster also needs (and is needed by) his aged landlady Pearl Jenkins. Theirs is a friendship both fraught and kind.

When the latest “outsider” from Minneapolis shows up to this small Dakotan town, with her non-approved hybrid car parked right across from Pearl’s house, the cast of characters is almost complete.

Just add the generous appearance of colorful minor characters the adjuster works with and serves in his work (none of whom, arguably, are truly minor) and you’re holding a delightfully satisfying book that, while it has you laughing, manages to quietly delve into the ways we bring people in and shut them out—on the job, in the town, or at the threshold of our hearts.

As much as the characters have a relationship with poetry and story (and they do), it is also a profound book about naming both the things that have held us back and the things we want, to move us forward—a book about choosing life.

Book Link – https://amzn.to/2DJMP0u

Review:

In Will Willingham’s “Adjustments,” Will Phillips is an insurance adjustor, working in the plains, hills, and valleys of South Dakota. He lives in a room of what was once a mansion but is now more of a boarding house. He has a give-and-take relationship with his 70+ landlady, Pearl Jenkins, who is part friend, part mother, part judge, part advisor, and full-time matchmaker who usually cheats at cards. So far, Will has resisted the matchmaking and gone along with the card cheating.

Will’s work, like most work, involves a daily sameness. After a few years, insurance claims become similar. A fire is a fire, and Will can usually sniff out when it was accidental and when it isn’t. Same thing for a stolen truck; even doctors are known to report a truck stolen when it’s time for a replacement. Will investigates a fire claim; the house is owned by a man unmarried to the woman and her children living with him. Will knows how this will end – the house will be replaced or rebuilt, the man will get a new girlfriend, and the woman will find herself and her kids homeless.

It says something about Will that, even as he sees the sameness, it doesn’t numb him to people’s anguish and pain. It may be that Will is still dealing with his own, even as he masks it from himself. That mask begins to fall when he investigates a claim by Joe Murphy, a 73-year-old widower originally from Chicago. Joe and his wife had moved to the area when Joe retired from the fire department in Chicago; his wife had grown up in the area and wanted to go back. After her death, he stayed, and Joe senses something in Will that needs to be reached. Hoe begins to try to reach whatever it is in Will through literature and music.

It is filled with humor and poignancy, insight and emotion. The reader sees into the soul of an inherently decent man who knows he’s broken and has found a way to live with that, until he can’t.

Adjustments is more than a good novel; it is a fine novel. It is, simultaneously, moving and real and surprising and true. We see ourselves and our personal histories and, like Will Phillips, we bear scars. This is a story about what matters, and it’s told beautifully well.

Author Bio:

Will Willingham was a claim adjuster for nearly 20 years, helping people and insurance companies understand loss. Now, he trains others to do likewise. When he’s not scaling small buildings or crunching numbers with his bare hands, he occasionally reads Keats, upside down.

The Baseball by James Flerlage

Gift Guide Book Suggestion #1

Know a baseball or sports fan in your life? The Baseball by James Flerlage might be the perfect gift.

Book Summary:

Landon Myers is a retired pediatric oncologist who spends his days diagnosing the ills of his young grandchildren’s stuffed animals while scheming up new ways to spend time with the older ones. When his thirteen-year-old granddaughter Lucy discovers an old Major League Baseball while cleaning his cellar, he faces the difficult task of exposing a family secret that has lain dormant for the past forty years.

Over a long lunch with Lucy, Landon reveals that he was previously married, divorced, and had a son, Alex. Two years after his parents’ bitter divorce, sixteen-year-old Alex receives devastating news that derails the course of his life. In a captivating story about family, relationships, and reconciliation, The Baseball begs the question, “If life gave you a second chance, would you know what to do with it?”

Amazon Link – https://amzn.to/2Rc86Yr

Reviews:

“The Baseball is written so fluently that I didn’t want it to end. This story is built around family, the good times and the bad times, the happy times and the sad times. It’s about how different people cope with pain differently and how good things can come out of things that may initially seem like the end of the world. I recommend this book for anyone who truly values family, making memories, and living life to the fullest.” – Manhattan Book Review (5-Star Review)

“An unusually affecting story. Overall, this is an earnest, unpretentious book that, despite overly deliberate grabs for the heartstrings, still manages to pluck them, all the same. A familiar tale, but one that has a melodramatic sincerity.” – Kirkus Reviews

“The Baseball is a brief novel by James Flerlage about family and the quality time we choose to spend with them. The irony of Landon’s fate—an oncologist whose son develops cancer—could have turned the story into one of bitterness and regret. Instead, it is an opportunity to revisit a time in a man’s life when he must choose his family or his work. The author delivers the heart-wrenching plot in simple and crisp prose and without judgment and gives readers the opportunity to re-examine their own priorities in life.” – San Francisco Book Review (4-Star Review)

“The plot of The Baseball is a well-developed hybrid of family and sports drama. It hits familiar plot beats and framing devices, but the work develops smoothly and evenly with quiet style. The author has a clear handle on storytelling and the unveiling of mystery; the sports focus and the manner in which it is integrated into the characters’ lives is alluring.” – The BookLife Prize

Author Bio:

James Flerlage is the author of Before Bethlehem, a critically acclaimed historical novel and “2013 Recommended Book” by Kirkus Reviews. In addition to spending time with his family, James enjoys fishing, drumming, and watching Major League Baseball; he follows the Kansas City Royals and the Cincinnati Reds. Follow the author and The Baseball on Instagram: @thebaseballbook.

Perfect and Forgiven by Zach Maldonado

Book Summary:

What do you do when you feel unworthy? How do you find freedom from shame, guilt, and sin?

We’ve boiled down the message of Christianity to being imperfect people who have been forgiven. But what if the message isn’t just about what Christ has done for us–forgiving our sins so we can go to heaven one day–but also about what He has done to us?

Life is filled with shame, guilt, sin, and hurt. These things have convinced us that we’re flawed, we’re not enough, and that something is uniquely wrong with who we are. And quite honestly, we look to Christianity for help and the message we often hear leaves us disappointed, doubtful, and disillusioned.

Zach Maldonado has experienced this firsthand. But he’s discovered that who we truly are is not found in what we’ve done or what we’ve gone through. In Perfect and Forgiven, Zach takes us into his own journey of identity, and with humor, vulnerability, and a unique story-driven format, reveals how to live free from shame, guilt, and sin.

Through understanding who you are in Christ, you can begin to live free from the shame that condemns you, the guilt that riddles you, and the sin that entangles you.

Amazon Link – https://amzn.to/2VlduIS

Review Quotes:

“Zach Maldonado has been radically and authentically undone by grace. He is also gifted to communicate like few others. Those realities combined allow truth, lived out, to jump from the page. He is smart, vulnerable, and funny, funny, and funny. I think you will love this book.”
–John Lynch, Author of “On My Worst Day” and co-author of “The Cure”

“Zach unpacks powerful Biblical truths, raw and transparent stories from his own testimony and many inspirational examples to help you unlock the God-given potential lying dormant inside.”
–Dave Willis, Best-selling author of “The Seven Laws of Love” and TV and Podcast Host for MarriageToday.

“‘Perfect and Forgiven’ is a wonder of practical beauty and theological truth! I laughed, gasped, marveled and cried when reading Zach Maldonado’s book, because the God I know, who speaks to me and motivates me, moved through its’ pages. If you know–or have yet to know–the God of all grace, get this book. You’ll be deeply moved.”
–Ralph Harris, Best-selling author of Life According to Perfect, and God’s Astounding Opinion of You

“This book is such a beautiful reminder of God’s relentless, radical grace. It inspires and challenges us to reject the narrative of shame, accept that we are accepted, and live out our identity as sons and daughters of God.”
–Dominic Done, Lead Pastor at Westside: A Jesus Church and author of When Faith Fails

Author Bio:

Zach Maldonado serves as a pastor at Church Without Religion and with Andrew Farley Ministries. Zach is also an author and speaker with a passion to proclaim the gospel and to help people believe Jesus is enough. He holds a Master of Arts in Theology degree from Fuller Theological Seminary. You can follow him on social media at @ZachMaldo or visit his website ZachMaldonado.com

I AM Manifesto by SB Hilarion

Book Summary:

A book of 366 mantras or affirmations to raise and encourage the self-esteem and self-belief of children (plus adults), told through the eyes of young siblings Hao Finley Lee and Sabine Yi Lee. Written in the form of a journal and calendar, there is a mantra for each day of the month. For each mantra that Hao and Sabine want to focus on for their own personal growth, they share that with other fellow “philomaths” or knowledge-seekers through an illustration that describes for them that mantra. For them it’s to: SAY it. BELIEVE it. BECOME it. MANIFEST it.

Amazon Link – https://amzn.to/32FTJ0L

Seattle Book Review:

I AM Manifesto is a simple yet multi-layered work that is sure to inspire and influence children and their parents to manifest all the greatness within them.

SB Hilarion makes vocabulary a focal point of her book. The first line is “Hello Philomaths;” she defines “philomaths” as “a seeker of knowledge; a person who loves learning and studying new facts and acquiring new knowledge.” Hilarion introduces the narrators of her work—Hao Finley (HF) and Sabine Yi (SY)—with a letter to her readers which includes the premise of the book. They explain that I AM Manifesto is a mantra or affirmation calendar with different words for each day of the month. Readers can use the affirmation—”I am ________ that I am”—filled in with the “word of the day,” repeating it as often as they’d like.

Hilarion’s mantras are not only meant to inspire, but they are meant to create and influence scholarship. She uses words like “rational,” “hospitable,” “contemplative,” “provident,” “humanitarian,” and “multi-faceted.” Words like these not only bring a positive mindset to children and their families, but it also increases children’s vocabulary; therefore, helping them to comprehend better as they read.

Hilarion believes that if readers say it, they will believe it and then become it; therefore they will manifest it.

I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to parents, teachers, and adults who want a simple affirmation calendar. Sometimes adult books get complicated and riddled with sidebars and extra information that distract from the intended purpose; I AM Manifesto is a cure for that. My personal favorite is “I am investing in myself.” Next to that “word of the day” is a piggy bank. For kids, every time they look at their piggy bank or see a piggy bank, they will be reminded to invest in themselves, and hopefully, there will be an adult discussing how they can do so.

I love that Hilarion includes a glossary for each month; this also cultivates learning and helps with vocabulary.

One more thing that I cannot go without mentioning is that Hilarion’s book is a testament to her character. Not only is Hilarion a catalyst for positive and studious youth, but she also features real-life siblings, HF and SY, and Maksym Turkot, a 16-year-old artist from Ukraine, in her book.

Again, I enjoyed this book, and it is one that I believe will help parents build connections with their kids and encourage positive thinking alike.

Reviewed By: Johnna Rocker-Clinton
https://seattlebookreview.com/product/i-am-manifesto/

Author Bio:

SB Hilarion is the author and main illustrator of the narrative nonfiction children’s books in the Raising Young Scholars Series. The author of Humongous (& Cool) Words for Kids, Hilarion holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from Columbia University, and a law degree from Harvard University. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and children, plus some deer who refuse to pay rent.

Possessed: From Darkness to Light by Cordelia Lee

Book Summary:

Cordelia Lee has experienced something few in the Western world have even witnessed: exorcism. Demonic possession brought her to a Taoist shaman who could drive out her tormentors, but only temporarily. Cordelia’s problems were multifaceted: a troubled childhood, molests, rape attempt, black magic, anorexia, unfulfilled maternal instinct, failing marriage, and depression. Given the severity of her experiences and the return of the evil spirits, Cordelia had to dedicate her life to healing if she was ever to recover.

She had earlier experienced an unexpected kundalini awakening; it awakened her to the spiritual realm and the unseen energies that fill the universe. Things she used to think were illogical and nonexistent. But the spiritual realm that promised answers also held the ghosts that flooded her—and a much more human danger.

Not everyone had the kindness of the shaman who exorcised Cordelia. She met other teachers on her journey, and some of these gurus wanted to manipulate her with black magic. Discerning between helpful guides and wolves in sheep’s clothing proved challenging. Yet the promise of healing through earthly and spiritual means urged her forward. With the support of trustworthy friends, Cordelia would become a healer in her own right.

Amazon Link – https://amzn.to/2p2vXxI

Review:

Possessed: From Darkness to Light by Cordelia Lee is a memoir that reads like horror, and it’s hard to believe this is a true story, but the narrator’s voice is so real that the reader is compelled to accept the extraordinary events narrated in this memoir. Readers are introduced to a protagonist with a heap of problems — difficult childhood, molestation, attempted rape, black magic, anorexia, marital issues, and depression. Possessed, a shaman exorcises her, but is unable to completely banish the evil spirits. While Cordelia Lee seeks healing, she has an unusual experience of awakening — transported to a spiritual realm where she experiences the different energies in the universe. She could find answers to her quest for healing in this dimension, but this realm is also the dwelling of malevolent spirits. Can she beat the ruses of manipulative spiritual teachers who would use black magic to get what they want, find the tools she needs for her battles, and win her inner freedom? This is a story that exudes a rare kind of pathos and as the reader encounters young Cordelia Lee — a once happy and exuberant child — they become keen to find out what could possibly happen to her. They quickly learn to care about her.

The author has a unique narrative voice and knows how to make readers feel what she has felt. You’ll touch her fear; you’ll feel the chills run down your body as you connect with the images she conjures. While the writing might not be exceptional, the story is confidently told and the author has a voice that is original. Possessed: From Darkness to Light is a true story that gives hope to readers, making them understand that they can be masters of their destiny and that no matter how horrific their experiences in life, they can always choose to seek the light at the end of the tunnel. This is an engrossing story that will awaken all kinds of emotions in readers.

https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/possessed

Author Comments about the book:

My personal memoir as a survivor of black magic and demonic possession, on top of other life challenges like troubled childhood, molests, rape attempt, anorexia, unfulfilled maternal instinct, failing marriage, and depression

This is the only personal memoir in the market of a real person who came out triumphant, positive and healed after a harrowing experience as a black magic victim and that of demonic possession.

Not to mention becoming a healer who helps others who suffer such torment.

Most victims end up diagnosed as schizophrenic and having to medicate themselves for life or end up being committed to a mental institution. Or they live a life of suffering till they are able to find salvation.

Author Bio:

Cordelia Lee lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband and their son. After overcoming depression and anorexia in her teens, Cordelia experienced a spontaneous kundalini awakening in her thirties. Although she had no prior training, she found herself able to perform vocal sound healing, which she has used to help others handle stress and heal.

Together with her husband Ket, they are meditation teachers. Their practice is nonreligious and not mainstream. The most important aspect of their work is to help and empower people to heal, especially those who have gone through ordeals like hers. Their work has taken them around Asia and Australia as they lead meditation sessions, retreats and workshops.

Cordelia is a firm believer in second chances and their availability to anyone who seeks them.

Mighty Mary by Max Davine

Story Summary:

Mary was a circus elephant. The Star of the West. She could dance, play the trumpet and pleased crowds wherever she went.

In 1916, after a disastrous Wild West show in Erwin Tennessee, acts against Mary the five-ton Indian elephant would go down in history as one of the most disturbing and bizarre cases of animal cruelty the world has ever seen.

But, Mary had a life before the circus. She was free once. Part of a wild herd.

During the British Raj, she was captured, trained and sent to America to become a spectacle. Along the way, she loved, she lost, she made friends and formed bonds. She suffered heartache and experienced ecstasy. She was a living being.

This is her story.

Amazon Link – https://amzn.to/2N8EiLh

Video Link – https://www.goodreads.com/videos/145536-interview-by-susan-reynolds

Good Reads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43090884-mighty-mary

Reviews:

Max Davine’s Mighty Mary tells the story of the real-life circus elephant known as Mighty Mary. Born in the wild, she is captured by humans when her mother is killed for ivory. Once acquired, Mary is subjected to horrific cruelty, as circus elephants typically were in the early 1900s. But Mary remains stalwart in her belief to please the humans and avoid pain by not harming those who have wounded her. She even goes so far as to find friends among humans who give her a place to belong.

But when old human habits return, Mary will be pushed beyond her limits, and not even her new friends can stop what comes next. In Mary’s world, the good guys aren’t always who you think they are, and the allies are those who are the most broken.

Mighty Mary is a heart-rending tale that rings all too real with what elephants suffered in performing shows. Their training and treatment should disturb everyone. Davine paints this treatment vividly, and with his use of Mary’s perspective, this becomes even more visceral. The misunderstanding between animals and humans is a critical point of this story. Everything hinges on how misunderstanding and fear, on both sides, leads to needless suffering and hurt for all involved.

There is stunning depth given to the inner lives of the elephants. It made me curious to know more about the role that research played in writing the book. I’d hoped for some insight from an author’s note, but no such note appeared at the end. This was disappointing as Mary is such an interesting figure, and I’d been looking forward to a behind-the-scenes of her story.

Writing a story from an animal’s point of view is an ambitious project. Davine pulls it off quite well, though it does end up anthropomorphizing the animals a bit, though that would be hard to stay away from inherently. As a result, the animal characters and their experiences are more fully realized than some of the human characters. The humans can come across as one-dimensional when compared to the complexity of Mary. Still, the story is enjoyable, even though it is an emotionally brutal experience. The author keeps tight control of a highly emotional book, and tells an amazing story of an amazing elephant.

Is brutal on reader emotions, but this is a well-told, interesting story that explores the line of brutality and kindness, fear and suffering, and it can cause us to question our own relationship to the animals around us and how they might see us.

Reviewed By: Axie Barclay
https://manhattanbookreview.com/product/mighty-mary/

About the author:

Max Davine was born in a suburb of Frankston, Victoria in 1989. He began writing dramatic pieces throughout highschool, and upon graduating set off to Los Angeles to learn the art of writing and pitching screenplays. Returning the same year, he went on to study acting with Peter Kalos at the Melbourne Actor’s Lab from 2010 to 2012, the year his first novel, “Terra Domina”, was published by ASJ Publishing. As well as novels, he has written for the stage and screen.

Silent Spring – Deadly Autumn of the Vietnam War by Patrick Hogan

Book Summary:

What would you say if I told you there are disturbing things the US Government hasn’t told you about the Vietnam War and doesn’t want you to know? Things such as all the rainbow-colored pesticides and the disabling effect they had on US service personnel.

Silent Spring – Deadly Autumn of the Vietnam War, is an account of war – a tale of anger and determination – a chronicle written in sorrow and hope. It’s the story of countless veterans who served in Vietnam and could even be your story.

While the book is categorized as a memoir, it’s also an investigational voyage into all the issues the U.S. government hasn’t told you and doesn’t want you to know about the Vietnam War. The work isn’t just another rehashing of the war or Agent Orange. Rather it’s a “silver bullet” which cuts through to the heart of the circumstances and chemical used in Vietnam—enduring toxic herbicides and insecticides—which in some cases are still being used to this very day all over the globe, even right here in America. Now I’m sure many of you will find that fact hard to believe. Nevertheless, it’s true.

So, forget everything you’ve heard from the government and what you think you know about the Vietnam War because you will be absolutely stunned by what the US government had willingly dumped on Vietnam—their allies—and even their own troops.

What happened in Vietnam … didn’t stay in Vietnam. It came home with us!

Amazon Link – https://amzn.to/2KR2MFe

 

Review:

Between the years of 1955-1975, The Vietnam War impacted lives across the world. Patrick Hogan, a former staff sergeant, has dedicated his novel Silent Spring: Deadly Autumn of the Vietnam War to exposing the public to the horrors that the United States government consciously inflicted upon its own people—soldiers who were fighting for the United States, and never gave their government a second thought as to the motives for their actions. He also wrote this for future generations to not forget some of the fallen soldiers that served during the Vietnam War—too many for Hogan to name.

Hogan covers all of the bases with his research on the ill-effects of the pesticides and herbicides used on the soldiers serving in South Vietnam. Reading thousands of research papers and looking through declassified papers, he has found an abundance of information to help him, personally, explain his many ailments and bodily problems he has experienced since his time in Vietnam. While in Vietnam, our government released highly toxic pesticides into the air, with the U.S. soldiers present to soak in every molecule of the poison into their bodies, of course, unbeknownst to them. Pages and pages of chemicals are listed, including the infamous Agent Orange and Agent White, with all of poisons combined being referred to as the “Rainbow Herbicides.”

To imagine what the soldiers had to go through during the war itself would be hard, but to imagine what they are still having to go through, even after the war has been over for forty-plus years, is sad. The way that Hogan describes everything pertaining to the DVA and the military, especially with their unwillingness to completely comply to the overall healthcare that veterans did, and currently do, need reminds me of a spoiled child who won’t accept responsibility for their actions. Deep down they know what they did, but they are too stubborn to admit it out loud at the risk of losing money and power. The amount of time that had to have gone into this book was extremely evident, and for that, it is very credible. Hogan’s style of writing was easy to read, and, personally, I loved how he incorporated uplifting words, such as Bible verses and the doxology into his book. As this is a story focused on so many negatives, it definitely needs some positivity included. The information included will be valuable for many generations to come to help us not forget this time in history and use it as a learning tool.

Reviewed By: Rachel Dehning
https://manhattanbookreview.com/product/silent-spring-deadly-autumn-of-the-vietnam-war/

 

Author Bio:

The author was stationed in Vietnam from September 1966 through June 1969. While there he earned the rank of Staff Sergeant E-6 and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal by the Secretary of the Army Stanley Resor. Shortly after being discharged, in August of 1975, he was appointed to the Teaneck Police Department as a law enforcement officer. During his police career, he attended Fairleigh Dickenson University’s where he earned an Associate in Arts Degree with honors. He has completed police training programs at law enforcement educational facilities such as John Jay College of Criminal Justice, the NJ State Police Training Academy and the New England Institute of Law Enforcement and Management (Babson College). In addition to his educational accomplishments, he is a certified State of New Jersey Police Training Instructor.

Initially, writing a book about the Vietnam War or being an author was the further thing from his mind. However, after he started his research journey into Agent Orange, things changed. He never suspected what his investigation would discover. The deeper his exploration took him, and the more he saw all the lives which had been taken and damaged by the rampant use of pesticides during the war; the more determined he became to try to set the record straight. So, starting with the death of his friend and fellow veteran, Larry White the concept for Silent Spring – Deadly Autumn of the Vietnam War was born, and a reluctant writer emerged out of sheer exasperation and sorrow.

Lesath by A. M. Kherbash

Book Summary:

Amateur journalist Greg travels to a remote mountain area to investigate rumors of a sinister building only to find himself imprisoned there. As he tries to escape, he evinces symptoms of a strange affliction, and struggles to remain conscious while maintaining an uncertain hold on reality.

Amazon Link – https://amzn.to/2A5KYBi

Good Reads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45173036-lesath

Advance Praise:

“Kherbash adroitly conjures an atmosphere of menacing uncertainty” — Kirkus Reviews

“An /X-Files/-esque read tinged with elements of /Shutter Island/, /Inception/, and the Agent Pendergast series by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child. Every page will leave you questioning what is true and what shapes reality, what hides in the dark and what hides in our own inner depths. Are you brave enough to face Lesath? Are you brave enough to face yourself? Enter the shadowed halls of Duncastor, where dreams are reality, and reality tis but a dream.” — J. Aislynn d’Merricksson, San Francisco Book Review

Author Bio:
A. M. enjoys telling stories in one form or another. Born, and raised in Dubai, she worked as a graphic designer and art director for over ten years, during which her work was featured online and in print. Her writing desk doubles as her design studio, and when not working, she can either be found drawing, gaming, or reading. You can find more information at http://amkherbash.com/