Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Gather.Com Challenge

I am an active member of Gather.Com...if you don't know about this site and would like to know more, go check it out, or ask me!

In any event, I accepted a group challenge to read 50 books this year...and promptly explained that it would be no real challenge for me!  I've merged two updates and provided them here, trying to keep some kind of master list of my past "reads."




I just joined this group!  It's a challenge to read at least 50 books within one year.  That's no challenge, but I thought it would be fun to keep track and verify how many I do read! I've tried this on Amazon--you know, they ask you to note all the books you read so that they can make better suggestions. Ha! I couldn't keep that up...was just to much trouble just to have other books recommended!

Soooooooo...I'm back dating my start to January 1st, because I just happened to have the books stacked that I've read recently.  Why? Well, I do various things with my books--some I keep, mostly those by my favorite authors.

Some I pass on to my niece...  or neighbors

Some I donate to my local library...

A lot of them I first share with an elderly friend from church and then when she returns them, I make my decisions what to do with them...

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Today I finished A Crime of Innocence, written by Father Patrick Bascio.  I did two book reviews for his last two books, Priest to Mafia Don and Defeating Islamic Terrorism: The Wahhabi Factor. Both of those are available on Gather. I noticed that the Father had also written A Crime of Innocence, which I immediately ordered. This book had an interesting twist to it--three people, a brother and sister and a priest, all wind up going to the same psychiatrist.  All trying to deals with their memories of a young woman who had been killed many years ago.  A good psychological thriller if you like this type of book!

Yesterday I finished Romeo and Juliet! See my review submitted today.

January 8th I finished a manuscript, Ice on Fire, by Deborah Ledford. That review is also available here on Gather and Deborah is a Gather member!

No, I don't review all the books I read...don't have the time!

Here are the others that have captured my interest since the first of the year:

Patricia Cornwell - Book of the Dead*

The Cat Who Had 60 Whiskers - Lilian Jackson Braun**

Iris Johansen - Stalemate*

Fern Michaels - Hide and Seek


My "read" stack started to fall over, so I figured I'd better do another update for the 50-book challenge!

The following are books I've reviewed. All are available on Gather!

Forgotten Promises by Denise Skelton 

Frogmen First Battles by Schofield and Carisella

Loving Joe Gallucci by Kate Genovese

Money for Nothing by Edward Ugel

Generation Ageless by Smith and Clurman

Player Related by Shadrach Linscomb 

Next are NY Time Authors

Absolute Fear by Lisa Jackson*

A Stranger is Watching by Mary Higgins Clark 

Executive Power by Vince Flynn

Killing Fear by Allison Brennan

Puss 'n Cahoots (collection)

The Fifth Victim by Beverly Barton

The Haunting of Josie by Kay Hooper*

The Murder Game by Beverly Barton

Scent of Danger by Andrea Kane

Wizard's Daughter by Catherine Coulter*


Breath of Heaven by Amy Grant (Lyrics and CD in book form)

*Favorite Author


Total since January 1 = 27

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Outstanding Medical Reference Guide for Home Library!

Understanding Surgery: A Comprehensive Guide for Every Family

By Dr. Joel Berman

Branden Books

ISBN: 0-8283-2061-6

496 Pages


I highly recommend Dr. Joel Berman’s Understanding Surgery for your home medical reference bookshelf! I was pleased to be asked to review the 2008 second printing of this major effort, and found that, just as the title says, it is A Comprehensive Guide for Every Family!


One thing I want to quickly point out. Although this book is geared toward Surgery; i.e., Dr. Berman provides complete information that is needed as you are considering surgery, I found that the book is so well presented and written that it is easily also a wonderful overall reference manual. For instance, if you have something that is bothering you in your chest, there is an extensive index that can be used to find different issues to review.  Since there is no way to totally eliminate the use of hard-to-understand medical terms, Dr. Berman has included an extensive glossary that is written in easily understandable words.


I admit that I’m one ofthose individuals who is afraid to hear “the bad news” because I find it hard to understand and thus fear interactions with doctors and potential surgeons. However, right from the start of the book, Dr. Berman has taken the time to make readers feel more comfortable—he has written silly, funny, and sometimes outrageous limericks to start each conversation. Then he moves very professionally into describing exactly what is involved and what the patient and family needs to know as they explore the option for surgery.


The manual is divided into two parts. The second part is a single chapter on anything and everything that may be operable (and even a little about what is not). Dr. Berman moves from his own “general surgery” area, which includes such things as gall bladder, appendix, and transplants. Then he moves into areas for which specialists are normally sought, moving through various parts of the body from head to feet, (including plastic surgery) describing what may be problems, and then what can and would be done through surgery. Each narrative includes detailed diagrams of the affected body area, clearly marked for use in understanding the actual process.


While Part II will be the more important part of this reference manual on an ongoing basis, I found Part I to be very informative. Oftentimes, professionals, especially specialists, are brought in to handle a specific task, or surgery.  While we, the patients are grateful, we have no idea what has actually taken place!


Dr. Berman, in Part I, has taken care of this problem! He begins with a brief history of surgery, education of the surgeon and then specialties that have been developed. He talks about the details that we, the patients, wouldn’t immediately think about if we were in pain, but that would be very important to us, if we weren’t seeing the individual for an immediate medical reason. The book includes what questions to explore with the surgeon(s).


Part I takes us into the surgeon’s office, into the operating room and/or an outpatient surgical center, as well as the emergency room.  He ensures that we need to talk to our surgeon, consider second opinions, credentials, and qualifications of the individuals involved. Then the issues of postoperative care, complications, infections and antibiotics are covered.


The potential use of lasers or laparoscopy (a method of operating which uses only a few small openings into the abdomen) are, first, explained, and then reviewed as options. The importance of rehabilitation is covered thoroughly. Then more detailed information on problem areas, such as hemorrhage, the issue of diabetes and surgery and problems with wound healing, as well as the importance of anesthesia and the professional in that area are discussed.


In fact, as I reviewed the book, I could not think of anything that I could want to know that was not at least mentioned by Dr. Berman. And, if more information was suggested, then he also provided references, including his first book, Comprehensive Breast Care.

Unfortunately we oftentimes do not think about valuable health-care information until it is too late to spend time reading and learning what we want to know. For this reason, I consider this a must-read/home library requirement! Spend some time right now and prepare for responding to life-threatening issues!


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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Just a Note to Catch Up!'s been a long time since I've added a note to my blog! That's just because I've been busier than ever!

We have changed our Book Reviewer Site to allow for individual book reviewer postings on various sites across the internet. Other than at book sales location, I now post to my blog, Gather.Com, LibraryThing and to Ezines which is a feeder location to online magazines. Yes, it takes more time, but I think it provides more exposure for the authors. A number of the authors have joined, which is a community site that includes groups about anything you can think of...and you get points for writing articles, sharing images, etc. If you'd like to know more, just leave a comment and I'll be happy to introduce you to what's going on least from my standpoint!

LibraryThing is a beta site and still has some problems...but it's going to be a great resource area as it is improved.  If you're into cataloguing books in your home library, this might be a site for you.

I has been doing more editing and internet work for a number of clients...getting more and more knowledgeable about promoting books online, etc. This is very difficult for those without internet/computer experience!

Spring is almost here...time to look outside and enjoy the sun and the flowers coming up!

Hope you have found something to read from my reviews...leave a message once in awhile!

God Bless!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Know Someone with Hepatitis C? Fiction Highlights!

Dr. Melissa Palmer in her foreword of Loving Joe Gallucci thanks Kate Genovese, for "authoring a book which portrays the human drama that flows from a diagnosis of Hepatitis C.  I wholeheartedly agree!

Meet Joe Gallucci. Joe is a "tall, six-foot lean hunk, with beautiful brown eyes, long black hair pulled back in a ponytail, and a construction worker's body." (p.2) He was also a drug addict, alcoholic and abusive man. Meg fell in love with him at first sight! She knew him as Jimmy Romano.

When Meg Flaherty met Jimmy through her sister Lizzie in 1970, she asked that her sister put in a good word to him. Lizzie quickly responded like she knew the rest of her family would--"He's not your type." Indeed Meg was from a well-known, influential family and she knew that her father would never consider Jimmy as a suitable young man to call on his favorite daughter.

Meg and Jimmy had their own lives to live, only seeing each other briefly until in January, 1976, Meg admitted to herself that she was in love with him. But during those years, several important things happened to Jimmy--foremost his father had been killed in a fire at his work, where he had stayed inside to save the furniture the company made, rather than leaving and saving his life. Jimmy, who had just begun to get close to his father was devastated, and even more so, when his father's brother took over the company and informed Jimmy he no longer had a job. Jimmy knew he was being cheated out of his share of the company, but had no way to fight against his uncle. Jimmy also stopped seeing his long-term girlfriend, unable to share his grief with her and doing the only thing possible, turning away from the relationship.

During that same time, Meg, having worked too many long hours, accepted a ride with a man she vaguely knew was a co-worker. As soon as she was in the car, he almost immediately started beating her and planning worse, for he had been stalking her and waiting for the right opportunity! This traumatic experience affected her life, her family and her work. But it was during that time that Jimmy made contact and talked to her about his feelings for her.

Two individuals, who were wrong for each other, in everybody's eyes but their own, fell in love and ultimately married. Jimmy and Meg had children. The lack of acceptance of Jimmy by Meg's father, in particular, continued to plague him through many years, even when he became successful in his business.But there was always love between Jimmy and Meg to keep them going.

And then Joe Gallucci once more came to visit. He brought back the sins of the past, not only on Jimmy but also on his young son! And suddenly it was a life-and-death matter!

Genovese has done an exceptional job; the book is fiction based upon a true story and is much more--a "love story" that will capture your heart, whether or not the book is totally true or supplemented for drama's sake. Her characters quickly become "someone you know" and the actions and dialogue of the son, in particular, are memorable and thought-provoking when he adopts the very same addictions of his father as he tries to deal with his father's health.

You may know somebody who has liver disease and will want to read this book. It will be of help. But the book is well written and can be a self-help support to anybody who has experienced trouble within married life and prayed that love would see them through! Because of this, all romance readers just may find Loving Joe Gallucci a "must-read."