Like no other Boy

Like no other Boy a novel assumed published, copyright and written by Larry Eisman Center,

This book indeed is like its title. It is a story unlike any other. It is the story of parental love for a deeply troubled autistic child who is completely dependent upon both parents, a situation that has become hugely problematic. Chris, 8-year old Tommy’s father, is an extremely empathetic individual devoted to his elderly, ailing father, and still enamored of his wife who divorced him as the marriage dissolved under the continued pressure of the situation. Cheryl was from a wealthy family whose treatment apparently was such as to not allow her to cope with adversity, and had found another wealthy man with whom to bond. Chris had not been quite as fortunate, His parents were a devoted couple until his mother passed away, actually contributing greatly to his father’s physical degeneration and his vocation was as a prominent ‘voice over’ actor whose employment depended upon a spotty flow as is all ‘show business’. Thus, Tommy was awarded to Cheryl, but because of the child’s need for both parents, she consented to allow week-end visitation rights to the husband. There was a constant disagreement with respect to modes of treatment for the child and reached a pinnacle when Chris, on a trip to the Zoo, had discovered Tommy had been absorbed with the chimpanzees. He seemed to equate and even speak with them, at the same time demonstrating an advancement in speaking with his father. Additional trips strengthened the attachment and advancements in his speech and sentence formation with his father. Prominent scientists became involved and were willing to commit a huge amount of money to further study the interaction. Cheryl, would not even consider the relationship, preferring removal of the boy to another city where she, now pregnant, and her soon to be new husband both could also benefit from new vocational opportunities. The drama continues to escalate as it unfolds through the ensuing pages to a thoroughly fascinating conclusion.

Discussion: the author has done a remarkable job in depicting the activities of an autistic child and the excruciatingly painful situations repeatedly faced by parents who deeply love their child and constantly strive with little other than hope for some miracle to happen. The author also has learned and shared interesting facts about one branch of primates. A number of involved characters are well and believably described and the book’s flow is acceptable, although occasionally slightly irritating perhaps with Chris’s unwavering extension of empathy upon occasion.

5* Totally absorbing story about autism.

Erasing the Past

Erasing the Past Assumed published, copyright and written by Geri L. Dreiling.     

There is a sub-title stating that this is “A novel about love, betrayal and second chances” and genre suggestions that include fiction, sci-fi, suspense and romance. Prologue opens in Forrest Park, St. Louis with the Art Museum setting atop the green hill that descends to an area providing a superb view of the Grand Basin. The day is beautiful, young lovers are strolling arm-in-arm with the occasional shy kiss and all appears to be well with the world, except for one old man with a badly affected left arm who disconsolately seats himself on a convenient bench. He opens a copy of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, spots a photograph of two people in the gossip column and begins to sob. A young woman asks if he is alright. He answers simply that he was alone, in his pain, his regret and his pain, but that was not always the way. Once upon a time he, and they, were happy but that all is changed. His “future has vanished, and the present laid waste; all because the past was erased”. The first chapter then opens in April of 2008, and thus begins a tale of seeming remorse by an old man who regrets his life-long self-centered activities and rigid thought patterns that have ruined his life and driven the love of his life into the arms of another man as well as ruining his career. His life possibly may not be as he believes at this point in time however, but providing further details of the story would be a huge disservice to potential readers.

Discussion: The author has set forth a story about a self-centered man with a deep love for a beautiful woman who basically and most unfortunately, places a great amount of emphasis on personal appearance although also with a driving internal need to have children. However, he is not without faults in that he is self-centered with a degree of paranoia and an underlying rigidity in the fundamental roles of the man and woman in a marital situation. These differences provide the basis of this well-written, only slightly flawed, tale of their impact upon an otherwise happy marriage of twenty plus years.

5* Interesting marital relationship the book’s subtitle well describes.

Zipacana’s Legacy

Zipacana’s Legacy Fifth Dimension Books, cover and Interior design by Rick Palmacci, copyright and written by Cindy Davis.

Jade French, a highly successful marketing specialist soon to be promoted to the top position in her California-based company, has received notice that she has inherited a ‘hotel’ in a small town in Mexico. Because she somehow feels that this is where her future lies, she resigns, permanently breaks off with her boyfriend and leaves with close friend Mari Anderson (a totally high maintenance city girl) to move to take possession of the property. They arrive and find the well-designed structure fronted by a large porch heavily overgrown with tangled vines, and other obvious signs of neglect as it has been empty since grandfather’s death. From this point on, the reader embarks upon an intriguing journey where Jade discovers that her birth name was not Jade French, but Jade Sacniete Waempo IX, that her grandfather had been a practitioner and teacher of a form of Shamanism, that her inheritance resulted from her grandfather’s recognition that she was a person with already developed, but unrecognized, understanding of many Shaman powers and that she had arrived to fulfil a predestined position as a prominent leader. The story is a fascinating unfolding of the manner in which Jade gradually learns of her legacy, the trials encountered as her new life gradually opens, her acquisition of new friends as well as inexplicable enemies and ultimate understanding of formerly unanswerable questions relevant to her mother and father.

Discussion/Summary: The author opens with an Author’s note telling the reader that “the spiritual situations that happen to Jade in the story are things that can happen to anyone, Telepathy and self-healing are not fantasies. They are available inside each of us.” She also explains that shamanism has existed for thousands of years and that ancient times the local Shaman was the physician, psychologist and Spiritual Healer to his community. Purportedly shaman are “connected to earth. They are healers of the earth and the human body; intermediaries between our world and the spirit world.” Further, this former 23-year editor and mystery writer, now has been “awakened” and with her “also reformed husband” Rick Palmacci, present “talks on positivity and spirituality” as well as providing “a bi-monthly blog and short stories featuring characters from the Jade series.” She also has provided a well-selected Bibliography of some publications pertinent to the basic subject of the mind/body/spirit and shamanism, Native American Religions of Central and South America and similar thought patterns. In Summary, a truly intriguing story providing captivating features of a subject rarely encountered when perusing reading choices.

5* Highly recommended read for all.

The Price of Safety

The Price of Safety ISBN: 9781950890811 World Castle Publishing copyright and written by Michael C. Bland.

The storyteller opens with his statement that “Igniting a miniature sun was the riskiest thing we’d ever attempted. Yet we were doing it in front of the entire planet” With 45 seconds left in countdown, he was mentally checking all aspects of the project while his onetime best friend and company co-founder CEO Nikolai, was in front of the 200 assembled CEOs bragging about the various accomplishments. The ignition is accomplished, in part, but must be terminated by a structural failure. From this introduction the tale continues as we follow the activity of Dray Quintero, a brilliant scientist who is the inventor of the extensive array of methods employed by the government supposedly to protect and provide a better life for the citizens. He discovers far too late that instead, these features are being employed to control them. Seemingly, the CEO has been able to provide the manner in which they are disseminated and has been completely tied to the government resulting in great wealth for himself, while Dray was involved in the brilliant investigative activity of providing the blueprints. The story is a matter of many twists and turns that involves his wife and three children. Death of the first one having a tremendous effect on him and his wife and directing their attention in an unhealthy manner toward attempts to protect the remaining offspring. But here, we discover that the older daughter has an agenda of her own. There are a large number of twists and turns in the plot with abundant distrust, deception, betrayal and treachery discovered to have been extant for some time and even within his own family.

Discussion: The author has provided a tale that reflects much of the thought and attitudes of much of today’s population set in a sci-fi of a number of years in the future. There is much repetition and some inexplicable thoughtless activity. However, this is a book for individuals who are devotees of sci-fi non-stop action thrillers. Regrettably from this reviewer’s perspective, it may be a little ‘over-the-top’ for even the reader who enjoys sci-fi/thrillers but is a tad more pragmatic.

3* 5* great read for die-hard readers of action-packed sci-fi/thrillers; -2* as explained.

The DAR LUMBRE Chronicles

The Dar Lumbre Chronicles ISBN: 9780692086162 assumed published, copyright and written by Don Johnson.

The author has devised an interesting plot where a highly intelligent geneticist, Dar Lumbre, was about to be arrested by the government for his continued work in the field. Although he had engineered the only viable heart replacement available, one evolving from actual heart tissue. They were concerned about other of his experiments and decided he must be apprehended and kept from continuing. The heavily controlling government was unable to find him in spite of all their efforts. The book opens a hundred years later, where the government has evolved into an all-encompassing power where there were only two political parties that alternated years of control, but regardless, all housing, food allotment and distribution of other necessities were administered by the ruling body. There was a requirement for citizen enrollment in one or the other party with non-registrants considered ‘Outsiders” who were forced to survive the best they could. Trouble begins with the DL-666 heart tissue losing ability to function properly and two extremely intelligent geneticists Craig Hopkins and Annie Lee working for the owner, Cal Tech, are assigned to discover why it is failing. The new laboratory director who was hired to ‘turn the company around’ because it was losing revenue, ultimately dismisses Craig. Because the wife of the government’s President suddenly requires a heart transplant, Craig is rehired and he and Annie continue to make advances in repairing the damage. Numerous other complications arise with a long-existent, but secret, Dar Lumbre Society surfacing and registering the ‘Outcasts’, an overwhelming majority of whom believe that eventually  the missing Dar Lumbar wil reappear  a hundred years after he disappeared while in his late fifties or sixties. Numerous supportive characters add levels of suspense to the tale as it evolves and any further details would be a complete disservice to the prospective reader.

Discussion: a well written, spaced and paced, sci-fi, mystery, thriller with extensive details on genetics presented in a readable fashion.

5* Pleasant, easy to read sci-fi/mystery/thriller involving genetics.

10-day Diet Detox Diet

10-Day Detox Diet ISBN: 9780316229982 Little, Brown Spark Hachette Book Group, First eBook edition 2014 written by Mark Hyman, M.D,

The author has written this book to set forth his plan to “Activate your Body’s Natural Ability to Burn Fat and Lose Weight Fast”. It provides an Introduction, How to use this book and his plan described in 7 Parts; Resources; Acknowledgements; Discover More Mark Hyman: About the Author; Praise for his book. Of the 7 Parts, # 1 About the Program Our Big Fat Problem contains 3 Chapters – Why are we losing the weight loss battle, Finding food problem, and The Solution: The 10-day Detox Diet; Part II About the Program sets forth # 4 and 5 – How the Program Works and The Two Steps to Detox Success; Part III The Prep Phase has #6 Getting Started; Part IV contains 11 chapters beginning with #7 Your Daily Practices and continuing through Day 10; Part V The Transition Phase contains # 18 After the Detox; Part VI It’s Bigger than Us – chapter 19, explains that getting healthy is a team sport; Part VII The 10-day Detox Meal Plan and Recipes consists of chapters 20 – the Meal Plan and #21 – The Recipes.

The book opens with an invitation that describes a typical woman attempting to maintain her weight but did not realize that many of the foods she was eating actually were producing the opposite effect and that she actually was unknowingly a Type 2 Diabetic. And her problems were not too much food or too little exercise but rather because her manner of eating and living were disrupting her insulin levels. He was able to restore her health simply by following his detoxification program allowing “the magic of biology” to do the rest. He further describes how his six-week plan for preventing, treating, and even reversing diabetes and pre-diabetes described in his previous book “The Blood Sugar Solution” had been proven to be helpful. Now he states that he has “a fast-track plan to shed upwards of ten pounds and radically reboot your entire system in just ten short days.” He is going to “stop your fat-storage hormone in its tracks, cool off the inflammation that contributes to weight gain, and upgrade your detox pathways.” (It will also improve your energy, sleep, mood, chronic problems including joint pain, digestive problem, autoimmune disease, headaches, memory problems and brain fog, sinus and allergy issues, even acne, eczema and psoriasis will get better or disappear). “Your sexual desire and function may even improve.” Why? Because “what makes you sick also makes you fat, and what makes you fat makes you sick” because health is a state of balance and disease imbalance.” The book also includes a test to take before the 10-day diet as a baseline and then after to ascertain the difference.

Part VII, The Meal Plan and Recipes include a Core Plan and Adventure Plan, this latter allows you to experiment, mix and match between as long as you pick all of your meals for any given day from that day’s plans. He also admonishes that you can eat as much as you like of non-starchy vegetables, providing a list of more than fifty.

Discussion: The author probably has written one of the most all-inclusive books on eating to achieve weight loss while correcting a host of other ailments this reviewer ever has read. It is authoritative and presents myriad details of the interrelationship of food and the body’s functional parts as well as a huge number of recipes and their preparation. Additionally he has provided both aspects of the subject in simple terms, easily absorbed by almost any level of intelligence. A truly remarkable book whose only fault is the amount of redundancy and repetition. This is not the least unusual for persons who constantly give lectures and lead discussions to use the repetition/redundancy for emphasis. However, it is annoying for most readers and especially those with any basic knowledge. Knowledgeable editing would greatly enhance reading enjoyment.

4* 5*material; -1* knowledgeable editing to enhance reading pleasure.

The Covid Legacy

The COVID Legacy assumed published, copyright and written by Lance Haynes,

The book opens with a description of areas of the country/world completely devastated from “The Dying Time’ when large portions of the world’s inhabitants were wiped out by a pandemic viral infection. It then introduces the reader to Brian, the son of Anders and Melissa Thorson and his wife Desta. He was from the northern section of the inhabited world and she was from Ethiopia. They discovered each other via an internet search and were allowed to get married and assigned to a home previously owned by a deceased billionaire near Jackson Hole by the UN Authority who functioned as the regulatory arm of the shadowy but all-powerful Dominus. They had been living here for 15 years and recently had been permitted to have children, or at least, a child. Brian possessed a brilliant mind and performed requested duties for the administrative body. The house assignment and other ‘favors’ signified their importance to the controlling authority. The story evolves as Brian attempts to learn more about his grandfather, Carl. From notes and other mementos of his grandfather he received and/or discovered from his father, he was able to discern the brilliance of the man and his manipulation by the controlling force of Dominus. Also revealed were the fate of his grandmother, existence of an equally brilliant aunt and more. Ultimately, the entire situation in large part designed and developed by his grandfather is addressed by the unexpected appearance of a believed long dead relative who with Brian, and a small cohesive group attempt to somewhat alter it for the good of all.

Discussion: The author has employed the present viral pandemic in a fictional setting that uses a tentative agenda where such an instrument, coldly but efficiently, was set in motion to solve the constantly discussed world problems of overpopulation, intercountry as well as personal greed and scrambling for dominance, cold and hot wars, global warming and the rest. It is a very readable thoughtful but in some ways ‘uncomfortable’, philosophical discussion brought to mind by China’s seeming culpable involvement. The discussion may be a little heavy for some, but coverage as set forth generally is acceptably comprehensible as pertinent to its placement within the story.

4* 5* story, probably -1 for (really required) lengthy philosophical passages.

A Laughing Place

A Laughing Place Berwick Publishing, copyright and written by Christian Hageseth, M.D.

This offering is a relatively short but quite thorough look at the position of humor in the content of an individual’s mindset and the extent of its importance in an individual’s well-being. It includes an introduction that once again reiterates the importance of Hippocrates’ statement “It is far more important to know what person has the disease, than what disease the person has. The difference between patients is the content of their minds.” Twelve chapters follow, opening with a humorous, tenuously embarrassing incident that occurred with the author’s first lecture with respect to the subject. An incident that gave rise to the quote “Life and adversity: You can’t have one without the other” and an opportunity to provide further discussion of the importance of how the individual deals with adversity when encountered. Years of treating patients who were almost impossible to help finally brought this psychiatrist to a realization of the vital importance of Positive Humor. Thus he decided that rather than treat the aftermath of adversity, he wanted to prevent some of the pain that poured out in his consulting room and instruct his patients to learn about humor – what it is, how it constantly is modified, what purpose it serves and when properly couched and utilized, what it can bring to alleviating some of the suffering individual’s most debilitating episodes of despair.

Well aware of present day demand for short, crisp, to-the-point- comments, in the book he first provides what he believes are the ten basic components of humor. And he does so simply, “without detail, without examples, without metaphor”. With these as a basis, he then expands to examine the subject from its very first appearance to its many levels beyond. Many psychologists believe that humor is a function of language and a process involving abstract thought. As such, its first appearance is around the child’s first grade. The author contends that the first humor experience emerges even before with the smiling response which occurs at about eight weeks of life. Regardless, from this initial emergence, he traces it through the stages of mental and physical growth accompanying childhood, adolescence and into the adult. He explains how humor is more than jokes and that three pathways exist to a humor experience; that one’s surroundings, culture and subculture dictate the acceptance or non-acceptance of a humorous statement, with occasional exceptions as noted. And he provides numerous true stories of the effectiveness of humor in certain disastrous situations. Further presented are “the four elements of successful humor” and how they are achieved as well as how it may be used to combat illness as well as depression. The book ends with again a succinctly presented list of twelve affirmations of positive humor.

Discussion: The author has set forth a quite thorough overall discussion of humor. Further, he has provided the material in an easy to read form that the neophyte looking for help will discover to be simple to follow. Amusingly perhaps, is the fact that he most obviously is well aware of the extent of decrease in the general public’s attention span. Whether watching TV, reading or conversing, this activity measured 12 seconds in the year 2000; 8.25 seconds in 2015 and seemingly is dropping even lower in newly acquired data. (Comparatively, that of a goldfish is 9 seconds.). Resultantly, he has provided much material in quite simple to read lists and individual phrases. As an aside, his inclusion of certain humorous incidents/tales are quite hilarious for any reader with a degree of imagination. One word of caution seemingly would be helpful for the self-help reader – no matter how easily comprehensible one discovers the material to be in this book, it would seem wise to find a competent individual with whom to discuss this subject before embarking on any extensive personal change.

5* Thorough presentation of humor and its importance to human health.

After Olympus

AFTER OLYMPUS ISBN: 9781733801713 Lone Think Press copyright by Desmond Mascarenhas written by Santiago Xaman.

Description/Discussion: Pragmatically, and referred to by the author as “pseudo-fiction”, this most unusual book follows a rambling plot following the lives of three men besides the story teller and their wives or significant others as their lives play out after discovery of a hitherto unknown/unreported Russian Space craft of unusual components and containment. The tale is a tumultuous mixture of mystery and mythology with overtones of mysticism (?), occult (?), history spread over a wide section of the world ranging from Guatemala to Russia, the Serengeti and other parts of Africa, India, throughout much of the U. S. and Europe. The four protagonists all are exceedingly well educated and from backgrounds (families/cultures/traumatic occurrences) that make them prone to a somewhat different manner of living, employment and in their reactions to these matters. The pages are replete with thought provoking messages on such matters as the fact that every subject deserves empirical, intuitive and pragmatic contemplation; everything good grows from the bottom up (plants, trees, cultures?); everything projected from the top down is bad – organized religions, governments et al. – these latter often ‘dodge’ by forming protocols that ‘adapt’. Good comes from people thinking alone; e.g. Plato, Einstein; bad from organizational groups at the top claiming from their collective decision that they are right and everybody else wrong. And unfortunately, even authenticity is vulnerable if railed against at a high level maintained for a sufficiently long time. The author seems most interesting, but who is the author? The book includes a previously published “Opinion Piece” of interest in itself, as is another “Rebuilding the House” that discusses replacing organized religions, governments, corporations “with better versions of themselves”. Also some notes About the Author are quite fascinating when contemplating the entire book and the thoughts that arise from the ‘experience’ of reading this book.

5* Unusual, divertingly intriguing experience for certain readers.

FOLIE?

FOLIE? A novel published, copyright and written by M. S. Barnes.

In order to provide further understanding of the substance of the book, immediately following the title these words are set forth; “noun, plural fo-lies [faw-lee] /fo’li/. French. Madness; insanity”. This is to explain that the referenced word is French and describes a particularly disruptive syndrome where delusional beliefs of one person may be passed to another (folie a deux) and even beyond to many, as in folie pleusiers (mass hysteria). The plot centers around a young psychiatrist who recently has completed her training and takes a job offer in an aging, poorly staffed and poorly maintained psychiatric institution in a remote section of Tennessee. It is in the time when the profession was only very slowly evolving from insulin and/or electric shock, lobotomies and other of the early experimental procedures. Armed with all of the latest knowledge available to the profession, Dr. Lee was sure she would be able to change the thinking and treatment procedures long espoused by all of the older staff members who she assumed were long removed from newer information. The story begins to accelerate when she spies a newly arrived patient whom she feels she must personally treat. The Chief, along with other members of the staff, believe she does not have the experience to handle this patient, but with reservations, give in to her insistence. She suddenly discovers she has a case beyond her abilities and turns to her mentor, a prominent professor/author and otherwise long recognized as most prominent in the profession. Providing further details would be a disservice to the prospective reader. Suffice it to say, that the tale gradually evolves into a horror, ghost (?) story of huge proportions, similar to, but more sophisticated than those shared in scary surroundings by youngsters.

Discussion: The author has set forth a most interesting tale of two particular basic features of addressing treatment of individuals with any health problems and especially those dealing with the mind. One is the ever present, but largely hidden, difference in the beliefs of medical practitioners and academicians. The former hold the latter in distain with belief in the old adage “Those who can (treat patients), do; those who can’t, teach.” Whereas, the latter, are just as strongly entrenched in the belief that without their discoveries and dissemination of the new treatment modalities, the practitioner would still be employing ineffective methods. Obviously much can be said in support of both beliefs. The second probably supports the first contention much more strongly because a really huge risk is associated when treating patients with mental problems. If the physician has any hidden, unknown or unrealized instabilities within, it can make him/her highly vulnerable to some action, word or thought pattern exhibited by the patient being treated. This is why psychiatrists themselves, after their extensive training beyond medical school and internships, may themselves undergo analysis and all invariably have a mentor with whom they consult when needed. Dr. Lee just picked the wrong type of mentor for her activities – an individual well versed in all phases of psychiatry EXCEPT the practical aspects and worse, an individual with a completely suppressed, devastating personal memory.

Summary: This book’s tale is spun by an author knowledgeable of the story’s basic elements. Thus, it presents an interesting dichotomy of choices – 1. An interesting read about a somewhat bizarre case of mental disintegration 2. To reiterate, an interesting horror, ghost (?) story similar, but much more sophisticated, than those shared by youngsters in scary surroundings.

5* Particularly interesting for two different tiers of readers as described.