Ledgins of Liberty Volume One

Legends of Liberty Volume One ISBN: 9781737551317, TAJ Classics, copyright and written by Andrew Benson Brown, Further noted is that it is “Printed and bound in the United States of America by KDP Covert art: The Battle of Lexitom.by William Barnes Wollen Title page: Detail from the Apotheosis of Washington, by Constantino Brumidi. Includes notes with bibliographical references.”
This is a somewhat unusual book for several reasons. The manner of provision itself – it opens with an Introduction that explains how “this important new poem” might be compared to Byron’s mock-epic Don Juan especially from the manner in which “it emphasizes both Lyrics and their ability to depict brief and intense emotional states or intellectual conundrums, whereas narrative holds our attention for a much more prolonged period.” Both also employ “tight and classical forms – Byron a notoriously difficult Italian form – Benson Brown a ten-line stanzaic form that avoids difficulties otherwise faced.” These explanations are most important for readers far more acquainted with the intricacies of poetry than this reader whose early interest in poetry was stimulated by such as Longfellow’s recounting of Paul Revere’s ride and Alfred Noyes “The Highwayman”. For readers similarly inclined and/or poorly prepared, this book and the manner in which it has been presented is excellent.
Discussion/Conclusion: From casual conversations, I have learned that quite a sizable number of readers will not even consider books of poetry. In this case such a reaction would result in their missing a most readable story. Benson’s poem is an extremely fascinating read and the added collection of notes most informative. One particularly noteworthy is that of the wavering position of importance assigned to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow during the 2020 era. It appears that the status of poets ‘wax and wane’ similarly to ordinary writers, e.g. Edward Bulwer-Lytton, at the time the popular author of “The Last Days of Pompeii”. His style of writing today is of little note. But to conclude, this reviewer believes that any reader who is, or desires to be, in anyway familiar with this section of American history, will discover this volume to be a most informative and enjoyable read.

5* for general reader interest, as described (Originally posted August 10, 2021)

THE COLOR OF RAIN

The Color of Rain ISBN: ISBN: 9781735749747 (eBook) Published by Winter Wheat Press, Copyright and written by John W. Feist.

The author describes the book quite completely and simply as “A Kansas Courtship in letters.” Literally, the book presents a series of letters by a man and a woman conducting a gradually increasing growth of personal interest in one another through correspondence couched in the most appropriate verbalization required by the mores of the society in which they lived in the later few years of the 1800s. The developing courtship encountered further restrictions stemming from the fact that Irene, the woman, was a close friend of the man Frank’s, dearly loved wife who passed away at a relatively early year of her life. The deepening relation easily is discernable as the correspondence proceeds through a lengthy period of time and eventually does reach fruition after a series of set-backs, some manufactured by Irene as well as by Frank’s vacillation with respect to ‘letting-go’ of his guilt feelings with regard to his former wife, now deceased for more than a couple of years and to his two young boys who were an issue from this happy marriage.

Discussion: the author has done an excellent job of presenting the situation as it would be enacted in this particular segment of time with the strict codes as lived in this area at this time. The pace indeed is slow and probably will not be acceptable to readers other than those who enjoy looking into a section of Americana as it existed for a lengthy time period. For readers who enjoy well-written vignettes of such periods of history, the author has provided an excellent book.

5* for a particular type of reader, as explained.

Mailstrom: Part II (Ryan Cunningham Book 2) by Rip Converseip

Maelstrom: Part II (Ryan Cunningham Book 2) Kindle Edition  by Rip Converse.

 The first book in this series was quite well-written. The characters are credible, even in highly dramatic scenes of being involved in a believably violent storm in the middle of the ocean. When the protagonist’s relatively small but seaworthy sail boat housing him and his adopted family is attacked by a large modern ocean going power boat seemingly owned by a South American cartel member, admittedly the reader may become a little ‘uneasy’. The story continues in this first part of the trilogy with the owner continuing to battle the elements and simultaneously the drug/alcohol saturated power boater as well. Part I  ends when the protagonist is rescued after losing  his boat, money and one of his adopted family and is  returned to his port of origin to be aided by close friends. This transition occurs for the reader by provision of 2 chapters of Part II, as the conclusion of Part I. The plot for this second portion of the story develops when the cartel member actually turns the situation into a personal vendetta against the former sailboat owner, now living ashore with what is left of his adopted family, the adult female of which having been again returned to her drug/alcohol habit. He meets a State Trooper who has had similar experiences with drug dealers and convinces the returned land dweller to accompany him in an effort to deal with this unrelenting miscreant. Part II again ends by introducing the reader to chapters of the next book in the series

Discussion: This time, for this reader, there did not seem to be sufficient credibility or interest in the story to purchase the next volume. It was regrettable, but the ‘uneasy feeling’ developed earlier in reading the first book continued its gradual decline of credibility in the tale. It really was quite disappointing because the original plot proceeded with so many possibilities including knowledgeable descriptions of sail boats, the seas and psychological possibilities underlying the entire project. Much beautifully described activity based upon genuinely believable details of boating and psychological attitudes and reactions was sufficient to lead to purchase of the second book but disappointingly, this particular reader did not believe there was sufficient hope for a return to the author’s basic knowledgeable early plot to progress further.

2* regrettably at best for this individual reader, as described.

Crisis Averted

CRISIS AVERTED PR Strategies to “Protect your Reputation and the Bottom Line” ISBN: 9781642252576 Published by Advantage Media, copyright and written by Evan Nierman.

The author opens the book with an introduction: A Crisis Averted Followed by PART I: An Introduction to Crisis PR, and four chapters; PART II: Bad Things Happen to Everyone with 3 chapters; PART III: Crisis Control and 4 more chapters. An Afterword closes the presentation.

“This profession centers upon high-stakes and high-profile situations that are hard to forget but are often best handled quietly without the world ever knowing or truly understanding what took place behind the scenes” and explains the procedure employed here. The author explains that good crisis management requires an empathetic individual who is cognizant of all the possibilities involved in all aspects and is a master of nuances when dealing with the situation. “Your client’s success can often hinge upon those subtle distinctions in the way you frame arguments, describe situations, and talk about companies.” You must know your subject matter!!

You also need to be willing to go help even though the call comes in the middle of a family reunion, or other you’re enjoying. You need to be able to converse comfortably with a high profile CEO as well as a blue collar worker and if the guy you’re trying to bail refuses to listen to you be willing to walk away. You also take the job because you believe in the guy who needs help and be willing to fight nasty opponents including reporters.

“A crisis is anything that is going to give people an inaccurate negative view of you or your company. If that is the situation in which you find yourself, then you had better not retreat into your shell, because it is not going to protect you. Instead, take a positive step toward keeping your reputation intact and discuss your circumstances with a crisis counselor.” No longer can you simply tell the truth, you must press for the truth!!! You often must think fast, act fast and even talk fast.

The number of people you are going to physically meet is a finite number, but with internet the number is billions and you are going to be painted as they wish, unless you PRESS for the truth to be seen AS YOU WANT TO BE SEEN! “Share with care and Post with Purpose”

Before facing any crisis situation, “formulate a clear and positive message”. Without such a clearly defined message it is “impossible to communicate powerfully without clearly articulating a primary message!”

Discussion: The author has set forth a book on how to deal with an unexpected crisis in a straightforward, easily understood manner that has gained kudos from numerous CEOs as well as individuals in other positions of importance in need of Crisis Control. The book is heavy on the importance of what the author’s particular team can offer that may be superior to that provided by others. However, in this reviewer’s estimation, it is a justifiable emphasis because of the breadth of his experience in a large number of areas and situations that crises frequently occur. This particular book is well worth reading for anyone and a must for anyone who has the misfortune to be involved in this situation.

5* Highly recommended read for all; a must for anyone involved.

The Gods of Miribiri; The Hunt for Project III

The Gods of Mirbiri Series: The Hunt for Project III. By C. E. Allan

The project appears to be an action to take over all of the existing  individual countries by use of a section of the “kashshaptu” who were endowed with special magical powers seemingly far superior to those with which  the members of the universe team fighting them which was controlled by “The Grand Lord”. Regrettably, a task force of Eton’s Grand Lord’s most powerful military was about to discover, through extended torture, the whereabouts of the project’s leader, when she was destroyed by an unknown enemy who possessed still a greater magical force then any others discovered to this point. They had the ability to change their molecular structure at a subatomic level. Literally, they could change from solid to any liquid or gaseous form and then into a poisonous gas called ‘compound ten eighty’ killing the victim within seconds. The killer then escaped by changing its ability once again into electricity and move out through a convenient computer.

At the Grand Lord’s command, the task is assigned to Tianna, a former top militarist of their country and winner of a deadly yearly contest to discover the most versatile fighter in the entire universe. Now retired, however, and simply a lovely woman with an inherited wealth of billions but unfortunately suffering from loss of the ‘love of her-life’ through an unfortunate series of activities. The story is provided through the activity leading up to and following this plot explanation. The manner in which the succeeding activity is developed and advances the story adds very nicely to the plot’s development which fundamentally is a struggle among the still existent ancient gods. If the ‘bad’ god wins, it means ultimate destruction of the humans and the earth upon which they live. There are a large number of characters and their interaction with each other plus members of the human’s universe forms perhaps the most basic aspect of the plot. Furnishing further information would not be in the prospective readers’ best interests.

Discussion: The author has presented a fanciful tale the breadth and depth of which devotees no doubt will find entirely to their liking. The action is plentiful and well-paced. Positive reaction to the numerous characters is easily obtained and the forms of magic presented are highly diverse and often unique. The finale provides an entrée to the next volume in the series.

5* For devotees of Fantasy especially.

 

Andy: Origins

ANDY: ORIGINS ISBN: 9781950547333 assumed published, copyright and written by Dirk Walvoord.

The story is fiction. The book opens with a quotation excerpted from Cyrus Bergen’s “The Theory of Likeability (Univ. of Northwest Press). If one can identify the things that a person likes and can consciously do those things and if one can also identify the things that a person does not like and consciously avoid those things, then one can make himself (or herself) likeable.” The plot follows the attempt by a university to coerce one of their brilliant staff professors to imbue a robot with these character traits. He is selected because he exhibits them personally, making him in great demand as a guest lecturer. Trouble ensues when the manufacturer who supplies the money to the University for the Project begins to work with, but also against, the institution’s Dean to provide other AIs to replace the personable professor.

Discussion: This is a highly credible plot from the standpoint that it has existed for many years when highly intelligent and investigative minds within universities are tempted, or actually are, coerced by their Deans and other administrators to accept grant money to further the university’s income from manufacturers to provide input into their projects. The new ‘twist’ is that this particular project entails development of lifelike robots as assistants that are ‘all things’ to their main ‘master’. The book is well-written, although perhaps a little confusing when the chicanery begins, by an author who is knowledgeable of his subject.

5* Application of a new plot ‘twist’ to a long-existent practice.

The Cabin at Jackson Hole

 

The Cabin at Jackson Hole ISBN: 97987137870 Mountain Track Publishing written by Kari August,

A historical romance novel beginning in 1885 with a young woman who has lost her beloved father, descendant of a British Earl who had immigrated to America. He had had plenty of time to spend with his intelligent daughter as he mostly dabbled in minor pursuits and concentrated on spending time teaching her much of the knowledge he had gained through the years. Unfortunately, his pursuits were insufficient to maintain their life style and it had been necessary for them to move to a smaller home. For some time since her mother’s death while she was still a small child, her family had consisted of the two of them in a close relationship, along with their long-time housekeeper. Her father had gained employment as a professor in a Pennsylvania teachers’ college which was sufficient to supplement the monies still coming in. Regrettably also like most children, she had assumed that he would live forever and was shocked by his sudden demise, plus learning that Sally, the housekeeper, had been accepted as a substitute for her mother in her father’s life. She approached the college authorities to be permitted to assume her father’s duties. Although qualified, she had no demonstrable degrees or certificates and her application was denied, but while reading the newspaper she came across an ad for a school teacher in the western part of the country. Being a very intelligent, self-secure woman, and realizing that it would be impossible for the remaining two women to survive on the reaming income, she applied and was accepted. The story is about her trip, subsequent arrival and how this strong-willed woman not only survived but prospered in this rough frontier environment eventually finding love and fulfilment.

Discussion: The story settles into the Yellowstone National Park, Jackson Hole section of the country and includes a number of interestingly portrayed characters including Butch Cassidy and his cohort, a small number of interestingly portrayed Indians, a slick, unprincipled drifter, some solid ranch/farmer types and their families along with occasional wealthy Europeans at this time when they had been attracted to the “Wild Western America” to hunt and/or establish ranches. All matters considered, the author has set forth a rather historically correct picture of this ‘free-swinging’ period of America.

4* Historical Romance most enjoyable for devotees of its type.

Maelstrom Part I

MAELSTROM Part I [(Ryan Cunningham Book 1) KIndle  Edition] : ISBN: 9781646692484 assumed published, copyright and written by Rip Converse.

Part I of a proposed trilogy and including the first two chapters of the second offering at the end of this portion. It is the fictional story of a 37-year-old Ryan who is “in love with love” but never makes the declaration to anyone because he doesn’t want to ‘cheapen’ its meaning. Terrified of ending up alone, he continued to search for ‘the right person but unfortunately, his idea of the ideal mate kept shifting monthly, weekly and even daily. He also is a recovered alcohol and drug addict after having spaced out. He lived in the small Cape Cod village of Sippican with its somewhat staid mores and decided to sell his house, live on his 65-year-old but well designed and cared for 42’ full keel sailboat Parthenia, with thoughts of leaving the homey town with his huge black Labrador Clifton and sailing south. He had sold his home, bought the boat and moved on to it 6 years ago. It was a sturdy, well designed wood 42 foot full keel, mahogany bronze strapped dark oak frames, edge-glued by master ship builders built 65 years before. It was a well-cared for craft that was capable of many more years of blue water sailing.

He meets a young woman, also a recovering alcohol/heroin addict at an AA meeting and in a relatively short time they become mutually attracted. She has a young daughter and a several years younger son, both of whom become quickly attached to Ryan as a true father figure, a position he cherishes. He decides to include them when setting sail for Bermuda. The story evolves into a series of close disasters as they encounter a rogue Atlantic storm with many changes evolving in each individual under the duress of the continuing storm. The two chapters introducing the second book in the series build upon a chance meeting during the stay in Bermuda that begins to develop into what appears to be another developing storm of a different type.

Discussion: the author demonstrates an intimate knowledge of sailing ships and problems that can be encountered anytime sailing in large bodies of water. The story line is believable. The characters are believable and the action is non-stop. The two chapters of Part II provide a strong hint of continued thriller activity introducing a different element. This is a credible plot with believable characters and almost non-stop action

5* Recommended, as described.

The Blood List

The Blood List ISBN: 9781736533604 a novel assumed published, copyright and written by J.N. Jamieson.

Benjamin Bautista, fallen brilliant detective, is assigned to desk in an almost pointless job while awaiting action by the Internal control board for using money given to him by his partner for treatment he needed to ease some of the pain suffered by his beloved wife of 14 years while dying, He suspected it was crooked money, but needed it. The source of the money is discovered and action is taken by the police Internal Review Board. Unfortunately, his partner dies before the investigation is initiated and he is blamed, demoted to his present menial job while awaiting a re-review. Now, although a top detective, he is ignored by everyone as a “dirty cop”. Jackie, a new recruit studying for her detective exam, is one of the very few who even acknowledges him. Another is a top man in the administration who believes him and his detection of the manner in which a ghost-like serial killer is eliminating his victims. Further complications evolve because of Ben’s former boss, administrative head of detectives who thoroughly dislikes him, partially because of his often brilliant deductions. The story advances through the killer’s known list of those to be killed, one of whom is Benjamin. Through a writing technique shifting from the killer who is a thoughtful, careful of all possible miscues, master of disguise to Ben, plus to periods of time during occurrences in Iraq and subsequently to their service together in that war. Eventually, individual aspects of the relationship are woven together and the tale moves toward a most interesting conclusion.

Discussion: The author has written an exciting and well-crafted story following a plot employing thoughts of the Manchurian Candidate. However, his particular management of the plot and its characters is sufficiently different to make for a most intriguing tale this viewer highly recommends.

5* As described in the discussion.

The End of an ERA

The END of an ERA, Diverse Thoughts From 100+ years of LIving ISBN: 9781636925639 Newman Springs Publishing copyright and written by John H. Manhold.

For readers who regularly visit my website, I am sure this is something different than what you expected to find. Specifically I should like to alert you to the imminent publication of this author’s latest book, The End of an Era. Final print copy is scheduled to be released for distribution and sale in print (soft cover) by next week, followed by an e-book, and an audible version shortly thereafter.

Briefly, it presents comparative observations of various aspects of life as it began shortly after WW I and progressed through the multitudinous changes that evolved as the years crept by “in there petty pace from day to day” through the year 2020 and the early part of 2021. The century’s changes overall have been accumulating for millennia – only recently the rate of acceleration has changed to a pace even faster than during the Industrial Revolution. The past one hundred years has moved from a time when a man’s handshake was binding, and a resident of the then United States of America was free to indulge in, and could attain top-level accomplishments in any number of fields, to the present era where an amazing amount of control is occurring. In 1919 there was no TV, Jet flight, DNA, Cloning, computers, huge technological companies attempting to correlate and direct an individual’s thought pattern and direction. Even general ownership of radios did not exist (my father, an electrical engineer, built our first ‘Crystal Set’). But perhaps on an even more personal level. What has happened to empathy? How frequently do you encounter understanding of a problem? Instead, is your boss or other “uncaring” person too occupied to even listen to what you are saying? Or if the person listens, how much is he/she really hearing? The last study of attention span of humans I found was 8.1 seconds, which is comparable to that reported of a goldfish. Have you noticed how rapidly advertisements change on TV? How rapidly people speak these days? When answering the phone, you immediately are addressed by a recorded message? What has happened to loyalty? Whom do you really believe you personally can trust?

Dependence upon machines, computers, and artificial intelligence is our way of life. Its pace and the quantity of material required to be gathered and stored has grown far beyond existing capabilities. Regrettably, no choice exists but to continue while opening our lives to any and every one because no computer made to date is immune to hacking.

The 1919–2021 period of change has been of sufficient magnitude even to be equated with the now almost forgotten Renaissance, an era of total upheaval in the mores of society was occurring that escalated to almost  unimagined levels in communication, transportation, housing, clothing, morals, matters of entertainment, patterns of thought—everything. Amusingly perhaps, also a time that has been compared with my unusual, highly varied life activities and often accompanied with suggestions—actual pressure—to publish them.

Until now, I have refused. Producing another exercise in self-serving egocentricity that few other than family and a few acquaintances might like to read always has seemed gauche until recently a young intern remarked that the opportunities I was offered no longer existed.  I was fortunate in that my career developed during a period when investigative opportunities were numerous and ability to meet and exchange ideas with notable people easily occurred. The conversation began an introspective progression of thoughts that led to my reconsideration and although I have not acquired any status as a celebrated professional athlete, revered statesman, honored warrior, or even received extensive media coverage as a celebrated stage or cinematic performer, I have gained a certain level of recognition in several areas that have provided me with an opportunity for worldwide travel and intimate time spent with people of many different cultures. Thus evolved the intention here to describe my serendipitous journey in an obvious and/or easily verifiable manner, and as it occurred with observations on the era differences and an intent to offer impressions gained through these years spent with many people of different, or possibly similar but somehow “different” mores as they change with time. Also, I should like to impart some of the insight (?) gained that could offer takeaway thoughts for others.

Generally speaking, there is little interest in the past. Few read history with the lessons that it teaches, and even historical novels are passé. This book sets forth a contrasting picture between the 1900s and the present century. It is one man’s story by a man who has lived through those 100+ years and set forth in his words as the events are remembered and written with obvious and/or referenced substantiation. You might discover features and/or circumstances that elicit personal thought(s).

John H. Manhold