Book Review

Transhumance

Transhumance

By | November 12, 2015 at 2:46 am | No comments

By Heidi Simmons ----- “Walking With Abel” by Anna Badkhen Nonfiction ----- Nomadic people have roamed this planet since the beginning of time.  Around the globe borders have been drawn and more and more boundaries have been created. In Anna Badkhen’s Walking...

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The Poor Poor Poor

The Poor Poor Poor

By | November 5, 2015 at 1:44 am | No comments

By Heidi Simmons ----- “$2.00 A Day” by Kathryn Edin & Luke Shaefer Non Fiction ----- There may be nothing worse than being poor in the United States.  Poverty is at an all time high in our country.  In $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America,...

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Art for Art’s Sake

Art for Art’s Sake

By | October 29, 2015 at 2:21 am | No comments

By Heidi Simmons ----- “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert Non Fiction ------ Perhaps the one thing that truly sets human beings apart from animals is creativity.   I’m often amazed at people’s artistic endeavors and how that art can be so meaningful, beautiful...

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A Return to Reason

A Return to Reason

By | October 22, 2015 at 1:12 am | No comments

By Heidi Simmons ----- “Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights” by Salman Rushdie Fiction ----- This world seems to be on the brink of chaos.  Perhaps for all generations it appears that way.  As human beings, how have we come to be so intense, so...

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Sex and Teens

Sex and Teens

By | October 15, 2015 at 5:00 am | No comments

By Heidi Simmons ----- “Another Way” by Holli Kenley Fiction ----- School is back in session and by now kids have reacquainted themselves with friends and foes.  Today, students have the added challenge of not only navigating campus life, but also the cyber...

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Sisters Hold Their Ground

Sisters Hold Their Ground

By | October 8, 2015 at 1:45 am | No comments

By Heidi Simmons ----- “Girl Waits With Gun” by Amy Stewart Fiction ----- Everyone hates a bully, but standing up to them isn’t easy.  The problem is, the more you ignore a bully the more the bully taunts.  If you confront the bully, the bullying often gets...

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Debut Novels Are Family Centric

Debut Novels Are Family Centric

By | October 1, 2015 at 12:30 am | No comments

By Heidi Simmons ----- “Bull Mountain” by Brian Panowich Fiction & “Mrs. Sinclair’s Suitcase” by Louise Walters Fiction ----- Summer has waned and so has my reading list (CVW June 4).  Books are a wonderful way to enjoy the long leisurely days of...

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Jackie Collins 1937 – 2015

Jackie Collins 1937 – 2015

By | September 24, 2015 at 1:21 am | No comments

By Heidi Simmons My first experience reading Jackie Collins’ was in Palm Springs.   I picked up a used paperback discarded as poolside fodder.  With its cover already warped by water and it pages crinkled by wet fingers, there was no worry of damage.  It turned out to...

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Men of Action

Men of Action

By | September 16, 2015 at 11:50 pm | No comments

By Heidi Simmons ----- “The Redeemers” by Ace Atkins Fiction & “Silent Creed” by Alex Kava Fiction ----- Men and women love a guy who can take charge.  Someone who isn’t afraid to buck the system to get things done and is willing to take risks to...

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Mothers Who Murder

Mothers Who Murder

By | September 9, 2015 at 11:09 pm | No comments

By Heidi Simmons ----- “Hush Hush” by Laura Lippman Fiction ----- It’s a strange and horrific phenomenon when mothers kill their kids.  To think the nurturer, the heart and soul of a home could, would, deliberately murder her children rocks the fabric of the...

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Oliver Sacks 1933 – 2015

Oliver Sacks 1933 – 2015

By | September 3, 2015 at 3:08 am | No comments

By Heidi Simmons It is a rare gift when a writer has the ability and talent to open the eyes and mind of a reader to new ideas, colorful worlds and human idiosyncrasies.  It is even more exotic and fascinating when the author is a neuro-scientist and medical doctor.  Oliver...

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Gay Lives Matter

Gay Lives Matter

By | August 26, 2015 at 11:50 pm | No comments

By Heidi Simmons ----- “Mislaid” by Nell Zink Fiction ----- The best-laid plans can easily be derailed and send us on an unexpected journey.  We may think we are in control, but more often than not, we are at the mercy of life’s little twists and turns.  In...

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A Visceral Narrative

A Visceral Narrative

By | August 19, 2015 at 6:11 pm | No comments

By Heidi Simmons ----- “Gutshot” by Amelia Gray Stories ----- For many, a satisfying narrative must consist of set-up, confrontation, climax and resolution.   Readers who seek to relate to characters and understand the nature of the dilemmas they face, may find...

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Sequel or Prequel: Watchman Works

Sequel or Prequel: Watchman Works

By | August 13, 2015 at 2:44 am | No comments

By Heidi Simmons ----- “Go Set The Watchman” by Harper Lee Fiction ----- For many young readers, Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird is their first foray into the magic of literature.   It’s a tale that casts a spell and takes you away to another time and...

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There is a Price for the Choices We Make

There is a Price for the Choices We Make

By | August 5, 2015 at 7:49 pm | No comments

By Heidi Simmons ----- A Hand Reached Down to Guide Me by David Gates Stories and Novella ----- We all know it’s a bitch getting old.  It takes a concerted effort and a positive attitude to deal with aging in a healthy way.  After all, it can’t be stopped, so we...

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Magical Birds and A Rehab Warrior

Magical Birds and A Rehab Warrior

By | July 30, 2015 at 12:25 am | No comments

By Heidi Simmons ----- Fastest Things on Wings by Terry Masear Non-Fiction ------ Who isn’t awed by those little flying creatures that dart around our azure blue sky and hover while taking nectar from desert blossoms?  Beyond their amazing flying skills, their...

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The Wright Men at the Right Time

The Wright Men at the Right Time

By | July 22, 2015 at 7:59 pm | No comments

By Heidi Simmons ----- The Wright Brothers by David McCullough Nonfiction ----- Before the 1900s, it was thought that flight for human beings was impossible.  People had tried and died.  A common saying: “If God wanted people to fly, he would have given them...

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Powerful Memories and Meaningful Messages

Powerful Memories and Meaningful Messages

By | July 16, 2015 at 12:48 am | No comments

By Heidi Simmons ----- On The Move by Oliver Sacks Memoir ----- It seems the term “autobiography” has been replaced by “memoir.”  And for good reason:  Sharing personal experiences is far more potent than simply recounting one’s life. In Oliver Sack’s...

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A Genius For Our Time

A Genius For Our Time

By | July 9, 2015 at 1:24 am | No comments

By Heidi Simmons ------ Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance Biography ----- Ever wonder where the Benjamin Franklins, Albert Einsteins or Steve Jobs are today?  Are we not desperate for moral men and women with vision, inspiration and plans to improve life for our species, to...

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A World Without Water

A World Without Water

By | July 1, 2015 at 9:22 pm | No comments

By Heidi Simmons ----- “The Water Knife” by Paolo Bacigalupi Fiction -----   With water restrictions in place, California is beginning to understand the value of water and how life might change for permanently if this drought does not end soon.   In...

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The Many Lives We Live

The Many Lives We Live

By | June 25, 2015 at 3:03 am | No comments

By Heidi Simmons ----- “Life #6” by Diana Wagman Fiction ----- Life is short.  But, it doesn’t mean we don’t live multiple lives.  In Diana Wagman’s Life #6 (Ig Publishing, 296 pages) a woman must come to terms with her past and her illness. Fiona learns...

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The Life of the Living Dead

The Life of the Living Dead

By | June 18, 2015 at 1:56 am | No comments

By Heidi Simmons ----- “The Making of Zombie Wars” by Aleksandar Hemon Fiction ----- Turns out that not all of the living dead are Zombies.  In Aleksandar Hemon’s The Making of Zombie Wars (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 320 pages), one man discovers he is actually...

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Naturist or Textile? A Good Look at Nudism

Naturist or Textile? A Good Look at Nudism

By | June 11, 2015 at 2:23 am | No comments

By Heidi Simmons ----- “Naked at Lunch” by Mark Haskell Smith Non-fiction ------ Have you ever gone skinny-dipping?  It may be the gateway drug to becoming a nudist -- or as nudists call it –- a “naturist.” If you prefer bathing suits and clothing, then you...

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Summer Reading List 2015

Summer Reading List 2015

By | June 4, 2015 at 12:38 am | No comments

By Heidi Simmons It’s that time of year when we are encouraged to relax and travel.  And a great way to do that is to escape into a book. This summer is filled with new books.  Here are some of the books on my summer reading list.  Whether on a beach or in the...

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A Shoot Out With Evil

A Shoot Out With Evil

By | May 27, 2015 at 7:17 pm | No comments

By Heidi Simmons ----- Gathering Prey by John Sandford Fiction ----- For common, everyday, good, and decent people, evil is difficult to comprehend.  It is so irrational that when we hear about it, we find it unbelievable.  They become campfire or slumber party...

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Happy Go Lucky

Happy Go Lucky

By | May 21, 2015 at 1:56 am | No comments

By Heidi Simmons ----- Lucky Alan By Jonathan Lethem Stories ----- It’s great to read an author whose writing is unencumbered and has nothing to worry about other than what’s on the page.   In Jonathan Lethem’s Lucky Alan and Other Stories (Doubleday, 176...

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Ruth Rendell Remembered

Ruth Rendell Remembered

By | May 13, 2015 at 11:03 pm | No comments

Ruth Rendell 1930 – 2015 Book Review by Heidi Simmons Hard to imagine a world without mysteries, psychological thrillers and crime novels.   It’s a beloved genre and a literary staple.   For many, “Who Done Its” are the foray into the world of reading or, for...

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A Mother’s Influence

A Mother’s Influence

By | May 7, 2015 at 2:45 am | No comments

By Heidi Simmons ----- God Help the Child by Toni Morrison Fiction ----- Mother’s Day is so much more than a Hallmark invention.   Whether present or absent in our lives, mothers make us who we are -- good or bad.   In Toni Morrison’s God Help the Child (Knopf, 183...

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The Mrs. Goes Missing    

The Mrs. Goes Missing    

By | April 30, 2015 at 10:14 am | No comments

By Heidi Simmons ----- The Stranger by Harlan Coben Fiction ----- Violence against women is at an all time global high.  So it makes sense that literature would reflect this unfortunate statistic.  In Harlan Coben’s The Stranger (Dutton, 389 pages), suspicion points to...

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Nuns Behaving Badly

Nuns Behaving Badly

By | April 22, 2015 at 11:22 pm | No comments

By Heidi Simmons ----- The Nuns of Sant’Ambrogio by Hubert Wolf Non-Fiction ----- Sex scandals in the Catholic Church are certainly nothing new, but in Hubert Wolf’s The Nuns of Sant’Ambrogio (Knoff, 479 pages), Vatican archives reveal the Churches’ changing...

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Intimacy “Into You and Me I See” is a Great Read!

Intimacy “Into You and Me I See” is a Great Read!

By | April 22, 2015 at 11:20 pm | No comments

By Craig Michaels Having read Author Tina Marx’s’ first book, The Domino Effect “Faith vs Fear,” I was anxious to read her follow up; Intimacy “Into You and Me I See.” In this 100 page book she explains why there is a reason for every relationship in our lives. I...

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Go Ahead and Get in Trouble

Go Ahead and Get in Trouble

By | April 15, 2015 at 11:30 pm | No comments

By Heidi Simmons ----- Get in Trouble by Kelly Link Stories ----- Tired of reading stories about a normal world with dysfunctional people?  Then it’s time for a blast of a dysfunctional world with abnormal people?  In Kelly Link’s Get in Trouble (Random House, 352...

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The Future of Humans and Their Temporary Home

The Future of Humans and Their Temporary Home

By | April 8, 2015 at 2:40 pm | No comments

By Heidi Simmons ----- The Next Species By Michael Tennesen Non-Fiction ----- The Earth is a wonderful home.  It’s beautiful and filled with amazing creatures.  As if perfectly designed for human beings, everything we need for life is here.  However, in The Next...

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A Healthy Glow?

A Healthy Glow?

By | April 1, 2015 at 8:40 pm | No comments

By Heidi Simmons ----- Glow By Ned Beauman Fiction ----- Humans are chemical beings.   Nearly 99 percent of the human body is made up of six elements: oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium and phosphorus.  Smaller chemical amounts, but no less important for life,...

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Spring Forward With Books

Spring Forward With Books

By | March 26, 2015 at 1:25 am | No comments

By Heidi Simmons It’s wonderful to read by natural light.  And now that the clocks have been moved forward, when you get home from work, there’s still time to read before the darkness invites television viewing. Spring is the season for new books.  What’s more...

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