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Small Press Bookwatch

Volume 13, Number 1 January 2014 Home | SPBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice World History Shelf African-American Studies Shelf
Mathematics Shelf Architecture Shelf Money/Finance Shelf
Human Sexuality Shelf Poetry Shelf Graphic Novel Shelf
Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf Fiction Shelf
Metaphysical Studies Shelf Biography Shelf  

Reviewer's Choice

Paddling to Winter
Julie Buckles
Raven Productions Inc.
PO Box 188, Ely, MN 55731
9780983518921, $17.95, 224 pp,

Synopsis: In 1999, reporter Julie Buckles and husband Charly Ray set off on a 1700 mile journey with their handcrafted red canoe from Bayview beach for their honeymoon, traveling the Voyageur Highway from Lake Superior to Wollaston Lake where they stayed for the winter.

Critique: A deftly written adventure oriented memoir vividly detailing the physical, mental, and emotionally challenges the couple faced ranging from hazardous weather, insect swarms, portages and rapids, not to mention spending a winter in an isolated island cabin. Enhanced with the inclusion of a sixteen page section of photos, "Paddling to Winter" is a rewarding read and highly recommended for community library collections.

The World History Shelf

A Guide to the Past: From Homer to Locke Vol. 1
Joan Blackmore & Setsuko Blackmore
Enfield Publishing
PO Box 699, Enfield, NH 03748
9780578129068, $35.00,

In "A Guide to the Past: From Homer to Locke Vol. 1", Joan and Setsuko Blackmore have created a 352 page compendium that provides biographical sketches and commentaries of the lives and contributions of veritable cascade of historical personalities. Ranging down through the halls of history from Homer and Hesiod, to Sophocles, Plato, and Aristotle, to Philon of Larissa and Cicero of Rome, to Josephus, Plutarch and Justinian, to Dante Aligheiri, William of Ockham, and Petrarch, to Leonardo Da Vinci, Martin Luther, and Copernicus, to Queen Elizabeth, William Shakespeare, and Locke, and so many more, we are treated to a wealth of historical personalities, their lives, accomplishments and influences. Informed and informative, exceptionally well written and profusely illustrated throughout, "A Guide to the Past: From Homer to Locke Vol. 1" is an impressive body of work that will leave its readers looking eagerly toward volume two from these outstanding authors.

The African-American Studies Shelf

Paul Robeson For Beginners
Paul Von Blum
For Beginners, LLC
155 Main Street, Suite 211, Danbury, CT 06810
9781934389812, $16.99,

Paul Leroy Robeson (April 9, 1898 - January 23, 1976) was an African-American singer and actor who became involved with the Civil Rights Movement. At university, he was an outstanding American football player, then had an international career in singing, as well as acting in theater and cinema. He became politically involved in response to the Spanish Civil War, Fascism, and social injustices. His advocacy of anti-imperialism, affiliation with Communism, and his criticism of the US government caused him to be blacklisted during McCarthyism. Ill health forced him into retirement from his career. He remained an advocate of the unpopular political stances he took until his death. "Paul Robeson For Beginners" by Paul Von Blum (Senior Lecturer in African American Studies, UCLA) and with illustrations by Elizabeth Von Blum and Ramses is 144 page compendium providing a succinct and superbly presented biographical overview of the life and achievements of a remarkable African-American making it a strongly recommended addition to school and community library African-American Studies and 20th Century American Biography collections and supplemental reading lists. It should be noted that "Paul Robeson For Beginners" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

The Mathematics Shelf

Generalized Serre-Tate Ordinary Theory
Adrian Vasiu
International Press of Boston
PO Box 43502, Somerville, MA 02143
9781571462770, $39.00,

Proved by the work of French mathematician Jean-Pierre Serre (who has made fundamental contributions to algebraic topology, algebraic geometry, and algebraic number theory) and American mathematician John Torrence Tate, Jr. (distinguished for his many fundamental contributions in algebraic number theory, arithmetic geometry and related areas in algebraic geometry), the Serre-Tate theorem in algebraic geometry, says that under certain conditions an abelian scheme (an projective algebraic variety that is also an algebraic group, i.e., has a group law that can be defined by regular functions) and its p-divisible group have the same infinitesimal deformation theory. "Generalized Serre-Tate Ordinary Theory" by academician and mathematician Adrian Vasiu (Binghamton University, New York) is a 252 page compendium presenting a monograph providing a comprehensive generalization of the Serre and Tate theory of ordinary abelian varieties and their deformation spaces. Erudite, insightful, thought-provoking, "Generalized Serre-Tate Ordinary Theory" is highly recommended for academic library Mathematic Studies reference collections and the supplemental reading lists for students and researchers working with arithmetic algebraic geometry and number theory.

The Architecture Shelf

Basically Modern: Los Angeles Houses [SPF: a]
Michael Webb
Oro Editions
420 East 55th Street, Suite 7F
NY, NY 10022-5142
9781941806074, $40.00,

Modern architecture is generally characterized by simplification of form and an absence of applied decoration. It is a term applied to an overarching movement, with its exact definition and scope varying widely. In a broader sense, early modern architecture began at the turn of the 20th century with efforts to reconcile the principles underlying architectural design with rapid technological advancement and the modernization of society. It would take the form of numerous movements, schools of design, and architectural styles, some in tension with one another, and often equally defying such classification. "Basically Modern: Los Angeles Houses [SPF: a]" is a superbly illustrated 220 page compendium comprised of an essay on 'Pragmatic Modernism'; 'Creative Process'; and 'Reaching For Perfection' with commentaries on eleven specific residential projects created by the SPF architectural firm. Enhanced with appendices offering a profile of the firm; a roster the office personnel, awards and honors given SPF, a publications bibliography, and photographic credits, "Basically Modern: Los Angeles Houses [SPF: a]" is a highly worthwhile and informative addition to professional and academic library Architectural Studies reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

The Money/Finance Shelf

99 Tactics of Successful Tax Resistance Campaigns
David M. Gross
Picket Line Press
752 Islay Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
9781490572741, $18.50, 312 pp,

Everyone dislikes paying taxes, but America has the highest voluntary tax payer percentage of any industrialized western nation. This is despite widespread inequalities and complexities of our local, state, and federal tax laws and regulations. But even the most conscientious and law-abiding citizen balks at paying unfair and unwarranted taxes for which they feel they are not legally liable. That's the purpose behind "99 Tactics of Successful Tax Resistance Campaigns", an informed and informative compendium of information that begins with identifying the varieties of tax resisters, along with the diverse tactics, strategies, and methods such tax resisters employ. Author David Gross goes on to cover governmental countermeasures to tax resistence, resistence techniques, the role of education and public relations in tax resistence, and what successful tax resistence measures are available and accessible to non-specialist general readers. Enhanced with copious Notes and a comprehensive index, "99 Tactics of Successful Tax Resistance Campaigns" is highly recommended reading for anyone seeking to redress a tax grievance of their own.

The Human Sexuality Shelf

Let's Just Cuddle
Petra King
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 South Parker Road, #515, Parker, CO 80134
9781432792770, $15.95, 146 pp,

"Let's Just Cuddle: A Guide to Intimacy with a Sex Abuse Survivor" is specifically designed descriptively explain the unique struggles of sex abuse survivors in intimate relationships. Author Petra King walks the reader through her own healing experience and challenges. She also includes exercises which will be helpful for couples who have similar struggles."Let's Just Cuddle: A Guide to Intimacy with a Sex Abuse Survivor" is speaks of grieving as well as triumph. As informed and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking, "Let's Just Cuddle: A Guide to Intimacy with a Sex Abuse Survivor" is an extraordinary work which is highly recommended reading for anyone suffering from the aftermath of sexual abuse -- or is in love with someone who is. It should be noted that "Let's Just Cuddle: A Guide to Intimacy with a Sex Abuse Survivor" is also available in a Kindle edition ($6.00).

The Poetry Shelf

Suzanne Nothnagle, poet
Anna Held Audette, paintings
Bunker Hill Publishing
285 River Road
Piermont, NH 03779
9781593731496 $19.95

Ruins: Poems and Paintings of a Vanishing America is a contemplative reflection on how America has changed in the twenty-first century, particularly with regard to deindustrialization. Pairing brief poems with striking, full-color oil paintings, Ruins observes the past era of factory machines and workers fading into oblivion, to be replaced by... what? "Recycling: Armand buys scrap metal ans resells it. / He also makes a monthly recycle run / to a lot of the shops. // When Jeff was losing it, / trying to set up the computer / on the internet, / Armand took off his big leather / gloves, sat down in the swivel / chair and straightened things out." Unforgettable and evocative, Ruins is highly recommended especially for contemporary poetry and artbook collections.

The Sail
Greg Allum
Privately Published
No ISBN, 14.99 Brit. pounds,

Synopsis: 'The Sail' is a contemporary adult fairytale, which received honorable mentions at The 21st Writer's Digest Book Awards in 2013. Whilst lost in the wilderness awaiting the return of his love, the central anonymous character starts building a boat for them to sail around the world, he spends his days hammering nails and his evenings varnishing wood. Stitching together the pages of love letters he makes a sail and the Northerly winds blow words of love across oceans.

Critique: Beautifully written by Greg Allum (a fine art photographer whose work deals with themes of decay of the mind, the body and relationships) and impressively enhanced with color illustrations by the Polish artist, Taxi Taxi, "The Sail" is a masterwork of free verse poetry and highly recommended reading with its personal intimacy and universal appeal. The Chest: I brought a few belongings with me to the dwelling. / Most of them are stored in a big old wooden chest that / I carefully dragged with me through the wilderness. / Mythological carvings adorn the dark exterior and inside the mahogany coffin sleep my most treasured possessions.

The Graphic Novel Shelf

Sunnyville Stories: Volume 2
Max West
Different Mousetrap Press
PO Box 1321, Greensboro, NC 27402
9780989069601, $19.99,

Part of a very entertaining series, Max West's graphic novel "Sunnyville Stories: Volume 2" is a 200 page compendium that continues the adventures of Rusty and Sam as they resolve a family dispute, meet three newly arrived brothers, attend a community dance, and put on a play for the entire town of Sunnyville. The anthropomorphic characters combine with an engaging storyline that will delight readers and hold their interest from beginning to end and leave them looking eagerly toward volume three in the on-going saga of Rusty and Sam. It should be noted that "Sunnyville Stories: Volume 1" (9780615653921) is in print and available as well in both a paperback ($15.99) and a Kindle ($4.99) editions.

I and You
Beverly Garside, author
Lucas Duimstra, illustrator
4900 LaCross Rd, North Charleston, SC 29406
9781492187424, $9.99, 212 pp,

Synopsis: It is the year 2098. Sara Storm has just come of age in a republic founded upon the objectivist principles of Ayn Rand - selfishness, minimal government, and laissez faire capitalism. It is a society in which the collectivist pronoun "we" has been replaced with the ideologically correct "I and you." A true believer in the ideals of her nation, Sara launches her military career with zeal and great dreams for her future. But the world outside the classroom fails to live up to the one she has been taught to expect. Real people fail to behave like the heroes in Rand's books or in the science fiction stories she loves. She notices cracks deepening in the nation that bills itself as the beacon for all mankind. Winds of change start to howl through the "skyscraper society" of her republic and strange sounds begin to emanate from the Earth itself. Suddenly her world, her career, and her own dreams no longer fit into the narrow confines of Rand's ideology. Neither does love.

Critique: An impressive storyline that captures the reader's attention and holds it firmly from beginning to end, "I and You" is a graphic novel that is as entertaining, original, and thought-provoking, making it highly recommended reading. It should be noted that "I and You" is also available in a Kindle edition ($2.99).

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Andrew Barger, editor
Bottletree Books LLC
128 Ivy Brook Ct., Collierville, TN 38017
9781933747491, $19.98,

Andrew Barger researched mid-19th century literature to compile "Mesaerion: The Best Science Fiction Stories 1800-1849", a 240 page compendium comprised of ten outstanding stories by gifted authors. Among this literary treasures are science fiction two stories by Edgar Allan Poe; one by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and two by Lydia Maria Child. Of particular interest are a couple of 'time lost treasures' -- William Mudford's 'The Iron Shroud' and Thomas Charles Morgan's 'Glimpses of Other Worlds'. Of special note is the inclusion of 'Stories Considered' as an appendix. More than just a simple anthology, "Mesaerion: The Best Science Fiction Stories 1800-1849" significantly benefits for modern readers with the editor's story background commentaries, annotations, author photos, and an informative foreword. A 'must read' for all science fiction enthusiasts, "Mesaerion: The Best Science Fiction Stories 1800-1849" is enthusiastically recommended as a popular and appropriate addition to community Science Fiction holdings and academic library 19th Century Literature collections.

Overcomer - The Journey
Judy Colella
4900 LaCross Rd, North Charleston, SC 29406
News & Experts (publicity)
9781479169962, $10.49, 268 pp,

Synopsis: Cian MacDara, born in Donegal, Ireland in 537 A.D., has a destiny that will take him across time and continents. To fulfill it, he will need the help of Druids, angels, and the friends he will make in modern-day Connecticut. But before his ultimate purpose is achieved, he must survive this journey. To keep him from succeeding, the darkness that wants to destroy him uses its considerable powers to end his quest, and he is faced with a choice: either give in to the pain and despair, or overcome the odds and complete his destiny. The balance of Time itself awaits his decision.

Critique: The first volume of author "Judy Colella's 'The MacDara Chronicles' series, "Overcomer - The Journey" is an impressively entertaining read from first page to last and will leave the reader looking eagerly toward the next title to come from the imagination and singular storytelling talents of Ms. Collella. "Overcomer - The Journey" is very highly recommended for science fiction enthusiasts who appreciate a well crafted time-travel yarn.

The Hidden World
Schuyler J. Ebersol
c/o Triple 7 Public Relations
68 Bradhurst Avenue, #4V, NY, NY 10039
9781938467677, $16.95, 250 pp.,

Synopsis: Nate Williams is found wandering alone in the woods at the age of six. Raised by a wealthy and loving family, he suffers a heart attack at the age of seventeen, triggering profound changes that allow him to unlock his full mental potential and transform into a wolf. Nate is sent to Noble College, where changing into an animal is normal and students are taught to do extraordinary things, such as alter the weather and change wood into diamond. When a series of murders around the country threaten the secrecy of the Hidden World, Nate realizes there is more going on at Noble than meets the eye. He and his friends take it upon themselves to figure out what is going on and bring the killers to justice.

Critique: The first volume of a planned trilogy, "The Hidden World" is a very nicely crafted action/adventure fantasy novel that demonstrates the impressive storytelling talents of Schyler J. Ebersol and will leave enthusiastic readers looking eagerly toward the next two novels in this outstanding three volume series. As imaginative as it is original, "The Hidden World" is highly recommended reading and would make an excellent acquisition choice for community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections. It should be noted that "The Hidden World" is also available in a Kindle edition ($6.12).

How to Save a World from Dying
Carl S. Plummer
Someday Press
c/o Author Marketing Experts
PO Box 421156, San Diego, CA 92142
9780988366916, $14.99, 348 pp,

Synopsis: The year is 2035 and Earth is under attack by giant demons from outer space -- demons as tall as houses with multiple heads, arms, and legs. Fortunately, there's one man who can stop the beasts: Zachary Zemeritus. Unfortunately, he's near dead and in pieces in a hospital across town. Central Park has been turned into an Air Force base, and the rest of New York City is in flames. Zachary's friends are the most recent victims of this nightmare. Too bad Zachary doesn't know any of this. As the hero of this tale, he might have been able to do something about it.

Critique: "How to Save a World from Dying: A Demon Apocalypse Love Story" is a rollicking great read from first page to last. Enthusiastically recommended for science fiction enthusiasts, it should be noted that "How to Save a World from Dying: A Demon Apocalypse Love Story" is also available in a Kindle edition ($4.99).

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

The Bobcat Mountain Murders
J. R. Canfield
Biographical Publishing Company
95 Sycamore Drive, Prospect, CT 06712-1493
1929882939, $12.95, 196pp,

Synopsis: "The Bobcat Mountain Murders" follows the career of one Hamilton Smith, independent management consultant, Bon Vivant and amateur sleuth, into a trial relocation to an upscale retirement community in western Colorado. Here he is befriended by the vitriolic editor of the local weekly "four pager" and begins an admittedly hesitant search for someone to take the place of his recently deceased wife of thirty-nine years. Having been an active participant in the solution of an "executive suite" murder (Pride Dies in the End), our hero is less than disappointed when the little community is confronted with a series of pre-announced and crudely executed killings of certain controversial and coincidentally unmarried neighbors. Initial distractions include a homeless, "disturbed" youth who performs odd jobs within the gates of Bobcat Mountain, ongoing negotiations between the owning corporation and a gas well exploration company as well as distinct religious connotations in the choice of victims. As events develop, Smith's painfully deliberate romance with another newcomer is plagued by the dawning realization that she is not what she professes to be and is in fact, a viable candidate for consideration as the mystery killer! His suspicions become elevated by an investigative trip back to his native New England. Assuming his reluctant chain of reasoning to be correct, Smith becomes logically certain of the identity of the killer's next intended victim. With the blessing and assistance of the local sheriff, Smith and his editor cohort team up to protect the unwary target at the annual community dinner-dance only to be thwarted by an overlooked suspect. Acting swiftly, the contrite amateur is successful in exposing the real killer. His relief at ending the mini-reign of terror proves however, to be short lived!

Critique: It's rare when a sequel is every bit as good as the first, but such is the case with J. R. Canfield's "The Bobcat Mountain Murders" which again showcases the author's undeniable talents as a novelist. Solid entertainment from beginning to end, "The Bobcat Mountain Murders" is especially recommended for mystery thriller enthusiasts and community library collections. It should be noted that "The Bobcat Mountain Murders" is also available in a Kindle edition ($5.99).

The Veiled Lagoon
Henry Hoffman
Martin Sisters Publishing
9781625530523, $15.95, 214 pp,

Synopsis: Following a tip from a prospective client, young private investigator Adam Fraley is soon on the trail of a killer cop, a top sheriff's detective who is about to get away with his wife's murder. The winding trail eventually leads Fraley half way around the world to remote stretches of Siberia in an effort to build his case. In time, the dueling detectives find themselves operating behind enemy lines, targeting respectively the two women at the center of their lives. In the end, what starts out as a battle of wits takes a terrifying turn when the sheriff's detective, foreseeing his demise, decides to exact an unconscionable measure of revenge on the person he holds most responsible for his downfall.

Critique: A carefully crafted mystery of the first order, "The Veiled Lagoon" continues to document the storytelling skills of Harry Hoffman (author of "Bridge to Oblivion"). An engaging novel of mystery/suspense from beginning to end, "The Veiled Lagoon" is highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library collections. It should be noted that "The Veiled Lagoon" is also available in a Kindle edition ($5.99).

The Fiction Shelf

Saving Tres Rios
John Witzel
Wildcatter Publishing
c/o Concierge Marketing
13518 'L' Street, Omaha, NE 68137
9780991102914, $15.95, 292 pp,

Synopsis: Retired Air Force Sergeant Robert Madden thought the war was behind him, but as he entered Tres Rios, New Mexico, a new war was just beginning. When Madden stops at Tres Rios, New Mexico on his way to California to pursue a doctorate in education, he doesn't expect to stay past lunch. A run-in with the local drug lord halts all of his plans. To escape from a corrupt police force and legal action, Madden is given a choice in punishment - state prison or a year of teaching troubled kids at the local rural school. Faced with the toughest school he has ever experienced and a drug lord with a score to settle, he must use all of his training to survive and protect his students.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, "Saving Tres Rios" documents author John Witzel as a singular talent as a novelist and able to craft memorable characters and deftly woven plot twists that will hold the reader's total attention from beginning to end. "Saving Tres Rios" is a solid entertainment and highly recommended for both personal reading lists and community library Contemporary Fiction collections. It should be noted that "Saving Tres Rios" is also available in a Kindle edition ($3.95).

Simon Sobo
4900 LaCross Rd, North Charleston, SC 29406
Kelley & Hall (publicity)
Five Briar Lane, Marblehead, MA 01945
9781482619065, $18.99, 348 pp,

Synopsis: It is 1876. As Cornelius Vanderbilt lies close to death in his lavish New York townhouse, there's an almost carnival-like atmosphere outside as the reporters who made him a household name gather to wait for the end. But in the last of a lifetime of surprises, cantankerous old Vanderbilt unexpectedly allows one of the journalists inside. He's tired of the lies. He intends to make sure his story is told, the true story of how a dirt-poor farm kid from Staten Island grew up to be one of America's first tycoons: admired by the public, consulted by Presidents, feared by his business rivals and, for the most part, unloved by the eleven children he treated with impatience. At first the reporter is only interested in the core of the story, how a boy groomed by an illiterate father in a family that has been plagued by poverty and misfortune, could end up the richest man in the world. How did that happen? "My readers want to know", he tells the crusty old man. "What's your secret?" Was it shrewdness? Ferocious ambition? The incredible force of his will? Vanderbilt tells his story with the clarity that comes from looking back. It is as if it had all been preordained by Vanderbilt's vision. He was a man possessed. He described himself as crazy on the subject of money. He thought of little else every day, morning, noon and night. How to make money drove all of his decisions, led him wherever that question pointed. Soon, however, another dynamic emerges. The reporter realizes he's on to the biggest scoop of his career. Vanderbilt's original intention may have been a final effort to shape his legacy, but as he moves closer to death he tosses away all inhibitions. Memories pour out of him. He's trying to get a handle on them, make sense of it all. He is half way to hell. He has stopped sleeping. Nightmares startle him awake. They're always about the same thing, his father coming to kill him.

Critique: In "Commodore", author Simon Sobo draws upon his years of experience and expertise as a psychiatrist to imaginatively craft a compelling, complex, deftly woven novel centered around a memorable characters. Entertaining and engaging from first page to last, "Commodore" is highly recommended reading and would prove an enduringly popular addition to community library fiction collections. It should be noted that "Commodore" is also available in a Kindle edition ($3.99).

Bad Idea
Damon Suede
DreamSpinner press
c/o Smith Publicity
1930 E Marlton Pike, Suite I-46, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003
9781627981712, $17.99, 350 pp,

Synopsis: Reclusive comic book artist Trip Spector spends his life doodling supersquare, straitlaced superheroes, hiding from his fans, and crushing on his unattainable boss until he meets the dork of his dreams. Silas Goolsby is a rowdy FX makeup creator with a loveless love life and a secret streak of geek who yearns for unlikely rescues and a truly creative partnership. Against their better judgment, they fall victim to chemistry, and what starts as infatuation quickly grows tender and terrifying. With Silas's help, Trip gambles his heart and his art on a rotten plan: sketching out Scratch, a "very graphic novel" that will either make his name or wreck his career. But even a smash can't save their world if Trip retreats into his mild-mannered rut, leaving Silas to grapple with betrayal and emotions he can't escape. What will it take for this dynamic duo to discover that heroes never play it safe?

Critique: A tightly crafted novel and a solid entertaining read from first page to last, "Bad Idea" showcases author Damon Suede as an impressively talented novelist. "Bad Idea" is highly recommended for personal reading lists and would prove an enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary Fiction collections.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Faith Comes By Hearing
Marie Serio
Biographical Publishing Company
95 Sycamore Drive, Prospect, CT 06712-1493
1929882971, $11.99, 166 pp,

Synopsis: "Faith Comes By Hearing" is an account of angelic, spiritual, and paranormal experiences, collected together since 1960. Some of the names have been changed to protect the privacy of which those stories are about. Actual pictures have been included regarding a number of experiences that have taken place or related to the testimony.

Critique: A fascinating read, "Faith Comes By Hearing" is as thoughtful and thought-provoking as it is inspired and inspired. Highly recommended for paranormal studies enthusiasts and would make an enduringly popular addition to community library Metaphysical Studies collections for non-specialist general readers.

The Biography Shelf

Border Crossings
Charles Novacek
1021 Press
4142 Cass, Suite 201, Detroit, MI 48201
9780985415112, $18.00, 261 pp,

Synopsis: "Border Crossings: Coming of Age in the Czech Resistance" is the captivating, tender memoir of Charles Novacek, a Czechoslovakian whose idyllic childhood exploring the Tatra Mountains was shattered by the Nazi occupation of his homeland. He spent his youth defending his neighbors, his family, and his country, first from the Nazi atrocities of World War II and then from the Soviet oppression of the ensuing Cold War. Charles was eleven years old when his father and uncle recruited him into the Czech Resistance. Antonin Novacek not only taught his son to survive in the wild, but also prepared him for wartime: how to resist pain, hunger, and fear and to trust no one. His assignments included delivering messages to soldiers parachuting behind enemy lines and hiding them in caves he equipped for their shelter. As a young man, Charles was captured and jailed by the Communists and rescued by an underground resistance network. In too much danger to remain in Czechoslovakia, he staged a daring escape only to land in a miserable displaced persons camp. His will to live prevailed once again, and Charles eventually married and built a successful life in America. Filled with heroic adventures and great bravery, Border Crossings is one man's remarkable tale of his incredible life and a testament to the human capacity to survive.

Critique: Exceptionally well written from beginning to end, "Border Crossings: Coming of Age in the Czech Resistance" reads like a best-seller novel but is a true life memoir of a remarkable man who lived in horrific times and came through them to create a successful life despite what he had to overcome -- or perhaps because of it! "Border Crossings: Coming of Age in the Czech Resistance" is an extraordinary and highly recommended read. Simply stated, a copy deserves to be in every community library 20th Century Biography collection for the sake of new and future generations of readers. It should be noted that Border Crossings: Coming of Age in the Cezech Resistance" is also available in a hardcover (9780985415105, $28.00) and a Kindle ($7.99) edition.

James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
phone: 1-608-835-7937

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