Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

I post my reviews to:

2 yahoo groups
Amazon and B&N (of course)
and on Twitter

I am always looking for more places to post my reviews.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Relapse: A Love Story

Relapse: A Love Story, Robert Hunter, Beaver's Pond Press, 2018

This is the first-person story of Rob Wildhide, would-be writer. He is absolutely convinced that he will write the next Great American Novel. There is just the small obstacle of writer's block.

Rob, and Annie, his girlfriend, decide on a spur-of-the-moment trip to rural Maine to visit some of her friends. They are a very "unique" group of people. Rob and Annie are married by a shaman, after a brief courtship. There is also lots and lots of alcohol, mostly home-made. Rob has had problems with alcohol in the past.

After several days of weirdness, and hangovers, Rob and Annie decide to leave. They make a break for it in a stolen limousine. A passenger for part of their trip is a female Romanian gypsy with many strange prophecies.

Soon after they get home, to Pennsylvania, Annie is diagnosed with cancer. While she is in the operating room, and Rob is in the waiting room, the law catches up with him. He is arrested and thrown in the local jail. Does Annie survive the operation? Do Annie and Rob get back together?

This book is easy to read and understand, and is full of good writing. It is the sort of story that can be set anywhere and happen to anyone. This easily gets four stars, maybe more.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Price of Life

Price of Life, David Crane, Foremost Press, 2015

For the past several thousand years, immortals have been living among the rest of humanity. Some are "good guys", more than willing to heal someone injured in a hit and run accident, or shot in a robbery. Some immortals are bad guys", convinced that they are superior to humans, and they should be Earth's absolute rulers.

It all began over 10,000 years ago, when Ru, a prehistoric human, handled a glowing meteor that had just landed on Earth. Today, he is Richard Rune, billionaire philanthropist. The rest of the immortals come from all walks of life. Laura is a singer/songwriter, Diego is a senior official in the Vatican and Alex is an FBI agent.

The American government, led by President Thunder, gets wind of a plot by a secret group of powerful right-wingers. It involves committing a major atrocity on US soil, which, of course, will be blamed on radical Islam. It will lead to the imposition of martial law. Can the authorities stop the plot in time?

Meantime, the "bad" immortals put into motion a much bigger plot, that will kill everyone on Earth. It involves mass death from space, so no country, or group of countries, can stop it. This is a job for Richard Rune, the first immortal. Who is still alive, human and immortal, at the end?

This is an excellent thriller/suspense story, with a little bit of science fiction included. It is very easy to read and understand. There is plenty of action, and it will certainly keep the reader entertained. This is very much worth reading.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Aro Marro's Face The Wind

Aro Marro's Face the Wind: Contemporary Philosophy for Personal Peace and Wisdom, Aro Marro, DRH Publishing, 2018

Many books on personal philosophy concentrate on things like mindfulness or meditation. This book is different.

The author looks at different personality traits and emotions. Some examples are extroversion vs introversion or confidence and calm vs neuroticism. Emotions like hypocrisy, trust/suspicion, careless blame or jealously are part of daily life, though they are not helpful. If that sounds familiar, resolve to do something about it (one emotion at a time, not all at once).

The book also explores ways to navigate today's world of propaganda. Consider the source; is there a political agenda? Numbers can be used to mean practically anything. Does the news organization consistently favor one political party over the other? Do news stories contain exaggerated qualifiers, like "tremendous" or "disastrous"? With science articles in particular, consider the credentials of the author.

The book ends with short bits of wisdom. Be reserved in your responses. Be willing to change your mind. Group consensus is often wrong. Persevere.

This book is very much worth reading. It is short and easy to understand. It is applicable to people from all walks of life, right now.