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December’s Top BlueInk Reviews of Self Published Books

In our effort to help facilitate the discovery of new titles that might interest overseas publishers for rights deals, we offer the occasional selection of “starred” reviews from BlueInk reviews, a service which reviews self-published books. These are all books that BlueInk Review feels “merit your attention,” and “are of exceptional quality and particularly worthy of representation.”

FICTION

A Field in ArlonA Field in Arlon by Marek Nowina: Middle-aged Melly Cheval desperately yearns to regain his youth in this provocative and skillfully written literary novel. Journeying to the site of an upcoming solar eclipse in Arlon, Luxembourg with a stop in Amsterdam, Melly becomes obsessed with a prostitute. His longing for that intangible “something,” will give readers much fodder for discussion about what it means to gracefully — or not so gracefully — accept the challenges of middle age. Read review.

No Time to Cry by Vera Leinvebers: A Canadian concert pianist and music teacher, Leinvebers was a young child living in Riga, Latvia, when WWII broke out. Here, she creates a fictional self to retell her painful story of loss and dislocation, exploring the same blasted landscape as Jerzy Kosinski’s searing novel, The Painted Bird. Like Kosinski, Leinvebers offers a striking exploration of brutality as experienced by one too young to comprehend anything beyond her own narrow horizon. Read review.

NON-FICTION

Wisdom for Today Along Recovery LaneWisdom for Today Along Recovery Lane: Daily Readings for Persons In Recovery that are Using the Twelve Step Program by John S.: This collection of 366 daily readings, designed to help those in recovery maintain their focus and sobriety, is written by an addiction counselor and relapse prevention specialist who clearly knows his way around the famous 12 steps. His powerful book guides those new to the program to drop their guards and begin the healing journey. Read review.

Stay Calm and Content No Matter What Life Throws at You, by Cat Williams: “Relationship counselor” Williams fictionalizes a series of personal accounts that illustrate a variety of problems – from bullying to holiday stress – then walks readers through each issue, showing how a change in perspective an lead to a solution. Impressively written and stylishly presented, this slim, unconventional approach to self-help topics deserves a wide audience. Read review.

Authentic Educational Leadership in Schools, by Dr. Ross H. Millikan: In this clarion call for a new type of leadership in our schools, Australian educator Millikan discusses practical problems while also exploring the philosophical, moral and visionary challenges leaders face. Remarkably non-judgmental and always quotable, Millikan provides a powerful read for educational specialists and parents alike. Read review.

Astoundingly Joyful, Amazingly Simple—The Meta Church: a 21st Century Innovation with a 1st Century Foundation!, by Timothy D. White: White promotes the concept of the meta-church, an idea rooted in the decentralized, nonhierarchical church as described in the book of Acts. The meta-church features a network of diverse believers, transcending a place where people gather Sunday mornings. Well written and highly praised by many respected leaders of diverse faiths, this outstanding book is a must-read for anyone looking to build or attend a thriving Christian church. Read review.

These books did not receive Starred Reviews but were highly praised:

FICTION

The Reconciliation, by Shilpi Ahmed: Reminiscent of Jhumpa Lahiri’s award-winning Interpreter of Maladies, Ahmed offers a delicious book of short stories describing life for 20- and 30-somethings of Bangladesh heritage who live in the West. Many stories feature O’Henry-style endings; all deliver an engaging view of this singular group of ex-pats. Read review.

NONFICTION

Your Turn: 26 Weeks to Become a Competent Manager, by Beryl Cuckney: Cuckney’s slim book, touching on an impressive number of concepts, details the baby steps to mastering basic management techniques for those thrown into the role for the first time. His concrete advice, offered in perfectly portioned doses, makes this an indispensible and highly accessible resource. Read review.

Taylor’s No-Sew Doll Clothes Patterns: Volume 1, by Christine Curry Taylor: This colorful, 8-1/2” x 11” book features 25 Barbie-sized doll outfits children can create with only fabric and felt glue at the ready. Created by Taylor for her granddaughter, the book showcases everything from a clown costume to a cheerleader outfit to a bathing suit and more. Young fashionistas will find patterns and pictures to help them in their creative endeavor. Read review.

The Magic Book of Cookery, by Danaan Elderhill: There’s a good chance pagans will love this book offering recipes that, according to the author, were created by a Bohemian witch convent in the 17th century. The author presents the recipes along with corresponding cooking and eating rituals that aim to promote love, good health, financial success and other goals. Watercolor illustrations add a perfect dash of whimsy. Read review.

BlueInk Reviews is founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. We offer serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Our reviews are penned by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses.

If you are interested in receiving notices in your email inbox of other notable titles, please sign up for our mailing list. We also invite you to visit our website: www.blueinkreview.com

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