Issue # 432
Book Review
Hope After Faith
Jerry DeWitt Da Capo Press

Atheism’s leading lights have long been intellectuals raised in the secular and academic worlds: Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and the late Christopher Hitchens. By contrast, Jerry DeWitt was born and bred into the church and was in fact a Pentecostal preacher before arriving at atheism through an extraordinary dialogue with faith that spanned more than a quarter of a century. Hope After Faith is his account of that journey.

DeWitt was a pastor in the town of DeRidder, Louisiana, and was a fixture of the community. In private, however, he’d begun to question his faith. Late one night in May 2011, a member of his flock called seeking prayer for her brother who had been in a serious accident. As DeWitt searched for the right words to console her, speech failed him, and he found that the faith which once had formed the cornerstone of his life had finally crumbled to dust. When it became public knowledge that DeWitt was now an atheist, he found himself shunned by much of DeRidder’s highly religious community, losing nearly everything he’d known.

DeWitt’s struggle for identity and meaning mirrors the one currently facing millions of people around the world. With both agnosticism and atheism entering the mainstream—one in five Americans now claim no religious affiliation, according to a recent study—the moment has arrived for a new atheist voice, one that is respectful of faith and religious traditions yet warmly embraces a life free of religion, finding not skepticism and cold doubt but rather profound meaning and hope. Hope After Faith is the story of one man’s evolution toward a committed and considered atheism, one driven by humanism, a profound moral dimension, and a happiness and self-confidence obtained through living free of fear.

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Book Review
The Women Incendiaries
Edith Thomas Haymarket

The Women Incendiaries tells the inspirational story of women who played a leading role in the Paris Commune, one of history’s greatest moments of social upheaval. This is the first paperback edition of this vital, remarkable book.

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DVD Review
Masquerade
Chang-min ChooCJ Entertainment

Political intrigue, betrayal, peril and forbidden romance play out in this lavish, critically acclaimed, historical epic set in the royal palace of Korea's ancient Joseon Dynasty. Amid national chaos and fear for his life, tyrannical King Gwanghae orders his trusted counselor to find a royal body double. He recruits a crude, working-class peasant, Ha-seon, a village performer who bears a startling resemblance to the ruler. When the king falls into a coma from poisoning, he is secreted away to recover and Ha-seon reluctantly assumes the throne, forced to pull off history's biggest masquerade. Narrowly evading exposure or yet another assassination attempt by his power-hungry court, he stumbles through his daily rituals and onerous royal duties covertly coached by the king's stoic chief advisor and chief eunuch.Soon, however, Ha-seon finds he must follow his own heart no matter what the price to save his country from collapse and its oppressed people from despair.

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DVD Review
Beauty and the Least
Justin LyonBryce ClarkGreen Apple

Likeable looser Ben Banks is a serial underachieving stoner in his twelfth year of community college. But when he finds love he learns that growing up isn't so bad. Starring Mischa Barton (The Sixth Sense, T.V.'s The O.C., Notting Hill), Melora Hardin (The Hot Chick, T.V.'s The Office, 17 Again, Thank You for Smoking) and David Sullivan (Argo, Skateland).

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Issue # 431
Book Review
Keith Richards on Keith Richards: Interviews and Encounters
Sean EganChicago Review Press

Rock music writer Sean Egan (The Rough Guide to the Rolling Stones, The Mammoth Book of the Beatles, etc) dug through countless stacks of periodicals to select the fifteen articles (primarily interviews) that make up this slim but entertaining look at one of rock's most iconic figures. Offering little more than a paragraph introduction to each entry, Egan nevertheless does an admirable job as a curator-the collection spans other five decades and pieces vary in length. Even readers who consider themselves well-versed on Richards will find new material here. In a previously unpublished interview with Ira Robbins from 1988, Richards discusses his legendary drug habit, noting that "If they'd have left me alone, you wouldn't have half these freaks thinking that's the way you play guitar, by taking that crap." Also included is the full, unexpurgated version of Richards's epic Rolling Stone interview from 1971 which "served to confirm that he was now a counter-culture icon." Remarkably honest, Richards comes across as an affable, humble subject-quick to give credit to his band mates for songs like "Paint it Black" as well as the performers who inspired him decades ago.

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Book Review
The Road Map Home: Your GPS to Inner Peace
Leonard SzymczakBookSurge Publishing

Has your life taken a detour, lost its way at a tourist attraction, or screeched to a grinding halt? Author and psychotherapist Leonard Szymczak invites you to plug into your inner GPS and find your way “Home.” In The Roadmap Home: Your GPS to Inner Peace, he draws upon his personal challenges and professional experience to map out a route of conscious living and steer you through the stages of spiritual awakening. In that process he shows you how to connect with the ever-present GPS, Guiding Power of Spirit, which illuminates the road to love and inner peace. In nine chapters with titles such as “Meaning of Home,” “Wake-up Calls and Signposts,” and “Heartbeat of Connection,” Leonard provides a powerful and heartfelt guide that helps you reclaim inherent rights – to delight in the senses, to feel true joy, to exercise free will, to love and be loved, to express yourself, to recognize talents and fulfill dreams, and remain connected to your trustworthy GPS. Welcome Home!

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Book Review
Bruce
Peter Ames CarlinTouchstone

This sweeping biography of one of America’s greatest musicians is the first in twenty-five years to be written with the cooperation of Bruce Springsteen himself. With unfettered access to the artist, his family, and band members—including Clarence Clemons in his last major interview—acclaimed music writer Peter Ames Carlin presents a startlingly intimate and vivid portrait of a rock icon. For more than four decades, Bruce Springsteen has reflected the heart and soul of America with a career that includes twenty Grammy Awards, more than 120 million albums sold, two Golden Globes, and an Academy Award. He has also become an influential voice in American culture and politics, inspiring President Barack Obama to admit: “I’m the president, but he’s the Boss.” Built from years of research and unparalleled access to its subject and his inner circle, Bruce presents the most revealing account yet of a man laden with family tragedy, a tremendous dedication to his artistry, and an all-consuming passion for fame and influence. With this book, the E Street Band members finally bare their feelings about their abrupt dismissal in 1989, and how Springsteen’s ambivalence nearly capsized their 1999 reunion. Carlin deftly traces Springsteen’s often harrowing personal life: from his lower working- class childhood in Freehold, New Jersey, through his stubborn climb to fame and tangled romantic life, and finally to his quest to conquer the demons that nearly destroyed his father. In Bruce, Carlin encompasses the breadth of Springsteen’s astonishing career and explores the inner workings of a man who managed to redefine generations of music. A must for fans, Bruce is a meticulously researched, compulsively readable biography of one of the most complex and fascinating artists in American music.

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Book Review
Before Elvis: The Prehistory of Rock 'n' Roll
Larry BirnbaumScarecrow Press

An essential work for rock fans and scholars, Before Elvis: The Prehistory of Rock ‘n’ Roll surveys the origins of rock ’n’ roll from the minstrel era to the emergence of Bill Haley and Elvis Presley. Unlike other histories of rock, Before Elvis offers a far broader and deeper analysis of the influences on rock music. Dispelling common misconceptions, it examines rock’s origins in hokum songs and big-band boogies as well as Delta blues, detailing the embrace by white artists of African-American styles long before rock ’n’ roll appeared. This unique study ranges far and wide, highlighting not only the contributions of obscure but key precursors like Hardrock Gunter and Sam Theard but also the influence of celebrity performers like Gene Autry and Ella Fitzgerald. Too often, rock historians treat the genesis of rock ’n’ roll as a bolt from the blue, an overnight revolution provoked by the bland pop music that immediately preceded it and created through the white appropriation of music till then played only by and for black audiences. In Before Elvis, Birnbaum daringly argues a more complicated history of rock’s evolution from a heady mix of ragtime, boogie-woogie, swing, country music, mainstream pop, and rhythm-and-blues—a melange that influenced one another along the way, from the absorption of blues and boogies into jazz and pop to the integration of country and Caribbean music into rhythm-and-blues. Written in an easy style, Before Elvis presents a bold argument about rock’s origins and required reading for fans and scholars of rock ’n’ roll history.

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Book Review
Beer Belly Blues: What Every Aging Man and the Women in his Life Need to Know
Brad KingAbundant Health Systems Inc

HERE'S WHAT MOST MEN ACCEPT AS THEY GET OLDER: Fatigue. Loss of lean muscle tissue. Decline in strength. Increased body fat-especially in the belly area. Difficulty sleeping. Prostate enlargement. Hair loss. Low libido. Erectile dysfunction. Moodiness. Depression. Memory problems. Aching joints. Cardiovascular problems. Diabetes. Low passion for Life. NOT A PRETTY PICTURE. The majority of men in North America begin to notice these physical and emotional changes in their mid-30s. Research confirms that this is largely due to a drastic decline in male hormone levels-a phenomenon known as andropause. Not only do men lose approximately 10 percent of their testosterone levels each decade after age 30, by the time they are 60 they typically produce 60 percent less testosterone than they did at age 20. BUT... IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE THIS WAY! In Beer Belly Blues, Nutritional Expert and Best Selling Author Brad King uses humorous anecdotes as well as concise layman's prose to explain the complex underlying cause of age-related changes in men, and shows how, when armed with knowledge and an enlightened strategy, we can safely recapture the energy and even the body of our youth.

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DVD Review
Trevor Noah:African American
Inception Media Group

Celebrated as the most popular comedian in South Africa, Trevor Noah takes the stage in African American to explore his often-bewildering journey of arriving in America and simply wanting to be black. Noah shares his perspective of growing up a mixed-race child under Apartheid, and fearlessly breaks down racial stereotypes on all sides by becoming what Newsweek calls a cultural chameleon.

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DVD Review
Sins
Green Apple Entertainment

David begins experiencing cloudy memories of a long-lost life, a murderous existence before he moved to America, where an accident took his memory and his sight. Under the wing of Don Michele, he was a chosen son of the violent, Sicilian Cortello family … a family he ultimately betrayed.

Now fleeing his ruthless New York City mafiosa existence as part of the family overseen by the irrational and explosive Don Fredrico – his half-brother, unbeknownst to him – David embarks on a journey back to his Italian origins.

Enroute on a train, he encounters a mysterious woman, as well as Father Leonard (Danny Glover), who senses that they all have a connection … and that David has a past that weighs heavily on his mind. But the priest has secrets of his own, having long-ago murdered the notorious Williams (Steven Bauer).

As Don Federico also sets out for Sicily, each of their paths are destined to cross in bloody confrontation, an expiation of long-ago sins.

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DVD Review
Arthur C. Clarke: The Complete Collection
Visual Entertainment Incorporated

In over 50 programs, acclaimed Sci-Fi author Sir Arthur C Clarke (2001: A Space Odyssey) investigates inexplicable, confronting and puzzling wonders. Clarke sets out to take away the confusion to try and find some reasonable explanation for some of the weirdest events ever known. This DVD has a IMDB rating of 8.1,has a 22 hour run time, is hosted by Arthur C. Clarke, includes 8 DVD's and has been deemed the quintessential Sci-Fi documentary series

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DVD Review
The Predator Collection
Smithsonian ChannelInception Media Group, LLC

They rule the grassy battlefields of the Serengeti and reign supreme over the perilous rivers of Botswana. They are the world s deadliest predators: the big cats and big crocs of the African wild. Pack hunters or lone assassins, each possesses its own lethal skill set, which it needs in order to stay alive in one of the most unpredictable environments on Earth.The Predator Collection takes you from the top of the savannah food chain to the depths of the Okavango Delta, where every day is a battle for supremacy and survival, even for the fiercest, fastest, most ferocious killers in existence.Meet the Big Cats of the Savannah, the only place in the world where lions, leopards, and cheetahs coexist, not always peacefully. Then follow a mother cheetah running for her life...and the lives of her three cubs in Cheetah: Price of Speed. Witness Lions in Battle, where the harshest season in decades forces a desperate pride to attack a much larger from of prey. And finally, Diving with Crocodiles drops you into the lair of Africa s number one killer of humans: the Nile Crocodile.

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Issue # 430
Book Review
Ukulele for Dummies
Alistair WoodJohn Wiley & Sons

The ukulele is hot. The season one finale of Glee featured a ukulele. The recent hit song "Hey Soul Sister" by Train includes the dulcet tones of a uke. Not to mention the runaway success of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. For anyone wishing to master this fun, surprisingly versatile instrument, Ukulele For Dummies covers all the basics—from chords and strumming patterns to guidance on finger-picking.

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Book Review
By U.S. Bonds: That's My Story
Gary U.S. BondsWheatley Press

“A worthwhile rock ‘n’ roll memoir, and an inspiring story about following one’s bliss.” ~Kirkus Reviews Rock and roll legend Gary U.S. Bonds tells the story of his more than five decades in pop, soul, and rhythm and blues. From Sam Cooke to Bruce Springsteen, Bonds' memoir is about friends and family, staying relevant, and how to avoid becoming another rock and roll casualty. Co-Author Stephen Cooper. Foreword by Steven Van Zandt.

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Book Review
The Complete Idiot's Guide to The Art of Songwriting
Casey Kelly and David HodgeAlpha

Casey Kelly, the writer of several Grammy-nominated songs, lives in Nashville, Tennessee. His many hits include #1's: Kenny Rogers & Dottie West's "Anyone Who Isn't Me Tonight," Tanya Tucker's "Soon" and George Strait's country music standard, "The Cowboy Rides Away."  He works as a session player and singer and performs in Clubs and Concerts for audiences throughout the US and Europe.  A frequent mentor, panelist and workshop contributor, Casey is a member of ASCAP,  NSAI and he is currently a Songwriters Guild of America Board of Councilors member, and Vice President.  The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Art of Songwriting is his first published book.

David Hodge teaches guitar and songwriting (as well as bass, piano, music theory and more) in Berkshire County, in the southwest corner of Massachusetts and is the author of The Complete Idiot's Guide(r) to Guitar, The Complete Idiot's Guide(r) to Playing Bass Guitar, and The Complete Idiot's Guide(r) to Playing Rock Guitar.

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Book Review
Jimi Hendrix FAQ
Gary J. JuchaBackbeat

Jimi Hendrix left the world too soon at the age of twenty-seven, but, despite the brevity of his career, his body of work is as vital to twentieth-century music as that of Louis Armstrong, the Beatles, and Miles Davis. Hundreds of hours of unreleased studio sessions and concert performances were his salvation.

A modest man but highly competitive musician, Hendrix set the stage for many of the most significant musical movements to emerge between 1970 and 1999, including heavy metal, fusion, glam rock, and rap. Voodoo bluesman, sonic producer, the lyricist that out-Dylaned Dylan: these are what snatch our attention forty years after his death, as do his aw, shucks smile in photos and the raw sexuality of his concert performances. It s hard to find the man under all the falsehoods told by friends, business associates, and even Jimi himself. Jimi Hendrix FAQ attempts to present the facts in a fast-moving, fan-friendly read.

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DVD Review
Barney: Imagine with Barney
HIT entertainmentLionsgate

Come along for an imagination extravaganza! Join Barney and his friends as they use their imaginations to visit places near and far, and explore their creativity through drawing, song and dance! The dinos explore a tropical island paradise when they bring a painting to life, and go for a ride when they build their very own bus and airplane using imagination and teamwork! The dinos always know how to have a tee-rific time with creativity and good friends!

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DVD Review
Celtic Thunder - Mythology
Julia Knowles

"Voices call from the old days, Voices tell from the past, Ancient laws and ancient old ways to recast." (Voices opening number from Mythology)

Mythology is the latest show from Celtic Thunder and the show's 9th special for Public Television. Filmed on location at the Helix Theater in Dublin (where they filmed their debut show in 2007), it's fitting that Celtic Thunder have chosen to return to their roots in order to film this musical odyssey back to the heart of the Celt. The opening number for Mythology is an original piece called Voices written expressly as an opener for the new show. Voices, quoted above, is collaboration between Celtic Thunder Musical Director David Munro and world-renowned composer Brendan Graham, who also composed the international hit "You Raise Me Up."

The core theme of Mythology is found in the opening number "Voices call from the old days, Voices tell from the past, Ancient laws and ancient old ways to recast." It's the story of the Celts in Ireland, their legends, their history and their stories. It's the lifeblood of modern day Ireland and it's influences from our Celtic past, which are still carried in each one of us as part of who we are and where we come from.

The set of Mythology is big; it's dramatic and imposing. The new and the old combine. Modern catalyst images are projected onto ancient standing stones, a giant Celtic cross takes center stage and the tempo of the music is strongly echoed in the theatrical and moody lighting. Mythology is by far Celtic Thunder's most impressive production to date, bar none.

The road to Mythology began in 2007 when Sharon Browne, the Celtic Thunder's creator and producer, set out to produce a show with real Celts performing an eclectic mix of songs ranging from the traditional to international hits and some original pieces along the way. That show and each subsequent Celtic Thunder show have raised the bar for Irish music and theatrical productions worldwide. Mythology has raised that bar yet again, even by Celtic Thunder standards. It is without down their most extravagant and spectacular show ever and by far the biggest undertaking of producer Sharon Browne's and Musical Director David Munro's careers to date.

Mythology comprises of six diverse performers who are each a powerhouse in both their solo and ensemble songs, backed of course by the dynamic Celtic Thunder Band. And while Celtic Thunder shows are known for the use of dramatic combinations of lighting, choreography and set design, Peter Barnes, the Set & Lighting Director for Mythology has upped the ante and has created a stage that surpasses anything Celtic Thunder has done heretofore.

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DVD Review
Storybook Treasures: Stone Soup
ScholasticStorybook Treasures: Stone Soup

STONE SOUP (Written and illustrated by Jon J. Muth, narrated by B.D. Wong) An inspiring story about the strength people possess when they work together.

THE FIVE CHINESE BROTHERS (By Claire Bishop, illustrated by Kurt Wiese) A unique super-natural strength saves each of five brothers from trouble in this classic story.

LON PO PO (Written and illustrated by Ed Young, narrated by B.D. Wong) The Asian version of the classic fairy tale Red Riding Hood brings lessons about strangers, trust and courage to a new generation.

THE STONECUTTER (Written and illustrated by Gerald McDermott) Tasaku is a lowly cutter of stone who longs for power.

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DVD Review
Live at the 55 Arts Club Berlin
Lucky Peterson BandBlackbird Music
Lucky Peterson is one of the most versatile blues musicians in the international scene: a passionate lead guitarist, first-class singer and an exceptional player of the Hammond B3. In March 2012 he played his first Berlin show in 10 years. Playing with him is his wife Tamara Peterson (vocals), Shawn Kellerman (guitar), Tim Waites (bass) and Raul Valdes (drums). In a two-and-a-half-hour concert, Lucky Peterson performs his own compositions as well as blues classics such as Ta Ta You , Who s Been Talking? , I Believe I ll Dust My Broom and The World s In A Tangle .

 

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Issue # 429
Book Review
Singing for Dummies
eMedia

eMedia Singing For Dummies offers a fun way to learn to sing; step-by-step at your own pace. Songs and exercises in over 80 lessons with interactive feedback are accompanied by full-motion videos, live-recorded audio, and variable-speed MIDI tracks. The easy-to-follow lessons show you how to sing in time and in tune, use proper singing technique, and develop and project your voice. Professional voice instructor Ory Brown,. M.M., guides you with video demonstrations of techniques. Watch the techniques demonstrated in 30 full-motion videos. Sing along as the notes are highlighted on screen as they are heard. eMedia's Interactive Feedback technology actually listens as you sing and tells you whether you are too high, too low, or right in tune! Song looping lets you highlight and repeat any section of music you wish to practice. eMedia Singing For Dummies is the fast and easy way to learn to sing! eMedia Singing For Dummies also features hit songs including "Imagine" by John Lennon, "Dancing in the Street" made famous by Martha and the Vandellas, David Bowie and Mick Jagger, and Van Halen; "Stop in the Name of Love" made famous by Diana Ross and the Supremes and many more. eMedia Singing For Dummies also includes a built-in Metronome and Recorder. eMedia Singing For Dummies offers an exceptional value and will have you singing songs in no time!

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Book Review
Sing Free Now!
Mark BosnianArmenoid Publishing

This is a book for anyone who has ever dreamed of singing better: shower singers, choir singers, karaoke singers, professional singers or people who don't consider themselves singers at all. An immensely talented singer himself, Mark Bosnian will help you move through your fears and inhibitions and show how, with proper training, ANYONE can sing with freedom and confidence. Singing is the most accessible art form and Bosnian shows you how to create art with your voice through step-by-step instructions - using diagrams, illustrations, exercises and audio tracks. This captivating and informative book walks you through the 3 Steps to developing a clear, strong voice, how to harness the energy flowing through your body to confidently control your voice, and how to overcome problems that may block this crucial energy flow. Bosnian uses a reassuring tone to guide you through the three pillars of good singing - what he calls The Big 3 Vocal Principles: support, resonation and registration. Sing Free Now! will appeal to beginning singers looking to get a start on singing and vocal training , as well as veteran singers looking to advance, strengthen and maintain their voice.

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Book Review
33 Things to Know About Raising Creative Kids
Whitney FerreTrade Paper Press

Creative thinking is the skill that will determine your child s success in the twenty-first century. How can you best prepare your child for this new world? In 33 Things To Know About Raising Creative Kids, Creativity Expert Whitney Ferre will give you the answers. Creativity is a skill. And like any other skill, with the right focus, it can be developed.
Learn how to:
Understand the developmental stages of creativity
Organize creative activities that your children will love
Link creative fun to problem solving
Have creative sessions that the whole family can share
Use creativity to strengthen your child's learning

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Book Review
Slow Down
David EsselHay House

If you're still buying into the notion that to be more successful in any area of life means that you must work harder, faster, and always be the first in line, David Essel has two important words for you - slow down.

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