Holiday Book List 2017

Looking for a great gift? Books are the perfect way to touch someone’s life, especially if you know their interests and desire to inspire them, especially in the sense of something that lasts longer than a box of chocolates or even clothes might last in someone’s closet. Here is our 2017 holiday list, perfect for everyone you know!

FOR THE HISTORIAN:

Early Church History: New Testament Times To 700 A.D.

By: Dr. Lee Ann B. Marino, Ph.D., D.Min., D.D.

The history of Christianity is an exciting study into the way Christians have worked to change the world as they have sought and understood God throughout the ages. Sometimes complicated, sometimes daunting, and sometimes profound and simple, no one can question the relevance and impact Christianity has had on the world at large. Originally written to teach early church history at the college level, in Early Church History: New Testament Times Through 700 A.D., Dr. Lee Ann B. Marino, Ph.D., D.Min., D.D. traces the history of key issues present in the early church through the writings of early church believers and leaders themselves. Using these essential documents, Dr. Marino takes the student through nearly seven hundred years’ worth of historical events – from the early church, through the Early Church Fathers, the Ecumenical Councils, the martyrs, and yes, even the relevance for believers today. This complete volume includes the necessary readings for each week, outlines of history in each chapter, explaining and expounding upon the current themes and issues of the topic at hand, a historical timeline, homework assignments and final exam, complete for a twelve-week semester.

FOR THE PERSON WHO LOVES A CLASSIC:

The Promises of God Spiritual Checkbook

By: Abigail Lawrence

DO you believe God’s promises apply to you? Believe it or not, there are many individuals who have never heard about the wonderful promises God has in store, just for them. By comparing our spiritual blessings to a checkbook, we are able to gain a practical, visual way in which the promises of God are applicable to our everyday lives. Come along with Abigail Lawrence and explore this realm of spiritual blessings, benefits, and all things life-changing in God as she expounds upon the many benefits that being a Christian believer has to offer you, right where you are, in your life.

FOR THE COLLECTOR:

Put A Stamp On It!: Seventy-Seven Sparkling Stories Showcasing How Stamps Have Intercepted Historical Events

By: Herman “Pat” Herst, Jr.

WHAT do the Charley Ross kidnapping, the Dunning sale, Britain’s female mason, Sherlock Holmes and the Littlewood’s pool, the founding of the YMCA, George Sloane, and the Madeline Smith Postcard all have in common? Stamps were an important part of these historical events. Even though we don’t often think of stamps in the context of making history, those small, decorative aspects of the mail system are far more than just there to decorate the envelope. At the heart of every letter, every postal moment for hundreds of years, stamps can be found, changing history as we know it. In this book, author and stamp historian Herman Herst, Jr. shares with us about the rich history of several historical events and the way that stamps influenced them. Told with good humor, perspective, and solid documentation, Herman Herst, Jr. offers us insight into the smallest details of the mail industry – stamps – and shows us that history is often staring back at us every time we mail or open a letter. Come along to share in seventy-seven stories where history proves that stamps are the stars, sealing history in ways we would least expect it.

FOR THE ACTIVIST:

Compassionate Care: Healing For The Soul With HIV

By: Dr. Lee Ann B. Marino, Ph.D., D.Min., D.D.

AT the current rate of HIV infection, statistics suggest one out of every two people will be infected with HIV by 2025. With such a staggering realization, the world has responded with education, information, and disease prevention. Despite expanded care and treatment for HIV and AIDS patients, most note a lack of spiritual response toward HIV and AIDS education and treatment. Patients are too often treated as a disease, rather than as people in need of healing, love, and compassion. With a lack of spiritual response, the question remains…what is the appropriate spiritual response to HIV?

In this book, Dr. Lee Ann B. Marino, Ph.D., D.Min., D.D. takes the reader on an educational and compassionate journey toward a complete understanding of HIV/AIDS patient care. Purposed to awaken Christian response to HIV as the media focuses attention on other diseases, problems, and ailments, this book educates Christian believers, ministers, and leaders about the essentials of healing response to HIV. Designed to make medical, educational, and spiritual responses to HIV practical and understandable, Dr. Marino gives a unique, powerful, and anointed perspective to this very sensitive and overlooked issue of our times. In this revised and updated edition, Dr. Marino lays out the challenge, information, and empowerment to overcome bias, superstition, judgment, and bigotries to stand as agents of God’s healing touch to a sick and dying world. As the reader focuses on Jesus’ call in Matthew 25 as a witness to Christ, HIV becomes an opportunity to minister life and health instead of judgment and fear.

FOR THE INSPIRATIONAL READER:

SOARING: Messages of Encouragement and Hope

By: Anthony Sluzas

Making excuses? Facing temptation? Backslidden? Rejected? Resentful? Disobedient? If any of these sound like things you are dealing with, then this book is perfect for you, right where you are in your life. Did you know, you can soar like an eagle, or you can hang out with buzzards? It might have never been addressed in quite the same way, but we often hang out with the buzzards, who bring us down and look for any way to pick at things, because we never knew we could soar. You, yes you – as hard of a time as you might be having – can soar like an eagle, but you have to get your thinking off the ground and into the air!

In this book, Anthony Sluzas provides stories with lessons, messages with encouragement, and a general sense of hope and inspiration to anyone who might need that push to soar in their own lives. Come along with good humor, warmth, and ultimately, hope and encouragement to become all God has for you to be, if you are just willing to take the leap…and soar!

FOR THE DEVOTIONAL READER:

All I Know About Ministry…I Learned In Junior High

By: Dr. Lee Ann B. Marino, Ph.D., D.Min., D.D.

JUNIOR high was a time of dread and wonder, all at the same time. As a transitional period, it was full of ups and downs, homework and fun, firsts, new adventures, and above all, change. Most of us look back on junior high with avoidance…but what does this transitional time in everyone’s life offer us in terms of life lessons? When we are in transitional times, how can looking back help us to move forward toward the future?

In All I Know About Ministry…I Learned In Junior High, Dr. Lee Ann B. Marino recounts forty experiences, stories, and encounters that proved to be powerful life lessons in ministry and beyond. Return in time to the mid-1990s as Dr. Marino recalls the beginnings of junior high, school projects, serving on the altar, first dances, first boyfriends, and many other “firsts” we all experienced during this time frame, recalling how things were perceived, with parallels to the challenges, changes, and issues that she and so many others face in ministry, even today.

FOR THE PERSON WHO LOVES BIOGRAPHIES:

Real Talk: Becoming A Woman In Ministry

By: Yolanda Y. Davis

Yolanda Y. Davis came from humble beginnings, dividing time between the rural Texas countryside and the urban streets of Houston. Dividing time between school, family events, church, and yes, even boys, she had no idea the twists and turns life would take. Between molestation, unplanned pregnancies, an unhappy and tumultuous marriage, and more, what decisions would she make…and what would God have in store for her? Where would she wind up?In this honest, real, and relatable first-person narrative, Apostle Yolanda Y. Davis relates her own unique journey to accept the call of God on her life, despite her many obstacles, questions, and frustrations with the church. The pages of this book contain the honesty of testimony and the ability to relate with the struggles a woman encounters as she navigates the storms of life…all the way to ministry, and beyond.

FOR THE COMMUNITY VOLUNTEER:

Your Personal Road Map To Self-Fulfillment: A Book For All Families As Life Lessons From A Teacher, Coach, And Parent

By: Harvey Heartley, Sr.

DID you know everyone has a philosophy? You might not realize it, but you do. The philosophy you have can either help or hinder you on your personal life journey to self-fulfillment. We all have the same number of hours in a day and a week, and in our lives, we should all focus on the ways we can make our lives be the absolute best they can be.

In this book, Harvey D. Heartley, Sr. shares his approach to life and years of life wisdom as a coach, a teacher, and a a parent. Coach Heartley (as he was known) presents his personal answer to your own “Personal Behavior Map To Self-Fulfillment,” breaking it down into 12 areas he calls “The Real Daily Dozen:” Attitude, Relationships, Imagination, Socializing, Education, Mentality, Physical Fitness, Finances, Professionalism, Politics, Sexuality and Spirituality. Having written this book for all people, all families, all races and all cultures, Coach Heartley provides insight into life that will help you jump start your own destiny of self-fulfillment.

FOR THE COUPLE GETTING MARRIED:

The Wedding Workbook: Your Four-Month Guide To The Wedding Of Your Dreams

By: Dr. Lee Ann B. Marino, Ph.D., D.Min., D.D.

WEDDINGS often fill people with joy and excitement. A new life journey is about to start as two people come together as one…or something like that. People spend months thinking about the wedding and spending time focusing on it, only to have it come and pass in a day’s time. The day after the wedding, what happens next? What happens as the marriage passes through many different phases (some happy and some not so happy)? If divorce rates are any indication, people who get married aren’t prepared for the ins and outs of married life because they are too busy preparing for a wedding rather than a marriage.

In this book, Dr. Marino takes the participants through an intensive four-month preparation period designed to help a couple learn about themselves, their partners, and the ins and outs of marriage. Designed for use as part of pre-marital counseling along with the accompanying text, Discovering Intimacy: A Journey Through The Song of Solomon, The Wedding Workbook makes sure that neither bride nor groom has any reason to blush, nor stand in shame, at any point in life – including their wedding day.

FOR MONEY MANAGEMENT:

Escaping The Debt Pit: A Pocket Book About Debt And The Believer

By: Anthony Sluzas

MONEY is a sensitive topic that most avoid in casual conversation and public teaching. As a result, more and more Americans succumb to the ravages of debt and the results of it in their lives. Whether it’s root is a desire to “keep up with the Joneses” or just an inability to handle income paycheck-to-paycheck, debt becomes an all-too-common way of life that destroys families, relationships, and ultimately, the spiritual aspect of one’s being.

In this little “pocket book,” Anthony Sluzas gives practical, easy-to-understand advice about handling money, excelling financially, and escaping the pit of debt that can seem impossible to overcome. Trusting that the ultimate answers to debt lie in God’s Word, the Bible, Anthony gives every reader the opportunity to sort out their financial situations with practical and spiritual insight. This little book is a must-have for anyone who wants to resolve the complications of financial debt in their lives, once and for all.

FOR THE BIBLE READER:

Fruit of the Vine: Study And Commentary on the Fruit of The Spirit

By: Dr. Lee Ann B. Marino, Ph.D., D.Min., D.D.

Manifesting the fruit of the Spirit is an essential aspect of the believer’s life. Jesus calls us to not only produce fruit, but produce more excellent fruit. How can we do this, and how can we operate in the principles of spiritual fruit? How do we recognize spiritual fruit in our lives?

In Fruit of the Vine: Study and Commentary on the Fruit of the Spirit, Dr. Lee Ann B. Marino invites the reader to learn more about what it means to bear “fruit,” specifically the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control. Presented with detailed word studies, background information, personal and relatable experiences, humor, warmth, and a whole lot of reflection on what it means to be in the vine and live a spiritually fruitful life, this book will change how you view the fruit of the Spirit and developing its important characteristics in your life.

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Lee Ann Marino’s Review Of: The Promises Of God Spiritual Checkbook

41jpv0f4x9l-_sx311_bo1204203200_The Promises of God Spiritual Checkbook

By: Abigail Lawrence

 

  • Paperback: 126 pages
  • Publisher: Righteous Pen Publications (February 1, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1940197457
  • ISBN-13: 978-1940197456
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.3 x 8 inches

 

What I like most about this book is that it is exactly what it sounds like: a little book perfect for remembering the promises of God in your own life and discovering a new way to remember how to apply them. Abigail Lawrence wrote this book based on a teaching of her husband’s that teaches how to apply God’s promises in life just in the same way that we would write out checks.

By looking at several key aspects of spiritual life, including remembering the spiritual things of God, coming to Christ, the difference between salvation and application of God’s promises, a clear-cut comparison (with illustrations) between checkbooks and check writing and spiritual promises, and a complete reference listing of over 500 Biblical promises that are there for believers to embrace and receive in their own lives.

Sometimes writers try too hard to make the concepts of God sound difficult so they can sound smart. This often causes potential readers to shy away, as they don’t think they’ll be able to understand the concepts. This book doesn’t do that. It’s readable, understandable, and something that everyone, from the newest believer to the most advanced believer, can gain from reading. The practical illustration of a checkbook is understandable to most readers, and is even explained for those who might not be familiar with check writing. It is also 5×8 size, meaning it is the perfect book for evangelism distribution, to take along with you in a purse or bag, or even keep in the front or back of your Bible for handy reference.

I look forward to seeing future writings from Abigail Lawrence, as it’s obvious she has a lot to offer us in the world of Christian writing.

Book is available at: https://www.amazon.com/Promises-God-Spiritual-Checkbook/dp/1940197457/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1486410766&sr=8-1&keywords=abigail+lawrence

 

Holiday Book List, #3

51w7saKMGLLFOR THE BIOGRAPHER: Real Talk: Becoming A Woman In Ministry

For that person in your life that loves to read biographies and autobiographies, we have the perfect book for you! Real Talk: Becoming A Woman In Ministry – Telling My Story The Way It Really Is – No Matter What! by Yolanda Y. Davis recounts the author’s riveting life which takes you from her childhood in rural Texas to her ministry call as an adult. Spoken from an honest perspective that gives insight into the difficulties many encounter in life, the author shows the realities of dealing with temptation, things church does not prepare us for in real life, divorce, remarriage, church hurt, and ministry.

https://www.amazon.com/Real-Talk-Becoming-Ministry-Telling/dp/1940197104/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1481741748&sr=8-1&keywords=yolanda+y+davis

Holiday Book List, #2

lgbt_cvr-3FOR THE ACTIVIST: MINISTERING TO LGBTs…AND THOSE WHO LOVE THEM

If you or someone you know has been touched by the LGBT community or the larger issues that relate to individuals who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, activists, or their families, look no further for the perfect holiday gift! Written for instructional practicality as much as discussion, thought, and education, Ministering to LGBTs – And Those Who Love Them by Dr. Lee Ann B. Marino, Ph.D., D.Min., D.D. reveals a true heart and love for the marginalized and mistreated, and shows that love through Scriptural examination and ministerial service.

https://www.amazon.com/Ministering-LGBTs-Those-Love-Them/dp/194019735X/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1481582298&sr=8-9&keywords=dr+lee+ann+b+marino

LEE ANN MARINO’S REVIEW OF: REAL TALK

51w7saKMGLLReal Talk: Becoming A Woman In Ministry: Telling My Story The Way It Really Is…No Matter What!

By: Yolanda Y. Davis (Greggs)

 

  • Paperback: 132 pages
  • Publisher: Righteous Pen Publications (August 26, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1940197104
  • ISBN-13: 978-1940197104
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches

 

As a woman who is in ministry myself, I can definitely testify that life does not always turn out the way you might hope. One of the best signs of ministry endurance is the ability to push and pursue through difficulties to set one’s sights right to where they should be. Real Talk: Becoming A Woman In Ministry: Telling My Story The Way It Really Is…No Matter What! by Yolanda Y. Davis is a testament of overcoming spirit, endurance, and finding God in even the most difficult and impossible to bear situations.

This book chronicles the author’s entire life, from birth and childhood, to her adolescent and young adult years, to married life, divorce, remarriage, and her present-day experiences. The author is very candid in the book, revealing many things that others would be hesitant to speak on or discuss, in an honest, open, and truthful way. It is obvious that she has learned from her mistakes, taken life in stride, and had a new outlook as she speaks on the realities of ministry that many ignore, life and remarriage, and a special section for men who are married to women in ministry.

I would personally like to hear more from this author and learn more about her life since publication, as I haven’t a doubt that there have been many more things for her to discuss and draw upon as she has a few more years in ministry than she did back then. I would definitely recommend this book for any woman in ministry, because you will identify with it; you will see yourself in the struggles of the author, even if yours are a little different than hers; and it will give the overall encouragement to continue on, even if you want to give up. The chapter written for men who have wives or girlfriends in ministry is also most important, and you will want to read that and then share it with the man in your life to help him gain greater perspective. A read that must have been hard to write, to confront and to experience all in one, this book is a must-read for anyone serious about pursuing ministry, especially if you have a past.

Book is available at: https://www.amazon.com/Real-Talk-Becoming-Ministry-Telling/dp/1940197104/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1477518730&sr=8-1&keywords=yolanda+y+davis

 

LEE ANN MARINO’S REVIEW OF: YOUR PERSONAL BEHAVIOR MAP TO SELF-FULFILLMENT

your_personal_behavior_map_book_cover-2Your Personal Behavior Map To Self-Fulfillment: A Book For All Families As Lessons From A Teacher, Coach, And Parent

By: Harvey D. Heartley, Sr., Forward by Dean Smith

 

  • Paperback: 230 pages
  • Publisher: Lee Ann and Veronica’s Publishing (October 1, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1940197295
  • ISBN-13: 978-1940197296
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches

In his lifetime, Harvey D. Heartley, Sr. touched the lives of many as a teacher and a coach. With a true love for sports and inspiration for encouraging students to be all they could be, Coach Heartley made sure that those he taught and coached were touched not just as students, but as people, as well. Such is evident in his book, Your Personal Behavior Map To Self-Fulfillment: A Book For All Families As Lessons From A Teacher, Coach, and Parent. The book itself is a reprinting of Harvey D. Heartley, Sr.’s original book, A Book For All Families, that was brought back into print by his son, Harvey D. Heartley, Jr.

Written in a manner that sounds much like the advice a coach, mentor, or older friend would give to a student, the book provides the author’s life theories into twelve areas he calls “the real daily dozen:” Attitude, Relationships, Imagination, Socializing, Education, Mentality, Physical Fitness, Finances, Professionalism, Politics, Sexuality and Spirituality. Each of these areas provides information, advice, and guidance on how to navigate life through these different areas and how important and foundational they are to having a personal behavior map to a self-fulfilled life and discovery of purpose and ultimate happiness.

The advice presented in the book is not my personal style, and I will admit that, as a reviewer, I don’t agree with everything the author says or presents. Just because it is not advice I would give or follow, however, doesn’t mean that it isn’t right for everyone, or that nobody else can benefit from the book. Even if you don’t agree with the advice for yourself, it is good to learn and hear what others have to say, and I would definitely state that the book is worth a read and is worth discovering how you feel on each of the topics presented. The formatting is a high step up from the original book, and it is presented in a beautiful, easy-to-read format and font, and whether one agrees with the advice, or not, there are a few things that are quite evident in the presentation. The first is that the author clearly cared about his students, teaching, and about education. The second is that he obviously cared about his community and about making a difference in the lives of those around them. This means his ideas are worth a read, and he has a valid voice that should be heard.

Book is available at: https://www.amazon.com/Your-Personal-Behavior-Map-Self-Fulfillment/dp/1940197295/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1477509597&sr=8-1&keywords=harvey+heartley+sr

 

Lee Ann Marino’s review of Half The Sky

half_skyHalf The Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity For Women Worldwide

By: Nicholas D. Kristof and Cheryl WuDunn

 

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (June 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307387097
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307387097
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.9 x 7.9 inches

 

As a women’s rights advocate, I took particular interest in Half The Sky because it looks at the life and conditions of women worldwide.  It has been critically acclaimed and even turned into a series transcending different media.  Because it was such a sweeping success, I was particularly interested in the solutions it would offer for the circumstances women live under.

The book is successful in presenting the conditions that women live under worldwide.  The stories alert and awaken the reader to the fact that many women still live in conditions of prostitution, death in childbirth, forced bodily mutilations, and abuse at the hands of unjust societies.  It also shows what some very special and unique women and men in our world today are doing to step up and offer assistance to women worldwide.

The stories are good; the awareness is good; the basic idea of the book is good. My major gripe with the book is that while it does beautifully cause us to be aware of what is going on, it doesn’t offer solutions to the problems.  The reason for this is, most likely, very simple: most of the situations that exist don’t have simple solutions, but at the same time, I don’t feel like the book gave us much hope for being able to offer help or assistance ourselves.  There was a long chapter toward the end of the book that detailed different ways to be involved, but most of those solutions involved governmental or political activism, which as a Christian, I do not believe is the solution to such problems.  There were also only limited examples of faith-based work in the book, and almost no faith-based programs that they recommended for overseas assistance or activism.  While I am very well aware that many faith-based programs often contribute to traditional problems, this is not always the case, and I believe it is safe to say that political activisms have certainly proven that they are not the answer, and tend to make the answer worse, in many instances, because they don’t meet the people where they are.  As the book does prove that individual interest in the problem and person-to-person activism is definitely the best course of action, it doesn’t tell us how we can take that kind of action ourselves.

The book is reasonably well-written (I did find a few typos), although I would say the presentation of the stories is a bit dry, at times.  It reads much like a journalist would write, and given some of the very personal and intense stories presented, I would have preferred a softer input at points within its presentation.  I also would have preferred the book’s text font to be a bit larger, as it contributed to an intimidating feeling in the text.  Overall, I give the book 4 stars. I think even though it doesn’t really offer an answer, it definitely gets us thinking about it and helps us to want to care about women worldwide besides ourselves.

 

Book Masters Magazine, November 2015

Book Masters Magazine, November 2015

Book Masters Magazine: Book Masters Magazine, November 2015

Literary magazine featuring the best in writing, editorial commentary, poetry, short stories, books, and publishing. Published by Lee Ann and Veronica's Publishing, an imprint of Righteous Pen Publications. Feature interview: Maegan Hagan, a blogger, upcoming author, podcaster, and activist from…

Find out more on MagCloud

Lee Ann Marino’s Review of The Truth About Psychics: What’s Real, What’s Not, And How To Tell The Difference

psychicsThe Truth About Psychics: What’s Real, What’s Not, And How To Tell The Difference

By: Sylvia Browne (with Lindsay Harrison)

  • Hardcover: 411 pages
  • Publisher: Thorndike Press; Lrg edition (April 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1410424073
  • ISBN-13: 978-1410424075
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches

I’ll start by saying that I was never the biggest fan of Sylvia Browne (1936-2013) when she was alive. I used to keep track of her predictions, particularly the ones that related to world events or to celebrities, and she had a horrible track record. I remember her accuracy being somewhere in the area of about 10%, which made me wonder why anyone would seek her out, let alone pay her tremendous amounts of money, for readings. Then when I found out she had her own Gnostic-based church, I really wondered what the draw was to her. I get that we are all curious about the paranormal and all, but to actually sit up under a woman who claims to have a “gift” that renders her inaccurate just seemed…well…unwise.

Alas, when I came across her book, The Truth About Psychics, I only bought it because it was a Bargain Book and I thought it might give me some insight into spirits that I was seeking to learn about. As a Christian minister, I find Christian books about spirits and witchcraft all have the same tone: they are trying so hard to make something seem spiritually wrong, they start giving out exaggerated or incorrect information that can be easily proven false. So, when I want to learn more about spiritual activity, particularly in the realm of witchcraft, demonology, or “alternative powers,” I try to read sources that are more about information than prevention. This helps me to better identify things I see in ministry, especially when they are different or manifest differently from what our often untrained experts tell us they are.

The book itself presents some interesting insights into the afterlife as is viewed in the major world religions. She also breaks down different forms of divination in a way that anyone who desires to learn more about it can understand. That’s about all I have to say about the book that is positive. The book itself really isn’t about psychics, but about the entire expanse of New Age paranormal studies, including past life regression, the modern history of the paranormal movement, and different tricks of the trade, but very little of it really focuses on psychics themselves. It also is very clearly written from the personal perspective of Browne herself, and is very opinionated based on her own personal revelations of these matters, rather than fact-based, on issues that pertain to the paranormal. For example, she adamantly opposes Ouija boards, feeling they invite any type of spirit into one’s life, but she is very much in favor of tarot cards. If Ouija boards can invite spirits, why does she think that tarot cards, or divining methods, or reading tea leaves, or even crystal balls are not door openers to the spirit world in a questionable way? Her inconsistencies in perspective as well as slanting of facts from her own clearly biased perspective make the book a huge disappointment.

I give the book one star, as the information on the afterlife and divination methods are decent and easy to understand. The book overall, however, just doesn’t measure up. If you are looking for a book on how psychics operate, don’t let the title fool you. This book isn’t it.

Lee Ann Marino’s Top 10 Book Picks

Lee Ann B. Marino is Editor-in-Chief of Righteous Pen Publications (www.righteouspenpublications.com) and a corporate partner in the entire imprint family of Righteous Pen Publications along with Veronica Downing, including Lee Ann and Veronica’s Publishing (http://apenandadream.righteouspenpublications.com).  She is also a designer for Rose of Sharon Creations (www.roseofsharoncreations.com) and for a new and upcoming design company.  She is also the author of 17 books (http://www.amazon.com/Dr-Lee-Ann-B-Marino/e/B00J7X49YE/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1439527539&sr=8-1).   Here she posts her all-time top ten favorite books to share with all of us!

(All summaries are from the books themselves)

41RSrTXr0aLThe Courage To Be (by Paul Tillich)

Originally published more than fifty years ago, The Courage to Be has become a classic of twentieth-century religious and philosophical thought. The great Christian existentialist thinker Paul Tillich describes the dilemma of modern man and points a way to the conquest of the problem of anxiety.

Selected as one of the Books of the Century by the New York Public Library.

413T3N9ARELExistentialism And Humanism (by Jean-Paul Sartre)

It was to correct common misconceptions about his thought that Jean-Paul Sartre, the most dominant European intellectual of the post-World War II decades, accepted an invitation to speak on October 29, 1945, at the Club Maintenant in Paris. The unstated objective of his lecture (“Existentialism Is a Humanism”) was to expound his philosophy as a form of “existentialism,” a term much bandied about at the time. Sartre asserted that existentialism was essentially a doctrine for philosophers, though, ironically, he was about to make it accessible to a general audience. The published text of his lecture quickly became one of the bibles of existentialism and made Sartre an international celebrity.

The idea of freedom occupies the center of Sartre’s doctrine. Man, born into an empty, godless universe, is nothing to begin with. He creates his essence—his self, his being—through the choices he freely makes (“existence precedes essence”). Were it not for the contingency of his death, he would never end. Choosing to be this or that is to affirm the value of what we choose. In choosing, therefore, we commit not only ourselves but all of mankind.

411pKy3d50LThe Second Sex (by Simone de Beauvoir)

Simone de Beauvoir’s masterwork is a powerful analysis of the Western notion of “woman,” and a groundbreaking exploration of inequality and otherness.  Vital and groundbreaking, Beauvoir’s pioneering and impressive text remains as pertinent today as it was sixty years ago, and will continue to provoke and inspire generations of men and women to come.

413q2tEgAVLLes Miserables (by Victor Hugo)

Les Miserables is widely considered one of the greatest novels of the 19th century. First published in France in 1862, it is Victor Hugo’s greatest achievement–the ultimate tale of redemption. Former prisoner Jean Valjean struggles to live virtuously after an unexpected act of forgiveness by a kindly bishop changes his life. His righteous actions change people’s lives in surprising ways and culminate in romance between two young people. Les Miserables is a must-have addition to the libraries of all classic literature lovers.

41UQrc0TaRLThe Prophet (by Kahlil Gibran)

This is Khalil Gibran’s best and most powerful work ever-written…. Blending the elements of Eastern and Western mysticism, Lebanese – American essayist – Khalil Gibran, in this enriching collection of parables expounds the philosophy of living conveying a strong and beautiful message on every aspect of life. Set forth in the form of profound wisdom and philosophy of life, these discourses apply dynamically with amazing timeliness to our human problems in day-to-day life. Millions of followers today absorb Gibran’s writings with religious devotion and fervours because his thoughts are ageless and realistic.

41le8ej-fiLBrave New World (by Adolus Huxley)

The astonishing novel Brave New World, originally published in 1932, presents Aldous Huxley’s vision of the future — of a world utterly transformed. Through the most efficient scientific and psychological engineering, people are genetically designed to be passive and therefore consistently useful to the ruling class. This powerful work of speculative fiction sheds a blazing critical light on the present and is considered to be Huxley’s most enduring masterpiece.

515JNXDM1QL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_The Bell Jar (by Sylvia Plath)

The Bell Jar chronicles the crack-up of Esther Greenwood: brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under — maybe for the last time. Sylvia Plath masterfully draws the reader into Esther’s breakdown with such intensity that Esther’s insanity becomes completely real and even rational, as probable and accessible an experience as going to the movies. Such deep penetration into the dark and harrowing corners of the psyche is an extraordinary accomplishment and has made The Bell Jar a haunting American classic.

51UtwJuDRhL._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_To Kill A Mockingbird (by Harper Lee)

“Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ’em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”

A lawyer’s advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee’s classic novel—a black man charged with the rape of a white girl. Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with rich humor and unswerving honesty the irrationality of adult attitudes toward race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s. The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence, and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina and quiet heroism of one man’s struggle for justice—but the weight of history will only tolerate so much.

One of the best-loved classics of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has earned many distinctions since its original publication in 1960.

It has won the Pulitzer Prize, been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than forty million copies worldwide, and been made into an enormously popular movie. It was also named the best novel of the twentieth century by librarians across the country (Library Journal).

51SG563T7ELA Tree Grows In Brooklyn (by Betty Smith)

The beloved perennial classic—named as one of the books of the twentieth century by the New York Public Library.

Orville Prescott has called this American classic “one of the most dearly beloved and one of the finest books of our day.” Indeed, when A Tree Grows in Brooklyn was first published in 1943, four printing plants were required to keep up with the demand.

Seventy years later, readers are still fascinated by Betty Smith’s moving portrayal of the Nolans, a poor family living in the Williamsburg slums of Brooklyn. A poignant tale of childhood and the ties of family, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn will transport the reader to the early 1900s where a little girl named Francie dreamily looks out her window at a tree struggling to reach the sky.

41zXo8Ryj0LNotes From The Underground (by Fyodor Dostoyvesky)

A predecessor to such monumental works such as Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov, Notes From Underground represents a turning point in Dostoyevsky’s writing towards the more political side. In this work we follow the unnamed narrator of the story, who disillusioned by the oppression and corruption of the society in which he lives withdraws from that society into the underground. A dark and politically charged novel, “Notes From Underground” shows Dostoyevsky at his best.

41RQcP5Qo8L._SX320_BO1,204,203,200_Honorable Mention: Being And Nothingness (by Jean-Paul Sartre)

Here Sartre has systematically presented his philosophy of Being. This book is a sine qua non for any understanding of existentialism and its importance as one of the leading philosophical movements of the twentieth century.

51RYg-1mBoLHonorable Mention: The Stranger (by Albert Camus)

The Stranger is as beautiful as any work of art can hope to be. It is in the latter parts of the book, where Mersault’s words have a lyrical power not seen previous, that the English translation achieves the haunting effect that must be even more prevalent in the French. The first thing readily obvious is that the character has no emotional connection to what he experiences; he simply experiences. Thus, Camus utilizes an American style, terse and detached. Some reviewers were off put by this. “How could he not care that his mother died? ” Attaching immorality to Mersault merely shows a total misunderstanding of the book. Camus believed in “absurd freedom,” life has no inner value and is futilely cut short, but it is up to us to determine our life in such uncertainty. If one doesn’t interpret life, emotion doesn’t exist. But the values that society has incriminate you if you don’t conform. They make you strange. They take no account of individuality. That is the peril of the main character after a bizarre series of events on a sun drenched beach. The power of Camus is that even though he creates such a bleak, hopeless human situation the characters still go on as best they can, perhaps even attaining happiness. “One must imagine Sisyphus happy,” to quote The Myth of Sisyphus. That is also the power and beauty of mankind.

71UYUk+swXLHonorable Mention: Dangerous Liaisons (by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos)

Published just years before the French Revolution, Laclos’s great novel of moral and emotional depravity is a disturbing and ultimately damning portrayal of a decadent society. Aristocrats and ex-lovers Marquise de Merteuil and Vicomte de Valmont embark on a sophisticated game of seduction and manipulation to bring amusement to their jaded lives. While Merteuil challenges Valmont to seduce an innocent convent girl, he is also occupied with the conquest of a virtuous married woman. Eventually their human pawns respond, and the consequences prove to be more serious-and deadly-than the players could have ever predicted.