Reviews by Barbara Smith
On 11/15 Barbara Smith wrote: “Rudy: My Story,” by Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger with Mark Dagostio, is as enjoyable as the film “Rudy” was. The book tells about Rudy as a child, his family, ethics and present life as a motivator. Rudy had big dreams and few believed he could fulfill them, but he did. And he did it through ... Motivating Story
On 9/14 Barbara Smith wrote: “Running for My Life,” by Lopez Lomong is one the amazing true story of Lomong’s run for survival. Kidnapped in Sudan at the age of six, his story tells about his capture, his escape, his time in a refuge camp and his eventual placement in an American home and then his race for the Olympics. ... Lomong Literally Ran for his Life
On 8/18 Barbara Smith wrote: Cruel Harvest, by Fran Elizabeth Grubb, is a horrible book to read. No, not the book itself but the dreadful story Ms. Grubb tells. It’s a true story of a young family all victims of the abuse of one very sick and evil man – their father and husband. It was a difficult book to read as it deals ... Read It If You Dare
On 7/13 Barbara Smith wrote: “Tough Guys and Drama Queens,” by Mark Gregston, is a very good guide to parenting teenagers. We’ve all been teens and know what it’s like to deal with parents. But once we have teens of our own, we kind of forget how we felt back then. We don’t want to lose control so maybe we over control ... Dealing with Teens in this Crazy World
On 5/23 Barbara Smith wrote: "All-Pro Dad," by Mark Merrill, is an instructional book about being a good father. But it also contains the guidance to be a good person, husband, citizen, etc., etc. Being a good father doesn’t mean providing the means for the family to live well – providing a roof over their heads and food ... Good for Dads - and Moms too!
On 5/14 Barbara Smith wrote: "Redemption," by Bran Clay with Joel Kilpatrick, is a spiritual book about Bryan, an Olympic champion in the decathlon. Raised in Hawaii and a product of a broken marriage, Bryan seemed to follow trouble. And when he wasn’t following, trouble was still out to get him. Despite drugs and violence ... Inspiring
On 5/1 Barbara Smith wrote: “By Faith, Not by Sight,” by Scott Macintyre is an amazing and inspiring story. Scott Macintyre competed on “American Idol” but he’s wasn’t just any contestant. Scott was born blind and later diagnosed with severe illness. He was dying when he finally got a kidney transplant. But this ... Inspiring Book!
On 3/30 Barbara Smith wrote: In “The Coming Revolution” Dr. Richard Lee lays out what our forefathers had in mind and how our country has evolved. There’s a lot of good historical fact in this book and is definitely easy to read. However, Dr. Lee is strictly conservative in his thinking, which is fine – for him. But it ... Good History Lesson
On 2/8 Barbara Smith wrote: “Beyond Molasses Creek,” by Nicole Seitz, is a story of a 60-something woman who returns to her childhood home after the death of her father. She is also returning to the first and foremost love of her life. Vesey Washington, a black man who lives across the river, was a childhood friend who turned ... Three Lives Intertwined
On 1/4 Barbara Smith wrote: “This Thing of Ours: How Faith Save My Mafia Marriage,” by Cammy Franzese caught my attention. Unlike similar books, it also kept my attention. Cammy was a dancer and had an opportunity to dance for a movie production. Along the way she met and fell in love with Michael Franzese. Being naïve ... Can Faith Save a Mafia Marriage?
On 12/12 Barbara Smith wrote: Billy Graham’s book “Nearing Home: Life, Faith, and Finishing Well” has a simple message. It’s a message we’ve all heard – accept Jesus Christ – yet it’s delivered in such a simple and non-preachy manner that we can read it without getting our backs up. You know what I mean because ... Nearing Home!
On 11/13 Barbara Smith wrote: “America The Last Best Hope Volume III,” by William J. Bennett is a book describing American through its politics and world relationship during the past 30 years. It touches on the Presidents and their administrations from the end of the Cold War through a close inspection of the years since 1998 ... American Politics and Global History
On 10/28 Barbara Smith wrote: “Where Has Oprah Taken Us?” by Stephen Mansfield will be a magnet for many. With Oprah being a household word, readers will flock to this book. Most who have watched Oprah’s show over the years love her. They may agree with some of her topics and disagree with others. But the general consensus ... Where Has Oprah Taken Us?
On 9/6 Barbara Smith wrote: “Surprised by Oxford,” by Carolyn Weber, is a memoir of the author’s journey from an agnostic to a Christian. She had a tough childhood yet, through perseverance, she managed to get through college and received a scholarship to Oxford. That’s when her journey took off in a new and surprising ... Surprised by Oxford is no Surprise
On 8/8 Barbara Smith wrote: “Thunder Dog,” by Michael Hingson with Susy Flory was quite a surprise. I began this book with apprehension. I’m just not ready to be reading books about 9/11 as it’s still too painful. But this book and Michael Hingson’s story is different as it’s about his harrowing escape that day and, ... Survival on 9/11 - A Different Point of View
On 6/30 Barbara Smith wrote: “The Quotable Rogue -the Ideals of Sarah Palin in Her Own Words," edited by Matt Lewis is a compilation of quotes by, who else but Sarah Palin. Despite the fact that some quotes are entertaining and some are obviously coming from an intelligent woman, I really don’t know why any of us would want ... A Whole Book of Quotes from Sarah
On 6/14 Barbara Smith wrote: “Money Secrets of the Amish: Finding True Abundance in Simplicity, Sharing and Saving,” by Lorilee Craker is a delightful little book. Ms. Craker comes from a Mennonite heritage and decides to explore the frugal ways of the Amish when she runs into some tough economic times. She learns a great ... Live Like the Amish in Touch Ecnomic Times
On 5/25 Barbara Smith wrote: “The Final Summit: A Quest to Find the One Principle That Will Save Humanity,” by Andy Andrews, is fiction with bits of non-fiction thrown in. It’s about a man, David Ponder, who is trying to save mankind. He does this with the help of Joan of Arc, Winston Churchill, Anne Frank, Abraham Lincoln, ... Too far-fetched for me
On 5/14 Barbara Smith wrote: “Daddy Dates,” by Greg Wright, is a great little book for fathers who want to create and/or improve the emotional connection with their daughters. Many fathers, busy with their careers, spend little time with the family. Wright gives pointers and suggestions in ways dads can connect with their ... Daddy Dates Helps to Build Strong Relationships
On 4/29 Barbara Smith wrote: “Johann Sebastian Bach,” by Rick Marschall is a good book for anyone interested in this wonderful musician. It’s a quick and interesting read full of facts – known and little known – about Bach. Although Bach is well known as a musician, some may not know the depth of his faith. This book ... Bach - The Man and the Musician
On 4/11 Barbara Smith wrote: “The Fight of Our Lives,” by William Bennett and Seth Leibsohn had interesting points, most of which have been rehashed over and over again in the decade since September 11, 2001. I agree that most terrorists are from radical Islam, but I do not believe the majority of Muslim people are terrorists. ... Overstated
On 3/15 Barbara Smith wrote: “We Be Big: The Mostly True Story of How Two Kids from Calhoun County, Alabama Became Rick and Bubba,” by Rick Burgess and Bill Bussey is about two Southern good ol’ boys who made it big. I never heard of them until I agreed to review this book. The book is not only about their journey in radio ... Rick and Bubba's Story
On 2/26 Barbara Smith wrote: “Pujols: More Than the Game” by Scott Lamb and Tim Ellsworth, is a book many baseball fans would enjoy reading. I love watching baseball but would seldom bother to read about it. So reviewing a book about baseball would not have been my first choice. The statistics quoted in the book are rather ... Spring Training – Time to Read About Baseball Too!
On 1/31 Barbara Smith wrote: “Left at the Altar,” by Kimberley Kennedy is a short book and quick read. It tells the author’s true story of literally being left at the altar and how she got through the days, weeks, and years after her humiliating rejection. It’s also full of stories of others who had similar tales of their ... Surviving Rejection
On 1/21 Barbara Smith wrote: “Love on Assignment” by Cara Lynn James is a quick read. It’s interesting but predictable. It’s about a young woman, Charlotte Hale, a secretary at a newspaper in the early 20th century. She’s one step closer to her goal to be a reporter when her boss asks her to take a position as a governess ... Entertaining but Predictable Storyline
On 12/13 Barbara Smith wrote: "Lies the Government Told You," by Andrew P. Napolitano, is definitely a book worth reading. I’m not a fan of big government. I know the government doesn’t tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth in all situations. But when I read about all the circumstances in this one book, ... A Real Eye Opener
On 11/20 Barbara Smith wrote: “The American Patriot's Almanac: Daily Readings on America,” by William Bennett and John Cribb is a collection of events and fact in American history. With 365 entries, it’s organized so you can read one a day for a year. I’m sure some people would enjoy reading a bit a day, but I personally ... A Daily Dose of History
On 10/15 Barbara Smith wrote: “The Big Red Holy Bible” is definitely child oriented - easy to read and filled with colorful pictures. It’s a great first Bible for children. Youngsters can understand some of those complicated stories we’ve all struggled with because it’s written in plain English – no interpreting. Of ... The Bible Made Easier for Children
On 10/11 Barbara Smith wrote: Transforming Church in Rural America, by Shannon O'Dell, is both a story and an instructional manual. The story tells how Mr. O’Dell came to accepting his role as a pastor of a rural church and making it come alive. He was happy as a lark in his large urban church but kept being called to pastor ... Transforming Church in Rural America - or anywhere else
On 9/23 Barbara Smith wrote: “A Christmas Prayer” by Amy Parker tells the true meaning of Christmas. It’s well done with the child thanking God for each person and animal in the Nativity – Mary, Joseph, and Jesus, of course, but even the donkey, the star, the manger and the shepherds. The book is beautifully illustrated ... Sweet and Simple Story about Christmas
On 9/11 Barbara Smith wrote: “The Falling Away” by T.L. Hiines is a difficult book to read. Dylan Runs Ahead, a Native American, is addicted to prescription drugs. His white friend Webb is addicted to alcohol. They are involved in a drug deal where two men are murdered. But Quinn, a homeless woman who turns out to be one ... Don't Waste Your Time
On 8/23 Barbara Smith wrote: Well, I’m always ready to do lunch - maybe that’s why I’ve been overweight for years. I’ve been on many diets and always have a problem sticking to the diet after a couple of weeks. No, I don’t need to lose 230 pounds like Roger Troy Wilson did, but maybe his book can help me lose that last ... Let’s Do Lunch!!!
On 8/4 Barbara Smith wrote: Jeremy Lott’s William F. Buckley is a short book about the man’s life, beliefs, and endeavors. Buckley lived through and influenced many of the major events of the 20th Century. Although Buckley is far too conservative for my tastes, I must admit the book is well written. Lott did a good job of ... William F. Buckley, by Jeremey Lott
On 7/18 Barbara Smith wrote: "Same Kind of Different as Me" by Ron Hall and Denver Moore is a well-written true story about two men from two totally different backgrounds. Ron is a white Texan who makes a very good living as an art dealer. He and his wife Deborah live the good life but also want to do the Christian thing in helping ... Get the Tissues Ready
On 7/2 Barbara Smith wrote: You Can Be Everything God Wants You to Be by Max Lucado is a quick read with a good message. Lucado is aiming his message at the teenager or young adult population in this little book but almost anyone can use the book to steer his or her life in a better direction. Basically, the book tells us to ... Great Gift or Just a Quick Read
On 6/13 Barbara Smith wrote: "Billy Graham: His Life and Influence," by David Aikman, thoroughly covers the evangelist’s life and influence around the world. From his upbringing in the 1920s through his relationship with and the administrations of the presidents from Eisenhower through G.W. Bush, the book shows Graham’s influence ... Billy Graham: His Life and Influence - Good reading for both the Christian and Non-Christian
On 5/19 Barbara Smith wrote: “I Am Hutterite” is an interesting and very well written memoir by Mary-Ann Kirkby. Ms. Kirkby tells about her carefree and loving childhood and about the history of her family in a Hutterite community. Not having heard abort Hutterites before, this turned out to be quite educational for me. The ... I Am Hutterite - A Beautiful Memoir
On 4/30 Barbara Smith wrote: After the Hangover: The Conservatives’ Road to Recovery by R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. is a book advertised as the history of conservatism in the United States and the direction it must take from here. Normally I don’t read political books although I’m willing to read almost anything else. But I decided ... After the Hangover - not my cup of tea