Book Reviews

A little disappointed this month with my 2 choices of books, I always try to find one motivational book and another genre. This month was no different but just the books were more of a chore to get through than enjoyment with that being said they both had some great points of interest but the books became monotonous and groundhogish (if that is a word) after a while. The first book Imagine Heaven: Near Death Experiences by John Burke. The book became very boring after the 10th personal experience of someone dying and them sharing their story with close to the same information as the person before.  I did like that it referenced the Bible passages and the visual image that the Bible is described to show of what heaven looks like but for me that was the highlight…..sorry John I am not critique but for me it just was not enjoyable.

The second book I was so excited to dive into because it was a hockey book and as you all know I live for hockey. This was a book more about the survival of childhood abuse under the hands of Patrick O’Sullivan’s father who was a sadistic man who felt that he knew how to make his son not only better than Wayne Gretzky or Alex Ovechkin but that he knew more hockey than most individuals who played in the NHL.  The book starts off very well and Patrick describes in detail his games and the abuse he takes after each minute spent on and off the ice.  Again at first his descriptions were in great detail but as the book wore on and I do mean it wore on he lost himself in every practice and game.  I understand setting a stage but he continued with each league, each practice, each game from the age of 10 to the end of his career in the NHL.  Now mind you Patrick was a very talented hockey player who would have made it on his own just because he had the skills, knowledge and ability to play at the elite level but his father ruined him, his chances to go in the first round and as time went one Patrick himself.

The best part of this book is more about teaching people to be aware of child abuse by teacher, coaches, parents or anyone who has contact with the person.  It teaches you to not look the other way, that you should step in and ask questions.  Patrick prayed for anyone to take notice of his falling asleep in classes, his lackluster interest towards anything, and his inability to socialize with anyone at anytime.  In this respect the book was very good in giving details of a madman gone crazy, a family that was in denial of anything happening and the loss of innocence.


look for my next reviews in April.


Book Reviews


Book Review of LIFE LESSONS LEARNED by Ret. Colonel Francis X Ryan

This book is a hand of God book, you see Retired Colonel Francis X Ryan USMCR and I had the opportunity to meet crossing the United States in a small town called Tucumcari, New Mexico in the middle of nowhere.  He was on his mission to walk across America raising awareness of the financial crisis and cutting of programs to our mental health system which disrupts and undermines the abilities of professionals to help children with emotional and behavioral problems.  He was walking in the name of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd who he has worked with and believes in their work developing programs and delivering much love to our suffering mentally ill students. As God would have it, I just so happened to stop in this small dying little town of Tucumcari, New Mexico which was once a booming metropolis on Route 66, with famous places such as The Blue Swallow Hotel, The Murals of Tucumcari, and I cannot go without mentioning The Odeon Theatre with its Art Deco interior redone by owners Christy Dominguez and Robert Lopez these two are instrumental in the reason I stayed longer that I wanted and should have which gave me the possibility to meet Retired Colonel Francis X Ryan. I will talk much more about Christy and Robert in my own book later down the road but this town has so much history attached to Route 66 it is almost impossible and a sin to drive by at 75 miles an hour not even to take 1 day out of your life and experience history from the past.  As I was saying I parked my RV in a local area surrounded by nostalgia, I gathered up some socks, grabbed my camera and I was off to explore this beautiful gem with neon lights aglow.  As I strolled down the thoroughfare snapping pictures left and right a gentleman that was passing said excuse me so we wouldn’t bump into each other.  We stopped I noticed he was dressed in khakis, with a soldiers lid, cane, walking shoes we started talking he told me he was walking across America (according to his book notes) I was a “little incredulous” I may have been since I was in the middle of nowhere traveling the United States finding homeless individuals and giving them new pairs of socks and good conversation, to find another individual walking across America was quite shocking to say the least.  Anyhow we talked, and met for mass the next day at Saint Anne’s before parting company that was in 2014 since then we really had not talked or kept up with each other until recently when I saw his name appear on Linkedin.  I contact him to see how he was doing, I knew he had written a book and I had purchased it, but like all good intentions it has been sitting in my Kindle waiting for me to open.

I finished the book in a 2 day read and I am in no way Evelyn Woods, for those of you who had taken speed reading courses you will understand my joke.  That being said for me it was a book I could not put down maybe I could relate to all the places Frank talked about or the super people he met but it really doesn’t matter why, I just could not put down his book.  In each chapter he seemed to impart wisdom of things he learned as he journeyed the physical unknown and the emotional unknown taking on such a daunting task as walking across America.  His wisdom, knowledge, fortitude are reasons enough to pick this book up but more than that as you read you will find out about a man who is deeply religious, a fabulous father, a friend that I would like to become to my friends, a businessman, and a very proud veteran who served in some of the newer battles of our times.  To Ret. Colonel Francis X Ryan I would like to thank you for writing such an inspirational book and for serving our great Nation……Semper Fi.


My second book review is from an author all individuals should at least read one of his books.  He is OG Mandino and this book is called The Gift of Acabar.


This is a book for those who believe in miracles and can still hear the sleigh bells ringing on Christmas.  We all have hopes, dreams and lives to live as we choose in most cases. Tulo is a small child in a tiny little village in the wilderness in an area called Lapland the northernmost regions of Norway, Sweden, Finland and even Russia it is one of the most brutal environments to survive in, yet for Tulo it is a playground that will develop him into a young adult faster than he should have developed, he will learn lessons most of us won’t learn in a lifetime and he will give of himself more than most of us will ever dream of giving.  In the end Tulo gives his village a gift that cannot be repaid but if you look up you will see his gift in the sky most nights when the sky is clear and the stars are bright.

Thank You again OG Mandino for giving me apart of your life to gleen a grain of knowledge from.

Book Reviews

As part of my 2018 goals,I will be reading and writing a book review of 2 books every month.

 Virgin Territory

   The Story of Craig Virgin, America’s Renaissance Runner

 By  Randy Sharer

  If you have an interest in cross-country running, track and field, want an idea of what it takes to become an Olympian, how to think outside the box by creating a business while training and competing at the world-class level this is a book that you should not miss.

     As an Illinoisan and high school runner myself during Craig’s hay day the names, places, events in Illinois got my juices flowing for the good old days. This book will bring out endorphins as you head up hills, take blind turns and crevasse switchbacks of a runner who had more injuries than a battered battle-axe medieval warrior who endured the pain overcame adversity, jealousy, made 3 Olympic Teams, ran in 10 World Cross Country Championships, 7 AAU Track and Field Championships, 4 NCAA National Championships survived an automobile accident that would have left most people dead and came back to run again. This is a book I would recommend for anyone looking for motivation to get up in the morning.

For my Second book:

 The Greatest Miracle in the World


  By OG Mandino

I must admit that this book is not new to me and I have read it at the start of every year for the past 10 years. I consider it my favorite book, OG Mandino is my favorite author and Simon Potter the main character gives me hope every time I renew my acquaintance with him letting me know God does walk among us.

If you are looking for a miracle and we are all in desperate need of miracles you will have to go no further than this book. Simon Potter delivers a manuscript to OG Mandino’s office set in Chicago while being president of W. Clement Stones Success Magazine.

This book will leave you mesmerized, give you renewed faith in yourself and the belief that glass geraniums do exist.

Both books are must reads and great gift books