On the bookshelf


by Randi Lynn Beach



By Jill Metcoff

Two coffee-table books published by the University of New Mexico Press are filled with absolutely stunning photographs that would make a great addition to anyone's library.

Older Reviews are available on the Archived Page


The Cat’s Eye-- In the President’s Service Series: Episode 13​

​By Ace Collins
(Elk Lake Publishing)
Ace is back with a new series, new heroes and new villains. Helen Meeker works for the President in 1942. Her old team is scattered or dead; her new team consists of a mysterious American Indian woman named Teresa Bryant, and two young men, Napoleon Lancelot and Dizzy Vance. They are looking for Nazi spies in the USA, but a bigger assignment is pending. The Office of Strategic Services (OSS, the precursor to the CIA) wants to send them behind enemy lines in Nazi Germany to help the Underground to destroy a Nazi research center. 

“Christmas In My Heart 26: A Treasury of Old-Fashioned Christmas Stories”

Compiled and edited by Joe L. Wheeler (Pacific Press)

​So why is there is 26th edition? Because there were thousands of wonderful stories from the 1880s through the 1950s in popular magazines which no longer exist, or are still published but in a much different format. These stories would have vanished forever, and their authors would be forgotten, if not for this incredible series. Each volume contains 15 fiction and non-fiction short stories, plus one novella written by Joe (under the guidance of the Holy Spirit).

“The Great Halifax Explosion: A World War I Story of Treachery, Tragedy, and Extraordinary Heroism”

by John Bacon (Wm Morrow Books)

​It was the most destructive man-made explosion ever on the American hemisphere, destroying most of the Nova Scotia, Canadian port city of Halifax in a 15th of a second. The sonic wave shattered every window pane for up to 5 miles, caused a 35-foot tsunami that swamped ships and tossed them around like toys, and the fireball that accompanied it set the demolished buildings ablaze. 25,000 were made homeless in a less than an instant, as 325 acres were obliterated. Railroad tracks were turned into twisted junk. 

“The Ghost Ship of Brooklyn: An Untold Story of the American Revolution”

By Robert P. Watson (Da Capo Press)

This is a true story: not of ghosts or evil spirits, but of miserable British prison ships during our War for Independence, run by evil men. The truth is more horrible than any fictional account.​

“OSS Operation Black Mail: One Woman’s Covert War Against The Imperial Japanese Army”

by Ann Todd

Naval Institute Press

​Here’s another great true story for Women’s History Month. Elizabeth “Betty” McIntosh spend 18 months with the OSS in the most thrilling adventure of her life, leading a Black Propaganda offensive against the Imperial Japanese soldier. Her mission was to demoralize the average Japanese soldier into deserting or surrendering, and they could seldom be sure that their work was effective or not. The former journalist had a real knack for deception!

“My Father’s Wake—How The Irish Teach Us To Live, Love, and Die”

By Kevin Toolis (Da Capo Press)

​In the South, there are many funeral traditions, passed down to us by our Irish ancestors who came to these shores over the centuries. We visit the family of the deceased, share stories of him/her, weep, mourn, bring food, go to the services, the burial, the home afterward. All these things are a derivation of what the Irish have been doing at wakes for centuries.

“Martin Luther: The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed the World”

By Eric Metaxas (Viking Books)

Modern concepts of the individual, the democratic impulses of the people, came from the Reformation. Luther is known principally for two iconic events: in 1517 his posting of the 95 Theses on the great doors of the Wittenberg Castle Church; and his unyielding courage at the imperial diet in Worms in 1521. He was the “unwitting harbinger of a new world”; the “midwife of the irrevocably divided world”.  Luther was a celebrity, largely due to the communication revolution known as the movable type press which make possible disseminating Luther’s writings across the continent.​