The 60-Minute Health Literacy – common sense approach to informed decision making By Jo Kline, J. D.,  


Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Preparing for Decision Making – Managing the Long Range Treatment of Multiple Chronic Conditions

In her new book “The 60-Minute Health Literacy” attorney and bestselling author, Jo Kline, J.D. provides the reader with the practical tools of managing health care decisions for yourself or a loved one. Kline describes health literacy as “the tools and resources needed to make informed decisions regarding preventative, routine, emergency, and end of life care.”

I found the Index of decision-making dilemmas and the medical profile forms, as well as the chapters on The Building Blocks of Health Literacy, Palliative Care, Assembling a Health Care Team, and Keeping accurate Paperwork, especially helpful.

As an aging senior and designated as the durable power of attorney for health care for my wife, an Alzheimer’s patient, I plan to keep my copy of “The 60-Minute Health Literacy” within arm’s reach of my desk for easy reference at all times as I put into practice this “common sense approach to informed medical decision making.”

In today’s complex world of modern technology, advanced research in medicine, new life-sustaining pharmaceuticals, and artificial means of life support Jo Kline’s “The 60-Minute Health Literacy” is important reading for every senior adult, caregiver, designated executor or guardian.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Providentia Publishing, West Des Moines, Iow978-0692955062, $ 14.99, 2017, 80 pages





Sammy’s Broken Leg (Oh No!) and the Amazing Cast That Fixed It, By Judith Wolf Mandell– Illustrated by Lise C. Brown – A Book Review

Sammy’s Broken Leg (Oh No!) and the Amazing Cast That Fixed It

By Judith Wolf Mandell– Illustrated by Lise C. Brown


Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

The Fall, the Break, the Cast, the Whooshing Kisses, and the Recovery

Sammy (Samantha) ignites friendships through her rebounding spirit, response to love, her resolute determination, and her encouraging empathy for others.

Judith’s story telling skill and whimsical approach draws the reader’s and the child’s attention, stimulates their imagination, and teaches valuable lessons; on the benefits of following the doctor’s instructions, and on the importance of giving and receiving. . I especially enjoyed the “Whooshing Kisses” symbolic of the thoughts and prayers, and of love and concern family and friends. The book is filled with the concept of comfort, the need for patience, relief from anxiety, and reality of suffering.

The story prepares kids for the stages of recovery and recuperation from a broken bone, a short or long term illness, or any emergency department or hospital situation.

Lise C. Brown’s clever colorful artwork magically depicts the action of the story from Sammy’s waking “YAWN and s-t-r-e-c-h,”  the excitement of going “higher and faster” on the trampoline, Mommy’s warning, the painful fall, arrival at the emergency room,  right up to the time  the doctors wrapped Sammy in a wet fiberglass cast, and sent Sammy and her parents’ home with “The Rules for Sammy’s Cast.”

The whimsical nature of Judith’s writing adds a note of family fun, togetherness, and lighten the “emotional hurt” and physical pain of recovery. “Sammy’s Broken Leg” is encouraging, educational and entertaining.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Harpeth Ridge Press, Nashville, TN

978-0997444919, 2017

Dr. Huntley’s Recipe for Optimum Health – A Nutritional Approach to Overall Wellness and Detoxification of the Body by Elizat Huntley, PhD – A Book Review

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Dr.  Huntley’s Recipe for Optimum Health – A Nutritional Approach to Overall Wellness and Detoxification of the Body

By: Elizabeth Huntley, PhD.

Taking Charge of Your Health – Dietary Guidelines for Optimal Health

In her book “Dr.  Huntley’s Recipe for Optimum Health – A Nutritional Approach to Overall Wellness and Detoxification of the Body,” nutritionist, Dr. Elizabeth Huntley introduces the reader to a dietary plan that includes underlying principles and dietary guidelines designed to produce optimum results for preserving all possible nutrients from the foods we eat.

Huntley includes tools and tips that will enable the reader to better understand the truth about their body and the cause and relationship of our heavily polluted environment; she highlights the electromagnetic and radiant pollutants in the atmosphere as a contributor to the many chronic diseases prevalent today.

High on the list of important steps we can take to reduce and minimize the adverse impact and danger of these threats to health include: recognize and adopt the practice of using pure water, eat high quality food with a balance of natural nutritional supplements, take responsibility for your environment, and for those in highly populated areas, install an air filtration system.

Dr. Huntley has included a full section of recipes with tips for preparation. These recipes include foods in several categories: basic foods, salads and dressing, seasonings, and sweets. She also offers suggestions for substituting ingredients that will turn grandma’s mouthwatering sweets into “lick smacking good” healthy desserts.

“Dr.  Huntley’s Recipe for Optimum Health – A Nutritional Approach to Overall Wellness and Detoxification of the Body” is an important addition to every homemaker’s personal library.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Robert D. Reed Publishers, PO Box 1992, Bandon, Oregon 97411



Lessons from Zachary – A Book Review

Lessons from Zachary – Turning Disability into Possibility

By Sandy Scott

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake,

Engaging and Releasing Hidden Powers Within – Standing Strong Through the Storm

Just twelve days after his birth Zachary Scott was diagnosed as severely physically and intellectually disabled. This news began a journey into the uncharted territory of the unknown for Sandy and Jonathan Scott; a heart-rending journey plagued by unexpected disappointments and uncertainties. The daily stresses of hectic schedules, social pressures, and the demands created by Zachary’s disabilities became overwhelming.

Sandy was devastated and frustrated by an unexpected and unusual combination of strained relationships and in desperation was forced to look within herself and to choose a new perspective – one that unleashed in her the power of love.

Sandy reached into the resources of unexplored potential to become a leader in coaching leaders in healthcare, to parents of children with disabilities, and to train professionals in the healthcare and educational fields.

Sandy’s writing is authentic, genuine, realistic and relevant. Her premises are well thought out, her choice of words stir the imagination of the reader and enable them to relate personally to her journey through a complex set of circumstances. As the reader becomes deeply involved in Sandy’s story; her insights and the lessons she learned become personal and identifiable and provide a new understanding into the complications, experiences and unknown potential of their own lives. Dozens of well-chosen pictures and good photography add a whole extra dimension to the heart felt emotions of love, pathos, and positive impact of Zachary’s life.

“Lessons from Zachary” will resonate with readers who have been touched by the challenge of disappointment in broken relationships and other personal tragedy; readers in need of a message of hope, and a strategy for tapping into their unknown potential.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

International Publishing Works, P. O. Box 415, Bellevue, Colorado 50512-0415, 978-097759205, 1995, 2017, 264 Pages






Total Family Makeover by Melissa Spoelstra – A Book Review

Total Family Makeover – 8 Practical Steps to Making Disciples at Home

By: Melissa Spoelstra

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Basic Spiritual Practices for Nurturing Children and Transforming Families

“Total Family Makeover – 8 Practical Steps to Making Disciples at Home” provides a strong foundation for being intentionally authentic about transforming your life, your family, and your home.

The book is based on Scriptures Jesus modeled in the training of His disciples.

Each chapter features a section on modeling and another on training. Using this practical approach Melissa Spoelstra challenges the reader through:

  • Inspiring instructions on and suggestions for establishing principles of prayer in the lives of your children
  • Practical approaches to reading the Scriptures together and making application to daily family life
  • Comprehensive guidelines on the merits mentoring can have on your parenting skills
  • Building blocks instilling Christian character in your children through finding community in the church, by serving others, giving back to God, and sharing your faith

In addition to being active as a pastor’s wife and the mother of four, author Melissa Spoelstra is a popular women’s conference speaker, and Bible teacher. She speaks and writes from her heart and models the message she delivers.

“Total Family Makeover – 8 Practical Steps to Making Disciples at Home” is clearly must reading for parents from the crib through college. Highly recommended.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Abingdon Press, P O Box 2809988, Nashville, TN 37228-0988, 9781501820656, $ 16.99, 2016, 256 pages


Praying for your Children by Elmer L. Towns, and Dave Earley – A Book Review

Praying for your Children

By: Elmer Towns and Dave Earley

Destiny Image Publishers, Inc.P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257, 978-0768431650, $16.95, 2010, 202 pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Parenting, Perilous Times, and the Importance, Responsibility, and Results of Intercessory Prayer for Our Children

Award winning author, Dr. Elmer Towns, Vice President and Dean of the School of Religion of Liberty University and Dr. Dave Earley prolific author, and chairman of  the Department of Pastoral Leadership at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and Liberty University collaborate in the writing of the book “Praying for your Children,” an important addition to the “How to Pray Series.”

The book is made up of eleven chapters packed with Biblical principles, promises, and examples, providing important suggestions, advice, and practical tools to help us as parents to understand, implement, and demonstrate love for our children through interceding prayer in these perilous times. Important guidelines offer help in praying for prodigals, praying with children, and teaching them to pray.

Chapter end notes provide a wealth of suggestion for additional reading. Helpful suggestions using “Ten Top Prayers” are provided in the appendix.

To get the most out of this book, it is important that you read with an open heart; apply what you are learning, and determine to pray for your children, more consistently, more passionately, and more often.

“Praying for your Children” is an important book for every parent, church prayer group, and individual intercessor. Begin today to leave a legacy of prayer for the next generation, and those to follow.

A complimentary copy of this book was made available for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.




Double Trouble in the Everglades, by Mary Morgan – A Book Review

Double Trouble in the Everglades

By Mary Morgan

Buttonwood Press, LLC, P. O. Box 716, Haslett, MI 44840, 978-0996556200, $ 7.95, 2015, 144 pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake,

The Cooper Twins Uncover Trouble in the Everglades – Secrets of the Slough

Fast moving dialog adds to intrigue and mystery of the suspense filled plot in “Double Trouble in the Everglades,” the fifth in the “National Park Mystery Series.” Mary Morgan blends her gift of storytelling with an incredible understanding of a young reader’s spirit of adventure.

The Cooper twins were selected by Twins for Life Magazine to participate with twenty-five sets of twins in the, spring break, Everglades National Park Triathlon.

Ben and Bekka’s curiosity, instinct for mystery, and tenacity for following up on clues, enable them to uncover vital information in solving an ingenious conspiracy of robbery and deception during the Twins Magazine Everglades Triathlon.

Clever extras in the book include Bekka’s F.Y.I. (For Your Information) Florida Facts, with trivia questions, facts about the Everglades’ National Park, photos of wildlife in the Everglades, and illustrations by Dawn McVay Baumer add to the enjoyment of the story.

Morgan’s wonderful alliteration, sense of humor, fascinating trivia and detailed data capture the young reader’s imagination with a balance of fiction and fact, entertainment and information.

“Double Trouble in the Everglades” is designed for readers, ages seven through eleven, and is ideal for home school assignments, public school libraries, and for fun filled family reading of all ages. Highly recommended.

A complimentary copy of the book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.


The Ultimate Legacy by Jim Stovall – A Book Review

The Ultimate Legacy, By Jim Stovall

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake,

A Legacy of Significance – Embracing the Future

‘The Ultimate Legacy” is the final chapter in the “Ultimate Gift” and the “Ultimate Life” series. Miss Sally Anderson, wealthy owner and of the exclusive Anderson House is recognized as hostess to prominent world leaders and celebrated personalities. The Anderson House has a reputation as a house of healing, hope, and destiny. Meetings around the Anderson House dining had more influence and impact on “humanitarian work around the world than any board room in the world.”

Miss Sally Mae presents the conditions of her will to her trusted attorney, Theodore J. Hamilton, naming her grandson Joey Anderson, as heir to The Anderson House. It is her aspiration that through Joey, the only remaining link to the Anderson House Legacy, will create an indelible impact for generations to come

Jim Stovall is a gifted and natural story teller. The elements of good story telling are evident in his narrative, his character development, dialog, and with an under lying message or “take away.” His characters are multi-dimensional, are believable. They show personal values and unique personalities. They continue to develop depths in their insights and concern for other; as demonstrated by Joey’s transformation and vision for the Anderson money to continue as a source of healing, education and inspiration for now and future generations.

“The Ultimate Legacy” is entertaining, inspiring, and motivating. The novelization of the film gives the reader a photographic visualizing of each scene

Sound Wisdom, P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257, 978-0768410426, $ 9.25, 2016, 176 Pages

A complimentary of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.



The Sun Still Rises, Surviving and Thriving After Grief and Loss by Shawn Doyle, CSP – A Book Review

The Sun Still Rises – Surviving and Thriving After Grief and Loss

By Shawn Doyle, CSP

Sound Wisdom, P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257,  978-0768405279, $ 14.99, 2014, 188 Pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

One Man’s Story of Dealing with Grief and Loss – Steps to Healing, Recovery, and Hope

Professional speaker, author, and advocate for life-long learning Shawn Doyle describes the emotions of his “soul crunching feelings” and the “painful agonizing soul searching” grief at the loss of his wife of 32 years in “The Sun Still Rises – Surviving and Thriving after Grief and Loss.”

Doyle helps the reader recognize and accept the fact that grieving is a personal process; there are no set formulas that work for everyone. He demystifies misinformation and the dangers of trying to fit into society’s rules. He shares his own experiences to help readers know what to expect and some pointers on evaluating their status and formulating plans while designing a new life.

Shawn writes with passion. Every page is infused with hope, empathy, and motivation. Chapters may begin and end with a motivating concept dealing with the specific theme of the material. I found these to be especially uplifting and reassuring. Doyle’s wring style is well organized and formatted filled with thoughtful descriptive phrases and a comfortable and a communication style that draws in the reader. I am looking forward to reading more of Shawn’s books.

Shawn’s goal in writing this book is to help others who are suffering through their loss. “The Sun Still Rises – Surviving and Thriving After Grief and Loss” is a personal story of love and hope including practical guidelines for coping with the process of grief and moving on to find a new life.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.




Bronner – A Journey to Understand – A Book Review

Bronner – A Journey to Understand
By: Sherri Burgess
New Hope Publishers
P O Box 12065, Birmingham, AL 35202
978-1625915009, $ 16.99, 2016, 222 Pages
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake
Finding Triumph in the Midst of Tragedy

‘’Bronner – A Journey to Understand” is a memorable, heart wrenching story that will impact the reader and linger in their thoughts long after the books’ covers are closed.

Sherri Burgess challenges the reader to find triumph in the midst of personal adversity through God’s limitless grace. Sherri’s writing is sensitive, filled with beautiful descriptions of defining moment, inner struggles, and personal victory.

A supplemental interactive reader’s guide: a resource for personal growth with life changing questions for application, contemplation, which will lead the reader to pursue a pure heart, manifest by a passion to know the heart of God, The study guide is designed for individual or small group use.

“Bronner – A Journey to Understand” will resonate with every parent and family who has experienced the loss of a child through death.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.