Colleen’s Book Reviews | “A Diamond for Her,” by Mark W. Sasse; “Lockdown Innit,” by MJ Mallon; “Joining Don & Wen,” by Stuart France & Sue Vincent

Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!

I’m still playing catch up on my reviews. I hope you enjoy this eclectic selection of books. ~Colleen~

MY RECOMMENDATIONS

This book releases March 23, 2021

He loved her enough to build her a baseball stadium. With a tip of the cap to the works of W.P. Kinsella, A Diamond for Her is a historical and magical story of love between two people—Raymond & Rochelle—and two grand institutions—America & baseball.

In 1920, railroad man Raymond Blythe had a series of disturbing dreams—giant creatures with Greek names playing baseball. Determined to discover their meaning, he sets off on a bizarre quest to find a connection between Iowa, Theodore Roosevelt, baseball, and his deceased father. While searching for answers at the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh, he meets a young librarian named Rochelle Christy. This meeting sets him on another quest—to win her hand in marriage, even if it means he has to establish his own baseball league in Pennsylvania’s Allegheny Mountains.

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If you love baseball, this is a story you will never forget. From the creative genius of Mark W. Sasse, this fictitious history of the Winasook Iron Horses, the founding members of the Allegheny Independent League from 1921 to 1955 comes roaring to life.

“A Diamond for Her” chronicles the lives of Raymond and Rochelle Blythe told through the eyes of semi-retired doctor Charles “Shoeshine” Henry, who narrates the historical record of the Blythes and their remarkable team the Winasook Iron Horses sharing a sweeping view of American history seen through the steady eye of America’s favorite game, baseball.

Raymond Blythe remembers going to a baseball game with his father when he was just a boy. That experience causes him to have a series of dreams where enormous creatures are playing baseball. He knows there’s some kind of explanation for these odd dreams, so he sets off on the quest of his life to connect the dots between Iowa, Theodore Roosevelt, baseball, and his deceased father.

I’m not a sports fan… much to my ex-pitcher husband’s dismay. However, this isn’t just a novel about baseball. It’s also a love story and a historical saga that chronicles the beginnings of baseball, including the quest to solve a mystery. The ending caught me by surprise, and I marveled at the author’s creativity. I’m happy to report that I fully enjoyed the book!

Lockdown Innit is a poetry collection of eighteen poems about life’s absurdities and frustrations during lockdown. Wherever you live in this world, this is for you. Expect humour, a dollop of banter and ridiculous rants here and there. Amongst other delights, witness the strange antics of a swan posing by a bin and two statuesque horses appearing like arc deco pieces in a field. Check out the violin player on a tightrope, or the cheeky unmentionables wafting in the lockdown breeze!

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“Lockdown Innit – Poems About Absurdity” is a collection of poetry about the third wave of lockdowns in the U.K. because of the Corona Virus pandemic. Seen through the eyes of poet and author M. J. Mallon, not everything is as it seems, and we should take nothing for granted.

The Coronavirus has brought much of the U.K. and Europe to their knees, while here in the U. S. they’ve taken a more lackadaisical approach to the pandemic. Mallon shares the trials and tribulations of her life in lockdown through her poetry.

Her poem, “The Face Mask Rolls” left me with the haunting image of a discarded mask rolling down the road, clearly a metaphor for the despair this virus has wracked upon humanity.

This is a short, poignant collection that will forever remind us of a time when no one had control over their lives. A must read!

“Open up and get out of the way.”

This is the watchword, the only guide that is needed in order to engage with the land… the planetary being upon which we live. To let go of all preconceptions, to let the ego slide into abeyance, to listen for the whispers on the wind and pay attention to the odd, synchronous events that will happen if you choose to follow the breadcrumb trail…

Amazon.com

This is the second book in the Finding Don & Wen two-book series. This second book continues to explore the adventures of two friends through letters as they scrutinize the mysteries of ancient Britain’s (Albion) medieval churches. Sue Vincent and Stuart France are the co-authors.

The writing is poetic and almost spiritual as Don and Wen venture out into the English countryside, visiting the many churches that dot the land. They explored the interiors, the stained glass, and slowly they interpreted the symbolism of the medieval church’s secrets. That is where the stories unfold… on the stained glass they found dragons on hilltops and trolls guarding streams.

Their quest is a journey for knowledge, the chance to let go of all preconceptions, ignore the ego, and pay attention to the synchronous events around them. I was in my spiritual element. There was symbolism represented in the nine kites flying overhead and the sacred number three.

Sue Vincent says it best:

“It was a day of pure magic and the land, no matter where we found ourselves, would never again be silent. By simply paying attention, it was as if the earth was illuminating itself from within, whispering secrets it had been longing to share for millennia and laying before us so many layers of history, story and myth that we were as excited as children in a sweet shop.”

France, Stuart ; Vincent, Sue. Joining Don and Wen (p. 5). Silent Eye Press. Kindle Edition.

They filled the book with correlations between Christianity and Paganism, Odinism, the part the Vikings played in the development of British history, and yet, there were some connections that went much farther back in history to Egypt.

The deep affection that is so clear between the two friends adds another layer to their story. Savor the books and read them together. Here’s my review of book one, Finding Don & Wen.

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25 thoughts on “Colleen’s Book Reviews | “A Diamond for Her,” by Mark W. Sasse; “Lockdown Innit,” by MJ Mallon; “Joining Don & Wen,” by Stuart France & Sue Vincent

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