I Cannot Live Without Books!

My favorite quote of Thomas Jefferson sums it up! I also cannot live without writing books. I am the author of Moments of Grace and Spiritual Warfare in The Lord of the Rings, which includes a chapter on The Hobbit. Other WIP's include a book on the journeys of Bilbo and Frodo (due out on their birthday 2018), a volume of poetry about a heroic quest and its aftermath, an original fantasy series, and another series anxiously awaiting its turn! 

The Fellowship of the Ring

The Fellowship of the Ring - J.R.R. Tolkien

I read this for the first time in 2004 and several times since then. What can be said about this epic tale that has not been already said many times over? The Professor is a master story-teller, loving the world of nature as much as the world of Men, Hobbits, Elves and Dwarves. He is also a master of suspense in heating that kettle just a little a time, hinting at threats that may or may not be imaginary, as in Frodo's uncertainty whether he really sees and hears someone following them or not and the sound of a hammer that may or may not have to do with Pippin throwing down a stone in Moria.

Middle-earth is a real place because it is our world. The people who inhabit it have so much to teach us. The lessons begin here with Merry and Pippin's beautiful words about their love and friendship for Frodo and what lengths they are willing to go because of it, Frodo's fearful and courageous embrace of his terrible calling and the grace that sustains him and his companions, Sam dogged faithfulness and support and his wonder to see the Elves, and so very much more.

The Dark Night of the Soul: A Psychiatrist Explores the Connection Between Darkness and Spiritual Growth

The Dark Night of the Soul: A Psychiatrist Explores the Connection Between Darkness and Spiritual Growth - Gerald G. May

Very readable introduction to the spirituality of St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross and the dark night of the soul. Painful as it may be, May shows it is also a blessed place  for the fruits it brings.

Iron Tower Trilogy Book Two: Shadow Of Doom

Iron Tower Trilogy  02 Shadow Of Doom - Dennis Mckiernan

I loved this book just as much as the first one. And just as the first one, there are a lot of nods to Middle-earth. Here under other guise is Sting, lembas bread, Khazad-dum, the Balrog (though in some ways this one is even scarier though not wreathed in flame the same way) and the Straight Road. But as the first one, this is also very much its own story of the terrible struggle of good vs evil. Another treasure found in a used book store. Yea!

Sauron Defeated

Sauron Defeated - J.R.R. Tolkien

Fascinating conclusion to The History of The Lord of the Rings. Also includes The Notion Club Papers, Tolkien's unfinished time-travel tale. Various drafts of the fall of Numenor and the early history of Men are very interesting, as well. The entire History of LOTR is must reading for anyone deeply interested in Middle-earth or the idea of sub-creation in general and all the twists and turns a tale takes as its author seeks to discover the truth.

The Book Jumper

The Book Jumper - Mechthild Gläser

I wish I could do this: jump bodily into my favorite books, though as the protagonists find out, it is not without its perils. I liked Amy and Werther the most.

The Winter Prince

The Winter Prince - Elizabeth Wein

Amazingly well-written, intense book about a terribly conflicted Mordred, shattered by abuse from his mother, yet still trying to hold himself together.

One Tribe at a Time: The Paper that Changed the War in Afghanistan


If this book was utilized as it is meant it will be the end to terrorism in Afghanistan. General Petraeus knew it and started to use it. bin Laden knew it and marked the author for assassination. Now this step-by-step guide should be heeded again and fully implemented.

The Return: A Field Manual For Life After Combat


Great book! It should be required reading for anyone coming back from combat and wondering how to adjust back to civilian life and what to do with their lives now.

The J.R.R. Tolkien Miscellany (Literary Miscellany)

The J.R.R. Tolkien Miscellany (Literary Miscellany) - Robert S. Blackham

A quick read about Tolkien's life and works. I learned a few new things. Best chapter actually was on ancient sites in the Primary World. I will save that for research on a fantasy series patiently waiting its turn to come out.

Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t: Why That Is And What You Can Do About It

Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t: Why That Is And What You Can Do About It - Steven Pressfield, Shawn Coyne

Read, live, and breathe anything Steven Pressfield says about the battle creative people fight to get their work out, and make no mistake, creatives are in a war. Pressfield is in the trenches with writers, artists, musicians and any creative who wants the world to know their work. Follow his counsel about how one can win the war. Start with his masterwork, The War of Art, then read Do the Work and Turning Pro. Then read this. It is good, especially towards the end. Also make sure you subscribe to his blog


Tahn - L.A. Kelly

Wow. What an intense book about a complex hero who in other books would be a villain for that is how he has spent his life. But he is not a villain and has much more depth to him because of his tortured past. The author's note in the beginning is vital to read to understand who he is.

The Dark Tide (Iron Tower Trilogy) (Book 1)

The Dark Tide (Iron Tower Trilogy) (Book 1) - Dennis L. McKiernan

So many treasures are found in used bookstores! This is a loving tribute to The Lord of the Rings. There are plenty of references: the Warrows are Hobbits in all but name, the first chapter is called A Well-Attended Parting, there is mention of First and Second Yule, there is lembas (not so named of course), the use of Lor, and even an Elf named Gildor, the archaic speech that was LOTR-ish, etc. There are differences also, like the Warrows see even further than the Elves. This is no copy cat though but a strong tale of own of an epic against a terrible darkness. I look forward to continuing the saga!

Real Mercy: Mary, Forgiveness, and Trust

Real Mercy: Mary, Forgiveness, and Trust - Jacques Philippe

Fr. Philippe's books are very easy to read. I like that about him. I read this in one sitting. I also recommend his Searching For and Maintaining Peace, which is also a great book!

Chasing Merlin

Chasing Merlin - Sarah  White

What a great book! I loved it and Dyllan. I wish I could meet her in real life because we could get along so famously. :) I didn't care for Emrys, but I loved his opinions on various takes of the Merlin legend. He thinks the BBC Merlin series got it wrong, but if so, I am glad they did. Their take on Gwen and Lancelot is so much better, and I love Merlin. Fun to see a mention of such a marvelous series.


Deluge - Lisa Tawn Bergren

Wow and wow and wow! Another grand masterpiece in which 5 stars is just too poor a rating to give. I put off reading this last volume because I didn't want the series to end. I didn't want to say goodbye to all these people who have so rocked. I wanted to have something to still look forward to, but now it's over. Waaaaaahhhhh.....


What a ride though, what a glorious ride. I cannot recommend this series highly enough.


Lisa Bergren, if you read this, you must write more about these fabulous people! You must! God bless you and them for such a wonderful series.

Walking to Wisdom Literature Series, Teacher's Edition: The Return of the King

Walking to Wisdom Literature Series, Teacher's Edition: The Return of the King - Hannah Eagleson

Look deeper into what happens in Tolkien's masterpiece. The best part of it for me was the addition of an analysis of the Professor's wonderful essay, "On Fairy-Stories."