Top Books Worth Reading

News About Independent Top Authors on Amazon Kindle

Top Books Worth Reading - News About Independent Top Authors on Amazon Kindle

The Biographies of John Charles Fremont: The very first Republican candidate for President

John Charles Fremont in 1856 became the very first Republican candidate for President. He was also an adventurer, explorer, military officer, businessman, and U.S. Senator.

He became the military governor of northern California by right of military conquest, not election. He was one of the first two U.S. Senators selected by the new state of California to represent the state in Washington. Fremont was a businessperson. His $10M California gold country holdings were worth the equivalent of perhaps a half billion dollars today, making Fremont, one of the wealthiest candidates for president in U.S. history.

Fremont’s colorful life and career made him vulnerable to allegations of scandal -his campaign was dogged by claims of illegitimate birth, secret Catholicism, and even cannibalism. Some of these claims were true. And Fremont was hindered by his principled and steadfast opposition to the further spread of slavery – the issue that in four short years would propel the nation into a bloody Civil War.

His distinguished career of exploration helped open the West to settlement and popularized the region to countless emigrants who used his reports as their guidebooks: Mormon settlers in Utah, California’s Forty-Niners, and emigrants to Oregon. His unorthodox campaign to conquer California ultimately succeeded, but left him court-martialed and disgraced.

The Biographies of John Charles Fremont surveys the career of this amazing character and tells how the story of his life was captured by journalists, historians, and biographers.

If you are seeking an alternative to reading mysteries or fiction. Fremont’s real life reads far better than any fiction novel.

Read the Ample preview of The Biographies of John Charles Fremont on Amazon.

Will You Help Surprise James Ralph Kuntz, WWII Veteran, for His 100th Birthday?

For most of the world, we do not stop and think about coming to a point in our life where we have earned the wisdom of 100 years.
James Ralph Kuntz is not plugged in to social media or the web like most of us. His wealth doesn’t come from material things. His prosperity lies in his current friends and hopefully in new friends like you.

It would be a great random act of kindness to take a few moments to send him a birthday card to wish him a happy 100th birthday.
His friend, Serena Catron adds, “I’d like to ask anyone who is able to kindly send a birthday card to this gentleman to let him know we appreciate his service that contributed to the war effort that saved the world from tyranny,”

Your card would be an excellent way to help him celebrate his birthday on June 15th.

Birthday Cards can be sent to:

Salena Catron c/o James Ralph Kuntz
3310 Orleans Drive
Kokomo, IN 46902

Today’s Top Books:

All The Light We Cannot See

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE
From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.

Doerr’s “stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors” (San Francisco Chronicle) are dazzling. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, he illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, a National Book Award finalist, All the Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer “whose sentences never fail to thrill” (Los Angeles Times).

 

The Wright Brothers

Two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize David McCullough tells the dramatic story-behind-the-story about the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly: Wilbur and Orville Wright.

On a winter day in 1903, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, two unknown brothers from Ohio changed history. But it would take the world some time to believe what had happened: the age of flight had begun, with the first heavier-than-air, powered machine carrying a pilot.

Who were these men and how was it that they achieved what they did?

David McCullough, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, tells the surprising, profoundly American story of Wilbur and Orville Wright.

Far more than a couple of unschooled Dayton bicycle mechanics who happened to hit on success, they were men of exceptional courage and determination, and of far-ranging intellectual interests and ceaseless curiosity, much of which they attributed to their upbringing. The house they lived in had no electricity or indoor plumbing, but there were books aplenty, supplied mainly by their preacher father, and they never stopped reading.

When they worked together, no problem seemed to be insurmountable. Wilbur was unquestionably a genius. Orville had such mechanical ingenuity as few had ever seen. That they had no more than a public high school education, little money and no contacts in high places, never stopped them in their “mission” to take to the air. Nothing did, not even the self-evident reality that every time they took off in one of their contrivances, they risked being killed.

In this thrilling book, master historian David McCullough draws on the immense riches of the Wright Papers, including private diaries, notebooks, scrapbooks, and more than a thousand letters from private family correspondence to tell the human side of the Wright Brothers’ story, including the little-known contributions of their sister, Katharine, without whom things might well have gone differently for them.

“The Immigrant: One from My Four Legged Stool” by Alfred Woollacott

Passionate about history and genealogical research, Alfred Woollacott, III decided to turn his hobby into something more after he retired from KPMG in 2002. Thus, he started doing serious research into his family’s genealogy, and this eventually led to the creation of the website My Four Legged Stool, and his debut novel, “The Immigrant”. At first, the author was only interested in the facts, but when he realized that the lives of the ancestors he discovered offered complex stories and invaluable insight into the times they lived in, he decided that presenting them through lists of dates and events was not enough. So, he used his imagination and writing skills to bring to the public captivating, plausible stories of real people. “The Immigrant” is an amazing example of historical literature that offers invaluable historical information, but also tells a compelling story that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

John Law is the author’s seven-greats grandfather. In 1651, he left Scotland under terrible circumstances. At 15, he fought for his country in the English Civil War, and was captured by Cromwell’s forces. After he survived the death march to Durham, England, John Law was shipped to colonial America aboard the ship Unity, along with other 150 prisoners of war from different Scottish clans. He ended up in Massachusetts Bay Colony, where he tried to rebuild his life. He was an outcast, and life was hard for him and everyone like him. He became an indentured servant working as a public sheep herder for the community of Concord, and he tried to make the best of what he had. Eventually, he married an English woman, had children, and acquired land.

“The Immigrant” is a must-read for anyone who is interested in colonial history, as Alfred Woollacott did a great job at portraying society as it was in the seventeenth century. The Puritan theocracy, the problems between colonists and Native Americans, and the hardships of colonial life, all these elements are shown and discussed in the novel. The main character, John Law, is very believable and relatable. Even though the author introduced a lot of research into this story, he also managed to breathe life into it.

Readers will root for John Law from the very first pages of the novel. The only things that keep him strong and determined are his own faith, his wife, and his growing family. He misses his country a lot, but he is also willing to adapt to the new world and build a future in America. He has no choice but to move on, survive, and thrive, which makes him a great role model to anyone who reads the book.

“The Immigrant: One from My Four Legged Stool” can be found on Amazon.

“Andrew Murray: Destined to Serve” – A Biographical Novel by Olea Nel Free on Amazon October 29-30, 2014

Andrew Murray was a South African Christian pastor and one of the founders of the South African General Mission in 1889. He is one of the most interesting and compelling figures in Christian history and literature, and those who have read at least some of his works will want to learn more about him and his formative years. After all, there’s nothing more fascinating than reading about someone who truly made a difference through his work, and observing how he became the person we know today. Andrew Murray’s Christian writings are still guiding people on God’s path. “Andrew Murray: Destined to Serve” by author Olea Nel is a brilliant biographical novel that shows the life of this incredible man and pastor starting with the year he was ordained by the Hague Committee of the Dutch Reformed Church.

Olea Nel’s novel begins with Andrew Murray’s reunion with his family after having spent several years in Europe studying theology to become a pastor. He is only 21 years old, he is young and ambitions, and he is determined to become a powerful preacher and make his mark as the younger son in a family of pastors. Thus, he begins to serve a congregation of over 20.000 souls. His first year of ministry to the Voortrekkers in the Orange River Sovereignty and the Transvaal, between 1849 and 1850, is difficult and challenging, but it also motivated the young pastor to do his best and overcome his own limits.

The author has done an amazing job showing the readers how Andrew Murray, overwhelmed by his mission, struggled with his insecurities and doubts regarding his calling. Because his preaching tours were long and exhausting, he often found himself in the situation when he didn’t have time to pray and ask for God’s advice and guidance. Moreover, he had to deal with the conflict between the Boer farmers and the British settlers. For a young man of 21, all these responsibilities and difficulties were a lot to handle, but Andrew Murray was committed to spreading the Gospel and building the Church in an environment where people needed his support.

“Andrew Murray: Destined to Serve” is the perfect choice for those who want to have a clear, honest image about who this man of God truly was. The author presents him as a down-to-earth and practical person despite his age, and as a patient and loving pastor. He represents an example for all of us, showing us how stress and exhaustion can be defeated when the goal is to help people and keep their faith alive. The experience and wisdom he accumulated while serving his congregation can be seen in his serious, thoughtful writings. For a better understanding of the historical period he lived in, the author included maps, photos, and a glossary at the end of her book.

“Andrew Murray: Destined to Serve” is free on Amazon Kindle from October 29 to October 30, so make sure you download your copy.

Learn more about Olea Nel and her books on the author’s website.

“The Stone of Blood” (Book 1) by Tony Nalley

Few books manage to pull the readers into a world of magic and fairytales like “The Stone of Blood” does. Tales of witches and ghosts, myths and legends… this novel has everything it needs to keep the readers glued to the pages. But there is even more to it than that: 95% of it is real. It took Tony Nalley many years to sit down and write this book, but the result is, indeed, a unique experience. The story is based on his childhood in Bardstown, Kentucky and on his grandfather’s stories, which he recorded on an old cassette tape recorder when he was only nine. Fiction and reality work together to create a story which readers will never forget.

Toby is a 12-year-old boy who is full of energy, curiosity, and imagination. He lives in a small town and he enjoys everything that surrounds him, from nature, to the games he plays with his friends, and the fascinating stories his grandfather tells him. Brought up as a Christian, Toby knows that he can’t believe these incredible stories. Witches, ghosts, werewolves… none of these creatures are real. Yet, Toby can’t help but wonder. What if at least some aspects of these stories and the local legends held some truth? He has always been a curious child, so when he’s given the opportunity to investigate some facts, he jumps at it. What he discovers might change his perspective on life and reality forever.

Tony Nalley has a unique writing style that transports the readers to the time when all the adventures took place. He used all the ghost stories and legends of his hometown to create a compelling tale that can be equally enjoyed by teen readers and adults. Those who have lived in Bardstown, Kentucky will probably remember the ghost of Jesse James, the haunting of the Old Jail House, the Talbott Tavern, and the history of the paintings at St. Joseph’s Cathedral. There’s no doubt that for some readers “The Stone of Blood” will be like a trip down memory lane. The author combines all these old tales and myths with his own childhood memories and real experiences. He did see a ghost once, and he did discover that many legends were true after he researched his grandfather’s stories.

“The Stone of Blood” is the first volume in a trilogy, and it focuses on young Toby as he discovers an ancient secret. There is a mysterious stone for which many people died, and Toby is determined to find out everything about it. After all, there is a bit of fiction in this novel, and readers will enjoy it immensely.

Find “The Stone of Blood” on Amazon, and find out more about the author and the trilogy on the official website.

“My Self, My Soul” by James Debar

During our life, we all wonder if there’s anything beyond this existence. Death is probably the thing that scares us most, and for most of us it is difficult to see it as a natural transition. We still have unanswered questions about the soul, about our connection with it, and about what happens with it after death. Will we still exist in a different form and a different plane of existence? Some of us, however, have received the answers they were looking for. Those people who went through near-death experiences and out-of-body experiences have gained knowledge that cannot be achieved otherwise. James Debar is one of those people. After a terrifying heart attack, he came back changed. During those painful moments when he was sure he would die, he touched his own soul and managed to receive mind-blowing answers about life, death, and the connection between the “self” and the “soul”.

James Debar decided to write this book, “My Self, My Soul”, to share his experience with anyone who is interested in the subject. There are many accounts of near-death experiences, and many studies have been written on this topic. What makes this particular book stand out is the fact that it is the honest story of a man who went through a life-altering heart attack and experienced things beyond anyone’s imagination.

In the Introduction, the author remembers how he was taken to hospital, and how he felt himself slipping away while the doctors and the nurses were struggling to keep him alive. At first, he was scared, but once he closed his eyes, he realized that all the noises had disappeared and he felt more peaceful than ever. That was the moment when his “self” met his “soul” and started a conversation that would answer many of the author’s questions. It seems that his encounter with his own soul didn’t last too long, but it was enough for him to learn things that later changed his life.

One of the most interesting things about James Debar’s experience is the fact that it taught him the “self” and the “soul” are two separate entities that work together during lifetime. When someone’s life needs to end, these two entities are separated and go on different ways. It seems that the purpose of their collaboration was to experience humanity, and learn about the world together. Once this goal is completed, the soul moves on. However, after the conversation the author had with his own soul, he decided that there were more things to do in the world, so he chose to come back.

“My Self, My Soul” is an inspirational book that sheds light on many mysteries related to the soul and our existence. Readers might find answers to questions they have always asked themselves and others.

Find it on Amazon and Smashwords.

“Lonely Heart of the Little Prince” by LeeAnna Neumeyer

If there’s a book all children should read, and then re-read when they become adults, it’s “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.  This is one of those books that are always seen with different eyes if they are read at different ages. No matter when you read it, or how many times you read it, you are bound to find new messages and morals between its pages. For those who have read “The Little Prince” and loved it, here’s a recommendation you shouldn’t miss: “Lonely Heart of the Little Prince” by LeeAnna Neumeyer.

“Lonely Heart of the Little Prince” is a work of fiction, so it should not be regarded as a biography of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry or Adele Breaux. Who is Adele Breaux, you might wonder? Well, Adele was one of the few people who were close to Saint-Exupéry during the time when he was writing his masterpiece, “The Little Prince”. In 1942, Saint-Exupéry was looking for a quiet place to complete his novel, and he found it in a mansion on Long Island, near the village of Northport. Adele was a French teacher from Northport High School, whom Saint-Exupéry hired to teach him English. Little by little, they became good friends, and Adele saw his novel taking form. It seems that what Saint-Exupéry never knew was that Adele could have been more than a friend to him. Adele had fallen in love with him, but she never had the courage to tell him. Consuelo, Saint-Exupéry’s wife, was one of the reasons Adele never confessed to her feelings.

LeeAnna Neumeyer grew up in Northport, Long Island, and her novel is inspired by the memories and recollections from three of Adele’s closest friends. “Lonely Heart of the Little Prince” is a captivating and heart-wrenching book about friendship and true love that must be kept secret for everyone’s sake. However, the story does leave you wondering whether or not this love was consummated. Beautifully written and well researched, this novel is not only a sensitive love story, but also a great addition to what the world knows about the writing of Saint-Exupéry’s masterpiece.

So, if you feel like reading a truly special book, you know what to pick up next. If you haven’t read “The Little Prince” yet, Neumeyer’s novel will surely convince you to give it a try.

Find it on Amazon.

“Killing Jesus: A History” by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard

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Despite being one of the most researched figures in universal history and culture, Jesus of Nazareth is still surrounded by an aura of mystery. Scholars, historians, and other specialists have studied Jesus through many different prisms and from a variety of points of view: be it is human or his divine nature, whether he had descendants or not, who were his family members and blood ties, etc. Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard, authors of two other bestselling books – “Killing Lincoln” and “Killing Kennedy” – bring to their readers “Killing Jesus.”

Both of those men are successful authors who are well-known for several other high achievements and accomplishments. Bill O’Reilly is the anchor of The O’Reilly Factor, one of the highest-rated TV shows, and he also writes a syndicated newspaper column. As for Martin Dugard, he is a historian, his books of history having turned him into a New York Times bestselling author. One of his works, “Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley and Livingstone,” was turned into a History Channel special.

“Killing Jesus” is a biography that focuses on the events leading to the Nazarene’s death. At a first look, one may wrongly believe that this book is religious in tone. In fact, the authors have avoided expressing any personal beliefs on the authenticity of religious teachings and events comprised in the gospels. For example, the miracles that are said to have been performed by Jesus during his lifetime, as well as his resurrection are mentioned by O’Reilly and Dugard, but they do not make any specific claims concerning their accuracy.

It is obvious that the book’s main focus is Jesus, but there are a few chapters that present other important figures of that era, such as Cleopatra, Julius Caesar, and Tiberius. “Killing Jesus” also comprises a concise, yet very informative history of Rome, together with short depictions of the lives of Pontius Pilate and the Herods.

Find “Killing Jesus” on Amazon: http://amzn.to/16zFeOz .

“Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth” by Reza Aslan

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Pillar of one of the world’s major religions, Jesus of Nazareth is one of the most important and researched figures in history. His life has always constituted a subject of debate, a lot of controversy existing around who was the man Jesus, what were his beliefs and what he fought for. However, Jesus has remained an enigmatic figure.

In his book, “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth,” Reza Aslan analyzes the Galilean’s life from several points of view, counterbalancing the image of the Jesus presented in the Gospels with the one portrayed in historical sources, thereby offering a more accurate and veridical rendition of his existence.

The era in which Jesus lived – first-century Palestine – was the time of zealotry, when all Jews were encouraged to resist the Roman occupation; it was a time of preachers and false messiahs, each and every one of them wandering the lands, spreading God’s word; it was in equal measure an age marked by a fervent preoccupation for the apocalypse. This time setting is only one of the many points of view from which the author looks at the life of Jesus.

Reza Aslan touches on what could be considered sensitive subjects, asking bold questions. For example, Aslan questions the early Christian church’s decision to portray Jesus solely as a peaceful spiritual teacher while leaving out the fact that he was in also a politically conscious individual, who had the courage to stand up against both the imperial authorities and their allies in the Jewish community. Another example is the discussion initiated by the author regarding the way in which Jesus perceived himself, aspect which could influence the existing claims about his divine nature. However, while bringing up such sensitive topics, Aslan doesn’t pass judgment on the religious beliefs of the Christians.

“Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth” is not just another book on the life of Jesus in which information is loosely put together, but it is a fast-paced, well-written biography, the result of a considerable amount of research, the extensive bibliography at the end of the book standing as proof.

Find “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth” on Amazon: http://amzn.to/130Yf4O .

“The Eagle of Spinalonga” by Nike Azoros

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There are books that can change your perspective on life, at least for a little while; books that have such a great impact on you that you’ll spend hours thinking about what you’ve read after closing them. “The Eagle of Spinalonga” is such a book. It’s a touching story about injustice, despair, tragedy, and, eventually, love and hope. What’s even more amazing is that it is based on a true story, a story that will shake you to the core because it reveals how society can fail the people who are no longer of use to it. It is the story of the Greek island of Spinalonga, where the lepers were sent to live the rest of their lives in isolation, poverty and hopelessness.

Nikos is 22 and has just graduated law school. He is young, handsome, intelligent, and has so many plans for his future. The world comes crashing down on him when he finds out that he has leprosy. The year is 1936 and no cure for leprosy has been discovered yet. Lepers are considered living dead, people are afraid of them, so they are sent to the rock island of Spinalonga, from where there is no chance to escape and return to their previous lives. I must admit that before reading this book I didn’t know anything about Spinalonga, so I started to do my own research because the novel made me extremely curious to find out more. The way in which the author combines true historical facts with fiction is incredible. The research is very well done, and the descriptions are so vivid that you can almost envision yourself on the island with Nikos, watching him training his eagle to hunt and wanting so badly to reach out to him and tell him that everything is going to be all right. But Nikos doesn’t need this, actually. His courage and determination to make the best of what he has is truly inspirational. He has to be one of the strongest characters I’ve read about lately.

If society and the Church have given up on him and all the other lepers on Spinalonga, Nikos will not do the same. With no food, no power, and no medical treatment, the exiled seem to have no chance at a decent life. Nikos will make some great changes and show them that the lepers deserve to live and be happy just like everyone else. He catches an eagle and trains it to hunt so that he can provide more food. Then he uses his knowledge of Ancient Greek philosophy and brings law and order on Spinalonga. When World War 2 breaks out, the lepers on the island play an important role in the resistance. And all this thanks to Nikos, who refused to let his terrible disease take control of what he had left.

“The Eagle of Spinalonga” is a book you won’t easily forget. Nike Azoros’ brilliant writing style and impeccable character development will take you by surprise, make you laugh and cry and realize that hope can raise you up even in the most desperate situations.

Find it on Amazon: http://amzn.to/XIzcq0