Tuesday, April 13, 2021

LOSING IKE TO GOD and How God Comforted Us by Indira Onwuzurike


This is a very easy to read biography/ semi-autobiographical book which celebrates the life of a young man who died at the age of 18. It is 360 pages with mostly words from those who were impacted, positively, by the young man known as Ike, pronounced Ee-kay.   Ikechukwu was the first born child to Nigerian parents who lived in Michigan, he loved the Lord God and lived his life accordingly.

Unlike most biographies or autobiographies this book reads more like a testimonial than a from life to death story. It begins shortly before his mother learned of her son's death which leads to her responses, which included prayer, and emotions. I would say about 70%, more or less, of the book is testimonials of others and there are quite a few pictures. 

It is important to note that the family has created a foundation on behalf of their son WWID Foundation, The monies earned from the sell of this book go directly to the non-profit charitable organization. 

I admit to skipping over much of the testimonials, which is how I read the book in a day and absorbing the biographical part. I was very much interested in how this mother endured the sudden loss of her first born child.  Her emotions were pure and detailed, as a mother who lost a child from a terminal illness I cannot imagine losing such a gift at such a blessed time- high school graduation. Yes, I cried.

THIS IS NOT A BOOK TO PURCHASE FOR SOMEONE WHO HAS LOST A CHILD RECENTLY. I feel this warning is important. As I stated above, my son died at the age of 28 but, he had a terminal illness and I was able to prepare for his death. I cannot imagine someone just loosing a child and someone handing this book to them- it will not help. BUY THE BOOK TO SUPPORT THE FOUNDATION and if a grieving parent wants to read it after seeing your copy by one at that time.

I would suggest that this is a good book to read as a church leader, grief counselor or support person for someone who has lost a loved one. 

The one thing, as a Christian, I did not like is the title: We do not lose our children to God. My son graduated from earth to eternity and will always be a part of my life; he is not lost, I will join him again someday.

written by Marsha L F Randolph

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review. 

Saturday, February 27, 2021


 I will start by saying: It wasn’t who I thought it was! JACKSONVILLE JUDAS  a novel by Sue Andrews is a great murder mystery. That is really all you need to know. But because Amazon likes reviews to be more than 50 words and most reviewers like at least 200 words. Let me elaborate...

In order for a murder mystery to capture the attention of the reader the first few pages absolutely must capture your attention- JACKSONVILLE JUDAS does. Next the reader must develop an emotional attachment to one of the characters and a disdain for another- it does and I did. 

A good murder mystery must appeal to a persons curiosity. The reader has to start telling the characters where to go and where not to go. The reader has to become suspicious of everybody- trust no one! And finally, the reader must know “who done it” anxiously reading to confirm his or her suspicions. As I said: I was wrong! 

I need to brush up on my murder mysteries. This book is an easy read, my complimentary print copy was 270 pages- just enough for a weekend novel. I know you will enjoy this book, I am letting my daughter read my “signed” copy but I am getting it back!  Happy reading!

                                     Written by Marsha L F Randolph

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I have done so. #OutskirtsPress 

Sunday, January 24, 2021


 My first impression of JOURNEY INTO WHOLENESS by Bob Searle: This is a compilation of ideas from other individuals to validate a personal opinion. My conclusion after reading this: Let me tell you about the book first.

 In his introduction the first sentence reads as follows: “Recognizing, understanding, and responding to spiritual movements within one’s life can cause disappointment, discouragement and despair.” I ‘think’ would he means is: Life sucks sometimes and the sooner we realize that the better we will be able to cope. That first sentence accurately, in my opinion, reveals the tone of this entire 34 page booklet (I received a PDF copy). 

If that sentence does not motivate you to want to read this book then try the chapter titles: “The Classical Way of Faith”, “Desolation and Consolation”, “Dark Night of Sense and Spirit”, “Depression”, “Spiritual Direction” and “Conclusion.”  The booklet, which actually ends on page 27,  also contains 2 appendixes and a bibliography. 

I am sure the author shared the purpose of his writings but it got lost in my mind somewhere between Chapter 4 where he sited the ideology of Stanley W Jackson and Chapter 5. On page 21 of chapter 5 he advises pastors/ chaplains the following: “While a working knowledge of depression can help the pastor/ chaplain, he/she needs to reclaim his/her “art of arts” of spiritual direction practiced throughout the centuries.” 

Perhaps if you are a free spirited, ideological intellectual you might love this book. If you love Bible based teachings on life, you will definitely hate it. 

Many words of this 21 page booklet are dedicated to the thoughts of other individuals. Which lead me to conclude: If you suffer from depression, do not read this book. 

Note: According to Amazon this book is 46 pages, it is not. Unless you count the cover pages, the blank pages, the table of contents and such. 

                                                               Written by Marsha L F Randolph

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I have done so. #OutskirtsPress 

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

OH TO BE 108 AGAIN by James K Wagner


It has been a while since I agreed to read a book from a independent / self published author and “OH, TO BE 108 AGAIN” by James K Wagner was worth the wait and the risk. 

Years ago my nephew asked my grandmother, his great grandmother, on her 100th birthday: “Grandma, what did you do to live so long?” Her response was simple: “I loved the Lord and I minded my business.” This was true. 

So what does this story have to do with the book OH, TO BE 108 AGAIN? It’s just my way of introducing the wisdom found in this book which is a compilation of wisdom one finds among the elderly. In particular, it is the wisdom accumulated by James K Wagner, Minister and author who lives in a retirement community and interacts with men and women of various ages.

I recommend this book to everyone, I wish young people would read it. I would suggest anyone who has a book club read this and take your time discussing each chapter and contemplating the questions at the end.

The 175 page book, (my complimentary copy is a paperback) contains 15 chapters, 4 appendixes, notes, and recommended reading. Each chapter is introduced with an introductory quote, a question, followed by words of reflection and concludes with questions to consider. For the serious student of thought there are bullet points within the chapter.

For those weary of expert theological opinions, presented by best selling Bible teachers, this is not like that. I stopped reviewing “Christian” books because they were more opinion than theology, my opinion. The Christian aspects, which I believe are the foundation of the authors writings, are present but not in your face, thus a non-Believer could read and appreciate this book.

I am going to read OH, TO BE 108 AGAIN, this time for my own personal enrichment. As a rule I read a book quickly in order to get the book up in a timely fashion. I can see me reading one chapter at a time, one week at a time so that I can ponder the wisdom found. 

                    Written by Marsha L F Randolph

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I have done so. #OutskirtsPress 

Thursday, January 14, 2021

SEWING TO SELL by Virginia Lindsay

How do I sell locally and on line is the question, SEWING TO SELL by Virginia Lindsay has some of the answers. It is “The beginners guide to starting a craft business”, a book I purchased in 2019, glanced at in 2020 and am now taking seriously.

To date, I have given away more crafts than I have sold mainly because I make money in other ways. But making stuff cost and I do not have a credit card or an unlimited supply of money. I have been asked on more than one occasion by people willing to pay: Do you have a website? My answer has always been no.  So what does this book have to offer?

SEWING TO SELL talks mostly about what to make and how to make it. In the appendix is the administrative stuff like taxes and setting up a business but it is just an overview. 

This book simply gives the reader the encouragement to know that she can make money making things like grocery totes. The “but” is: you have to have an inventory. 

This book was exactly what I needed, an overview of selling what I make. I did not want a big 300+ page manual of setting up a business from beginning to the first customer- that would be overwhelming. Somethings you can just google. 

                                                                                                  Written by Marsh L F Randolph

This book is part of my personal reading library. The review is my honest unsolicited opinion.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

GOD IS MY CEO by Larry Julian


If you are looking for Bible study material for business men and women then look no further than GOD IS MY CEO by Larry Julian. 

Originally published in 2001 I discovered this book when listening to a YouTuber who happened to mention it as a book he read for personal growth and development. 

GOD IS MY CEO- Following God’s Principles in a Bottom-Line World is a collection of anecdotal stories from successful business people on how their faith guided them. 

The chapters are entitled: Purpose, Success, courage, Patience, Leadership by Example, Yielding Control, Servant Leadership, Love, Priorities, and Redemption. The last chapter is: Timeless Wisdom from Twenty Leaders.

What makes this book suitable for Bible study is not just the chapter titles but what is within each chapter. The reader will be presented with: an issue, a solution, a conversation/ a few testimonies, and a conclusion. In addition there is a Discussion Guide. 

I appreciated this book and gave one to a business associated. I really believe that this book has a lot to teach even if you are not a Christian but especially if you are. In a time in which integrity seems to be optional it is good to know that integrity works. 

                                                            Written by Marsh L F Randolph

This book is part of my personal reading library. The review is my honest unsolicited opinion.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021


You only have to read one American  FOXFIRE series to become addicted, if you love the history of everyday Americans. I read TRADITIONAL BAKING (eBook) and I am looking for more. Apparently, there are all kinds of ways to obtain the knowledge in the series TRADITIONAL BAKING is part of a topical breakdown of these works.

Foxfire was/ is a high school program in Georgia dedicated to collecting the wisdom and knowledge of the elder members of the Appalachian culture. First published in 1970, the original series of books included 15 volumes. The topics include everything from cooking, natural health remedies, hunting, crafting, and other everyday activities.

I purchased this book because I have always been curious about the American culture as it pertains to everyday living. In addition, I want to learn how they cooked. 

The recipes are as detailed as you can get them if you were asking your grandmother or great grandmother: How do you make that? You get the ingredients but not oven temperatures or length of time to cook. 

This book dedicates a lot of space to the art of churning butter. Anyone who knows me knows that I see this as a challenge. I now want an old fashioned churner. 

FOXFIRE- TRADITIONAL BAKING barely took an hour for me to read. I spent a lot of time appreciating the pictures and imagining myself churning butter. 

                                      Written by Marsh L F Randolph

This book is part of my personal reading library. The review is my honest unsolicited opinion.