MBR Bookwatch: September 2017
James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive, Oregon, WI 53575Lorraine’s BookshelfGoblin’s Goop
Richard Rensberry, author
Arun Kumar, illustrator
QuickTurtle Books LLC
9781940736228, $13.99, PB, 56 pages, www.amazon.com“Goblin’s Goop” is a kids’ heroic cartoon epic about environmental threats of dastardly GMOs and other poisonous, factory (man)-made substances. To the amazing rescue march the soldiers of nature, bugs! Ants, bees, crickets, mosquitos, even flowers and birds come making their own martial music, ready to defend the essence of healthy Nature and the environment everywhere, even in poisoned ground. They surround the evil, goblins’ goop making factory of Monsanto, and like Joshua, they blow and blow until the walls come tumbling down. Charming epic verse is complemented by bright portraiture of the insects’ attack in the defense of Nature. Children ages 5-8 will revel in the story and pictures, cheering the demise of the evil green goblins and their poisonous goop, at the hands of the unlikely heroic challengers, bugs! Dedicated to all kids in the future who deserve a better world, “Goblin’s Goop” is a modern morality fable based on environmental truths.Nancy Lorraine
There is an abundance of love poetry for the simple reason that its emotional upwelling is so strong. Love emotions feel wonderfully good and cannot be contained. All artists strive to capture the essence of love. In contrast is the turmoil of divorce and all the accompanying emotions of betrayal and loss. All poets are a tuning fork for the expression of these feelings. If one lives, one is emotional. Death is the one that is emotionless. Continue reading
There is a time
and a time for intolerance. Continue reading
A Softer Way of Life
loam over concrete.
buildings and governments,
arguments and reporters
from the New York Times. Continue reading
Musty Old Books
When the door to my mother opened
for the ninth time
I was born
into the land of strawberries
and Bantam roosters, into a storm
of purple lilacs and sweet cherry trees
with red arms reaching
like my brother’s and sister’s
come to carry me into the fields of alfalfa
and sweet clover where the rhubarb fanned
its green umbrella. Continue reading
Bette Stevens, A Pleasure to Work With
“MEET THE AUTHORS”
Authors Richard Rensberry (GOBLIN’S GOOP ) and Mary Rensberry (I AM SPIRIT, the ABCs of an Ideal Spirit) are with us today to share a bit of their personal story and to tell us about their latest books. So, let’s get ready to meet the authors! ~Bette A. Stevens, Maine authorhttp://www.4writersandreaders.com
Welcome Richard and Mary Rensberry. It’s a pleasure to have you with us today. Tell us a little about your family life how it fits into your writing life.
Our lives have always been rooted deep in family. I was one of nine children born and raised on a farm in Northern Michigan. I am an uncle, great uncle and great, great uncle many times over. Mary was born and raised in Texas in the city and also on a ranch in the country. She is the mother of two morally sound…
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Oil On Canvas
excerpt from CITY SLICKER’S GUIDE TO THE AMISH COUNTRY
Summer is born
from the smell of turpentine and oils on canvas.
It is a portrait of honeybees laden with pollen
and the hog-nose snakes
that masquerade the lane as cobras.
It is martins in the birdhouse and bats in the attic.
Summer is the lust that lives in the loam.
of radishes, peppers, and yellow squash.
It seduces the onion
and brags about the taste of the lush tomato
that lives in the sun. The beets don’t care.
Their blood is passionate
no matter the circumstance. And the peas,
they know the truth of openness
will always come. It is the corn that listens
to the depth the carrot and potato will go
to reach the cellar.
Summer is wading
the spring fed creeks, picking cowslips
and violets to set on the table.
It is making love in a bed of purple vetch
and building castles in the cumulus clouds.
It is long days that lead to dusk when pheasants erupt
from the washes thick
with alder and pussy willow brush.
It is the ever presence of the hawk and crow, the piles of stone
from which red sumac glows
with a fire we capture
to light the barbecue. We have friends and family
potlucks of beer
and bullshit. We grill fresh perch
and trout galore. We argue
and go to war
Summer brings moths that come to the door
and beat their wings in Jesuit frenzy. Crickets
conduct great symphonies to the firefly ballet
of lightning bugs
that flicker the lawn. The sky is full
of heat lightning. The moon
looks bigger than life.
is like that. It is a glutton of gifts from God to us
and from us to our spouse and family. It is art to be hung
on a friend’s wall. It is a wish come true. Summer
is Happy Birthday.
Richard Rensberry, Author at QuickTurtle Books®
I will be at the Blue Phoenix Book Store in downtown Alpena on Saturday May 13th from 1:00 to 3:00 for a reading and book signing for anyone that would like to partake. Please do introduce yourself due to time, distance and senility. Just kidding, I still have all my faculties though I may not have had any in 1970.
The Lamp Maker
We live in a world in need of those with the magic of light. Men that can capture the glow and the twinkle from a witty man’s eyes. Men with sight. Men with imagination and wands to cast spells of warmth and delight— a Merlin, Aladdin or Fairview’s Lamp Maker.
Who? Mark Miles, the man who has made a quest to salvage the future from the past. The Amish Country’s magician who can reach into a barrel and coax a genie into a bottle, a toaster or a Coleman lantern. He turns the ordinary into extra-ordinary lamplight. Lamps that chuckle, giggle or gossip from a living room table.
Mark Miles, a 20 year Navy veteran now spends time combing through the inventories of second hand stores and flea markets where he looks for objects that call out from our childhoods. Coleman lanterns electrified can give us everyday reminders of quality time spent with our dads and grandpas. Vintage kitchen appliances repurposed connect us visually to grandma’s welcoming kitchen of years ago. You won’t believe the variety of antiques that he transmutes* into lighting, end tables, rustic flag holders, chairs and wine glass holders; all with his unique Americana style.
You can view many of the Lampmaker’s unusual designs on-line at his Facebook page: milesmakeovers, or for-sale in the windows of Fairview’s favorite bargain store, the Sunrise Thrift Shop, a few hundred paces east of the traffic light at the corner of M33 and M72.
*transmutes- alters or changes into something different than its original purpose.
Richard Rensberry, Author at QuickTurtle Books®
Excerpted from “City Slicker’s Guide to the Amish Country”
A Simple Man
What is the weight of all
the truth and lies in the world?
Are they equal to
the curvatures our heads
press upon our spines? Continue reading