Tag Archives: reading

Deep Naked: a book review

 by Jeffery Kirkendall

I accepted a free e-copy of the new novel Deep Naked by Riley Hill in exchange for an honest review on Amazon.com.


I confess I am a grandfather, and I have never read “young adult / Deep Naked_EbookSmallernew adult paranormal” before. The title caused a pause in my decision making, but oddly enough, I really liked the Acknowledgment section and wanted to know, “What’s a Nacken?” So I read on.


Riley Hill’s word choices, phrasing, blending of sentences, richness of imagery got me hooked on the book. I could have been reading any genre. I was there with the story teller just for the satisfaction of listening to the music of her literary style. The pleasure of her prose.


The book was a page-turner, or I should say, Kindle-clicker. I was pleased to find that the story was not sexually exploitative of any characters, not gruesome in its violence, but still psychologically creepy. A fine balance.


The story welcomes us all into the contemporary life of Crystal, an ordinary young woman turning eighteen, who is called on a hero’s journey by her unique “tribal” elders, their ancient teachings, the deep naked spiritual power of the violin, the reality of soul-mates, soul-families, and soul-threatening forces. And Crystal might do all of this by transforming herself.


Riley Hill has written a labor of love. The plot has a consistent internal integrity and easily imagined authenticity. I suspect it is a narrative grounded in some of her own ancestral history and life experiences, especially where fiddles are concerned.


The story reminds us that essential parts of the past are in the present and reach into our future. The story reminds us that not all truths are written. Some come to us only through our elders’ oral traditions, and in this story, aural tradition.


It could make a fine movie, and I would definitely buy the sound track, especially if it includes Donna the Buffalo. I look forward to Hill’s trilogy being as true to her cause as this first volume.


A special ‘thank you’ to this emerging author who also reminds us, of all ages, that the rewards of a magical life come from stepping off the cliff of what we believe we know, and building our wings on the way down. . . courageously, in truth and love. Good message.

A Year of Bed-Books

Those who do not read 

are no better off than those

who cannot read.

( author ?)


My wife Carol turned me on to great books thirty years ago. She always knew what would grab my unique interests and not let me go. The books she suggested nourished my appetite for learning from people of passion and intellect. I was hooked, and I was changed in subtle and dramatic ways. And of course, when Carol is available for conversation, I love to talk with her about what each of us has been reading

Now here is the thing. Because of her health problems, untreatable sleep-apnea, back pain, etc., Carol sleeps a lot. . . . fitful sleeps. Carol is also regularly disturbed by nightmares and flashbacks of incidents in her childhood when she was a victim of sexual terrorism.

A long time ago we figured out that if I laid down with her and put my arm around her, she could sleep peacefully. She felt safe. She felt safe!! The importance of this experience is huge for people who have been brutalized in hideous manners. Feeling safe is A Truly Blessed Experience!

I also figured out that if I laid on my back, propped up three pillows behind my head, raised my left knee, with practice I could one-handedly manipulate a hardback book or a Kindle e-book. This has become a marvelous near-religious ritual for us. She feels safe. I get to be the giver of that safety. And I get to read great books by great minds expressing great thoughts while cuddled in bed with my great-woman-best-friend of thirty years. Hey, it’s great!

So yesterday I was remembering some of my great reads. I decided to write down all the books I have read in bed since early April of last year to the first of April this year. Making the list was a surprise. I did not realize how many there were, the range of titles, and how important those authors have been to my surviving hard times. I realized this list is for me is A Blessing of Time Well-Spent.

If you have come this far with me dear reader, perhaps you will consider browsing through my list below and see if, by chance, an author reaches out to stimulate your mind and spirit.

Perhaps you already have your favorite Bed-Books.

Perhaps you will lay down in bed, place your arm around someone you love and share the quiet joy of intimacy and literature all beautifully wrapped up together.



1.)  Denial by Jessica Stern
2.) The Best Known Works of Kafka by Franz Kafka
3.)  Metamorphosis, A Hunger Artist, In the Penal Colony and other Storie by Franz Kafka
4.) Fear Strikes Out: The Jimmy Pearsall Story by Jimmy Pearsall
5.)Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill by Jessica Stern
6.) Without Consent: How to Overcome Childhood Sexual Abuse by Jarvis & Kirkendall
7.) The Ultimate Terrorist by Jessica Stern
8.) Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
9.) An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments With Truth by Mohandas K. Gandhi
10.) Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
11.) The Man Who Would Be King by Rudyard Kipling
12.) Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, 1605, translation by Gerald J. Davis
13.) Mahatma Gandhi and His Myth: Civil Disobedience, Non-violence, and Satyagraha in the Real World by Mark Shepard
14.) Democracy Matters: Winning the Fight Against Imperialism by Cornel West
15.) A Murder Too Personal by Gerald J. Davis
16.) The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Dubois and Other Writings by W.E.B. Dubois
17.) The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo by Stieg Larsson

18.) A Widow’s Story: A Memoir by Joyce Carol Oates
19.) Across a Hundred Mountains by Reyna Grande
20.) The Distance Between Us by Reyna Grande
21.) The Prospect of Domestic Bioterrorism by Jessica Stern
22.) Guardian Cats and the Lost Books of Alexandra by Rahma Krambo
23.) Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith
24.) Down by the River by Charles Bowden



Those who cannot read

Making Memories
Making Memories

can listen

to books


the library.

( A. Librarian )