Monday, February 08, 2016



Down The Highway A Peace
by Richard J Hilber

My brother, Richard J. Hilber (Rick), has been writing poems for as long as I can remember. He has had a poem published here and there over the years and he has published a few on his Blog and read others in public venues. Now he has published a book length collection that is available in hardback, paperback and Kindle formats.

Click Image to Order

One theme of these poems is a fascination with the prairie. As you  travels west from Fargo North Dakota you soon approach an line of hills rising 200 to 300 feet from the valley floor. Geologists call this the Pembina Escarpment. As your road winds up these hill you be entering the middle plateau of the Great Plains called the "Drift Prairie". If you were to continue west of Jamestown you would come to another wall of 300 foot high  hills called the Missouri Escarpment. However if you turn south at Jamestown and follow the James River south you will come to the little town where Rick was born and I grew up wandering the prairie and finding ancient campgrounds and arrow heads and wondering what life was like centuries before in this fascinating land. Many of Rick's poems celebrate the beauty of this land and the animals and people that live here now and lived here over the centuries.

When Rick, I and several of our sibling began researching our family tree we discovered that our parent's and grandparent's had been keeping a kind of wall of silence about the origins of my mother's family. I remember encountering it as a college student asking my maternal grand parents about their parents. I remember thinking at the time that perhaps one or both families had been illegal emigrants and fear had led to this silence. "They were French" seemed to be the extent of the information they were willing to provided. Years later advances in technology made genealogical information more accessible we began to confirm that our "French" ancestors included Native Americans. 

This discovery helps explain a second theme in these poems. The struggles of the natives of the prairies with the European emigrants took on new meaning after learning  of our ancestral link to them. Several of Rick's poems explore some of these struggles in Minnesota and the Dakotas.

This book is available in hardback, paperback and Kindle format. Click the link below to price or order the book

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Reading Kindle Books on Phone, Tablet, PC or Mac

Book Reviews -  Addendum

A growing number of books are only published in Ebook form. In addition many out of print books are now available in Ebook format. Here is a recommendation for tools for reading books in your Kindle Library on any of your network connected devices. This includes Smart Phones, Tablets, PCs and Macs. Click the link below for access to the Kindle array of apps for your devices.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Local Author's First Novel

Book Review from The Lake - 2016.3

Pelican Rapids Author, Gene L. Thompson, published his first novel in 2015. The story and characters reveal a group of men and women whose lives are little understood by most of our society even though they exist in every community of our land.

(Click Image to order Book)

The Carpenter's House
By Gene L. Thompson

Gene had been on the road and homeless for three years when he arrived at Dorothy Day House, a homeless Shelter, in Moorhead Minnesota. His stay there lasted for over ten years because he joined the team of men and women who dedicate their lives to caring for the homeless of our society.

After I read the novel I asked Gene if the characters in the story were real people that he met on the road or while he was at Dorothy Day House. He responded that he had met over a thousand homeless men, women and children but that the characters in his book were fictional, each with life stories and personalities that were composites of many he had come to know over the years. 

While the story is populated by homeless men and women, it is also a love story involving a man and a woman and their struggles to over come the financial, political and regulatory roadblocks to the achievement of their dream. You also meet the heroes and villains among the public, the politicians and the clergy that mark the progress of their journey.

Pope Francis has called upon all Christians to bring God's love and mercy to the margins of human society. The Carpenter's House  will bring you closer to knowing one way of doing that. In the final scene the couple are talking:

"For some of us, maybe all of us, there's only one reason we're alive. For me and you, I think it's the same reason. We're here to help people, be nice to people. It fulfills us, gives us what we need. Makes us happy, The only reason we're here is to help people, babe."
   She leaned over and kissed him. "Your right,"she told him. "But it's not just us. Its everyone. The only reason anyone is here is to help each other."

The Carpenter's House is only available in Ebook (Kindle) format 
and can be ordered by clicking here. .

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Lenten Reading Suggestion

Book Reviews By The Lake   -  2016.2

The start of Lent is just a week away and recommendations for Lenten reading might be in order. The first to come to mind is a little book by Mitch Finley:

(Click Image to Order)
The Catholic Virtues
(Seven Pillars of a Good Life)

I recently reread this book in preparation for a Religious Education Class for high school students that I am writing called "The Language of Faith". The virtues are important themes covered in the course. The back-cover summary says this:

"Just as all organisms are governed by biological laws, human beings also have an ingrained moral compass - laws that direct their behavior in a certain way. According to Catholic Tradition, the virtues operate as central principles behind our notion of goodness."

He covers both the four Cardinal Virtues and the three Theological Virtues. In addition to defining each virtue and how it relates to the others he give biblical and current examples of their application. 
  Click here to order this book

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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Book Reviews - 2016.1

Book Reviews By The Lake - 2016.1

For some reason the start a new year stimulates me to think about books that I have read over the preceding months. So the posts this year labeled "Book Reviews By The Lake - 2016.x" will run the gamut from simple recommendations to my readers to buy and read the book(s) to full blown reviews and evaluation of the work(s) recommended. Today I will launch the series with a repeat of a review of a relative's book that I did back when this book was first be published.

Friending God  By Marsh Larsen

A relative has written a book about her awakened search for God. Among those cheering her journey are Fr Richard Rohr, O.F.M. and many relatives and friends. In my brief review in Amazon I said the following:

A wonderful journey through her garden of friends. however, the treasure seems to still lie ahead as one is left with the sense that most of her journey or at least the telling of it is yet to come, perhaps in a sequel.

Father Rohr in his editorial review said this:

Most of us do not read formal theology books, and if we do, we too often find them abstract or distant.  Well, here is a fine antidote!

As a Deacon I have the joy of hearing many people's faith journey stories. I am sure you will enjoy Marsha's conversations with her friends about their faith and her journey. Friending God is available in paperback.

 Marsh began her journey as a atheist and come a long way but she is still on the journey and you can follow her progress on her blog "Friending God":

Saturday, September 26, 2015


Way to busy to post. Many super speakers and conferences. Will be at Pope's visit to WMOF this aftetnoon.