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Arts & Entertainment / Book Nook with Patricio Lazen
Published 04/24/2009 - 12:00 a.m. CDT

The Barfighter

Book Review by Patricio H. Lazen

In September of 1965, drenched in blood, sweat and plenty of Vaseline, Army PFC Lee Cheskis found himself in his own corner at Folsom Prison surrounded by screaming convicts wanting more blood, and his Staff Sargent/trainer eager to please the crowd.

Fighting to stay out of Vietnam as well as away from his own demons, Cheskis' quest for much needed calm waters and a port of call would take him on a voyage thorough a life full of romantic warriors, emotionally inert souls, conflicted hearts, and a band of skillful and ruthless puppeteers. A plethora of characters too emotionally disturbed to stray away from conflict and others too savoir-faire to avoid reaping the profits, are two of several elements that ensure a continuous thread of breathtaking action page after page.

Published 09/19/2008 - 7:04 a.m. CDT

Reviewed by Patricio Lazen

Armed with his characteristic sharp-witted style, syndicated columnist Jim Hightower and long time collaborator Susan DeMarco take aim and fire once again at the current political establishment and all its corporate associates in their recently released book, “Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish can go with the Flow”.

The New York Times bestselling author of Thieves in High Places exhorts his readers to break loose from their fears and go against the grain, to buck the system, to challenge corporations and their realm of complacent consumerism by launching an appeal to all sorts of common sense folks to tap into their maverick potential.

Published 09/08/2008 - 6:49 p.m. CDT

By Patricio H. Lazen

Play Well With Others, A Musician’s Guide to Jamming Like a Pro, written by co-authors Martha Haehl and Mike Walker, is a comprehensive step-by-step guide meant to enhance the fun of making music with others.

A jam session, for those not acquainted with musicians’ lingo, is a musical performance where musicians gather and play without extensive preparation or predefined arrangements.

Play Well With Others targets lead players, singers, and musicians who carry rhythm or provide structure by playing chords. The book is inclusive of all levels of musicianship skills and all styles of jamming.

Published 08/15/2008 - 7:00 a.m. CDT

Reviewed by Patricio H. Lazen

After a long career sprinkled with countless bylines in both newspapers and magazines, Kenneth L. Kieser, a veteran outdoor writer from the Kansas City area, finally had the literary will to saddle up and ride back in time. The result is a paper-back round trip to the Black Hills in the Dakota Territory of the 1870’s, including many well-known characters and legends.

Kieser offers the reader a historical look at life during the westward expansion. Although the storyline is fictitious, many characters and places in the book did exist and Kieser obviously conducted detailed research to weave fiction and history.