Milt Gross Writer’s Journal Book Reviews


Milt Gross has been publishing articles in different places for many years and has a column page at Magic City Morning Star, and in 2011 a number of his ‘Down the Road A Piece’ articles were published on the old Kingscalendar site and are listed in a a column page there. As from 2016, Milt’s Book reviews are being published on the new Kingscalendar site, and will be listed here.

Book Reviews by Milt Gross

Milton Gross Review: ‘A Walk in the Woods’ by Bill Bryson
by Milt Gross
Dec 18, 2016

I found this little conversation interesting, because it was so realistic. And at the same time, mildly amusing. Dolores and I once met a man at a road crossing of the Appalachian Trail in New Jersey. We asked him where the AT went from there. “To Georgia,” he replied. We had gathered as much. But my question concerned the next mile or so.

Milton Gross Book Review Journey by the River by John Prescott
by Milton Gross
Dec 4, 2016

It doesn’t say, but I’ll bet it’s a fiction book, and it’s about everything that could have happened to a wagon train rolling through the West in the 1800s. That’s why I think it’s fiction; not all that happened could have happened in a real-life trip.

Milton Gross Book Review: “A Little House Sampler” by Laura Ingalls Wilder and Rose Wilder
Milt Gross
Nov 27, 2016

That story, typical of the rural mindset in which it occurred, is also typical of the book. This tale would no doubt never have been published had it not been for the popularity of the original Little House on the Prairie, which became very popular.

Milton Gross Review: ‘On the Beaten Path’ by Robert Alden Rubin
by Milt Gross
Nov 20, 2016

I think it may have been the extra material, about Robert Alden Rubin’s wife, his old dog, acquaintances on the Appalachian Trail, crowded details about Trail Days at a town along the way, and more that held my attention. It wasn’t just about Rubin’s hike on the AT, but all about that hike held my attention.

Milton Gross Book Review: “The Rescue of Belle & Sundance” by B Stutz & L Scanlan
by Milt Gross
Nov 13, 2016

Left high in the Canadian Rockies by a man, who had a car accident on his way home and banged his head, a snowmobiler saw the two horses and word got around the small town that wasn’t far away. That began what became a long, difficult rescue by a large number of people. From the high mountains.

Milton Gross Book Review: “Dog Man” by Martha Sherrill
by Milton Gross
Nov 6, 2016

A true story that grips you as it opens the man’s, the other people’s, and the dog’s lives for the reader to see. I’ve never known much about Japan, even though we drive a Toyota and probably always will because of their quality. After reading it, I’m still not sure if the story is of the dogs, the owner, the country, or its history. It includes all three.

Milton Gross Book Review: “No Buddy Left Behind” by Terri Crisp
by Milt Gross
Oct 30, 2016

“As of May 31, 2011, Operation Baghdad Pups brought a total number of 340 animals — 280 dogs and 58 cars from Iraq, plus two dogs from Afghanistan — to the United States, determined that there will be no buddy left behind,” states the final paragraph of this moving book.

Milton Gross Book Review Quest of the Mountain Man and Trek of the Mountain Man by William W. Johnstone
by Milt Gross
Oct 25, 2016

Both stories are well-written and hold your attention. But its been a week since I finished this book of two tales, I don’t really recall either story. Other than they are both dramatic. If you’re a reader of paperback westerns, grab this book and add it to your collection.

Milton Gross Book Review Ford County by John Grisham
by Milton Gross
Oct 16, 2016

I found some of the stories in this book a bit long, but they were all attention-holders, and I’m glad I read ‘Ford County.’ His writing takes place in the South. He writes the flavor of the South. The stories are primarily small-town South. I found my copy in a friends bookshelf, and he has assured me I can keep it. Which I will.

Milton Gross Book Review: “The Gift of the Deer” by Adrian Hoover
by Milt Gross
Oct 9, 2016

The Gift of the Deer is primarily, as the title suggests, about several deer that appeared near Helen Hoover (the author) and Adrian Hoover’s (the artist) camp in northern Minnesota. It’s a realistic tale, because it is true.

Milton Gross Book Review: “Charles Kuralt’s America”
by Milt Gross
Oct 2, 2016

As an author, he brings his own experience into the tale. According to the book jacket, “In thirty-seven years with CBS news, Charles Kuralt won a host of honors, including thirteen Emmys and three Peabody Awards, for his work both ‘on the road’ and on Sunday morning.” Two of his other books were A Life on the Road and On the Road with Charles Kuralt.

Milton Gross Book Review Historic Places (Reader’s Digest)
by Milt Gross
Sept 18, 2016

Published and copyrighted in 1993 by several Reader’s Digest Associations, it was created and produced by St. Remy Multimedia, Inc. I’ve spent hours first looking through it and then reading in detail key parts of the book, and I feel like I’ve just begun. It begins with Old St. Augustine, which it states is Florida’s oldest city that “was built to guard Spain’s treasure route in the days of galleons and buccaneers.”

Milt Gross Book Review: “My Story” by Elizabeth Smart
by Milt Gross
Sept 11, 2016

“On June 5, 2002, fourteen-year-old Elizabeth Smart, the daughter of a close-knit Mormon family, was taken from her home in the middle of the night….,” from the book jacket. Her kidnapper chained her, dressed her in disguise, raped her repeatedly, and told her she and her family would be killed if she tried to escape.

Milt Gross Book Review: “Here Lies Hugh Glass” by Jon T. Coleman
Milt Gross
Sept 7, 2016

I think the story may have been better as simply a true story, concentrating on Glass, instead of Coleman’s delving into its background. It was hard to follow until I realized it was an essay and not a story. I’m still guessing the purpose of the essay unless it was to inform we “soft” Americans how things were and how that related to the rest of the country and its history. “Of his ‘own free will,’ Glass ‘severed all connections with the civilized world’ ‘to seek out the hardships and dangers of the wilderness,’ writes the author. I wonder about that assessment and wonder if Glass wasn’t simply doing a hard job that took place in the outdoors of the West.

Milt Gross Book Review: “Fearless Fourteen” by Janet Ivanovich
by Milt Gross
August 28, 2016

Janet Ivanovich’s Stephanie Plum not only follows a familiar literary pattern of girl meets boy…in this case, girl knows boys — but, for me, this occurs in a city I know from once having driven through it. A not-very-important city in terms of America’s great cities, but a city for me that is real. In this not-very-important city, real drama occurs.

Milt Gross Book Review: “The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains” by Owen Wister
by Milt Gross
August 21, 2016

The story tends to be slow, probably because that’s how literature was penned in those days of long ago. It tells of a young man who travels West from Vermont and eventually marries a woman he meets in the West. In between is a good bit of adventure, although, as I wrote above, it moves slowly. I prefer tales written closer to today, as, is probably the case with most readers, that contain language and briefer descriptions that I can follow.

Milt Gross Book Review: “Hay Fever” by Angela Miller
by Milt Gross
August 14, 2016

The book was copyrighted in 2010 by Miller and Ralph Gardiner Jr., the latter of whom I’ll bet did the actual writing. The only publisher mentioned John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ. I’m not sure that if I wanted a publisher for my self-writing about a Vermont farm I’d pick an outfit in New Jersey to publish it…unless their price was really low. New Jersey is not Vermont.

Milt Gross Book Review: “Out of the Depths” by Edgar Harrell
by Milt Gross
August 7, 2016

The first sentence on the front flap, “To keep us all together through the massive crests of waves, our dwindling little group formed a circle and fastened our life jackets to one another,” again doesn’t tell the reader right up front that its an evangelical tale. Too many evangelicals do this, hiding who they are until they can tell you in the text. I’m not downplaying what happened to Harrell and his fellow service men. But, as I usually am, I’m a bit ashamed that they felt they had to hide the spiritual part of the tale…although it was wearingly repeated in the text.

Milt Gross Review: “Part Wild” by Ceiridwen Terrill
by Milt Gross
July 31, 2016

“Part Wild: One Woman’s Journey with a Creature Caught Between the Worlds of Wolves and Dogs” which was copyrighted in 2011 by the author Ceiridwen Terrill, is a non-fiction story of her life with a pet that was a “wolfdog” and it gives the sense of a true story all the way through. But Terrill included too many details that dragged the tale down a bit.

Milt Gross Book Review: “The Generous Years” by Chet Huntley
by Milt Gross
July 24, 2016

This book, “The Generous Years: Remembrances of a Frontier Boyhood” by Chet Huntley, copyrighted in 1968 by Huntley and discarded 14 years ago by our local library, Searsport’s Carver Memorial Library, did not seem like an exciting or even interesting read. Until I began to read it.

Milt Gross Review: “A Naturalist Buys an old Farm” by Edwin Way Teale
by Milt Gross
July 17, 2016

Written by Edwin Way Teale and published apparently in 1974 by Vail-Ballou Press in Binghamton, NY, this is my kind of book. One of the happiest memories I have as a kid visiting my great aunt’s Belgrade, ME farm was of my father and I walking down an old woods road. That was it; we weren’t hunting, and nothing was hunting us. We were just walking down an old woods road.

Milt Gross Book Review AWOL on the AT by David Miller
by Milt Gross
July 10, 2016

I’ve been atop most of Maine’s highest mountains that host the AT as well as Mount Washington in New Hampshire. Of the mountains I know, I found very few discrepancies in Miller’s telling. I found myself comparing my times with Miller’s description. Miller writes on page 207, “I start my hike (after camping most of the way along the AT from Georgia) in the morning at the same time as Ken and Marcia and we make the short but steep ascent up Old Speck together.

Milt Gross Book Review: “A House to Die for” by Vicki Doudera
by Milt Gross
July 7, 2016

I recommend it half-heartedly as a fairly good although confusing-in-places mystery. If you want to read a fairly-good-although-confusing-in-places mystery that takes place largely on an island off the Maine coast, buy it or check your library. (I recognized the island by its description, which is a lot like the real island Dolores and I visited last summer via a ferry boat. The boat ride was great. The day was hot, so we didn’t fully explore the island. (Maybe you’ll get there on a cooler day. Our boat ride started at Port Clyde, which is down the road a piece.)

Milt Gross Book Review: “The Old Somerset Railroad A Lifeline for Northern Mainers” by Walter Marshall Macdougall
by Milt Gross
July 3, 2016

Macdougall wrote in a casual manner, adding to the actual history a variety of stories, such as this on page 53, “…One passenger had just made his own dent in the frayed plush seat of a Somerset coach when the train came to a stop. After what seemed like a long delay, the conductor returned to the coach, a little out of breath to report that a cow had been on the tracks. The train started up, only to stop again.

Milt Gross Book Review: “Mountains of Maine: Intriguing Stories Behind Their Names” by Steve Pinkham
June 19, 2016

I think the writer, Steve Pinkham, gave my copy to me several years ago at the annual Maine Appalachian Trail Club meeting. I’m not sure, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t have enough money with me to buy it. And I have a copy. “Just another guy pushing his self-published book,” I think I remember thinking about the writer.

Milt Gross Book Review: “A show of Hands” by David A. Crossman
June 14, 2016

This fiction mystery moves from slow at first…although dramatic when someone finds a woman’s body in a whole in quarry ice on an island while he is fishing. It goes along from there, sometimes a bit slow but speeding up into real drama by the time it reaches the end. I borrowed this one from the Carver Memorial Library in Searsport. You can probably find a copy in your own public library, or they can help you get one.

Milt Gross Book Review “Treat us like Dogs and we will become Wolves” by Carolyn Chute
June 6, 2016

The front cover states, “A modern-day Dickensian voice for the losers in class warfare. No American author has chronicled the lives of those on the losing side of the class divide with greater love, sorrow, humor, fury, of psychological acuity.” If you like what in my limited view is strange writing, find this one and read it for yourself. My copy came from the Carver Memorial Library in Searsport, and they’ll want it returned.

Milt Gross Book Review: “Buffalo Bill, The Noblest Whiteskin” by John Burke
May 15, 2016

The story was complete, starting with Bill Cody at eleven years of age being “signed on at a man’s wage, his job designated as “driving cavayard” — that is, herding cattle that followed the company’s wagon trains….” His pay was $40 a month. The story ends with the tired elderly man’s death and burial.

Milt Gross Book Review: “Hiking Through” by Paul Stutzman
March 27, 2016

This book by Paul Stutzman did cover those spiritual areas, and, in fact, the whole tale of his AT hike was connected to those spiritual conflicts and questions. Stutzman’s wife had died of cancer, and Stutzman was on this hike to try to gain back something of a normal life.

Milt Gross Book Review: “Manhunt” by James L. Swanson
by Milt Gross
March 13, 2016

Swanson’s story is complete, more complete than I would imagine it could be. At the end of the book is a list of his sources, more sources than I would imagine could be found. It is the story of the 12-day manhunt, including many details, for the President’s killer.

Milt Gross Book Review: “Nothing Like It in the World” by the late Stephen E. Ambrose
Feb 28, 2016

One of the most interesting books I’ve ever read, Nothing Like It in the World tells how the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads were built and met in the mountains to form the first railroad to cross the United States.

Milt Gross Book Review: “Forlorn River” by the late Zane Grey
Feb 20, 2016

Some books bore me. Some use language too difficult for my ‘umble brain to understand. But Grey uses language that catches my attention and moves me ahead. I also enjoy Grey’s giving his characters an accent, such as, “By golly! he’s heah in bed!’ from part of the tale.

Author: R.P. BenDedek

Born in 1953 in Brisbane City, Queensland, Australia, R.P. BenDedek (pseudonym) is a divorced father of five who has been living and working in The People's Republic of China (Mainland China) since 2003. He is currently (2016) working in Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province.

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