Book Reviews

We occasionally include voluntary book review forms in our packages. We ask if those who receive books would like to send us their thoughts on one or more books. Here are a few responses.

Book Reviews

To Kill a Mockingbird and Fahrenheit 451.

I asked for books written by ‘American Authors’, and not only received just that, but two real gems… ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ and ‘Fahrenheit 451.’ To put it simply; Harper Lee’s Mockingbird Masterpiece was discussed very lively on our block, for we are 50/50 racially. I had read it as a child, and this book opened me to a blind-spot I did not realize was there. The second book, more or less, was a prediction of what the future would bring, and, lo and behold, we live in times where reading, especially the classics, has gone out of style. People on the whole have become intellectually lazy and read a lot of tripe, while the really good ones fall by the wayside. Thank you! (Va Beach 3-19-16)

Anne Frank, A Dairy of a Young Girl and The Cardinal of the Kremlin

I received ‘Anne Frank, a Dairy of a Young Girl”—and ‘The Cardinal of the Kremlin’ by Tom Clancy. I’ve been trying to obtain a copy of Anne Frank’s book for 10 years. Even on the street, I read it for school years ago, and the story was so compelling and vivid you could put yourself into her place. You must read this wonderful classic about a young Jewish girl’s life in hiding from the Nazis. Tom Clancy has a way of bringing real political and military problems to awareness through his books. You must red all his Jack Ryan and Jack Ryan Jr. series. I’m not too keen on this op-center too technical for me.

               Wonderful books. I recommend them both. Please, if you have any books you’ve read as prisoners need them, I love to read. A lot of offenders buy a tu [tube] and reading etc.. not me I’d rather sit down and read a book. There is unplaceable knowledge and wisdom in books and writings that is not matched on TU or PC, or tablets or radios. Read a book and it will stick by your side like glue. (Pound VA. 3-7-16)

The Nectar of Devotion

I just wanted to thank you for sending ‘The Nectar of Devotion’. I really appreciate that so much! God bless. (Chatham VA March, 5)

[Not mentioned]

The Appalachian Prison Book Project has broaden[ed] my understanding. Providing books, the Appalachian prison book project has provided myself. Information is power and power is information. (Independence VA)

Math Book

It’s something new, but also something that is hard for me to understand since basic math (+)(-)(x)(/) is what I’m arite with anuthing above that is mind frustrating. But good insight and I want to learn it. Thank you, I’m trying to learn so it is insightful and helpful as I learn more in the mathematics area of subjects. (Tennessee 3-7-16)

Study Bible

I’ve read a bunch of books y’all have sent me and I learn something new every time. I’ve learned a lot about American literature, and U.S history. I’m most thankful for the study bible you sent me. I use it all the time for myself and also to help others. We are so grateful for the work y’all do supply books for all of us in the correctional system. Thank you very much to all the volunteers that make this happen!!! (Virginia Beach VA 2-16-16)


I typically read non-fiction (anything educational/informational) books, and other materials. Resources are limited here, in prison, and the reading selection is of three categories, religious, fiction or various kinds of self-help.

               The books that I request and receive are much appreciated. The books also have an external life here. There is a ‘community book shelf’ in the block, so one book often gets read by several people.

               I usually place a several ‘science’ request as a blanket request, it is a lottery of interesting topics. This broadens my general knowledge. I am also currently learning another language, (Spanish), and computer coding (java). The books that you send to us help with the learning process—Thank you. (Marion OH 1-12-15)

Wee Sing Bible Songs

Thank you for honoring my request. One of the books that I received titled, “Wee Sing Bible Songs” although this is somewhat kiddish I kept it because of some of the songs that I use to sing as a young adult in Sunday school.

  • ‘Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world, red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world.” Now I have the music to the lyrics of this songs. Which I can play. If ever I get the opportunity to play at someone’s church I will change the wording to the following: “Jesus loves everybody, everybody in the world.” and keep the rest the same except the children part, because us adults needs to be reminded of “the love of god” towards all peoples.

The book listening to music after I look through it more closely I will then donate it to our library. I see it more of a history musical book, but some of the samlep notes looks interesting. It may give me some ideas as I’m limited to space and books. I am grateful for the supporters of this book project in considering us inmates. Thank you in advance. (Lima, OH, 7-20-2015)

The Shack

The book I read was “The Shack” It is a marvelously inspired novel. That clearly depicts a deep relationship that the author has with god; moreover, you can clearly see that Young also has a true understanding of the Divine Trinity. It’s a moving, enlightening, and relational novel. I have actually read this three times. Whereas, each time, the Holy Spirit reveals a new part of himself to me. How awesome is the love of the Heavenly Father through a natural (physical) father! God Bless! (Henning TN 12-22-15)


We receive books from Appl. Books all the time and trade among each other. Receive[ing] any books is an enjoyment for prisoner, especially those in segregation reading takes you away from this place, someone from APBP sent me Magic the Gathering Cards which I use all the time. Many of the guys here are into many subjects of sci-fi, fantasy, fiction and D&D. Role dungeon and dragon club group. The books you send are a god send. Thank you. (Marion, Ohio 1-14-16)


I really liked the bible you sent me in the back of it explained how the bible was put together and the canon of the scriptures are a lot more than I learned. Thank you! (Big Stone Gap, WA 11-30-15)

On Germany

I really enjoyed my book of choice you guys hit it right on the mark as if I selected the book myself however i’m in prison and wanted to know can I participate in commenting on your books I’d like to exuberantly. Thank-you. P.S. the book was great I never knew Germany had so many places of interest. (Chillicothe Ohio 3-2-16)

On Carpentry

The book you sent me is a gold mine of information I will probably consult for years to come. I loved it, and am still learning things from it. It’s all about carpentry. Thanks keep up the good work guy! (Tiptonville TN 12-6-15)

Norton Field Guide to Writing

First and foremost I hope this correspondence finds you in good health & spirits…

I greatly appreciate the books that you sent and all of the help that you have provided. I use the Norton Field Guide to Writing on a daily basis as I am trying to enhance my every-day writing skills. I am also learning to write poetry and articles for magazines and this book is helping tremendously with that. I would love to receive more books that could help to enhance my writing skills. (Waverly VA 3-13-16)


The dictionary you sent is a big blessing to me and will continue to be for years to come. I’m truly thankful for your service. God bless you.” (Virginia)

The Pentagon Papers – Neil Sheehan 

The above book is the latest book that I received from “The Appalachian Prison Book Project.”  This book was/is about a great deal of what took place in a “behind the scenes” scenario involving the “politics” of the Vietnam “War” and the military strategies that were utilized during said “War.” It is literally an “exposé” of the intentional “mishandling” of a politically motivated military action that became extremely unpopular with the American Public.

I found the book very informative and “revealing” about how politics can have the greatest of influences over military actions and foreign policy. I also found out some things that I was totally unaware of in regards to the Vietnam “War.”

I am old enough to recall many things about the Vietnam “War” and the general “atmosphere” that was present in America as it took place. I was a part of the Anti-War and Peace Movement during the late 1960s and early 1970s and participated in a number of Anti-War “rallies” and Protests that took place on college campuses here in Ohio during that time. We were very aware of a number of the “controversies” associated with the Vietnam “War” and America’s involvement with it and we saw firsthand America’s growing dis-satisfaction with the Vietnam “War” and the military’s failure, as well as politician’s failure, to bring about a speedy re-solution to the “conflict.”

I learned a great deal about the Vietnam “War” from this book that I did not know until I read this book. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in the Vietnam “War” era and the politics of it. (Ohio)

The Last Juror – John Grisham

I liked the book I received from prison book project, it was a really good read from start to finish. I’ve read a lot of books and this one rates on  my all time top ten list. (Virginia)


I’m 40 years old and up until a few years ago, I hardly read anything. But now because of programs like APBP, I have learned a lot of history. I’ve learned a lot about the different cultures of a lot of foreign countries and also a lot of religions’ beliefs. I grew up on a pig and chicken farm and I didn’t know much about anything unless I saw it on television on local channels. I only got 2 channels. The books I have received have taught me a lot. I appreciate you guys a lot.  (Tennessee)