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Welcome! The ultimate luxury for me is curling up with a good book and a warm blanket. The next best thing is reviewing books and sharing them with others.

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4 12, 2015

Review: In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park

By | December 4th, 2015|Categories: Gift Ideas, Memoirs, Memoirs, Nonfiction, Women's Studies|Tags: , |3 Comments


in order to live book coverReviewed by Neriza Billi

Yeonmi was born in Hyesan, a city in North Korea, next to the border with China. Together with her parents and older sister, they tried every possible way to survive in the ‘Hermit Kingdom’. When she reached 13, their situation went from bad to desperate. Her sister decided to escape to China to have a better life. After some time, Yeonmi and her mother did the same, not knowing that women were being sold as brides on the other side of the border. Once in China, Yeonmi and her mother had to again fight for survival; this time, they were fighting against groups who drugged women and passed them around to other men. Both realizing they were still in hell, they chose to cross the freezing Gobi desert to reach Mongolia, towards freedom in South Korea.


18 11, 2015

Review: Living with a SEAL by Jesse Itzler

By | November 18th, 2015|Categories: Exercise & Fitness, For Men, Gift Ideas, Health, Mind, & Body, Memoirs, Memoirs, Nonfiction|Tags: , , |1 Comment


living with a seal book coverReviewed by Jennifer Jensen

Self-made entrepreneur Jesse Itzler lives a comfortable lifestyle with his wife, Sara. Between the two of them, they run two successful businesses: Marquis Jet and Spanx. Jesse also has an interest in fitness and has competed in marathons. After deciding on the next marathon he wanted to run, he dragged his wife out to the race with him. One of the competitors, a solidly built African-American male, caught Jesse’s eye. He tracked down the man’s name and called him up, inviting him to live with his family and train Jesse for an entire month.

The man, known only as SEAL in Jesse’s memoir, Living with a SEAL: 31 Days Training with the Toughest Man on the Planet, promptly moved in and began a rigorous training with Jesse, pushing his body and mind as

5 11, 2013

Review: Daughter of Empire by Pamela Hicks

By | November 5th, 2013|Categories: Gift Ideas, Historical, Memoirs, Memoirs, Nonfiction|Tags: , |2 Comments


Pamela_Hicks_Daughter_of_EmpireReviewed by Sara Drake

Ms. Hicks was born to Lord Louis Mountbatten, one of the many royal European families that traced back their heritage to Queen Victoria. The early twentieth century saw that political map of Europe shift resulting in many monarchies being replaced by other forms of government. The Mountbatten family, like many others, became enmeshed in Europe (relying on kinship ties with the English monarchs). For those familiar with the story of India’s independence, the name Mountbatten will be easily recognizable.

As an eye witness to history, Ms. Hicks offers a fascinating viewpoint. While not deep or insightful, she provides those little details that generally elude historians. It’s easy enough to figure out who did what, where, and when. It’s much more difficult to get the details of everyday life, get a view of personalities, and to see history as a

1 04, 2013

Review: Rearview Mirror by Alana Stewart

By | April 1st, 2013|Categories: Gift Ideas, Memoirs, Memoirs, Nonfiction, Religion & Spirituality|Tags: , |1 Comment


Rearview-Mirror-by-Alana-StewartReviewed by Darin Godby

In Rearview Mirror, Alana Stewart does a beautiful job of sharing her life – both the happy, joyful moments as well as those depressing and sad ones – with the readers. She begins with her childhood and reminisces about the impact the various men that came in and out of her mother’s life had on her own life. She moves on to describe her school years and the very personal experience of falling in love.

There are travel stories as well Stewart’s stories from the years she spent married to Rod Stewart. While this rocker was the idol to so many he was also the man that Alana loved and wanted to spend her life with. Rod spent a great amount of his time working and partying, leaving Alana to fend for herself. She soon found that she was pregnant

13 12, 2012

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Confessions of Joan the Tall

By | December 13th, 2012|Categories: Gift Ideas, Giveaways, Memoirs, Memoirs, Nonfiction|Tags: , |16 Comments


Confessions of Joan the TallPlease join Joan Cusack Handler, author of Confessions of Joan the Tall, as she tours the blogosphere with TLC Book Tours

Don’t forget to enter to win a copy below!

Reviewed by Heather Bryant

Although I am not Catholic, I loved Confessions of Joan the Tall! I have been to several Catholic services and always wanted to understand things better; some of my questions were answered while others remain.

Joan Cusack Handler writes her confessions into a poignant memoir. Growing up, Joan tried to please God while also trying to please her parents. Unfortunately, since her most popular nicknames were Tattle Tale and Too Tall, she did not always succeed in either department – at least in her mind.

Joan’s parents were immigrants that strictly adhered to their faith and raised their children to do the same. They

21 06, 2011

Review: A Father’s Love by David Goldman

By | June 21st, 2011|Categories: Biographies, Gift Ideas, Memoirs, Memoirs, Nonfiction|Tags: , , , , , , |3 Comments


Reviewed by Meg Massey

In the summer of 2004, David Goldman was a man who had it all: a successful modeling career, a beautiful wife, and a four–year-old son he adored. But his life turned upside down when his wife Bruna announced that she and their son Sean would be staying in Brazil, where they had been vacationing for two weeks. Devastated by this news, David plunged into a battle to bring his son back.

In A Father’s Love, David Goldman tells the story that most of us have heard on the news, but in much greater detail. David details his shock when wife Bruna called him from Brazil to announce that she no longer loved him, and that she was keeping Sean in her native country. He describes how he began the legal process to bring

21 03, 2011

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Radio Shangri-La by Lisa Napoli

By | March 21st, 2011|Categories: Gift Ideas, Giveaways, Memoirs, Memoirs, Nonfiction, Travel|Tags: , , , , , , |145 Comments


Please join Lisa Napoli, author of Radio Shangri-La, as she tours the blogosphere with TLC Book Tours!

Reviewed by Poppy Johnson

Lisa Napoli, the author and narrator of Radio Shangri-La, traveled to Bhutan to volunteer at a radio station. She was in the throes of a mid-life crisis, and asked herself many of the important questions one asks when reaching the big 40. What was she doing with herself? What should she be doing with her life?

Lisa made the decision to leave her urban life for one that was simpler; she expected to find a happiness that she had never known in Bhutan. After her friend returned from Bhutan, and found enlightenment, Lisa felt the need to go and experience it for herself.

What happened next was an adventure to the Himalayan King-led nation of Bhutan. Because

2 03, 2011

Review: Little Princes by Conor Grennan

By | March 2nd, 2011|Categories: Gift Ideas, Memoirs, Memoirs, Nonfiction, Travel|Tags: , , , , , , , , |5 Comments


Reviewed by Alyssa K.

This week the furnace has clicked on every time the temperature dropped out of my comfort zone. Not once did our kiddos go with out three meals and a snack or two. We snuggled and read and I did not spend one minute worrying if a rebel army would come to our town and steal my babies. The thought of whether my kiddos would be safer with me, or if I should sell our belongings and borrow from relatives in order to pay to send them away with a stranger promising them safety, education and a future never crossed my mind. Sadly, there are parents in this world today who worry about all of those things on a daily basis.

For most of us, the realities of child trafficking are a world away.

20 02, 2011

Review: The Good Daughter by Jasmin Darznik

By | February 20th, 2011|Categories: Biographies, Gift Ideas, Memoirs, Memoirs, Nonfiction|Tags: , , , , , , , |7 Comments


Reviewed by Caitlin B.

Jasmin Darznik was a toddler when her family moved from Iran to America. When Jasmin reaches her early twenties, her mother, Lili, sends her a series of cassette tapes chronicling their family’s life in Iran. In The Good Daughter, Jasmin recounts the true story contained in Lili’s tapes.

Mid-century Iran was not an easy place for the women of traditional families. Lili’s mother, Kobra, left her husband many times during the course of their marriage because of mistreatment. Iranian children belonged to their fathers so, despite Kobra’s protests, at age thirteen, Lili was married to a man twice her age. In little time, he became abusive and his family neglectful. Lili lived in squalor and fear while pregnant with their first child – a daughter she named Sara. Like Kobra, Lili

7 02, 2011

Review: To Have Not by Frances Lefkowitz

By | February 7th, 2011|Categories: Gift Ideas, Memoirs, Memoirs, Nonfiction|Tags: , , , , , , |5 Comments


Reviewed by Poppy J.

To Have Not is Frances Lefkowitz’s journey towards the realization that the world, and how we get along in it, is not always divided up in a fair exchange. The fact is, at any given time in our lives, someone else will always be better off than we are, and it is easy to ignore anyone not as well off as we profess to be.

Lefkowitz gets it. Poverty (or not having an abundantly enriched material existence) is both a state of mind and a condition. It can also be a choice, which happens more often than people believe. Growing up, Lefkowitz realized that her parents scoffed at developing a competitive edge, initiating an entrepreneurial spirit or even trying harder – all because they may not have believed that their efforts would have worked (to achieve some monetary