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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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3 01, 2017

Review: You Will Not Have My Hate by Antoine Leiris

By | January 3rd, 2017|Categories: Death & Grief, Health, Mind, & Body, Memoirs, Nonfiction, Parenting & Family|Tags: , , , |5 Comments

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you will not have my hate book coverReviewed by Marcus Hammond

In 2015, terrorists attacked six different sites in Paris, killing 130 people. A large number of those victims came from the Bataclan Theater, where Helene Muyal-Leiris was attending a concert. While there were survivors of the attack on the Bataclan, Helene was not among that number. With Helene’s death, Antoine Leiris lost his wife and the mother of his child. It is this tragic loss and Antoine’s struggle to move forward that serves as a backdrop for the raw, powerful emotions that are portrayed throughout the beautiful, heart-wrenching You Will Not Have My Hate.

The memoir is structured in short, conversational passages that begin on the night of the attack and end two weeks later. Antoine details everything from his initial concern and then panic on the night of the attacks, to the deep sorrow, desire for isolation, and appreciation for support in the days that followed. Each passage builds a portrait of a man who lost half his heart, but recognized the need to remain strong to raise his son, Melvil.

30 10, 2016

Review: All At Sea by Decca Aitkenhead

By | October 30th, 2016|Categories: Death & Grief, Health, Mind, & Body, Love & Romance, Memoirs, Nonfiction, Parenting & Family, Self-Help|Tags: , , , , |3 Comments

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all at sea book coverReviewed by Kate Schefer

Decca Aitkenhead’s second book is the account of her partner Tony Wilkinson’s death, and its illuminating aftermath. While the impetus for All At Sea was his death (and her loss), Aitkenhead delves into every aspect of her life that was affected by her tragedy, and allows herself to explore the scope of it. Nothing about the book was overly dramatic or emotional, but she still allowed herself to explore her grief, in a self-aware way. The prologue also helped set the tone by explaining what it’s like to be a victim of random tragedy, and how sudden loss and freak accidents “happen to other people,” until they happen to you. I think the two main things that elevated this story from the expected “woe is me” tale were her unique love story with Tony, and the fact that Aitkenhead’s own mother died of cancer when she was a child. Her unconventional approach to the situation subconsciously shaped Aitkenhead’s own understanding of death, loss, and grief.

26 09, 2011

Review: The Long Goodbye by Megan O’Rourke

By | September 26th, 2011|Categories: Death & Grief, Health, Mind, & Body, Memoirs, Nonfiction, Psychology & Counseling|Tags: , , , , |7 Comments

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Reviewed by Jennifer Leisey

When Meghan’s mother, Barbara Kelly O’Rourke, passes away from metastatic colorectal cancer on Christmas Day, Meghan thought she had prepared herself. She quickly discovers that, at least for her, losing her mother is not nearly as difficult as the aftermath of letting go and learning to live in a world without her mom.

The Long Goodbye chronicles the fifteen months following the death of Meghan’s mother, in snapshots of memories of her mother, snippets of poetry and prose about mourning, and scientific/psychoanalytic information blended into a candid and courageous memoir of life and loss. Meghan writes openly about her struggles with the socially accepted timeframe for bereavement, the unanswerable questions of existence and the afterlife, coming to terms with mortality, and the desire for her mother to simply come back.

One of the strikingly authentic attributes of The