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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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23 02, 2017

Review: The Gratitude Diaries by Janice Kaplan

By | February 23rd, 2017|Categories: Happiness, Health, Mind, & Body, Memoirs, Nonfiction, Self-Help|Tags: , , |5 Comments

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the gratitude diaries book coverReviewed by Richard Wisniewski

I came across The Gratitude Diaries by Janice Kaplan one day as I was doing personal research for my book on the topic. Upon reading the introduction to the New York Times bestselling book, I was captivated, intrigued and sold. Now, I do not say this quite often at all. I firmly believe that every single human being walking on planet Earth should read this book. It is not only life-transformative, it’s life-enlightening.

The concept of The Gratitude Diaries was an idea that came to Kaplan on New Year’s Eve. With the hustle and bustle of society, especially in New York City, Kaplan made it her personal resolution to dedicate 365 days to gratitude and appreciation. Rather than finding fault in things the way so many people do, Kaplan’s intention was to see the silver lining and the bright side of everything.

22 02, 2017

Review: Groovin’ by Rich Israel

By | February 22nd, 2017|Categories: Memoirs, Nonfiction, Travel|Tags: , |2 Comments

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groovin' book coverReviewed by Lauren Cannavino

Rich Israel’s playful, bright and fantastical memoir of the 1960’s experience is a fun, well-written read for fans of counterculture and coming-of-age tales. Groovin’: Horses, Hopes, and Slippery Slopes is raucous, trippy and expressive, full of adventure, hijinks and personal discoveries. From hitchhiking, to a month long horseback riding adventure out west, Rich takes the reader through a time that many can only read about and others will remember fondly.

The book reminded me of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, full of crazy characters, road trips, adventures and drugs, but peppered with self- reflection, excellent insight and the running political commentary in the background.

19 01, 2017

Review: Four Seasons of Loneliness by J.W. Freiberg

By | January 19th, 2017|Categories: Law, Memoirs, Nonfiction|Tags: , , |6 Comments

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four seasons of loneliness book coverReviewed by Holly Madison

Four Seasons of Loneliness is comprised of four different stories which, to my understanding, are all actual true case studies that the author chronicled over his many years as a lawyer. Each of the stories is quite different, but they all have one central theme–loneliness, and the different forms it can take.

I found this book to be quite remarkable. I was drawn in to each of the different stories completely, and found myself fascinated by some stories and enraged by others.

The first story centers around two children from an incestuous family. Their grandparents and mom had been having sexual orgy-type interactions with the children since they were babies, and they were placed with an adoptive family after their birth family relinquished their rights to the children after being caught.

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.

22 12, 2016

Review: Die Young With Me by Rob Rufus

By | December 22nd, 2016|Categories: Arts & Literature, Disorders & Diseases, Health, Mind, & Body, Memoirs, Nonfiction|Tags: , , , |3 Comments

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die young with me book coverReviewed by Sarah Lelonek

I’m not the one to read memoirs, especially not ones with heavy topics like cancer, but Rob Rufus’ Die Young With Me turned out to be the perfect exception to my rule. Mixed with teen angst and underground punk culture, this book enticed me until the end.

Rob and Nat Rufus live in a typical little town in West Virginia where punk is nothing but noise. It’s not until the twins visit a relative that they find out how punk truly can be a way of life. After that, the brothers and a few friends start a band and never look back. When Rob, young, angry, and full of potential, is diagnosed with cancer, the dreams the Rob had fought so hard to achieve turn into a life or death battle.

12 12, 2016

Blog Tour: Hound of the Sea by Garrett McNamara

By | December 12th, 2016|Categories: For Men, Gift Ideas, Health, Mind, & Body, Memoirs, Nonfiction, Self-Help, Sports & Outdoors|Tags: , , |3 Comments

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hound of the sea book coverPlease join Garrett McNamara, author of Hound of the Sea, as he tours the blogosphere with TLC Book Tours!

Reviewed by Nina Longfield

Hound of the Sea by Garrett McNamara is a memoir that delves into the hypnotic draw of big wave surfing. This book, however, is also a look back to an unconventional childhood. McNamara was born at the tail end of the flower power era with parents who embraced the concepts of peace, love, sex, drugs, and communal experimentation. Throughout his memoir, McNamara dips into his past sharing vignettes of memories. Using his own recollections as well as stories he heard from others, McNamara creates a picture of a boy with an unconventional childhood growing into a man with an exceptional occupation.

2 11, 2016

Review: My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg

By | November 2nd, 2016|Categories: Biographies, Law, Memoirs, Nonfiction|Tags: , , |3 Comments

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my own words book coverReviewed by Kelly Ferjutz

As a woman of a certain age (or even beyond) I have the greatest admiration and respect for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. From the get-go, she had the wherewithal to do more than just dream–she did!!! And didn’t she just?

Justice Ginsburg has been writing all of her life, with one of her first published pieces happening while in the eighth grade, which is included in this book, as is one of her most recent writings for the Supreme Court, the highlights of the 2015-2016 Term, which just ended about four months ago! In case you’re curious, that covers a span of some seventy years, and she’s not about to run out of words anytime soon, considering the content of that recent piece.

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.

10 10, 2016

Review: The Boiling River by Andres Ruzo

By | October 10th, 2016|Categories: Memoirs, Nonfiction, Travel|Tags: , |3 Comments

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the boiling river book coverReviewed by Caleb Shadis

The Boiling River is a book based on a TED talk by Andres Ruzo. I’ve heard of TED talks and have since watched quite a few of them online. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design. They cover a very wide range of topics and typically focus on interesting new discoveries and understanding about the world around us.

The Boiling River is about a river that is close to boiling, bubbling away in the Amazon. The river is particularly special because no one knew about this amazing place and people living in the area denied its existence. And even more impressive was the sheer volume of water that was flowing at this temperature.

10 10, 2016

Review: Pound for Pound by Shannon Kopp

By | October 10th, 2016|Categories: Animals, Disorders & Diseases, Health, Mind, & Body, Memoirs, Nonfiction, Self-Help|Tags: , , , , |2 Comments

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pound for pound book coverReviewed by Kelly Ferjutz

Body image problems are not new. I’m sure that bulimia and anorexia existed when I was a teenager, but in those years, any kind of addiction was never brought out into the sunlight for a closer examination and possible treatment. I’ve lived with body image difficulties all my life, having inherited my height from my very tall father, and thus towering over my petite mother, who always seemed confused by my size. I’ve finally adjusted to being who I am, but in the years since I was a girl, these two horrendous diseases have become insidious and ever-present social nemesis.

Because our society allows for such a pressure-filled ‘demand’ to be made of those who may have a weak area, it is all too easy to be tweaked into a seriously addictive life-style. Shannon Kopp presents her struggles with bulimia in an open and forthright manner, making this book an invaluable resource for every young person anywhere.