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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.

14 10, 2016

Review: Raising Human Beings by Ross Greene

By | October 14th, 2016|Categories: Nonfiction, Parenting & Family, Psychology|Tags: , |3 Comments

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raising human beings book coverReviewed by Jenna Arthur

In Raising Human Beings, child psychologist Ross Greene shows how parenting has evolved and how working with your child, rather than dictating to your child, can foster a better parent-child relationship.

Gone are the days of “parent knows best”. Instead, Greene helps parents realize how each individual child may respond, as well as need, differently. Greene ventures that children need someone to help them shine as individuals and come to ascertain who they are as people, what they want from their lives, and to build a stronger family dynamic through a way of parenting that is congruent to each child.

10 04, 2016

Review: Untangled by Lisa Damour, Ph.D.

By | April 10th, 2016|Categories: Nonfiction, Parenting & Family|Tags: , , |2 Comments

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untangled book coverReviewed by Alysia George

As the mother of three daughters (and a son, but that’s another story), navigating through the teen years is a frightening and daunting prospect. We are well into our second year (our eldest will be 15 in a few months), stumbling along to the best of our abilities. One of those What to Expect books I pored over when I was pregnant and when my children were very young would be incredibly helpful at this point. Something to warn me about what’s ahead, reassure me that I’m not crazy, and let me know when to be concerned. So much of parenting is just winging it, but there is a general developmental path that many teen girls can be expected to follow, and lucky for me and other floundering parents, Lisa Damour, Ph.D. has revealed that

26 05, 2015

Blog Tour: Called to be Amish by Marlene Miller

By | May 26th, 2015|Categories: Memoirs, Nonfiction, Parenting & Family, Religion & Spirituality|Tags: , , |2 Comments

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called to be amish book coverPlease welcome Marlene Miller, author of Called to be Amish, who is touring the blogosphere with Litfuse Publicity!

Reviewed by Sarah McCubbin

Just a short drive from where we live is a large community of Amish. I’ve always wondered what life is truly like for them. So, my interest was piqued when I saw the book, Called to Be Amish: My Journey from Head Majorette to the Old Order by Marlene Miller. For an English person to join the Amish is exceedingly rare, and for someone to then share that story, even more so. Having lived as both English and Amish, Marlene writes knowing how the other half lives.

When she was growing up, Marlene and her siblings lived with their parents in a small Ohio town. While their home looked ordinary on the outside, it was actually a

31 03, 2015

Review: The Like Switch by Jack Schafer & Marvin Karlins

By | March 31st, 2015|Categories: Business & Investing, Health, Mind, & Body, Nonfiction, Parenting & Family, Self-Help, Success|Tags: , , , , |3 Comments

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the like switch book coverReviewed by Garret Rose

Humans have the need to love and to be loved. Relationships are integral to our growth as well as a means to help us navigate through an interesting and sometimes difficult world. Sometimes that doesn’t come easy. If you are an introvert, a.k.a. a shy person, or timid around people, then The Like Switch: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Influencing, Attracting, and Winning People Over can be a great fit for you. It can teach you how to look for signs of attraction (either friendly or romantic), as well as how to maintain the appropriate space, eye contact, and physical contact in a budding relationship. Schafer and Karlins give advice on the “Friendship Formula”, “The Laws of Attraction”, “The Curiosity Hook”, and a very important chapter at the end titled “The Perils and Promise of

23 03, 2015

Review: The Caleb Years by David Ingerson

By | March 23rd, 2015|Categories: Christian Living, Memoirs, Nonfiction, Parenting & Family|Tags: , , |4 Comments

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the caleb years book coverReviewed by Alyssa Katanic

Whenever someone faces tragedy, especially when young children are involved, people like to throw out the question of, “Where is God in this?” It is so painful beyond measure to watch a little one struggle medically, to see the family struggle, or worse, to be a parent who loses a child. How do those parents survive the day to day struggle, especially with their faith in God still intact? The Caleb Years: When God Doesn’t Make Sense, by David Ingerson, is the personal story of a dad who does just that.

The Ingerson family was expecting baby number four. The beginning of the pregnancy was rocky, as there were signs and fears of miscarriage, but as the second and third trimesters progressed, all fears went away and they expected nothing less than a

14 03, 2015

Review: An Uncomplicated Life by Paul Daugherty

By | March 14th, 2015|Categories: Memoirs, Nonfiction, Parenting & Family|Tags: , |1 Comment

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an uncomplicated life book coverReviewed by Sarah McCubbin

To many of us, Down Syndrome is manifested in people with almond shaped eyes, perhaps a kinder disposition and propensity toward compassion. To some, it is a birth defect to be avoided and to others an unexpected gift. In his book, An Uncomplicated Life: A Father’s Memoir of His Exceptional Daughter, Paul Daugherty shares their family’s story and more specifically that of his daughter Jillian. From the start, this story was a charmer. Clearly this dad loves his daughter fiercely and it spills out on every page. He is her champion and that is beautiful.

Jillan was born with Down Syndrome. It caught Paul and his wife Kerry completely off guard. Expecting a “normal” baby, they found themselves grieving some kind of loss. Eventually, he realizes that they are grieving perfection. Nonetheless, they

4 03, 2015

Review: Finding Zoe by Brandi Rarus

By | March 4th, 2015|Categories: Memoirs, Nonfiction, Parenting & Family|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

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finding zoe book coverReviewed by Sarah McCubbin

Brandi Rarus knows what it feels like to hear and to be deaf. She has lived in both worlds. When she contracted meningitis at 6-years-old, her world shifted from communicating with words to a blend of language that included signing, reading lips and speaking. While her book is titled Finding Zoe and recounts the beautiful story of her daughter’s adoption, it almost feels like two books.

In the first half of the book, Brandi shares her own story. Her experience of being hearing and then deaf gave her a unique perspective unlike that of most deaf people who have hearing loss from birth. Some of her time was spent among hearing friends and other time among the deaf. Eventually, as a teenager, she had to make the choice of which world she would live in as it

22 02, 2015

Review: Mary Mary Quite by Mary Huckstep

By | February 22nd, 2015|Categories: Humor, Memoirs, Nonfiction, Parenting & Family|Tags: , , |1 Comment

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mary mary quite book coverReviewed by Sarah McCubbin

In her book, Mary Mary Quite: On Raising Children: (and other mind-altering substances), Mary Huckstep shares her humorous observations on marriage, motherhood and ordinary life. With a heavy helping of sarcasm and wit, her chapters invite the readers to laugh as she addresses everything from getting organized to pest control and what she calls, “bedtime crimes.” Raising little ones is something many women dream of but reality is often more chaotic than anyone could have imagined. In our house we have seven children, and it often feels more like a freak show than a Norman Rockwell painting. My favorite part of this book is when Mary realizes that those “child-leashes” are not child abuse but really an ingenious invention! I was laughing out loud with her, remembering the looks and comments I received using