Book Review · Books

In The Image Of Man

If you like outside the box fiction with a spiritual twist, then you might enjoy In The Image Of Man. This book follows the journey of a little invisible god named Bob who starts out as a little spark until an old vendor repair man named Ray calls out, “Bob’s your uncle,” when he survives a car accident. Thus how the little god got the name Bob. This is Bob’s journey on how he learns to be a god and what it means for a god to have faith in those who believe in him.

Bob watches over his first believer Ray until he discovers a new believer by the name of Mary. She’s been going through a lot with her job and boyfriend. One day when Mary is upset, Bob spells out some words using her tears for her to be able to see that he exists. She is shocked and not quite sure what to make of it, but when interesting things start happening in her life thanks to Bob, she starts to believe in him.

I received my complimentary digital copy of In The Image Of Man by Mark Long via Booktasters care of the author. The views are my own and of my own will. This book explores the concept of belief and how believing in something helped both Ray, Mary and others. I think it was fascinating hearing the story from the viewpoint of Bob. It was interesting how Bob interacts with those who were raised on Western Christianity vs an Eastern faith. It’s also, interesting how Bob learns about humans and our society throughout the story.

Book Review · Books

The Great Unexpected

Joel’s wife recently died and now he has a roommate at his retirement home that doesn’t talk back. Mr. Miller is in a comma, but is still someone to talk to. That is, until he expires one day and Joel has to watch the nurses try to revive him.

Joel wonders if he’ll get a new roommate then enters in Frank Adams otherwise know as Mr. de Selby; an old actor who has the flair to match his fancy scarfs he wears. He’s very chatty and everyone at the home seems to like him, but Joel is not too, keen on his roommate.

Overtime they form an interesting friendship of sorts. Slowly his roommate scrapes away the bitterness that Joel holds onto like a vice grip. Life seems to be looking up until Joel confesses that he wants to be done with it all. The question is how does he want to go out? Frank wants to help out so he starts to write a play of Joel’s final moments via brainstorming in his journal.

Since Joel’s time is nearing to an end once he figures out how he wants to go, they both decide they want a night out on the town. They escape the home and proceed to go to a bar. They get properly sloshed and go back to the home. The head director is fuming and Joel’s daughter is furious he’d risk his life when he has a ver perfectly good place at the retirement home.

One person whose worried about Joel is his friend Una, who was friends with his wife, Lucey. She’s been keeping an eye on him and he’s been avoiding her obvious interest in him.

Frank and Joel decide to go on a few more nighttime jaunts into the city. One such adventure they bump into Joel’s grandkids who find it hilarious their grandfather is boozing it up with his roommate. Who knew partying with your grandkids could be a fun time. When they return more precautions are taken so they won’t escape again.

This novel discusses so many important topics. Friendship is a key one, but also, the topic of receiving respect when you are elderly. I know when my grandmother had to move into her retirement home it wasn’t easy. Having sense of loss after living in a house to a small apartment with neighbors all around is a big change. I also, think going from living independent to assisted living is a big change, to feel your sense of control of your own life is being micromanaged by someone else who is in charge. Another topic covered is how we ware masks as a defense mechanism. Joel’s roommate Frank uses his character, de Selby as his persona when he’s not wanting to be vulnerable. Joel uses grumpiness as his defense mechanism.

I received my complimentary copy of The Great Unexpected by Dan Mooney from TLC Book Tours. The views expressed are my own and of my own will. This book is a gem and a reread. The characters are hilarious and thought provoking. The banter between Joel and Frank reminds me of the movie, “Grumpy Old Men.” I can’t wait to read more fantastic books by Dan Mooney.

Books · Personal · Self Care · TBR

July Library Haul

When you haven’t been to the library in over a year and get the craving. I splurged and probably will read maybe 4-5 out of the 18 I got. I like having plenty of variety. I miss going to the library and have missed it. My local libraries are alright. The one closest to me has a great YA section.

Do you like your local library? Do you prefer the library or bookstore? Have you ever decided to strictly get library books and then choose from there what is own worthy?

Have you read any of the above books? If so which ones (without spoiling it for me) are worth reading?

Book Review · Books

Saved As Draft

I have loved to write since I was little. I’d write out short stories and draw pictures. In junior high I kept a diary and in high school. I am grieved I chucked those personal histories. All because they were triggers regarding ex boyfriends. Diaries are moments captured in real time. I wish I had kept them, so that I’d have that unique history to look back on.

N.D. Chan wrote Saved As Draft to show that even emails we may not send, letters we write, but chicken out to mail are still our written history and important to keep. Her memoir is her collection of such writings that follow her journey from living in China with her grandparents to moving to the USA to live with her mom and stepdad. N.D. shares her exploration to find out more about the dad she never knew. She also, dives into what first crushes and relationships are like when you’re a teenager. The author discusses what it was like to try to meet other ladies who are into ladies in a time when it wasn’t as safe to be out as it is now. N.D. also, includes poems.

This memoir is short, but filled with so much heart. I felt sucked right in from the start. As a little kid a lot of the time at a new school I felt like the odd man out. Being super short is not cute when the older kids find it humorous to pick you up and not put you down and being mistaken for a Kindergartner in the third grade. I know what it’s like to not understand why our parents may choose to do what they do. N.D. struggles wondering why her mom decided to wait so long to have her move to the USA to be with her. I have a lot of memories of having crushes on both girls and boys growing up. I remember just staring at one poor boy in the first grade relentlessly during the time we’d have to put our heads down for quiet time.

I received a complimentary digital copy of Saved As Draft by N.D. Chan from NetGalley. The views are my own and of my own will. I loved this book and hope there will be more books from this author. Some authors you read and sense they are a kindred spirit. Thank you N.D. for sharing your beautiful soul with the world. Keep on. writing.

Book Review · Books

Rouge

Are you a girlie girl? Do you love makeup? Do you drool over buying a new lipstick, or mascara? Do you like the 1940’s era? If so, do I have a fun novel to recommend.

America in the 1930’s to 40’s was the era where women went from just being house wives to having to get a job to help with the war effort and help provide extra income for their families. Enter in Constance who created a business where house wives could sell makeup door to door. This would give them time out to socialize, but also, earn some extra money. Next you have Josephine who built her own beauty brand, opening salons all over the USA and abroad. Two cosmetic leaders who want to be number one no matter the cost. Then there is CeeCee, a biracial lady who discovered a way to keep her hair just right for her and her fellow African American sisters, Will she be able to compete with Constance and Josephine? Who will win as the ultimate beauty leader?

This novel takes you behind the scenes of the rivalry between two cosmetic queens and what happens when they only will accept the best and are determined to win. There is romance, mystery, suspense, humor and, of course lots of makeup talk. This book is beautifully written and brings this era to life.

I received a complimentary copy of Rouge by Richard Kirshenbaum from St. Martin’s Press, care of FSB Associates. The views are my own and of my own will. I rarely wear makeup. I like the idea of it, but my skin is so sensitive I only can use select lipstick, or lipgloss. This novel brought back the exciting moment of buying a new lipstick and trying it on. This book makes you proud to be a woman and show off your beauty. I think my favorite part is the very end of the last chapter. This book was very satisfying. Thank you FSB Associates and St. Martin’s Press for the opportunity to get to read this fascinating novel.

Book Review · Books

The Stone Rainbow

Jack recently came out to his mom and is slowly befriending Cody, whose teaching him how to swim. He hangs out with his friend Ryan and likes to get advice from Ryan’s girlfriend Clare. Life is improving from the previous year when things felt hopeless.

When cute new kid Benjamin starts talking to Jack in art class, Jack is surprised since Benjamin is the school VP’s son. Jack can’t tell if Benjamin is just being polite, or actually likes Jack. He doesn’t know of any other gay kids in their town.

When Benjamin and Jack have to make an art project for class, Jack is surprised how out Benjamin is. He makes a rainbow out of stones he colors and then writes the meaning behind the different colors. Jack is concerned for his safety once everyone in town knows Benjamin is gay. Benjamin on the other hand is out and not shy about being obvious.

Benjamin starts talking about how their small town should have a Pride parade, but Jack knows with how conservative their town is there’s no way they’d get it approved. When there’s an incident Jack has to decide if hiding who he is, is worth it.

I received my complimentary digital copy of The Stone Rainbow by Liane Shaw from NetGalley. The views are mine and of my own will. If you haven’t read Caterpillars Can’t Swim you can still read The Stone Rainbow without being lost as to what happened in the first book. A lot of times sequels don’t live up to the first book. This one surpassed it. This book is a powerful story of friendship, family, community and being true to who you are no matter what others think, or do.

Book Review · Books

The Monster Catchers

Bailey Buckleby lives with his father whose a monster hunter. His father owns a little store where they sell little trinkets for tourists. In the back is where Bailey’s dad secretly keeps his live fairy collection in lanterns that hang in the back room. In the freezer they have a live troll, Henry. Their little town of Whalefat doesn’t believe in monsters, unless you discover a goblin who won’t leave you alone.

Bailey loves researching monsters. He’s constantly reading his favorite book by a professional monster hunter. He helps his dad out when he goes to hunt monsters. Bailey has a talent to defend himself using frisbees. He doesn’t have any friends except for a classmate who also, believes in monsters. She owns a cool sword. Being in seventh grade can be stressful when you have to keep avoiding bullies.

When a goblin hunt goes wrong Bailey ends up on the wrong side of the monster equation and has to find his way back to his dad. Will he reach his dad in time?

I received my complimentary copy of The Monster Catchers by George Brewington from Godwin Books, care of Smith Publicity. My views are my own and of my own accord. This middle grade book was fun, fast paced, humerus and sad at times. I’m not into monsters, but reading this book made me want to Google the different monsters represented in the book.