Book Review · Books

When The Chocolate Runs Out

I have read a number of books on Buddhism in the past. When Chocolate Runs Out is a short Buddhism 101 guide, written in such a way for the lay person to understand. Buddhism is supposed to be simple and yet trying to wrap up what I learned in this short book is something you’ll have to read for yourself.

Being raised a Christian some of the points in this book bring to mind some things I’ve learned in how I was raised. Our mind is powerful and what we choose to think on shapes us in more ways than we’ll ever conceive. Life is in constant flux and if we keep trying to hold on to the same old, same old we’ll get left in the dust of the past. I still don’t meditate. I’ve gone to yoga once. I refused to “Om,” during my session. The exercise was intense and I felt it for weeks after. Resting and focusing on my breathe helped me last winter when I was sick. It helped me calm down and breathe better.

I received my digital ARC copy of When The Chocolate Runs Out by Lama Thubten Yeshe care of NetGalley from Wisdom Publications. The opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own. If you are looking for a beginner book on Buddhism I would recommend this one, though I don’t agree with everything in this book.

Book Review · Books

The Solace Of Water

Two women. One black. One Amish. Both need a friend, but their worlds aren’t supposed to mingle when it’s during the 1950’s. Delilah just has to moved to a new town to start over fresh with her family after her son has died in a sudden accident. Emma is an Amish wife with secrets of her own. Both women are lonely and need a friend. One day Delilah’s son, George gets stung by a few bees and Emma discovers him in her woods. Delilah finds this white woman holding her son to shield him from the bees. She’s so grateful that Emma ends up hugging them both. Delilah’s daughter, Sparrow is a catalyst that helps bring these two friends potential friends together in The Solace Of Water.

This novel alternates between Delilah’s point of view and Emma’s, as well as Sparrow’s. This story is gripping, gut wrenching, humbling and jaw dropping. Each character is unique and both ladies stories deal with topics that are as relevant today as they were back in the fifties: death, alcoholism, family, friendship, marriage, romance, pregnancy and many others. I like how the author, Elizabeth Baker Younts included Dutch into the dialogue with Emma and her family.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through TLC Book Tours. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. This novel is a masterpiece in storytelling. I am definitely going to be looking for other titles by this author.

Book Review · Books

The Miracle Club

I won’t lie. I’ve read Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch. The title of The Miracle Club is different. You have the green background that makes you think of money. The eye in the middle has so many possible connotations I don’t know if I want to get into it, but if you research the same eye that’s on your dollar bill you’ll get where I’m going with it. As soon as I saw the eye on this book cover, one word came to mind, but I digress.

This short book is about the New Thought movement, it’s history, its founders, their view of spirituality and what it looks like. The author also, talks about the subject of positive thinking and how throughout the decades it’s gotten a bad reputation. The author, Mitch Horowitz gives examples from his own life in how he’s incorporated New Thought into his life. Mr. Horowitz writes candidly about this topic that he’s passionate about. How can our thoughts direct our destiny? How can changing our thoughts change our course in life?

I received my free digital ARC of The Miracle Club by Mitch Horowitz from NetGalley care of Inner Traditions Bear and Co. The thoughts in this review and feedback are strictly my own. This book was short, but a lot to digest intellectually. If you have read other books on this subject matter you may find this book easier to understand. I don’t personally agree with all the views in this book, but I do think it’s important to understand other viewpoints that may differ from your own. I think it’s fascinating that the author did sprinkle in Bible verses, but looked at them from a metaphysical standpoint. New Age and the New Thought, metaphysics, are very popular, so I figured I might as well educate myself.

Book Review · Books

Trial On Mount Koya

Hiro Hattori goes an interpreter for Christian Father Mateo to a Buddhist temple On Mount Koya to give a secret message to the priest there. When they arrive at the temple a massive storm hits. After they’ve spoken with the priest people at the temple start dying off. Hiro and Father Mateo have to figure out who the culprit is before they are next.

I have never read a Japanese mystery before and this was a classic who done it style mystery. The description of the Buddhist temple was elegant and detailed. I like how the author included Japanese words for the story to be authentic and also, to educate the reader on Japan and Buddhism. I have read a few books on Buddhism and this novel gave a nice primer along with comparing it to Christianity. This book was not religious in getting you to believe either faith presented, but equally explained both faiths within the story.

I received my free copy of Trial On Mount Koya by Susan Spann for my honest feedback and personal opinion from TLC Book Tours. If you enjoy mysteries and Japan grab a copy from Amazon and check out more about Susan Spann.

Book Review · Books

Auschwitz Lullaby

Ever since I was lent a copy of Escape From Warsaw in the fourth grade I fell in love with the country of Poland. I am not Polish, but for some reason the Polish language sounds like music to me. This book for younger children set me on my interest of WWII. I’ve read countless memoirs and historical fiction on this awful war. A few stand out as excellent. Auschwitz Lullaby by Mario Escobar is one of the gems that is a must read.

This WWII historical fiction novel tells the story of real life German mother, Helene Hannemann who follows her five children to Auschwitz though she herself is not a Gypsy and required to go there. Sadly, they are separated from her husband and left to survive in the camp on their own.

Helene was seen as partly privileged since she was German and Dr. Mengele chose her to help operate a nursery school at the camp. Helene did her best to give the gypsy children of Auschwitz a glimmer of normalcy with the supplies Dr. Mengele is able to get for the school. Even though the school is just a smoke and mirrors of the truth of the camp it gives Helene, her children, other children and the ladies who assist with the school some routine that gives comfort.

This novel was hard to put down. The writing was beautiful, some of the sentences were like music in the depth of their power. The true horrors of this war aren’t sugarcoated in this novel, but it is a lovely tribute to Helene’s life and the power of love you have for your family, no matter the cost.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. If you enjoy historical fiction then keep an eye out for the release of this book. I know I want to grab a copy. I am thankful I got the privilege to read this ARC. Thank you!