Book Review · Books

Dutch Girl

Do you love reading about WWII and Hollywood? If so, then Dutch Girl is the book for you. I didn’t know anything about Audrey Hepburn prior to this, but this book gives a great overview of her life during WWII. I have loved reading memoirs and biographies about World War II since grade school so, I was interested to hear about her part during the war.

Audrey grew up in the Netherlands where she lived with her mother and father. After her father left, she was sent to a boarding school in England. Her mother was very strict and not one who showed affection. Audrey started taking ballet which she loved. Even though she was considered tall for a ballerina, she was graceful.

Audrey moved back to live with her mom and a few other relatives. During the war she kept dancing as long as she could. She assisted the war effort by helping with the resistance.

This biography goes back and forth between Audrey as an adult and Audrey during the war. The descriptions in this book are superb. I’ve read a lot of books on this subject and this one has to be one of the most vividly expressed biographies. Reading this book you feel as thought you are there with Audrey experiencing every moment of the war.

I received my digital complimentary copy of Dutch Girl by Robert Matzen courtesy of Smith Publicity and NetGalley. The views expressed are mine and of my own free will. I highly recommend this book. I will definitely be looking out for other biographies by Mr. Matzen.

Book Review · Books

Girl Wash Your Face

If a book ever felt like coffee with your best friend this is that kind of book. Girl Wash Your Face sounds like it’d be a beauty book about facial cleansing products, but it’s more than reminding you to keep beautified. Rachel talks about the lies we’ve believed as women socially and within the church. She also, shares stories from her life that aren’t easy to publicly talk about. Some of the topics she tackles are: contentment, sex, motherhood, body image, and so, much more.

Rachel, to me, comes across through her book as one of those pretty, put together ladies who looks all coiffed and perfect, but I know she’s like all of us with everyday struggles. I can understand her love of Los Angeles and California in general. There’s something about Hollywood that has a dreamy, fairytale appeal. I’ve been in the audience of a kid’s show when I was in grade school. That experience ripped off my rose colored glasses on what the entertainment industry can be like. My dreams of acting got a rude wake up call. I can relate to her wanting a name brand purse because once I discovered Poshmark, watch out purse addiction. For some reason I fell in love with the brand Dagne Dover. Rachel goes beyond skin deep in what she personally shares.

I received a complimentary digital copy of Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis from Thomas Nelson via NetGalley. The views expressed are of my own accord and mine only. I enjoyed this book so much I bought myself a physical copy to keep. This book is a short read, but full of a lot of empowerment. I can’t wait to go read her novels she wrote. Keep up writing Rachel. I want to read more of your work.

Book Review · Books

Waves

I am not into graphic novels. I shy away from comics. This graphic novel though stole my heart and converted me by the end. I want to read more memoirs that are in graphic novel form. Please recommend away because if you don’t like that genre either then I know this short little book will convince you otherwise.

In this book the author is going to have a child. Her and her wife are beyond ecstatic, except tragedy strikes. This book is how the author dealt with her loss and survived the deep grief she went through.

I love how the author loves to write and that her writing comforted her while she was recouping in the hospital. I swooned when her wife gave her a new journal because she had used up her current one. I’m a sucker for a brand new journal.

Whether you have dealt with the loss of a child, or not this book shows the range of mourning and how the importance of family and your partner help in getting you through the days that are the toughest.

I received my complimentary digital copy of Waves by Ingrid Chabbert and Carole Maurel from NetGalley. My views are of my own accord and strictly mine. This book was gut wrenching to read at 4:30AM. The artwork is vivid and so much meaning stuffed into the imagery chosen. I high recommend this graphic novel. Some stories are more powerful through artwork vs written word. This is one of those stories.

Book Review · Books

Intertwined

If you are a fan of memoirs, this slim gem will become a new favorite. Nurse, Kathleen English, is a mom and a wife. One weekend when her younger son goes on his Boy Scouts trip a tragic event occurs.

After the loss of her middle child, Shawn, Kathleen yearns to have another child, but desires to adopt. Her husband doesn’t seem as on board as her, but tells her it’s her decision. They welcome into the family a Korean infant, Laura. Kathy and Laura bond quickly and she brightens up the household. Her new brothers take to her.

As the years go by Kathy’s husband seems to grow more distance and the older Laura gets the more moody she becomes. Being a moody teenager, Laura runs away countless times. Each time Kathy is able to find her daughter, but wonders what’s causing Laura to want to run.

This memoir is a great story of a mother and daughter who struggle with loss, identity and figuring out how to relate to each other. If you are an adoptee or parent whose adopted a child then this short book will speak to you in countless ways.

I received a complimentary copy of Intertwined by Kathleen English Cadmus from KiCam Projects. The views expressed are my own and unbiased. This memoir is gripping, educational, and a pager turner.

Book Review · Books

Simplify Your Life

If you need a book to kick your life into gear, then I highly endorse Simplify Your Life. This book is very short, but worth every page. Sarah talks about a wide range of topics from having us pinpoint what our values are, to who we keep in our inner circle, to seeing ways you can enrich your life.

I thought I’d give you a sample of some of my own personal answers while reading this gem are:

Keep an envy journal – write down things you are envious of to figure out what you truly want in your life and what kind of person you wish to be.

Top 10 values: honesty, patience, authenticity, compassion, humor, justice, love, loyalty, spirituality, trustworthiness

Top 5 values: authenticity, trustworthiness, love, humor, stability

Top 5 strengths: love, humor, kindness, appreciation of beauty and excellence

My top 5 passions: writing, reading, Poland, photography, documentaries

Top 5 missing things: spiritual community, affection from family, exercise, balance, consistency

My 10 positive qualities:

patient, affectionate, considerate, loving, loyal, thoughtful, cheerful, trusting, helpful, polite

My tribe:

Family: mom, dad, brother, sister, bro-in-law, sis-in-law, nephews

Relationships: LP

Career: E, J, H, D, T, M, I, K, S, C, D, N, B, G

Well-being: πŸŒ²β˜•οΈ πŸ›πŸ₯ž πŸ“šπŸ’‘ πŸ‘­πŸŒ§ πŸ€Έβ€β™‚οΈπŸ”πŸ’»πŸ“±πŸ›πŸ“¬πŸ§»πŸ–ŠπŸ““β€οΈπŸš­βœοΈ

Personal development: too, many to list

Fun time: HG, JD, Mom, Dad

Spirituality: SP, BL

Top 5 Friends: JD, HK, BL, Owl, KM

Next 10 friends: HP, AR, AL, WildS, SP, CS, OW, SH, HG, E

Environment:

Safety & security – I feel most safe at home.

Physical comfort – I am most comfortable in jeans or sweats and a comfortable t-shirt. I don’t like the weather too, hot, but I’m not a fan of snow. I crave being around trees.

Psychological impact – I do best in a nurturing, caring environment. I detest conflict. I don’t do well being micromanaged.

I received my complimentary digital copy of Simplify Your Life by Sarah O’Flaherty from NetGalley. The views expressed are my own. I definitely want to purchase a physical copy of this book so I can notate a bunch and reference it often. I will be checking out Sarah’s other helpful titles.

Book Review · Books

The Happiness Diary

If you love purchasing diaries then I recommend The Happiness Diary. The artwork in this diary will have you turning each page with delight. There are a variety of ways you can journal: making a list of what makes you happy, drawing, free flow writing, focusing on helping others, mindfulness and learning how to be fully present.

I received my complimentary digital copy of The Happiness Diary by Barbara Ann Kipfer from NetGalley. The views expressed are mine. This diary is gorgeous and inspires you to want to do the prompts throughout the diary. I would definitely gift this to a friend.

Book Review · Books

Hello Stranger

What would life be like growing up in the 60’s being Autistic and not knowing it till you are an adult? Barbara Moran writes about going through this in her memoir, Hello Stranger. Barbara was a unique child who found she didn’t quite bond with other humans, but found she grew attached to every day objects and had a very low tolerance for noise. Her family tried to help her, but as a little kid they decided to have her live at institution.

This institution was where Barbara could live and get the help she needed. The only problem is it didn’t seem like those who were there to help fully cared. Barbara tried her best to act what is considered normal, but felt she couldn’t fully be herself. Would she ever be allowed to go back home?

Instead of getting to return home to her family she is placed in a foster home where she is merely tolerated. Barbara just wants a life of her own, to not have to walk on egg shells around others.

As an adult Barbara is finally given a name for her struggles. Autistic. When she realizes there are others who have similar struggles with noise sensitivity, repetitive thoughts, etc. she finally knows she is not alone.

One thing that brings Barbara joy is drawing. Some favorite things she loves to draw are traffic lights, church buildings, airplanes, etc. Drawing has helped her express herself.

I received my complimentary copy of Hello Stranger by Barbara Moran with Karl Williams from KiCam Projects. The views expressed are mine. This memoir was outside my comfort zone. I can’t imagine my family making such a heart breaking decision to place me in an institution, to be at the mercy of doctors and staff. Barbara is a brave woman who endured so much before being diagnosed as an adult. I’m so glad her drawing brings her comfort and joy. If you want to expand your knowledge of Autism then I do recommend this memoir. I learned new things about Autism.