Book Review · Books

Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways To Become Your Own Hero

If you need a short book to grab when you need inspiration, advice, and a great memoir then I recommend this slim gem. I think this book would make a great gift for a high school graduate or college graduate.

Maryanne talks about her life struggles, triumphs and things that encourage her in ways she and us can be our own hero’s. Topics she covers are: vulnerability, uniqueness, generosity, kindness, weirdness, openness, bravery and balance. At the end of the book is a journal section with writing prompts.

I received my complimentary copy of Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten always To Be Your Own Hero by Maryanne Christians-Mistretta care of KiCam Projects. The views and comments are mine, of my own accord.

Book Review · Books

Life At 8mph

I dragged finishing Life At 8mph. I didn’t want this memoir to end. It was too, rich in life to have to get to the last page. This book will have you laughing about every page. The author has a way of describing a scene that is so vivid you just need popcorn while reading.

Peter was needing a new job and saw a job posting at his seminary. Little did Peter realize the adventure he was about to embark on part time. When he arrived to meet Richard he didn’t realize that Richard has Cerebral Palsy and is in a wheelchair. Richard didn’t let Peter escape with the, “I need to pray about if I should accept this job,” since Richard was a reverend of sorts, so he just offered they prayed together on the spot. This memoir is Peter’s journey helping Richard with seminary classes and day to day things. The adventures these two go on are hilarious, sobering and inspiring.

This book was so satisfying that I hope Peter will write a sequel. If you need a great book on the power of friendship then this is a wonderful book to splurge on, or gift to a new friend. Peter is not preachy, though there are Christian nuggets of wisdom sprinkled throughout this book.

I received a complimentary digital copy of Life At 8mph by Peter Bowling Anderson from KiCam Projects. The views expressed are mine and of my own choice. I can’t shut up about how much I love this memoir. Now all we need is Richard to write his memoir.

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

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.

Book Review · Books

Going Through Hell To Get To Heaven

As a little kid I went through the whole don’t drink and drive spiel in grade school. I remember being a literalist and not allowing my parents to even drink soda in the car because that was a drink. Have you ever thought how you’d deal with life if you encountered a drunk driver? Dr. Scot Hodkiewicz and his family did the day their car got hit by a drunk driver.

In his memoir, Going Through Hell To Get To Heaven, Dr. Hodkiewicz tells in gritty detail his family’s ordeal in being hit by a multiple time DUI drunk driver. His memoir in detail describes all they went through during the accident, the angels that were put in place to help them and the journey his family takes in fighting for their survival.

Dr. Hodkiewicz thought his life was on track to get what he wanted in life until his plan got interrupted by God’s plan. His memoir is not merely a survival memoir, but a faith memoir. He honestly describes what his faith was like prior to the accident and how the accident helped grow his faith instead of causing him to become bitter. Yes, he struggled and he doesn’t shy from sharing about that.

If you love memoirs then this one should top your books to preorder for 2019. This book is definitely one of my top favorites read this year. This book is not schmaltzy as a lot of Christian books can be. Dr. Hodkiewicz is not preachy, but relatable in a nonjudgmental tone. Even if you aren’t a mutual believer I think this book can still be an inspirational read.

I received a complimentary ARC copy of Going Through Hell To Get To Heaven by Dr. Scot Hodkiewicz courtesy of KiCam Projects. The views expressed are strictly my own. Thank you once again, KiCam Projects for the opportunity to get to read such a wonderful testimony to the gift we call life.

Book Review · Books

(Extra) Ordinary (Women)

If you need a book to inspire you to press on and not give up your dreams then I highly recommend the upcoming release: (Extra) Ordinary (Women) by Kristen Bartzokis. This slim volume showcases the stories of 10 ladies from different walks of life who overcame a variety of life challenges to become the successful women they are. Each women’s story is in depth and encouraging. I like that at the end of each chapter is a link to where you can help support causes that each lady supports.

This little book was a treat from page one. Each story held something I could relate to. Each chapter had tough parts to read. These women have been through life events that would cause the average woman to crumble, but they each soldiered on.

I received a complimentary ARC of (Extra) Ordinary (Women) by Kristen Bartzokis from KiCam Projects. The opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own. If you enjoy reading about women who have overcame adversity then you’ll want to add this to your personal library.

Book Review · Books

Permanent Marker

What would you do if you survived an almost fatal car accident? Aimee, an English teacher at her old high school, is on her way home with teens from her high school’s dance team when a young man runs a stop sign and hits her on the driver’s side. She shouldn’t have made it, but she did. Permanent Marker is her journey surviving the accident and two other life changing events prior to that night.

Surviving such a horrific event is a mental cluster f**k. It’s a lot to mentally wade through. I’m a survivor of sorts. I have survivor scars. Sometimes I think I mentally blocked them out, but one evening I truly looked at them and it was a very humbling moment. Scars are a personal momento to remind you that you won’t ever be the same as other people. They remind you that you are a fighter, who fought for their life. They remind you of grace, that you were spared when others were not. They can be beautiful and yet ugly. It’s all in your perspective.

Aimee’s memoir is blunt, raw, honest, funny, tragic and yet inspirational. She honestly talks about dealing with survivors guilt, dealing with recovering from serious injuries and figuring out how to piece her life back together after such a traumatic life event.

I received the ARC of Permanent Marker by Aimee Ross for free from KiCam Projects in exchange for my review. This memoir is short, but packs a punch in what an important read it is. If you enjoy memoirs, especially survivor memoirs then this one will get a special spot on your bookcase.