Tag Archive | Memoir

Still Christian 

If you were a Christian young adult in the 1980’s this just might be the book for you. Pastor and teacher David Gushee talks about his faith journey in, Still Christian ,  from being a new believer in the summer of 78′ to his current life as a grandfather. Mr. Gushee describes what it’s like to be on the Southern Baptist side of the fence and the liberal side of the Christian fence. He has experienced both sides of Christiandom and come away still a believer. If you have attended an ultra conservative Christian college you may be able to relate to his experiences at both Union and Southern Baptist Theological seminaries, etc. Mr. Gushee discovered what it’s like when you stand by your convictions. Damned if you do and sometimes damned if you don’t. When the author took a stand with the LGBT community he found out how standing up for what you believe in can start you on a whole new spiritual journey than from where you started.

I received the ARC of, Still Christian,  from NetGalley in exchange for my honest assessment. I think I was the wrong age range to read this book. If I was ten years older than I might possibly might be able to relate to it more.

Something Beautiful Happened


If you have a grandparent still alive and willing to tell you their life story don’t hesitate to listen. If we don’t listen and write down the rich history we are provided it will be lost forever. Yvette thinks about all the times she could have spent time with her grandmother, but instead chose to do other things. There were so many more stories she could have heard, family history provided. Yvette didn’t even have to ask, her grandmother would have shared with her, but when you are young you think you have next time.

If you like to read about World War II, then I highly recommend, Something Beautiful Happened, by Yvette Manessis Corporon. This memoir is about the author’s search to find out the truth behind her grandmother’s story of helping save a Jewish family during the Holocaust on the small Greek island of Erikousa. Yvette grew up visiting the island and her grandmother during the summer, so she knew the island well. Her grandmother told her that the whole island kept this family a secret from the Nazi’s. Yvette decided she wanted to find the descendants of this family, to find out what had become of them.

Yvette’s journey takes many twists, turns, some of them heartbreaking, yet still rewarding. I’ve read countless memoirs on World War II, but this one packs an important punch.  Yvette writes in such a way  that you feel as though you are actually there on the island, at her grandmother’s house. I have never been interested in Greece before, but after reading this book I would like to go visit the island of Erikousa.

I was provided the e-book ARC of Something Beautiful Happened by Yvette Manessis Corporon for free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. This book was breathtaking.

Rabbit Hole

David Shurter’s memoir is his journey coming to terms with his nightmarish past. He was raised in a family where his father was a Satanist and a priest within a local Satanic coven. He was raised and groomed from childhood to believe he was the AntiChrist. Some of his memories felt so awful, he wondered if they were merely bad dreams. After talking with his siblings he realized they weren’t bad dreams, but real events he was remembering. I think my mind is still trying to wrap around the events David talks about in his memoir. What Satanic ritual abuse entails is mind-boggling. David’s quest to find answers and healing is intense and filled with hope.

Years ago I discovered an SRA (Satanic Ritual Abuse) survivor, a Christian, who I befriended online. I read her memoir and was floored. When I saw Rabbit Hole as an option to get to possibly read, I grabbed at the first chance I got. The topic of Satanism isn’t for the light-hearted. It is dark, sadistic, demonic, creepy and you might opt to leave the lights on, but to educate yourself about this is subject is very important. Satanist wants to keep what they do in the dark, but the evil committed needs to be brought into the light. I was given an e-book of Rabbit Hole for free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. If you are spiritually sensitive this memoir might not be for you, but on the other hand you need to know the truth.

Dryland

Addiction is something we don’t like to fess up to. Whether it’s over spending, over eating, or drinking we all have our own personal demons. When I agreed to review Dryland I don’t think I glanced at what it was about since I knew it was a memoir and I love memoirs. This memoir is about Nancy and her alcohol addiction.

Nancy loved swimming since she was little. She was talented and won a lot of swim meet awards growing up. She almost made it to the 88′ olympics. Winning made her Dad proud, so she focused on swimming until her swimming career came to an end. Not having swimming as her anchor she signed up for the Peace Corps. Nancy traveled to different countries where she had different adventures in the process picking up a stronger addiction to drinking. Culturally in the countries she was in it was socially acceptable to drink.  It took Nancy going to the Middle East where the severity of her addiction slapped her in the face. 

This memoir is honest, raw, funny and not an easy read. For Nancy to come clean about her near deadly alcohol addiction isn’t easy. It’s tough enough to just admit to yourself you have an addiction, let alone publish it for the whole to read. There is a risk in being judged, or misunderstood, but what Nancy has done is graciously opened a door for conversation on this vital topic. No matter what your addiction might be, Nancy’s memoir of her journey to sobriety will keep you cheering as she swims her way to victory. I received my copy for free of charge from TLC Book Tours in exchange for my honest review. I recommend this book for anyone needing inspiration to quit an addiction. Thank you Nancy for your authentic, lovely self sharing your struggles, but most of all your triumphs.

Forty Autumns

Forty Autumns is a tour de force. This stunning memoir is about the author, Nina Willner’s mother’s life growing up in East Germany during the Cold War and escaping while she still could. I have not read much about the Cold War, but this memoir packs a punch. It’s a tad hefty of a tome, but Nina’s mom, Hanna’s life is intriguing and sobering. Nina includes personal photographs which brings her mom’s life and her own from black and white into full color. From Kansas to the Emerald city it describes the heartache of what it’s like growing up under communism to knowing what freedom is like.

What would it be like to be separated from your family by a wall, armed guards and police? To know you could be shot just by stepping a toe over the dividing line? To live in a world where every move you make is analyzed to make sure you don’t slip up, to be given the impression your immediate world is superior, when deep down you wonder if the other side is just as awful as you’ve been lead to believe. Unless you’ve been raised in a communist country this sounds surreal, but to think this was the norm in East Germany only 28 years ago is scary.  This memoir is a powerful reminder to be thankful for our freedoms if you live in a free country. Not all country’s are free, but never give up hope if you don’t live in a free country. Thank you Nina for such a powerful testimony to your family’s strength for never giving up.

This memoir was given to me for free in exchange for my review from TLC Book Tours, care of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins. To purchase this captivating memoir please go check it out here. If you love to read and have a blog where you like to share your review of books you love feel free to check out TLC Book Tours

Love That Boy

A book about the relationship between a father and son sounded just right to me. Love That Boy is about political columnist Ron Fournier and his son Tyler’s relationship. Like every father out there Ron has expectations and hopes for his kids, but Tyler is unique in his own way. Not until he’s 12 do his parents find out that Tyler has Aspergers. This memoir is Ron’s journey to understand Tyler better and learn how to be a better parent through going on a Presidential themed road trip with Tyler.

If you’ve struggled with feeling like you can’t measure up to your parent’s expectations then this book might make you feel better. Growing up I always felt like I couldn’t measure up to my own dad’s expectations for me. Sometimes praise felt hollow or forced, or worse I felt patronized. Who doesn’t hate feeling that way?

Ron’s memoir is candid and provides a lot of fatherly insight into how it can be hard to relate to a child when you have polar opposite interests. You are an extrovert and your son is an introvert. I’m a mix of both intro and extrovert, but my dad is more extrovert. He can’t understand that after a few hours of intense socializing I need my me alone time or watch out for cranky lady.

I think this book will help parents no matter if their child is special needs or not. I think this book gives great insight into a parent’s internal struggle in trying to relate to their child. It’s good to see the viewpoint from the parent and not just the child. I received Love That Boy, from Blogging For Books in exchange for my honest assessment.

All Our Waves Are Water 


I didn’t even read the blurb about All Our Waves Are Water by Jaimal Yogis. All I knew was it was a memoir and I love memoirs. This book is about Jaimal and his search for life’s meaning through going on trips to India, Bali, San Francisco, etc. He was raised Buddhist by his parents, but throughout his schooling he is exposed to other faiths and beliefs. Jaimal discovers that the sacred can be found in many other faiths, even places he didn’t expect like the wailing wall in Jerusalem. He also, discovers that the most unlikely people can wake you up to realize what you truly have when you all you feel is blah about your life. One love of Jaimal’s life is surfing. It’s his way to regroup, get exercise and hone his surfing skills. He uses surfing as a way to describe how he has found the meaning of life.

At first this book was alright, but nearing the end I got sucked in and then I was on the last page wanting to read more. This book made me laugh and think outside the box. I’ve never been surfing, but after this book I might want to be brave and try it one day. I received my free ARC copy of All Our Waves Are Water  from TLC Book Tours in exchange for my honest assessment. If you are interested to get your own copy click here to purchase it from HarperCollins.