Book Review · Books

Beauty In The Broken Places

What would you do if your spouse had a stroke right in front of you and you are only in your early 30’s? What if this happened in the air on a plane? Novelist, Allison Pataki experienced this on their way to their Hawaii vacation to celebrate the daughter they were going to be having. Beauty Of The Broken Places is Allison’s memoir of what happened after that fateful June day.

This memoir was a front row seat to what it’s like to experience your loved one ending up with a traumatic brain injury and how to care for them. Allison doesn’t hold back the raw fear, frustration and sadness over what happened. She also, shares how her and her husband, Dave’s friends, family, strangers they met along the way helped out. Allison also, covers the topic of faith, doubt and hope.

I received a complimentary digital copy of Beauty In The Broken Places by Allison Pataki from NetGalley. The opinions expressed are my own. This memoir is my second favorite book I’ve read this year. This book is intense and such an important read. This memoir is truly about the power of family and friends, how even the smallest assistance given when someone needs it is huge for them.

Book Review · Books

Still Standing

What would you do if you were falsely accused to being involved in illegal activity your spouse was involved in? Anaite Alvarado experienced just this in 2015 when she gets arrested in Guatemala. Anaite has dual USA citizenship since her parents are Guatemalan. Her husband, at the time, had only the previous year advised her of some financial trouble he was in. She was not involved whatsoever.

Anaite is whisked away by the police one morning after her children are sent off to school. I can’t imagine the trauma of being taken away without being able to warn your children of what is going to happen. Her memoir, Still Standing, is her journey being stuck in prison and waiting to be freed. Anaite’s account of prison life is intense, sobering, and educational. Her time in there shows how humane inmates are and how they help each other stay sane through their friendships and generosity in sharing what little they have.

I received a complimentary copy of Still Standing by Anaite Alvarado from Apollo Publishers care of Smith Publicity. Opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own. If you are needing an inspirational read I highly recommend this memoir.

Book Review · Books

A Surgeon’s Odyssey

Do you enjoy travel memoirs? Are you interested in becoming a doctor? Do you love any kind of inspirational memoir? If any of this rings true for you then you’ll enjoy reading, A Surgeon’s Odyssey. Dr. Richard Moss raised in NY wanted more in life then to just start his own practice. He wanted to help those less fortunate in other countries.

When a fortune cookie from his favorite Chinese restaurant confirms his desire to be adventurous and follow his heart to help others he takes the plunge. Dr. Moss travels to Thailand, India, Bangladesh, etc. to assist with his expertise as an ear, nose and throat cancer doctor. He is not prepared for what he encounters in these countries. The late stage cancer he discovers is extreme, but the one thing that takes him by surprise are the patient’s attitudes.

The countries he visits are mainly Buddhist and some Muslim. The Buddhist patients could have late stage cancer and have the most positive disposition, grateful for whatever help he can give. Even if there is nothing he can do the patient is still grateful to be seen. Their outlook on life is vastly different from those in the United States. Dr. Moss is shocked how someone with such an advanced stage of cancer can have such a happy disposition when someone in the USA would be an emotional wreck.

I thought reading a doctor’s memoir might be stuffy and boring. I was wrong. Dr. Moss has a great sense of humor throughout out his book. He explains things regarding cancer and procedures in a way an average person can understand. Dr. Moss has quite the adventures in each country he stays in. Reading this book is helped increase my interest in visiting Thailand and India. It also, increased my knowledge of the different types of ear, nose and throat cancer. He even included photos from his travels. Before this book I had never seen what advanced tumors look like.

I received my complimentary copy of A Surgeon’s Odyssey by Richard Moss, M.D. from Claire McKinney, PR, LLC. The opinions expressed are strictly mine. This memoir is one of my top favorites for 2018. I am definitely going to look for his other memoir.

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

Cockloft

The cover to Cockloft endeared me right away as it reminded me of the cover of Jenny Lawson’s memoir, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. Jenny’s cover has a mouse and Kyle’s has a squirrel, but both their poses are the same. Dramatic and hilarious.

If you love short chapters, have a healthy dose of snarky humor then you will enjoy this memoir of sorts. Kyle takes you behind the scenes of what gay married life is like in NY before Trump and during Trump. He also, takes you along on a few of his and Julius’ vacations. Some of my fave chapters include: Amsterdam, France, the squirrel chapters, and many others.

I received a complimentary ARC of Cockloft by Kyle Thomas Smith from Gatekeeper Press through Smith Publicity. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Book Review · Books

Lifesaving For Beginners

Death is not an easy topic to talk about. Reasons for someone passing are varied and the effects of it last a life time. Author, Anne Edelstein, takes us on her journey through dealing with the unexpected death of her mom, who she longed affection from, but who gave it sparingly. Anne’s memoir is dark, raw, contemplative and wistful. Her extended family has dealt with death by suicide and the effects of not knowing the why still haunt her as Anne is trying to come to terms with her mom’s passing.

This memoir touches on the topics of death, family, siblings, mental illness, cancer, marriage, religion, children and legacy. Mrs. Edelstein weaves in the topic of swimming and how her love of swimming at her family’s favorite pond in Maine during the summer helped her connect with her mom through her act of swimming.

I received a complimentary copy of Lifesaving For Beginners by Anne Edelstein from Red Hen Press through TLC Book Tours. Opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own. If you enjoy memoirs that bring you out of your comfort zone then I highly recommend this short book. If interested click here for Amazon and here to check out Mrs. Edelstein’s website.

Book Review · Books

Pull It Off

The cover is colorful. Julianna Zobrist loves color. Her picture on the front of her book makes me think of Lady GaGa due to the creative outfit she’s wearing. Her memoir Pull It Off is a short book filled with how we view our identity shapes us and our confidence.

She is not preachy, but Julianna shows through Biblical scripture our identity is in Christ. Julianna doesn’t harp on us being perfect, but on learning to accept our imperfections and allowing God to work through that. She provides stories from her life and what it’s like to be married to her professional baseball player husband.

This memoir was light hearted with nuggets of Biblical truth sprinkled in. Julianna is not your typical Christian living genre type author. She thinks and expresses herself outside the box. The chapter where Julianna describes how her home is decorated made me sit in awe. Think of Candy Land throwing up decorations all over her home. Yes, it’s that colorful and fun. The allegory about the dandelion at the end was emotionally powerful.

I received a complementary copy of Pull It Off by Julianna Zobrist from Faith Words. Opinions expressed in this review are my own. If you love Christian books that are helpful, but not bossy in tone then you may enjoy this book. I hope Julianna will write more books.