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

The Book Of No Worries

When I was in junior high we had the classic book by Dr. James Dobson, Preparing For Adolescence. I recall it being an awkward book to read. When you are in junior high reading about bodily changes is cringe worthy. When I saw the book, The Book Of No Worries, I wondered how a similar book would be now that it’s 2019 and not 1990? This book covers a similar range of topics, including modern ones like social media, sexting, the morning after pill, LGBTQA and more.

It boggles my mind that a junior higher nowadays would have to be told about the morning after pill and sexting. When I was in junior high a cell phone was a foreign concept, contraception at that age unthinkable and sexting was not even a blip on our radar. I don’t know that these topics are appropriate for the age group intended. Yes, kids get provided more adult information earlier on, but that doesn’t mean they are mature enough to handle it. As for the topic of sexuality I do wish more had been explained around that age. When you are in the bubble of social heterosexuality, the idea of their being alternatives is a foreign concept. This book was informative and very thorough. I don’t think if I had a preteen that I’d give them this book necessarily.

I received my complimentary digital copy of The Book Of No Worries by Lizzie Cox via NetGalley. The views expressed are my own. I think it’s interesting to see the modern topics discussed in this book. If you want to see how much the world has changed this book will will open your eyes.

Book Review · Books

It Takes Death To Reach A Star

If you love Game Of Thrones and are into futuristic sci-fi novels then, It Takes Death To Reach A Star May be the novel for you. I never read sci-fi, but this novel has encouraged me to start reading more from this genre. This novel follows the paths of Mila and Demitri who are thrown together when their worlds collide after the Third World War. This war wiped out many people with the NBD, or new Black Death epidemic. Mila is a Robust and Demotri is a Gracile. These two groups don’t normally socialize.

Mila clings to the old world’s faith, while Demitri tries to keep his secret under wraps. One carries information that is vital to surviving and the other has an addiction to numbing out his sameness existence. When they both realize what the Leader has in store will they band together to stop him, or will their social classes keep them from stooping the evil leader?

The topics that range throughout this book are what constitutes a family, faith, how knowledgeable can shape and change us. Other topics explored are, are demons real and if so, how do we handle them? Lastly the topic of religious differences is covered. Will we allow religious differences to separate us through violence, or will we learn from each other?

I received my free paperback copy of It Takes Death To Reach A Star by Stu Jones and Gareth Worthington for free from TLC Book Tours care of Vesuvian Books. To support these authors click here to purchase off Amazon and to check out more about the authors: Gareth and Stu . I enjoyed this novel. It’s fast paced with short chapters which is nice. Thank you for such an engrossing read.

Personal · Self Care

No Words

Sometimes you aren’t prepared. This morning my partner mentioned someone had died. I was trying to guess who it might have been. I was not ready for what he showed me.

When he showed me the news headline I immediately cried out, “What? Nooo.” I instantly burst into ugly sobs. I rarely sob. Sobbing at 5AM is not a fun way to ring in a Friday. No, I didn’t know Anthony Bourdain personally. I watched his shows “No Reservations,” and “Parts Unknown”. I’ve watched them many times.

Tony’s shows are funny, heartfelt, snarky at times and make you want to travel the world. He is blunt in his verbiage, but has a heart for people. Tony won’t be forgotten.

It was hard to concentrate at work earlier today because I kept thinking of Tony and wondering why. Why choose to bow out when what ever was ailing him could be resolved with time and patience? I know so many of us struggle with depression. We keep moving forward with smiles plastered on, not letting everyone see behind our perfect looking masks. I don’t know the reasons. We may never know. His own daughter may never know why her dad chose to leave early. I can’t fathom her heartache today.

One thing I do know is Anthony is loved by so many and respected as a chef, author, travel host, Dad, boyfriend, friend, etc. He was a big life figure in the culinary and travel industry.

Part of me wants to curl up in a ball and just sob. This untimely death has hit me hard. I cried more over James Gandolfini. It took me months before I could watch or hear the theme intro song to, “Sopranos.” I usually don’t get this emotional over a celebrity, but these two figures made a giant impact on our world and their passing have left holes in our hearts.

We may not know how we impact others lives, but we do. Even someone we just smile at in passing. That one act of positivity could make someone’s day, it could let them know they are seen and loved.

I hope you are resting in peace Tony. You are loved and admired by many. I am just sad you choose to leave early when you had so much more life to live. You blessed more people than you’ll ever know.