Category Archives: Four Stars

The Memoir of a Schizophrenic

The Memoir of a Schizophrenic by [Karl Lorenz Willett]

The Memoir of a Schizophrenic by Karl Lorenz Willett is a beautifully written account in the form of a diary or journal which has been produced over numerous years. It follows the internal struggle of the author. It is a biographical account of his life and the battles he has faced from a very young age all the way through life’s milestones. You get to see what it is like for someone suffering with schizophrenia to be put into situations which others may see as everyday life such as Karl’s struggle with finding employment to suit his skills, especially during a time when so many others were also struggling nationally.

The reader is able to follow Karl’s faith and bare witness to the times in his life where he forces himself to be positive, you see him consistently trying to improve himself as well as his mental state. It is a refreshing read that really provides an insight into what it is like daily for someone with schizophrenia. It touches upon the common issues they face and the theme running throughout all the accounts, of living with a mental health condition is extremely relevant in today’s society. This would be a great tool in raising awareness as well as educating people on some of the aspects which may be present in those also battling.

Another theme which is touched upon is that of race. These external battles are almost a mirror for the protagonists internal struggle and only amplify what Karl had to contend with throughout his life. Although you do get an insight into his younger years, these are brief and I was left wanting to know more because what is given, “I experienced short-lived delusions and visual hallucinations”, is interesting and I wanted to delve deeper into these motives and emotions that are otherwise summed up quickly.

The Memoir of a Schizophrenic by Karl Lorenz Willett is long but very informative and thought provoking. Readers will really sympathize with Karl as they get to see further into the way his brain processes situations and the will he has to change and battle these parts of himself, as well as embrace them. This impassioned memoir provides readers with a stark glimpse into the life of a man that is struggling with a devastating psychological condition.

Pages: 925 | ASIN: B09HRDMYP7

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Spirit Club

Spirit Club: Mediumship Uncovered by [Donna Young]

Spirit Club: Mediumship Uncovered, by Donna Young is a fantastic guide that helps mediums embrace and develop their gifts. The author’s mission is to mentor up and coming mediums and share her wealth of knowledge with anyone that has a desire to reach their full potential.

Donna Young covers a lot of material in this short book, but what I liked most about this book was how nothing seemed preachy. Everything seemed so approachable. And in this way I can tell Donna Young is an expert at her craft, because she is able to capture that warm comforting feeling you often get when walking into the presence of a medium and place it into her book. She keeps a conversational tone throughout the whole book which helped me connect with the information easier. She uses her own experiences to show what she’s talking about, which helped me learn but also entertained me with her fascinating anecdotes. She talks about making sure that you are coming from a place of positive intentions and self-love, which is an example of the sensible but crucial advice dispensed throughout this book that essentially improves you as a person as well as a medium.

Through simple and inviting language I was able to understand everything that was shared. In most cases, I felt that what she was talking about could be applied to all areas of your life, not just in the psychic realm. While I was skeptical at times, I was assuaged by the fact that the information in general was just so uplifting.

Donna Young shares information from a positive frame of reference, which is no surprise that she practices what she preaches, but I think readers should come at this book with those same rose-colored glasses as I think it will improve the experience. Donna Young has written a wonderful book that is useful for anyone who is open to the spiritual world and learning more about it. The authors conversational approach and willingness to open up about her own experiences made this book riveting as well as enlightening.

Spirit Club: Mediumship Uncovered is a short but resourceful spiritual guide that is filled with keen advice that can help readers improve their psychic abilities.

Pages: 98 | ASIN: B09J3QLGXN

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The Cure for Stars

The Cure for Stars (The Sphere of Destiny Trilogy Book 2) by [Nassim Odin]

The Cure for Stars is the second book in the Sphere Trilogy written by Nasim Odin. As the second book in the series, you must absolutely read the first entry if you want to be able to follow the story. The Cure for Stars starts off right where we left at the end of The Sphere of Destiny. Our hero, Al-Khidr, has escaped the Hall of Stars on planet Lyra and has been flung through time and space via a wormhole back to Earth. However, he soon discovers that this is not the same Earth he left behind. Time has jumped forward and the Egypt he arrives in is being invaded by Napoleon. To add to Al-Khidr’s troubles his nemesis Hatathor has followed him through the wormhole. His own sphere is lost and now Hatathor is hunting him down not just for revenge but also as a means to get back home to Lyra. However, Al-Khidr is a man of his word. He made a promise to the Lyran’s to help them cure the Mutmut disease and he will stop at nothing to achieve his goal. This time round he is assisted by Estelle, a beautiful naturalist who may just have the botanical knowledge Al-Khidr needs to achieve his goals.

The Cure for Stars has everything I loved about the first book, but it feels like Odin has grown as a writer this time round and writes with more confidence. Al-Khidr is a hero who prefers to use his brains over brawn. The book includes much more dialogue than the first as Al-Khidr uses his knowledge of religion and politics to talk his way out of trouble. This does not mean there is a shortage of action, however. Hatathor is the antithesis Al-Khidr, he kills first and asks questions later. The book utilizes multiple narrators and the parts following Hatathor can be a violent fever dream. Hatathor isn’t always the immoral monster he first appears and diving into his twisted psyche is one of my favorite parts of the book. If anything, Hatathor is so well written he makes Al-Khidr feel a little dull and puritanical. I also much preferred Nefertiti to Estelle. Unfortunately, Nefertiti doesn’t make an appearance here. Al-Khidr’s fledgling romance with Estelle also feels out of character when not long ago he was mooning ever Nefertiti.

Once again the writing itself is descriptive but simple, creating an engaging adventure that is easy to follow. The story moves at a quick pace, and there is a lot of story to tell and no time to waste, but I would have enjoyed a bit slower pace. Odin’s dedication to research and world building however steal the show. This is still a refreshing mixture of Arabic culture/history and science fiction unlike any other book I have read.

The story is exhilarating, the setting is captivating and the addition of Hatathor makes this entry a little darker, violent and fun.

Pages: | ASIN: B099DGLWWN

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All 48

All 48 : Drive Your Dreams by William and Jessica Hollingworth is a refreshing true story that follows two kids that make an uneasy transition into parenthood and adulthood. This is an inspiring memoir detailing the journey these two people take starting in high school. From college, to work, to traveling throughout the United States, including both the dark times and happy times, what readers will find in the end is exactly what William and Jessica found; a passion for life.

While this is a story of both William and Jessica, the book is narrated from William’s perspective and shows readers how both made their way through the obstacles of life. Considering how massive the U.S. is it is quite an accomplishment to travel as extensively as they did. I live in the U.S. and can’t imagine accomplishing that much travel. They start as two middle class teens with a kid, travelling, achieving their dreams and overcoming obstacles. It is all uplifting and stirring.

The authors have done their research and included so many lists and routes that another traveler can take! It is so exciting! And honestly, I am saving those lists for myself because as someone who has always dreamt of traveling, I would love to just spend two months on the roads William, Jessica and Colt experienced; even the ditch that William jumped into, not knowing that he could have walked, crossing from one state to another. I strive for such a thrill, and it was wonderful to follow their journey. All 48 is not only a guide to first time travelers, it is also a push for those scared to take that first step. This book is so much more than a travelogue, it also shows the how and the why of it all, making this an engaging memoir about a lifelong road-trip.

“If we were haunted by second thoughts the night prior, this sense of appreciation and wonder is what thirds are made of.”

This was my favorite line. For William and Jessica, it was their journey into the unknown of the traveler’s life, but it can easily be applied to anything in life. I really loved this because it certainly reminded me of my own goals that I wanted to achieve.

All 48 : Drive Your Dreams will motivate readers to live their dreams. This is an exceptional memoir that I would highly recommend to readers looking for a well-crafted, charismatic, and insightful journey.

Pages: 130 | ASIN: 1667800159

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The Demon In Disguise

The Demon in Disguise: Murder, Kidnapping, and the Banty Rooster by [Ashley Elliott]

The Demon In Disguise, by Ashley Elliot, is the captivating true story of Ashley’s lengthy journey to obtain justice for the murder of her father. On May 18th, 2002, Carter Elliot and Timmy Wayne were the first double-homicide in the history of Conway, Arkansas. With no evidence, DNA, witnesses, or fingerprints this case goes on for years. Not only is Ashley fighting for justice for her father during this time, she’s then dealt another blow when her mother is kidnapped.

Author Ashley Elliott does an excellent job recounting her turbulent journey. Detailed and cerebral, the author’s way of writing makes the reader feel like they are living the story with her. By being written in first person, we feel the emotions Ashley feels throughout this book. The manner in which it is written is clear and direct which helps make the chapters containing legal matters and criminal investigation easier for the average person to understand, and more engaging because we can connect on a human level rather than being taken through dry legal procedures.

This is an eye-opening murder mystery that is heart wrenching at times and intriguing when you’re able to overcome the emotional obstacles inherent in this harrowing story. While I was reading, I felt angry, mainly by how her family treated her, and the reality of how criminal law works.

The Demon In Disguise is a riveting true crime story that is emotionally turbulent and persistently intriguing. I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy emotional and gripping crime stories. The insight into criminal law alone is enough of a reason to read this book. The Demon In Disguise was such a mysterious case and the story does a great job of slowly unraveling that mystery to readers. This is a crime thriller that I got lost in and had to keep reminding myself that the narrator really had this happen to them; so chilling.

Pages: 225 | ASIN: B09B4DK8V9

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Beneficial Accomplishments of Joe Biden

When Joe Biden won the presidential election in November of 2020, it was an election that saw the country at its most divisive point in generations. Since taking office in January, opinion has remained divided as to his success in the role. How has he done so far? Have things gotten better or worse? Have campaign promises been fulfilled or even addressed? The list of achievements might surprise you.

Beneficial Accomplishments of Joe Biden, by BB Denson, is a political satire detailing the list of things that have been done by the Biden administration. Or, to be more precise, the lack thereof. Covering subjects such as education, free speech, American job stability, and race relations, just to name a few, Denson makes it clear that in the past 11 months, the output of Joe Biden’s presidency has been underwhelming, to say the least. With a few snarky asides referencing previous presidents and their own achievements, the chapters leave no doubt as to what Denson thinks about number 46. Following a pattern that has often been used in satirical “informational” or how-to books, this one effectively uses an old trick on a new subject to entertaining effect.

This book is definitely worth a few chuckles and has given me a new perspective on current politics and political satire. Author BB Denson does well to make her point clear here, even though there is not a lot of substance behind it. (An ironic comment honestly, since that is the point of the book itself.) I was a thrown off by the empty pages. But don’t worry, it’s part of the satire, and once I got it I couldn’t stop laughing. 

Beneficial Accomplishments of Joe Biden is funny, poignant and well worth the short read. 

Pages: 152 | ISBN: 0997588373

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The Treasure of Peril Island

The Treasure of Peril Island: An adventure novel for teens by [C.W. James]

The Treasure of Peril Island by C.W. James is a thrilling tale of pirates and treasure. A young man named Jack, meets an old man who claims to be Black Juan Gaskara, the famous pirate who disappeared nearly 80 years ago. Jack, and his wealthy friend Hector, decode a message written by Gaskara while he was in a fugue state. On the run from murderous pirates, Jack leaves behind the girl he loves and embarks on a riveting adventure with Hector to find the mysterious island and treasure. They soon discover that gold is not the only secret Peril Island is hiding.

This exciting adventure story reminded me a little of Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson as I began reading it. The essence of adventure and sense of intrigue is imbued in this thrilling story right from the beginning.

The characters are intriguing and easy to picture as they are detailed and well described, but I found Jack to be a sharp and particularly compelling character. Although the writer used some creative spelling during the dialogue to let the reader know which characters spoke with accents, the practice was not so frequent as to be overwhelming.

This is an enthralling pirate adventure story that I think would be great for young adult audiences, as the action comes quickly and rarely lets up, so readers will surely be engaged with this story. But this is also a good story for middle grade readers as well, as there is violence in the book but the blood thirsty pirates are not as ruthless or cutthroat as they might be in a novel geared towards adults. This lends this novel an enchanting Pirates of the Caribbean feel while still feeling unique.

The Treasure of Peril Island is a swashbuckling fantasy that is consistently entertaining. If you’re a reader looking for a quintessential pirate adventure story, then you’ll have plenty enjoy in C.W. James well crafted novel.

Pages: 175 | ASIN: B095PW7VHL

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Notes On The Train

Notes On The Train by [Loreen de Kort, Chandra Sparks-Splond]

Notes on the Train by Loreen de Kort is a thought provoking collection of impassioned poetry and prose. It includes dozens of poems about a range of themes such as hiding your true feelings for fear of being hurt, allowing others to affect or control how you feel, not seeing the good things about yourself that others can see, feeling unloved, looking outside of yourself for happiness rather than finding it within, not being seen for your true self, not fitting in, feeling lost, not being able to accept help from others, striving for a high goal that has not yet been reached, and questioning what is the meaning of life.

The poems in this book are heartfelt and stirring, and I enjoyed all of them in different ways. Although many of them have a darker theme, there were also many poems that were inspiring and uplifting, which were the ones that I especially liked.

My favorite poem was “Hitting and Missing”, which is about what a mother is missing by having children not outweighing what she didn’t miss–the precious moments with her children. Even as a reader who does not have children of my own, I could relate to this poem because it made me think of my own mother. I also liked the poem about puzzle pieces with each doll holding a different piece which represented a specific emotion or quality that was needed to make a complete whole, and not allowing the sorrow piece to take over. This poem was different than any poem I have read in other books, and I liked the uniqueness of it.

The poems varied in style with differing structures and ranged in length from a short poem with only four lines to poems that were a few pages. I liked this variety in the poems because it ensured that the book did not feel repetitive even though similar themes were used. This book is comprised almost entirely of poems, but I enjoyed the inclusion of the short story as well.

While I did not fully understand some of the poems, I still felt that the poems were stimulating and meditative. I felt that some poetic styles didn’t resonate with me, but I appreciated how the poems conveyed a variety of emotions, some of them dark but all of them were expressive.

Notes on the Train is a stirring poetic exploration of the authors emotions and the struggles anyone faces with depression and the myriad of struggles that life presents. A bold, candid and memorable collection of poetry.

Pages: 57 | ASIN: B09436WNLJ

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