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Journey Between Two Worlds

Growing up under the dictatorship of Hitler, author Karola M. Schuette was accustomed to a life that seemed monotonous at best. Always tiptoeing, always careful of what you say or do. You don’t want to be under surveillance, do you? She stayed affectionate to her aging parents as she developed into a young lady being the model German citizen to not attract attention. Around the same time, Hitler lost the war, and although she did not patronize their ruler’s tyranny, she was still German. The allied forces made sure she never forgot that. To Karola, it was as amusing as it was unfortunate. She relied on humor at times to get through. Even after the war, the hopelessness and destruction it left behind seemed unsurmountable. Life was difficult, but Karola was still grateful even for the smallest things. But right when she least expected it, she met the man who would move heaven and earth, just to make her happy and keep her safe.

Journey Between Two Worlds is Karola Schuette’s auto-biography that started from stories she remembered and the three binders of notes and photographs that she kept growing up. Despite moving across the world, the binders remind in surprisingly good condition. It is from this she started to tell her remarkable story.

It is a retelling of her journey as a young girl who grew up in a nation that Adolf Hitler drove to the ground. Then unexpectedly, she was swept off her feet by a German-born American soldier. Marrying him would mean moving to another country, thus her Journey Between Two Worlds. I found it hard to put this book down for two reasons: one is a realistic account of a woman’s adversities from girlhood to immigrating to another country, and two, Karola is hilarious. Her writing style feels as if you’re reading a letter from an old friend. Talking about the absurd amount of paperwork to get from one place to another, how nosy her neighbors were and how cigarettes turned out to be such an invaluable commodity are just the start of the entertaining topics she remembers.

Journey Between Two Worlds is a captivating memoir that has the perfect blend of history, comedy, and a retelling of a love that is so certain and unwavering. Readers will find her true story an eye-opening experience told with such personality they won’t want to put the book down.

Pages: 186 | ASIN : B097H4YMMD

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Enough About Me

Richard Liu is an excellent storyteller. He eloquently and enthusiastically tells his story in Enough About Me: The Unexpected Power of Selflessness. His narration style is exceptional, with the reader getting to virtually live through his life. Richard Liu tells of his experiences like they happened yesterday. The words he uses to describe close relations, phrases he uses when describing events, objects, or people he has worked with, and his general tone make you want to interact with him in real life. In his beautifully written book, Richard Liu documents his life, the journeys he has taken, his highs, lows, good times, challenges, and everything in between.

At the start of the book, Richard Liu takes readers back to the days he worked with Channel News Asia, a significant period in his life. Liu talks about his father and his relationship with other family members. Reading about someone’s life is mesmerizing, as one gets to view life and its experiences in a different light. The author made the reading more attractive by including personal encounters without filtering out what he stumbled upon. The authenticity displayed by Richard Liu is charming and gets the reader excited to move to the next chapter.

More than a dozen personal stories are shared in this intimate book, with life lessons and stories that readers can relate to. The most touching story is about Richard Liu’s father, his battle with Alzheimer’s, and how readers can draw lessons on caregiving and compassion from the story. Richard Liu’s selflessness can be seen in more than one instance. I applaud the author for never giving up on his father and being the caring, loving, and hardworking son every parent strives to have. From this single story, I also learned to be grateful for good health. Having your body function as it should without complications is not something to take for granted. Finally, we also understand that family is essential from Richard Liu’s story.

Enough About Me: The Unexpected Power of Selflessness is filled with inspiring stories and motivation to keep moving. This biographical look into Richard Liu’s life will inspire readers to look beyond themselves and see the good they can do.

Pages: 252 | ASIN : B08PP3FS1H

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Tarnished Crowns a Memoir

Tarnished Crowns a Memoir: The Power of Purpose and Authenticity by [Pamela Rice]

Tarnished Crowns is a memoir by Pamela Ann Rice. She is a former Hollywood actress whose experiences with personal and business relationships in showbiz, predisposed her to torment and suffering. Pam’s friend reintroduced her to God as a refuge. She dedicates her life to Christ and as she grows in spirit, she takes up more evangelistic roles. She constantly exhibits bravery and clarity of mind. Her faith is often tested and just as frequently, God redeems her. She also rehabilitated patients using Christian therapy to heal women who suffered different forms of abuse. In prayer she finds a safe haven.

The memoir Tarnished Crowns, by Pamela Ann Rice is a very immersive read. I like how the author involves her audience on a first-hand experience of her journey to salvation. She is honest about her love for glamour and how much she misses the limelight. On the other hand, she was negatively affected by the fame and its accompanying relationships. The way she talks about the entanglements feeling abusive and empty, coupled with her feelings of over-dependence aids readers to understand why she opted for The Cross as her refuge. This memoir is a major help to anyone who seeks to stay grounded in God.

The way she managed to portray the character of Jesus through her mission work is impressive. Citing her work with a transvestite woman; “Victoria” who had a hard time integrating at the women’s shelter, she portrays Jesus as unconditional. Her work at rehabilitation center brings to light the present challenge of mental health issues. Christian therapy as solution to most of these tribulations is an adoptable and encouraging approach.

Tarnished Crowns a Memoir, by Pamela Ann Rice is emotional, compassionate, and ideal for the Christian woman and those that work with women. Readers that enjoy transformational life stories will also find this book to be unforgettable.

Pages: 217 | ASIN: B09BND2C8K

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A View From My Bay

Vincent Green is a man that struggles to be heard due to injuries related to 9/11. A View From My Bay is his way of letting his voice be heard. There is often a mystery to men of greatness. A person can be considered great for the battles they win, the lives they save or the life they live. Vincent Green has done all these things in his lifetime. In his intimate memoir A View from My Bay we are exposed to Vincent, or Vinny, the man. Readers experience his humble origins and his journey to the heights of his career and personal life. This book is both inspiring and personal. Part autobiography part memoir, Vinny shares parts of his soul that made him into the man he is today.

Green has climbed from what many would describe as the bottom of the socio-economic ladder to impressive heights. Well respected and regarded through his law enforcement career he has shared his skills and knowledge with leaders from across the world. This illuminating biography shares his skills and his talents in fighting corruption like those heroes we all watched on television when we were young. He is more than an impressive male role model for young men and women. He is a human being with thoughts and feelings. He has granted us his grace in sharing those pieces of himself through this book.

A collection of styles are used by Green to share his emotions, thoughts, and ideals. These are pieces of his past and the incredible experiences he has lived. The first book in a planned trilogy, readers will get to experience the specific moments in time that helped shape Green into the person he became. The praises he attributes to his parents, the respect he gives to his dearly departed sister and the specks of his own soul.

A View from My Bay by Vincent Green is a humble and awe-inspiring glimpse into the world that shaped Vinny into the amazing person he became. These snippets and pieces are not inflated with hot air or selfish praises. These are beautiful portraits of a singular man who has risen from what others would call the depths. He does not deny his humble origins, yet he doesn’t attempt to make a ‘success’ story for himself out of them. He simply exists and shares his soul with his readers. And readers are better for it.

Pages: 278 | ASIN: B074R5FKTX

My Evolution As An Artist

Author Interview
Larry Lewis Author Interview

Where Paint Goes is a captivating autobiography detailing your life as an artist. Why was this an important book for you to write?

After surviving over fifty years of living life as a creative or an artist and being told by numerous folks along the way, “you should write a book.” I thought it might be a good time to chronical my adventures, not so much to tell a story of my personal life, but to portray in parallel my personal life and my evolution as an artist or a creative.

Being intrigued by two statements I was familiar with, from studying art history:

  1. “Art imitates life,” Aristotle, around 300BC
  2. “Life imitates art,” Oscar Wilde, 1889

I found that I subscribed to both of these concepts, which gave me the foundation for writing the book and is why I subtitled the book “The art that affected my life and the life that affected my art.”

I appreciated the candid nature with which you told your story. What was the hardest thing for you to write about?

Being a novice author, I did not realize that to chronical my life in the written word, it would be necessary for me to intimately revisit the periods of my life I wished to depict in the story. Recalling certain parts of the story in this way proved to be highly difficult. Writing about the passing of my wife Kathy in 1989, I cried while I was writing about it and I cry today when reading the passages.

What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your book?

A bit of insight into what it is to live life as an artist, a creative.

Author Link: Website

The historical account of my life as an artist: written in a way that reflects the idea, “art mirrors life and life mirrors art.” I use a subtitle for the book: “The art that affected my life and the life that affected my art.” I am a fifty-year veteran of working in the creative industry, accomplishing and/or holding the titles of – fine artist, painter, sculptor, illustrator, designer, graphic designer, conceptual promotional designer, art director, creative director, under graduate advertising arts instructor, private post-secondary college administrator, mentor and more. This book is written in conversational style.

Where Paint Goes

Where the Paint Goes by Larry Lewis, is an authentic and cleverly written autobiography of the life of Larry Lewis. Throughout his life, Lewis embraced the places he lived and the diversity of the people he met. Both played an important role in shaping his artistic growth. From an elementary student’s misrecognition of his work in an art competition, through adolescent gaffes, to an innovative sculptor and married man, the reader perceives each of Lewis’ life experiences and their effect on his art. Lewis vividly covered the topic of how his art, through his eyes, affected his life and how his life affected his art. Throughout the book, the reader experiences the delights and calamities of Lewis’ life, all as he paints a persistent balance between the style of art he is creating while growing as an artist. He wrote, “Sometimes, one’s vision can be as important, possibly more important, than the sum of knowledge gathered and synthesized in regards to that specific discipline.” (225)

The structure of Where The Paint Goes is focused on a casual, form-flowing style. Lewis begins the story in his childhood, moves on to confesses his teenage blunders, and matures into adulthood fluidly. All the while he shows how he’s grown from an insecure want-to-be painter to an accomplished artist. To add a bit of romance to the story, Lewis shares his clumsy adolescent encounters with girls and his fledgling artwork, to then meeting the woman with whom he wants to spend the rest of his life and his growth as an artist.

Where Paint Goes, The Art That Affected My Life, And The Life That Affected My Art is smoothly written, captures the reader’s attention from the beginning, and is a delight to read.

Pages: 238 | ISBN: 1637281161

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Wales High School: First Diagnosis

Wales High School: First Diagnosis (J Peters Autobiography) by [J. Peters]

The Wales High School: First Diagnosis, by J. Peters, is a memoir talking about the first diagnosis of his mental disease. Who could’ve guessed that the blue-haired, chain-smoking teen Jacques was once an academically bright kid straying far away from any social interaction, let alone drugs. The account starts with freshman year at Wales High School, where Jacques is any other academically bright but socially challenged teenager, trying to fit in with the cool kids. It follows his development through high school, and how he ultimately wins the recognition award for “Most Changed”.

The language of the book is crisp and engaging. It hooks the readers right from the first chapter. The book does a fantastic job of describing how mental illness is seemingly invisible to the patient, and how in their mind, their actions are perfectly rational. The book talks about life before the mental health issues arose and shows readers the events that led up to them and then explains what was going through the patient’s mind during treatment.

This is a true to the soul account of a mental health survivor, the book is free from all the glamorization and undertones of extreme morbidity that often are found in books on similar topics. Rather than catch the readers’ eye, the author simply states his story, a true account. This honesty hooks the reader and made me want to know more and dive deeper.

While this is a thought-provoking and authentic story, I felt that the book did not provide a deeper insight into the feelings of Jacques. Even though it does a brilliant job of talking about the thoughts and explaining what a mental health patient thinks, I wanted it to be more emotive. I felt that a deeper dive into the emotions and subconscious of Jacques would have added a greater depth to the entire account.

I really enjoyed Wales High School: First Diagnosis for its extreme candor and simple yet engaging language. With a relatable plot, and short and crisp chapters, the book is hard to put down. It resonates with teenagers going through a similar phase in life and to friends and family who struggle to understand their child, help them, and be there for them. This is by far the truest account that I have come across about mental health issues.

Pages: 110 | ASIN:  B086381MYV

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Don’t Mind Me, I’m Just Having a Bad Life

Don't Mind Me, I'm Just Having a Bad Life: A Memoir by [Lewis Kempfer]

Trauma comes in many forms and affects more of us on a daily basis than most will ever realize. Without ever knowing it, we encounter people every day who have had more than their fair share of abuse, drug addiction, and depression. Some of those people have been dealing with that trauma from an early age–Lewis is one of them. As a very young boy, Lewis quickly learned who he could and could not trust, and he saw those around them for who they truly were. His young adult life showed exactly how much damage that abuse caused.

Don’t Mind Me, I’m Just Having a Bad Life is a poignantly written memoir by Lewis Kempfer. Nowhere else will readers find a more raw telling of one man’s life. Kempfer has revealed every wound he has ever suffered and each one of the horror-filled moments he has survived from his early days in Colorado to his nightmarish life in Nashville. He minces no words and gives readers every opportunity to learn from the mistakes he has made along the way.

I can appreciate Kempfer’s story in many ways. He lays down the ugly truth of drug addiction so there is no mistaking the impact it has on the lives of those around the addict. Never does he try to sugarcoat his experience, and he is painfully honest about the ease with which he fell further under the spell. Readers need this–all of us. There is no reader who has not been touched in some way by addiction.

Kempfer’s very real battle with finding his faith is moving to say the least. He allows readers to walk along with him as he sees all sides of religion and hold his hand as he finds his own way. To say his story is stunning is an understatement. To say that it is moving is simply not sufficient. Kempfer’s life is absolutely a miracle and one of which the author is well aware.

I highly recommend Kempfer’s memoir to anyone struggling with addiction or any parent of a child who feels like they are losing the battle to find themselves. Kempfer’s road has been long, filled with the worst kind of potholes, and has nearly killed him, but his story will save someone.

Pages: 475 | ASIN: B07V2PS82D

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