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Carbon Under Pressure

Carbon Under Pressure is the extraordinary story of an ordinary young woman called Rose. This emotional book starts with an account of Rose’s daughter Sophie attempting suicide. Then, the book follows Rose through the next three years of her life as she tries to save her daughter. As if this is not bad enough, more troubles follow this family as they try to wake up from the nightmare they are living and get through to the light.

Author Meg Heart tells her story in a manner that if the reader didn’t know beforehand that this was based on a true story, it would read like a fictional novel. The people portrayed in this book take on the appearance of a set of characters, with a relatable protagonist, a supporting yet devious husband, and a teenage daughter going through a dark phase in her life. While the entire story seems fictional on the surface and anything but ordinary, the most significant message of the book is that it can happen to anyone. The author adeptly carries the story forward while focusing on the mental state of all the characters involved and thus manages to evoke strong emotions in the reader.

This book is intended for mature audiences and covers topics of suicide and sexual assault. However, it is done with great care. The author only mentions the details that are required to tell the story without making the book too heavy to read. The book revolves around the themes of suicide, dealing with depression, family, and sexual assault and covers the topics in fair depth and accuracy.

Carbon Under Pressure is the memoir of one woman named Rose and about the darkest point in her life. How she survived and made it through is detailed with the cautionary tale that it could happen to anyone. This biography will appeal to readers that are interested in women’s studies, depression, sexual assault, and family issues. This book does an excellent job of describing the lesser talked about realities of life.

Page: 176 | ASIN : B09KY45J7P

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THOMAS JEFFERSON FAMILY SECRETS

Most people know Thomas Jefferson only as the third President of the United States of America. The name would mean nothing more to them than a fun fact heard in a tourist spot in other parts of the world. The truth is, Thomas Jefferson was a human being just as complicated and worthy of empathy as all of us. This is what author and Jefferson expert William G. Hyland Jr. sought and accomplished to convey in his book Thomas Jefferson: Family Secrets.

Written in prose that is accessible without sacrificing the scholarly gravity, this book would be ideal reading for any student of history. Not only does it shed light on this enigmatic figure’s life post-presidency, but it also inspires curiosity. This biography could be enjoyed by almost any reader who loves US history and wants to know more about their lives outside of their public deeds.

Each chapter covers a specific milestone of Jefferson’s twilight years with tidbits from personal letters, commentary from other scholars, and other references. This gives the biography an intimacy and depth no textbook can rival, giving Jefferson humanity that is easy to relate with. Because of that, the experience of reading this almost feels like reading a novel. Beyond the scandals and the history of slavery, you can’t help but empathize with him. However, before you write this off as a full-length fluff piece, it’s important to note that Hyland does not shy away from the less savory events of Jefferson’s storied life. Instead, he focuses on facts, not the modern emotions elicited from these facts.

Different readers will have varying opinions, and luckily Hyland Jr. understands that very well. As a result, the book doesn’t hammer us in the head with sugar-coated anecdotes in order to convert Jefferson’s detractors. Instead, it simply presents the facts and lets the reader decide on their own.

Thomas Jefferson: Family Secrets is a stimulating historical biography on the life of President Jefferson after he left office. History lovers that want to expand their knowledge will enjoy this unique look at his life.

Pages: 542 | ASIN : B09SD6ZD9B

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Live Each Moment Meaningfully

Rana Bitar Author Interview

The Long Tale Of Tears And Smile is more than just a memoir, it is the story of all those that came into your life.

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

The hardest thing for me to write about in the book was my brother’s death.

What is one piece of advice someone gave you that changed your life?

What changed my life is my interpretation of Robert Frost’s lines:

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.”

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

I hope that the reader will gain a new perspective on their health and lives and the value of living each moment meaningfully and to its fullest.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

The Long Tale Of Tears And Smiles explores an immigrant oncologist’s journey of triumphs and struggles, from growing up in Syria, to the tragic death of her brother, to her experiences as a young immigrant medical student and trainee in the USA. Walk through her anguish witnessing the civil war in Syria and its devastation; see her become a practitioner, watching the field of oncology evolves throughout the years.

This narrative-driven case study interweaves the stories of the patients Bitar has cared for with her own life stories; it reflects on how her patients’ lives and the stories of their survival or death inspired and changed her life starting and raising a family. Each patient’s approach to illness and end-of-life is as unique as they are, and each person’s journey contains unexpected lessons.

In the space between life and death, Bitar’s profession thrives; and in that space, she can search for the meaning of her existence.

Boys’ Secrets and Men’s Loves: A Memoir 

Boys’ Secrets and Men’s Loves: A Memoir by David A.J. Richards is a personal life account revolving around the secret self and individual awareness of both straight and gay men. In this memoir, Richards takes a thoughtful approach to discover the psychology behind the patriarchy and traumas that shape men. He explains why they have become hidden and how they can be brought to light.

Richards combats the oppressiveness of traditional patriarchy and how it silences young men from questioning and straying from the mainstream status quo. He challenges how and why men act the way they do and points to societal pressure and the dismissal of the vulnerability of men. In discovering his sense of self, Richards expresses disdain and disgust for the length of how things have been and offers insight into how things can change. Addressed are various components of trauma revolving around the body, mind, sexuality, political opinions, and experiences of love and empathy. This book sheds light on guilt, shame, voice, injustice, abuse, democracy, resistance, and the complex American idea of masculinity. 

I thought that the arguments were well thought out and portrayed. It was eye-opening and fascinating to see the plights that men encounter daily and throughout their lifetimes, particularly in their formative years of young adulthood. The commentary was easy to read, and I enjoyed how this was from a first-person point of view. The thoughts of one man over a variety of hot-button topics and issues that are not often addressed were crafted insightfully and tenderly to bring about real change. 

Boys’ Secrets and Men’s Loves: A Memoir is recommended for anyone looking to expand their mindset on the ideas of traditional masculinity. This compelling personal story gives readers a unique look at these topics from the view of personal experience and the view of an educator of law.

Pages: 414 | ASIN : B07SXKHBHW

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We the Presidents

In We the Presidents author Ronald Gruner has comprehensively written about more than a dozen American presidents, covering every significant aspect of their presidency and the impact they had in the United States and the world at large. The author did not just talk about the former presidents’ policies and politics, but he also touches on their personal lives, ideologies, and the roles they played. I love that the author wrote about both popular presidents and those whose history is not widely known.

Author Ronald Gruner is a great teacher of history, as he takes the reader through significant events chronologically, explaining how one event affected the next. Reading this book will make you appreciate democracy and get you interested in America as a nation and its significance to world superpowers. This fascinating book is easy to follow as the author uses simple language. You will come across complex jargon, but Ronald Gruner defines and further breaks down new vocabulary and words that are not familiar to the average reader. From presidents Warren G. Harding, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Nixon, Reagan, Obama, and Donald Trump, Ronald Gruner has everything you need to know about these once powerful men and how they shaped the nation and global politics while they were in power.

Reading about the seventeen presidents was a fascinating experience, as the author also included fun facts and bits of their personalities that are not known by many. Ronald Gruner is objective. The author is rational and non-biased. His reasoning is clear, and one can only help but admire how Ronald Gruner views issues. After reading this book, you realize how hectic it can be to be the Commander In Chief of a nation. I appreciate the author, for he, without bias, highlighted both the wins and failures of the presidents. The discussions on the status quo and current global affairs were eye-opening. The author writes about different crises in the world, the war on terror, democracy, the military, NATO, and much more. I especially enjoyed the arrangement of chapters where each chapter covers an individual president because I thought this helped the reading.

We the Presidents: How American Presidents Shaped the Last Century is an overview biography of the last seventeen presidents of the United States of America, and their accomplishments and failures. Without focusing on political parties the author gives readers a non-biased but intriguing overview of American history.

Pages: 628 | ASIN : B09NLG54RV

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This or Something Better

While tracking the rural environment of Placerville, Sacramento, Glenn Ellen, and California’s rural foothills, This or Something Better by Elisa Stancil Levine presents an alternate shift from childhood reminiscence to dark, intense memories laced with perseverance and adaptability. The memoir begins in 2017, with a fire scorching acres of land in Sonoma Country, including the residential area of the author. It then shifts back and forth between adolescence and maturity, following the author’s frantic journey from self-containment to the never-ending pursuit of truth.

When the decorative artist leaves the fire land without informing any of her neighbors, the firestorm not only causes havoc with the natural animals and property but also prompts a series of introspective questions in her mind. Her story of estrangement and persistence takes readers on a journey through her eventful and incredible life. Having grown up in a reproachable neighborhood, lost her first child as a teenage mother, and having been labeled a murderer by her grandmother, the author takes readers on a roller-coaster journey through her past and present. It is at the end of the story that she discovers how to forgive herself for many of her self-proclaimed acts of accusation and discover the ultimate question that nudges her curiously from childhood- ‘what it means to be a human?’

The narrative is full of genuine viewpoints and a critical analysis of the numerous issues that plague a child’s head after experiencing sexual abuse, as well as their parents’ disapproval of their dreams and viewpoints. In addition to the spiritual inquiry, the fact that nature has a vital hold on the human psyche manifests itself in the reflections of the author, a nature girl. This or Something Better takes readers on a spiritual quest that comes with the inevitable questioning of who we are as human beings. 

Beginning in 1953 in Northern California’s Sierra Nevada foothills, every memory and experience from childhood is dusted off the memory attic in the memoir, complete with nostalgia, anguish, and ambition. It’s a terrific prescription for women of the times, as it aids in the healing of wounds created by uncertain relationships, child loss, adolescent parenthood, and the relentless efforts to silence the passionate and compelling voice of an assertive and insistent woman. It’s also a motivational read, with the uplifting message at the end of each chapter: “It’s your reaction to adversity, not adversity itself that determines how your life’s story will develop.” – Dieter F. Uchtdorf

This or Something Better: A Memoir of Resilience takes readers on an introspective journey as they listen to the author’s stories. Sometimes, a biography is just the history of one person’s life; this is more, it is a book of hope, perseverance, and healing.

Pages: 253 | ASIN : B09CYPNNP2

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Travels and Tribulations

Travels and Tribulations by Tyrel Nelson is a wonderful and insightful collection of short stories following the author’s journey through various locations where he has lived, worked, or just passed through. It is full of lovely anecdotes and in-depth recollections of some of his adventures as he has traveled around the world and recounts some of the interesting characters he has met along the way.

Each short story provides excellent insight for the reader into some of the lesser-traveled parts of the world and celebrates each culture Nelson had the pleasure of experiencing. This memoir is an excellent guide for anyone looking to deepen their knowledge about various countries or looking for travel tips for their own explorations.

This book is the perfect way for the author to share some of his more personal travel experiences. By incorporating some of the local dialects and languages from his adventures, readers experience the culture in a more personal manner. Passages such as, “¿Qué piensan los estadounidenses de la muerte?”, which are then translated for the reader, have the effect of transporting you on Tyrel Nelson’s travels with him. Giving a more rich and authentic feel to the writing.

Tyrel Nelson has created an informative and influential travelogue and shared some fantastic stories and knowledge of local areas while traveling. However, I feel each chapter could have been a bit longer as I yearned to know more about the surroundings and other events that took place while he was in the area. I would definitely like to learn more about his adventures.

Travels and Tribulations is the memoir of Tyrel Nelson. This heartwarming book is more than a collection of his travels; it documents his personal struggles and the challenges of losing his parents. What started as a project to pick himself up turned into a cathartic experience that he now shares with the world.

Pages: 101 | ASIN : B08T1R4DWY

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The Long Tale of Tears and Smiles

Ranar Bitar’s The Long Tale of Tears and Smiles is as heartwarming as it is heartbreaking. It follows the author’s life from childhood to the present. As an oncologist and writer, she manages to do what many people struggle with – interweaving the scientific with artistic.

She talks of her early childhood vividly and beautifully, almost as a child would, effectively transporting us to that time of her life. Having grown up in Syria and moving to the US to practice medicine in her early twenties, her story is a unique one – one that explores both the “American dream” and the true meaning of home. In the book, we see her embrace multiple facets of her identity – the Syrian, the American, the physician, and the writer. Ultimately, it is hard not to empathize with her.

The true focus of this book isn’t Rana – it’s her patients. These are the people that pull us in like a magnet. They carry heavy burdens, many struggling with gut-wrenching cancer diagnoses, some even terminal. It is hard to read how they live and sometimes die. It forces readers to confront their own mortality and that of loved ones and their complex feelings about that.

Throughout the book, we see how Rana’s different patients have coped with illness over the years and what she has learned and given to them. We read of those who used talking or humor to fill awkward silences, those who sat still in the thick of silence, those who buried themselves in work and distractions, those who broke down in tears, and those who tried to bargain with death. To say it was unsettling is an understatement – it is like staring into an abyss that you have been trying to ignore your whole life.

However, the author does an excellent job of not making this story all about sadness and suffering. Instead, she challenges readers to defy death – to look it in the eye and refuse to give it our today. She challenges readers to live each day fully and to embrace the fact that the temporary nature of our lives is what makes them precious. By interweaving her personal story of love and loss with that of her patients, she brings us in and makes us feel like we are not alone, even in death.

The Long Tale of Tears and Smiles is a beautifully-written memoir book that will tug at the heartstrings like no other. So much so that it can make you cry of both anguish and joy.

Pages: 353 | ASIN : B09BG58KCY

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