Blog Archives

The Unbelievable Truth

The Unbelievable Truth: My Personal Walk With God, by Elder Emerson D. Broadnax, is the encounter of a man that went from being a drug-addicted alcoholic to a member of the Church, thanks to a sudden and lucky encounter. It follows his path as he starts hearing God’s voice, anticipating seeing God in his life events, and guiding him through his faith.

Broadnax writes straightforwardly, not spending much time on each episode but clearly narrating all of them, helping the reader understand the miracle the Lord had realized for him. I appreciated the multiple quotes from the Bible, which gave more depth to the different stories and might inspire readers. The choice of verses underlines the attention to detail as the quotes all refer to the chapter in question or at least to one of the episodes narrated.

The Unbelievable Truth: My Personal Walk With God, by Elder Emerson D. Broadnax, is an inspiring story. It will guide people who might be looking for their own way or who might need a new perspective on life, just like the author did. I recommend this novel to any reader keen on religious and spiritual themes. Lastly, I would like to end this review with a quote from the author: “This book is about how God delivered me out of a twenty-three-year drug habit and how I have been free for twenty-four years.”

Pages: 52 | ASIN : B0BKNS5Z5L

Buy Now From Amazon

The Eighteen Years That Didn’t Change Anything

Enrico Tesla’s The Eighteen Years That Didn’t Change Anything is a memoir depicting the life of an average man as he lives through his prime to middle-aged years. The author takes an alternative approach to contemplate the human condition and existence.

Tesla excels in portraying himself as an average man within his words, “above average prospects.” The arc of the text shows him as a young man just beginning his career and concludes with a man who has loved, lost, and been a bit weathered by life. This portrayal renders his character accessible and relatable; he is neither above nor below the reader and, therefore, human. Still, he maintains a curious ego that leads him to ponder his existence in the context of some transformative life events.

The peculiar way he regards both his existence and the human condition also attracts the reader’s empathy. He ponders his existence in a neurotic, scientific-theory-based manner that encourages the reader to ponder the intersections of humanity, an arguably subjective matter, and science, a discipline founded in concrete fact.

His careful pairing of certain scientific facts, such as natural selection and Einstein’s iconic mass-energy formula, alongside his analysis of human perseverance at the end of the novel, is his thesis on life. It is through these efforts to prove his mastery of understanding life at its core that he comes to a poignant yet sobering conclusion. He frames even the most intimate experiences, such as love, in a clinical manner and even expresses to the reader areas in which he feels inadequate. Yet he possesses a stern conviction that due to the foundational understanding he has of life and the due process of nature, life is still worth living.

Pages: 114 | ASIN : B0BBCS8FCT

Buy Now From Amazon

Lost in Beirut

Ashe and Magdalena Stevens’ Lost in Beirut is a true story of love, loss and war. It is a work of non-fiction and narrates the lived experiences of Ashe and how he managed to escape the war in Lebanon. Beautifully written, this impactful book will immerse you in the story and keep you flipping the pages, wanting to find out what happens next.

Set in 2006, in the socio-political context of the early 2000s with America at war with the Middle East, the novel depicts the truth of the racism, stereotypes, and prejudices Middle Eastern individuals had to face at that time. The story follows Ashe, a rising star in Hollywood, and his best friends, who get a chance to organize a gigantic concert in Beirut, Lebanon.

For the first few months, Beirut seems like a dream come true as he falls in love with Aleyna and Beirut itself. This bubble of bliss bursts when Israel and Lebanon abruptly go to war. Stranded in a country where being an American is equivalent to having a target on your back, Ashe and his friends experience the devastation of war in Beirut. The authors, survivors of this war, give a real representation of the Middle East’s political situation and war crises. The writing is powerful and evokes strong emotions in the reader. We follow Ashe through love and happiness and then devastation and grief, feeling these emotions with him.

Lost in Beirut: A True Story of Love, Loss and War is the true story that took Ashe Stevens fifteen years to overcome his PTSD and recount how he escaped the devastating war in Lebanon. Definitely, a five-star read, Ashe and Aleyna’s story will leave you feeling a riot of emotions. Violence, love, and grief have been written beautifully and leave a lasting impact on the reader.

Pages: 189 | ASIN : B09MTGCWBT

Buy Now From Amazon

Justice in the Age of Judgment

Anne Bremner’s and Doug Bremner’s Justice in the Age of Judgment is a critical examination of the role of media and the public amidst some of the most publicized murder trials in recent history. While Bremner uses the tumultuous trial of Amanda Knox, a young American falsely convicted of murdering her roommate in Italy, as a segue for covering the effects of the media on other well-documented trials involving the likes of O.J. Simpson, Casey Anthony, Susan Cox Powell, and Ahmaud Arbery, her primary focus is the imperfections of the American judicial system.

Bremner does a stellar job at introducing each case in a manner that is accessible to readers while maintaining a modicum of compassion and respect for the wrongfully convicted and victimized. Both authors provide just enough background information on each case that the reader leaves with a fact-based, impartial view of all sides of the subject matter. They manage to keep the tone enthusiastic and conversational enough that the reading experience does not feel cumbersome.

Bremner’s background as both a full-fledged attorney and a front-facing legal analyst gives her a unique lens by which to evaluate these cases. She excels in leading with facts – even when the courts and the public seem to disregard these facts – and encourages readers to examine flaws of contagion bias in a time where misinformation run amok is powerful enough to sway due process. She displays a shrewd understanding that in the digital day and age, the fight for justice involves keeping the facts in the public eye as much as possible so that these facts alone make it to the courts. Moreover, she displays a keen heart for true justice, the ideal that structures her life’s work.

Justice in the Age of Judgement is an accessible, thought-provoking analysis of the judicial system, as evidenced by the cases discussed. This in-depth look at media and law is insightful and educational.

Pages: 280 | ASIN : B07TH9WMHT

Buy Now From Amazon

Walking with Spirits

Walking with Spirits: Paying It Forward During a Global Pandemic is author Jamie Lee Mumford’s no-nonsense, “crazy connection” to the other side. In a touching recount of the birth of her fourth child, Chayse, who was left non-verbal and confined to a wheelchair after a traumatic birth – yet possessed a gift to interact with those unseen, Mumford details how the pandemic almost ruined the ode to what would have been his twentieth birthday.

As Mumford journeys through life’s stages, so do the easing of her psychic veil. Through dreams, flashes of objects passing out the corner of her eye, or the clear-as-day spirits that came to say hello on birthdays, they all confirmed that whatever gifts had laid dormant at one stage were alive. Utilizing her own mediumship gifts and connecting to the energy of Chayse on the other side, the spirit realm nudged Mumford into recruiting specific people to drive a community pantry initiative in Chayse’s honor. What follows is nothing short of phenomenal.

A heartwarming read that evoked goosebumps at every stage. The synchronicities, the ciphers: undeniable. The biggest skeptics would not be able to refute the connection between mother (despite being earth-side) and son (passed) in this gripping memoir.

Walking with Spirits: Paying It Forward During a Global Pandemic is for readers seeking comfort post the death of a loved one or having trouble following their intuition. This one is a must-read. Beautifully and honestly written, the first few pages will grip your heartstrings. Mumford creates an immediate connection with the reader at a post-pandemic time when many need it most, highlighting the good possible in tragedy. Readers can trust the pages to bring them a sense of comfort, closure, and an understanding that those on the other side are not lost; you just need to acknowledge the signs and embrace them.

Pages: 255 | ASIN : B09QBMGPMS

Buy Now From Amazon

Finding Us

This book draws on the life and experiences of a mother’s journey as the parent of an eleven-year-old with a sudden onset of panic disorder. It discusses the role of a primary caregiver and her dilemmas in making complex decisions for the safety of her daughter and those around her. The shame and judgment associated with people suffering from mental health issues, as well as the consequent assumptions and frequent misunderstandings, are draining. The overall impact it has on the patient, and their immediate family members gradually spread to include more people. It stands as a testament to all those going through a similarly difficult phase in life.

Kristen’s memoir gives a voice to the touching story of a mother’s unconditional love, patience, and understanding for her child. But the reality of parenting a child with mental illness is far from simply inspiring. It is filled with hours of dreadful administrative work, relentlessly chasing healthcare personnel, making phone calls, and constantly living with a sense of utter helplessness. The unpredictable nature of the manifestation of mental illnesses and the dire shortage of medical resources for children suffering from them often drives families to despair. In the face of such challenges, Kristen reminds herself time and again that life goes on, and so must we.

What is interesting to note is the disarming candor and complete transparency with which the book has been written. The language used works as a channel of communication and is devoid of unnecessary ornamentation. Yet there are instances of subtle humor that keeps the reader thoroughly engaged. The fundamental aim of the story is to encourage people to be more compassionate and to spread awareness about pediatric mental health issues. Despite the hardships, what remains unforgettable is the family’s indomitable spirit and unfaltering support. To sum it up, in the words of the littlest, they are survivors. The message is delivered loud and clear.

Finding Us by Kristin Rohman Rehkamp is an inspiring, empowering, and eye-opening memoir. This book is a must-read for everyone as you never know who is battling a situation like this. Kristin’s story is one that many parents and caregivers face and often feel alone. Sharing their story lets others know they are not alone and there is still hope.

Pages: 128 | ISBN : 1639885250

Buy Now From Amazon

Sarah Burning

Sarah Burning by Tim Ritter is a true story that takes place in the 50s and 60s. It centers around the life of a family who experienced a fire on October 27th, 1959. This memoir shares the horror they endured that dark morning and the aftermath that the survivors faced. This emotional book starts with the aforementioned fire. Then it jumps back in time, sharing some of the back stories of the Ritter family. The introduction hooks the reader as you turn each page, hoping the author didn’t wait until the last chapter to reveal what happened in the fire. Instead, the author shares the story of the Ritter family, their daily life, and their journey as individuals after the deadly fire that altered the rest of their lives.

Although the book describes each character’s inner feelings, it is written using the stylistics of a diary and tells the reader what happened on significant days in the Ritter family. Life back then, although not that long ago, was completely different, and the pace of life is different nowadays too. Reading about the Ritter family gives the reader a welcomed moment to take a step away from all that is busy and technology controlled. This slower pace of life is also reflected in the pacing of the narrative. Information about the event and the family is revealed in a way that allows the readers to fully absorb the situation and grasp at the emotions the family is feeling at the time.

Sarah Burning is the emotional biography of one family and the plight of those that survived this devastating fire. Their gripping story tells of overcoming the loss of those they love, healing from the burns, and learning how to start over when everything is literally left in ashes. This survival story will touch the hearts of readers and leave them with a sense of hope that they can overcome tragedy in life.

Pages: 270 | ASIN : B09GF6NJMN

Buy Now From Amazon

Honor in Concord

Honor in Concord by Cathryn McIntyre is a combination of memoir and fiction. The book takes place in Concord, Massachusetts, and is a story about history, love, reincarnation, and living our lives with truth and honor. While retelling the actual events in the author’s life, there are some fictionalized elements in the story. For example, the scenes that show famous writers from Concord’s literary past are fiction based on historical facts. There is also a third storyline, focused on honor, interspersed with scenes of Concord’s historical and literary figures.

This was an exciting and enjoyable book to read. I liked the inclusion of writings from historical, literary individuals from the 19th century at the beginning of the book. The author writes about their daily lives and families and the descriptions of the homes where they resided, which were shown through house tours of the historic sites taken by the author or fictional present-day characters. I enjoyed reading the scenes of life from the perspective of historical, literary figures.

The past and present are woven together in an interesting way in this book. One example is when the author imagines the historical figures in places found in present-day Concord that they had visited during their own lives in the 1800s. I enjoyed all the bits of history that were included throughout the book, especially the places where parallels were shown between what historical Concord residents were feelings contrasted against people living in the present time who were feeling the same kind of emotions or thinking similar thoughts. In addition, I found the scene where the author tries to reason with Dr. Roland’s ghost rather humorous.

My favorite parts of this book were the pieces of the author’s own life and the historical information. The story’s subplot with Richard Hazzard and Sarah Simon was an interesting addition to this novel. However, I felt that these sections sometimes took away from the most exciting aspect of the story, which was the author’s spiritual and writer’s life in Concord and the everyday lives of Concord’s famous historical writers.

Honor in Concord: Seeking Spirit in Literary Concord is a unique combination of historical fiction and memoir that will enchant readers with personal stories and interesting historical facts. The author’s ability to combine these different writing elements into a cohesive and entertaining storyline makes this a must-read for those interested in authors like Hawthorne, Emerson, Thoreau, Fuller, and Alcott.

Pages: 240 | ASIN : B0B4G8LVL2

Buy Now From Amazon
%d bloggers like this: