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An Accidental Parisian

In An Accidental Parisian, Juliet Young shares a riveting memoir chronicling her life from childhood to becoming an expat in Paris. Despite her desire to return to Toronto near her parents, unforeseen circumstances led her to stay in a foreign country much longer than she had planned. Young candidly shares the highs and lows of her life journey, including the romantic and tragic moments that shaped her into the woman she is today.

The memoir provides a rare insight into the cultural elements of Paris throughout the 90s and early 2000s. From Young’s early life to her first few visits to Europe and eventually settling in Paris, the book takes the reader on a personal journey. Young’s writing style is friendly, creating the impression of a personal conversation rather than a mere collection of events. In addition, her depiction of French culture is detailed, revealing the city’s patriarchal nature through the eyes of a feminist expat.

Throughout her adventurous life, Young never lost her courageous spirit, whether she was in Toronto or Paris. Instead, she shares her grief openly as she reminisces about her beautiful childhood and loving parents. Despite initially intending to return to her home country, France became her permanent residence, and this memoir details the events that led her to that point.

Juliet Young’s memoir is a captivating and inspiring read that takes readers on a remarkable journey of self-discovery and adaptation to a foreign culture. An Accidental Parisian is sure to engage and inspire readers and is a must-read for anyone who enjoys a compelling memoir.

Pages: 302 | ASIN : B09Z333JQ1

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Click Click Click

Click Click Click is a fascinating true crime story that delves into the real-life events that occurred in Franklin, VA, during the 1990s. Co-authored by sisters Anne Varner and Karen DeVanie, who also host the Sugar Coated Murder podcast, this book is a gripping account of the murder of Trent Whitley, a high school student who went missing one Friday night. Despite having no leads and no suspects, the case remained unsolved for several years until the police finally made an arrest and brought the culprits to justice.

The authors’ extensive research and investigation into the case, as well as their firsthand experience of covering it in their podcast, have resulted in a riveting and immersive narrative. The reader is drawn into the story from the very beginning, as the authors provide a detailed and vivid portrayal of the town, the victims, and the perpetrators.

The book is structured in an engaging and informative manner, with each chapter providing a new layer of insight into the crime and its aftermath. In addition, the authors’ writing style is compelling, with their prose keeping readers hooked until the very last page.

Click Click Click is an excellent choice for anyone who is a fan of true crime literature or podcasts. It offers a concise yet captivating account of a heinous crime that shocked a community and made national headlines. This book is a quick and absorbing read that can be finished in one sitting. This is a must-read for true crime enthusiasts and anyone who enjoys a well-written and gripping story.

Pages: 108 | ASIN : B0BN43PBNB

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my Imaginary Friend an autobiography

My Imaginary Friend an autobiography written by Thomas Wermuth is a unique autobiography that provides readers with compelling insight into the author’s life, expressed through three distinct perspectives. First, the narrative follows the author’s lifelong love of the violin, which began during his childhood and was shaped by a significant event that ultimately led him to become a world-traveling musician. Despite his professional successes, the author also recounts his experiences of marriage, fatherhood, and spiritual awakening, which helped him to better understand the three voices that guide his story.

While this book may not appeal to all readers, those who have an affinity for metaphysical concepts will undoubtedly find the author’s approach both enlightening and engaging. Using three distinct perspectives creates an air of mystery and intrigue, which compelled me to question the identities of the voices guiding the author’s story. At times, the three viewpoints may have led to confusion about the sequence of events. Still, the author’s decision to use these voices proved to be an excellent choice, as they were also responsible for maintaining my interest throughout the narrative. The author’s storytelling is complex and mysterious, and I had to continue reading in hopes that the three voices’ identities would be revealed. The author’s skillful use of this literary device also helps maintain a sense of anticipation, propelling the narrative forward and keeping the reader engaged until the end.

My Imaginary Friend an autobiography, is a captivating autobiography providing a unique perspective on the author’s life. Those who are fascinated by the concept of metaphysics will undoubtedly find this book to be an excellent addition to their reading list, and even those who may not have initially been drawn to the subject matter will be hard-pressed to put this engaging and thought-provoking book down.

Pages: 132 | ASIN: B0BS5STS1Y

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Is There Any Love Down Back?

Who watches over those who’ve been left without family or support? Alexander O’Neil shares his cruel childhood experience in his memoir Is There Any Love Down Back?: The Four Boys, through which he exposes the inhumane conditions he and other children were forced to endure growing up, their lives utterly absent of true love and compassion.

Four boys have been abandoned and thus placed in multiple foster homes with the hope that they’ll be able to find their place in a loving family. Unfortunately, the foster care system has produced more horror stories than fairytales. Straight to the point and in minute detail, the author reveals what usually goes behind many of the closed doors of these foster homes. Encountering emotional and physical abuse, the children go through every new family with little hope of finding a place that will provide them with the care and nurture they so desperately need and that life has unfairly stripped away from them from the earliest of ages. To answer this, they try to find support in one another, protecting and providing for each other when needed, fighting back against the cruel treatment given by the darkest of human nature.

From the very beginning, Alexander’s story demands the reader’s attention. Through his concise accounts, he illustrates the severe and inexcusable conditions in which many children have to spend their entire childhoods as they beg for a place to belong. Heart-wrenching, the book is brutal because of the reality that carries inside its pages. Through each new chapter, the reader can reflect on the state of the foster care system that leaves children to their own luck and often even brings them closer to the utmost dangerous and abusive situations.

Is There Any Love Down Back?: The Four Boys by Alexander O’Neil is a heartbreaking memoir of the life many faces in the foster care system. Reading the stories of those who’ve had to deal with such harsh conditions is incredibly important. Through stories like the ones exposed in this book, the reader will be able to understand and empathize with the circumstances that many out there are forced to endure, guiding them to keep an eye out for those around them that are most vulnerable and therefore run the risk of being taken advantage of. Yet, the darkest of situations still hold some light in them, no matter how small, and the innocent charity displayed by such young children is an excellent example of that.

Pages: 160 | ISBN : 1648032605

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“Truth” Is Being Sacrified

Katia Karageuzian Author Interview

Forbidden Homeland: Story of a Diasporan is a memoir about discovering your family’s history and roots in Armenian Genocide and Karabakh Conflict. Why was it important to share your story?  

We live in a world where “truth” is being sacrificed for geopolitics and power. Mighty nations are not only proving that “might is right”, but they are also rewriting history to suit their narratives. They have the means to bribe, dine, and wine media folk, academics, and politicians to promote their version of facts in order to influence public opinion, or cover up their true agendas. I wanted to share my story, to show that no matter how much truth is suppressed, it still finds a way to be found. I wanted to give a voice to marginalized nations. 

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

The hardest thing to write about was my grandmother’s genocide experience. I found out about what had happened to her family during the genocide when I found her relatives here in California. It was only then, that I started understanding the possible signs of trauma I had witnessed in my grandmother while growing up in Lebanon. 

What were some ideas that were important for you to share in this book?

Many ideas were important for me to share:

  1. That America is formed of many Diasporas, and that we have to celebrate our diverse backgrounds, but also realize that many similar reasons have propelled us (or our ancestors) to immigrate to this country. My book has in fact become a talking point and an opportunity to share similar experiences and challenges in our backgrounds.
  2. We need to get to know each other’s backgrounds in order to be able to understand the foreign policies of this nation. Most of the U.S. foreign policies happen without the knowledge of the American people, however, they are implemented in all of our names and funded by our tax dollars. We should educate ourselves in order to hold the government accountable for its actions or to praise the government for its good deeds abroad. As Americans we value policies that promote freedom, democracy and human rights. 
  3. It was important to share what happened to my family and my homeland over a hundred years ago in order to explain what is happening in Armenia and Artsakh (Karabakh) today. Many things are being taken out of context or fabricated to distract from the truth. A lot of gaslighting. I want my book to raise awareness of the fight between democracy and tyranny happening now in Transcaucasia. Armenia, the only democracy in the region, is being constantly threatened by invasion, by the same perpetrators of the Armenian genocide! 
  4. That the Armenian story is part of the Human Story. We are all connected. The ancient Armenian monuments and churches that Azerbaijan is destroying belong to humanity and to world history, that is why their destruction is called “Cultural Genocide”.

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

One thing I hope readers take away from my story is that when people are ignorant about facts, they can be easily manipulated at the whim of leaders. Therefore, education is key in order to question where our money and military assistance are being sent to and for what purpose.  The new generation, in particular, needs to learn how to look up facts because without facts we cannot have a future. 

With this book, I also hope to give smaller nations and victims of genocide a face and a voice.

Author Links: Black and White Version | Color Version | Barnes and Noble | GoodReads

The story of how a single innocent comment ended up unlocking answers to a lifetime of ancestral inquiries.

Using personal accounts of diaspora, author Katia Tavitian Karageuzian delves into her cultural past to start solving mysteries about her family history with a focus on the Armenian Genocide and the ongoing Karabakh conflict.

Karageuzian thought her journey started with the discovery of long-lost relatives, but instead, that discovery led to a decades-long search to reveal the extensive history of American involvement in the destiny of her homeland and a buried record of those living with generational trauma.

As she slowly uncovers the answers she is looking for, Karageuzian also discovers surprising truths along the way—and an inspiring resilience that readers won’t soon forget.

Now, for the first time, she shares both her research and the answers she dug up in order to expose the geopolitics that consistently bury those truths and muffle the current ongoing wars in Transcaucasia.

Yes I Can!

Yes I Can! Lessons Learned from a Life Less Ordinary is one book that will make you grateful for life and embrace all the world offers. The author shares his personal journey with what society calls developmental disabilities. As you read about Paul Wichansky’s story, you realize that, as human beings, we have a flawed perspective on what we consider normal. Raising a child, or being a child that is born with physical limitations, is not easy. With Paul Wichansky, however, the reader is enlightened on the multiple aspects of disabilities. The author himself is not a fan of the word disability. Paul Wichansky uses different phrases and embraces positivity when writing about his conditions. Paul Wichansky had hearing loss and cerebral palsy when he was young. Naturally, this would take a toll on the average kid but not Paul.

In his book, the author writes in-depth about what living with these conditions was like. Paul clinches on positivity. The author did not write this book to seek pity, nor did he feel sorry for himself. Dr. Wichansky starts the book by giving a little background about himself, writing about his family as he progresses to his later years. I like how the author took a free-style approach when writing. For example, Paul Wichansky could be narrating about his childhood, then in the middle of the paragraph, throws in some scientific information about specific conditions. By writing in this manner, the reader is educated on subjects rarely spoken about while enjoying the beautiful life story of the author.

Many things stand out from the author’s life and his writing. I like that the phrases used, the tales told, and the experience shared all have some positivity in them. Paul is here to help you deal with your sorrowful moments and convert them into happy moments. His life is testimony enough that no matter how difficult things may appear and how many obstacles you may have to overcome, you can still live an accomplished life. One of my favorite quotes from the book is ‘…that optimism can become your access to success’. This phrase makes a good inspirational quote that will keep many readers going.

While reading this book, the reader cannot help but ask themselves specific questions. Why are some things considered normal while others are not? Why are some conditions shunned? Why does society treat people that are differently abled peculiarly? Paul Wichansky answers these and more questions throughout the book. There are many lessons from the author, but the main lesson I got is that having a positive mindset will take you places.

Paul Wichansky has, through the chapters, discussed many crucial topics that will help everyone succeed in life. You learn about having a support group, having the proper perspective, building friendships, and keys to success, among many other topics. The best part of Yes I Can! Lessons Learned from a Life Less Ordinary is the photo section, where the author takes us down memory lane with his beautiful photos of family and friends.

Pages: 206 | ASIN : B0BJW1YKLH

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Felicity: Art, War and Peace

Felicity: Love, War, and Peace by Piers R. Blackett and Annah Otis is a lovely memoir about the artist Felicity Blackett, her life, and her art. Born right before the first World War and living through World War Two as a grown woman with a new family, she experienced many hardships and losses, and yet she thrived with the help of her friends, family, and her art. She moved all around Europe at first before finally settling in South Africa, where she passed away in 2011, surrounded by friends, family, and a community that loved her.

This inspirational book also includes passages from Felicity’s own diary, which are her first-hand reflections on her circumstances and the world around her, making this memoir partly autobiographical, which immerses readers into Felicity’s world. Included in this touching book are photographs of Felicity, her family, and especially the art that she created during the period the book touches upon. This allows the reader to connect with this biography much more personally than just reading a dry description of a person’s life. Readers are shown how Felicity lived and the emotions she felt at the time, and they can also have a glimpse into what her mindset was at the moment.

This well-written book is dedicated to mothers and artists. The contents reflect this, as Felicity’s view of the world was heavily influenced by her role as a mother (like having to send her daughter away to America during the war as the enemy sunk ships of refugees), as well as her unique interpretation of the sights around her as an artist. I would, however, also recommend this book to anyone interested in a perhaps more different view of that period in history between the First World War and modern times. I highly recommend this historical account with beautiful illustrations.

Pages: 132 | ASIN : B0BSSL469F

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Forbidden Homeland

In the book Forbidden Homeland: Story of a Diasporan, author Katia Tavitian Karageuzian shares her experience in solving mysteries concerning her family history rooted in the Armenian Genocide and the Karabakh Conflict. As an immigrant born in Lebanon, Karageuzian describes her discovery of long-lost relatives that she knew nothing about. This snowballs into almost a decade’s search for the involvement of America in Armenia and the generational trauma that was inherited as a result of this conflict. Furthermore, she exposes injustices still continuing in the ongoing wars in Transcaucasia, including withholding aid for Armenians starving in Artsakh.

This book has a rich history of geopolitics and most ‘superpower’ countries’ political roles outside their country. It shows that foreign policy affects people in traumatic ways worldwide if misused. Furthermore, the book articulates so much resiliency, generational trauma,  and crimes against humanity that occurred, which are not talked about in many forums or books. It is written very vividly, which evokes emotion from the reader to research and familiarize themselves with everyday politics and policies.

One of the most chilling accounts she described was the feeling that her sister and she were being watched while waiting in front of Hotel Al Bustan in the middle of a sandstorm, and the statement, “Practically every Armenian family has a Genocide story because practically every Armenian is the descendant of a Genocide survivor.” The book is truly a five-star read. Its title is befitting because, as an immigrant, Karageuzian is extremely emotional and factual about the homeland that was always forbidden and forgotten. She also includes pictures of her homeland and her relatives to show life before and after the war.

Forbidden Homeland: Story of a Diasporan is an emotionally charged memoir examining the author’s family’s history and heritage. With heartbreaking and thought-provoking stories, this biography will give readers much to think about and reflect on.

Pages: 386 | ASIN : B0BPMV4TNX

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