Biography & Memoir

LIAR, ALLEGED A Tell-All: Celebrities, Sex and All the Rest

David Vass (AR Press)

| Reviewed by Bertin Drizller

Liar, Alleged, A Tell-All: Celebrities, Sex and All the Rest by David Vass is a memoir that is humorous, brutally honest, and at times self-deprecating; the story of a gay who came out to his mother at the age of seven. He is one who has been so conscious of being born different at a very tender age and he explains that it wasn't because he was born in a dirt-poor family and raised in a downtown, white thrash neighborhood in Baltimore. He has arrived ten years after the last sibling, a “condom broke mistake in 1950.” This is the story of a gay...

Beautiful Ashes: A True Story of Murder, Betrayal, and One Woman's Search for Peace

Shelly Edwards Jorgensen (The Edgeworth Group)

| Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo

Shelly Edwards Jorgensen is prevented from going home by a police officer stationed at her friend's home to watch over her. But she escapes and, on her way, she meets her friend, Carolyn, who breaks the terrible news to her: ''Your house —it's on fire.'' She watches as her mother's body is removed from the ashes of what was a home a few hours ago. She knows her father killed her. Now, she blames herself for the murder of her mom, because she has left her alone, having known that her father was a monster since she was just four. She tells the st...

By Accident: A Memoir of Letting Go

Joanne Greene (She Writes Press)

| Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo

By Accident: A Memoir of Letting Go by Joanne Greene will challenge, inspire, entertain, and teach readers valuable lessons about change and how to harness the power of letting go. Being hit by a car changed everything for Ms. Greene, forcing her to assess her life and look back thoughtfully at how she has lived until that fateful moment. In a voice that is observant and powered by humor, she shares her story, highlighting a sometimes self-destructive behavior that only became so evident after a painful turning point in her life. Growing up in...

Mexican Sunset: The Vision Quest of a Modern Day Explorer

Rick Jebb (MindStir Media)

| Reviewed by Bertin Drizller

Rick Jebb's memoir is a spellbinding narrative that will keep readers turning the pages, a brilliantly rendered portrait of the author's teenage travel and coming-of-age adventure. The eldest of four children, Jebb's first sense of loss was when his parents ended their six-year marriage. His mother moved with the children to Hinsdale, Illinois. Young Jebb struggled in school and was challenged in many other ways, but John, his step-father, became a role model for him, providing the moral support he needed. John suddenly died at the age of 38, l...

You Can Be Happy Again

Delia Gould (Delia Gould)

| Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo

You Can Be Happy Again: Bouncing Back After Infidelity, Betrayal, and Loss by Delia Gould opens with a devastating revelation. She has accidentally discovered that her husband with whom she shared almost nine years of marriage and a five-year-old son, the man with whom she slept and ate together was cheating on her with her best friend. Thanks to phone bills. Follow her as her world begins to crumble as she unravels the relationship and the betrayal. Gould takes readers through fascinating memories of childhood, capturing the freedom and j...

Barking at the Moon: A Story of Life, Love, and Kibble

Tracy Beckerman (River Grove Books)

| Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo

Barking at the Moon: A Story of Life, Love, and Kibble by Tracy Beckerman is a memoir that captures the pulse of a family as it grows after welcoming a new furry member, written with heart and intelligence and a book with an irresistible appeal to pet lovers and anyone looking for a heartwarming read. Tracy Beckerman is an award-winning humor columnist who grew up with dogs. She has been home writing her column for 2 years, having all the time she wants to herself. When she decides to adopt Riley, a pup described as mellow by the breeder, Riley...

The last Dance: A Memoir of the Garden Island Grille

Dave Trentlage (Book Baby)

| Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo

In this spellbinding memoir, Dave Trentlage takes readers on a rollicking journey to a dream. He spent most of his life grinding, doing a job he disliked. That was before he met Sherri, who ''was in the same boat, muddling through a job that was just that, a job.'' They were tired of working so hard to make ends meet. That was when they decided to start a restaurant. In this book, the author recounts their journey of how they nurtured ideas of a future built on what they loved to do. They wanted to be free from the daily struggle with a job the...

One Reason to Live: A Memoir About Surviving Trauma

Christine Rose (Blue Moose Press)

| Reviewed by Daniel Rhodes

Christine Rose's One Reason to Live: A Memoir About Surviving Trauma opens with a moment of crisis in the author's life. She already considers herself a failed author and filmmaker. But failing as an author is far less than what Ms. Rose has experienced in life. She has suffered from multiple traumatic events, including sexual assault and divorce after fifteen years of marriage, and it is more painful because she didn't make the choice to leave her husband. Her life has been characterized by depression and suicidal thoughts, and having hit rock...

The Story Of...

Shirley B Novack (Fulton Books)

| Reviewed by Matthew Novak

The Story Of... by Shirley B Novack follows Jacob Kalinsky, born in Poland in 1904. His father, Max, is a poor chicken farmer in the town of Koretzis, and he is a bad-tempered man who has no patience, especially for his children. When Jacob's sweet and loving mother dies, he is just 12 and he and his nine-year-old brother are sent to live in a brothel. They are under the care of Jordanna, a kind woman who runs the brothel, but it will be three years before Jacob's father comes for them. By that time, the young Jacob is already a broke...

The Second Child

Regina Toffolo (Barletta and Bellami)

| Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo

The Second Child by Regina Toffolo is a spellbinding, gorgeously written, and poignant memoir that examines the effects of addiction and mental illness, following the author's painful journey. Raised in Maryland, Regina grew up with an elder sister who was 11 years older than her and two adopted brothers, aged 3 and 4. Her mother grew fonder of her older sister with whom she shared a unique bond. The two created a world of their own, shutting out Regina's other siblings. While her older brother always defended her, she felt hurt when he drifted...

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