Biography & Memoir

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 Novak (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...

The Flying Bushman - Stories from the Heart

Greg Keynes (Greg Keynes)

| Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo

The Flying Bushman — Stories from the Heart by Greg Keynes features a collection of stories that are set, mostly, against the backdrop of Western Australia, Murchison country, a sequel to The Flying Bushman: An Australian Story of Life above the Land. These stories offer a fresh appreciation for life, hard work, embracing a purpose, and experiencing a strong connection with nature. The author takes readers on a ride, following a young man's travel to Europe, surviving a deadly helicopter crash, and more.What is fascinating about Greg Keynes' wo...

This Was Toscanini: The Maestro, My Father, and Me

Lucy Antek Johnson & Samuel Antek (Brown Books Pub Group)

| Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo

This Was TOSCANINI: The Maestro, My Father, and Me by  Samuel Antek and Lucy Antek Johnson is a spellbinding account of the work of the legendary Maestro, Arturo Toscanini, considered the greatest conductor of the mid-twentieth Century. Before his death, Samuel Antek, the first violinist of the popular NBC Orchestra for seventeen years wrote his musical memoir, capturing the unique skill, charisma, and philosophy of the Maestro under whose baton he performed. In this new edition, Samuel's daughter offers her own contribution, reflecting on...

’53 on 35th: A “Silent Boomer’s” Recollections

J. Conran Meyer (AFGR)

| Reviewed by Bertin Drizller

’53 on 35th: A “Silent Boomer’s” Recollections by J. Conran Meyer is a wonderful recreation of growing up in 1953. The author paints a dazzling portrait of what life was like before social media and shares childhood experiences and adventures that will fill many readers with nostalgia — especially Silent Boomers. Set in a growing suburb of Sacramento, California, this fictionalized memoir follows the author and his neighborhood friends — his brother Nick, and his best friend, Billy — as they create complex games and fantasies and undertake dari...

It Won't Hurt None - A story of courage, healing, and a return to wholeness

Rebecca E Chandler (Rebecca E Chandler)

| Reviewed by Morgan Amos

''Every 68 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted; every nine minutes, that victim is a child,'' according to the Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network (RAINN). It isn't easy to imagine that your innocence will be forcefully taken from you from the age five until you're thirteen from someone who's supposed to love, nurture, and protect you. But this happened to Rebecca Chandler when her maternal grandfather sexually abused her from age five until she was thirteen.So many questions, thoughts, battles with anxiety, depression, and wondering if...

At the Corner of Guilt and Delight: Growing Up Gay in a Small Southern Town

Jeffrey L. Carrier (Authorhouse)

| Reviewed by Franklin Bauer

Jeffrey L. Carrier's At the Corner of Guilt and Delight: Growing up Gay in a Small Southern Town is a memoir that follows the author's journey to coming to terms with his identity and sexuality. Born to a deeply religious family and to a father who is a preacher, it was not easy for Jeffrey to figure out what to do with his same-sex fantasies as a child. He grew up in an environment in which homosexuality was considered a sin. Follow him on a rollicking journey in which he trades pleasure for guilt, exploring his fantasies, and engaging in sexu...

Born to Bounce Back (Regain Your Zest For Life After it Knocks You Down)

Frances Teagan (Tellwell Talent)

| Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo

What do you do when you are hard-hit by misfortune, crushed by pain, or stalked by hardship? In short, what happens when you are suffering — emotionally, physically, and psychologically? In Born to Bounce Back (Regain Your Zest for Life After it Knocks You Down), Frances Teagan inspires readers to take back their lives after painful experiences by standing back up. She shares her story of grit, struggle, and perseverance with unwonted clarity, showing readers how to discover the gems in their unique, albeit painful stories. She lifts the v...

Syrup Sandwiches, Choose Not to Give Up!

Anthony Owens (Anchor Book Press)

| Reviewed by Morgan Amos

Syrup Sandwiches by Anthony Owens is a candid, heartfelt autobiography of Anthony's humble beginnings, from being on welfare and eating syrup sandwiches to serving twenty years in the United States Navy, providing humanitarian aid to foreign countries, and fighting in two wars. Anthony grew up in Brooklyn, raised by a single mother. He quickly realized that he didn't want his siblings, his mother, or himself to succumb to the devastating and often negative impact of the things he witnessed while growing up. '''The difficulties I had endure...

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