I just finished reading and reviewed, Five Flights Up: Sex, Love, and Family, from Paris to Lyon by Kristin Louise Duncombe, and I found this memoir a raw, honest, and rather funny read. Since the synopsis can be read online, I will go directly to my review. It is difficult enough, to follow a spouse and move to a new city, and this memoir certainly is highly insightful of how life is in France. So many transitions must be made, and Duncombe brings out this reality for anyone in a similar situation. Living as an ex-pat with her ex-pat (and different culture) husband and moving to France; makes this memoir a “must read” from just those words. Duncombe tells it how it is, yet in her intense honesty, she brings forth so many funny and poignant stories in the process. The storytelling flows easily and the edits are professional, city descriptions are wonderful, and the characters spring to life, yet Duncombe’s raw honesty stands out as her marriage starts to fall apart and the reader go through the ups and downs along the way. I haven’t read Duncombe’s prequel memoir, but this story is a great memoir on its own. Duncombe’s raw honesty in writing about her trials and tribulations, marriage and sex, living in Lyon, the impact on her children, and life while living in a upper class neighborhood, was both funny and filled with “oh no” moments. Thank you, Kristin Louise Duncombe, for this beautiful memoir.
I’m glad I had the time to finally read Howard Shulman’s memoir, “Running from the Mirror“. This personal memoir starts with Howard just a newborn, who at three days old, develops a staph infection that did a lot of damage to his face and inside his mouth. His parents abandoned him not long after, and Howard was in the hospital. Howard recounts his days of growing up, and looking like a monster. Howard was bullied because of this facial features, and I have witnessed this kind of bullying in that past, done to my own son who had no hair and was fighting cancer. The propensity for bullying is sadly, so apparent in his memoir. Howard underwent multiple surgeries to reconstruct his facial features and I was brokenhearted the entire way. Later in life, several amazing people helped in transforming Howard into the person he is today. This memoir is touching, and Howard managed to become a successful person. However, one aspect I don’t like at all, was when Howard spoke proudly of his illegal and shady activities; literally activities that hurt others in some way or another. Due to being proud of these illegal activities, Howard promotes a trade that should not be glamorized, especially to teens and young adults. Therefore, I couldn’t give this book a five star review.
“The Black Shadow: A Suspenseful Short Story Based On Actual Events“ by Corey Carter is literally filled to the brim with suspense! The genre isn’t my normal favorite genre, yet I found myself drawn right into this novella from the beginning. Bullying needs to stop, and Corey found a way to weave supernatural suspense with bullying. kudos to Corey for aiding in bringing bullying to the forefront. You have a knack in writing about real life situations, and adding that extra twist that makes this book a great, and well written story, for teenagers.
I just finished reading Liwen Ho’s romance, “The More The Merrier.” Alyssa Wu is tired of blind dates and so she decides to set up a fake date with her best friend, Barry Chang, in order to keep her family from setting her up with more blind dates. From the beginning this short story was extremely sweet and dialogue was completely engaging. This light romance story is perfect for anyone who would like a nice short romance to read, and I found that I connected with the Alyssa and Barry. I can say that because my husband, was and still is, my best friend and our love story grew upon the deep foundation of our friendship. Well done Liwen!!
This is a book about one small dog and three squirrels, who go camping. After obtaining permission to camp, a wise squirrel teaches the young ones how to stay safe on land and in a boat. This story book helps children learn how to be safe when they are in a new area, and illustrates that children always need to keep the adults in their lives aware of, and obtain permission for outdoor activities. Camping and water safety is explained so that children can understand the importance of what could happen if they don’t listen to parents and teachers.
Jackson’s and A. Raymond’s second book in their new Shadow series, “Shadow and Friends Go Camping” was an enjoyable read from page one! As I read this book, I could feel a smile on my face, at the antics of one small dog and her squirrel friends. I will read this story again and again to my grandchildren. This would make a wonderful children’s story for my church, Thank you for your efforts in making such a lovely book, and the graphics are awesome… Susan Vance, Author, Forever My Sister
This story is lovely, and I love how Shadow and the squirrels get along so well together. Children would be captivated in a story about a dog, three squirrels, and the camping trip they take. The illustrations look great and this book speaks to the target age audience… D. Rose, Content and Line Editor
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