2021 Reading Challenge

2021 Reading Challenge

2021 Reading Challenge
Tina has read 1 book toward her goal of 46 books.
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Tuesday, July 20, 2021

BOOK REVIEW for Golden Boy by John Glatt




Thank  you to the kind people at St-Martin's Press for sending me an electronic copy of this book to read and review.

TITLE:           Golden Boy

AUTHOR       John Glatt

GENRE:         True Crime

RATING:        5 stars

First off, I love this author's writing style.

I first discovered him when I read  his book on Chris Watts and I was thrilled to see that Golden Boy was coming out.

This book has a hugely difficult subject matter . Thomas' (the Golden Boy) actions were so "out there" that at times, I had to put the book down and just walk away for a few minutes.

The author does an excellent job of balancing the real life results of a real life mental illness.  I like that he does not take a side, other than to write the facts about what happened and let's us decide.  

Many times during this book, I kept asking myself is "Thomas really mentally ill or is he faking?"  I came to believe that both were in play here. He could be conniving, while being completely in his own world.

I also wondered how his poor mother could still  be standing after. all these events.  Glatt did an excellent job of describing her feelings, in most of the situations and while I am really annoyed at her comment about "the system did not help her son", I could only imagine her pain.


That statement...."the system let my son down"=== I absolutely believe because we hear this comment so many times when it comes to mental health, I will say however, that in this case, with the money these people had, they could have hired the "best" doctors to help him, but instead they just kept throwing money at their son, making him entitled and needy - not great when mixed with mental health. issues.  These people appeared so scared of "hurting" their son's feelings.....so I believe that the family holds some blame here.  They HAD the money to do something beyond the "regular channels of mental help for the average person".

The book reads like that to me.  Thomas was always on the periphery of things, living lavishly and the author really shines a light on this as well.


Ultimately, this is a really well researched book that is sad to read.....but what a good read.

Monday, June 7, 2021

BOOK REVIEW for Live Your Life by Amanda Kloots

 


Thank you to the wonderful people at HarperCollins for giving me an ebook to read and review.

TITLE:           Live Your Life
AUTHOR:      Amanda Kloots
GENRE:         Memoir
RATING:        5 stars

I admit that I had no clue who Amanda Kloots or Nick Cordero are, other than the fact that I kept seeing Amanda's name on my social media asking for prayers for her husband who contracted Covid.


So, I knew, going into this book what the outcome would be and I literally read the book, with a huge lump in my throat, over the course of two days.

This book, simply put is a love letter from Amanda to Nick. It is a book that made me cry (and I rarely cry when reading) while, at the same time, it is a book that I found inspiring. The love these two share is the central "plot" of the book and Amanda writes the words with so much love and respect for her husband and what he was going through.

It is inspiring to see how everyone bounded together to help her in such a difficult time. How I wish everyone had access to this level of help for every Covid patient.

Amanda is due a lot of respect, from the way she dealt with all the medical issues to how she managed to stay present in her day to day life for her son - I don't know if I could have done it.

I am so sorry for what this family is going through. I am sorry for all the families....

Beautifully written book.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

BOOK REVIEW for Brat: an 80"s story by Andrew McCarthy

 



Thank you to Hachette Book Group Canada for sending me a hardcover copy of this book to read and review.

TITLE:              Brat: an 80's story

AUTHOR:         Andrew McCarthy

GENRE:            Memoir

RATING:           3 stars

Wow, the only word for this book is "Vanilla".  Either McCarthy has had an uneventful life or he highly cherry picked what he was writing about.


Why do celebrities write memoirs if all they are going to do is give you the "better sides" of them.  I would recommend every celebrity considering a memoir to read Corey Feldman's memoir - now THAT was a memoir loaded with all kinds of difficult conversations.


So, if you reallllllly like McCarthy then I say buy this, but if you don't, this is a library book at best.


BTW its 200 pages with black and white pictures.


I was so sorry that I did not fall in love with this story, McCarthy is a good actor/director and I had high hopes.


Friday, April 16, 2021

BOOK REVIEW for The Next Everest by Jim Davidson

 


A huge thank you to the publisher, St-Martin's Press for sending me an e-copy of this book to read and review.


TITLE:             The Next Everest

AUTHOR:        Jim Davidson

GENRE:             Non fiction

RATING:            3.5 stars


It was difficult to rate this book because I felt as though I read two different stories.

To be honest, the best part of this book is the front. About halfway through, when the book suddenly shifts gear, it starts dragging. It feels like the author started off strong only to slow down toward the middle/end.

Also, the author does a back and forth thing, from his.past to the present which was a tad annoying. This is a method in writing that I dislike as it gets confusing and at times boring.

Descriptions.of being on Everest are vivid and the author gives us a very detailed and entertaining look at Mt Everest and just how dangerous climbing is.

I just recently discovered how much I enjoy books on climbing, even though I would never do it myself.

So...4 stars for the front part and 3 stars for the rest = 3.5 stars.
 

Thursday, April 1, 2021

BOOK REVIEW for Out and Back by Hillary Allen

 


A huge thank you to the publisher, Blue Star Press,  for sending me a copy of this e-book to read and review.


TITLE:                 Out and Back

AUTHOR:            Hillary Allen

GENRE:               Memoir

RATING:              4 out of 5 stars

Book will be released on April 6, 2021.


I finished this book in 2 sittings.

It grabbed me from the first sentence and did not let me go until the end.

I have mobility issues and I was in need of inspiration and this book was like a breath of fresh air.

Yes, HIllary went through hell, but somehow, her strength (mental and physical) just seemed to grow, instead of diminish.

She simply was not going to let anything gt her down permanently.

I am not a runner, but Hillary's positive attitudes and willingness to get help, without feelings of depression were so helpful to read.

The writing is down to earth and Hillary does not hesitate to let us into her most deep thoughts and feelings.

You can see how she gets better as her attitude gets better..

The description of her physical ailments and pain actually came right through the page.

I am so inspired by this book and I love it.



Tuesday, March 30, 2021

BOOK REVIEW for Under our Roof by Madeline Dean and Harry Cunnane



Thank you to Convergent Books for sending me an e-copy of this book to read and review.

TITLE:                   Under our Roof


AUTHOR:              Madeleine Dean and Harry Cunnane


GENRE:                  Memoir


RATING:                 4 stars


Book released February 2021


I like the two different POVs from the addict (the son) and his mother.  


Its always so fascinating,  to me ,  hearing two points of view of the same situation being so different.  


This book is hard hitting while still, at times,  feeling as though some of the stories were sanitized - which is the one fault i will give this story.  Also, the parts where Madeleine talks about her political aspirations does drag the book down a bit.  I wanted to scream "I don't care, there are bigger things going on here".


There are two parts to this - using and recovery and both are compelling.  The writing is down to earth and scary and some of the situations Harry puts himself in are absolutely frightening, but it still felt to me as though a good chunk was glossed over.  


Nonetheless, a very good read


Sunday, March 14, 2021

BOOK REVIEW for Pain Killer by Brantt Myhres



TITLE:            Pain Killer

AUTHOR;       Brantt Myhres

GENRE:           Memoir

RATING:          5 stars


I loved this memoir on addiction and recovery.

I live in "the" hockey town of Canada, so I have been exposed to hockey since I was a little girl. I admit, I had to Google, Brantt Myhres though.

This story is beyond words.  This guy should be dead - its crazy to what level he pushed his body and it took 5 rehab stays for one to "stick".

I admit that if you really don't care  about hockey, you might be turned off a little bit,  as this memoir is basically Myhres and how much his hockey career was intertwined with his rampant addiction.  He does mention several players and describes his life on the ice quite a bit, which personally I enjoyed but may not be everyone's cup of tea

This writing is so down to earth and the author pulls no punches (no pun intended).  He tells it like it was and at times, he is basically disgusting in the things he will do and the things he encourages younger players/teenagers to do when it comes to drugs and booze.

He does spend quite a while on the addiction part of the story, but the recovery part is definitely engaging as well.  I was surprised that 12 step is mentioned and so are AA meetings and a level of spirituality, but I was expecting more on the subject.

I like that Myhres doesn't get into recovery and then say "i am good now" because we all know that is not how it works.

If you easily get squirmy, then this book is also not for you.  The eyeball story is so gross.

I admit, I went in not knowing what to expect, but I was immediately engrossed in this excellent memoir on a subject that is dear to my heart.

Monday, February 1, 2021

BOOK REVIEW for The Obsession by Jesse Q. Sutanto

 


A big thank you to Sourcebooks for sending me an e-copy of this book to read and review.


TITLE:                  The Obsession

AUTHOR:             Jesse Q. Sutanto

GENRE:                YA thriller

RATING:               5 stars


What a great, scary and totally engrossing read.

None of the characters are likeable and I do mean none, but somehow it just added to the storyline.

Dee and her mom seem to share bad luck when it comes to men, but what follows was so well written and thought out. I could not put this book down.

Loved everything about it. One small comment, the author relied on the "she looked in his eyes and knew" trap once too often. There is no way someone can pick up on "subtle" eye and mood movements so much.

Otherwise great!
 

Monday, December 28, 2020

BOOK REVIEW for Skinny or Not, Here I come by Margaret Cupit-Link


TITLE:            Skinny or Not Here I come

AUTHOR:       Margaret Cupit-Link

GENRE:           Memoir

RATING:          4 stars


I pretty well read this book in two sittings.

I will admit that I found the first part more intriguing.

Having said that, this was a great read. I appreciated the focus the author puts on her youth, demonstrating that eating disorders are not the symptom, but rather the defense mechanism, which served us well at some point in our early days.

The author actually focuses a good chunk of her youth on giving us details about her life and while there is nothing horrendous, it is also obvious that her ED started at some point in her young life. Never managing to pinpoint exactly what was making her binge/restrict. It has been said, many times, that people with ED used food as a coping mechanism for some traumas (remembered or not) and that while the ED served us well at the time, it has stopped helping and has become a painful situation that needs to be looked at with love (even if you go kicking and screaming into it).

Margaret, up to this day, would probably not be able to tell you exactly what she is eating over. She mentions, in the second part of the book, that she believes she was not addicted to the food, but rather to the dieting.

There are plenty of studies out there who agree with her - dieting is absolutely the worse thing we could do to our bodies, yet, Margarent, knowing ALL of this and even being a medical doctor, could not "stop" the overeating, the undereating and the weighing, etc.

The second part of the book is about her recovery, learning to write, cry and talk about what is hurting her. She does admit that her recovery is not consistent and that she fails at times, but she focuses a lot more on getting outside help and working on her spirituality.

She does not talk about 12 step very much, other than to say that the lessons found in 12 step can be applied to everything in life. She also talks about God and her Higher Power, which I thought was very interesting as finding a HP can be challenging. I did like her "pointers" on turning to a God of our understanding.

She does go into the religion part a little bit more than I would like, but overall, this book is motivating, honest and REAL.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

BOOK REVIEW for Silencing the Enemy Within by Marsha Rene








TITLE:          Silencing the Enemy Within

AUTHOR:     Marsha Rene

GENRE:         Memoir

RATING:        5 Stars

My god I loved this book. I read many books on addiction and recovery and this is one of the best I have ever read. Absolute truth....Marsha does not sugarcoat it. I could not believe she survived her drug and alcohol addictions. 

I think her HP was already present in her life, long before she started AA and NA12 Step programs....how else can you explain the author's active addictions and ultimately surviving them. Beautiful look at 12 step programs without hitting us over the head with program beliefs. The writing is so down to earth and captivating. 

 I hope Marsha continues to be a beacon of hope for those who still suffer. I am so inspired when I read about recovery.

 
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