The Messy Joys of Being Human by Helen Rosenau: A Book Review

About the book: Feeling stuck? You’re not alone. Whether you’re in or out of a relationship, job hunting or retiring, making a life transition, or wrestling with Big Questions, a joyful life can feel elusive. After nearly two decades as a life coach, offering motivation, inspiration, support, and problem-solving in her Ask Your Jewish Fairy Godmother column, Helen Rosenau embraces the deeper, more complex struggles of fellow messy humans to help you get unstuck and find your joy.
This book is for anyone who wants to be happier. Amidst stories plucked from her life and thousands of advice columns, plus insights, writing prompts, coaching, and cheerleading, Rosenau walks the walk towards self-knowing with you. She’ll help you toss old crap that keeps you from making progress, get brave enough to risk change, and create greater authenticity and happiness in your life.

You deserve joy. The Messy Joys of Being Human offers you tools to discover it—because life will always be a glorious mess and you will always be beautifully human. Are you ready?


My take: The thing about self-help books is that they do not offer the quick fix. Some readers take it to be instant redemption, but rather, they are just a nudge in a direction that when pursued could bring about change.

I highlighted this book so much that I believe it’s got to be the most highlighted book in my Kindle Library.

The author looks at why we worry, how we feel, how negative perceptions can cause us to think and feel less about ourselves. She also explores faith drawing from experience and literature to share insights.

The writing is simple and makes for easy reading.

I loved the take-away questions at the end of every chapter that make you pause to reflect on your life in relation to the chapter you’ve read.

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Visit the author’s website: https://yourjewishfairygodmother.com/

I am glad that I got to read this book courtesy of Netgalley and hope it’d be a nudge in the right direction for other readers.

 

 

 

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How far would you go to protect your own?

All the way.

Ryan, the heroine, in Healing Sands by Nancy Rue and Stephen Arterburn would tell you this without flinching and in reading this book, you too would back her.

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I bought this book from one of my favorite book vendors here in Nairobi and once I started reading, I could not put it down.

Aside from the 61 five-star reviews, this is what amazon has to say about the book: Her life was spinning out of control. A mix of anger and emptiness defined her. Desperate for true peace, she headed to a place of rest–the healing sands.


Ryan Coe’s marriage is over, her husband-Dan- got custody of their two sons because they told the court they would rather live with him than her. She’s not working at the level of the photojournalist she is and to top it all, she arrives at the scene of a crime to take pictures only to find her son behind the wheel of the car and suddenly her frustration sees her losing every ounce of control and going at everyone and everything.

She turns to Sullivan Crisp for help and though his methods and his faith is something she’s struggling with, but from their first talk, she slowly unravels.

This book made me feel helpless as well as powerful. I felt Ryan’s rage, her pain, conviction and that’s what made me enjoy this book.

It’s not just her struggles but as a character, what resonated with me was that I could see myself in every reaction she had and that moved me deeply.

Verdict: 26152615261526152615


If you’d love to check it out: visit amazon

 

Book Review: Desire in the Everglades by Stacy Hoff

Desire in the Everglades by [Hoff, Stacy]

266 pages/ Romance/Soul Mate Publishing (September 2014)

Available in Ebook & Paperback on : Amazon


About the book: Stephanie Lang’s successful career as a television producer can’t give her everything she wants out of life. Her personal goals of writing a romance novel and finding true love languish. Emotionally scarred by her fiancee’s affair with her cousin, she doesn’t have the confidence to go after either goal again. At least she has professional confidence to fall back on; she is ready to produce the company’s next hit show.

But when her boss reveals what the show is about, a survival documentary starring a sexy hunk, Stephanie’s life is turned upside down.

Colin Brandt, billed as “The Evergladiator,” will tackle Florida’s Everglades with nothing more than his bare hands and a knife. Stephanie, instantly attracted to handsome, rugged, enigmatic Colin, worries he will not survive his twelve-day odyssey. If he does, he’ll win a million dollars. If he fails, his beloved family’s farm will go into foreclosure. Can Colin conquer the Everglades? And can he conquer her heart?


What I loved about the book: Colin’s humor and optimism. It countered Steph’s pessimism and caution. Just like the gods of romance demand, this would make you swoon and believe in the little joys that come with attraction and love, plus the settings provide two contrasts of New York and the marshy lands of the Everglades, but Colin’s experience in New York does make it seem more like a jungle than the Everglades.

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About the author:  Stacy Hoff is the recipient of the 2017 Southern Magic RWA Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. She is a writer, as well as an attorney. She has practiced law for two decades, primarily handling contracts. Romance novels have always been her secret passion. She writes her romantic stories until the wee hours of the night while her husband and two boys are fast asleep.
For even more about Stacy, you can find her on social media:
www.facebook.com/authorStacyHoff , Twitter: www.twitter.com/authorStacyHoff
Web: www.stacyhoff.com

Visit her Amazon author page for more titles: here

Book Review: On the Same Page by Penelope Janu

Humor Romance/ 368 pages/ Brio Books

About the book:     Sometimes a girl just has to do what’s in her heart …
By day Miles Franklin, named after the famous author, is a successful lawyer. But by night she writes historical romance novels under the pen name Emma Browning. When Miles’s assistant covertly enters her boss’s novel in one of Australia’s biggest literary awards—and it wins—Miles’s perfectly ordered world is torn apart.
Lars Kristensen smells a rat. As the CEO of Iconic International, the company publishing Miles’s prize-winning novel, he’s determined to meet the author and uncover her true identity.
But Miles is equally determined to protect her privacy—and to keep writing—even if it means mastering pole dancing, and choreographing a love scene in the back of a horse-drawn carriage … Well, she is a romance writer, after all.

Miles has the grit to keep her secret, but Lars has the smouldering looks and arrogance of any romantic hero she has ever imagined.
Hmm. Sometimes a girl just has to turn the page …


My review: This book is a page turner. If you love historical romance and enjoy reading books where characters make literary references then trust me, you’d enjoy a thing or two about this book.

Miles Hamilton comes from a family of writers and her parents do not have an ounce of patience and love for historical romance. She tries her best to write anonymously but when her PA, Pippy enters her book into a contest, she learns that she’s got more than her heart to protect from the public.

It’s quirky, fun, enigmatic, light and full of suspense.

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Thank you Netgalley for the eARC.

The book is available on: Amazon and Brio Books

Such Good Work by Johannes Lichtman: A Book Review

Simon & Schuster/ Literary Fiction/ 304 pages/ February 2019

About the book: Jonas Anderson might be an excellent teacher if he weren’t addicted to drugs. Instead, at age twenty-eight, he’s been fired from yet another creative writing position after assigning homework like, visit a stranger’s funeral and write about it.

Jonas needs to do something drastic and, as a dual American-Swedish citizen, he knows Sweden is an easy place to be a graduate student and a difficult place to be a drug addict. The year is 2015 when he arrives in Malmö, a city trying to cope with the arrival of tens of thousands of Middle Eastern refugees. Driven by an existential need to “do good,” Jonas volunteers with an organization that teaches Swedish to the desperate and idling young refugees. But one young man, Aziz, will force Jonas to question whether “doing good” can actually help another person.


My take on it:

This is a compelling read, and it’s not because the protagonist, Jonas, is charming and what one would call “easy to like,” but because his on his own journey of self discovery and struggles with sobriety continents apart.

What the author succeeds in portraying is how flawed people can be in their thoughts and intentions, and we see this through Jonas’ eyes and as he travels from the US to Sweden and finds himself at Malmo, teaching refugees Swedish.

The pace is great and for someone who is from another continent and a fan of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the mention of his name alone was enough for me to take a liking to this book :-). So, here’s to Netgalley, thanks for the eARC, I can’t wait to hear what other readers would have to say on this debut, it’s earned my approval, and I know it’ll charm them too.

Verdict: 26152615261526152615

Pre-order on Amazon: click here 


About the author:

Johannes Lichtman was born in Stockholm and raised in California. He holds an MFA in fiction from UNC Wilmington and an MA in literature, culture, and media from Lund University. His work has appeared in American Short Fiction, Los Angeles Review of Books, Oxford American, The Sun, Sydsvenskan, and elsewhere. He lives in Portland and Ukraine. Such Good Work is his first novel. Visit his website for more: https://www.johanneslichtman.com/

 

The Bookworm Reader Tag

I love a tag! Well, only here on wordpress and I came across this tag on Bookish Bits blog and couldn’t resist diving right in.

BOOKMARKS OR RANDOM PIECES OF PAPER?

Bookmarks.

STOP READING RANDOMLY OR AFTER A CHAPTER/CERTAIN AMOUNT OF PAGES?

I am as random as they come. Thank heavens for bookmarks because then I’d be quite lost in my reading progress.

DO YOU HAVE A CERTAIN PLACE AT HOME FOR READING?

No, I read even while cooking so as long as I want to read, I’ll read. 

DO YOU EAT OR DRINK WHILST READING?

Sure, I love drinking tea while I read.

MULTITASKING: MUSIC OR TV WHEN READING?

I love listening to music while reading. Sometimes I want some peace and quiet and go for it, but definitely love listening to music as I read.

ONE BOOK AT A TIME OR SEVERAL?

I can read up to three books at a time and I love delving in and out of books. However, I learned over the years that when it comes to romance, I can always read a book in one sitting.

READING AT HOME OR EVERYWHERE?

Everywhere.

READING OUT LOUD OR SILENTLY?

Silently.

BREAKING THE SPINE OR KEEPING IT LIKE NEW?

Keeping it like new. I’m no spine breaker!

DO YOU WRITE IN YOUR BOOKS?

No. I have however highlighted books before, my copy of Fountainhead by Ayn Rand is a mess!


So, there you have it, if you want to give this a shot, go ahead. I’d love to read your responses!

Thick and Other Essays by Tressie McMillan Cottom: A Review

Hardcover 224 pages/ New Press Publication-To be released January 8th 2019

About the bookSmart, humorous, and strikingly original thoughts on race, beauty, money, and more—by one of today’s most intrepid public intellectuals

Tressie McMillan Cottom, the writer, professor, and acclaimed author of Lower Ed, now brilliantly shifts gears from running regression analyses on college data to unleashing another identity: a purveyor of wit, wisdom—and of course Black Twitter snark—about all that is right and much that is so very wrong about this thing we call society. In the bestselling tradition of bell hooks and Roxane Gay, McMillan Cottom’s freshman collection illuminates a particular trait of her tribe: being thick. In form, and in substance.


Now, this book right here is the book I see myself reading when I am old and grey and still going “you’ve got that right!” It is in essay form, but does not shy away from a stark memoir. Honestly speaking, it is what it is, and that’s unapologetic, true, bold, harsh, nostalgic-and just like the title, it is thick! I would review this book everyday if it were up to me, because it is not the kind that you read and turn the page.

It is profound in calling out the stereotypes we subscribe to, our perceptions, our socio-economic status and as a young black woman, what’s written herein is something I have experienced yet I am miles away in another continent.

It goes beyond the value society places on a black woman, and dissects the lies we tell ourselves in our desire to conform to something that devalues us.

I love this book and I look forward to having a hardcover copy for my library because I want to read this years on, to stir up conversations with young women like me here.


My final take on it:

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I couldn’t help but gush about this on twitter a while back too:

The greatest coincidence is that this book is set to be released on my sister’s birthday!

See the book on: Goodreads and Amazon

Pre-order it today for $17.10 on Amazon 


About the Author:

Tressie McMillan Cottom is an assistant professor of sociology at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is a faculty associate at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society. She earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from Emory University in Atlanta, GA with a case study of the political economy of for-profit colleges in the era of financialized U.S. higher education. She’s on Twitter @tressiemcphdTressie McMillan Cottom