Category Archives: Memoirs

My Sister’s Books Review #102

I am Malala

By: Malala Yousafzai


When Malala Yousafzai was fifteen years old, she was shot in the head, while on the way to school. The doctors didn’t expect her to survive, but her amazing spirit and determination, gave her the strength to live and to continue to fight the injustices of the world. I am Malala is the story of one brave, young girl’s extraordinary life, and her perseverance during the horrific ordeals of terrorism.

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My Sister’s Books Review #81

The 13th Gift

By: Joanne Huist Smith


Joanne Huist Smith’s husband passed away a few months before December. Depressed and unable to participate in the Christmas cheer, her youngest of three children worries that there won’t be a Christmas this year. One night, a mysterious package arrives on the doorstep, a gift from some their True Friends. Each night, a small present arrives in tune with the classic song, “12 Days of Christmas.” The blessing she receives from her anonymous friends, allows her to come to terms with the Christmas spirit, and to not only accept happiness, but also to look forward to participating in the excitement of this holiday.

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My Sister’s Books Review #77

Home is Where My People Are

By: Sophie Hudson


The old saying states that the American Dream is a two story house with a nice, flat yard and a white picket fence. But what truly makes a house a home? Is it the building or is it the people? Do you have different homes throughout life, or is it just one single place that your soul belongs? These are just a few of the things that Sophie Hudson explores in her latest memoir Home is Where My People Are.

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Sasee Review

Waggin’ Tales: Bogey’s Memoir

By: Maureen O’Brien

Bogey was unwanted, told repeatedly he was too dumb to love. Thankfully his original set of humans left him at the Grand Strand Humane Society, where he remained focused on staying positive. Soon, his forever parents found him, adopted him and opened his eyes to a world full of love.

Using Bogey’s voice, Maureen O’Brien shares the adorable memories of Bogey’s life. An uplifting and heartwarming tale of how Bogey’s adoption gave him a family that finally showed him the love he truly deserved. Readers will follow Bogey from the glorious day of his adoption and throughout his life, including events that occurred in Heaven. The author turns a sensitive and always difficult topic, into a positive experience. Overall, animal lovers will smile many times as they fall in love with Bogey’s story.

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My Sister’s Books Review #59

The Puppy that Came for Christmas

By: Megan Rix


Megan and Ian Rix have desperately been trying to have a baby. Megan feels as though a baby would finally complete their family.  Throughout the numerous failed attempts, the couple has kept their struggles quiet. Along the way, they find a group called Helper Dogs. This group trains puppies to assist humans with disabilities. Megan and Ian get to experience all the joys and heartache of fostering two little puppies over the course of a year, until they finally get their forever dog.

The Puppy that Came for Christmas is a beautifully written memoir. Megan’s emotions shine through her words as she struggles to conceive. She keeps her story honest by showing the good times as well as the bad, such as medication failures or experiencing jealousy over her brother’s surprise announcement. However, puppy lovers around the world can relate to all the pleasures and sorrows that comes with Emma, Freddy and eventually Traffy. With their first dog, Megan tells readers about each of Emma’s triumphs and the new world of possibilities that opens from being a doggie parent. Then Freddy brings a bit of silliness to help distract from the pain of Emma’s graduation. Readers will laugh, cry and ooh and ahh throughout this inspirational book.


Note:This review was written for My Sister’s Books and Sasee Magazine.

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I Talk Slower than I Think

By: C. D. Bonner   Format: eBook.   Read: November 2014

This is a collection of stories to remind adults of every age of a simpler, more hands-on era.

I Talk Slower than I Think is a nod to the good old days. Filled with southern expressions, each chapter relays an old family story passed down from previous generations. This book will have readers laughing out loud, as well as a few nodding along as they relate to certain events. Although there are some stories that are more emotional than entertaining, overall this is a feel-good book that both Southerners and Northerners can appreciate.




The author provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. To learn more about this author and his work, please visit his website.

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Sasee Review for August

Hi Everyone,

As you all know, I have had the honor of writing the book reviews for Sasee Magazine. Here is a snippet of the review that I did for month of August.




Who Left Me in Charge?

By: Erin Spatz

This past month, I had the pleasure of reading this new release by local author and new Sasee columnist, Erin Spatz. Erin mixes reality and humor as she shares her journey through Postpartum Panic Disorder. This book is a collection of her journal entries dealing with everyday topics that most Moms face.

Erin Spatz thought that throughout her pregnancy and childbirth that life would be magical once she held her newborn baby. Unfortunately, she developed Postpartum Panic Disorder that worsened after each of her four children were born. Throughout her struggles, she found a form of peace through writing and kept a journal of her chaotic days. Her honest and playful writing style makes it easy for all women to relate to her. Since the chapters are organized by topics, they are short and easy to read. Perfect for busy Moms looking to find something they can connect to, when they don’t have a lot of time to devote to reading.


You can read this issue (and the full review) at this link.


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The Seventh Angel

By: Alex McKeithen. Format: Hardcover. Read: March 2014.


Alex McKeithen decided to study art abroad in the inspiring European landscape. Unfortunately for him, when he arrived in Paris, he suffered a breakdown, running through the streets proclaiming he was the Seventh Angel and that the apocalypse was coming. This book is his story through these events and his recovery back in the states.

Alex McKeithen is brave for spilling his life and thoughts out in this book. He even gives readers more insight into his spinning mind, by adding notes along the side, as though this was his personal journal. The author doesn’t shy away from the harshness of his illness or the realities of treatment inside the facility. However he does try to insert humorous scenes to help break up the monotony.  This is an exceptional book about the inner workings of an overactive mind.


Again, I thank you for your patience with these reviews. As I am sure you can imagine, it was quite difficult to not only be living the experiences of caring for someone who struggles daily, but then to read a few back to back books about mental illnesses…well reading is my escape and it is pretty difficult to escape my reality by living someone else’s experiences.  Again I offer my apologies over the delayed reviews, but I am thrilled to announce that we are moving forward through the next books on The List.


Do you or someone you know, suffer from bipolar disease? Do you appreciate the value of experiencing someone’s life through their words?




The PR Representative provided a copy of this book for me to review. To learn more about her, please visit her website.

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A Beautiful Mess

By: Ali Berlinski. Format: Ebook. Read: September 2013.

A Brooklyn elementary school teacher who doesn’t quite fit in anywhere and goes to Spain to find time to write and connect with herself. Ali Berlinski is a unique individual that grew up on both coasts and as an only child-youngest child-oldest child. Not to mention the fact that she is bi-racial too and people assume her step-mom is her actual mom. This is her first book and it is the story of her life.

A Beautiful Mess is an intriguing, yet humorous account of the author’s life. Written as though the author is speaking to her friends, readers will find themselves awkwardly laughing even during the more trying times in Berlinski’s life. The author is very honest in all the emotions she experienced while being part of a large, chaotic family. However, the book did not flow smoothly, and could benefit from rearranging some of the chapters. At the end, in the author bio, it is mentioned that this is her first novel, yet it is clearly a memoir. There are a few grammar errors and the ending will leave readers with a few unanswered questions. On the other hand, this memoir sets up several scenarios that will stimulate the readers’ mind and make them question their own feelings and responses, if they were in a similar situation.

This book was nice and I appreciated how it felt like I was inside the author’s mind, like two friends chatting about their hectic lives over dinner. I also appreciate the fact that the author is giving back to the world, by donating a children’s book to a child in need for every purchased copy of A Beautiful Mess. I enjoyed the uniqueness and craziness of her everyday family life, yet the majority of the drama most everyone, including myself, can relate.



The publisher for the author gave me a copy of this book to review. To learn more about this author and her work, please visit her website.

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My Sister’s Books Review #17

When I Married My Mother
By: Jo Maeder

One New Yorker DJ and one elderly, aging woman living in the heart of the Bible-loving south are being reunited thanks to life. Jo decides to leave her home to head south to care for her mother, despite all of her friends and family begging her not to go. Looking back now, Jo would never change those final few years with her mom, since that short time taught her more about life than she had ever learned before.

This is an emotional tale of a woman coming to terms with her broken home past and how it is affecting her present. This is a heart-warming tale with laugh-out-loud moments that provide a break from the serious monotony of caring for an aging parent. Jo Maeder perfectly balances the intricate line of finding laughter during difficult times. This is a must read for everyone woman in the world.

This review was originally written for My Sister’s Books.

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