Tag Archives: memoirs

Forgotten Book Challenge

Hi Everyone,

This Forgotten Book Challenge is an old, hardcover book that I bought many years ago. I saw it on the bookshelf one day, and after the events of last year, I thought I would give it a try.

As always, to learn more about the Forgotten Book Challenge, click on the logo below.

Enjoy!
~Ariesgrl

#forgottenbookchallenge

The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun
By: Gretchen Rubin
(Purchased over four years ago.)

Continue reading

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Filed under Forgotten Book Challenge, Non-Fiction Books

Welcome… Author Jamie Baywood!

final book design

About:
Craving change and lacking logic, at 26, Jamie, a cute and quirky Californian, impulsively moves to New Zealand to avoid dating after reading that the country’s population has 100,000 fewer men. In her journal, she captures a hysterically honest look at herself, her past and her new wonderfully weird world filled with curious characters and slapstick situations in unbelievably bizarre jobs. It takes a zany jaunt to the end of the Earth and a serendipitous meeting with a fellow traveler before Jamie learns what it really means to get rooted.

Excerpt:

“Just like “biscuits,” the word “rooting” has a completely different meaning in New Zealand than it does in California. In California, one would say they need to get rooted when they settle in somewhere, as in, to put down roots, to ground themselves. After living oblivious to the New Zealand definition for five months and while brushing my teeth with Liam the other night, I told him, “I’m really excited to live in this house because I really need to get rooted. I traveled all around Samoa for a month before I came here, and the first place I lived in New Zealand didn’t work out, so I had to move. I’m excited to stay in one place long enough to get rooted.”

Liam’s eyes almost popped out of his head, and he just about choked on his toothbrush. He spat out his toothpaste, staring at me out of the corner of his eye. Finally he spoke, “Jamie, are you hitting on me? Do you know what rooting means here?”” page 55.

Jamie2

About the Author:

Jamie Baywood grew up in Petaluma, California. In 2010, she made the most impulsive decision of her life by moving to New Zealand. Getting Rooted in New Zealand is her first book about her experiences living there. Jamie is now married and living happily ever after in the United Kingdom. She is working on her second book.

Getting Rooted in New Zealand is available in paperback and ebook on Amazon.

Jamie Baywood can be followed on the following sites:

http://www.facebook.com/jamiebaywood
http://www.twitter.com/jamiebaywood

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7069448.Jamie_Baywood
http://www.amazon.com/author/jamiebaywood

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Welcome… Ali Berlinski, Author!

Hi Ali, could you please tell everyone a little bit about yourself?

Explaining my background is difficult, hence the book. Culturally speaking, my family is like a mini United Nations. My mother’s Filipino and my father’s Polish, making me biracial. Through my mother and father I have older and younger siblings who are also part Italian and Puerto Rican. Since my parents divorced when I was only a year old, I grew up in two distinct households on two coasts. Needless to say, I had a very unconventional upbringing and it has in every way shaped who I am as a person and a writer. If Carrie Bradshaw and David Sedaris had a literary lovechild, it’d be me.
I wrote the book during a very challenging period in my life. I had just gone through two intense breakups. The first was with my ex-boyfriend who also happens to be a celebrity, a situation that truly warrants the facebook status—it’s complicated. The second and even more crushing breakup was with my mother. It was that crucial moment in life when you realize you’re in a bad situation and something needs to change. Hoping to gain some clarity through distance, I quit my job and moved to Spain where I began writing. Nine months later a beautiful mess was born. It was the most therapeutic thing I’ve ever done.

If you could summarize A Beautiful Mess in one sentence, what would it be?

My book is collection of personal essays that use humor to talk about some of the messes we all face in life-family problems, growing up, illness, breakups, and loss.

What was your inspiration behind A Beautiful Mess?

One of the reasons we read is to experience something. The experience I hope to provide is empathy. Perhaps your situation isn’t exactly like mine, but I’m sure that you’ll find a part of your story in the book. If I can laugh at my life then surely you can at yours too. That’s why I created #mymess. The #mymess movement is all about embracing life’s crazy moments though humor. Let me help you say yes to your mess.

What are your plans for future books?

I’d love to write another book. Since I draw inspiration from my own life the next book will probably be about my time in Spain.

Anything you would like the followers here, to know about you or your book?

It’s not always easy but I think it’s important to be able to laugh at life. If you enjoy sarcastic, off color, or dark humor, then you should definitely read my book. Also, for every book you buy, a book is donated to a charity that promotes literacy. So if you like helping kids read and dark comedies, buy my book.

To see my review of A Beautiful Mess, click here. I would like to thank Ali Berlinski and her publisher for participating in this interview.

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My Sister’s Books Review #19

The Freedom Writer’s Diary
By: Erin Gruwell

Being a first-year teacher is difficult, but working with at-risk kids is even harder. Erin Gruwell had enough and decided to find a way to make her lessons reach the hearts of her students. Using classic literary diarists, Anne Frank and Zlata Filipovic, as examples she challenges her students to look within and find the parallels in their own lives. This one simple thought, turned into a life-changing project, while those students became known as The Freedom Writers.

Even though this book is set-up to resemble a diary, with dated entries and numbers representing the different students’ entries, the consistency and the coherency make for a touching tale. The book progresses through each year in the students’ learning all the way to the celebratory graduation day. Readers will be able to grasp each student’s progress and their hearts will swell with pride. A few pictures are included to help “see” the students and their teacher, while the foreword by Zlata Filipovic, proves the amazing reach that this one teacher created. This is a heart-lifting read.

Notes:
This review was originally written for My Sister’s Books.
To purchase this book, click here.

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Filed under My Sister's Books, Non-Fiction Books

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.

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

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Filed under Memoirs, My Sister's Books, Non-Fiction Books

And the Winner is…

Hi Everyone,

I just want to thank author Sarah Solmonson for participating in the giveaway celebrations. Thank you to all of the people who entered the contest. There was a total of 6 people who entered. Earlier today, I went to Random.org and typed in the parameters of 1 and 6. The lucky winner of a paperback copy of Taking Flight is… commenter number 5. Congratulations Angela Love!!! You have 72 hours to contact me to claim your prize.

In case you missed the post this morning, A Year in Review #7 has been posted. One lucky commenter will win their choice of an ecopy of one of Alannah Lynne’s books. All you have to do is leave a comment under the post. Good luck to you all.

Enjoy!
~Ariesgrl

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A Year in Review #6

Hi Everyone,

This past year, I had the honor to read and review a poignant memoir. Sarah Solmonson shares the story of her life with the world, in this incredible book. She and her father had a wonderful relationship, part of which was built by his love of airplanes. This week will mark the anniversary of his passing and in honor of him, we take a look back at his daughter’s book.

Taking Flight
Sarah Solmonson tells her story of growing up as the only human child in the Norton family. Her father, David Norton, was obsessed with airplanes and flying. He spent six years building an airplane from scratch. Unfortunately on July 1, 2000, David’s regular take off took a tragic turn as the wind disappeared, causing his beloved plane to crash. David Norton didn’t survive and this book is the story of how his wife and daughter fought to survive their horrific loss.

In her telling memoir, Sarah Solmonson demonstrates an incredible talent for writing. She rotates chapters between a current conversation with her father and the memories she had growing up. This rotation provides the perfect balance between the heart wrenching emotions and the wholesome funny memories of the past. Readers will feel as though Sarah did not use any ink to write this book, but instead used her own blood from her heart. Each sentence, each statement and each memory are written with such honesty and such affection that readers will feel like they are a member of this family. Incredibly powerful and mesmerizing.

Sarah Solmonson has been generous enough to donate a paperback copy of her book to one lucky commenter. To enter to win, all you have to do is leave a comment below between now and 11:59pm EDT on July 5, 2013. Then on July 6, 2013, I will use Random.org to select a winner and announce the winner later that day. Good luck to you all!

If you want another chance to win, please visit the Big Giveaway page. There you will find the link to the Rafflecopter entry form, where Sarah Solmonson has donated another paperback copy of her book for the Big Giveaway!

Enjoy!
~Ariesgrl

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A Quote to Begin the Day…

“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world will live as one.”

 

~John Lennon

 

Hi Everyone,

I came across this quote from John Lennon and it works perfectly for me today. I just received word from World Book Night that I will be a book giver on April 23, 2013! I am so excited. This will be my first year as a book giver and I am thrilled. This organization’s goal is to unite the world, even for just one night, through books. Imagine what the world would be, if we all just set aside out differences and united through love, acceptance and of course BOOKS!!!

 

Be sure to stop back by here tomorrow. Author, T. C. Harrelson, will be here conducting an interview and he will be giving away a copy of The Beast of Macon Hollow. This was an excellent book and you don’t want to miss out on your chance to win!

 

I am wishing you all a wonderful day!!!

Enjoy!

~Ariesgrl

 

 

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Filed under About Me, Quotes

Taking Flight

By: Sarah Solmonson. Format: Paperback. Read: January 2013.

 

Sarah Solmonson tells her story of growing up as the only human child in the Norton family. Her father, David Norton, was obsessed with airplanes and flying. He spent six years building an airplane from scratch. Unfortunately on July 1, 2000, David’s regular take off took a tragic turn as the wind disappeared, causing his beloved plane to crash. David Norton didn’t survive and this book is the story of how his wife and daughter fought to survive their horrific loss.

 

In her telling memoir, Sarah Solmonson demonstrates an incredible talent for writing. She rotates chapters between a current conversation with her father and the memories she had growing up. This rotation provides the perfect balance between the heart wrenching emotions and the wholesome funny memories of the past. Readers will feel as though Sarah did not use any ink to write this book, but instead used her own blood from her heart. Each sentence, each statement and each memory are written with such honesty and such affection that readers will feel like they are a member of this family. Incredibly powerful and mesmerizing.

 

 

This is the first memoir that I have read in a long time and I can honestly say that it is one that I will never forget. I was left so speechless by this book, that I had a difficult time writing this review. I couldn’t think of what to say. My heart and soul were moved by her courage to write this story, while my heart and mind were grateful for her honesty. Yet, somewhere in all of these feelings, not once did my hands feel that they could write a worthy review. The only thing I could think to say was: Wow, grab a blanket and a box of tissues. Then curl up and read this book! From the very beginning, I had tears in my eyes and then a few pages later, I was smiling and laughing. I highly recommend this book to everyone.

 

~Ariesgrl

 

Note:

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

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Filed under Memoirs, Non-Fiction Books

A Quote to Begin the Day…

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ~Maya Angelou At first look this quote may just seem appropriate for writers. However I feel that this quote should appeal to everyone. Inside each of us is a story waiting to be heard. Have a good day everyone! Hope there is a good book in your future today. Enjoy! ~Ariesgrl

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