Bomb Shelter [Book Review] and I Guess I Haven’t Learned That Yet [Book Review] #Essay #Memoir #MentalHealth

May 13, 2022

Two Memoirs/Essays: Bomb Shelter and I Guess I Haven’t Learned That Yet #MentalHealthWeek

Memoir Reviews (collage of two covers)

Two reviews today!

My favorite memoirs/essays are ones where I can glean something useful for my own life….where I can make a connection….where I can acquire insight and understanding of particular challenges and struggles. I think these two titles are perfect for sharing during May’s focus on Mental Health Awareness. While one (I Haven’t Learned That Yet) mentions faith, both are poignant, transparent, and honest reflections on life’s challenges.

*Titles are Amazon affiliate links.

Bomb Shelter: Love, Time, and Other Explosives by Mary Laura Philpott

Bomb Shelter by Mary Laura Philpott (cover) Image: yellow text and a large turtle against a pinkish red background

Genre: Categories: Nonfiction, Memoir, Essay, Self-Help, Self-Reflection, Anxiety, Humor

My Summary:

Mary Laura Philpott is a self-proclaimed “optimistic worrier” or “anxious optimist.” This tendency intensified when she became a parent and believed that if she cared enough, she could keep her loved ones safe. One day, her teenage son experienced a seizure and she began to worry about what else could happen? How do you keep going and continue loving and caring when you don’t know what will happen next?

My Thoughts:

I imagine most of us have experienced that feeling of helplessness and anxiety and worry over the ones for whom we are responsible. I know I have. In fact, if you are a fan of the NBC drama This is Us, a scene in one episode touched me profoundly. Randall is at the cabin working and has visions/imaginary conversations with Jack about his anger toward Rebecca for keeping the truth about his bio father from him…..Jack encourages Randall to see the situation from Rebecca’s perspective. Through the window, Randall glimpses a frantic Rebecca closing and locking all the windows and doors in an effort to keep her family safe. So moving. A perfect picture of how I felt as a parent of a growing family…..so many worries and dangers to keep at bay.

“It’s true. There will always be threats lurking under the water where we play, danger hiding in the attic and rolling down the street on heavy wheels, unexpected explosions in our brains and our hearts and the sky. There will always be bombs, and we will never be able to save everyone we care about. To know that and to try anyway is to be fully alive. The closest thing to shelter we can offer anyone is LOVE, as deep and wide and as in as many forms as we can give it.

Philpott shares honestly how her anxiety was triggered as a parent. Isn’t it helpful knowing others have felt the same? Experienced the same? I think the book is relatable for parents or anyone who experiences episodes of anxiety or worry.

Philpott’s writing style and reflections are conversational, engaging, mostly light-hearted, and sprinkled with humor.

Recommended for anyone who experiences anxiety and/or worries.

Content Considerations: epilepsy, anxiety

My Rating: 4 Stars.

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I Guess I Haven’t Learned That Yet: Discovering New Ways of Living When the Old Ways Stop Working by Shauna Niequist

I Guess I Haven't Learned That Yet by Shauna Niequist (cover) Image: colorful text against a white background

Genre/Categories: Nonfiction, Memoir, Essays, Self-Help, Self-Reflection, Grief, Faith, New Beginnings

My Summary:

Shauna Niequist’s carefully and thoughtfully cultivated life as she knows it falls apart after her fortieth birthday. What do you do when your entire life has revolved around your father’s church and your life-long, close-knit community of family and friends all collapse when your father is accused of inappropriate behaviors at his mega-church and resigns (not detailed). What happens when the happy and secure life in the mid-west you’ve dreamed of and carefully built falls apart around you? Well….you might move to Manhattan and rethink everything.

My Thoughts:

I suspect most of us can relate to a life that isn’t at all what we expected or dreamed about. We may face unexpected financial problems, toxic relationships, family disappointments, broken friendships, health concerns, etc. What then? What happens when all you want to do is quit? Does everything fall apart or can we learn to live in a new way, make adjustments, gain new perspectives, forgive, show compassion, navigate heartbreak and grief, and accept unknowns? Can we rebuild, refocus, and retool?

“…Life is…interconnected and multifaceted. We carry around our whole selves…our past and our parents, our loves and our limitations our dreams and our grocery lists, and our wounds.”

I need to note:

  • Not all of us have the option of relocating and starting a new life, have access to vacation homes, or can take a year off work to pull ourselves together. Nevertheless, she has some good things to share!
  • Some readers are frustrated that Niequest never shares the nature of the issue with her father and the church that motivated her memoir. Her intentional vagueness is out of respect for her father’s privacy….and really the issue is her dad’s to write about….she’s sharing how her life changed and how she adjusted to those changes as a result of what happened. I had followed the news story when it came out, so her vagueness didn’t bother me. He’s easy to google if you’re interested (Bill Hybels).

Recommended for anyone who is facing a life change.

My Rating:  4 Stars

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Meet the Authors, Mary Laura Philpott and Shauna Niequist

Author Mary Laura PhilpottMary Laura Philpott is the author of I Miss You When I Blink, the nationally bestselling memoir-in-essays, as well as Bomb Shelter, forthcoming in 2022. Her writing has been featured frequently by The New York Times and also appears in such outlets as The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Paris Review Daily, O The Oprah Magazine, and Real Simple. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

For more information, visit http://www.MaryLauraPhilpott.com

Author Shauna NiequistShauna Niequist is the author of Cold Tangerines, Bittersweet, Bread & Wine, Savor, and Present Over Perfect.

She is married to Aaron, and they live in Manhattan with their sons, Henry & Mac.

Shauna is a bookworm, a beach bum, and a passionate gatherer of people, especially around the table.



QOTD:

Do you love memoirs? Are these titles on your TBR or have you read one or both?



Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



Let’s Get Social!

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blog posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

© ReadingLadies.com

These Precious Days [Book Review]

March 11, 2022

These Precious Days by Ann Patchett

These Precious Days by Ann Patchett (cover) Image: a watercolor picture of a small dog lying on top of a soft chair or sofa

Genre/Categories: Nonfiction, Memoir, Essay Collection, Reflection

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

These Precious Days is a collection of personal essays and reflections from popular author, Ann Patchett. These essays explore home, family and fathers, marriage, friendships, meaning and purpose, love and death, life decisions, and writing.

“…find joy…and make good use of the days we have”

My Thoughts:

(more…)

The Woman They Could Not Silence [Book Review] #NarrativeNonfiction #WhatsOnYourBookshelfChallenge

February 18, 2022

Do you have Narrative Nonfiction on your bookshelf?

The Woman They Could Not Silence by Kate Moore (cover) Image: white text on a black muted background....the small graphic image of a quill and ink below the title

Today for the #WhatsOnYourBookshelfChallenge I’m focusing on “Narrative Nonfiction” (creative nonfiction or literary nonfiction) as I bring you a review of The Woman They Could Not Silence by Kate Moore.

Every year, I commit to reading more nonfiction. In nonfiction, I love Memoir, Biography, and Narrative Nonfiction. However, I think narrative nonfiction might be my favorite. After today’s review, I’ve included a few of my favorite “narrative nonfiction” titles.

Do you have a favorite Narrative Nonfiction title or recomendation?

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.


The Woman They Could Not Silence: One Woman, Her Incredible Fight for Freedom, and the Men Who Tried to Make Her Disappear by Kate Moore

Genre/Categories/Setting: Nonfiction, Narrative Nonfiction, Biographical, Mental Health, Women’s/Patient’s Rights, Insane Asylum (1860)

My Summary:

In 1860, wives and daughters could be committed to insane asylums by their husbands or fathers without their consent or proper mental health evaluations. Women were property owned by the husband or father. Women could be committed for being too emotional, opinionated, independent, zealous, or intellectual….basically, any woman who can’t be kept “in line.” When Elizabeth Packard is committed to an insane asylum by her husband, she discovers that she is not the only sane woman there. Because she is labeled “crazy,” no one will listen to her appeals or intervene on her behalf and she has no voice to fight for herself because it makes her appear even crazier. Her friends who may know the truth won’t speak up for fear of the same punishment from their husbands. However, after losing her home and her children, Elizabeth has nothing more to lose and is determined to fight for her life and for the lives of innocent women.

Elizabeth Packard

Elizabeth Packard

My Thoughts:

How far we’ve come! What a nightmare scenario for women! I became intrigued with this subject after I read Woman 99 by Greer Macallister. In that story, a daughter is commited to an insane asylum for being too emotional and her sister attempts a rescue. I knew I wanted to read more about women being unfairly committed.

First, What is Narrative Nonfiction?

“Narrative nonfiction, also known as creative nonfiction or literary nonfiction, is a true story written in the style of a fiction novel. The narrative nonfiction genre contains factual prose that is written in a compelling way—facts told as a story. While the emphasis is on the storytelling itself, narrative nonfiction must remain as accurate to the truth as possible” ~Source

Elizabeth:

Drawing heavily on court reports, newspaper articles, corresponsence, and journals, the author weaves a compelling story around the facts and Elizabeth’s own words. Through Elizabeth’s determination and fearless fighting spirit, she affects change for women. The resulting law reforms brought widespread, long-lasting change in the operation of insane asylums and granted married women the right of jury trial before commitment. Her fight and contributions should be remembered and honored.

Elizabeth is an incessent talker with strong opinions and a strong will. These were textbook examples of female insanity at the time. During her confinement, Elizabeth feels like an asylum is a “storage unit for unsatisfactory wives.” Women are deemed “cured” when they become “quiet, decorous in manners and language.” Using her brilliant mind and her ability to write, Elizabeth is determined “to write her way out of her hellhole if it is the last thing she does.” She demonstrates that “a spirit cannot be killed. With spirit comes hope. With spirit comes strength. With spirit comes the energy to start the fight for justice.”

“Wronged women were not supposed to stand up for themselves. Wronged women were not supposed to come out fighting, or be angry, or battle for injustice to be overturned. Elizabeth’s course was unnatural in [McFarland’s] eyes…and therefore insane.”

Elizabeth’s life is not without controversy. In her attempts to gain her freedom, she has a complicated relationship with McFarland, the director of the asylum, and uses many methods to manipulate, outsmart, and befriend him to achieve her freedom. He becomes her lifelong adversary.

Recommended: I definitely recommend The Woman They Could Not Silence for readers who appreciate stories about the fight for women’s rights and mental health reform and for fans of stories about strong and determined women making a difference. She fought for us all. Thanks to Shellyrae @ Book’d Out for the rec!

Content Considerations: domestic abuse, difficult passages about the mistreatment of patients and the lack of care for the mentally ill

My Rating: 4 Stars

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The Woman They Could Not Silence by Kate Moore

The Woman They Could Not Silence Information Here

Meet the Author, Kate Moore

Author Kate MooreAmong other books, Kate is the author of The Radium Girls, which won the 2017 Goodreads Choice Award for Best History, was voted U.S. librarians’ favourite nonfiction book of 2017 and became a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller.

A British writer based in England, Kate writes across multiple genres including history, biography, true  crime and grift, and has had many titles on the Sunday Times bestseller list. Her work has been featured across international media and translated into more than fifteen languages. A born public speaker, Kate regularly tours her books and is equally at home spinning stories onstage as she is writing them on her laptop in London.



A Few of My Favorite Narrative Nonfiction Titles:

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
The Day the World Came to Town by Jim Defede
The Only Plane in the Sky by Garrett M. Graff
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson (part narrative nonfiction, part historical essay)



 I’m linking up with Deb @ Deb’s World and SueDonna, and Jo for the February installment of #WhatsOnYourBookShelfChallenge.

Whats On Your Bookshelf Challenge



QOTD:

Do you enjoy narrative nonfiction?
What is your favorite form of nonfiction?
Is The Woman They Could Not Silence on your TBR or have you read it?



Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



Let’s Get Social!

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blog posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

© ReadingLadies.com

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking [Book Review]

February 11, 2022

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Quiet by Susan Cain (cover) Image: red and white lettering on a muted gray background

Genre/Categories: Nonfiction, Psychology of Personalities

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

One third of the individuals we know are introverts. In Quiet, Susan Cain explores what this means in consideration of the recent rise of the Extrovert Ideal and worries that introverts can be undervalued and underappreciated. Identifying an introvert can be difficult since some individuals pretend to be extroverts to fit in. What can “quiet” do that we don’t give it credit for? If you are an introvert, Quiet has the power to change how you see yourself and how others see you. It will empower you.

***Note: The author uses the common spelling of “extrovert” rather than the more academic spelling of “extravert.” So I will as well.

back view of a woman walking on a log in a quiet forest of tall trees

Photo Source Brady Knoll on Pexels.com

My Thoughts:

OK….I feel SEEN….that is all!

I’m encouraging introverts AND extroverts to read Quiet. It will help you become a better leader of people and creator of environments in any organization, as well as a better parent and a better teacher. Anyone working with people will benefit! As a teacher and parent, I especially appreciated the targeted essays. My husband appreciated the leadership aspect and applications to the business world. (more…)

Born a Crime [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday #BlackHistoryMonth

February 3,  2022

Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
#ThrowBackThursday
#BlackHistoryMonth

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah (cover)

Genre/Categories/Setting: Nonfiction, Memoir, South Africa

In 2020, I decided to systematically revisit my older review posts and update them. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads. Today, I’m re-sharing a compelling memoir, Born a Crime by Trevor Noah.

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“Language, even more than color, defines who you are to people.”

“Trevor Noah’s life in Apartheid South Africa began with a crime. He was born to a white father and a black Xhosa mother. This had to be kept a secret because the relationship was punishable by five years in prison. In a racially divided country, Trevor spent most of his early childhood living behind closed doors because his light color would certainly give away the circumstances of his birth and place his parents (who were living separately) in danger. If the government discovered the circumstances of his birth, they could even take him away from his mother. At the end of Apartheid and later in his childhood, Trevor Noah faced the challenge of deciding with which group he would identify: white, black, or colored (mixed). He felt like an outsider for most of his childhood and young adult years. Trevor enjoyed a close relationship with his risk-taking, rebellious, and spiritual mother. He was intuitive and street smart but also incredibly mischievous. The essays that document his coming of age are humorous, insightful, honest, and at times disturbing.”

Compelling, humorous, gritty, and inspiring…

Continue here for my full review of Born a Crime…



QOTD:

Have you read Born a Crime or is it on your TBR?

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

December 16,  2021

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb
#throwbackthursday

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb (cover) Image: black text over a large yellow box of tissue against a blue background

Genre/Categories: Nonfiction, Memoir, Psychology, Therapy, Mental Health

In 2020, I decided to systematically revisit my older review posts and update them. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads. Today, I’m re-sharing a compelling memoir that explores therapy, Maybe You Should Talk To Someone by Lori Gottlieb.

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Humorous, thought-provoking, and candid…

Lori Gottlieb, a psychotherapist and national advice columnist, shares a behind-the-scenes look into her work as a therapist. She also shares what it was like when she sought out therapy for herself.

“Most of what we say to ourselves we’d never say to people we love or care about, like our friends or children. In therapy, we learn to pay close attention to those voices in our heads so that we can learn a better way to communicate with ourselves.”

Exploring mental health, finding meaning in life, and repairing broken relationships…

Continue here for my full review of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone…



QOTD:

Have you read Maybe You Should Talk to Someone or is it on your TBR?

 

The Girl With Seven Names [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

December 9,  2021

The Girl With Seven Names: Escape From North Korea by Hyeonseo Lee
#throwbackthursday

The Girl With Seven Names by Hyeonseo Lee (cover) red and black text and a headshot of a young Asian woman

Genre/Categories/Setting: Nonfiction, Memoir, Defection, Political Freedom, North Korea

In 2020, I decided to systematically revisit my older review posts and update them. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads. Today, I’m re-sharing a compelling memoir, The Girl With Seven Names by Hyeonseo Lee.

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“In The Girl With Seven Names, Hyeonseo Lee shares her experience as a child growing up in a high-class family in North Korea. Her home bordered China and as she became a teenager, she grew more curious about life outside of North Korea. On an impulsive lark, she decides to cross the river and sneak into China to take a peek and to visit some distant relatives. Her plan to come right back to North Korea is derailed when she receives word that it is not safe to return. For the next few years, she lives as an illegal immigrant in China, working and quickly learning the language to survive. After twelve years, she risks everything to seek asylum in South Korea and to rescue her mother and brother from North Korea. To complete her dangerous mission, she receives help from a kind and generous stranger.”

A compelling story of escape…determination…survival…family…kindness…

Continue here for my full review of The Girl With Seven Names…



QOTD:

Have you read The Girl With Seven Names or is it on your TBR?

 

#NonficNov 2021: New Titles For My Nonfiction TBR #NonfictionBookParty

November 29, 2021

#NonficNov 2021: New Titles For My Nonfiction TBR

Background image source: Canva

I’m eager to participate in Nonfiction November this year hosted by What’s Nonfiction, Doing Dewey, The Thousand Book Project, Plucked from the Stacks, and OCBookgirl. During the month of November, you will notice one nonfiction focused post each week:

Weekly Topics:
(Join us?)

Week 1: (November 1-5) – My Year in Nonfiction (with Rennie at What’s Nonfiction)

Week 2: (November 8-12) – Fiction/Nonfiction Book Pairing with Katie at Doing Dewey

Week 3: (November 15-19) – Be The Expert/Ask the Expert/Become the Expert (my fav memoirs/biographies) with Veronica at The Thousand Book Project

Week 4: (November 22-26) – Stranger Than Fiction (tweaked by me: Nonfiction That Reads Like Fiction) with Christopher at Plucked from the Stacks.

Week 5: (November 29-December 3) — New to My NF TBR with Jaymi at OCBookgirl

Nonfiction November poster (text in white against a green background against colorful fall leaves)

Background image source: Canva

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Six New Nonfiction Titles For My TBR

Nonfiction November is an opportunity to reflect on the year, to celebrate and appreciate nonfiction, and to share recommendations.

I hope that you have enjoyed my focus on #NonFicNov and that you’ve found some new titles for your own TBR!

Today for Nonfiction November hosted by Jaymi at OCBookgirl, I have six nonfiction titles that I’m adding to my TBR! These are not all new releases…just new to my TBR. Because of FOMO and being a mood (impulsive) reader, I’ve already read three of the six (because they were available immediately at my library).

In Nonfiction November, have you added any nonfiction titles to your TBR?

***This post contains Amazon affilliate links.


B I O G R A P H Y

The Woman They Could Not Silence: One Woman, Her Incredible Fight For Freedom, and the Men Who Tried To Make Her Disappear by Kate Moore

Thanks to Shelleyrae at Book’d Out for the rec! I’m intrigued by this biography because of histfic books I’ve read with similar themes including Woman 99 and The Rose Code.

The Woman They Could Not Silence by Kate Moore (book cover) Image: white text on black background with a yellowish rectangular image of a woman sliced into 8 narrow strips


I N T R O V E R T S

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Thanks to Kristin @ Kristin Kraves Books for reminding me (again!) that I have been wanting to read this one!

Quiet by Susan Cain (Cover: red lettering on a soft blue background)


M E M O I R

Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics by Dolly Parton

Thanks to Molly @ Silver Button Books for bringing this to my attention! I love Dolly Parton!
***I actually read this right away because it was immediately available at my library. (title is linked to my review)

Dolly Parton, Songteller Icover) by Dolly Parton (Image: a portrait of Dolly Parton in a round portrait frame)


S E L F – H E L P

How To Be Sad: Everything I’ve Learned About Getting Happier by Being Sad by Helen Russell

Thanks to Nicki @ The Secret Library Book Blog for the rec!

How to be Sad by Helen Russell (yellow text over a puffy white cloud against a bright blue background)


H I S T O R I C A L  E V E N T

The Day the World Came to Town by Jim DeFede

Come From Away, the Musical

I’ve had The Day the World Came to Town on my TBR for a while (and I can’t recall the source of the recommendation), so I decided that the twentieth anniversary of 9/11 would be an appropriate and relevant time. The title is linked to my review. Through the process of publishing my review I came to realize (though blog and instagram comments) that there is also a Broadway musical, Come From Away, that I could access through AppleTV+ (title is a link). So, I accomplished both the nonfiction selection and the musical this November and highly recommend them!

The Day the World Came to Town by Jim Defede (cover) Image: a family of four (2 adults and 2 children) stand with their back to the camera watching a jetliner land


M E M O I R

Going There by Katie Couric

I adore memoirs and Katie Couric kept me company every morning during the years I was a stay-at-home mom, so when I saw this on Jonetta’s TBR (@ The Blue Mood Cafe Blog I immediately requested it from the library. I read it as soon as it was available. I thought it was OK and there’s some interesting parts, but overall it turned out to be a meh read for me. Might be a case of high expectations.

Going There by Katie Couric (cover) Image: gold text and a picture of the author on the cover



QOTD

What have you read for Nonfiction November?

Have you added any nonfiction to your TBR?



Happy Reading Book Friends!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



Let’s Get Social!

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blog posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

© WWW. ReadingLadies.Com

 

Finding Chika: A Little Girl, An Earthquake, and the Making of a Family [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday #NonficNov

November 18, 2021

Finding Chika: A Little Girl, An Earthquake, and the Making of a Family by Mitch Albom
#throwbackthursday

Finding Chika Review

Genre/Categories/Setting: Nonfiction, Memoir, Haiti, Foster Guardianship, Found Family, Inspiration

In 2020, I decided to systematically revisit my older review posts and update them. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads. Today, I’m re-sharing a poignant found family memoir, Finding Chika by Mitch Albom.

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“In Finding Chika: A Little Girl, An Earthquake, and the Making of a Family, Mitch Albom, well-known author of Tuesdays With Morrie, shares his life-changing experience of caring for Chika, a young Haitian orphan. She was born a few days before the devastating 2010 earthquake into a poverty-stricken family. When her mother died after giving birth to her baby brother, Dad found placements for all their children. Chika was brought to the Have Faith Haiti Orphanage that Mitch Albom operates in Port Au Prince. After five-year-old Chika was diagnosed with a medical condition that was untreatable in Haiti, the Alboms brought Chika to America to live with them while seeking medical intervention. Instead of returning to Haiti as planned, Chika and the Alboms become found family, and Mitch learns a great deal about caring for a special needs child, the definition of family, unconditional love, loss, and grief.”

“Families are like pieces of art. You can make them from almost anything. The only ingredient you need to make a family is unconditional love.”

“What we carry defines who we are. And the effort we make is our legacy.” ~Mitch Albom

Continue here for my full review of Finding Chika



QOTD:

Have you read Finding Chika or is it on your TBR?

 

Nonfiction That Reads Like Fiction #NonficNov #NonfictionNovember

November 22, 2021

Nonfiction That Reads Like Fiction #NonficNov

Nonfiction November poster (text in white against a green background against colorful fall leaves)

I’m eager to participate in Nonfiction November this year hosted by What’s Nonfiction, Doing Dewey, The Thousand Book Project, Plucked from the Stacks, and OCBookgirl. During the month of November, you will notice one nonfiction focused post each week:

Weekly Topics:
(Join us?)

Week 1: (November 1-5) – My Year in Nonfiction (with Rennie at What’s Nonfiction)

Week 2: (November 8-12) – Fiction/Nonfiction Book Pairing with Katie at Doing Dewey

Week 3: (November 15-19) – Be The Expert/Ask the Expert/Become the Expert (my fav memoirs/biographies) with Veronica at The Thousand Book Project

Week 4: (November 22-26) – Stranger Than Fiction (tweaked by me: Nonfiction That Reads Like Fiction) with Christopher at Plucked from the Stacks.

Week 5: (November 29-December 3) — New to My NF TBR with Jaymi at OCBookgirl

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Nonfiction That Reads Like Fiction

Nonfiction November is an opportunity to reflect on the year, to celebrate and appreciate nonfiction, and to share recommendations.

This week’s prompt for Nonfiction November hostecome fd by Christopher at Plucked from the Stacks is Stranger Than Fiction. I am tweaking this topic because, for me, a favorite form of nonfiction is narrative nonfiction (nonfiction that reads like a story). There is nothing strange about these stories! However, you will notice that several have been turned into movies….because….well….they read like fiction!

Please join me for Nonfiction November!

Nonfiction That Reads Like Fiction (image: white text over the top view of several hardback books)

Background Image Source: Canva

Nonfiction That Reads Like Fiction


The Girl With Seven Names: Escape From North Korea by Hyeonseo Lee

(My review of Girl With Seven Names here)

The Girl With Seven Names by Hyeonseo Lee (cover)

Born a Crime: Stories of a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

(My review of Born a Crime here)

A young readers version of Born a Crime here.

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah (cover) Image: a casual Trevor Noah

Educated by Tara Westover

(My review of Educated here)

Educated by Tara Westover (cover) Image: a giant sharpened pencil as background

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

The Glass Castle movie.

(My review of Glass Castle here)

Glass Castle

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann

(My review of Killers of the Flower Moon here)

Movie in the making.

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann (cover) White text over a reddish and dark background

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance

(My review of Hillbilly Elegy here)

Hillbilly Elegy Netflix movie here.

Hillbilly Elegy (cover)

The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls

(My review of Glass Castle here)

Glass Castle movie here.

The Glass Castle (cover)

Unbroken: A WW11 Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

Unbroken movie and YA version here.

(Not reviewed because I read this before I started blogging or Goodreads)

Unbroken

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas

The Bonhoeffer movie.

(Not reviewed because I read this before blogging or using Goodreads)

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas (cover)

The Day the World Came to Town by Jim DeFede

See the Broadway production, Come From Away or watch it currently streaming on AppleTV+.

(My review of The Day the World Came to Town)

The Day the World Came to Town



QOTD:

See any favorites?

Have you read one of these titles?

I’d love to hear your suggestion for a nonfiction book that is stranger than fiction or for a nonfiction book that reads like fiction.



Happy Reading Book Friends!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



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