Not Quite Lost: Travels Without a Sense of Direction, by Roz Morris

When they say life is an adventure, some people experience more adventure than others. When taking trips, whether it’s down the road or three hundred miles away, there’s a million different things that could happen.

In Not Quite Lost, the author takes the reader on a journey just like that. It’s narrated with wonderful little anecdotes, and is much more organized than someone telling a story face-to-face. Everything from a memorable house, to broken windows, to icy road trips, cryonics, and dances dressed as construction workers, all the stories are told like prose, with a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor threaded throughout. It was like an unobtrusive peek into someone else’s life, with more information and entertainment than an actual memoir.

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The Great Daylight Savings Time Controversy, by Chris Pearce

Be prepared for a textbook-like read on everything you ever wanted to know about daylight savings times.

Origin, evolution, controversy, history—all packed into one neat package. The author managed to organize things in a way that made sense, and allowed the reader a gradual understanding of the subject. What’s interesting about this book is the fact that the author chose to cover the entire world, not just major countries. Getting different global opinions on the subject I think made the information inside a little more valuable. Again, it was organized in such a way that the reader didn’t have to read the entire thing to get their country’s perspective or history.

Textbook-like, dense, and very informative. If this is a subject of interest to you as a reader, I would definitely recommend it.

The Science of Success, by Paula Caproni

What does it mean to be successful? Why are some more successful than others? What can we change about our lives in order to achieve the same level of success as, say, someone born with opportunity?

I can’t really call this a self-help book, but it kinda is. It’s more like a textbook on success, with some self-reflection at the end. It’s an easy read, well-organized, and full of useful information. The author has pulled many studies on the subject to support their words, and all works are cited. Multiple angles of success are used in examples, as well as more than one way of achieving it.

I think this is a good read for anyone in management, anyone who works with people on a regular basis, or just anyone who needs a little extra encouragement that hope for success isn’t lost.

A Few Minor Adjustments, by Cherie Kephart

Just a bit of a preface before I continue on with the review: hopefully I’m back for good and able to get back on track for the reviews. A divorce is on the horizon and so the past little while I just haven’t been able to commit myself emotionally or mentally to much of anything. I apologize wholeheartedly; I know there’s many authors still waiting for news of their books, and I promise you I am getting to them. I’m just working through some personal stuff in the meantime. Each and every one of you have been absolutely amazing with your patience–something I can’t thank everyone enough for. Life has a funny way of turning out, and hopefully it’s finally on the rise for me.

Now, without further ado, what everyone came here to actually see:

Memoir writing is a tricky thing. Oftentimes they have strange tones, which make them sound less sincere. They don’t always evoke the emotions that the author intends.

Cherie Kephart’s writing style was very much geared towards emotion. It didn’t feel like a memoir. The first person tone was well-done, and it was immersive for a reader. The pacing was excellently done. The story itself felt whole and complete—the reader got plenty of background information at the right times without a total info dump. Jumps in time we’re documented clearly and in a way that made sense; I never really felt jarred from the story or confused about where I was at.

As far as the emotion went, I liked the level it was conveyed on. The tone wasn’t asking the readers for pity—rather it was broadcasting a show of strength. It felt more like the author was saying: “hey, I’ve had a lot of stuff happen to me, but even in my darkest moments, I never gave up.” I think one advantage that the author had that many dont was a wonderful support system in the way of family and friends. Oftentimes when people take ill, those are the first to abandon them; they can’t ‘handle’ it; the ill person is making them miserable—I’ve seen and heard many examples. Surrounding yourself with good people is sometimes difficult, but something to certainly strive for.

Another thing this novel did was raise awareness for such a tricky illness. Especially one that never really seems to be such a big deal. Sure, everyone’s heard of it, but the disease itself is such a far cry from what people think it is. I was shocked myself when the root of the problem showed.

The book ended very well. It didn’t tarry on or drag out. I think the author got her point across and let it be. Endings are tricky, and something that can make or break a novel, but the author managed a very logical stopping point, both narratively and emotionally.

In the Glow of the Lavalamp, by Lily Wilson

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This is one of those books that, based solely on the title, I would pick up off the shelves without hesitation.

I would not have regretted it.

It was a collection of other peoples’ tales of embarrassing, bad, and hilarious sex. The author prefaces the novel by explaining that it’s a universal constant, and if you think you’re not included, well, that’s probably why your calls aren’t getting returned.

There’s plenty of humor to downplay the uncomfortable feelings usually associated with talking about sex. There were tales that turned traditional norms—both the acts and the kinds of people involved—on their heads.

They weren’t all about sex, either. Some were just plain humiliating stories that would let the reader know someone was having a worse day, or just provide a laugh that someone somewhere, desperately needed.

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Fractured, by Elizabeth Antonucci


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Talking about life-altering injuries is never easy. It seems, more often than not, that said injuries negatively impact a persons personality, mental health, and overall quality of life. It’s a pretty safe assumption of how things go down, at least.

The authors’ tale in Fractured certainly has a more upbeat tone than others. She faced her own obstacles, both inside and out, but she also seemed to have a support system in place that helped her through; something a lot of folks don’t have.

It also offers excellent glimpses into how to be a good pillar of support for someone going through a traumatic experience; something I definitely wished was more talked about.

It did jump around quite a bit, and it was a very mellow story, but an interesting one nonetheless.

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I Made a Mother Out of May, by Hala Alzaghal



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A memoir in a poetic state. Personifications and epic imagery try and bring themes like grief and depression to life. A baring of the soul, if you will. 

The writing style takes some getting used to. Getting a feel for the actions and pacing of the story is a little rough, especially if you’re not aware of what it’s about. It feels like an expressive poetry journal. Though there are only two poems within, the writing style makes it seem as though the whole novel is. 

It’s definitely a different sort of read. A very personal read. 
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Social Media: Strategies to Mastering Your Brand, by David Kelly


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To be honest, there’s no way I can do this review without sounding like a sellout. So here we go: I’m just going to sound like a sellout.

A lot of self-help books and marketing guides out there that profess big money if you follow their step-by-step instructions. Then said instructions are frustratingly convoluted about their process, and most of it is fairly common sense. They’re “tips and tricks” that are common knowledge in the vaguest way. That’s one of the first things that makes this book stand out: it doesn’t try to sell you with the promise of big bucks or a “get rich quick scheme.”

The second thing that stands out is the level of detail, organization, and the general breakdown of each platform they mention. It even gives examples of things to make the tasks easier. There’s helpful links (in the Kindle version, at least). The author’s tone manages to sound like they know what they’re talking about without being a salesperson.

It flowed well, it made sense, and the topics were relevant to the current headings. I actually managed to garner a few new ideas , which is not something I can usually say. I was actually pretty impressed with how this one was laid out.

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The Butcher’s Daughter, by Florence Grende


A poetic tale of from the daughter of immigrants that escaped to the United States from war-torn Poland. Along with her parents, the author forges a new way of life in a new country. What’s unique about this tale is that it includes some of the negative traits often neglected when talking about the survivors of a traumatic event. Animosity between family members, personal prejudices…everyone wasn’t optimistic about things. They felt like real people, reacting in realistic, not romanticized, ways.

The narration is another good point about this novel. It’s told with a very whimsical tone–as though the narrator was completely detached from everything around her. The way each segment was presented felt like a poetry book setup. Some chapters were half a page, others wee ten. It aided the tone and pacing of the novel well. A nice aesthetic for such a somber subject.

All of it was very well-written. It was emotional where it needed to be, and flexible with tone. As the narrator grew older, her style changed, becoming more confident more self-aware. She highlighted the difficulties of tradition versus progress.

I really liked the way this was done. This was a very unique style that was executed very well.

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Everything and a Happy Ending, by Tia Shurina


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Heartbreak and life struggles aren’t always easy to write about. However, it can be a cathartic experience for some. That’s kind of what this narrative felt like.

 

 

The author uses a very mature, very reflective and pensive approach to her narration. Struggles with divorce, unhappiness, and unfulfilling love are all overarching themes. There’s a very zen overture to her descriptions and allusions. The whole thing feels like a spiritual experience to the reader. It’s very well-written and described. There’s some cool tonal changes that mix things up, like taking on that of a playwright.

 

 

There were some convoluted areas where the description sometimes went a little too over the top dramatic. The author was setting things up for a big reveal, but instead sold things short when I realized I wasn’t 100% sure what was still being talked about. Sometimes ideas and paragraphs worked in reverse order. Or they trailed off and moved to another idea without fully completing a previous one.

 

 

If you like emotional memoirs and things of that nature, this one will be right up your ally. The subject matter is an easily identifiable one, and the way the author approaches it makes things relatable as well. There’s a lot of good teaching moments for both reader and author alike. Definitely a different kind of headspace that I think quite a few people would benefit from.

 

 

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