ARC Review: When Love Sticks Around by Danielle Dayney

Book Details:

Author:  Danielle Dayney 
Release Date: 15th November 2021
Genre: Memoir
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 156 pages
Publisher: Belle Isle Books
Blurb:
Hand-me-down pants that don’t quite fit, twilight bike rides down sleepy neighborhood streets, sweaty family camping trips, the things that almost break you, and the things you barely notice-it’s hard to see the shape of your life until you’re looking back on it.
In this collection of short essays, Danielle Dayney recounts her experiences as an awkward child in the piecemeal family that raised her. From her biological father’s absence to her mother’s battle with cancer to the birth of her daughter, Dayney’s stories venture beyond anecdote to nest safely among the tangled experiences that shape the people we become. With a keen eye for the pebbles of humor and glimmers of beauty along the rough roads of her life, Dayney has crafted a book that feels as familiar as a home-cooked meal and as exciting as the first night in a new city.
When Love Sticks Around is a memoir of love, loss, humor, identity, and above all, family-the one you’re born into and the one you gather along the way.
Those are the things worth sticking around for.

Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

“…it’s hard to see the shape of your life until you’re looking back on it.”

Danielle Dayney

When Love Sticks Around by Danielle Dayney is a beautiful memoir that is an ode to her past life and her beautiful family. This book is in the form of essays that will not only tell you about the author’s life and her experiences but will also make you relieve your own past because her writing is very relatable.

I am so glad that I got the opportunity to read this book because When Love Sticks Around is one of those books that feel less like a story (stories in this case) and more like an experience that is whole in itself. The author’s nostalgic reminiscence of her life, which was so filled with love and sometimes heartbreak, made me deeply connect to her on a level that is hard to explain. And these kind of feelings can only be evoked in a reader when the book is written from the heart and with a lot of love – not to mention with exceptional writing skills.

I would like to congratulate the author on penning down such an emotional journey in such an elegant and relatable way. I would definitely recommend this beautiful memoir to every reader as I am sure this book will speak to each and every one of its readers on some level or another. This is not a book to be missed.


You can also read this review on:

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Book Review: Pies To Die For – How to Live a Vibrant Life Despite a Fatal Diagnosis by Dr. Carole Weaver

Author: Dr. Carole Weaver
Release Date: 28th April 2021
Genre: Memoir, Non-Fiction
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 141 pages
Publisher: Carole Weaver-Linsner
Blurb:
Pies to Die for is a how-to against the bad stuff of living with metastatic cancer or other lethal diagnosis–the monsters that attack your frame of mind, so you can’t enjoy the time you have left. It is also a romp through art appraising: specifically, through the author’s husband and his clients who have lost art through death, debt, divorce, and disaster.

These stories offer hints about how to cope with something beautiful being gone, or they entertain you with the strangeness of human nature–even without stage four anything. This book is meant to give you tools for your journey, however long or short, so that you live vibrantly, gratefully, and with gusto till the end.

Review

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Pies To Die For: How to Live a Vibrant Life Despite a Fatal Diagnosis by Dr. Carole Weaver is a beautiful book full of gems such as some really good advice, hearty anecdotes, relatable moments of grief and laughter and, most importantly, a lesson on how we tend to ignore to live once we know about how we may die.

This book is written by a terminally ill author, and I would like to salute her for her courage to pen such a beautiful book under her circumstances. You can read between the lines about how passionate the author is about the things that she writes about and it is this particular thing that made me enjoy this book the most.

I would recommend this book to all readers of fiction and non-fiction alike.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Reflections of an Anxious African American Dad by Eric L. Heard

Author: Eric L. Heard
Release Date: 13th January 2021
Genre: Memoir, Non-Fiction
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 73 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
The purpose of this book is an awkward discussion of Eric Heard’s life to his son. He talks about his life in a candid way that tries to explain his anxiety as an African American dad. It is an open and honest account of his life through the life of a child that has been through a lot in his life. It is a reflection on his life that has been shaped by his childhood experiences.

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Reflections of an Anxious African American Dad by Eric L. Heard is a heart touching memoir about the author, his son and the stories they have as well as their experiences.

I found this book very emotional, honest and interesting as it was quite a unique experience for me to understand and know the story from the perspective of an African American person. Though at the same time, this book has a lot of things that I was able to relate to, so I’d say that it has a lot to offer to its readers.

I found the narration very simple, elegant as well as introspective and found myself drawn and submerged in the stories and experiences shared by the author in an elegant way. I’d recommend this book to everyone who reads memoirs. It is a quick read and that too an interesting one with unique insights.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon.

Book Review: An Inkling, A Backpack And All The Time In The World – Travelling On A Whim by Tamara K. Bryant

Author: Tamara K. Bryant 
Release Date: 20th October 2020
Genre: Travelogue, Memoir, Non-Fiction
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 465 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
After a great stay in Thailand, Tam and her friends, Casey, Valerie, faced with the sad reality that they only had two more days left before the fun ended and they had to board a plane for home.

It was too soon. She’d only tasted a teeny bit of Southeast Asia and didn’t want to leave go back to her “real” life. But she knew she had to go home. Her flight was booked. She had a job and family to go back to. She couldn’t just stay. Or, could she? What if Tam didn’t go home yet? What if she explored the vast and exotic land of Southeast Asia…by herself…solo? 

But was she ready to be on her own? The thought of traveling alone without her friends, terrified her. “On the other hand,” she thought, “would I ever get another chance to really experience Southeast Asia?”

Terrified and excited at the same time, Tamara K. Bryant followed her heart and bravely stepped onto the road that led her to the most exciting and amazing year of her life!

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

An Inkling, A Backpack And All The Time In The World – Travelling On A Whim by Tamara K. Bryant is an exciting tale about solo travel and adventures (as well as hazardous yet funny misadventures) experienced by the author.

This book was a very quick read because it was very engaging as well as interesting and fun! I enjoyed reading this book because it had so many different elects in the story that it was hard to put this book down. A simple yet thoroughly entertaining read that I’d recommend to anyone who likes travelling and dreams about travelling solo (which I am sure everyone does, at some point or the other in their life.)

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon.

Book Review: My Sleepless Nights by Manohar Gandhi

Author: Manohar Grandhi
Release Date: 31st December 2020
Genre: Memoir
Format: E-book 
Pages: 62 pages
Publisher: 
Blurb:

✓ Are you struggling with insomnia?
✓ Are you living in anxiety related to sleep?
✓ Are you developing a limiting belief in sleep?
✓ Are you fighting with your brain and feeling shame?
✓ Are you waiting to fall asleep time every night?
✓ Are you spending the entire day thinking about sleep?

Hey there! I am Manohar Grandhi I am a software engineer by profession and have struggled for more than a year with all the above points.

I have written this book after struggling with insomnia and having sought intensive consultation with IITian turned Psychologist, Speaker, and Coach Karthik.

In this book, I have shared my firsthand experiences, struggles, and wins that helped me to turn intrinsic motivation into sustained motivation for reversing insomnia.
The methods I suggest in this book are easy yet effective. It worked for me. It is also working for tons of people and it will work for you as well because it is backed by science. The method I suggest in the book in reversing anxiety/insomnia has been in practice for around 5000 years. 
What will you get from this book?
1) Freedom from anxiety.
2) Peace of mind.
3) A process to get rid of anti-anxiety pills.
Here is my proposal–try the methods with an open mind and whole-hearted attempts, trust the process, and see the magical changes in your mind.
Imagine sleeping like a child without any worry, and not spending a single minute of the day being anxious about sleep. 
My question to you is –Are you ready to transform your life?
If your answer is yes, then scroll up and click the Buy Now

Review

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

My Sleepless Nights by Manohar Gandhi is a fact-based information-packed book on insomnia and how the author successfully over-came it.

I liked this book because of its simple language, easy to relate concepts and the generalised and non-clinical approach towards insomnia. We Indians have a tendency to not talk openly about mental health issues or even minor psychology-related issues, so this book comes at a good time when mental health should be on the list of everyone’s priority. The fact that the author used some stories to get across some points was impressive and overall the book provides a lot of valuable insights into the condition of insomnia and how one can try to defeat it in simple and non-clinical ways.

Please note that if you suffer clinical insomnia and have been clinically diagnosed with it then you might want to seek a doctor’s opinion and not rely entirely on the information in this book as it is a helpful guide, not a medical instructional manual.

I would suggest this book to readers of non-fiction literature and to those who have (or know anyone who has) insomnia. At the least, this book would provide a great insight into the condition itself.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon.

Book Review: AfterLife: Waking Up From My American Dream by Carlo Pietro P Sanfilippo

Author: Carlo Pietro P Sanfilippo 
Release Date: 19th December 2020
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir, Self-help
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 158 pages
Publisher: 
Blurb:
Are you living on purpose, or are you frustrated that the things you thought you wanted-the house, the furnishings, the yard, the car, the “stuff” and all its required maintenance-are preventing you from having the time and money to live the life you want? When the American Dream becomes an agonizing hamster wheel, perhaps it’s time for a change.

Carlo Sanfilippo followed that prescribed path of marriage, kids, house, stuff. He was living the American Dream, the life he was “supposed” to live; not a life that he wanted, not a life that fulfilled him. Nothing felt authentic. Nothing felt like fun. Nothing felt like his idea. And when faced with some devastating losses, he realized he was living a half-life.
If you’re a person who has a nice life, but aren’t living your dream, join Carlo on this journey of breaking out of a prescribed life to one of discovery, mental and emotional release, spiritual delight, and new mastery.

Review

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Afterlife: Waking Up From My American Dream by Carlo Pietro P Sanfilippo is a beautiful book about hope and dreams and finding happiness.

I loved reading this book because the author used a brilliant mix of varying emotional graphs such as loss and grief interlaced with happy and hopeful moments. This book felt very true and spoke to me on a level that I quite I wasn’t expecting. This book has a lot to offer to each of its readers because it is full of moments of despair and anguish that everyone goes through. It often treads the precarious and mostly misunderstood waters of self-love and the entire curve of being able to reach a point where one can identify it as not being selfish. So I would like to commend the author on his brilliant effort into pulling it off. And for touching on so many themes that are universally resonant.

I would definitely recommend this book to each and every one as it has so much to offer!

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Meatballs & Microphones: A True Story About Small Kitchens and Big Dreams by Gregory Patrick Travers

Author: Gregory Patrick Travers
Release Date: 3rd June 2019
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 183 pages
Publisher: 
Blurb:
Being a cook and a rapper is hard work. Thankfully there are drugs to make it better.
They say out of all the aspiring rappers trying to make it, only 1% will ever find mainstream success. Gregory Patrick Travers pens a fiction-like memoir of the ups and downs of Vancouver rapper, joBlow. One of the 99% who didn’t. Set in the years 2010 to 2014, not only does the book give you a behind-the-scenes look at the world of underground hip hop and the politics of the chain restaurant industry, but it places you in the timeline of notable Canadian milestones like the 2011 Stanley Cup riots, the Occupy Movement, and the 2010 Olympics.
Meatballs & Microphones is a raw look into how one man’s chase for fame led to the destruction of every personal relationship he ever held dear. From bad band breakups to his struggle with addiction, to being homeless in order to pay for his tour expenses, this book lifts the veil of glamour surrounding fame and focuses on the hardships and downfalls that come with it.

Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Meatballs & Microphones by Gregory Patrick Travers is a touching and extremely relatable tale of someone who did not make it big in the music industry and, therefore, is a very realistic dig at the other side of the coin towards which a lot of people tend to turn a blind eye. This book is very much an eye-opener for anyone who either wants to enter the hip-hop music scene/industry or want to know how things really are behind the scenes.

I loved the writing of the author as it successfully delivered the context in a very relevant way and managed to pull at my heartstrings at the same time. I felt strongly for the author and was enraged in the last third fo the book, though thankfully, I was relieved by the ending as it turned out to be okay, if not great, for the author.

I’d definitely recommend this book to all the non-fic readers, but I’d also urge the fiction readers to check out this book as it reads really well (almost like a fiction novel) and tells a great story.

You can also read this review on 

Book Review: How Languages Saved Me: A Polish Story of Survival by Tadeusz Haska and Stefanie Nauman

Author: Tadeusz Haska
Release Date: 24th September 2019
Genre: Memoir
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 148
Publisher: Koehler Books
Blurb: “When I was arrested my whole world crumbled. I knew that leaders of political parties had been arrested, and never heard from again. My only chance at survival was to find a way to escape from the jail.”
Orphaned in Poland at the age of thirteen, Tadeusz “Tad” Haska survived World War II on the run, narrowly evading the Nazis every step of the way. After the war, he daringly escaped jail by the Soviet Secret Police, fled to Sweden and launched an elaborate plan to smuggle his wife in a coffin on an all-male naval ship. Discover how Tad’s knowledge of nine languages helped him survive in the face of unspeakable adversity.

Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

How Languages Saved Me: A Polish Story Of Survival by Tadeusza Haska and Stefanie Nauman is a gut-wrenching memoir depicting how the knowledge of different languages helped Mr Tadeusz Haska, survive the aftermath of his prison time during WWII.

This book is written by his granddaughter and has been written exceptionally well. This book is a devastating insight into life in the post-WWII era and the problems faced by Mr Tad. Though I did relish reading about how he used his wits and education of various languages to get him out of situations that could have very well meant death.

This is a very good memoir and I’d recommend it to all readers who take an interest in history and memoirs.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Come Home, Daddy: An Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Memoir by April Enciso

Author: April Enciso
Release Date: 7th September 2018
Genre: Memoir
Series:
Edition: E-book
Pages: 103
Publisher: 
Blurb: This is a story about my father’s struggle with Early-Onset Alzheimer’s. We were living the American dream. My father ran his own business; we went on annual family vacations; I had a happy childhood. Then, one day in his late fifties, my father started having episodes of repeated conversations and forgetfulness. In a true story reminiscent of Lisa Genova’s novel Still Alice, we shockingly came to find out my father had Early-Onset Alzheimer’s. As he traversed down the rabbit hole into a downward spiral, we learned to cope with the bad times and embraced and appreciated the good times. This book is for the caregivers and loved ones of those suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It is my hope that my story will encourage you and buoy you forward.

REVIEW

★★★★★

Come Home Daddy by April Enciso is a beautiful tribute by the author to her father. This book is about the real-life journey of the author and her family through a tragedy. I will be keeping this review very short as reading this book wasn’t easy for me because of my emotional baggage. This book is a heartfelt pouring of a daughter and it will definitely move you in many ways.

I’d recommend this book to all readers of non-fiction and memoir. A beautiful read.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Isidora: The Life, Mind and Memories of an African Phoenix by Kally-Jay Mkwawa

Author: Kally-Jay Mkwawa
Release Date: 24th June 2018
Genre: Memoir, Non-Fiction
Series:
Edition: e-book
Pages: 50
Publisher:
Blurb:
Spending the better part of your life being called a good listener, a weirdo, a hermit or a ‘mirror of ugly truths’ and a walking-talking memory machine isn’t at all what it’s cut out to be. To a large extent, it’s a lonely life. You arrive into this life without even meaning to and suddenly it seems that you carry the weight of the whole world on your shoulders. You get sucked into it quite easily and coming up for a breath of fresh air is not easy at all.
This is an account that will give the reader, an idea of what Isidora has encountered in this beautiful, yet twisted and noisy place called the world. It’s not a long story with a happy ending (at least not so far). Rather, it’s about the reasons for her tears, worries, the unending voices in her head and the blows that life threw at her. It’s also about those precious moments of sheer joy and last, but certainly not least, her encounter with Him. Hopefully, sharing her story will find others who can relate to it and make them feel they’re not alone. Writing this work has been like an ‘extension’ of herself whilst overcoming her fear of hurting people or being compelled to ‘walk on eggshells’. It’s one of her legacies and as always, has been her type of therapy. May it be a type of therapy or an inspiration for you too.

Review

★★★

Isidora: The Life, Mind and Memories of an African Phoenix by Kally-Jay Mkwawa is a memoir full of interesting experiences of the author.

I liked the book as it was an easy and a quick read. It was a deeply contemplative read and some of the introspections of the author were interesting and presented an illuminating glimpse into her fascinating world. The cultural, environmental as well as emotional insights provided in the book were quite enjoyable.

My only complaint is that the first 7 chapters of the book focused solely on guys the author encountered in her life. As a writer and an editor, I feel that it didn’t serve as the right hook (or to be precise, the right first half of the book.) Being a memoir, I understand the book needs to deal with all the major aspects of the author’s life, but it would have been better if those chapters were placed in the latter half of the book, making the first half more about her than about those guys.

Other than this issue, it was a good read. and I’d recommend it to non-fiction reads.

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Incoming! by Thomas Josef

Author: Thomas Josef
Release Date: 10th June 2018
Genre: Memoir, Non-Fiction, Autobiography
Series:
Edition: e-book
Pages:
Publisher:
Blurb:
INCOMING is an intimate view of one man’s highs and lows during his four and half years of work as a military contractor at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan.
Thomas’ account explores the oftentimes melancholy details of working in a war zone, but equally delves into the beautiful cultivation of lasting friendships, libidinous love affairs, and the many other ways one must find to help them endure a life away from home and family.
Through his vivid recollections of training as a marathon runner, as well as the amorous but sometimes tumultuous exploration of life as a gay man on a military base, Thomas offers a political and social commentary along the way. For every harrowing moment dealing with personal or wartime bleakness, there’s an equally uplifting reminder that we find peace and happiness within ourselves and those we choose as companions.

Review

★★★★

Incoming! Life Of A Contract Warrior In Afghanistan by Thomas Josef is a remarkable account of his days with the military.

A very well-written book that is brought out by the fact that every emotion and every incident of the book felt not only real but also relatable. The background of the war zone served as a really engaging component. The writing was beautifully descriptive and kept me up at night wanting to read more and more.

I enjoyed reading this book a lot as it made me feel a plethora of different emotions. But more than anything else, I like this book because I was able to feel a connection with the author and felt that the writing was honest.

If you like reading non-fiction and memoirs then you must definitely read this book.

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Walking With Peety by Eric O’Grey

Author: Eric O’Grey with Mark Dagostino
Release Date: 10th October 2017
Genre: Memoir, Non-Fiction, Autobiography, Animals
Series:
Edition: e-book
Pages: 320
Publisher: Hachette Book Group
Blurb:
Eric met Peety when he was 150 pounds overweight, depressed, and sick. After a lifetime of failed diet attempts, and the onset of serious diabetes due to his weight, Eric went to a new doctor, who surprisingly prescribed a shelter dog. And that’s when Eric met Peety: a middle-aged and forgotten shelter dog who, like Eric, had seen better days. The two adopted each other and began an incredible journey together, and the bond of unconditional love they formed forever changed their lives. Over the next year, just by going on walks, playing together and eating plant-based food, Eric lost 150 pounds, and Peety lost 25. As a result, Eric reversed his type 2 diabetes, got off all medication, became happy and healthy for the first time in his life, and even reconnected with and married his high school sweetheart. WALKING WITH PEETY is perfect for anyone who is ready to make a change in their life and for everyone who knows the joy, love and hope that dogs can bring to human lives. This is more than a tale of mutual rescue, this is an epic story of friendship and strength.

Review

★★★★

Walking With Peety by Eric O’Grey is a beautiful memoir about the author’s journey, along with an adopted dog, full of hope, lots of ups and downs and love.

This book is a beautiful tribute to the love and happiness an animal brings into the life of a person. A very enjoyable book with honestly that reflected in the writing. It was a very touching and warm read. It proved to be a very inspiring story which left me feeling motivated to change a couple of things in my life that I might be taking for granted.

I’d recommend it to the readers of non-fiction genre as well as to those who love animals or are going through rough times and can do with a bit of a pick-me-up.

this review is also posted on Goodreads, NetGalley, and Amazon