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THE JOY OF NURSING by JULIANA ADAMS is a fascinating look inside the real world of nursing. 4 Stars.

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Title: THE JOY OF NURSING: RECLAIMING OUR NOBILITY

Author: JULIANA ADAMS, BSN, MSN, MA

Type of Book: Softcover

Genre: Non-fiction, Memoir, Inspirational, Health Care, Nursing, Management

Length: 239 pages

Release Date: May 1, 2016

Publisher: Steamboat Springs Publishing

ISBN: 978-0-9972003-0-0 (Softcover)
ISBN: 978-0-9972003-2-4 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 978-0-9972003-1-7 (EBook)

Cover Price: $19.95 USD (Softcover)

Cover Painting: Kimberly Conrad

Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟 

* I received a free copy of this book from Angelle Barbazon of JKS COMMUNICATIONS in exchange for an honest review.

This book was written by JULIANA ADAMS who has dedicated over 50 (yes, 50) years of her life to nursing and taking care of patients.

In her introduction she states: “Much of what nurses do remains unclear to those outside the profession… This book… is intended for those considering becoming a nurse and nurses presently practicing who may have become disillusioned along the way.”

Although I am neither a nurse, nor an aspiring nurse, I still think this book has value in it for myself as well as for other adults.

I have (unfortunately) had dealings with hospitals and nurses on multiple occasions both as a patient myself, and as a concerned loved one.

I have dealt with nurses from a variety of specialties and departments and I can personally attest to the fact that the majority of caregiving in any hospital is done by the nurses, NOT the doctors.

Reading this book reminded me of how helpless I felt while sitting at my husband’s bedside while he was in a coma battling for his life. It was not the doctor’s in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) that patiently explained the numerous tubes and drains attached to my husband’s body. It was not a doctor that offered me comfort or encouragement. It was the nurses.

“In the most helpless moments of our lives, we must truly rely upon the kindness of strangers.” – Daniel F. Chambliss (Author)

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I cannot imagine the stresses placed upon nurses on a daily basis and I truly believe that having word “nobility” in the title of this book is appropriate. I believe that nursing truly is a noble profession and one that is often underpaid and under appreciated. According to the author: “Nobility is a word that you don’t hear that often today in regards to many professions.” She is correct.

In her 50 years of experience, Juliana has accumulated a vast array of knowledge as well as many stories and anecdotes. She is acutely aware that nurses can become overwhelmed by the politics and the lack of resources that they face on a daily basis.

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I believe that this book is an important one, since it reminds people that while there are discouraging moments in any profession, there are also moments of amazement and unparalleled kindness and connection. This is especially true in the nursing profession.

Imagine having to change a homeless person’s clothes that are so grime covered that the smell alone would repel most people, then having to clean up after a baby with the flu and having to do all this with a smile on your face. Then, imagine that mere minutes later, you are needed to hold the hand of an elderly patient as their spirit leaves their body and they pass on in death. The emotional  (and physical) toll must be almost more than one person can bear. Most people (myself included) would not be able to do these things day in and day out.

The stories in this book are sometimes sad, sometimes happy, and always awe-inspiring. They remind the reader of the importance of nursing and nurses to the patients they serve and to the health care system as a whole.

Without nurses our health care system would collapse. Juliana Adams does a wonderful job of reminding readers just how important nurses are. I love the chapter titles she chose. Each one is unique and most made me smile. For example, chapter two’s title is “It All Started with a Lie to a Nun and chapter five’s title is “Oops, Maybe I Wasn’t as Smart as I Thought I Was.”

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This book should be required reading for all current and aspiring nurses. I believe it should be added to the nursing student’s syllabus so that they can learn from Juliana’s many years of experience.

I also firmly believe that this book will appeal to many other people as well. It is a fascinating glimpse into the inner world of real nursing (not the sanitized view of nurses that we all see on television.)

If you know anyone who is a nurse or who is going into nursing, you need to buy them a copy of this book.

Poignant and thought-provoking. This is an excellent read.

For the reasons listed above I rate this book as 4 out of 5 stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟

The only reason that I did not rate this book as 5 out of 5 stars is that it contains a few proof-reading and editing errors that I found distracting.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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JULIANA ADAMS, BSN, MSN, MA is part of a unique number of nurses who have dedicated more than a half a century to the care of patients… and to the advancement of the nursing profession. She remains actively engaged in how nursing care is delivered.

She is an author, speaker and film maker. In 2012, she produced a documentary film, Exposure, Reclaiming the Nobility of Nursing. The focus of her film began by highlighting the excitement of the nurses working in the inner-city emergency room that Eugene Richard’s made famous by his controversial book, The Knife and Gun Club. Where the film ended … what it exposed … led her to further explore her own journey of moving from novice to expert.

Juliana divides her time between Englewood, Colorado and Steamboat Springs, Colorado. She and her husband, along with pets left by their two children who are pursuing their own admirable dreams, have chosen to work in their respective fields, for many years to come.

To learn more about Juliana Adams, she can be reached by email at JulianaAdamsInc@gmail.com or visit her online at the following links:

OFFICIAL AUTHOR WEBSITE

FACEBOOK

LINKED IN 

TWITTER 

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Purchase your copy of THE JOY OF NURSING here

5 Absolutely Horrified Stars for THE HATCHING by Ezekiel Boone – An Utterly Terrifying Read that will justify a fear of spiders for the rest of your life.

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TItle: THE HATCHING

Series: THE HATCHING – BOOK ONE

Author: EZEKIEL BOONE

Type of Book: Hardcover

Genre: Fiction, Horror

Length: 330 Pages

Release Date: JULY 5, 2016

Publisher: RANDOM HOUSE CANADA

ISBN: 978-0-345-81648-1

PRICE: $29.95 CAN (Hardcover)

RATING: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

* I received a free copy of this book through the Goodreads Giveaway program. Reviews are not required, but they are usually appreciated.

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MY REVIEW:

ARE YOU SCARED OF SPIDERS?

If you aren’t scared of spiders before reading this book, you will be once you reach the final page.

Personally, spiders scare the crap out of me. Yes, I admit it. I have a case of arachniphobia.

Speaking of “Arachniphobia,” When I read the first chapter of this book I was reminded of the movie from 1990,  starring Jeff Daniels and John Goodman called ARACHNIPHOBIA. I was actually worried that this might end up being an updated version of the same storyline. But, I needn’t have been concerned. While both the movie and this book both center around spiders, this is WAY different and much more terrifying.

I read quite a bit of Post-Apocalyptic Fiction, and prior to reading THE HATCHING, I thought I had read about every possible way that modern civilization could be brought to it’s knees. The Hatching proved that I was dead-wrong.

I loved this book even while cringing and recoiling in both revulsion and terror at the subject matter.

Do you love a good scare? Do you enjoy Horror stories? If so, then you MUST add Ezekiel Boone’s novel to your bookshelf ASAP.

If you don’t find yourself checking all the dark corners of your house and under your bed for spiders after reading this book, I will be tremendously surprised.  I knew there was a reason that I dislike spiders and Ezekiel Boone has made me realize that those people who used to think my arachniphobia was silly, well, those people aren’t saying its such a silly fear after reading this book.

This book is one that will definitely have people talking. You don’t want to be the only one around the water cooler that hasn’t read THE HATCHING. If you do not read this book, you will be missing out. 

I rate The Hatching by Ezekiel Boone as 5 out of 5 Stars. 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

The fact that this is only the first book in a planned series has me wishing that Book Two – SKITTER was already available. However, since I do need to sleep sometime, it is probably good to give my terror levels time to get back to normal before I continue on to the next part of this series.

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AN INTERESTING SIDE-NOTE:

Prior to reading THE HATCHING, I had never heard of the “Nasca Lines” in Peru. These lines are mentioned in the book and I wasn’t sure if they were a creation of the author’s imagination or if they were real. An internet search provided me with the answer. They are real!

Don’t know what the Nasca Lines are? Click here for pictures and more information. I have now added seeing these Lines to my Bucket List. I find them absolutely fascinating and I can’t wait to research them further.

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WATCH THE TRAILERS:

 https://youtu.be/QhaQYliQ6qg

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Photo By Laurie Willick

EZEKIEL BOONE is a Canadian writer who currently lives in upstate New York with his wife and children.

THE HATCHING is Zeke’s first thriller and the first book in the series, with SKITTER coming in 2017.

THE HATCHING series has sold in twelve countries and nine languages, and has been optioned for the screen. When not writing thrillers, Zeke writes acclaimed literary fiction under a different name. Along with a healthy respect for spiders, Zeke has two poorly behaved dogs and enjoys the outdoors.

To find out more about this author visit:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

THE HATCHING OFFICIAL WEBSITE

FACEBOOK
 
TWITTER

INSTAGRAM

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4 Stars for Jonathan R. Miller’s impeccably timed Release of GRAVITY BREAKER

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Title: GRAVITY BREAKER

Author: JONATHAN R. MILLER

Type of Book: Softcover – ARC

Genre: Science Fiction, Superhero

Length: 240 pages

Release Date: June 29, 2016

ISBN: 9781532837005

ASIN: B01HSGVK8O

Price: $3.99 For the Ebook

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS:

From his dead-end job to his one-bedroom apartment, life so far has been a steady grind, one challenge after another.  But that’s about to change.  During a routine encounter with a police officer in Oakland, Isaac makes a life-changing realization: He can use gravity to do almost anything.  To build or destroy.  To lift up or hold in place.  To bend, straighten, or break apart. 

Isaac is suddenly in command of a power beyond his wildest imagination, the power to reshape the world around him, something that—as a biracial black man from hurricane-ravaged Mississippi—he has struggled to do his entire life.  Filled with newfound hope, Isaac immerses himself in the experimentation process: testing his limits, broadening his skill set, and refining his control, all in secret. 

But Isaac, a single father of an eleven-year-old daughter, is forced to reveal the extent of his abilities when his daughter is attacked.  This sets in motion a series of events that strips him of everything he’s worked so hard for: his child, his job, and his home.  Pursued relentlessly by the authorities, Isaac is forced to use his abilities in increasingly dramatic and dangerous ways to avoid capture and reunite with his daughter, ultimately learning that the power he wields—though enviable—comes at a deeply unenviable price.

Gravity Breaker challenges us to rethink what it means to be powerful in society.  Isaac’s story is both individual and universal, as it unblinkingly confronts issues such as parenthood, poverty, unearned privilege, and the often strained relationship between the police and communities of color.

MY REVIEW:

At its core, GRAVITY BREAKER is a Science Fiction / Superhero-type story, but this tale also tackles some very real and relevant social issues.

Author Jonathan R. Miller has crafted a superbly entertaining tale of an ordinary man who develops extraordinary powers.

It makes the reader ponder what they would do if they could suddenly control gravity. Would you use the powers for good? Or would the temptation of easy money overwhelm you?

Besides being an engrossing Superhero story, Gravity Breaker is also a commentary on what men of color sometimes have to contend with just because of the color of their skin.

The best word to describe GRAVITY BREAKER is “timely.”

With the recent racial tension in the United States, it is impossible to turn on the television or radio or to open a newspaper without hearing about #BlackLivesMatter as well as the recent police shootings.

The main character in this book is Isaac. He is a single father who is doing his best to provide for his daughter. He works hard every day and stays on the right side of the law. Despite this, he is harassed by the police while working and when he explains to the officer why he is pushing a cart full of laundry bags, the officer does not believe him and wants to place him under arrest.

Where I live, this would never happen. If it did, the entire community (white and colored) would be up in arms. However, I am well aware that things like this happen on a daily basis in many urban centers across North America and it needs to stop.

I commend Jonathan R. Miller for using his writing talent to not only entertain his readers but also to inform them of the injustices that occur in our society.

I do want to ensure potential readers that this book is not just about race issues. Yes, that is part of the story, but it is by no means the only topic

There is a sequel planned for this book. It is set to be released in 2017 and will be titled: TALAH. (TALAH is the name of Isaac’s daughter.) I will be eagerly awaiting it’s release. I am very interested in reading about what happens next.

I rate this book as 4 out of 5 stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟

I also feel the need to mention that I first became aware of Jonathan R. Miller when I read his novel FREND which was one of my favorite books of 2015. Check out my review of FREND here.

* I received a free ARC copy of this book through the Goodreads Giveaway program.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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JONATHAN R. MILLER lives in the Bay area of California with his wife and daughter.

Jonathan R. Miller is a biracial author of genre-bending literary thrillers with diverse, non-traditional characters exploring issues of identity and belonging.  

Miller, was born in Illinois and lived in Los Alamos, New Mexico for most of his childhood, and then became a California transplant after undergraduate school at Stanford University.  He was an 8th-grade teacher for 7 years in the Oakland public school system, and has worked as a writer in the Bay Area ever since.

Miller’s own biracial heritage — black and white, but “passing” as white — has had a strong influence on his thought processes and writing style.  His novels deftly explore issues of identity while providing storylines that are layered, cerebral, gritty, thought-provoking, and moving. 

FRACTURED by Catherine McKenzie is a 5 Star Psychological Thriller that will hook you from the very start.

Title: FRACTURED

Author: CATHERINE McKENZIE

Type of Book: SOFTCOVER – ARC (Advance Reader Copy)

Genre: Fiction, Psychological Thriller

Length: 357 pages

Publisher: LAKE UNION PUBLISHING

ISBN: 9781503937826

ASIN: B01CTY1INW

Cover Price: $14.95 Paperback / $4.99 EBook

Release Date: OCTOBER 4, 2016

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

MY REVIEW:

Only 44 pages into the book and I was hooked.  It is on page 44 that one of the main characters in the story says: “We all wear masks. The challenge is keeping them in place.” It gave me shivers of foreshadowing and anticipation and as I kept reading, I was not disappointed. In fact, the book gets better and better and grabbed and held my attention right to the final page.

Upon conclusion of reading FRACTURED my first thought was “Well Done.” It is a twisted maze of plot choices and realistic characters that might just be living on any suburban street in North America.

Catherine McKenzie has crafted a fascinating psychological thriller. The characters in this book are so believable that readers will be forced to wonder if any (or all of them) are based on real people.

It is a rare treat to find a book (in the Thriller genre) that regular people can relate to, but author Catherine McKenzie makes it seem effortless.

The fact that the author is Canadian is another plus for me. Knowing this, it is even more amazing to me that even though she is not from Ohio, that is the setting of this story. If I didn’t know better, I would have thought this is where the author lived since it comes across so flawlessly.

I have not read any of her other books, but after enjoying this engrossing read, I will definitely be adding her books to my ‘To Be Read List.’

FRACTURED was a thrilling read that I did not want to put down. For that reason I am rating it is 5 out of 5 stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 

FRACTURED is scheduled for release on October 4, 2016. This book should be added to everyone’s wish list – you will NOT be disappointed.

* I received a free ARC of this book through the Goodreads Giveaway program. Reviews are not required, but they are usually appreciated.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

CATHERINE MCKENZIE is a Canadian author based out of Montreal, Quebec.

She is a graduate of McGill University and now practices Civil Law in Montreal where she was born and raised. She is an avid skier and runner.

Catherine’s novels: SPINARRANGED, FORGOTTEN, HIDDEN & SMOKE are all Bestsellers and have been translated into numerous languages.

HIDDEN was a Digital Book World bestseller. SMOKE was an Amazon bestseller, a Goodreads Best Book for October 2015, and an Amazon Top 100 Book of 2015.

ARRANGED has been optioned for film, and SPIN has been optioned for a television series. A short film of ARRANGED was made in 2014 and won a Canadian National Screen Institute Award. Catherine was on set while they filmed it. It was one of the cooler experiences of her life.

To learn more about Catherine McKenzie visit her online by clicking on any or all of the following sites:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

TWITTER

FACEBOOK

  

GREAT by Glen Gretzky & Lauri Holmes Lives Up To It’s Title!!!

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Title: GREAT

Author: GLEN GRETZKY and LAURI HOLOMIS

Illustrator: KEVIN SYLVESTER

Genre: CHILDREN’S FICTION, SPORTS, INSPIRATIONAL, AGES 4-8

Length: 32 pages

Publisher: PUFFIN – An Imprint of PENGUIN CANADA BOOKS INC.

ISBN (Print Book) 978-0-670-06990-3

ISBN (EBook) 978-0-14-319494-1

Price: $16.99 HARDCOVER

Release Date: SEPTEMBER 13, 2016

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

The second I set eyes on this book, I knew that I had to have it. Being both Canadian and the mother of two boys means that hockey is in my blood. Plus, no self-respecting Canadian parent would pass up the opportunity to purchase a children’s book that is not only about hockey, but also conveys a very important lesson for both kids and their parents.

Come on! The Foreward is written by “The Great One” himself – Wayne Gretzky. In it he states: “I am very proud of this book and the message it gives to kids. Our Foundation’s Mission Statement is about helping to equip kids for life and that begins at home. Let’s ensure our kids have the encouragement, love and support they need to grow up to be strong and confidant adults. Every child should know that they’re Great.”

What an awesome message! And, it is a message that I agree with 100%.

Most fans of Wayne Gretzky are aware that his father – Walter Gretzky dedicated himself to making his son into both the hockey player and the man that he grew up to be. GREAT is inspired by Walter Gretzky.

In the story a boy named Taylor is excited to have made the hockey team of his dreams. He is going to be playing with Wayne – a kid who everyone is already calling “The Great One”.

The coach is Walter (Wally) Gretzky. Taylor is so nervous to be on such a great team that he doesn’t play very well.

Taylor wants to be the star of the game and when he hogs the puck rather than passing, his team loses. He tells Coach Wally that he knows the loss was his fault and that he thinks he should quit.

Coach Wally’s response is the perfect one. He is the kind of coach that every child deserves to have and Taylor ends up learning lessons not just about hockey, but also about life.

The illustrations in this book are PERFECT. The cartoon showing Taylor leaving for an early morning practice while his bleary-eyed Mom looks on reminded me so much of my own time as a Hockey Mom. Another illustration showing Taylor shooting pucks at a battered garage door made me laugh out loud in remembrance. Throughout the entire book are illustrations that any hockey parent and their child will love. I rate the illustrations as 5 out of 5 stars.

In fact, I enjoyed GREAT so much that I rate the entire book as 5 out of 5 stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

This book is set to be released on September 13, 2016 – just in time for hockey season. It would also make a great Christmas gift for any hockey fan (regardless of their age.)

* I received a free copy of this book from the Publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

GLEN GRETZKY:

GLEN GRETZKY is the Executive Director of the Wayne Gretzky Foundation, which raises money to help children and families across Canada and the United States. Glen is also the Brand Manager for Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery and continues to be involved in community events and fundraising. He lives in Brantford, Ontario

LAURI HOLOMIS:

LAURI HOLOMIS has worked with the Gretzky Family and the Wayne Gretzky Foundation for many years. She continues to work in the sports world and is passionate about teaching kids confidence. She lives in Toronto, Ontario, with her husband, Ryan, and son, Wyatt. The author lives in Toronto, Ontario.

ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR:

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KEVIN SYLVESTER  is an illustrator, writer and broadcaster based in Toronto. His series, The Neil Flambe capers, is now out and loads of fun (according to him).

Neil Flambe and the Marco Polo Murders won the 2011 Silver Birch award for Fiction. Neil Flambe and the Aztec Abduction was runner-up in 2012. Neil Flambe and the Crusader’s Curse is up for the 2013 Silver Birch. Kevin’s picture book Splinters was nominated for the 2012 Blue Spruce! Cathy Rondina’s and I won the Silver Birch for Non-Fiction in 2012 for Don’t Touch that Toad. My book Gold Medal for Weird won the 2009 Silver Birch for Non-Fiction.

Kevin has also been a broadcaster with CBC Radio in Canada for years and years (although he is originally from Western New York). Kevin is willing to have people contact him with any questions or comments. His email address is:  atsylvesterartwork@gmail.com.

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Photos and illustrations were all obtained through Kevin Sylvester’s website.

LEAVING LUCY PEAR by Anna Solomon – UPCOMING NEW RELEASE Historical Fiction earns 5 Stars

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Title: LEAVING LUCY PEAR

Author: ANNA SOLOMON

Genre: Historical Fiction, Fiction

Length: 315 PAGES

Publisher: VIKING

ISBN: 978-1-594-63265-5

Price: $26.00 ($35.00 CAN)

Release Date: JULY 26, 2016

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

* I received a free copy of this book through a Goodreads Giveaway.

NEW RELEASE

It’s 1917 and a young and unmarried Beatrice Haven has snuck out of the house with a bundle in her arms.

Within that bundle lies her squirming infant daughter. The daughter she was supposed to give up on the very day of her birth. The secretly beloved daughter that she cannot allow to be raised by the awful woman who runs the Jewish orphanage.

Instead, Beatrice has a plan.  It is risky and bold, but Beatrice (whom everyone calls ‘Bea’) wants her child to have a chance at happiness. So, she lays her baby girl under a pear tree and waits.

Her plan works. The baby is claimed by another woman and Bea is free to continue on her life’s path without the stigma and encumbrance of a child born out of wedlock. 

Ten years later a series of coincidences end with Bea reuniting with Emma Murphy, the Irish Catholic woman who took in her abandoned daughter all those years ago.

The characters in LEAVING LUCY PEAR are so vividly described that the reader could easily believe that she was watching a movie rather than reading a book.

Bea’s daughter’s name is Lucy. Lucy is quite the character. She’s headstrong, she contains a vast intellect that is well above that if her peers. And Lucy has plans of her own.

Taking place in the town of Cape Ann, Massachusetts in the early 1920s, readers are in for a treat. Author Anna Solomon has obviously vigorously researched the time period as well as the location’s geography. I am not a historian by any means, but the story and its setting seemed authentic and entirely plausible to me.

Readers are in for a fictional historic tale that will make them laugh, make them cry and in fact, at times, will have readers experiencing every emotion in between. LEAVING LUCY PEAR will stay with readers long after the book has been shelved. I rate this book as 5 out of 5 stars 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

 

FAVORITE QUOTES:

“He had told her she could leave, her last night, to make it easier for her. He had never regretted that. Yet he missed her. He doubted he would live long enough to stop missing her.”

“…even after all these years, he cannot tell if she is actually unstable, or just very sad.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Photo: © Beowulf Sheehan

ANNA SOLOMON is the author of “The Little Bride” and a two-time winner of the Pushcart Prize. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in many publications including “The New York Times Magazine,” “One Story,” “Ploughs hares,” “Slate,” and MORE.

She previously worked as a journalist for National Public Radio. She was born and raised in Gloucester, Massachusetts and now lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and two children.

A Fictional Tale of A Korean Immigrant to Canada

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Title: KAY’S LUCKY COIN VARIETY

Author: Ann Y.K. Choi

Type of Book: Ebook

Genre: Fiction, Canadian Fiction

Length: 288 pages

Publisher: Touchstone by Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 9781476748054

Price: Canadian Hardcover $29.99

Release Date: May 3, 2016

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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Upon reflection, after reading this book I realized that one of the reasons that I enjoyed this book so much was due to the author’s talent for reaching inside her readers hearts and minds and being able to relate to them.

I also loved that this story was set in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I truly enjoy reading books that contain “real” settings, especially settings that I can easily visualize in my head. Being born and raised in a small town north of Toronto, I have often visited many of the locations mentioned in the book.

I will never again be able to visit a Variety Store without thinking about this book and wondering about the lives of the people working behind the counter.

Visiting Korea for the first time since emigrating to Canada as a small child, Mary was shocked at what she saw. “[She] looked out at the endless rows of high-rise apartment buildings set against a dreary November sky. It made [her] claustrophobic. Were there any houses left in Seoul? This was not the Korea [she] remembered.” Reading this brought to mind the changes I have seen in my own hometown. Author Ann Choi uses very few words and yet is still able to evoke a sense of nostalgia in the reader for their own childhoods. That nostalgia is universal. It crosses gender and even racial lines. No matter who you are or where you grew up, your childhood home will always have a special (and usually rose-coloured) place in your memory.

What struck me the most about Mary’s visit “home” to Korea was that it was no longer her home. She felt like an outsider and was more comfortable in her adopted homeland of Canada. I loved that fact. It proves that immigrants who move to Canada become full-fledged Canadians and not just long-term visitors.

What people who discriminate against immigrants seem to forget is that we are all the products of immigration  (except members of the Aboriginal groups). It may have been a few generations since our ancestors moved to Canada, but they all came to Canada with the same goal as modern-day immigrants – the goal of a better life.

I have often heard that writers are told to “Write about what you know.” It is evident to me that Ann Y.K. Choi has followed this advice. Although I am unable to prove it, I believe that she has taken settings and scenes from her own life and fictionalized them to fit within her story. If this is not the case, then I am even more impressed since reading the story truly made me feel as if these characters were actual people and not just two dimensional fictional characters.

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Collage by Michael Lyons

I enjoyed the story very much and I believe this book should be required reading for all adults. It is especially important reading material for anyone who seeks to understand the life of Canadian Korean immigrants.

The writing is fantastic. The characters are believable and realistic and the story is both interesting as well as absorbing. I rate KAY’S LUCKY COIN VARIETY as 5 out of 5 stars. 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

The Publisher has included a Reading Guide on their website which is a terrific companion guide to the book which can and will be perfect for those reading KAY’S LUCKY COIN VARIETY as part of a Book Club.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Ann Y.K. Choi immigrated to Canada from Korea in 1975. She attended the University of Toronto where she studied English, Sociology, and Education. Ann has also graduated from the Humber School for Writers, the Creative Writing Certificate Program at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies, and is completing her MFA in Creative Writing from the National University in San Diego, California. In 2012, she received the Marina Nemat Award.

To learn more about Ann Y.K Choi visit her online.

Author Website

Publisher Website

Twitter

Goodreads

* Author Photo by John Burridge