BACKBONE: Living With Chronic Pain Without Turning Into One by Best-Selling Author KAREN DUFFY hits shelves on November 7th.

Title: BACKBONE: LIVING WITH CHRONIC PAIN WITHOUT TURNING INTO ONE   

Author: KAREN DUFFY  

Genre: NON-FICTION, CHRONIC PAIN 

Length: 252 PAGES 

Publisher: ARCADE PUBLISHING an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing     

Type of Book: EBOOK 

Received From: NETGALLEY 

Release Date: NOVEMBER 7, 2017

ISBN: 9781628727951

Price: $22.99 USD 

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ


DESCRIPTION
:

AN INSPIRATIONAL, PRACTICAL, AND FUNNY GUIDE FOR EVERYONE LIVING WITH CHRONIC PAIN.

โ€œMy friend Karen Duffy, who lives with unimaginable pain, has taught me so much; that my 
complaints are the most ridiculous in the world.โ€     George Clooney

Over one-third of the United States populationโ€”nearly one hundred million Americansโ€”is currently living with chronic pain, while another 133 million Americans live with some form of chronic illness. Over half of the United States population suffers from these invisible illnesses where their symptoms are not always obvious to the casual observer. Among them is Karen Duffy, New York Timesโ€“bestselling author, former MTV DJ, Revlon model, and actress: she suffers from sarcoidosis, a disorder that causes the growth of inflammatory cells on different organs of the body. In her case, her sarcoidosis is located in her brain, causing her unimaginable pain. 

For two decades, Duffy has managed to live a full life, despite living in a state of constant pain. 

In BACKBONE, a powerful, inspirational, funny, and important manual for surviving pain, Duffy draws on her experience as a patient advocate, trained recreational therapist, and hospice chaplain to illuminate gratifying methods people can use to cope with chronic pain. 

Addressing a country ravaged by both chronic pain and opioid addiction, BACKBONE offers a salve of self-sufficiency, spunk, and perseverance. 

BACKBONE is for the massive population of sufferers who are eager to be understood and helped and sends the message that despite the pain, there is a way to have a good life. 

MY REVIEW

In her introduction, author Karen Duffy states; “When I first got sick, I thought the doctors would figure it out and I’d go back to my life the way it was before. It didn’t turn out that way…I never imagined that the pain was going to last this long, that it would be endless, and that I’d have to figure out how to deal with it for the rest of my life.” I can completely relate to her and to this statement, it is exactly how I feel. Our diseases may be different, but chronic pain is something that we share (unfortunately). I felt EXACTLY the same way Karen did when I was diagnosed. 

We are very spoiled as a society, especially here in Canada. When a person gets sick or is injured, they go to the doctor or the hospital where tests are completed, a diagnosis is made, a treatment plan and/or presciption is handed out, and they get better. With chronic pain there is no cure, and treatment consists of little more than prescriptions for pain medication which helps with the symptoms, but does absolutely nothing to fix the underlying condition.

 To those who have never had to deal with pain that never stops, I say be thankful. To those who think that chronic pain sufferers are all liars and frauds, I say that I would trade just about anything to be lying about the pain I endure on a daily basis.

Karen says; “The minutia of daily life are more taxing when you have the stress of a chronic condition, and I often need to regulate my pain medication around [my son’s] hockey schedule.” Thankfully my sons are older now, but I distinctly remember doing the same thing. In fact, currently I have to wake up two hours before leaving for work so that I have one hour for the pain meds to kick in and one hour to actually spend getting ready. Reading that I am not alone in this is strangely yet incredibly helpful.

I am not someone who typically reads self-help books. This book is more of a memoir (laced with humor,) rather than a self-help book, yet it helps to feel that there are people out there who understand what my daily struggles are. I guess the saying that “misery loves company” must be true. Just kidding.

Karen offers up advice in a non-standard way. She does not claim to be an expert on chronic pain. Rather, her writing comes across more like a series of conversations with a friend over coffee or more likely a glass of wine. This is why her tips seem so genuine. They are things that have helped her to manage her pain.

Karen Duffy’s writing comes across as coming from her heart. She offers anecdotes from her own life as well as offering up quotes from experts in various fields.

I have read several books on chronic pain and I can honestly say that this book was the easiest to read and the most realistic. 

Karen Duffy does NOT promise to know how to cure chronic pain, she simply informs readers of what has worked for her to help her live with it, and suggests that what has helped her may also help others.     

She also includes modern, up-to-date links to helpful websites for those seeking more information about specific issues. 

I recommend this book to anyone suffering from chronic pain as well as family members and caregivers. I rate this memoir as 5 out of 5 Stars ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ 

**Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book.**  

QUOTES 

As I read through this book I ran across so many quotes that I wanted to remember that I actually started keeping a list. 

Some of the quotes are funny, some I highlighted because they hit close to home and were so similar to my own life, and some I kept for no reason other than they struck a xhord with me somehow. I will leave it to your imagination to decide which quote falls into each category. 

“Chronic pain is like serving a life sentence. It’s punishment for a crime you didn’t commit.”

“… I look a lot better in person than I do on paper.”


“I take strong opiates to tamp down the burning, biting, sharp sensations. Before the morphine takes effect, it feels like a donkey wearing hockey skates is kicking me in the neck. After the medication, it feels like the jackass put skate guards on, but he’s still kicking.” 

When writing about her son playing hockey she wrote the following: 

For example, would it surprise you that the first nut cup (also known as a testicular guard) ever sported in a hockey game was worn in 1873? That the first helmet worn in the NHL was in 1973? That it took a full one hundred years for hockey players to consider protecting their brains was as important as protecting their down below.” 

“…the sinister vapors emanating from a hockey bag would flatten most people. It’s like getting sucker-punched in the face by an invisible roundhouse of adolescent B.O.” 
“… family dinners are a dim memory like dial telephones and eighteen-hour girdles…” 

“When things are easy, you miss the chance to learn how tough you are.”

“… life is going to give you some hits and you have to get up and keep going.”    

“If you don’t take care of your body, where are you going to live?”


“The ability to walk without pain is a gift that we don’t have anymore. Being able to walk with pain and not give up is a superpower.”


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

KAREN DUFFY – Bio partially obtained  from Hollywood.com 
  

Witty, alluring performer whose offbeat charm and amiability landed her a gig as an MTV VJ. Duffy’s (aka “Duff” on-air) less-than-serious approach to her job quickly made her a favorite to viewers. Unlike many of her predecessors who quickly fell into obscurity, she diversified into commercials and feature appearances.

 She made her feature debut playing a “Crack Den Girl” in the Christopher Walken actioner “McBain” (1991). Her subsequent feature credits include small roles in Spike Lee’s “Malcolm X” (1991), “Who’s the Man” (1993)–which also featured such MTV luminaries as Dennis Leary and Ed Lover–and “Reality Bites” (1994) in a cameo spoofing MTV’s “The Real World.” Duffy made her first substantial feature performance as a woman reminiscent of Mrs. Robinson (“The Graduate”) in the Disney comedy “Blank Check” (1994).

Karen โ€œDuffโ€ Lambros is an American model, actress, and author. Diagnosed with neurosarcoidosis in 1995, she has become an outspoken advocate for sarcoidosis patients and those who suffer from chronic pain. Her positive approach to coping with sarcoidosis is highlighted in her autobiography, Model Patient: My Life as an Incurable Wise-Ass. The Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research is proud to have Duff as a board member and the Board Chair to the Patient Ambassador Program.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

GOODREADS     

TWITTER 

FACEBOOK 

AMAZON     

CHAPTERS 

SARCOIDOSIS FOUNDATION 

  

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4 Stars for the extraordinary tale of a man who spent 27 years alone in the woods – A new book by MICHAEL FINKEL called THE STRANGER IN THE WOODS ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ ย 

Title: THE STRANGER IN THE WOODS      

Subtitle: THE EXTRAORDINARY STORY OF THE LAST TRUE HERMIT

Author: MICHAEL FINKEL      
Genre: NON-FICTION, BIOGRAPHY

Length: 203 PAGES  

Publisher: PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE

Type of Book: HARDCOVER

Release Date: MARCH 7, 2017   

ISBN: 978-1-101-87568-1  

Price: $25.95 USD / $32.95 CDN

Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

Photograph of Knight’s camp in the Maine woods. Photo Credit: Maine State Police

DESCRIPTION:  “In 1986, a shy and intelligent twenty-year-old named Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, and disappeared into the forest. He would not have a conversation with another human being until nearly three decades later, when he was arrested for stealing food. Living in a tent even through brutal winters, he had survived by his wits and courage, developing ingenious ways to store edibles and water, and to avoid freezing to death. He broke into nearby cottages for food, clothing, reading material, and other provisions, taking only what he needed but terrifying a community never able to solve the mysterious burglaries.”

Photograph of Knight’s camp in the Maine woods. Photo Credit: Maine State Police

“Based on extensive interviews with Knight himself, this is a vividly detailed account of his secluded lifeโ€”why did he leave? what did he learn?โ€”as well as the challenges he has faced since returning to the world. It is a gripping story of survival that asks fundamental questions about solitude, community, and what makes a good life, and a deeply moving portrait of a man who was determined to live his own way, and succeeded.”    

MY REVIEW:  

This book is a New York Times Bestseller, and after reading it, I can understand why. The subject matter will draw you in and you will find yourself developing an opinion on the “hermit.” 

Mugshot of Christopher Knight Photo Credit: Maine State Police

I find it fascinating that anyone could just one day decide to walk into the forest with minimal supplies and not come out again for decades.

I am sure that most of us have had the thought that it would be great to get away from it all, but even so, our idea of that “retreat from the world” almost always has a limited time frame. Humans are just not wired to be completely solitary … at least, most of us aren’t. As proof of this, think about jail. When an inmate severely misbehaves, the punishment is solitary confinement, and even the toughest, meanest, most hardened criminals attempt to avoid it. In fact, in 2015, the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Vienna, Austria adopted revised rules banning solitary confinement as cruel and unusual punishment. The changes are referred to as the “Mandela Rules.”     

Christopher Knight is “the hermit” who this book is about. He is an anomaly to the belief that people need contact with others to survive. 

Christopher stole food and other essential items to help him survive, and created a hidden camp that wasn’t far from civilization and yet, somehow he was able to stay hidden and alone for over twenty years. Author Michael Finkel has done a terrific job of trying to understand the nonunderstandable and readers will be unable to put this book down. 

Photograph of Knight at his camp in the Maine woods. Photo Credit: Maine State Police

This book is very much worth reading, and even though it includes a sketch of Christopher Knight’s camp as well as a sketch of the geographic area of Maine where his camp was located, I was extremely disappointed that the actual photographs taken by police were not included in this book. I would also have liked to have a photograph of Christopher Knight included as well. It is due to the lack of photographs that I am rating THE STRANGER IN THE WOODS as only 4 out of 5 Stars. ๐ŸŒŸ ๐ŸŒŸ ๐ŸŒŸ ๐ŸŒŸ

*** Even though the pictures are not in the physical edition of this book, there are multiple photographs available on Michael Finkel’s website; perhaps they will make it into future editions of this book.***   

Because I was curious as to what Christopher Knight looked like, I searched on YouTube and found this video:    

 

     

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

MICHAEL FINKEL is the author of “The Stranger in the Woods” and “True Story,” which was adapted into a 2015 major motion picture, starring James Franco and Jonah Hill.

He has reported from more than 50 countries and written for National Geographic, GQ, Rolling Stone, Esquire, Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, and The New York Times Magazine.

His work has been anthologized in The Best American Sportswriting, The Best American Science and Nature Writing, The Best American Travel Writing, and The Best American Non-Required Reading.  

Michael lives with his wife and three children in western Montana and southern France.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE        

GOODREADS     

TWITTER   

FACEBOOK        

AMAZON              

CHAPTERS          

GOOGLE BOOKS    
Watch the following video for an author interview:

F.O.L.D. BOOK BASH was terrific – Check out the amazing and diverse authors, poets and publishers I met on Saturday.



F.O.L.D. stands for FESTIVAL OF LITERARY DIVERSITY 

Today at City Hall in Brampton, Ontario, Canada, FOLD hosted the 2017 Book Bash. 

WHAT IS A FOLD BOOK BASH?

  • A one-day book market designed to give authors and book selling organizations a space to promote their books. 
  • A chance for the community to learn about books written by local authors
  • The ability for consumers to learn about and to purchase multicultural books that reflect the diversity of the city and  country in which they live
  • A chance to meet the authors of those books and to have them autographed 
  • As well as the chance to listen to authors read from, and talk about their books. 

    FOLD is the first and only literary festival in Canada to focus on diverse authors and stories.

    The first Festival of Literary Diversity was held in May 2016 and included more than 25 unique sessions held over three days with over thirty of Canadaโ€™s most exciting authors.

    Mark your calendars for May 3rd to May 5th, 2018 for the next Festival. There will be quite a few authors and publishers with many different sessions to choose from.

    CHECK IT OUT – YOU’LL BE GLAD YOU DID. 

    AUTHORS I MET ON SATURDAY  & SOME AMAZING BOOKS YOU NEED TO OWN


    #1. 

    JAEL RICHARDSON 


    Jael Richardson
     is one busy woman. Besides being the Founder and Creative Art Director of the Festival of Literary Diversity, she is also an author in her own right.

    Her book THE STONE THROWER: A DAUGHTER’S LESSON, A FATHERโ€™S LIFE is a memoir based on her relationship with her father, CFL quarterback Chuck Ealey. The memoir received a CBC Bookie Award and earned Richardson an Acclaim Award and a My People Award as an Emerging Artist and was adapted into a childrenโ€™s book in 2016. 

    To learn more about Jael, visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE      

    GOODREADS          

    TWITTER    

    FACEBOOK          

    INSTAGRAM        

    CHAPTERS              

    This is me with Jael at the 2017 FOLD Book Bash

    #2. 

    DEJA BEALS has been writing poetry since the age of sixteen. She finds her inspiration for her poetry in family, friends and everyday experiences.  

    Dฤ–JA BEALS has been writing poetry since the age of 16. You would never know that during those early writing days, her poetry was filled with incorrect grammar. Now, like Dรฉja herself, her writing has matured and
     developed. Her work has blossomed to include a range of topics such as love, faith and everyday experiences.

    Dรฉja finds her poetic inspiration in family, friends and her daily experiences.

    She is known for her silly moments, big laugh and even bigger heart. She has been said to have wisdom beyond her years and uncanny insight which adds depth to her writing. She is currently living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

    To learn more about this author visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE     

    Dร‰JA’S OFFICIAL BLOG     

    GOODREADS      

    TWITTER     

    FACEBOOK     

    INSTAGRAM    


    AMAZON          

    DISCOVERING DIVERSITY PUBLISHING    

    3, 4 and 5.

    I met these three very gracious and amazing women at the FOLD Brampton Book Bash. 

    About the multitalented Catherine Graham – Not only has she written the fiction novel QUARRY but she is also only days away from the launch off her new poetry collection THE CELERY FOREST which is being published by Wolsak and Wynn

    Author and Poet – CATHERINE GRAHAM

    QUARRY is a fictional story set in Southern Ontario during the 1980s. Only child Caitlin Maharg lives with her parents beside a water-filled limestone quarry, but her idyllic upbringing collapses when she learns her mother is dying. After a series of family secrets emerge, Caitlin must confront the past and face her uncertain future. 

    THE CELERY FOREST      

    Like Wonderland or Oz, Neverland or Narnia, The Celery Forest is an extraordinary world filled with strange creatures and disorienting sights. But the doorway to the Celery Forest is not a rabbit hole or an old wardrobe. The doorway is an MRI. For poet and novelist Catherine Graham, this is the topsy-turvy world she found herself in after learning she had breast cancer.

         More than a survivorโ€™s tale, these poems are a map through unknowable terrain, infused with awareness and forgetting, written by a poet with the visionary ability to distill our sense of wonder into something we can hold.
    TO LEARN MORE ABOUT CATHERINE GRAHAM, VISIT THE FOLLOWING LINKS: 

    To learn more about this author visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE 

    GOODREADS 

    TWITTER   

    FACEBOOK    

    INSTAGRAM      

    AMAZON       


    CHAPTERS         

         
    #4.  

    Publisher & Author Alexander Leggett  

    CEO and Founder of Two Wolves Press, Alexandra Leggat is the author of the novel The Incomparables as well as several other published works. 

    Alexandra started Two Wolves  Press as a way to nurture talent without compromise  โ€“ to work closely with Two Wolves writers to follow and trust their intuition and publish โ€œinstinctual fictionโ€. 

    Two Wolves Press publishes Catherine Graham’s novel QUARRY and
    Aileen Santos’ SOMEONE LIKE YOU.

    To learn more about this Publisher and author, visit the following links:
     
    OFFICIAL WEBSITE   


    GOODREADS     

    TWITTER   

    FACEBOOK        

    INSTAGRAM      

    AMAZON     

    CHAPTERS       

    MORE INFO COMING IN MY NEXT BLOG POST. 


    THIS IS NOT MY LIFE:ย 

    Title: THIS IS NOT MY LIFE

    Subtitle: A MEMOIR OF LOVE, PRISON, AND OTHER COMPLICATIONS    

    Author: DIANE SCHOEMPERLEN

    Genre: NON-FICTION, BIOGRAPHY, MEMOIR, CANADIAN NON-FICTION

    Length: 351 PAGES   

    Publisher: HARPER COLLINS 

    Release Date: FEBRUARY 7, 2017

    ISBN:  978-1-44343-420-1  

    Price:  $24.99 CDN

    How I Received This Book: This book was one I purchased for myself at CHAPTERS

    Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ   

    Any memoir that begins with the words this one does is bound to be both interesting and shocking. Author Diane Schoemperlen is NOT the type of woman who I pictured as one that would fall in love with a man in prison – especially one who had been convicted of murder. I’m not sure who I thought of as the type to fall for a prisoner, I just know that a well-known author and journalist would be the furthest choice from my mind.

    Diane’s memoir begins in 2006 with the following sentence:


    “It is safe to say that never once in my life had I dreamed of being in bed with a convicted killer, let alone one with his teeth in a margarine container in the kitchen, his mother in the next room, and the word HI! tattooed in tiny blue letters on his penis.”

    Now, if that sentence does not make you want to read more, then, this review is probably not for you either.

    I was intrigued.

    What would an educated and highly intelligent woman find attractive about a convicted killer? What the heck was wrong in her life that she would see prison as a viable dating venue? How could she ever feel safe around him?

    Diane met Shane at a soup kitchen where they both volunteered. He was still incarcerated, but he was allowed out while escorted by a nun to work at the soup kitchen. No one, Diane least of all, had any idea what his crime had been or how long he had been in jail. In fact, at first, she thought he was just another volunteer.

    Eventually Diane and the rest of the volunteers learned the reason he was in prison. Diane describes the moment like this:


    “This was when we finally learned why he’d ended up in prison in the first place and that he’d been there for almost thirty years. Now we understood that in the language of tattoos, the tear-drop below his left eye meant he had killed someone. Now we knew he was serving a life sentence for second-degree murder. Whatever initial alarm we might have felt about this was tempered by the fact that it had happened so long ago and that he had become an essential and popular part of the kitchen crew. We saw him as a person who had paid his debt to society and deserved a second chance.”

    This blows me away. I cannot say for sure what my reaction would have been, but I doubt that learning Shane had killed someone is something that I would have been able to overlook. But, that is the exact reason why I wanted to read this book. Well, that and the fact that author Diane Schoemperlen is not only Canadian, but she and I live in the same province (Ontario) and our homes are only a three hour drive apart.

    I found this memoir to be compelling reading. Diane does not shy away from difficult topics. She opens the readers eyes to what life is like for those incarcerated in Canadaโ€™s prisons and how these prisoners become institutionalized. What I had never considered before was how the loved ones of these inmates end up institutionalized as well.

    Yes, this book contains details about the often ridiculous world that is Canada Corrections, but it is ultimately a story about the desire for love and acceptance and to the lengths people will go in their quest to achieve those feelings and the seemingly bizarre choices they make that they normally would not. 

    Diane Schoemperlen’s memoir is beautifully written and well thought out. Since it is written after the relationship ended I do however believe that she has glossed over many of the events. But I also believe that she did not do so with the intention of deceiving readers, rather because, in her own mind, she didn’t want to sensationalize her fear. It is human nature to downplay fear-filled moments after the fact – I believe this is an unconscience psychological defense mechanism. 

    Clipping from THE TORONTO STAR



    MORE THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK


    *** Caution – This section may contain spoilers ***

    I have done some research and I believe I know exactly who “Shane” is and if I am right, he committed multiple murders, multiple prison escapes and multiple robberies. However, whether he killed one person or three people, he is still a murderer who was sentenced to life in prison. I also do not believe the bit about his “teardrop tattoo.” I think this was included to throw off those who might be curious as to “Shane’s” actual identity. 

    Despite the sentence of life in prison, somehow “Shane” is now allowed to live and work amongst the rest of us. WHY?

    Personally, I used to naively believe that when someone was sentenced to life in prison, that they would actually remain in prison until they died. SILLY ME!!! I guess I should have known better. I could probably rant for many, many more paragraphs about why I think it is wrong to allow murderers to be free to walk the streets of my home  province, but I will refrain from doing so here in my review of THIS IS NOT MY LIFE by reknowned author Diane Schoemperlen.

    Suffice it to say that Diane’s book/memoir is a MUST READ. This is true not only for those who love a good read, but also for everyone who has even a passing interest in Canada’s jail system and what I perceive to be its fallibility (which should be every Canadian of voting age.)


    I rate this book as 5 out of 5 Stars. ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

    Diane Schoemperlen is the Governor Generalโ€™s Award winning author of twelve works of fiction and non-fiction, most recently By the Book: Stories and Pictures, a collection illustrated with her own full-colour collages, which was longlisted for the Frank Oโ€™Connor International Short Story Award. She is a recipient of the Marian Engel Award from the Writersโ€™ Trust of Canada.


    ACCOLADES, MEDIA AND PRIZES won by “THIS IS NOT MY LIFE” 



    – One of five finalists for the 2017 RBC Taylor Prize 

      
     – Mar 02, 2017 – 41 minute video

    About this Video: 

    Three memoirs and two biographies are nominated for the 2017 RBC Taylor Prize. Max Eisen writes about surviving Auschwitz; Matti Friedman recounts his combat experience in Lebanon in the mid-1990s; Ross King examines Claude Monet’s fascination with painting water lilies; Marc Raboy reveals Guglielmo Marconi as a global communications pioneer; and Diane Schoemperlen remembers her six-year relationship with a convicted murderer. The Agenda welcomes the five non-fiction finalists to discuss what impelled them to write their books.

    Dianne Schoemperlen’s book has been nominated as part of the #ygkChallenge    


    MACLEAN’S MAGAZINE ARTICLE with video interview        

    HILLBILLY ELEGY by J.D.Vance is a brilliantly written memoir that is unputdownable ย – Check it out…ย 

    Title: HILLBILLY ELEGY  

    Subtitle: A MEMOIR OF A FAMILY AND CULTURE IN CRISIS   

    Author: J.D. VANCE     

    Genre: NON-FICTION, BIOGRAPHY, SOCIAL COMMENTARY  

    Length: 257 PAGES

    Type of Book: HARDCOVER

    Publisher: HARPER COLLINS   

    Release Date: JUNE 28, 2016

    ISBN: 978-0-06-230054-6

    Price: $27.99 USD / $34.99 CDN

    Rating: 4.5 OUT OF 5 STARS๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

    There are a plethora of books being written and published that focus on minorities and the struggles they have had to endure both in the past as well as today. But, there is one minority group that seems to have been completely neglected – that group consists of poor white people.

    The word “Hillbilly” in this book refers to poor, white people whose ancestral roots come from the Appalachian Mountain region.

    This book is in no way a treatise of what every “Hillbilly” family is like. It is a memoir of one man’s family, how he grew up, and how he was able to break the cycle of addiction and poverty that stalked his family tree. He professes to have “escaped” the fate of many of his friends through education.

    J.D. Vance also writes about how most of the people in his community lost jobs when manufacturing moved out of the area. This is why it is sometimes referred to as the Rust Belt. 

    The author, at times, portrays “hillbillies” as a lot of lazy, law-breaking lowlifes who think the world owes them a living. This may be true of some of these families, but I have a hard time believing that it applies to the majority.

    I have to admit that I was fascinated by details of the author’s tales of his childhood and by the various members of his extended family. These people, especially his crazy (and violent)  uncles almost seem too clichรฉd to be real. His mother is portrayed as an addict who cared little for her children and much of J.D.’s emotional pain seems to trace directly back to her and to her actions.

    There are so many shocking and seemingly crazy anecdotes included in this book that at times they seem too insane to be true.

    Despite the abuses and the flagrant disrespect for the law, two admirable traits shone through all of J.D. Vance’s stories, and those qualities are; the theme of family loyalty and the sense of community. His family may have been poor, but if they were able to help out a community member in trouble, they would.

    The one character who is central to the story is J.D.’s grandmother – or MAMAW (pronounced maam-awe) as she is known. Readers will find themselves drawn to her and despite her rough and tough demeanour, her love for J.D. shines through and becomes a beacon for him to follow when making life choices, even though her own life choices included killing a man.

    This is a picture of Mamaw in her younger days.

    I enjoyed reading this memoir and I am glad that the author escaped the poverty of his youth and embraced upward mobility. He has since become a successful lawyer (and now a successful author.)

    If you want a glimpse into a world that most “outsiders’ never see, then this is the book for you. *** I must warn potential readers that this book does include stories that are NOT suitable for children under the age of sixteen. ***

    I rate HILLBILLY ELEGY as 4.5 out of 5 Stars. ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ 

     

     

    //www.c-span.org/video/standalone/?419678-4

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    J.D. Vance grew up in the Rust Belt city of Middletown, Ohio, and the Appalachian town of Jackson, Kentucky.

    He enlisted in the Marine Corps after high school and served in Iraq.

    A graduate of the Ohio State University and Yale Law School, he has contributed to the National Review and is a principal at a leading Silicon Valley investment firm.

    Vance lives in San Francisco with his wife and two dogs.

    To learn more about this author visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE     

    GOODREADS     

    TWITTER AUTHOR ACCOUNT      

    TWITTER BOOK ACCOUNT     

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    J.D. and his beloved Mamaw

    The author with his dogs

    NEW RELEASE — GULLY DIRT: A MEMOIR by Robert Coram will make you laugh, it will make you cry and you won’t want to put it down.ย 

    Title: GULLY DIRT

    Subtitle: On Exposing the Klan, Raising a Hog, and Escaping the South: A Memoir

    Author: ROBERT CORAM

    Genre: NON-FICTION, BIOGRAPHY, MEMOIR

    Length: 266 PAGES

    Publisher: FIVE BRIDGES PRESS 

    Release Date: JANUARY 1, 2017

    ISBN: 978-0-9983820-0-5

    Price: $15.99 (Softcover on Amazon)
    Price: $6.05 (EBOOK on Amazon)

    Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ


    “A lot of romantic claptrap has been written about the South. I was born in rural Georgia and grew up there during the 1950s, and I never saw the romance. All I ever saw were people who were as mean as uncovered cat shit, people who took pride in being on the losing side of just about everything, people who could quote the Bible one minute and go into a violent rage the next.”    

    Paragraph one and I was hooked.

    This is a pull-no-punches memoir that does not shy away from the ugly truths about growing up dirt poor in the South in the 1950s. 

    GULLY DIRT is cleverly written and filled with vignettes of his pre-teen and teen years beginning at the age of 12.  Robert Coram has achieved an excellent balance between humor and drama and readers will swing between wanting to laugh and wanting to cry.

    Growing up in the deep South in a tiny town, Robert dreamed of escaping his retired military father and the blatant favoritism of Robert’s younger brother. He may have despised his father, but like all boys on the cusp of adulthood, he both needed and craved his fatherโ€™s love and attention.

    Author Robert Coram describes his birthplace as “… a place that has always been separate from the rest of the world.” The stories in this book prove that to be true.

    Because Robert grew up in the 1950s, he grew up in a time that is completely foreign to how we live today. His hometown of Edison had its own prejudices and they held onto them as tightly as possible.

    I read this book in a 24 hour period because I did not want to put it down. Some of the phrases the characters say in the novel will make you chuckle audibly. For example, saying that he was as “…mean as uncovered cat shit…” I mean, really, who talks like this? The answer is that in the 50s, that is exactly how the residents of Robert’s town spoke.

    If you are: 

    A) Easily offended by books that contain swearing or if 

    B) you are offended by the word “nigger” then you might want to skip this book. However, the only reason the “n” word is used in the book is because that was what Robert’s parents called black people and so he called them the same. It is historically accurate speech and it is not meant to be offensive. 

    I rate this book as 5 out of 5 Stars ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ    

    If you are interested in an authentic accounting of growing up in the deep South with an overbearing and uncaring father and yet somehow turning out normal, then this is a must read. 

    * I received a free copy of this book through Netgalley


    MY FAVOURITE QUOTES:


    “…mean as uncovered cat shit…”

    “This land, this place, this searing furnace, marks its children more indelibly and more visibly than does any other part of America.”

    “Once this land was sea bottom. But not even the ocean liked this place …”

    “Gully dirt ain’t good for nothing.”


    “…that August I discovered the MAGIC of books, how words on a page could bring tears to my eyes or fill my heart to overflowing.”

    “That summer I learned that the contents of a book could resonate in the heart and linger in the memory.”


    “I realized at some subliminal level that a book is more than pages covered with printed words. A book is a package of wonder, a container of bliss, a vale of emotion, an unexploded bomb. A book can not only draw the reader into a new world and toward new friends but also separate him from the old world and old friends.”

    “One book can change a person’s life. A library can change the world.”
    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    Robert Coramโ€™s career as a writer began in Edison, GA, a town of about 1200 located deep in the southwestern part of the state. Edison is a farming town. Most young people leave as soon as possible. Coram is the only person from Edison ever to become a writer.

    Coram was hired as a reporter for The Atlanta Journal when he was a sophomore in college. Like many who suddenly discover their lifeโ€™s work, he was enthusiastic and prolific. He was a general assignment reporter & also wrote features, book reviews, travel stories, & aviation stories. He covered the civil rights movement in Atlanta during the 1960s and he wrote freelance articles for the Atlanta Magazine, for aviation publications, and for national magazines.   

    For several years Coram wrote for McGraw-Hill publications out of the Atlanta bureau. He covered the early days of the environmental movement and he covered the civil war in Biafra.

    Coram spent four years as a staff writer for Atlanta Magazine. Then he moved to Cumberland Island, an island off the Georgia coast. The first year he was a house sitter & the second year he was a ranger for the National Park Service. Thus, he is one of the few writers who also has been a federal officer. During his two years on Cumberland he wrote for Sports Illustrated and did several travel pieces for the Sunday New York Times.

    He returned to Atlanta in the mid-1970s and resumed his freelance career. He wrote a media column, the first in Atlanta, for the weekly Atlanta Gazette.

    A piece he wrote for Esquire in 1976 was the first piece about narcotics trafficking in a national magazine. The latter part of the 1970s he traveled extensively in Colombia, Jamaica, the Turks & Caicos Islands, the Bahamas, and south Florida, writing about narcotics trafficking.

    These articles resulted in his being asked to become a reporter for The Atlanta Constitution. The first year he received a Pulitzer Prize nomination for his stories about drug smuggling. The second year he covered the war in El Salvador. He received another Pulitzer Prize nomination for a series of articles that stopped the National Park Service from developing Cumberland Island. The third year he was fired by a new assistant managing editor who said Coramโ€™s interviewing techniques were too aggressive.

    Coram now had the unique distinction of having been fired from both The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution. The two papers later merged, so his feat can never be duplicated.

    While he was at the paper he became a part-time instructor at Emory University and taught writing courses there for 12 years.

    He also resumed his freelancing and, at the same time, began writing books. He wrote five books before he published his first one. The five were not proposals nor were they a few chapters; they were 400-page manuscripts. That they were not published he considers proof God is sometimes merciful toward the reading public.

    Signet published his โ€œNarcsโ€ series. These three books were based on his experiences writing about drug smuggling. Then came four police novels based in Atlanta. Woven among the novels were three non-fiction books: an investigative book about Antigua, a book about an Irish woman who works in Saigon with street children, and a fishing book for National Geographic.

    As the 1990s drew near the end, Coram looked back over his books. He said that writing 10 books in 10 years was both good and bad: good in that it showed a certain professionalism, bad in that rarely are lasting books written at such a speed.

    Today Coram lives in Atlanta with his wife, business owner Jeannine Addams, president of J. Addams & Partners, a public relations company.

    When Coram is not writing, he is fly fishing on the Georgia coast.

    To learn more about this author visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE    

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    OTHER BOOKS BY ROBERT CORAM: 

    MY AWARDS FROM NETGALLEY

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    TRAPPED IN ICE by Canadian Author Eric Walters – A 5 Star YA Historical Fiction Thriller based on a true story. A MUST READ.

    Title: TRAPPED IN ICE

    Author: ERIC WALTERS 

    Genre: FICTION, HISTORICAL FICTION, YOUNG ADULT FICTION, MIDDLE-GRADE FICTION, CANADIAN FICTION

    Length: 225 PAGES

    Publisher: PUFFIN CANADA – A DIVISION OF PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE 

    Release Date: 1997

    ISBN: 978-1-77049-994-2 (Softcover)

    Price: $12.99 CDN ($8.91 on the Chapters.ca website)   

    Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

    I sometimes wonder why we don’t learn more Canadian history in high school. I am 100% sure that if TRAPPED IN ICE was read in history class, not one student would complain of boredom.

    ERIC WALTERS has taken the tale of the 1913 Canadian Arctic Expedition and fictionalized it into a tale that everyone should read.

    It doesn’t matter if you are a fan of historical fiction or not, this book will draw you in and you will find it nearly impossible to put down.

    Thirteen year old Helen lost her father and her home all within the span of a single year. Her mother accepted a job as a seamstress on the Canadian Arctic Expedition and arranged for Helen and her younger brother to join the expedition as well.

    Up until this trip, Helen has only ever experienced adventure through the many books she has read. What should have been a moderately scary trip becomes a nightmare when the ocean unexpectedly freezes over early. This catches everyone on board The Karluk by surprise, even the experienced and tough Captain Robert Bartlett. The ship becomes locked in the ice with no chance of a thaw for many months.

    Actual photo of the Karluk stuck in the ice in 1913

    In fact, it is likely that the ship will sink before the ice thaws enough for it to be released. What follows is a true tale of the ship’s Captain, crew and passengers and their terrifying trek across the ice flow to try to reach land.

    Photo of Captain Robert Bartlett at home in Newfoundland before leaving for the 1913 Canadian Arctic Expedition

    Readers will find themselves drawn into this harrowing tale of how Helen and the others push themselves beyond human endurance based solely on their will to survive.

    This book is not very long, it consists of only 225 pages and readers will become so swept up in the story that they will want to read it in a single day.

    I love the fact that author Eric Walters has chosen to bring to light a part of Canadian history that is largely unknown and I hope that he continues to write more books like this one.


    I rate TRAPPED IN ICE as 5 out of 5 Stars and I highly recommend this book to all readers aged ten and older. ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ 

    To learn more about The 1913 Canadian Arctic Expedition and it’s true story click here

    TRAPPED IN ICE won the 1999 Silver Birch Award. 

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    It all began in 1993 when Eric was teaching a Grade 5 class.  His students were reluctant readers and writers and Eric began to write to encourage them to become more involved in literature.  His first novel, Stand Your Ground, was created for this class.  It is set in the school where Eric was teaching, Vista Heights Public School, and some of the features of the community of Streetsville and many of the names of his students were incorporated into the story.

      

    Since his first novel Eric has exploded on the childrenโ€™s and young adult scene.  Over the following years he has published over 94 more novels and picture books with more than ten scheduled for the coming years.

    These novels have been enthusiastically received by children and young adults and critically acclaimed by teachers, reviewers and parents.  Ericโ€™s novels have won more than 100 awards including eleven separate childrenโ€™s choice awards. 

    He is the only three time winner of both the Ontario Library Association Silver Birch and Red Maple Awards โ€“ in which over 250,000 students participate and vote the winner.  In November 2013 he received the prestigious Childrenโ€™s Africana Book Award โ€“ Best Book for young children โ€“ for his book The Matatu.  This American award was presented to Eric in a ceremony at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C.

     https://youtu.be/yheY6Lut3iU   

    Ericโ€™s novels are now available in places as far award as New Zealand, Australia, India and Nepal and have been translated into more than a dozen languages including French, German, Japanese, Italian, Mandarin, Spanish and Portuguese.

    Eric has presented to more than 1,500,000 students across North America and internationally in Japan and Germany.  His presentations blend drama, storytelling, audience participation and interaction.  He presents to students from K โ€“ Grade 12 as well as adult groups and keynote speeches.

     June 2013 Eric became โ€˜Dr. Waltersโ€™ when he was granted the honorary degree of Literarum Doctorem by Wilfred Laurier University.  He gave the address to graduating  B.Ed., B.A. students in the spring convocation.

    Eric, along with his wife Anita, and Ruth and Henry Kyatha, are the co-founders of The Creation of Hope which provides for over 400 orphans and disadvantaged children throughout the Mbooni District of Kenya.

    100% of money donated by schools goes directly to serve and through the website these schools are shown โ€“ school by school, dollar by dollar, item by item โ€“ how their donations are spent.

    Eric is the father of three (Christina โ€“ born 1985, Nicholas โ€“ born 1988, and Julia โ€“ born 1992) and he and his wife live in Mississauga with their two dogs โ€“ Lola and Winnie the Poodle.  In his free time (what little of it he has) he walks, hikes, and plans his next adventure.  He spends time every summer in Kenya at his orphanage.

    To learn more about Eric and his phenomenal books visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE    

    GOODREADS    

    TWITTER          

    CHAPTERS / INDIGO BOOKS    

    EMAIL: ericwaltersauthor@gmail.com   

     

    The absolutely hilarious book I LOVE YOU WITH ALL MY BUTT is a MUST READ for anyone who needs a bright spot in their day.

    Title:I LOVE YOU WITH ALL MY BUTT

    Subtitle: AN ILLUSTRATED BOOK OF BIG THOUGHTS FROM LITTLE KIDS

    Author: MARTIN BRUCKNER

    Genre: HUMOR, COMICS

    Length: 224 PAGES

    Publisher: WORKMAN PUBLISHING COMPANY

    Release Date: APRIL 4, 2017

    ISBN: 978-0-7611-8914-5

    Price: $12.95 USD

    Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ  

    Absolutely gut-bustingly hilarious.

    I LOVE YOU WITH ALL MY BUTT is a collection of sayings and phrases that have come from the mouths of children.

    If you are a parent or even if you aren’t, but have spent any amount of time around small children, then you are aware that sometimes kids say things that make you laugh. These sayings and phrases can be incredibly entertaining. At other times, kids say things that are so incredibly perceptive that listeners find themselves completely dumbfounded at what they hear.

    Illustrator Martin Bruckner found himself amused quite often by the things his daughter said. He decided to illustrate some of her more humorous quotes and to put them together in book form as a Mother’s Day present for his wife.

    That Mother’s Day present has since changed his life and launched a new brand. He now accepts orders from other people who wish to have their own children’s sayings illustrated as well as including some of them in this book.

    Humor books are too often short and can sometimes be comprised of less than 100 pages. I was happy to find that this book is much more substantial, having 224 pages of quotes and illustrations.

    Some of my favorite quotes are:

    “Volcanoes are the Earth’s butt. That’s how the Earth gets the gas out.”

    “I’m not done being bad yet.”

    “I can’t have milk. I’m black toast and tolerant.”

    And

    “My dinner tummy is full, but my dessert tummy is waiting.”

    But, it is not just the quotes that make this book so funny, it is also the accompanying illustrations that take the quotes to new heights of laughability.

    So, if you need a good chuckle, or if you need a gift for an upcoming event, or if you just want to put a smile on someone’s face, buy this book. Anyone who does not find at least a few of the included illustrations and quotes to laugh it just isn’t human.

    I rate this book as 5 out of 5 Stars. ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATOR: 

    Martin Bruckner is an illustrator whose now 4 year old daughter inspired him to create his new brand: SpaghettiToes.

    In fact, the name came about one night when Martin, his wife and daughter (who was 2 at the time) were having dinner together. His wife turned to their daughter and said, ” Please donโ€™t put spaghetti between your toes.” And in that instant their new brand was born.

    You can shop at his wife’s shop on ETSY where along with her own creations, she also sells SpaghettiToes artwork and even takes requests for custom orders.

    Visit any or all of the following links for more information about the author, his family and his brand:

    TUMBLR  

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    Pre-Order at an Indie Store by clicking the logo below:

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    BERKELEY TO PARIS AND BACK WITH TWO STOPS IN NEW YORK by Lynn Snyder is a moving read. 4 Stars -๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

    Title: BERKELEY TO PARIS AND BACK WITH TWO STOPS IN NEW YORK

    Author: LYNN SNYDER

    Type of Book: SOFTCOVER

    Genre: MEMOIR, NON-FICTION

    Length: 101 PAGES

    Publisher: CREATE SPACE

    Release Date:

    ISBN: 9781530855896

    Price: $5.38 USD

    Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ


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

    Shop Indie Bookstores

    Playwright Lynn Snyder had decided to give up looking for love. In fact, she even briefly contemplated moving far away from San Francisco to live out the rest of her life on the edges of the High Sierra mountain range.

    Thankfully she realized that idea would be taking things a bit too far.

    Not long after making this monumental life decision, she heard an announcement on her favorite classical music radio station regarding personal ads for meeting people with the same interests (this was many years before the invention of online dating.) Lynn decided she wouldn’t mind meeting new people and answered an ad that interested her.

    It was the best decision she had ever made. It was how she met and fell in love with Leo, which led to them having twenty years together.

    I expected this book to be a chronicle of their lives together and nothing more, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that while it was what I expected, it was also so much more.

    Leo is eventually diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease and at this point in the story it could have taken a dramatic and sad turn. The author instead chooses to use his diagnosis as a challenge. It is one that Leo will inevitably lose, but at least they had each other and they were deeply in love.

    Lynn Snyder is an intelligent and interesting person who loves to travel and who is extremely self-aware. I love that she is unapologetic and firm in her beliefs – many of which I share.

    The scene I found the most compelling takes place at a Huntington’s Support Group.

    Jane’s eighty-year-old mother, Marilyn tells us that Jane has started to become violent.” Obviously this poses great problems for Marilyn since she is Jane’s sole caregiver. “She says that when her physician suggested Jane be placed in a nursing home, Jane protested loudly, demanding that she be allowed to commit suicide.” Marilyn is deeply religious and does not believe in suicide and the resident social worker tells her to trick Jane into going into a nursing home. She also points out that suicide is illegal. I agree 100% with Lynn’s response to this conversation and I applaud her for voicing her opinion in such an emotional matter. When she says that suicide is a crime, Lynn says:

     
    “I’m well aware of that. But deceiving a mentally unstable person should be and isn’t, which doesn’t mean that we, in this group, should be as unenlightened as our society.”

    Lynn leaves the support group – never to return. She realizes that she does not fit in, which, in my opinion, is a good thing.

    Lynn also does a credible job of articulating the helplessness and despair that is often felt by those who have to watch a loved one deteriorate, knowing there is nothing they can do to save them. This is my favorite quote from the book:

    “I want to help him speak and walk. I want to rub strength into his fingers so that he can play the piano. I love him so much, and it seems incredible that I can’t translate my love into restoring what is rightfully his – speech, mobility, everything that allows him to be who he is.”

    There is so much emotion in those few short sentences and Lynn’s love for Leo shines like a beacon for the rest of us.

    I rate this book as 4 out of 5 Stars ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ 

    The one thing that I would have liked to see would have been some photos the couple and possibly some photos of their travels and their homes. 


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

    Lynn Snyder was born in Akron, Ohio. After receiving a degree in political science from the University of Michigan, she became a journalist.

    She spent time in London, England, and Cambridge, Massachusetts, before moving to Northern California.

    It was there that she met her husband, Leo.

    In addition to journalism, Snyder has also worked as a playwright, campaign publicity director, and literature teacher.

    Visit Lynn Snyder on FACEBOOK    

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    A Must Read – THE SHIP TO NOWHERE by Rona Arato – COMING OCTOBER 4th, 2016ย 

    Title: THE SHIP TO NOWHERE

    Subtitle: ON BOARD THE EXODUS 

    Series: THE HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE SERIES FOR YOUNG READERS

    Author: RONA ARATO

    Type of Book: PAPERBACK

    Genre: MIDDLE GRADE CHILDREN’S NON-FICTION (AGES 9 – 13)  

    Length: 176 PAGES

    Publisher: SECOND STORY PRESS

    Release Date: OCTOBER 4, 2016

    ISBN: 9781772600186

    Price: $14.95 USD

    Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ   

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

    THE SHIP TO NOWHERE is the true story of the voyage of the ship THE EXODUS 1947 from Sรจte, France to Palestine.

    Eleven year old Rachel Fletcher has survived the Holocaust along with her mother and older sister. Sadly, her father was killed along with so many other Jewish people during World War II.

    Emancipated from captivity, there are many displaced Jews who no longer feel that they are welcome back to their old lives. Many of them dream of returning to the Jewish Biblical Homeland of Palestine.

    The people of Palestine are ready to receive any and all Jewish people who arrive on their shores.

    Rachel and what is left of her family decide to join 4500 other Jews aboard the ship THE EXODUS 1947.

    “They were going to Eretz Yisroel, the ancestral land of the Jewish people. There, for the first time in their lives, they could live freely and safely as Jews.” 

    The conditions aboard the ship are crowded, but the refugees are hopeful of reaching their destination and finally feeling safe and welcome in a new land where they will be allowed to freely and openly practice their religion without fear of persecution.
    Told in sparing prose that will appeal to the target readership  (ages 9-13) and filled with actual photographs from the harrowing voyage, this is a book worth buying.

     The photographs bring home the reality of the voyage much more vividly than words could possibly convey.

    Middle-grade readers will be able to relate to the tale as it is told from the perspective of an eleven year old child. Adults who have yet heard this story will enjoy this book as well.

    This story may seem not to be relevant to today’s world, but due to the ongoing refugee crisis in Syria, this story is exceedingly relevant. Millions of Syrian refugees are fleeing their war-torn homeland in search of a better, safer life for themselves and for their children – much the same as the Jews aboard THE SHIP TO NOWHERE.

    I rate this book as 5 out of 5 Stars ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ and I highly recommend it to all parents and educators. 

    Purchase THE SHIP TO NOWHERE ON INDIGO ONLINE 

    Purchase online  

    Find out more about this book on GOODREADS  

    To listen to the author read an excerpt from her book The Last Train click here.


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

    RONA ARATO was born in New York and grew up in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in magazines and newspapers in Canada and the United States. Rona is the award-winning author of 20 children’s books including The Last Train, a Holocaust Story.

    She taught elementary school in Los Angeles and Toronto, adult creative writing for the Toronto District School Board, and has conducted business writing workshops for profit and non-profit organizations.

    From 1994-1998, she was an interviewer for SURVIVORS OF THE SHOA, a Steven Spielberg project that recorded the histories of Holocaust survivors.

    Rona Arato lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with her husband, Paul.

    To learn more about this author visit her online at the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE 

    GOODREADS