Tag Archives: memoir

Book Mail!!!

Of This Much I'm Sure: A Memoir

Of This Much I’m Sure by Nadine Kenney Johnstone

Paperback, 300 pages
Expected publication: April 11th 2017 by She Writes Press
Synopsis
At twenty-two, Chicagoan Nadine Kenney is thrilled to meet her future husband, Jamie, while vacationing in Florida.After a whirlwind, long-distance romance, Nadine leaves her friends, family, and city to join Jamie in suburban Massachusetts. Once married, they begin trying for a baby without knowing how hard that road will become.
Nadine soon faces the little-known horrors of IVF when a procedure causes severe internal bleeding, and she wakes up from emergency surgery with a six-inch scar instead of a baby bump. In the difficult year that follows, anxiety and additional failed fertility treatments threaten her new marriage and her mental state. By some saving grace, she eventually becomes pregnant naturally, but the horrors are not over: her son is diagnosed with potentially terminal kidney complications. Ultimately, Nadine learns that in an unpredictable life, the only thing she can be sure of is the healing power of hope.” (GR)
I received this book for review from the publisher at SheWrites Press. They sent me an email asking if I would like to read and I am so glad I said yes. The need for me to expand my reading comfort zone is very high. I’ve only read one other memoir and I loved it. Plus look at that cover! It is so sweet and has that buttery feel to it!
So thank you Emily Adams at SheWrites Press for sending me this beautiful book. I will read it as soon as I can and get my review up!

About the Author

Nadine Kenney Johnstone

Nadine Kenney Johnstone is the author of the infertility memoir, Of This Much I’m Sure. She teaches at Loyola University and received her MFA from Columbia College in Chicago. Her work has been featured in Chicago magazine, The Moth, PANK, and various anthologies, including The Magic of Memoir. Nadine is a writing coach who presents at conferences internationally. She lives near Chicago with her family. (Amazon)

Follow her at nadinekenneyjohnstone.com.

 

Bookhaul!!!

Hey guys! I’m back with another bookhaul. It seems like forever since I’ve done one of these. I really need to get a charger for my laptop asap. Today I bought 9 books from my work and I can’t wait to read them!!!

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The Women’s Murder Club is stalked by a killer with nothing to lose.

San Francisco Detective Lindsay Boxer is loving her life as a new mother. With an attentive husband, a job she loves, plus best friends who can talk about anything from sex to murder, things couldn’t be better.

Then the FBI sends Lindsay a photo of a killer from her past, and her happy world is shattered. The picture captures a beautiful woman at a stoplight. But all Lindsay sees is the psychopath behind those seductive eyes: Mackie Morales, the most deranged and dangerous mind the Women’s Murder Club has ever encountered.

In this pulse-racing, emotionally charged novel by James Patterson, the Women’s Murder Club must find a killer–before she finds them first.

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Everyone thinks Emmy Dockery is crazy. Obsessed with finding the link between hundreds of unsolved cases, Emmy has taken leave from her job as an FBI researcher. Now all she has are the newspaper clippings that wallpaper her bedroom, and her recurring nightmares of an all-consuming fire.

Not even Emmy’s ex-boyfriend, field agent Harrison “Books” Bookman, will believe her that hundreds of kidnappings, rapes, and murders are all connected. That is, until Emmy finds a piece of evidence he can’t afford to ignore. More murders are reported by the day–and they’re all inexplicable. No motives, no murder weapons, no suspects. Could one person really be responsible for these unthinkable crimes?

Invisible is James Patterson’s scariest, most chilling stand-alone thriller yet.

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Entrancing in its lyricism, In Sunlight and in Shadow so powerfully draws you into New York at the dawn of the modern age that, as in a vivid dream, you will not want to leave. In 1946, Harry Copeland has returned after fighting in the 82nd Airborne from North Africa all the way to the Elbe. Reluctantly assuming the direction of the family fine leather goods manufacture, he finds his life unsatisfactory and on hold – until he is “accidentally” united with Catherine Thomas Hale, the woman for whom he has been waiting all his life, although the forces behind his patience have never been revealed to him. A young actress, singer, and heiress, she has been waiting for him, even if she has known this only in flashes that do not come clear to her until the end of the narrative, and that have not prevented her engagement to a much older man who has been taking advantage of her since childhood.

The meeting of Catherine and Harry, their courtship, and their intense love, play out on the stage of New York awakening at mid-century – in the deep worlds of the theater, industry, and high finance, and during the collision of aristocratic New York society with the formidable wave of second-generation, fully assimilated Jews. Though after being broken in the war Harry wants nothing but peace, family, and love, organized crime carries on its extortions as always, even in a city now full of the kind of men who stormed the Point du Hoc and the Siegfried Line. This becomes his moral and physical struggle. While Catherine’s is of a different nature, it is just as consequential, and the courage required of her is perhaps even greater.

Of the widest scope – from the air over Sicily to the heat-and-color-saturated Sacramento Valley; the Bay of Biscay to the sea off Maine; the steel mills of Gary, Indiana to the beaches of Amagansett; London in the blitz; the invasion of Normandy; and a single shell gliding across an American lake in August; from the luminous houses of the wealthy to the pounding of the boards beneath a Broadway chorus line – this is yet, first, and foremost a love story, but also a hymn to New York of the period when one great age elided into the other that we call our own. Rich in language and classical allusion, it is true to the mottoes at its outset: the Dantean “Amor mi mosse, che me fa parlare,” “Love moved me, and made me speak,” and to the lines of Lucretius that describe Catherine’s extraordinary representation of the powers, beauties, and graces of womanhood – “Nothing comes forth into the shores of light, or is glad or lovely without you.”

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A sequel to J.M. Barrie’s classic story, Peter Pan, by the author of Shannara

Peter, now grown up, returns to London with his wife and two children. During their visit to Wendy, the children disappear from the nursery, and all that can be found is a cryptic note, signed “Jas Hook, Captain”.

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One miscarriage too many spelled the end of Max and Zoe Baxter’s marriage. Though the former couple went quite separate ways, their fates remained entangled: After veering into alcoholism, Max is saved in multiple senses by his fundamentalist conversion; Zoe, for her part, finds healing relief in music therapy and the friendship, then romantic love with Vanessa, her counselor. After Zoe and Vanessa, now married, decide to have a baby, they realize that they must join battle with Max, who objects on both religious and financial grounds. Like her House Rules and several other previous Jodi Picoult novels, Sing You Home grapples with hot button issues. The novel also includes a CD of songs, each matched with a chapter in the book. Perfect for book clubs.

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Jodi Picoult has touched readers deeply with her acclaimed novels, such as Keeping Faith and The Pact. Gifted with a remarkable ability to make us share her characters’ feelings (People), Picoult now explores the complex choices of the heart for a young Amish woman — the compelling journey of discovery for an urban lawyer who befriends and protects her.

The small town of Paradise, Pennsylvania, is a jewel in Lancaster County — known for its picture-postcard landscapes and bucolic lifestyle. But that peace is shattered by the discovery of a dead infant in the barn of an Amish farmer. A police investigation quickly leads to two startling disclosures: the newborn’s mother is an unmarried Amish woman, eighteen-year-old Katie Fisher. And the infant did not die of natural causes. Although Katie denies the medical proof that she gave birth to the child, circumstantial evidence leads to her arrest for the murder of her baby.

One hundred miles away, Philadelphia defense attorney Ellie Hathaway has achieved an enviable, high-profile career. But her latest court victory has set the sands shifting beneath her. Single at thirty-nine and unsatisfied with her relationship, Ellie doesn’t look back when she turns down her chance to make partner and takes off for an open-ended stay at her great-aunt’s home in Paradise. Fate brings her to Katie Fisher. Suddenly, Ellie sees the chance to defend a client who truly needs her, not just one who can afford her. But taking on this case challenges Ellie in more ways than one. She finds herself not only in a clash of wills with a client who does not want to be defended but also in a clash of cultures with a people whose channels of justice are markedly different from her own. Immersing herself in Katie Fisher’s life — and in a world founded on faith, humility, duty, and honesty — Ellie begins to understand the pressures and sacrifices of those who to live plain. As she peels away the layers of fact and fantasy, Ellie calls on an old friend for guidance. Now, just as this man from Ellie’s past reenters her life, she must uncover the truth about a complex case, a tragic loss, the bonds of love — and her own deepest fears and desires.

Moving seamlessly from psychological drama to courtroom suspense, Plain Truth is a triumph of contemporary storytelling. Jodi Picoult presents a fascinating portrait of Amish life rarely witnessed by those outside the faith — and discovers a place where circumstances are not always what they seem, where love meets falsehood, and where relationships grow strong enough to span two worlds.

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att and Liz Logelin were high school sweethearts. After years of long-distance dating, the pair finally settled together in Los Angeles, and they had it all: a perfect marriage, a gorgeous new home, and a baby girl on the way. Liz’s pregnancy was rocky, but they welcomed Madeline, beautiful and healthy, into the world on March 24, 2008.

Just twenty-seven hours later, Liz suffered a pulmonary embolism and died instantly, without ever holding the daughter whose arrival she had so eagerly awaited. Though confronted with devastating grief and the responsibilities of a new and single father, Matt did not surrender to devastation; he chose to keep moving forward– to make a life for Maddy.

In this memoir, Matt shares bittersweet and often humorous anecdotes of his courtship and marriage to Liz; of relying on his newborn daughter for the support that she unknowingly provided; and of the extraordinary online community of strangers who have become his friends. In honoring Liz’s legacy, heartache has become solace.

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Ashley Judd is an award-winning film and stage actor known for her roles in both box-office hits and art-house gems, and the daughter and sister of country-music royalty. In 2002, drawing on a deep well of empathy, she found her true calling: as a humanitarian and advocate for those suffering in neglected parts of the world.

Asked why she was opting out of a successful career, walking away while she was one of the highest-paid women in Hollywood, Ashley herself could not provide an answer. She simply knew that after her first trip to the notorious brothels, slums, and hospices of southeast Asia, her own life depended on advocating on behalf of the vulnerable. Promising each new sister, “I will never forget you,” Ashley began writing extraordinary diaries—on which this memoir is based—expanding her capacity to relate to, and to share with a global audience, stories of survival and resilience.

Along the way, Ashley realized that the coping strategies she had developed to deal with her own emotional pain, stemming from childhood abandonment, were no longer working. Seeking in-patient treatment in 2006 for the grief that had nearly killed her, Ashley found not only her own recovery and an enriched faith but an expanded kit of spiritual tools that energized and advanced her feminist social justice work.

Now, in this deeply moving and unforgettable memoir, Ashley Judd describes her odyssey, as a left-behind lost child attains international prominence as a fiercely dedicated advocate. Her story ranges from anger to forgiveness, isolation to interdependence, depression to activism. In telling it, she resoundingly answers the ineffable question about the relationship between healing oneself and service to others.

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Thad Beaumont would like to say he is innocent. He’d like to say he has nothing to do with the series of monstrous murders that keep coming closer to his home. But how can Thad disown the ultimate embodiment of evil that goes by the name he gave it-and signs its crimes with Thad’s bloody fingerprints?

Thank you for checking out my blog!!

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Beautiful Affliction ~ Book Review

Beautiful Affliction

A Memoir

By: Lene Fogelberg

Published Sept 15, 2015

Synopsis

Lene Fogelberg is dying—she is sure of it—but no doctor in Sweden, her home country, believes her. Love stories enfold her, with her husband, her two precious daughters, her enchanting surroundings, but the question she has carried in her heart since childhood—Will I die young?—is threatening all she holds dear, even her sanity. When her young family moves to the US, an answer, a diagnosis, is finally found: she is in the last stages of a fatal congenital heart disease. But is it too late?

Unflinchingly honest and often harrowing, Beautiful Affliction is an inspiring account of growing up and living on the verge of death—and of the beauty, harshness, loneliness, and, ultimately, unbending love that can be found there.

My Thoughts

I was notified on FB that a couple of ARC copies of this memoir was being given away for review. I jumped on it after reading the synopsis and asked Lene for a copy. I was so excited to be picked to read it. I planned on reading it before the deadline of the 15th but I have been battling migraines this month. I did however just finished reading it and I was blown away.

There is nothing in this book that I did not like, well except for maybe the ignorance of doctors and the health care system of Sweden but that has changed now.

It is so beautifully written and it is a fast read. One of the things that is the driving force of this book is the love between Lene and Anders. It is a genuine unbreakable bond between them, that people nowadays have no idea can be possible. I am happy to have found my own Anders.

Yes, love and family are the main driving force but there is also the monster that she feels in her chest her whole life. I have no idea how I would have reacted if I were in her shoes when the doctors kept telling her it is nothing or something totally different.

There are some heartbreaking and very gut wrenching parts in this books. It did make me hold my own breath ( roller coaster scene) and made me cry. I have 2 girls of my own and I have no idea how I could leave them either.

Thank you for sharing your story with me Lene. It made me take a step back and enjoy the little things and times I have with my own small family.

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Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble

Lene Fogelberg

About the Author

Lene Fogelberg is an award-winning poet and double open-heart surgery survivor. Born in Sweden, her curiosity for culture and language has drawn her to live abroad, in Germany, France and the United States, studying German, French, and English along the way. She currently lives with her family in Indonesia, where she is working on a novel that takes place in Jakarta.

You’ve Got Mail

I am so excited guys. I have officially received my first physical ARC. I started reading it that day! Didn’t get to far but I am dedicating today to reading just this book!!

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Not only is this my first ARC but I made an exception to this book. I was so moved by Lene’s story that I had to read her memoir as well.

Synopsis
Lene Fogelberg is dying―she is sure of it―but no doctor in Sweden, her home country, believes her. Love stories enfold her, with her husband, her two precious daughters, her enchanting surroundings, but the question she has carried in her heart since childhood― Will I die young?―is threatening all she holds dear, even her sanity. When her young family moves to the US, an answer, a diagnosis, is finally found: she is in the last stages of a fatal congenital heart disease. But is it too late? 
Unflinchingly honest and often harrowing,Beautiful Affliction is an inspiring account of growing up and living on the verge of death―and of the beauty, harshness, loneliness, and, ultimately, unbending love that can be found there.

About the Author

Lene Fogelberg is an award-winning poet and double open-heart surgery survivor. Born in Sweden, she currently lives with her family in Indonesia, where she is working on a novel that takes place in Jakarta. Learn more at www.lenefogelberg.com.

It will be published on Sept.15th. So go pre-order your copy now!!