Book Review: This is How I Save My Life by Amy B. Scher

This Is How I Save My Life: From California to India, a True Story Of Finding Everything When You Are Willing To Try AnythingThis Is How I Save My Life: From California to India, a True Story Of Finding Everything When You Are Willing To Try Anything by Amy B. Scher

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 stars.

Thank you to GoodReads, the author Amy B. Scher, and @Gallery Books / Simon & Schuster for this Advanced Readers Copy to review.

Over the years, several people have told me I should write about my journey with Lyme disease and chronic illness. Now I don’t need to, Amy Scher has told a story that mirrors mine, except I’m hoping to try stem cell therapy in the next year or two; it’s something I’ve been researching since I was first disabled in 2009. Almost ten years later, I’m almost ready to try it, and this book comes out. Synchronicity.

What she writes could be a page out of my life (pg 163):
“I could never do what you are doing.”
Honestly, I’m no superhero. You could totally rock this too, if you had to. In fact, we could all do anything if we absolutely had to. I once thought I could never do what I’m doing either, except for now I don’t have a choice and that’s exactly how I’m doing it in the first place. Some nights when I go to bed, I think to myself ‘I cannot do this, not for one more day.’ Eventually I fall asleep…and then…I wake up with a life that is just waiting for me to wade through all over again. You do it because even when — especially when — you think you can’t you’re somehow still making it happen. And you do it every minute of every day — no breaks allowed — because if you don’t every single thing that you’ve barely been holding on to might fall apart too.

The writing in this book is outstanding. The honesty is heart wrenching.

I’m done, because I don’t have the energy to type any longer.

If you’re chronically ill, or know someone who is chronically ill, you should read this book. If you have Lyme disease, this is a must.

4/11-23/18

GoodReads review

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Book Review: Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage

Baby TeethBaby Teeth by Zoje Stage
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 stars.

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for a review copy of this book.

I love reading author acknowledgements, this book has a fine example.

Unputdownable. (Is that a word? Why, actually, it is! “adjective, informal, (of a book) so engrossing that one cannot stop reading it.” Oxford English Dictionary, online:https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/def… )

But I digress.

And to digress again, this excerpt sums up chronic illness perfectly, “She resented her body’s betrayal. She Still couldn’t express how insecure it made her, how she lived on a precipice. The most basic parts of her could fail, and there was nothing she could do to stop it.” (p. 154)

This book kept me up all night, trying to read through all in one sitting.

Wow. Tragic. I hope you… enjoy?

Read 6/4-5/18

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Book Review: Flashmob by Christopher Farnsworth

Flashmob (John Smith, #2)Flashmob by Christopher Farnsworth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4 stars.

Second in the John Smith series. This was a Goodreads Giveaway, I’d like to thank the author, HarperCollins Publishers, and GoodReads for the opportunity to read this book.

In preparation for reading this, I read Killfile, the first in the series. I could not put it down and highly recommend it. Flashmob has a great premise, but didn’t hold my attention as much. Though, after saying that, I did read this in two days.

Read: 6/6-8/18

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Book Review: Killfile by Christopher Farnsworth

Killfile (John Smith, #1)Killfile by Christopher Farnsworth
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 stars.

First book in the John Smith series. Got it because I’ve gotten the second book in the series as a giveaway, and I don’t like to read books out of sequence if I can help it. Especially second books; so much character background is typically included in the first book of a series that is missed if that book isn’t read.

My first impression, that remained throughout the book, is that the voice reminds me of Dean Koontz, but grittier, sharper writing.

This was a page turner, I finished in one sitting. Can’t wait to read the next book!

Read: 6/6/18

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Book Review: Confessions of the Fox by Jordy Rosenberg

Confessions of the FoxConfessions of the Fox by Jordy Rosenberg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4 stars.

Giveaway, I’d like to thank the author and publisher for this Advanced Readers Copy.

Great story of the repressed and disenfranchised. Style, possible historical document with modern day editors notes, keeps niggling at my brain, but I can’t remember what book it reminds me of. Certainly nothing similar in topic or time period.

A passage that I particularly like, page 163: “Spinoza once ask’d himself the question of whether or not ’twas acceptable for a person to lie to save his own life. Do you know what he said? … He said that it is immoral for free individuals to limit another person’s power to be free, to act freely, to make free choices. No matter the circumstances. … You’re free. You freed yourself. You’re free. And anyway … I’ve seen people much free than you hold fast to honesty. Even in the face of death.”

By page 262, I decided this is a brilliant and complicated book.

Like all the best historical fiction, the novel has a comprehensive “Resources”, aka bibliography. I also believe that the acknowledgements (page 319) are worth reading.

Read 3/29-4/14/18

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Book Review: The Obsidian Chamber by Preston & Child

The Obsidian Chamber (Pendergast #16)The Obsidian Chamber by Douglas Preston
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 stars.

Number 16 in the Pendergast series.

Though this is set in current day, the characters and world are quite developed. This is a series I highly recommend reading from the beginning. A series I highly recommend.

Read 3/11-13/18

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Book review: How to Walk Away by Katherine Center

How to Walk AwayHow to Walk Away by Katherine Center
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 stars.

ARC from the publisher, thank you very much St. Martin’s Press for this early edition; also to Shelf Awareness for the opportunity.

This first person narrative is lovely and real. If I were ever to write fiction, this is a style and voice that would appeal to me.

I *knew* I shouldn’t start this after dinner. As much as I wanted to sleep, “One more chapter, please?” If you start in the morning with an open day, you might be able to tuck this away in one sitting. I’d recommend that, if possible.

Being chronically ill for the last nine years, using a cane or wheelchair for all outings and being in almost constant pain, this book hit home. Life can change overnight (or in an instant) and one has to appreciate the good and live in the moment as much as possible.

From the publisher letter:
“Life can change in the blink of an eye.
But strength is found in weakness.
Laughter lives in the darkest moments.
And love shows up when you learn to move on.”

I can attest to the truth of this.

This book made me laugh out loud, cry more than once (and I rarely cry), and smile wistfully while my heart sang.

Thank you Katherine Center, for a difficult, but beautiful, book.

Read: 3/8-3/9/2018

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