Interesting Books for Bronx Week

Welcome to Bronx Week 2018, a week-long celebration of all the amazing things that are great and unique about the Bronx! I have lived in the Bronx all my life and it may have its ups and downs, but it still a place I love and still call home. So in honor of Bronx Week, here are some interesting book selections that either take place in the Bronx or delve in the history of this mysterious borough: Continue reading “Interesting Books for Bronx Week”

10 Books to Read If You Like Victoria

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Credit: PBS.org

I am so excited that Masterpiece: Victoria returns for another season on PBS, this Sunday, January 14. I am in love with this show! It is such a great biographical adaptation that tells the beginning years of Queen Victoria’s reign. The show is not only entertaining and engrossing, but informative. It gives audiences a chance to learn more about this iconic monarch. Continue reading “10 Books to Read If You Like Victoria”

Book Review: Muslim Girl: Coming of Age by Amani Al-Khatahtbeh

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Format:  Hardcover

Pages: 144 pages

Published: October 18th 2016

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Genre: Autobiography, Biography, Memoir

 

 

Synopsis:

At nine years old, Amani Al-Khatahtbeh watched from her home in New Jersey as two planes crashed into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. That same year, she heard her first racial slur. At age eleven, when the United States had begun to invade Iraq and the television was flooded with anti-Muslim commentary, Amani felt overwhelmed with feelings of intense alienation from American society. At thirteen, her family took a trip to her father’s native homeland of Jordan, and Amani experienced firsthand a culture built on pure religion, not Islamic stereotypes.

Inspired by her trip and after years of feeling like her voice as a Muslim woman was marginalized and neglected during a time when all the media could talk about was, ironically, Muslim women, Amani created a website called MuslimGirl. As the editor-in-chief, she put together a team of Muslim women and started a life dedicated to activism.

Muslim Girl: Coming of Age is a poignant memoir that describes a young Muslim American’s growing up in a world impacted by 9/11. Amani discusses the the anti-Muslim sentiments and the racism she encountered while growing up. Through her writing, you can feel the pain of not only the hate she experienced, but the pain of Amani hiding her true self from others. The result for Amani: heartbreaking, painful and eye-opening. Continue reading “Book Review: Muslim Girl: Coming of Age by Amani Al-Khatahtbeh”

Book Review: Jane Austen: A Life Revealed by Catherine Reef

8969754Format:  Hardcover

Pages: 208 pages

Published: June 6, 2011

Publisher: Clarion Books

Genre: Nonfiction, Biography, Young Adult

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Jane Austen’s popularity never seems to fade. She has hordes of devoted fans, and there have been numerous adaptations of her life and work. But who was Jane Austen? The writer herself has long remained a mystery. And despite the resonance her work continues to have for teens, there has never been a young adult trade biography on Austen.

Catherine Reef changes that with this highly readable account. She takes an intimate peek at Austen’s life and innermost feelings, interweaving her narrative with well-crafted digests of each of Austen’s published novels. The end result is a book that is almost as much fun to read as Jane’s own work—and truly a life revealed.

Continue reading “Book Review: Jane Austen: A Life Revealed by Catherine Reef”

Book Review: Cutting the Soul: A Memoir by Theresa Larsen

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Pages: 348 pages

Publisher: Createspace

Published: December 19, 2014

Genre: Biography & Memoir

Synopsis:
Theresa Larsen’s son, Matthew, comes to her with a cut on his hand, explaining it away as an accident with a pocket knife. But as she cleans and treats the wound, she discovers dozens of slashes covering both of his arms. Thus begins Larsen’s compelling personal memoir about what it’s like to be the parent of a mentally ill teenager.

“Cutting the Soul” offers a firsthand look at mental illness, both financially and emotionally. Matthew, fourteen years old when he starts cutting, goes on to face other hardships, including suicide attempts, severe depression, and multiple stays in psychiatric hospitals.

Readers get an inside look at Matthew’s life through the inclusion of his selected journal entries, and Larsen shares her own struggles with personal demons as she tries to help her son. It’s a first-person account and an educational guide worth reading for any parent who’s coping with the mental illness of a child.”

Theresa Larsen’s uphill battle with her son’s mental illness emotionally and beautifully discusses an issue that unfortunately doesn’t get the attention that it deserves. I’m not saying that this was not an easy read and I’m not just discussing the uncomfortable and descriptive details of Matthew’s trials. But difficult for someone who has suffer through mental illness, like myself. I needed to read this, not just to be informative, but for my own well being. Like both Matthew and Theresa discovered, I wasn’t alone in my struggles.

Continue reading “Book Review: Cutting the Soul: A Memoir by Theresa Larsen”

Book Review: Love in the Elephant Tent: How Running Away with the Circus Brought Me Home by Kathleen Cremonesi

Love in the Elephant Tent: How Running Away with the Circus Brought Me Home

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 400 pages

Publisher: ECW Press

Published: May 12, 2015

Genre: Memoir

Synopsis (from Publisher): 

“If you live life without a net, what happens when you fall?

Kathleen Cremonesi knew early on she wanted to be different. Determined to avoid following in her mother’s footsteps to an ill-fated marriage, Kathleen left Oregon in her early 20s to travel across Europe. On a whim, this former administrative assistant with wanderlust took a job as a dancer in a circus and, working her way up, became an ostrich-riding, shark-taming showgirl.

Kathleen bonds with the exotic animals that could strike and kill at any moment, but instead bring her a peace she has never known. And when she stumbles into the arms of Stefano, the sexy elephant keeper, she finds a man who understands her wild spirit.

With thrilling prose and vivid descriptions, Kathleen takes the reader around the Mediterranean, where she discovers unexpected friends and learns how to cook, forgive, and love — across language barriers.”

Continue reading “Book Review: Love in the Elephant Tent: How Running Away with the Circus Brought Me Home by Kathleen Cremonesi”