Category Archives: Book Reviews

A long way home by Saroo Brierley

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Amy A Long Way HomeNot the most beautifully written, A Long Way Home is an extraordinary story of a very small, lost, boy holding tight to his memories, being supported by his adoptive parents and using technology methodically and painstakingly to find his family. It is uplifting and hopeful, if not very revealing of personality.

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New Release: Renaissance: The Nora White Story (Book One) by Yecheilyah Ysrayl…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Yes, it’s Yecheilyah again. (Don’t everyone wave at the same time ). I borrowed the house keys from your favorite Ape to give you a last-minute reminder that Book One in The Nora White Story is available in just two days. It has been an amazing journey, filled with learning curves, ups, downs, delays, and revelations for sure. I hope this book is as fun and enlightening to you reading it as it was for me to write it.

Here’s what readers have to say:

“The author really did her research, touching on the feud between Zora and Langston over a play written by both, but only Zora was given credit. The way she wove Nora into the middle of the feud was genius. It was reminiscent of Forrest Gump a bit. (That, in my world is a HUGE compliment – I love Forrest Gump).” – Lisa W. Tetting

“When…

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A Call for Reviewers (of Memoir)

Book Review picture

My memoir Even Rain Is Just Water is now available for review. And I’m offering a digital copy (epub or mobi) of the ARC (advanced review copy) via Netgalley to followers of my blog, ahead of the June 30th paperback release. I know some of you love to read memoirs as much as I do!

Here is what a few readers have said:

“Even Rain Is Just Water is a thought-provoking, tear-jerking and heart-wrenching memoir depicting the journey of a child as she endures developing tools to escape a stifling home environment. You’ll cheer her on as she approaches each heartache with strength and determination.”

BETTY TUCKER, author of Don’t Worry If the Mule Goes Blind

“WOW! Lynette’s account of rejection, revelation and redemption will evoke a myriad of emotions. Her story will offer hope to many. It’s proof that with faith, strength, courage, and determination you can move forward, no matter what obstacles you may face along the way.”

DONA M. DEANE, author of It’s All Up to You: Strive to Feel Better, Do Better and Live Better

“All through her childhood, Lyn knows that her mothers feels differently about her than she does about Lyn’s sister Ne-Ne. To escape what she does not understand, she embarks on a painful life filled with homelessness and trauma. Redemption will come at a price she cannot imagine. Thoughtfully and sensitively presented.

POLLY KRIZE, Netgalley Reviewer

“Like the flower coming up through the sidewalk, Lyn triumphs again and again.”

CHERILYN CHRISTEN CLOUGH  littleredsurvivor.com

“A remarkable and heart-wrenching accounting of Davis’ … undeniable courage and tolerance for suffering a lifetime of conflict, adversity and emotional abuse…”

D.G. KAYE, author of P.S. I Forgive You: A Broken Legacy and Conflicted Heart 

“A courageous voyage of one daughter’s remarkable journey in finding love, security and a place to call home against the demons of her past.”

MARY A PEREZ, author of Running in Hells: A Memoir of Grit and Grace

“This book tells the author’s incredible life story. The author has survived so much abuse, yet still has a strong faith in God. She is inspiring!”

CYNTHIA BAILEY-RUG Cynthiabaileyrug.wordpress.com

“Firstly, I love the title… This is a tale of God, belief and is beautifully told. I would recommend as a book club read as it asks as many questions as it answers.”

TRACY SHEPHARD, Netgalley Reviewer

“Great memoir! And I would highly recommend this book.

LISA CLARK, Netgally Reviewer

 

Read the first few chapters on Amazon’s Look Inside. If you would like to review Even Rain Is Just Water, contact me at lynettedavisauthor (at) gmail (dot) com before June 30th.

Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8 Ways to Convince Book Bloggers To Review Your Book

Words Can Inspire the World

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Book bloggers actually do want to review your book! But we don’t have a lot of time so when you forget to include vital information or don’t follow the submission instructions, your requests end up in the trash bin. Here are 8 ways to convince me—and other book bloggers—to review your book:

There’s no reason to pile on and make your request email an epic read – that’s your novel’s job. When approaching reviewers keep your request on point. Give each blogger exactly what they ask for – no more, no less. Remember, we get lots of emails and the easier you make it for us, the greater your chance of acceptance. Here’s what should always be included.

1. Reviewer’s name: Guess what? You may have to read through the blog a bit to find it. Check contact information. Read all the way to the bottom of submission guidelines…

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4 Quick Ways To Write A #BookReview And Overcome Your Fears #MondayBlogs | Rosie Amber

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Authors WANT  Reviews

Source: 4 Quick Ways To Write A #BookReview And Overcome Your Fears #MondayBlogs | Rosie Amber

Authors WANT  Reviews

Make an Author's Day

Simple! How many times have you read pleas on social media for readers to write reviews? – Probably Loads.

Does the thought of writing a book review send you racing to the hills? – I can see plenty of you nodding in agreement.

WHAT holds you back?

Reading Soft edge

6 common replies:

I can’t write.

I can’t write paragraphs about a book.

I don’t know what to write.

I’m afraid of what people will think of my review.

I’m an author and don’t want a backlash on my own books.

I don’t have the time.

Let’s turn this around

I can’t write – I bet if you can read, you can write.

I can’t write paragraphs about a book – Good News, Amazon accepts one sentence reviews now as do many other…

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LaFifeReviews

Death_to_stock_photography_wild_5You have finally finished your book. After all the long hours of back numbing writing and research, your baby has finally arrived. You have been dreaming about the success of this book before it was actually written. You can see yourself selling a million copies and countless of agents are just trying to find creative ways to talk to you about representation and movie deals. Let’s just take a breath for a second, after months or maybe years of self-doubt and discipline you are finally finished with your book. For the modern author, the work has just begun. There used to be a time when all a writer had to do was concentrate on writing good material their book got published, they sat and enjoyed the fruits of their labor. That reality quickly became a fantasy  after the birth of social media, writers are expected to be more involved with…

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“Passing” and the Color Line

This is a book review of Yecheilyah Ysrayl’s Stella series that delves into the issue of “passing” and the color line. After a comment on the post about Juanita Moore (the actress in the movie Imitation of Life), I thought some of you might be interested. Here’s the link:

https://thepbsblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/05/silvers-book-reviews-beyond-the-colored-line-stella-book-2-by-yecheilyah-ysrayl/

BOOK REVIEW: Don’t Worry About the Mule Going Blind: Hazel’s Daughter

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Author:  Betty Tucker
Genre: Memoir
Pages: 186

Blurb:

Betty Tucker came of age in Belle Glade, Florida, infamous for its poverty and violence (e.g., see the Wikipedia entry and the 2006 documentary One Percent). Her childhood was one of debilitating poverty, borne of racism: exploitive migrant labor, multiple rapes and other abuse, chronic illness among her family and acquaintances … the list is long and bitter. Betty survived not only by sheer hard work but also by nurturing a nascent belief that she deserved better. She moved to California, earned her college degree, and raised a family. Then, in 1997, she began a long and eventually successful search for the twin girls she had given up for adoption thirty years earlier. Fear, insecurity, sexual abuse, want, neglect: This memoir will look beyond the description of these difficulties in the author’s life to examine how they stifled her ability to shape her own life, how she acquired the tools she needed to take more control of her life, and what impact her choices, both intentional and unintentional, had on her life and those of her children.    

I purchased the ebook version because I wanted to start reading it right away. Upon opening it, I only intended to read a couple of pages, but found I couldn’t put it down. This is an empowering memoir! The chronological structure enhances the author’s narrative style.

Initially, Betty and her six siblings, along with their mother (a light brown-skinned woman with hazel eyes) and father, lived in a three-room house–two rooms and a kitchen with a wood stove, a well in the back yard and an outhouse. Back then, the lack of running water, electricity or indoor toilet was considered “functional poor,” coupled with the fact that they sometimes ran out of food. As dire as this sounds, Betty’s family was actually one of the fortunate families because her father had a steady job at the mill where he worked from sun up to sun down.

When Betty was nine, the mill burned down and her family began a life as migrant workers. They left their three-room house in Alabama and traveled to New York in a large truck, similar to a large U-Haul truck but much larger, along with a lot of other families to pick mostly beans and occasionally strawberries. Everyone had to work to support the family. Betty babysat her two younger siblings along with a neighbor’s children while the rest of her family worked. Having spent my formative years in Florida among migrant workers and laborers, alike, I was struck by the authenticity of the setting and the characters. I either knew of someone like Betty’s family members or had observed them from a distance. Betty’s narrative style, like she was talking to a friend, took me back in time as I experienced her world of hard work with only a few pleasures.

Each one of the characters are distinct and memorable. For instance, “Ma always appeared to be satisfied with making babies which she did like it was biscuits: whenever they were born, her job was complete.” The actual care of the baby was then turned over to one of Betty’s older sisters. This and the way Betty and another sibling were treated led me to suspect that her mother was narcissistic.  My suspicions were confirmed when Betty described her mother’s relationship with her children, “Ask not what I can do for you. It’s what you can do for me.” It was difficult reading about the beatings which Betty described as “torture… At some point during the beating, I’d feel no pain: my body had exhausted all the signals it could sent to my brain to register any feeling. But ma did not stop.” When the bean season in New York was over, Betty’s family returned to Belle Glade to work in the sugar cane fields. After the sugar cane season was over, they moved back to New York to pick beans again.  This went on for a couple of years.

When Betty was eleven, she started playing Pitty Pat (cards) at the Card Club Shack an establishment for males. She learned to play by putting her ear to the wall and listening to the games on the other side of the wall. When she started playing, no one stopped her. When she won, which was often, she presented her winnings to her mother just for the touch of her mother’s hand when her mother took the money from her. She wanted to “feel human, so I could know that life was real.” Reading this reminded me of the protagonist in Toni Morrison’s God Bless the Child who went out of her way to feel her mother’s touch because it was so rare for her mother to touch her.

Betty’s father, weary of the migrant life, secures steady work in Bell Glade. Shortly thereafter, Betty’s mother leaves her father for another man and Betty’s and all her siblings, except her sister Johnnie, return to New York to continue doing migrant work. A short time later, Betty joins her sister Johnnie to live with her father who was still grappling with his wife’s infidelity. School was Betty’s escape and she excelled at it. At one point, she was the only one of her siblings in school. “Life is about choices,” Betty writes. Reading Betty’s story, I couldn’t help but admire her determination to rise above her circumstances to live a better life, even though she had to make some really tough choices in order to do that. Even though Betty began in a dire situation, she didn’t stay there. Like the old saying goes, It’s not where you start, it’s where you end.

I absolutely loved this book! If you like I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, you’ll love this book.

Book Review: The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr

A View From My Summerhouse

The Art of Memoir By Mary KarrMary Karr’s newly released The Art of Memoir couldn’t have arrived at a better time for me.

As bestselling author of The Liar’s Club, Cherry and Lit, and teacher of the form for thirty years, I couldn’t wait to devour her latest creation.

Written for both the “wannabe memoirist” and “general reader”, Karr’s passion for the reading, writing and teaching of her craft bursts through the door of every chapter.

As she tells her students:

“Listen up. I’m a passionate, messy teacher. I give a rat’s ass, and my sole job is to help students fall in love with what I already worship, which means, I show you stuff I’ve read that I can’t live without.”

(An extensive list of all the memoirs she has both read and taught stretches over five pages at the back of the book and had me gawping in awe.)

And this is what…

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Secrets in Big Sky Country Review

My Travels with Depression

FINAL SBSC front cover 44-17-15jpgIt was a great honour to be one of the first to read Mandy Smith’s new book, “Secrets in Big Sky Country.” I’ve looked forward to the release date and the opportunity to share this tragic and courageous memoir, which I highly recommend.

Mandy and Cliff’s childhood changed long before they understood the consequences of their mother’s decisions to divorce their father and then embark on a relationship with his brother. This would affect the siblings for the rest of their lives, but it was never about the children, only the narcissistic mother’s needs were important.

From the age of three years old, Mandy came to know her uncle as daddy, who quickly replaced the attention that was severely lacking from her self-absorbed mother. Mandy was his special little girl, but while her innocence soaked up his apparent attentiveness, he had other depraved ideas of his own. His manipulative grooming…

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