Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Review: The Laugh Supper

The Laugh Supper The Laugh Supper by Leonard Ryzman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Laugh Supper is most definitely a departure from the norm. For someone who loved humor, I do not get to read much of it. Based on the synopsis, I expected more originality as far as what each historical figure actually said. I feel like the majority of the conversations were various quotes strung together. It's not that it wasn't funny, it's just that having heard the quotes and jokes before, they lost their punch. It was very clever the way it was all put together, kudos to Ryzman on that part.

I kept thinking that this book was light hearted humor with a splash of intelligence. I mean Leonardo Da Vinci and JFK facing off with Groucho Marx and Mae West? The possibilities were endless. Imagine if we could get the answer about the Mona Lisa. I have about a dozen more topics that I'd like to submit to the author for the characters to spout off about. There must be more of this coming!

The Laugh Supper is a book for the beach or your hoity toity book club.

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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Review: Navigating the Road of Infertility

Navigating the Road of Infertility Navigating the Road of Infertility by Chrissie Lee Kahan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am someone who had zero experience with infertility personally. I don't even have close friends or family who have dealt with the issue so I opened this memoir completely ignorant. The struggle this couple endured just trying to get to the point where conception would be possible was almost beyond comprehension. That pressure compounded with devastation month after month when their efforts failed could have been fatal for their marriage. Not so for Chrissie and Aaron. They realized that a family didn't necessarily have to be created the old fashioned way and off they went down the yellow brick road to the foster care system.

Now here is where I do have some experience, or rather, a close family member has the experience. What I do know from her trials is that what Chrissie and Aaron witnessed is portrayed entirely accurately, unfortunately. You might think there is no way those sort of backhanded, irresponsible bordering on dangerous things would be allowed to happen in the United States but you would be wrong. Those girls were victims of that system and just one example of many. I've often wondered how any child in the foster care system grows up to be a productive member of society.

In the end, Chrissie and Aaron faced their devastating losses with dignity and poise, choosing to focus on the positives. It's not the happy ending the reader hopes for but it's real and honest.

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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Review: The Evolving Peacemaker: A Commitment to Nonviolence

The Evolving Peacemaker: A Commitment to Nonviolence The Evolving Peacemaker: A Commitment to Nonviolence by Leona Evans
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Considering the current political climate worldwide, The Evolving Peacemaker carries a message we could all use for perspective. When it feels like we are cocooned in war, terrorism, and seemingly random, senseless violence, the idea of a peaceful existence can seem like an untouchable fantasy. And perhaps it is on a global scale but what about within yourself? Leona Evans explores the idea that before there can be universal peace there must first be tranquility within ourselves. We've all heard "Be the change you wish to see in the world" - the idea being that a nonviolent world cannot be populated with violent people.

Centered around the teachings of Ghandi, the author lays out ways in which we can make positive changes now that will help future generations. This book will make you think hard and dig deep without being judgemental or accusatory.

The chapters that Evens' son, Matthew, authored are a testament to the idea that peace breeds more peace. Imagine if we all began to live peacefully, what sort of future might follow.

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Review: Brainwalker

Brainwalker Brainwalker by Robyn Mundell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Stuck inside your father's brain via a wormhole you fell into when you were messing around in his particle accelerator... If that's not the premise of a middle grade/young adult fantasy science fiction novel, I don't know what is. Brainwalker is a collaboration by Robyn Mundell and Stephan Lacast. Young Bernard finds himself smack dab in the middle of a high stakes battle for control of his father's mind - right brain versus left brain. He'll have to use both sides of his own brain to save his dad.

Brainwalker is wildly entertaining from start to finish. It is a quick read but by no means a flat one. Bernard is a boy still reeling from the loss of his mother, who he calls his best friend. He loves science, fitting as he is the child of two scientists. The world that is the inside of Floyd Knifton's brain is portrayed in a unique and fun way, accurately reflecting the differences in right and left to bring the story to life. All of the characters are fully fleshed and vivid. Illustrations throughout the book are an unexpected but perfect enhancement to the story. Non-stop wit, dialogue that flows naturally, and enough action to keep the reader furiously engaged brings Brainwalker in at the top of any genre you list it under.

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