Category Archives: Memoir

Lucky Man by Michael J. Fox

Being diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson’s changed Michael J. Fox’s life, and not all bad. In fact, he thinks of himself as lucky because in many ways, by pushing him to turn his life around, his diagnosis saved his life. Lucky Man is mostly the story of his Parkinson’s diagnosis and coming to terms with it. He is very honest about his partying, issues in his marriage, and his anger over his body betraying him. It’s an excellent read for any Michael J. Fox fan.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 85
Pages Read in 2017: 23,661
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (L in PEARL)

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I Want it Now! by Julie Dawn Cole

In 1970, Julie Dawn was selected to play the part of Veruca Salt in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I Want It Now! is mostly her memories of the magic of filming and other things related to the movie. There are lots of pictures scattered throughout the book. It’s great for her fans and fans of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 56
Pages Read in 2017: 16,967
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (I in DIAMOND)

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My Story by Elizabeth Smart

When Elizabeth Smart was 14, she was stolen from the bedroom she shared with her little sister. For the next nine months, she was held captive, repeatedly raped, and abused. This is her story. What happened to her is terrible and evil. The hope and determination that comes through as she tells about those horrible nine months is inspiring. Elizabeth Smart is truly an amazing woman. I highly recommend this book!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 53
Pages Read in 2017: 16,063
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (M in DIAMOND)

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Alex: The Life of a Child by Frank Deford

Alex Deford was born in 1971 and died just 8 years later in 1980. She had Cystic Fibrosis. Alex: The Life of a Child is the story of her life as told by her father. When I was 12 or 13 I bought a copy of this book at a yard sale. I read it multiple times. For some reason I really loved the story of Alex. It’s been years since I last read it and it is still a great story. It is touching and told with such honesty and heartbreaking love. I highly recommend reading it.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 35
Pages Read in 2017: 10,150
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (A in AQUAMARINE)

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Filed under Biography, Memoir

All the Gallant Men by Donald Stratton and Ken Gire

On December 7, 1941, Don Stratton was aboard the USS Arizona when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. He was one of the few who made it off alive, though he was burned over 60% of his body and faced a long, difficult, painful recovery. With just 5 remaining survivors, he decided to tell his story. All the Gallant Men details what happened that fateful day as well as what prompted Stratton to go into the Navy in the first place and then, after his recovery, to reenlist and go back to fight in the Pacific Theater. He explains the failures that led to the catastrophic loss of life and equipment at Pearl Harbor and finishes up talking about going back to the Memorial. The book is very well written and often quite fascinating. I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in WWII history.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 13
Pages Read in 2017: 4162
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: 52 Books Bingo (Selected by a Friend)

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Filed under History, Memoir

Rena’s Promise by Rena Kornreich Gelissen and Heather Dune Macadam

Rena was one of the first women to arrive at Auschwitz in 1942. Somehow she survived the concentration camps, through the Death March, and to liberation. Her story is incredible. Her will to live and keep her sister alive is inspiring. The majority of the story is told using Rena’s words with footnotes explaining some of the people, places, and things she mentioned. At the beginning, however, the secondary author, the one doing the interviewing, put herself in the voice of Rena and alternated back and forth between past and present tense and first and third person. It was irritating and though she did it on purpose, I think it detracted significantly from the book and was relieved when she settled into just using Rena’s words. I still highly recommend reading Rena’s Promise.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 8
Pages Read in 2017: 2900
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (R in GARNET)

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Filed under Annual Wrap-Up, Memoir, Non-Fiction

Every Day is a Holiday by George Mahood

George Mahood set out to celebrate a holiday every day for 6 months and chronicle his experience. The result was often quite amusing, particularly given his lovely British sense of humor. Sometimes he provided interesting information about the background of holidays. My only complaint is he didn’t include every day. Every Day Is a Holiday is a fun read. I totally recommend it.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 6
Pages Read in 2017: 2177
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (E in GARNET)

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Filed under Humor, Memoir