Posted in Fun tidbits, review

Review: Bart Simpson’s Manual of Mischief

  • Title: BART Simpson’s Manual of Mischief
  • Creator: Matt Groening
  • Hardcover
  • # of Pages: 64
  • Publisher: Insight Edition
  • Released: March 18, 2014
  • Genre(s): Humour, Comics
  • My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This book was given to my husband a few years back because he’s a big Simpson’s fan.  I am to, but for some reason I never picked up this book until now.  I really regret not reading this book sooner.  I had so much fun reading this book.

All readers will have fun reading this book but I wouldn’t give this book to a kid because it will give them ideas.

 

Happy reading!!

 

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Posted in interview, Poems

S. Sulianah’s New Book

Book Title: Masterpiece in Your Heart: A Series of Poetry 2nd Edition (Platinum)

  • Published by Winter Scribbler Publishing
  • Author: S.Sulianah
  • Edited by: Kaitlin Severini
  • Cover and Interior Design: Euan Monaghan
  • Cover Illustration: Vadha Hidayat
  • Arrangements and Concept by S.Sulianah
  • Photographs by S.Sulianah

Photographs taken in New York, New York; Bettles, Anchorage, and Fairbanks, Alaska; Jungfraujoch, Switzerland; Paris, France; London, England; Hong Kong; Yakutsk, and Oymyakon, Russia; and Long Beach, California.

Interview

What do you feel publishing poems of something you feel and think in writing?

When I first tried to self-publish the 1st edition, in terms of designing and desire to publish it, I was very much excited on the outcomes. However, the contents wise, oh, it was challenging in terms of what to share and what not. These poems are only the selected ones from collection of poems I have been writing for years. These are the ones which the contents are not too blatant or exposing too much about what I feel or who I am talking about.

Which of these poems is of significant to you?

I do not have any specific favorites. Each of these are meaningful and it means something when I penned my thoughts and feelings.

However, Cheat Code, the newly added poem for this edition is one which I am proud of. HTML coding is something which I started to learn by myself when I was in college for our projects. We were not taught in our classes but we were required to create webpages for our assignments. So, I made an extra effort to make it more appealing. I have been using it since. In this poem, I used the HTML codes to say something obvious but with codes to maintain its secrecy. If a reader is keen to understand the poem further, they will be able to search the code by themselves to decipher the meaning.

are these poems arranged like a timeline?

I had randomized the sequences as they are written in different time and at different phases of experiences. However, the first poem and last poem, it was intentionally made as an intro and end.

Chemistry is the first poem which reader will start to read. It tells a story on how the contents in the book relates to the relationship and friendship I experienced with the individuals I wrote about. It all starts from the connections in our personality, way of thinking, communicating with one another and feelings for each other. Without the essence, these poems will only be intangible atoms.

Cheat Code is the conclusion of this poetry collection, a metaphoric perspective of this book. Deciphering each of it depends on how the readers relate to themselves. It defines how all of these contents of poetry is unknown. Still a secret and basically no one knows.

Will you share with your readers like who is it about, if ever they asked?

Ermm.. an absolute. No. [Laugh]. It shall be a secret. I want them to read it and if they are feeling connected to it, they might have experienced similar situations as I do.

I can see that there are lots of photographs in this book SUCH AS at the mountain in switzerland and other ones captured mostly from your trips. So, why do you use these pictures in a poetry collection?

When I started the compilation, I wanted to create something different and not merely words. And most of these poems I wrote had somewhat a connection to the pictures. It is like a 2 in 1 value which readers will get from this. Beautiful photographic photos from different places and countries, and poems to soothe their stress days.

Any of these pictures have any significance to you?

Personally, I love all the pictures as how I had enjoyed my trips to all the different places. But I would like to share with you on the most difficult shot of all. The ice crystals accompanying the poem Vena Amoris. This was taken in one of the mountain caves in Oymyakon, Siberia which is known as the Pole of Cold. There are lots of beautiful ice crystals on the walls and ceiling in this cave. I snapped a lot of pictures from different angles, macro focus and the limited lighting to illustrate a beautiful crystallite but I ended up liking only two out of all those shots.

So, what is your next plan after this book? Will you STILL BE focusing on poetry and same theme?

I have some plans, yeah but high chances it will be totally different from what I have done now. I have something in mind and is in the making but well, we will see. Poetry.

Available in Paperback and Hardcover:

1. Barnes & Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/masterpiece-in-your-heart-s-sulianah/1128569353?ean=9789811168789

2. Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Masterpiece-Your-Heart-PoetrySulianah/dp/9811168784/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

3. Winter Scribbler Publishing – http://www.winterscribbler.com

* Paperback version ISBN 978-981-11-6878-9

* Hardcover version ISBN: 978-981-11-6877-2

Happy reading!!!!

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Posted in review

Review: Suffering Ends When Awakening Begins

  • Title: Suffering Ends When Awakening Begins
  • Author: Robert Crown
  • # of Pages: 275
  • Paperback
  • Publisher:
  • Genre(s): memoir
  • My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

*I received my copy of this book from the author.

* All opinions are my own.

Synopsis

How does a child’s life change when his mother tries to murder him? It’s one of the most profound betrayals imaginable. This is the inspiring true story of Robert Crown’s amazing journey out of the darkness of his childhood and into a world brightly illuminated by the power of positive understanding and purposeful thought. His message to the world is that if he can do it, you too can overcome any challenge in life by focusing your thoughts on what you desire.

My Review

This book was incredible.  Reading about Robert’s childhood put things about my life back into perspective for me.  Many readers will agree that a good book (fiction or nonfiction) has the ability to do this.

Robert Crown wrote this book with the hope that the reader “might be inspired and believe that if this guy can go through all this and make it, they can certainly make it through whatever they’re going through.” (Pg 258)  His book did just that in my opinion.

With all the bad things you hear every day, let this book remind you of the power of good that can be found in people.  Everyone should read this book, it is really a great testament to humans capability to heal.

Happy reading everyone!!!

Posted in advice, Helpful information, Monday Mania

Monday Mania #18: Books About Developmental Disorders

Developmental Disorders are common diagnoses in today’s world but are not really understood by most people. In this post Developmental Disorders are defined as neurologically based conditions that can interfere with the acquisition, retention or application of specific skills or sets of information (ex: Autism Spectrum Disorders, ADHD and Tourette’s Syndrome).  These disorders are not considered mental illnesses, although some symptoms do overlap, because the brain is affected differently (see Monday Mania #17: Books about Mental Illness).  Every developmental disorder is a uniquely confusing time for the  individual diagnosed and their family.

Developmental disorders are not preventable or curable at this time, but they are treatable.  Below I have compiled a short list of books for the whole family.  This list is far from complete but will help give you a start.

The books are separated into 3 categories: general resources, family/self-help, and memoirs.  The books were placed in a category based on the subject and how the information is presented.

* If you are aware of other books that can help please put the book’s title and author in the comment section at the end of the post.*

General Resources

  1. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-IV) (2013) by American Psychological Association
  2. The Essential Guide to Psychiatric Drugs (2007) by J.M. Gorman
  3. Understanding Developmental Disorders: A Casual Modelling Approach (2005) by John Morton
  4. Living with Tourette’s Syndrome (1995) by Elaine Fantle Shimberg
  5. Social Skills for Autism Spectrum Disorders and Other Developmental Disorders (2012) by Laurence R. Sargent
  6. Dual Diagnosis: An Introduction to Mental Health Needs of Persons With Developmental Disorders (2002) by Dorothy M. Griffins, Jane Summers and Chrissoula Stavrkaki

Family/Self Help

  1. The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome (2006) by Tony Attwood
  2. Understanding Autistic Behaviors (2018) by Theresa M Regan
  3. The Caregivers Companion (2015) by Carolyn A. Brent
  4. The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum (2013) by Temple Grandin
  5. Anxiety Relief for Kids (2017) by Bridget Flynn Walker
  6. Being The Other One:  Growing Up With a Brother or sister Who Has Special Needs (2005) by Kate Strohm
  7. Attention Deficit Disorder: The Unfocused Mind in Children and Adults (2006) by Thomas E. Brown
  8. Planning For the Future:  Providing a Meaningful Life for a Child With a Disability (2005) by M.L. Russell

Memoirs

  1. Thinking in Pictures: My Life With Autism (2006) by Temple Grandin
  2. Passing For Normal (2000) by Amy Wilensky
  3. Stuttering: A Life Bound Up in Words (1997) by Marty Jezer
  4. The Ride Together: A Brother and Sisters Memoir of Autism in the Family (2003) by J. and P. Karasik

Remember, this list is FAR from complete and I encourage you to look for ones that are ment for the specific diagnose(s) you or your family member received, including children’s books to help younger kids understand what is happening to themselves or their sibling.

Please know that there are a variety of different psychology professionals, groups and organizations out there at the local, national and international level.  There are multiple national organizations with websites that allow you to search for resources “near” you.  I am not personally acquainted with organizations/groups covering all developmental disorders, but your health care professional probably knows who they are.  (I am familiar with a few organizations for Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome, contact me for these)

If you are aware of other books/resources that can help please put the information in the comment section at the end of the post.

** Do not use my list as a substitute for care from a mental health professional(s). I created this list to be used in combination with help from mental health professionals, I want to pass on these resources because I have a family member who was diagnosed with a nuerodevelopmental disorder. ** 

Posted in advice, Helpful information, Monday Mania

Monday Mania #17: Books About Mental Illness

Mental Illness is a common diagnoses in our society.  Almost everyone knows someone related to  or diagnosed with a mental illness, some just aren’t aware of it.  In this post mental illness refers to biological brain disorders that interfere with normal brain chemistry (ex: bipolar disorder, OCD, PTSD and Schizophrenia).  This is opposed to Developmental disorders (ex: autism spectrum disorders & ADHD), which I am posting about next week.  I am addressing them separately because they are different types of disorders. But whatever the diagnoses is, it’s a confusing time for the diagnosed individual and their family.

Mental illnesses are not preventable or curable at this time, but they are treatable.  Below, I have compiled a list of books to help both diagnosed individuals and family members.  This list is far from complete but can provide you with a start.

The books are separated into 3 categories: resources/guides, family/self-help, and memoirs.  The books were placed in a category based on how the information is presented and who wrote it.

* If you are aware of other books that can help please put the book’s title and author in the comment section at the end of the post.*

General Resources

  1. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-IV) by American Psychiatric Association (5/18/2013)
  2. The Essential Guide to Psychiatric Drugs (2007) by J.M. Gorman
  3.  Brave New Brain: Conquering Mental Illness in the Era of the Genome (2001) by N Andreason
  4. The Broken Brain: The Biological Revolution in Psychiatry (1984) by N. Andreason

Family/Self Help

  1. How to Live With a Mentally Ill Person: A Handbook of Day-to-Day Strategies (1996) by C. Adamec
  2. The Caring Family: Living with Chronic Mental Illness (1982) by K. Bernheim, R. Lewine and C. Beale
  3. Calming your Anxious Mind (2007) by J. Brantley
  4. Understanding Depression: What We Know and What You Can Do About it. (2003) by J.R. DePaulo
  5. What To Do When Someone you Love is Depressed (2007) by M. Golant and S. Golant
  6. More Than Moody: Recognizing and Treating Adolescent Depression (2002) by H. Koplewicz
  7. Planning for The Future: Providing a Meaningful Life for a Child with a Disability (2005) by M.L. Russell
  8. When Madness Comes Home: Help and Hope for the Children, Siblings and Partners of The Mentally Ill (1997) by V. Secunda
  9. When Someone You Love has a Mental Illness: A Handbook for Family, Friends and Caregivers (1992) by R. Woolis

Memoirs

  1. An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness (1995) by K.R. Jamison
  2. Hurry Down Sunshine (2008) by M. Greenberg
  3. Is There No Place on Earth For Me? (1982) by S. Sheehan
  4. My Sister’s Keeper: Learning to Cope With a Sibling’s Mental Illness (1992) by M. Moorman

Remember, this list is FAR from complete and I encourage you to look for ones that are ment for the specific diagnose(s) you or your family member received, including children’s books to help younger kids understand what is happening to themselves or their sibling.

Please know that there are a variety of different psychology professionals, groups and organizations at the local and national level out there.  I am personally familiar with my local branch of National Alliance On Mental Illness (NAMI), and whole-heartedly recommend them as a resource; they offer support, education and other services to diagnosed individuals and family members.  NAMI and other national organizations have websites that allow you to search for services in your area.

If you are aware of other books that can help please put the book’s title and author in the comment section at the end of the post.

** Do not use my list as a substitute for care from a mental health professional(s). I created this list to be used in combination with help from mental health professionals, I want to pass on these resources because I am a family member (and friend) to individuals diagnosed with mental illnesses. **

Posted in review

Review: Vic Boyo Doofus Dectective

  • Title: Vic Boyo, Doofus Dectective in Double Murders are Twice as Bad
  • Author: Milo James Fowler
  • Kindle edition
  • # of Pages: 234
  • Publisher: Effervescent Press
  • Released: March 15, 2018
  • Genre(s): humor, crime fiction
  • My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

* I was given a copy of the book by the author.

*All opinions are my own.

Synopsis

Two murders. One detective. Half a brain.

1931, New York City: Detective Vic Boyo may not be the brightest bulb in the chandelier, but that doesn’t stop him from solving cases as only he can. With a little luck and a whole lot of gumption, Boyo sets out to find the murderer of a local cop. Problem is, Boyo’s more interested in a gorgeous femme fatale accused of killing her husband. She’s destined for the electric chair, but Boyo’s got a hunch she might be innocent. And nobody gets in the way of Boyo’s hunches, not even Vic Boyo himself.

Review

I had a great time reading this book mainly because the author did an extraordinary job of weaving humor into a detective story.  I found this so refreshing because recently all the detective stories I’ve read were serious and dark.

Milo James Fowler is a natural writer, his words never came across as forced or strained. The occasional yet consistent use of 1930’s slang was fun without being distracting.  After reading this book I can see why Mr. Fowler is an author and English teacher, his love for the written word is obvious.

I would strongly encourage everyone to read this book. It has something for everyone.

Happy reading everyone!!!

Posted in review

Review: Befriended

  • Title: Befriended: Be Careful Who You Trust
  • Author: Ruth O’Neil
  • # of Pages: 309
  • e-book
  • Publisher: Lulu.com
  • Released: February 5, 2018
  • Genre(s): Contemporary Thriller
  • My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

* I received my copy of the book from the author.

*All opinions are my own.

*May contain spoilers.

Synopsis

Some secrets never leave us alone… Gemma Peacock’s life was perfect – or at least, she thought it was. She had a home she loved, a job she enjoyed, and a husband she adored. The only cloud on the horizon was the continuing tension between Gemma and her mother-in-law, but that’s the same for everyone, right? After the death of her beloved husband, Ritchie, everything begins to fall apart. Indiana Manors’ life, on the other hand, is far from perfect – but she knows just what she has to do to fix it. Befriend Gemma Peacock – and destroy her.

My review

This contemporary thriller was exciting and kept me on my toes at every turn.  I found myself wanting more the whole time I was reading it.  If life hadn’t gotten in the way I probably would of finished it in a day.

Ruth O’Neill certainly put a lot of effort into developing both the characters and story.    The world she created was rich with details that kept drawing the reader in.  O’Neill did an incredible job of releasing details at just the right time to draw the reader in even more.  She didn’t dump them all on you at once and she didn’t leave any out either.  Ruth O’Neill is definitely a skilled writer.

With this praise I’m sure you’re wondering why I gave this book only three stars.  If you know my scale, you know this is a positive review.  The one and only issue I had with this story is the portrayal of people with mental illnesses.  Joan and Indiana are both given traits and symptoms of multiple mental illnesses.  Indiana’s back story suggests that she could have PTSD.  Joan’s illness is not given a name and could be multiple different mental illnesses based on the symptoms mentioned.

Both characters are portrayed negatively throughout the book.  Indiana is aware of the fact that her mentally is different than others but states that she enjoys being around other people’s suffering and she is manipulative. Joan is delusional, manipulative and narcissistic.   Both of them lack empathy for others and wont acknowledge their issues.

I don’t think that Mrs. O’Neill had the intension of portraying the mentally ill this way.  I think that Ruth O’Neill, like so many people, has a limited knowledge of mental illness.  She probably got some of this knowledge from sources (news, movies, books, social media, magazines and more) that choose to only talk about the social violent episodes of a few (because violence gets attention while people’s well being doesn’t) without even realizing it.

I say this because in my experiances with family & friends diagnosed with mental illnesses that they not only acknowledge their disorder(s) but make a conscience effort to maintain a healthy mentality and lifestyle.  Yes, there are individuals who aren’t this way but they are the exception, and they can often become like my family/friends with the right support.

I guess what I am trying to say is this, the book is worth reading but realise that Joan and Indiana are both mentally ill people who should be labeled as “the execption not the rule”.

So if you like Trillers or are a Ruth O’Neill fan check out Befriended and stay open minded about mental illness.

Happy reading!

Posted in review

Review: One Groovy Summer

  • Title: One Groovy Summer: A Summer Adventure From 1968
  • Author: Rocky Gregory
  • Paperback
  • # of Pages: 131
  • Publisher:
  • Released: April 23, 2014
  • Genre(s): memoir
  • My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

*I was given a copy of this book by the publisher/author.

*All opinions are my own.

Synopsis

It was the Sixties – the time of the Sexual Revolution and the Hippie Movement. Just out of high school, Will and Skip knew they could be drafted into the Vietnam War soon. So they were determined to make the most of their summer break, and they sure did. It was one groovy adventure full of action, romance, and comedy. Young Adults everywhere are enjoying it and telling their friends. So don’t miss it.

Review

I had a lot of fun reading this book. 1960’s America has fascinated me since I was a kid in the 1980’s.  This memoir illustrates the life of a boy just after high school graduation trying to enjoy a summer of fun and making experiences before college while the possibility of being drafted looms over his head.

The 1960’s in America were a time of revolution with the hippie movement and civil rights movement while also dealing with war and the draft.

The events I read about were a lot of fun.  Will, the main character, talked about his adventures in a way that was relatable way that allowed those who weren’t alive in the 1960’s. I liked the subtle use of pop lingo to help keep the reader in the mentality of the 1960’s.

I found this memoir a wonderful and well written reminder to the fact that the a persons generation has an impact on their life.  Whether you lived through 1960’s America or not you will find enjoyment in this book and should pick up a copy of this book.

Happy reading everyone!

Posted in review

Review: I Really Like Mushrooms

  • Title: I Really Like Mushrooms
  • Author: Jared Bandull
  • # of Pages: 242
  • e-book copy
  • Released: 2018
  • Genre(s): fiction, young adult, paranormal
  • My Rating: ⭐️⭐️

*I was given a copy of the book by the author.

* All opinions are my own.

Synopsis

A ghost and witch story that based on real events.

The witch who terrorizes the town of Mushroom circle has now decided to curse outsiders. Everybody believes it’s just a folklore just to scare people, but then individuals went insane and killed themselves the next day. Some worshipped the witch to spare their life. Now the folktale has become a reality.

Can the witch be stopped or will the people have to live in terror knowing that they could be next?

I was contacted by the author about this book.  Within a couple of pages I could see why.  This book was very poorly written and was not edited at all.  Many high school students could have edited most of the problems I found.  The author frequently mixed up ‘there’ and ‘their’.  He also frequently combined past with present and singular with plural.

There were few details about people, events or locations.  Apparently, the main character wears a balaclava (a face mask that only shows your eyes) all the time but the author doesn’t tell you this until you’re a third of the way through the book and the explanation for why he wears it isn’t until near the end.

To be honest, the only reason I gave this book two stars is because I believe that if the story line was given to a semi-decent (yes, semi-decent) writer they could take this jumble of words and turn it into a book.