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: Woodcutter

  • Title: Woodcutter
  • Author: Shaun Baines
  • e-book
  • # of Pages: 290
  • Publisher: Thistle Publishing
  • Released: March 28, 2018
  • Genre(s): Debut novel, crime thriller
  • My Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

*I was given a copy of the book by the author, but all opinions expressed are my own.

Synopsis

Some family trees are meant to fall…

On the run from his criminal family, Daniel Dayton returns home to Newcastle Upon Tyne when his abandoned daughter is attacked.

But his family have problems of their own. Targeted by a brutal mercenary, their empire is destined to be destroyed should Daniel refuse to help.

Betrayed by his parents. Despised by his brother. In love with his sister-in-law. Home has become a dangerous place to be.

Daniel wants his daughter safe. And he wants his revenge, but in the shadowy streets of Newcastle, things are never what they seem.

My review

I am awed and impressed with this novel.  The plot line was original and well written.  The characters were complex but relatable.

I enjoyed this book so completely that I am actually having difficulty trying to write about it.

All I can say I read this book you will love it.

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!!!