Posted by: irenesroth | June 13, 2018

Handle with Love by Donna J. Moore

Donna is a woman who describes herself as being average in all areas of her life—all areas but one: cancer.

When she was diagnosed with a rare metastatic cancer—a diagnosis that would make many people give up and lose all hope—Donna decided it was time to try all the solutions that she came across.

Honestly-told, entertaining, and heart-breaking in turn, Moore takes us through the trials and tribulations of her “adventure with cancer” with vulnerability. All of those who have been through cancer or have a loved one struggling with a life-threatening disease will both laugh and cry their way through this book, which is ultimately not about surviving cancer but about thriving through it.

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

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Posted by: irenesroth | May 28, 2018

Book Review: Soaring With Frankie by Ilene Sims

This is a very inspiring story for all to become aware of redemption and survival. It is a book about thriving in the face of adversity that will speak to a wide range of audiences, with lessons for children, teens, and adults alike.

This story is about a metaphor between one lady and her beautiful red-factor canary, named Frankie. This woman had gone through hard times of her own, but spending time with the canary and relating to his challenges revivified her heart so that she was able to continue living valiantly. But what is more, Frankie reminded her of a lot of important life lessons that she herself had faced.

When this woman would take Frankie out of the cage to clean it, he didn’t fly but merely walked on the floor. How can a bird not fly? All canaries (and many other birds) can fly, but not Frankie. Was the bird scared? That is the kind of fear that the protagonist could relate to very well. She had been safe and hiding in her own cage of life made of the limitations she faced in her life, but she knew that she had been born to rise and conquer.

While Frankie was in his cage, the woman noticed his little wings beginning to flutter with a vengeance. Something in Frankie had awakened and he had regained his ability to fly. There was an assurance and confidence in Frankie. He now flies with no limits and no boundaries. His fears all subsided and he not only flies, but now he soars!
Posted by: irenesroth | May 22, 2018

Book Review: The Hanging by Paddy Bostock

This is a crime suspense novel that will have you sitting at the edge of your seat until you have read the last page. But what is more, the story is well-structured and a joy to read. The story is also filled with magic and suspense page after page.

The entire story revolves around the magical onyx stone. There are three main characters – the troll Vilius Vilutis and two elves Mordecai and Hazchem. Then there’s Zingy who’s the business foe of Villius. Do they manage to find the onyx stone and protect the world? That is a question that I will have to leave the reader with.

Posing as a papal nuncio, the troll Vilius “The Vile” Vilutis haunts the Cumbrian hills. He is in search of the magical onyx with the potential to revolutionalize smartphones worldwide. He is aiming to put his enemy, Silicon Valley gazillionaire Zingy Splitz out of business forever. Can he do it?

Suspicious, Zingy contacts Pope Benny in Rome, where rumour has it Vilius once worked, thus discovering the troll’s current whereabouts. Meanwhile two ghastly hangings disrupt the peace. The Vatican is implicated in the crimes, its motives darker than Vilius’s vindictiveness. The troll doesn’t seem to be as vile as it first appeared.

This is the fourteenth book for Paddy Bostock. I can’t imagine what he will come up with for another storyline. Some books are such gems that it made me think that an encore would be hard to pull off. But Paddy Bostock can, and will, pull it off I am sure. I will certainly look out for his other books and read them too.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Posted by: irenesroth | May 19, 2018

Book Review: Chinese Pearl

Chinese Pearl
By Patrick Aaron

There are some books that one cannot put down. They transfix you and make you forget the rest of the world. This is the magic of a good story, and I found that Chinese Pearl did that very thing to me. It was so wonderful to lose myself in the world of fiction for a while, a world that is hopeful and also has many lessons the most important of which is unconditional love.

The story is about a midwife Xiulan whose dream of raising her own child seems to be dashed until she is called to help a mother give birth to a baby boy. When the mother gives birth, she delivers a boy followed by an albino girl with white hair. The girl’s grandmother doesn’t want to keep the second baby and asks Xiulan to dispose of her in the sea. But Xiulan cannot bring herself to do that and realizes that maybe she will be able to raise a child of her own after all.

As time goes on, Xiulan realizes that there is a lot that is very different and wonderful about the girl. One of these things is her psychic ability. As she grows, she draws people to come visit the family’s apothecary. But can these powers attract the wrong attention over time? It soon does involving many different agencies and China’s National Aviation Corporation pilots.

This book will make you laugh and cry. It is a book that is deep and yet light at the same time. I don’t think I have ever read a book that has just that perfect combination. What a gem of a book!

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Posted by: irenesroth | May 17, 2018

Book Review: Embracing Faith

Bracing Faith: Empowerment from a Domestic Violence Survivor and a Recovering Addict
By Patricia Cardenas
 
     This is an honest, brave and gripping book about a woman who has survived domestic violence, addiction, and homelessness. It is a book of hope and redemption which will help all women who are struggling with domestic violence. 
 
     Patricia Cardenas’s story is very raw and honest.  It is a book about her struggle in the hands of men who breathtakingly abused Patricia mercilessly. All she had was her faith in God and his redeeming qualities to survive. Patricia believed that God was always with her, even when she was abused, homeless and in the hands of the Justice system in California. 
 
          Domestic abuse is pandemic in our society today. Few people talk about it in such an honest and open way. There are so much shame and denial surrounding the topic of domestic violence. And many men keep getting away with such heinous acts against the women they are supposed to care for and love. 
 
     This is a book of hope for all women. The last segment of the book contains useful information about abuse and all the legal terminology that surrounds the issue of domestic abuse from a legal perspective. After reading this book, women will understand the legalities of abuse and what the process is to become liberated. 
 
     This book will be an extremely valuable resource for women who have experienced abuse. It will give women hope, knowledge, and courage to leave their abusive situations and seek the mental, physical, spiritual, and psychological help that they need. It can be a complicated process, but it is worth it because no one deserves to live in conditions where they are abused. We all deserve comfort, peace, and safety.
Rating: 5++ stars
Irene S. Roth
Posted by: irenesroth | May 11, 2018

A Curious Year in the Great Vivarium Experiment

Those of us who have experienced the pain and heartbreak of losing a parent knows it feels like our world is never going to be the same. We suddenly realize that something intangible is forever lost. But there are ways of coping and coming out on the other side of this despair and sadness. This is the journey that Tim Shields takes the reader on in this wonderful story of emancipation. It’s a story that is as deep as it tragic, beautiful, and inspiring.

The story is about Thomas Furey, who finds himself at a crossroads in this life. He is in his mid-thirties and without a job to fall back on. He’s feeling desperately isolated and alone as he mourns the death of his mother. With many other things that are simultaneously going wrong in his life, Thomas feels himself sinking into a deep well of misery and sadness. How can he possibly get himself out of this dark abyss that was created by the unfortunate events in his life?

Suddenly, Thomas thinks of something liberating and he is convinced that this will help him to overcome these obstacles. He buys himself a one-way ticket to India. After he buys it, he becomes fearful yet filled with hope and ready to be guided by his intuition. The journey takes him all over Southeast Asia for a year.

I loved this book. This is a story that takes the reader on a journey like no other, to become emancipated and cleansed by the end of the story and to think for him/herself about what it means to live an authentic life. The story is laced with philosophy and the deep intuition of a person who is trying to recreate his life. A lot occurs between sunrise and sunset.

Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Posted by: irenesroth | March 26, 2018

Book Review: From Across the Pond


This story is about Joseph Millward and his wife Anna. When Joseph loses his job in Wales, the couple decides to join Joseph’s brother and moves to America. The journey and move are difficult, and the adjustments are even hard. They believed that their new life in America was exactly what they needed to start anew. By being grateful and trusting in God they made the necessary adjustments and tried to fit into their new homeland.

Joseph and his wife have a close bond. With this close bond, they were able to make any adjustments that they needed in their new life. Joseph got a job at a coal mine in Rocktown, Pennsylvania. The job had long hours and it was very hard on Joseph. It is hard to believe that people work so hard and are in the midst of so much danger working in a coal mine. But Joseph was eager to start his new job and to make a new
life.

Rocktown, Pennsylvania was also culturally different from Wales. It was a place where there were a lot of different nationalities and peoples, such as Polish, German, Slovak, Irish, Italian and Welch immigrants. The place was quite multicultural and sometimes personalities clashed.

Life seemed to be going as well as it could. Anna was homesick a lot. Joseph would come home very tired from the coal mine. Sometimes arguments would occur. But they believed in each other and they became part of a community of people quite quickly.

Then one day, a terrible explosion occurred in the coal mine. There were a lot of suspicions surrounding the explosion. This news ripped Anna apart because one of the men who was trapped in the coal mine was Joseph.

This is a story about the courage, strength, and love that is required to move to a new place and take a chance at a new life. I now can imagine how hard migrants who move to America and Canada have it.

Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Posted by: irenesroth | March 22, 2018

TRAVELS WITH ELLYN

TRAVELS WITH ELLYN
BY FRANCES ELLEN WALSH

This is a fairy tale like no other I have ever read. It has a
lot of sophistication and real life lessons, ones that we can all
take back with us into our lives.

Walsh’s story is about empowerment and self-expression. There
are elements of the magical and mystical woven right into the story.
It is a masterpiece that is not often seen in adventure fairy tales.

Each episode in the book exemplifies a law of the universe. The
story also has a very positive philosophy one that we need to
appropriate into our time and that what we see in others is directly
linked of how you perceive these people and what is contained in
you. This is a great message for the younger person as well, given
our difficult cultural times.

As the reader explores these universes with Ellyn and the
people who travel with her, we can all make similar discoveries
about ourselves. We too can also follow their example and be the
best version of ourselves.

This story can be read by the younger reader and also it can be
enjoyed by the older reader. There is so much to take in between the
pages of this wonderful story. The pages of the book are also filled
with stunning artwork from John S. Atkinson. These pieces of artwork
will move the reader to a place of thought and reflection.

I really enjoyed the metaphysical overtones in the story being
a philosopher. I will definitely recommend this book to people in
my immediate reading circle of friends.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Posted by: irenesroth | March 20, 2018

Latin American Foods – Book Review

Latin American Foods
By Terry Padilla
Illustrated by Tony Mendoza

This is a wonderful picture book for kids about Latin foods and how people celebrate with foods even in the most difficult circumstances.

It’s been long known that food brings people together and it helps them to overcome obstacles. This picture book alludes to the devastation that Hurricanes Irma and Maria caused in Puerto Rico. The two Hurricanes were one week apart, and they caused so much devastation that the Garcia family had to leave their homeland.

When the Garcia relocated to Orlando, Florida, they found new solace cooking native Latin foods. The foods sound delicious. They are simple recipes that kids may urge their parents to cook. Cooking helped the Garcia family to cope with the relocation by celebrating their Latin roots.

The illustrations also bring the Latin foods to light for the young reader. They are colorful and look delicious. Kids of all ages will be inspired to try some of the recipes.

I love any book about food, and this one didn’t disappoint. Latin food is something that I will be trying to cook more of.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Posted by: irenesroth | March 15, 2018

Forever Evergreen-Book Review

Forever Evergreen
By Kay Roberts
Illustrated by Kim Sponaugle

This is a wonderful picture book that is enchanting yet has important lessons about kindness, forgiveness, and how our actions certainly have a huge impact on others.

This story is about Red, a curious cardinal who wants to move past his every day mundane life. So, one day, he decides to leave his friends and fly off to a place far, far away where he can explore his environment.

As he travels, he runs into danger and gets hurt. Red is injured and has no idea what to do. He feels sorry for himself. But then something almost magical happens. Mother Nature comes to his rescue! She shelters Red in a pine tree in a beautiful garden until he recovers from his injury.

In that comforting garden, he feels secure. He learns a lot of important lessons from Mother Nature too. He learns that Mother Nature helps kind and good-hearted beings. Immediately Red feels good about himself. And he is able to take this feeling back to his friends.

The illustrations are magical and will transport the young reader into a world that is inspiring and enchanting. The colors are bold and have a sparkly quality to them.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

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