Kait's Bookshelf

Book Reviews and Literary Services


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September Wrap-Up!

David SedarisSeptember got off to an unseasonably warm start in the northeast. I went into the month ready for orange leaves, pumpkins, and all things magical. But instead I got record-breaking heat and humidity! Don’t get me wrong, I love summer! But after a particularly grueling, hot, and humid one, I was beyond ready to transition into fall. By the end of the month, I got my wish. I have been loving these last few days of cool, crisp air, the appearance of pumpkins and fall decorations, and leaves starting to turn.

One of the things I most look forward to about October is the reading. I recently blogged about my first scary read. As much as I loved scary stories as a teen (R.L. Stine, anyone?) I just started getting into them as an adult. I’m excited to read more this month. But before I get into my upcoming reads, here’s my September wrap-up!

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July Wrap-Up!

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I look forward to July each year, because it’s the heart of summertime for me. I often take a little vacation to visit family which means I get some down time. This July was as awesome as I had anticipated, and I hope yours was too! I got to travel, see family, I took on an exciting new book project, and I got tons of reading time in. That, my friends, is an amazing few weeks! Not to mention that as August creeps along, Fall is inching closer and closer. Don’t get me wrong, I love summer, and I’m not ready to see it go. But, my first love is Fall, and I’m starting to get a teeny bit excited at the thought of crisp air, sweaters, and fall leaves. But there will be time for that later. For now, I’d like to recap my July reads and talk about what’s ahead for these last few weeks of summer.

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Book Review: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Anne FrankI am so glad that I was able to fit in my book bucket list pick for June. I have wanted to read The Diary of a Young Girl for years. I didn’t get the chance to read it in high school like so many others did. I’m not sure why we didn’t read it other than maybe because Schindler’s List had released and become a huge success. We watched that film, an excellent film by the way, instead of reading Anne Frank’s diary. I don’t think one story is better than the other. They are both true and both equally moving. I do think that The Diary of a Young Girl should continue to be taught in schools because it is told in such a pure voice and really puts the reader right in the middle of the war. We can study World War II all we want, but we’ll never hear a more honest voice than that of a young Jewish girl in hiding. Anne’s story is something that touched my soul profoundly and something that I will never forget. No review I write will ever be able to do this book justice, but I will try my best to summarize why it was such a moving read for me.

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Book Review: Begin Again by Leeana Tankersley

Begin Again“You will not be left or abandoned. God will not be disgusted with you. Ever. In that way, God is not like the people in your life. God doesn’t tire of your struggle and your back-and-forth and your uncertainty. God doesn’t grow weary of your winding path.” – Begin Again

Well May has been an interesting month so far. Actually, 2018 has been filled with all kinds of surprises, and I feel thankful that I got through April in one piece. Within one week, my husband and two of our dogs each had surgery. They are all recovered and doing beautifully, but I was just about ready to collapse at the end of that week! On top of taking care of my family, I had my own health issues to contend with.

Earlier this year I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. It is an autoimmune disease in which my immune system is attacking my own body, specifically my joints. It is my second autoimmune diagnosis. I was diagnosed with Graves Disease almost 15 years ago. So between taking care of my family, working, and dealing with my own tests, doctor appointments, and adjusting to my new medication, I’m just thankful I’ve had time to read at all. Thanks to Baker Publishing Group (and Someone else I believe 😉 ), I ended up with just the right book at just the right time, Begin Again by Leeana Tankersley.

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Review: Alive in the Spirit by A.W. Tozer (Compiled and Edited by James L. Snyder)

alive-in-the-spiritI received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers. All opinions are my own.

Other than celebrity memoirs, this is the first non-fiction book I have reviewed. I am so glad that I received a copy of this book! I was attracted to this book because the synopsis was about experiencing the Holy Spirit in your life. This really appealed to me because I am always looking for good devotionals and studies to accompany me on my Christian walk. What is most incredible to me about this book is that these sermons of A.W. Tozer were written decades ago (he lived from 1897-1963) but they read as if he were writing about life and the church today!
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Review: The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer

the-girl-with-the-lower-back-tattoo“It’s relaxing sometimes, just being human.” – Amy Schumer

Human is what Amy Schumer reveals herself to be in her new book, The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo. Using the quick, sometimes raunchy, humor we’ve come to expect from her, Ms. Schumer opens up in her new book about a variety of topics including, but not limited to, sex, sex, and more sex. If you find yourself offended by “colorful” humor, then I suggest you give this one a pass. Ms. Schumer does not censor herself but uses her authentic voice throughout the book.

Contrary to what you might think, this is not an autobiography but a collection of essays. Ms. Schumer does revisit her childhood, giving us glimpses into the years and relationships that have made her the woman she is today. She even shares old journal entries written by her younger self with footnotes added by her present self. I loved those entries. They were real and honest. Who doesn’t read back through old journals and think “What the hell was I talking about?” or “Wow, I really thought I was mature back then!” Ms. Schumer possesses a quality that so few have and everyone needs: the ability to laugh at herself. Keep on Reading!


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Review: Here’s the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice by Maureen McCormick

heres-the-storyHere’s the Story, of a Lovely Lady…

…and her name is Maureen.  Now if we happened to pass Maureen on the street, we would probably light up with recognition, wave or say hello, maybe say something like, “It’s Marcia, Marcia, Marcia” (because we’re all really original like that), and go home to tell our friends that we passed Marcia Brady on the street today. Except we didn’t pass Marcia, we passed Maureen.

I’ve long been a fan of celebrity memoirs as I find it fascinating to learn about what really went on behind the scenes on TV shows and movie sets. While The Brady Bunch was before my time, I, like millions out there, caught the re-runs over the years and am very familiar with Mike and Carol Brady and their merged family. The Bradys’ lives were simple, and every episode featured a problem that could be solved in less than 30 minutes. Marcia was the eldest daughter, and the American Dream Girl.

I thought her story sounded interesting, and it turns out that that is putting it mildly! Maureen didn’t have Mike and Carol Brady as parents. She didn’t have three brothers, two sisters, a housekeeper named Alice, and a dog named Tiger.  Maureen’s problems couldn’t be solved in thirty minutes. Maureen had parents, but they were far from the picturesque couple Mike and Carol Brady made. Maureen had dark, hidden family secrets she was held captive to much of her life. Maureen was a far cry from her alter-ego, Marcia. Marcia was perfect. Maureen was human. Keep on Reading!