Category Archives: Memoir

Ballplayer by Chipper Jones

Reviewed by Allen Hott

BallplayerPerhaps not only one of the haughtiest players to have ever played the game but also without a doubt one of the greatest to have ever played major league baseball. Chipper, or (L- a- r- r- y !) Jones as the New York Met’s fans like to call him, tells it like it is as he describes his long career in baseball. The idea that he spent his entire career playing with the Atlanta Braves and while he was there the Braves had some of the greatest years of any baseball franchise is pretty unusual in any sport. Chipper wasn’t the only reason they were so good but he was a very important contributor to that success.

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The book traces his beginnings growing up in a small town in north Florida where he was religiously schooled in the correct way to play baseball by his dad. His dad played college ball at Stetson University and was offered a contract by the Chicago Cubs but since it wasn’t for much money and since Chipper was “on the way” his dad opted to stay on at Stetson as their baseball coach. But more importantly he worked at developing his son into becoming a tremendous ball player.

Timeless Travels: Tales of Mystery, Intrigue, Humor, and Enchantment by Joseph Rotenberg


Timeless TravelsWho is today’s American Jew? Joseph Rotenberg styles himself as a modern-day maggid (traditional Jewish storyteller), weaving tales from the everyday to the fantastic, each one bringing the reader a slice of the American Jewish experience. Just as Sholem Aleichem did more than a hundred years ago in his famous stories describing Russian Jewish life, these tales inform and entertain by uncovering little-known events and personalities that have impacted the American Jewish world. In the 1950s, the late Harry Golden, in his popular collections Only in America and For Two Cents Plain, introduced Jewish culture to many non-Jewish Americans. Joseph Rotenberg’s work updates that vision to depict the contemporary, modern American Jew who is today increasingly as much at home in the halls of the Ivy League, the corridors of power in Washington, the corporate boardroom, and the theater as he is in the beit midrash and the synagogue. You’ll laugh, cry, and wonder as you travel through Joseph Rotenberg’s incisive and at times laugh-outloud funny collection of tales.

Timeless Travels is a fascinating and thought-provoking account of the experiences and travels of Jewish people throughout history, by the talented author, Joseph Rotenberg. Timeless Travels will appeal to readers of all ages. I highly recommend this page-turning collection of short stories.”

Douglas R. Cobb – Reviewer for Bestsellersworld.com

Last Night in the OR: A Transplant Surgeon’s Odyssey by Bud Shaw

Reviewed by Teri Davis

Last Night in the ORHow does someone become a transplant surgeon?

Bud Shaw became a physician because his father was a surgeon. When his mother died of lung cancer, Bud became the son of a single-parent who had difficulty balancing raising three children with the demands of surgery. Naturally, Bud graduated from college, then medical school. Becoming a surgeon is challenging and demanding as well as humbling. 1981, in Pittsburgh, a young doctor was introduced into the world of liver transplantation.

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Shaw’s first experience was in the transplant world was in Pittsburgh during 1981. Ironically, the patient was a liver transplant surgeon from Texas who suffered from a congenital liver disease. He had traveled to Pittsburgh to for the procedure by the most respected liver transplant surgeon of the time. The donor’s liver had just arrived from Virginia.

For Shaw, who had just graduated from the University of Utah as a surgery resident, he was an excited thirty-one-year-old thrilled with being allowed to train with this transplant team.

For a prospective world-class surgeon, this is the opportunity of his life.
His first day was already a disaster. He received a phone call while driving across the country. Apparently, he was expected in the operating room last week. So much for leaving messages with the head surgeon’s secretary. Two days later, Bud and his wife made it to Pittsburgh. As they moved into a new home, the refrigerator broke along with his car being vandalized. Strangely, the nurse on the team wanted him to sign a petition stating that transplants were unethical. With the six procedures in six months resulted in six deaths.
His first time on the team was disastrous with the surgeon completely humiliating him.

Between Breaths: A Memoir of Panic and Addiction by Elizabeth Vargas (Kindle Edition)

Reviewed by Nancy Eaton

Between BreathsElizabeth Vargas has always been one of my favorite journalists. I enjoyed her time on Good Morning America and loved to watch her co-host episodes of 20/20. I was saddened to hear about her problems with anxiety and alcohol. It was such a shock because I, and I’m sure thousands of others, had no idea Elizabeth had this problem.

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As I started to read Between Breaths her story became more and more interesting. I could not put the book down. Elizabeth told the readers of the many times she attended rehab and how she tried to deal with the many setbacks where she found herself going back to alcohol. She was concerned about her marriage and her children. Her marriage fell apart but she had a strong support group and that is what really helped. Elizabeth gave details of her time as a little girl when her panic anxiety started and told of how she started as a journalist. The readers were provided with a detailed report of what she endured during her many stays in rehab facilities.

Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies by Ross King

Reviewed by Caryn St. Clair

Mad EnchantmentThe Impressionists are among the most recognized and beloved of artists world wide. Among them, Monet is perhaps the best known in part because of his series of paintings of the waterlilies. Add to that, Monet was an interesting person and led quite a life. Unlike many artists who only became well known or appreciated after death, Monet was hugely popular while living and as a result amassed a fairly large fortune. His home in Giverny was large, comfortable and ever changing. His gardens were extensive. This book briefly covers Monet’s life story up to when his paintings became focused on his garden, but from that point forward is a much more detailed accounting.

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There is a sad irony in Monet’s work. He created his gardens as a kind of shelter from the stress of the outside world-a nature retreat you might say. Certainly his work gives people that sense of peace through the beauty of the water and flowers. Sadly, the paintings themselves caused the artist all sorts stress. Ever the perfectionist, Monet struggled to get the feel of the water the way he wanted and actually destroyed several canvases. Also, by the time Money was fully engaged with the painting of the waterlilies, he had lost his beloved wife and oldest son and his eyes were bothering him. Monet suffering from cataracts. He had treatments but was not satisfied with the outcome.

The Unbound Soul by Richard L. Haight

Reviewed by Lisa Brown-Gilbert

theunboundsoulAuthor Richard L. Haight feeds readers food for the mind, consciousness and soul, with his enspiriting non-fiction work, The Unbound Soul which centers on his spiritual endowment learned through his inspiring life experiences while on his path to spiritual enlightenment and empowerment.

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The information, lessons and guidance, deftly dispensed by author Haight throughout this book can be called nothing short of soul stirring as he touches on many pertinent elements of the spiritual awakening process he learned helping himself to move out of the negativity wielding mind and into consciousness. Through this book he shares his experiences and offers sage guidance, in the hopes that his message will get through and help others to uncover the latent disharmony buried within themselves, thusly leading to expanded spiritual awareness and purpose.

What makes Mr. Haight a voice to be heard in the world of spiritual self-help is his many years of combined experiences involving divine guidance, meditation, healing therapies and the metaphysical conditioning of martial arts. He proves each to be an equally important facet of the process of spiritual unfolding. In fact, he shares his inspiring guidance not only within this book, but also as a multi-licensed instructor in meditation, therapy and martial arts. His journey has also led him to devise and teach a process of enhanced spiritual expansion, named Shinkaido, a multifaceted approach which is supposed to speed up the path to spiritual awakening.

Author Haight candidly unveils the details of his life’s journey, his voice is powerful, his honesty palatable and his words awe inspiring to say the least. The portrayal of his journey seems to come from a well -grounded perspective as he divulges shocking, but resonating first-hand, information concerning the future of earth, humanity and the necessity for expansion of one’s spirituality. Mr. Haight posits, like many other spiritual leaders currently are, that earth is going to go through a great change and move into a new age of consciousness but the journey will be rough.

Overall I was both deeply inspired and awed by The Unbound Soul. It was an engrossing and intense read that has forever changed my personal spiritual paradigm. I found some of his experiences to be almost incredulous, but indeed awe-inspiring. As I read, I experienced a range of emotions spanning from soul-shaking fear to reverberating inspiration especially as I experienced those “Aha” moments of realization. Although the book as a whole is metaphysically edifying, I found the content of Chapter 11, The Frequencies of Mind and Consciousness, eminently mind-blowing. This book is a keeper and I highly recommend it as an integral part of the libraries of those seeking expertly-helmed guidance to becoming consciously awake.

Good Morning Diego Garcia: A Voyage of Discovery (Journeys) (Volume 2) by Susan Joyce

Reviewed by Douglas R. Cobb

Good Morning Diego GarciaWith Good Morning Diego Garcia: A Journey of Discovery (Journeys – Book 2), talented author Susan Joyce relates her further memoirs, which she began in The Lullaby Illusion: A Journey of Awakening (Journeys – Volume 1). The result is a fascinating book, combining the genres of memoirs and travel books, relating the author’s further adventures, when she and her husband, Charles, are invited by friends to travel in a yacht they are breaking in on its maiden voyage, and they travel to many exotic locations. Like in the first book, the author undergoes an internal journey of self-discovery as well as experiencing the journey of a lifetime places many people only dream of seeing.

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Good Morning Diego Garcia begins with the narrator and Charles back in Ojai, California, after having spent a tumultuous time in Cyprus, living through the 1974 coup and war there. The couple are settling into a house they have rented, with Charles waiting on his old job to call him back and let him know work is available for him. They do not seem to be worried about financial matters very much, as Charles has money socked away in at least a couple of bank accounts for them to get by on.

It’s a Long Story: My Life by Willie Nelson with David Ritz

Reviewed by Allen Hott

itsalongstoryAnother book by Willie! This one is the story of his life as he tells it. And since he is now 82 years old I guess we would all agree It’s A Long Story. But it is also very interesting as he recounts his younger years in Texas and how he went from being a farm boy to becoming a musical icon.

He played his guitar and sang in bands all around Abbott Texas at first but then began moving out into the bigger cities. Basically he played in small bands that performed primarily in bars. Even at a young age he not only was around liquor but began partaking of it at that young age.

Trauma, Shame, and the Power of Love: The Fall and Rise of a Physician Who Heals Himself
by Christopher E. Pelloski, MD

Reviewed by Lisa Brown-Gilbert

Trauma, Shame and the Power of LoveAlthough sexual abuse and pornography of children is nothing new within this society, each time it is discovered and reported there is an accompanying knee jerk reaction of anger, disgust and distrust that follows so much so that it becomes hard to see the many facets of the whole truth about the situation such was the case with Christopher E. Pelloski M.D. In his book, Trauma, Shame and the Power of Love, which is a biographical work, he bares his soul and shares his experiences from arrest to trial as a non-productive participant of child pornography.

Dog Medicine: How My Dog Saved Me From Myself by Julie Barton

Reviewed by Caryn St. Clair

Dog Medicine is one of the most moving books I have read. EVER. The author has bared her soul for readers and taken us on the self-discovery journey with her from a complete breakdown through a grueling recovery. It is a heart-wrenching trip. There have been others who have shared how a dog in their lives have pulled them out of grief or helped them through alcohol recovery, but I have never read a book that was so raw with emotions. As a reader I felt I was making this journey with her.