Hello again, and welcome to my TOP 3 NON-FICTION reads of 2017.
I always approach works of Non-Fiction being intensley aware of just how personal and confronting they can be to write … and to read. These emotions are not invented for readability, they are often raw, exposing both the authors and the readers nerve endings, and often taking you on journeys that will shatter the barricades you have in place…the ones surrounding your heart and your soul.
Without fail I have found each of these works Inspirational. They have altered my perceptions of things I once thought inalterable. They have touched me, moved me to tears and quite often rage.
They will remain in my memory.
Counting down from
NUMBER 3. “Paper In The Wind” by Olivia Mason Charles @omasoncharles
Paper in the Wind is a compassionate and riveting story depicting a single father’s dedication to his daughter. In the midst of the overwhelming struggles that accompanied autism, he continues to persevere. Her father’s love enabled her to overcome insurmountable obstacles, discovered the power of love and embraced the gift of life.
THE HEADLINE OF MY REVIEW. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Read, learn and be inspired. An amazing journey.
An Excerpt From My Review.
This book is written with a deep understanding of Autism, and a thought provoking, and inspirational message of hope. It is not written blindly … it is not written without great thought and the exploration of human failings and tribulations, for it truly encompasses all that and much more.
It is written with all the damage exposed of a couple coping the best way they know how with their autistic daughter. They fail and they falter in the face of all the pain, stress, and worry for the future of their beloved Alexa. In short, the author makes them very human, so human in fact that I caught myself nodding my head in sad tears of understanding. Life throws such massive challenges in the path of these parents. The author permits us to see how constant stress and unrelenting concern for their child rips apart the fabric of a love once a towering wall and now forced to crumble into ruin … exhausted by circumstances.
Olivia Mason -Charles doesn’t ease you into this story, you are confronted and challenged every step of the way. The length of the book should not to be judged by the number of its pages, but rather for the incredibly powerful messages imparted within each page.
NUMBER 2. “The Hearts Lullaby” by Natalie Ducey @NatalieDucey
The Heart’s Lullaby is a candid portrayal of love in all its splendor and pain. Love, in its purest form, is tranquil and soothes the soul. But love, as is life, can sometimes be cruel and unjust with its paths of uncertainty and forced goodbyes. In essence, it is a journey of self-discovery. A continuous journey of becoming. Often, it becomes a delicate dance of holding on and letting go.
We linger in memories of ill-fated love; our minds can easily soil them, and our hearts can effortlessly polish them to perfection, altering their resemblance entirely. We can anchor ourselves to yesterday by zealous choice or solemn grief. So easily, we can become obsessed with what “might have been” and miss the beauty that lies before us. Our minds craft spectacular moments that will never be realized. Why? Is it self-indulgence, or are they necessary companions for our soul’s survival?
Love, its force so formidable, transcends time, distance, and even death. Eternal love is the epitome of its grandeur.
To feel the exquisite, majestic splendor of love is the greatest gift we can give or receive. To have another see the unique beauty in our imperfections, that will protect us and elevate us without greed or envy, a soul willing and proud to walk this journey of life with us and share in its joys and sorrows … this is love, a gift unmeasurable and unmatched by earthly possessions.
But two souls must be willing. Therein lies the intricate complexities of the heart. And in the end, we must never forget … love, as is life, is a continuous journey of becoming.
MY REVIEW HEADLINE 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟THE perfect gift to share with someone you can’t imagine living without.
An Excerpt from my review.
This author has a rare and beautiful spirit that shines through with each graceful and eloquent word that she has penned.
Her words caused me to take a deep breath and pause to reflect on my own journey, I was unprepared for the glimpses into my own behavior, my loves still remaining, and those I have forsaken or lost.
That gift is what this author shares with you in this volume.
If you have ever loved deeply, or are in that first joyous season of new love found, or perhaps reflect back on the ‘if only’ moments life hands us with such abandon, this book will move and touch you.
It would make THE perfect gift to share with someone you can’t imagine living without.
NUMBER 1. “Letting Go into Perfect Love” by Gwendolyn M. Plano @gmplano
Inspiring and unforgettable, Letting Go into Perfect Love is a riveting account of a journey through the terror of domestic violence to a faith that transforms all. As a college administrator, Gwendolyn M. Plano lived her professional life in a highly visible and accountable space–but as a wife and mother, behind closed doors, she and her family experienced unpredictable threat. The statistics are staggering–every 9 seconds in the United States, a woman is assaulted or beaten–but to Gwen, this was her secret; it was her shame. When her husband eventually turned his brutality on her son, she knew she could no longer remain silent.
Alternately heart-wrenching and joyful, this is a story of triumph over adversity–one woman’s uplifting account of learning how to forgive the unforgiveable, recover her sense of self, bring healing into her family, and honor the journey home. Accompanied by glimpses of celestial beings, Gwen charts a path through sorrow to joy–and ultimately, writes of the one perfect love we all seek.
The story that unfolds is not a blow-by-blow account of savagery hidden within a twenty-five-year marriage; rather, it is a walk through innocent dreams betrayed–to courage found. “Tragedy spares no one;” Gwen points out, “it just courts each of us differently. One way or another, it finds a path into our hearts, and there we do battle with the intruder.” As a survivor who came out of her unhealthy relationship determined to start over, Gwen artfully depicts the challenges of balancing the obligations of motherhood and career with her family’s healing process, while offering hope to anyone facing monumental challenges.
Integral to Gwen’s journey is her faith. Because of her Catholic upbringing, she struggles with the scandal of divorce, but finally makes her peace. When her daughter reveals her molestation by clergy, however, her fragile sense of serenity dissolves. We walk with Gwen as she tries to make sense of this horror. The agony experienced by the entire family is devastatingly palpable. Against all odds, Gwen emerges confident of her faith and begins to see the threads of meaning in even the darkest moments.
This is a book for all. But, for those who have been in a destructive relationship, Gwen’s story will be heartbreakingly familiar. For those who have been spared such diminishment, it will provide insight into the often misunderstood phenomenon of domestic violence. Since one in every four women will experience such threat in her lifetime, understanding that murky world may provide the reader with the skills needed to help his or her sister or friend or neighbor. Whether victim or friend, though, readers will be inspired by the author’s courage and ultimate resolution of her predicament. And, you may see your own challenges a little differently.
MY REVIEW: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Powerful, Provocative and potentially life-altering!
Each of us come to the place where we will read this work from such diverse directions. We will each interpret and attempt to define it in our many alternate ways. I bring to this reading a history of abuse; accordingly my belief system was shakily formed and has remained under question for much of my life.
When I read the blurb, and several of the very eloquent reviews I almost stopped … I wanted to run like hell. My guts were telling me I’d feel every nuance of pain … my guts were uncannily right.
Author Gwen Plano has not simply invited me to read this book, from the opening pages, this author compelled me to read it. I figured if this woman has the courage to write it, then at the very least I should demand of myself the courage to read it.
Author Plano took me firmly by the heart and guided me through the occasional nightmarish quality of her life. Her honesty shook me, and I rejoiced to find an author unafraid to show herself as imperfect, willing to lay her soul bare in an effort to help others that may well be undergoing a similar horrendous, fearful and ultimately life-altering journey.
I have not yet experienced the great joy that comes from trusting so implicitly. However now, and largely thanks to the gift of author Gwen Planos writing, I have at last, again begun to question. It is a powerful work indeed that can have caused that to eventuate. Please … do yourselves a favor … read this compelling book and open your heart. Take this journey with Author Gwen Plano and perhaps come to a new understanding of just what true courage can do.
Thank you for joining me today. The New Year beckons. I wish each of you a wonderful, bright and joyous New Year.