Monday, February 10, 2020

Review: Broken Faith: Inside the Word of Faith Fellowship, One of America's Most Dangerous Cults

Broken Faith: Inside the Word of Faith Fellowship, One of America's Most Dangerous Cults Broken Faith: Inside the Word of Faith Fellowship, One of America's Most Dangerous Cults by Mitch Weiss
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow. This is a terrifying book but I looked up the information about Word of Faith and it is truly a terrifying cult. Small but powerful, Whaley has used all the cult tactics to compel her followers to stay in line.

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Review: Truths I Never Told You

Truths I Never Told You Truths I Never Told You by Kelly Rimmer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a very well written book that tackles some very difficult issues. One of the issues is far too polarizing, hence, I will not discuss it since it also would be a spoiler.

The issues at the center of the story are post partum depression, aging parents, and relationships. I found the story to perfectly align with addressing the issues at hand. A very adept writer, as Rimmer clearly is, is able to seamlessly allow the characters to develop and interact with one another while allowing a story to develop on two timelines.

I found Beth’s story to be an accurate depiction of the struggles of identifying depression and the difficulties of seeking treatment when it might adversely impact her career. I also related well to the juggling of motherhood and career goals. The other timeline is narrated by Grace, Beth’s mother, and Maryanne, Grace’s aunt. Between them, the complexities of motherhood within periods of recent historical times, expectations, and the love of family is beautifully addressed. The book would be a good choice for a book club.

Thank you to Edelweiss who provided me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: Why Did I Get a B?: And Other Mysteries We're Discussing in the Faculty Lounge

Why Did I Get a B?: And Other Mysteries We're Discussing in the Faculty Lounge Why Did I Get a B?: And Other Mysteries We're Discussing in the Faculty Lounge by Shannon Reed
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have so much to say about this book. All of it positive and much of it thoughtful and/or funny. So much of this book hit right at my heart. I have had my Paulie’s and I have never forgotten them, haven’t forgiven myself for letting them down, but knew I had to protect my other students. I’ve had one or two Stans. I have had many inept admin and colleagues. I had no burning or singing angels but I know my vocation is not an accident. I’ve learned a lot over the years yet the author has pointed out how much I still don’t know and probably never will. My skin color, my place of birth, and my socioeconomic status and parental support gave me a huge advantage. African American students at my school are either adopted by whites parents or bi-racial and none of them are inner city.

Excellent book for a seasoned educator. Recommended for all.

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Review: The Other People

The Other People The Other People by C.J. Tudor
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Great psychological thriller. Disturbing but not so much that I can't sleep at night. The Other People are ones who are willing to do a favor for a favor. The favor will come someday and it has to be done or else. The Other People are nameless yet could be your next door neighbor. Fascinating.

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Review: My Dark Vanessa

My Dark Vanessa My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a very well written book that makes my skin crawl. I hated it but I can't deny that it is very well written and an excellent source for understanding the manipulations of a pedophile. To the girl, he is not a monster. He loves her. She's special. The slow and steady trap he uses to ensnare her is very realistic and, as I understand it, based on the author's experiences.

It's not a 'feel good' book but it's valuable.

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Review: Craigslist Confessional: A Collection of Secrets from Anonymous Strangers

Craigslist Confessional: A Collection of Secrets from Anonymous Strangers Craigslist Confessional: A Collection of Secrets from Anonymous Strangers by Helena Dea Bala
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I seriously loved the way the author gave a voice to so many people without one. Each chapter is a different person and each person has a different voice. It is abundantly clear that the author stayed as close as she could to the person's narrative. I was particularly moved by the Black man who gave me a very real picture of being an upper middle class man, living in an upper middle class neighborhood and fearing the moments when his sons would discover the ugly realities of being Black. And then they did and my heart broke.

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Review: The Boy from the Woods

The Boy from the Woods The Boy from the Woods by Harlan Coben
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I like Harlan Coben and I liked this book. My only complaint is that I feel like I walked into the middle of a movie and then left before it was over. I assume there will be a sequel to answer the questions and tie up lose ends. I may raise a star at that point.

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