Welcome to Feathered Quill Book Reviews, a place for readers to find their next treasure.
Along with reviews of many well-known titles, this site also searches out unique books
from small, independent presses.
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When Their World Stops: The Essential Guide to TRULY Helping Anyone in Grief
By: Anne-Marie Lockmyer
Publisher: Joseph Allen Press
Publication Date: March 2016
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: December 10, 2016
As anyone reading this review will know, there are a plethora of books on the market (most written by PhD’s, M.D.’s and any other ‘D’ you can think of) in regards to grief, how to deal with the loss of life, and how best to cope in order to move on to the next stage. This book, however, will actually “speak” to you – all of you out there who has either lost a loved one, or had to find a way to help/aid/support/comfort a friend who was going through the grieving process. I say this will speak to you, because even though the degrees on the wall may state that the person holding said degrees is the “voice” that learned a specific area of medicine, it is not a degree that is at the core of a subject such as grief. Much like people believe you can better help an addict if you’ve gone through the same nightmare, the same can be said for a broken home or a broken heart.
Right from the onset, this author tells of one of the worst experiences a person could go through; the loss of a spouse. This is a woman who was in love with her mate and was just approaching their twenty-sixth wedding anniversary when her beloved passed away. This is a woman who raised her children with the love of her life; they created a world that was suddenly broken. She speaks of how she came to realize, once going through this horrible pain and feeling the whirlwind of emotions, that some of her very closest friends really had no idea how to deal with her grief. Even when they thought they were being helpful, they actually were saying some very wrong things and making her feel even worse. No. They weren’t trying to do this, and because of this she saw that when the shoe had been on the other foot, she had not been the best when it came to giving support/aid to her friends.
Bottom line: No one knows exactly how to respond to grief. Your friends look away and you can actually feel the tension in the room because there truly is no sure way to comfort someone who has just dealt with a loss of this magnitude. The author took it upon herself to let others know what she learned about grief, and offers a “door” to those who are hurt and those who are trying desperately to find the right way to comfort them during this time.
Is bringing a gift to the home right? How do you keep a schedule for the children; how do you best help them cope while your own heart is breaking? Sincerity and dependability are necessary, but when should you talk about the person who has passed? Is telling your friend they’re strong a good thing? When should you send a sympathy card, and what should it read? And, one of the biggest issues in many lives, how to help when Christmas comes to pass. The holiday is full of memories and the depression rates/numbers grow higher during the season.
This is not a tome with large, medical words or doctor ‘speak.’ This is a golden-nugget of a book, if you will, written with heart and, unfortunately, written from experience. These are helpful words and directions that will not solve the issues of grief, but allow you to better understand how to deal with grief and help a friend get through a horrible time.
Quill says: It is a fact that everyone grieves differently, but this author should be commended for tapping into her own traumatic experience to bring others a bit of peace.
For more information on When Their World Stops: The Essential Guide to TRULY Helping Anyone in Grief, please visit the website: www.comfortforthehurting.com
A World at Risk
By: Jochanan Stenesh
Publisher: Merriam Press
Publication Date: May 2016
Reviewed by: Anita Lock
Date: December 5, 2016
Stenesh offers a warning of future world events in his debut read.
The year 2020 sees the beginnings of an ominous wave of worldwide cataclysmic events, initiated by Iran's first nuclear test and establishment of full control over the southern section of the Tigris/Euphrates Delta (TE-Delta). A new cold war appears to be on the rise in Russia and piracy on the Indian Ocean is at an all time high. The termination of the Israel-Palestinian conflict spells bad times ahead for Palestinians. ISIS is stronger than ever operating out of four large land bases. China overtakes the once-independent SAR (Special Administrative Region) Macau in 2024, Hong Kong five years later, and then in 2035 launches a full-scale invasion of Taiwan.
Protesting in Tahrir Square goes awry in 2027 when the Muslim Brotherhood attempts to call all like-minded Egyptians to join them in their non-dictatorial "let us work together" campaign. Two years later, extremist groups unite to attack Jews throughout Europe. In 2031 war breaks out between North and South Korea. Meanwhile in the United States, Religious Right groups' precedence creates a chain of shocking circumstances, such as the tearing of the wall of separation between church and state, creationism on par with evolution in high school science classes, and the banning of abortions. And to round out this unnerving glimpse into a twenty-year period, the effects of global warming create cataclysmic worldwide disasters including a shortage of drinking water.
Stenesh's newsworthy digest of "what might happen in the world in the next two decades" is reminiscent of Wells' War of the Worlds and Orwell's 1984. Like the aforementioned notable titles, Stenesh presents a near believable narrative. Contrary to Wells' and Orwell's writing style, Stenesh has replaced the typical science fiction plot with a compilation of twenty-one newspaper dispatches. Stenesh opens with a section addressed "To Our Readers," which explains the origins of the selection of popular articles penned by three fabricated veteran bureau chiefs from the equally fabricated World View series of The Daily Independent Courier. Now morphed into book form and bearing the same moniker as the title of Stenesh's book, the collection covers imagined "flash points and controversial issues around the globe."
Beginning with Jordan, Stenesh's essay-narratives highlight situations that take place in Dubai, Ukraine, Somalia, Africa (Nigeria, Morocco, Egypt), Israel, China (Macau, Hong Kong), Taiwan, Europe (Belgium, Germany), South Korea, United States (D.C., New York, California, Texas), India, and Sri Lanka. Readers with interest in world events should be able to identify a good handful of troubled war-torn places on the list. That said, Stenesh creates a realistic narrative pulling from past and present tensions/issues to build his imaginary predictions. Stenesh aptly bridges the gap from reality to fiction by incorporating meticulous historical details, thus brilliantly portraying quite a dystopian read. Stenesh's frightening calculations are not that far-fetched, even though there will be readers who no doubt disagree with his perspective. Regardless, A World at Risk is not only a great science fiction read, but also includes plenty of information for Stenesh's audience to ruminate on long after the book is done.
Quill says: A World at Risk is a perfect read for conspiracy theory aficionados, as well as those who have a fetish for world predictions.
It's Hard to be Good (Life's Little Lessons By Ellie the Wienerdog)
By: K.J. Hales
Illustrated by: Serene Wyatt
Publisher: Open Door Press
Publication Date: November 2016
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: November 29, 2016
Oh, my! There's a sandwich on the table and it looks so yummy! What's a good little dog to do? That's the dilemma faced by Ellie the dachshund in this adorable children's book.
Ellie is an happy (and very cute!) dachshund who really wants to be good. She loves hearing her humans tell her what a good dog she is. But there are temptations all around her - things to chew, things to chase, and most importantly, things to EAT! Her great hound nose picks up all the smells of yummy treats and the poor dog is constantly being tempted. The ultimate enticement is a sandwich that's on the edge of the table just above Ellie:
Today I'm in luck,
for what do I see?
A freshly made sandwich
calling to me.
It's Hard to be Good is an hysterical look at the plight of a dachshund who is trying so hard to be good. Told in the first person by Ellie, the story is written in simple prose that will get emerging readers into the story quickly. The dog's facial expressions as she's trying to decide if she should/should not grab the sandwich are truly laugh-out-loud-funny and I can't imagine any child not falling into hysterics while reading this book.
Quill says: Ellie has to be one of the cutest dogs around, with a great story to tell. Add this book to your collection!