Tag Archives: family

Cover Me With My Izar by Nora Houri-Haim Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Author Nora Houri-Haim takes readers on a journey exploring the history, culture, and modern story of Iraqi Jews through a multi-generational fictional novel in the book “Cover Me With My Izar”.

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The Synopsis

Through a series of stories that span several generations, ‘Cover Me with My Izar’, brings to vivid life the modern history of Iraqi Jews.

The stories are fascinating, humorous, filled with humanity, always captivating, and brimming with heart. Each story is told from the viewpoint of a different character across the generations.

From the tales of the vibrant Jewish community in Baghdad, through the terrors of the Farhud Pogrom to the mass immigration into Israel, a rich story of struggle and learning to adapt unfolds.

From the miracle that was visited upon the barren Latifa, to the disaster Ezra, the sword collector, brought on his own head; from Yvette, who decided to go and earn an education for herself against all odds, to the story of Itzik and Nava, children of the third generation born in Israel who wanted to be integrated into its newly forming society. These are just a handful of the rich tapestry of stories woven together to form the fabric of this book. A fabric as unforgettable and rich as that from which the traditional Izar gown, worn by the Jewish women of Iraq, is made. 

The Review

This was such a well-written and personal story. The author expertly found the balance between personal storytelling about family experiences and intimate looks into the culture and history surrounding the Jewish people of the Middle East over the last century. The way this story fell into an almost compilation of short stories that fell under a general story banner that connected to one another through the generations was such an inspired use of storytelling devices. The imagery and atmosphere were so vivid that the stories the author was bringing to life felt very real, allowing readers to feel quite connected to the narrative.

The blend of character development and culture really became the heart of this narrative. The exploration of several characters and their point of view over the course of an entire family’s history over the course of a century was an inspired creative choice and played well into the narrative choice to explore the Middle Eastern Jewish experience. It was original and allowed readers to fully feel immersed into an aspect and point of view of life that is rarely explored.

The Verdict

Brilliantly written, captivating, and engaging, author Nora Houri-Haim’s “Cover Me With My Izar” is a must-read family and multi-generational fiction novel of 2022. The unique setting and history the author explores in this narrative were so amazing to behold, and the rich cultural explorations were truly entertaining and emotionally driven, keeping readers invested throughout the narrative. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Nora Houri-Haim was born in 1953 in the “new, old” city of Tel Aviv, to parents who’d made aliyah from Iraq. She spent her childhood surrounded by her huge extended family and grew up on the knees of her aunts and uncles, listening to stories from the “old country.” These stories were in sharp contrast to the reality around Nora. In the fledgling state of Israel, anything foreign, and especially anything connected to the Arab world, was frowned upon. This dissonance defined Nora’s childhood and inspired her writing as an adult. She finished her schooling in Tel Aviv, and then served in the Israeli military as an educational adviser. After completing her BA, Nora got married, had four kids and spent eight years teaching 6-8th graders. Nora completed her MA, with honors in Literature and Creative Writing from Ben Gurion University in the Negev. While there, she began writing her first novel, Cover Me with my Izar”. The novel was nominated by her publisher for the Sapir Prize for debut novels and was praised by the National Library during the year it was published.

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Short Shorts on Family and Other Issues by Philippa C. Jabouin Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Author Philippa C. Jabouin’s “Short Shorts on Family and Other Issues” helps readers take a journey into the everyday and seemingly mundane experiences that can reflect on the issues and problems that can arise in our everyday relationships.

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The Synopsis

In these thirty snippets of everyday life, Philippa c. jabouin offers vignettes of seemingly trivial moments of her characters’ interactions with themselves and others.

Through deep reflection, existential questions, misunderstandings and eloquent silences, the stories offer quick snapshots of the complexity of the human mind and its dynamics.

The Review

This was a profound and moving read. The author did an incredible job of layering these short little vignettes and stories with a healthy balance of theme and story-driven narrative. The way the author included pages adjacent to the stories for readers to write down their reflections on the lessons and themes they picked up on in the stories themselves was just incredible and made for a more personal and interactive reading experience.

What stood out to me and made the lessons stand out, even more, was the way the author framed each story’s “characters”. The obscurity of the characters allowed the reader to hone in on the messages and themes of the stories far more, allowing them to place themselves into the narrative in place of a more elevated “character”. The themes that focused on family, friends, romantic relationships, and so much more really brought an emotional depth and allowed the reader to connect to the stories themselves in a more personal manner.

The Verdict

Heartfelt, personal, and engaging, author Philippa C. Jabouin’s “Short Shorts on Family and Other Issues” is a must-read short story collection. The fast-paced read and brilliant storytelling will hook readers instantly, and the way the author writes will allow readers to able to see themselves in the narratives and connect on a much more personal level. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Philippa c. jabouin has authored many articles and short stories under her name and as a ghostwriter. As a recovering ex-lawyer, she now spends her time writing as a freelance journalist, editor, and consultant. This is her first published collection of short stories. She lives in the Ottawa/Gatineau region of Canada.

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/short-shorts-on-family-and-other-issues-philippa-c-jabouin/1140828868

Son of the Moon: A Quest for the Perfect Woman by Amo Sulaiman Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A young man who goes through life searching for his other half and womanizing meets his match and finds himself going down a dangerous path in author Amo Sulaiman’s “Son of the Moon: A Quest for the Perfect Woman”. 

The Synopsis

He’s but a boy still, in his late teens, exotic, charming, a naïve stranger in a strange land with an unquenchable thirst for pleasure. Saddled from birth with a name that takes people aback, El Nobis von Albion sets out on a noble mission in life: to unite with his missing other half. And for a while, his strategic wit and his habit of poetically praising women’s sensuality right to their faces win him one homerun after another.

But, unfortunately, his high-spirited foster mom never taught him that Pretty is as pretty does, so when he finally meets the Perfect Woman, the tables start to turn. He finds himself being sucked down into a situation that could threaten his freedom…and even his very life.

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The Review

Such an interesting and mind-bending sociological and psychological read! The author does a brilliant job of touching on themes of philosophy, nature vs nurture, and the examination of relationships as a whole, especially on how men treat women and vice versa. The tension and way the story is narrated from multiple perspectives were engaging to read, and the chilling direction the main character’s life takes, from the tragic circumstances of his birth all the way to the search for romance and pursuit of relationships in his life taking a very dark turn, was thought-provoking to read.

The author’s philosophical and psychological approach to the writing was the most gripping aspect to me. The examination of sexism, the way we teach our youth to view relationships and the impact dysfunctional relationships have on developing minds was felt throughout this narrative. The contrast between protagonist “Al” and his long-lost brother Marvin early in the story is a great example of the nature vs nature argument, showing how different they grew up and how they approach life as a whole.

The Verdict

A mesmerizing, thoughtful, and entertaining read, author Amo Sulaiman’s “Son of the Moon: A Quest for the Perfect Woman” is a must-read novel. Shifting back and forth between dark family dynamics, hopeful romantic notions, and intense psychological profiles of these well-developed characters, this is one book you won’t want to miss. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Ignored Tags: $0118, $0119

Born in Guyana and continuing his education in Canada, Amo Sulaiman received a B.A. Degree in Philosophy and Psychology at the University of Guelph in Ontario. B.A. in English and American Literarure. He then completed his Master’s Degree in Philosophy in Montreal. Shortly after this, he went to Switzerland where he did his Doctorate in Philosophy at the University of Bern. He has been living in Switzerland ever since.

Besides publishing two books on philosophy, one on English Literature, and several academic articles, Proud City is his first novel.

https://www.amoinfo.info/

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09DW398L2/ref=x_gr_w_glide_sin?caller=Goodreads&callerLink=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.goodreads.com%2Fbook%2Fshow%2F59119348-son-of-the-moon%3Fac%3D1%26from_search%3Dtrue%26qid%3DZ5ZKMtUF1z%26rank%3D1&tag=x_gr_w_glide_sin-20

The Jersey by James F. Rosenberg Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

One many faces the most painful and difficult challenge of his life as he balances family, career and life in author James F. Rosenberg’s novel “The Jersey”. 

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The Synopsis

Dan West wonders which is more important to him: Helping his long-time friend win back his business after being accused of stealing money from the company or coaching his eleven-year-old son’s soccer team trying to win an improbable championship.

Money and prestige don’t motivate Dan. Rather, family, work and coaching soccer are the underpinnings of his life. He revels in the simple joys like hanging out with his wife Jill, mentoring a young lawyer at his firm and watching the boys connect on three passes before drilling the ball into the back of the net.

Dan always knew to keep it steady—not to get too high or he might get knocked off of his perch. And he did, until he, and the boys’ soccer team, achieved unimagined success. Before he can grasp how good he has it, tragedy rips a hole in his family.

James Rosenberg, author of the bestseller Legal Reserves, strikes a new chord in his exploration of what makes a life and how to put it back together after it is shattered.

The Jersey is a beautifully written, profoundly touching, and relatable story of love, loss and the redemptive power of a group of motivated eleven-year-old kids.

The Review

This was a beautifully written, powerful and emotional read. A steady read that draws readers into the life of protagonist Dan, readers are left reeling as much as Dan himself after the tragic event that tears his family apart. The author does an excellent job of showcasing a detailed backstory and delving fully into Dan’s career as an attorney with a healthy balance of family life leading up to the tragedy. 

What really is captured is the raw pain that comes with tragic events and loss of any kind. The author delves into the grieving process and challenges the reader to find a way to overcome that grief, vowing to live life in the face of great tragedy and heartbreak. This is a story that is fueled by powerful character development that readers can instantly connect to and most readers will be hard pressed not to have a tear in their eye as the story progresses.

The Verdict

Emotional, heartbreaking and real, author James F. Rosenberg has written another smash hit that is engaging and evenly paced throughout the entirety of the novel. Showcasing the painful process of loss and grief and searching for a way to overcome them both, the author does an amazing job of creating a protagonist and narrative that readers can engage with and care for greatly. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of “The Jersey” by James F. Rosenberg today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

James Rosenberg has tried cases for the almost three decades.   He has learned that every case is unique and has compelling storylines.  He weaves his novels with morsels from his legal career and makes trials come to life.  He started writing legal thrillers as a stress reducer and finds that having control over what his characters are going to do is easier than controlling his own clients.

When he is not in court, he hangs with his family watching his boys play soccer or his girl dance.  He and his wife try to have a little free time but whenever the kids leave them alone, the dog wants more attention.  

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48406940-the-jersey

Amazon  https://www.amazon.com/Jersey-Story-Loss-Redemption-ebook/dp/B07YVL93W7/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=james+rosenberg&qid=1571153109&s=books&sr=1-2

Also, my author’s website:

Jamesrosenbergauthor.com

Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/RosenbergWrites/?modal=admin_todo_tour


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Hope At The House of Mouse (Disneyland 2018)

My Day At Disneyland

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The blazing Southern California heat couldn’t touch stop us from having the time of our lives. When the world thinks of Southern California residents, they have a certain image of us. They see beach dwellers, Hollywood obsessed actors and non-stop party goers. They see the glitz and glamour of the entertainment industry, and the pitfalls of crime and horrors on the streets of our cities. Thanks to social media, a lot of people also tend to assume that anyone who lives in Southern California goes to Disneyland all the time. They would be wrong.

When I was a kid, trips to Disneyland were a once a year adventure. They were ingrained into our childhood memories, like sand mixing into the fibers of a carpet. No matter how hard you try not to dwell on the past and yearn to return to a happy time, those memories just won’t go away. For someone like myself, who struggles with physical disabilities 24/7, getting down to Anaheim and the Happiest Place On Earth is no easy task.

Entering The Park

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For the first time, I got to experience a day at Disneyland and California Adventure like never before. Setting out with my fellow Disney obsessed fans (who happen to also be my mother and sister) we ventured into the park and experienced it like it was the first time. From our first time eating lunch at the famed Carnation Cafe to the soothing ride on the classic attraction Jungle Cruise, the day was like someone scavenged through the memories of my childhood and plucked it out of my mind.

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Honoring My Grandfather

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The highlight, (one of many), of the day for me came in New Orleans Square. Years ago on Christmas Eve, my family and I had the misfortune of having to say goodbye to my grandfather, my mother’s father. He was a kind, caring family man who may not have been perfect, but he loved his family dearly. He was the kind of man who wouldn’t let you get into his home without bombarding you with affectionate hugs. He gave my mother, sister and I our love for cheesy horror movies and musicals. He is the man who introduced my mother, and subsequently me, to the works of Stephen King, the author who would inspire me to become a writer in the first place. He was an amazing soul who worked his entire life as a carpet layer to provide for his family, and gave everyone a lifetime’s worth of memories to cherish.

It was one of those memories that led to this momentous day at Disney. While in New Orleans Square, my mother surprised my sister and I with a glass figurine each. We learned that as a child, her father would take her to Disneyland, and together they would watch the glass figurines being made in that shop, the Cristal d’Orleans. Then he would buy her one of the figurines. It was a symbol of the great memories she made at the park with her father, and for years she dreamt of passing it down to us. After a decade away from the park, we finally had the opportunity to learn of this experience she had, and together we had an emotional bonding moment I will cherish for the rest of my life.

California Adventure

Then we continued our fun in California Adventure. An area of the park we never experienced as children since it had yet to come into existence fully, we explored the fun and excitement of the park. It was Pixar Fest, and we got to see some amazing sights. We traveled back in time to the days when boardwalk games were still popular and won some fun prizes. We listened to amazing Mariachi Music, including a wonderful rendition of our current favorite Disney tune, “Remember Me” from Coco. We shopped and dined, and together we experienced one of the best days of our lives.

Some may not understand fully why a day at Disneyland could be so magical to a family of adults, but to us, honoring our childhood and the memories we shared, is something everyone should experience throughout their lives. The world of Disney helped shape part of our lives, giving us the means to explore masterful storytelling, emotional highs and lows in life, and best of all, discovering the magic of hope. In our daily lives, we experience physical pain from our disabilities, emotional pain from those illnesses and the despairing world around us, and mental pain knowing those things aren’t something we can change overnight. Yet in that one day, we got to experience nonstop wonder, excitement, fun and best of all, hope.

A Day To Cherish

We laughed. We cried. We made memories together, and we made promises to one another. Promises to honor the day we had with one another and make it an annual trip (hopefully) in the future. To make it a goal to get to the park at least once a year, and honor the memories we shared with one another. To honor those who are no longer with us in body, but remain in our hearts. To look adversity and pain in the face and smile, as the hope for a brighter tomorrow races towards us. For myself and my family, that is what the happiest place on Earth means to us. That’s what Disney has done for our family.

What is your favorite childhood memory? What’s one place you will never stop wanting to go to no matter how old you are? Leave your comments below.

https://disneyland.disney.go.com/

 Buy 2, Get the 3rd Free – Tor Sci Fi & Fantasy Novels

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I went to see @deadpoolmovie on #valentinesday in today’s brand new #vlog on @youtube now! Link in the bio. #deadpool #dailyvlog #video #vlogger #youtube #youtuber #youtubers #youtubechannel #valentines #vday #family #subscribe

Today instead of sitting home on Valentines Day, I decided to go hang out with family instead, so my sister and I are having lunch and seeing @deadpoolmovie #selfietime #valentines #family #deadpool (at Buffalo Wild Wings)

Here are some pictures from my Christmas experience this year, courtesy of @avinaphotoconcepts Want to see the rest? Go like my @facebook page and see the rest of the photos I just posted. www.facebook.com/AuthorAnthonyAvina #facebook #pictures #picture #memories #christmas #christmas2015 #christmastime #family #facebookpage #facebooklike