10 Days Without – A Review

10dayswithout Bringing attention to otherwise un thought of issues is the idea behind this book. Mr. Ray discusses how he decided to set up a blog and then write about his mission to go ten days without various things. Example: he went without shoes on the first challenge and brought awareness to the fact that many children don’t have them nor do adults.
With each goal Daniel sets out to understand the other person’s point of view. I especially like the time he helped out with a camp for individuals with disabilities. H gained valuable knowledge about how to treat people who may not fit the “norm” of what “normal” is. I should know, I have a brother who happens to be mentally retarded and a son who is severely autistic and moderately mentally retarded.
Mr. Ray you illustrate, through your experiences, how easy it to gain an understanding of other’s circumstances. Rock on man! Keep on learning, you will always be amazed.
I received a free copy of this book from Waterbrook Press in exchange for reviewing it.
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Miss Brenda and the Loveladies – A Review

brendaloveladies Money, nice house, and the perks that go with it just don’t make one completely happy. Miss Brenda is that lady, a wealthy businesswoman who discovers her true calling: Helping female ex-prisoners get back on their feet. Go woman! She does this radical thing: changes her home into a “whole-way house”. Makes sense to me. After researching other options, she discovered that the help, although well meaning, just wasn’t enough. Of course she’s freaked out by the women who arrive at her door, many angry and some incredibly shy.
From fighting with the residents to her neighbors, Miss Brenda manages to shine through her willingness to stick it out and her program becomes a huge success. Up yours to the bigoted neighbors who were snotty and wanted no part of this. The house was on 10 acres and well away from everyone else. I applaud Mrs. Spahn for learning why these ladies were in prison, from their rough and horrific backgrounds, you gain a lot of insight. You understand that no, they really didn’t want the lives they had, but somehow the drugs, sex, etc… just became a normal part of their living. What else did they know?
More than anything, Mrs. Spahn needed the Loveladies more than they needed her. They are a perfect match. Redemption is possible and making a new life for oneself is doable. Just ask the Loveladies. To me, they are lovely ladies.
I received this free copy from Waterbrook Press in exchange for reviewing it.
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Now I Get Him!

salingerbook Just finished reading a book about one of many favorite authors, J. D. Salinger, author of “The Catcher in the Rye” and others. The authors investigate a most reclusive Salinger in attempt to understand him better and his reasons for writing like he did. Well, I understand now.
Mr. Salinger suffered many losses in his lifetime, mostly of his own self. He served in World War II and witnessed the death of many of his comrades, his friends, and the horrific conclusions from Hitler’s reign. Even before the war, he was seeing a young lady name Oona O’Neil, daughter of playwright, Eugene O’Neil. She abandons him for someone else, much older than her eighteen years: Charlie Chaplin. Yes, that Charlie Chaplin. She let him discover his loss from newspapers. How sad.
Mr. Salinger suffered from PTSD or post traumatic syndrome, as a result of his time in the Army. I honestly believe that began his desire to be isolated from the world, although in small, excruciating steps. He fell in love again with other young ladies, one of whom was suspected of working for the Gestapo.
“The Catcher in the Rye” is about a young man, who is angry at everyone and everything. He has suffered a loss and wishes to save little kids from harm. Salinger, in his own way, was trying to save himself with the many young ladies he dated and those he married. He always chose those who were much younger than him. Mr. Salinger was trying to not only save them but somehow go back to being much younger, when he didn’t have to worry about the ugly side of living. After the war, he sought treatment but in those days, PTSD was not recognized. Options weren’t plentiful for treatment.
Although he also submitted to an eastern religion, Vendata, as a way of trying to soothe himself and justify the hermit like existence he finally arranged for himself, Mr. Salinger was in some ways reaching out to the world beyond his house. Occasionally he’d contact an editor about publishing for him or when a forger tried to exploit him, he would end up in court. The fact that he fought so hard to be private just made living for him that much harder. Constant interruptions from photographers and would be writers only added to his tension. He related to his character Holden Caufield, the narrator of “The Catcher in the Rye” through his loss of a loved one and sensitivity to young people. A form of therapy by exposing himself in the raw through written word.
The authors believe as I do, that Mr. Salinger was relieving himself of the anguish, the horrible tragedy of war, and loss of those he really loved, through Holden Caufield. Mr. Salinger voiced all the feelings he had, all the stress and depression felt, through Holden Caufield. Yes, there is language, but you have to see past the curse words used and see the humanity of the character. In real life, Mr. Salinger wasn’t a great father to children and his lifestyle led to eventual separation from his wife, Claire Douglas. Mr. Shields and Mr. Salerno have done an excellent job of revealing the real J. D. Salinger through interviews with those who knew him.
In 2010, Mr. Salinger finally found peace, separate from this world and into another according to his Hindu beliefs. To quote the great writer himself, “I am in this world, but not of it.” When Mr. Salinger holed up in his home with the fence and “bunker” as it is called in the book, I think he achieved that goal. And he also lost his soul.