Posted in Blog, Reviews

Review: Swimming by Maggie Daniels

I hadn’t been able to find a poetry book geared to adults that I connected with…. until now. This is my new favourite book of poetry!

The first poem, ‘Childish Thoughts, ‘ hooked me right away. It spoke directly to my soul because it is how I have always felt, and poetry is all about feeling. Why can’t we be everything?

There is an excellent combination of poems; love, friendship, grief, future, past, present, etc.

Maggie doesn’t shy away from her truth, showing the authenticity of every poem. Her language choices are intentional and give the most impact per word.

I highly recommend this book!

Get your copy here.

Posted in Blog, Reviews

Review: The Good Stripper: A Soccer Mom’s Memoir of Lies, Loss and Lapdances by Marci Warhaft

This book is the author’s memoir of her double life, trauma, and fight with her eating disorder.

The first chapter sucks you into the story by starting in the middle with Cassidy, the stripper. Afterward, we are transported to the beginning, and we meet Marci. I thought that was a great way to get the readers sucked into the drama before giving the background.

To be honest with the readers, the author left nothing unsaid and dug deep within herself. She could have hidden some of the transgressions, but it wouldn’t have helped as many people as this book now has the potential to help. She gives the sordid details of her double life and illnesses and explains the mental and emotional turmoil that she was experiencing.

Dissociative disorders and eating disorders don’t just happen overnight. They are a combination of various factors and traumas. By Marci explaining her inner thoughts between thinness and love-ability, we are better able to understand how someone can let an eating disorder run their lives.

Unfortunately, there were quite a few grammatical errors, but that doesn’t mean that the message isn’t straightforward and vital.

This book will help many people, from children to adults, to males, females, and LGBTQ+. Trauma and eating disorders don’t have a specific ‘look’ to who will get them or be affected by them. If you know someone who needs help, they need this book. If you know someone who might need help, they need this book. If you know someone who is struggling, you need this book.

If you are worried that your child isn’t ready to read about a stripper, then you read this book. It will help you to better understand and relate to your child, who may be experiencing an eating disorder. The parts about marriage might be a little over the head of some children, but eating disorders don’t know age, so it is still a valuable resource.

This is a must-read! Get your copy here (affiliate link).

Posted in Blog, Reviews

Review: Kicking & Screaming by Melanie Gibson

Anyone that knows me, knows that I love martial arts. I’ve been doing Muay Thai for 10 years now and this book really shows how martial arts can help you with your mental health. There’s been tons of research on the topic of exercise and mental health showing the positive effects. This book just reiterates what we already know, from the perspective of someone who’s going through it. It’s always better to get a human perspective on our mental health journeys.  Kicking and Screaming: A Memoir of Madness and Martial Arts by [Melanie D. Gibson]

I really enjoyed this book because not only does she talk about her journey through taekwondo and mental health but she explains the process of taekwondo. If you’ve never done martial arts, it would be very confusing to know what moves she is referencing. 

There was a bit of humor in this book showing we should be able to laugh at ourselves. Never in a mean way of course! Melanie goes on to explain the unhealthy relationship that she had but I’m not going to give any more of that away. No spoilers! 

I wish there was a more in-depth look into the therapy that the author mentions and how her diagnoses were found. However, the book is called Kicking and Screaming so it makes sense that the focus was on the taekwondo side. Perhaps in the future, there will be another book about the therapy that took place alongside taekwondo. 

Overall, this was a really good book for anybody who’s trying to find a new outlet. This is a great starting point to read to see how Taekwondo might be able to help you. 

Get your copy here (affiliate link).

Posted in Blog, Reviews

REVIEW – Heavy Backpack by Paint Fremmerlid

Life isn’t easy and for some it contains many hardships. This is a book of poetry that shares Paint’s hardships. Many of them are around their identity and coming out. Living a life hiding who you really are is a struggle, when you find the strength to finally live in your truth it can feel like a weight is lifted off of your shoulders. Paint not only comes out but shares with the world their journey of self-discovery. What being queer mean to them.  Heavy Backpack Paperback

The poems around finding their identity were my favourite. I haven’t struggled with that type of identity but I have struggled with masking my eccentricities. When the mask finally comes away it is a beautiful thing. By Paint sharing their story they are telling the world that you don’t need to hide behind the mask.

Many of the other poems are around the sexual assault that they had to endure. These are not easy poems to read and I am sure were not easy to write. Again, they are giving a voice to those who have had to struggle with this. Taking their life back from the hands of those who tried to take it away.

To see what else Paint has written click here.

Posted in Blog, Reviews

Review: Sixty-Ninth Street Suicide by Sharon Greenwald

It’s not easy to talk about depression and suicide. Most people shy away from this topic and want to hide their heads in the sand. But if we keep doing that then we continue to perpetuate the cycle of stigma. Even those who write about this topic often don’t delve far enough into the depths to make a tsunami of an impact. This book did!

Sharon never shied away from sharing her darkest thoughts about suicide. How she began to plan it and the ways that she couldn’t; until the day that she tried. The book is an emotional roller coaster that connects the reader to the author.

For anyone who has had these thoughts it creates a safe space to know that we are not alone. To those that want to understand a family member this book is a must read. Not only does Sharon share about her depression but also the other struggles in her life. How an eating disorder developed, post partum depression and death of family and friends.

The book is well written and I didn’t want to put it down. Order your copy from amazon.