Book Review: Life’s Work: A Moral Argument for Choice


Summary: Dr. Willie Parker, an African American abortion doctor talks about his opinions on choice. He brings a unique Christian perspective to the argument.

My Rating: 4/5

Dr. Parker is a fresh voice in the pro-life vs. pro-choice debate. He is a devout Christian who believes it is his duty to love women the way Christ loves them. With grace and non-judgement. He believes that providing abortion services to the women most in need of them is part of his duties as a believer.

I loved his discussion on religion. Generally, it is presumed that if you Christians must be pro-life.

Dr. Parker also talks about the history of the pro-life and pro-choice debate. He says it largely came about because of the presidential campaign of Ronald Reagan.

I don’t know if what he has to say about the history of the debate is entirely accurate but it was interesting anyways.

There were a few points he made I wasn’t fully sure about but overall I loved this book and found his perspective on the issue fresh and enlightening.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to have a deeper understanding of the issues involved in the pro-life vs pro-choice debates.


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Book Review: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue



Summary: Monty embarks on a grand tour of Europe with his best friend Percy and his younger sister Felicity. They quickly get swept into a grand adventure as they search for an alchemist’s “cure all”.

My rating: 4/5

I was really excited to read the second book in this series but I am not sure I would have picked this one up on it’s own merits. I am still eager to read the second book but plan to take a bit of a break before doing so as this book ended up being a bit of a rough read for me in the middle.

It had a great start and a great finish but the middle was very focused on their adventure and kind of dragged on for me.

What I loved:

The humor and character voice. Also, the setting. This takes place in the late 1700’s and I love historical fiction. The dialogue was awesome and overall the characters were tons of fun to spend time with. It was witty and fun to read.

Felicity was a great character and I really want to see more about her.

Also, I loved that the characters paid a price for their adventure. That isn’t something I see much in adventure stories. James Bond and Indiana Jones go through tons of crazy things but come out unscathed. That wasn’t the case with this book and it really made the ending for me.

What I didn’t love:

The middle of this book was slow. It focused a lot on their adventure and I had a hard staying interested in the plot part of this book. For me, the characters and setting were awesome. The plot was a bit meh.

Monty grew a lot through the book. That was good but it meant that at times he was very unlikable and really annoying. He had lots of room to grow for sure and he did end up as a better character. I just wanted to punch him at multiple points along the way.

This book also covers a large range of social issues at the time. Class, treatment of women, racism, disability, treatment of homosexuals, child abuse, etc.  I felt like there were times when it split it’s focus too much and the issues in the story overtook the story.

Overall, I would recommend this book. It was a fun read though I was sad that I wasn’t more engaged in the middle of the book. If you don’t like adventure stories I would proceed with caution. The plot part of the story doesn’t exactly overtake the book but I could have done with less of it and if you really aren’t into adventure stories this book probably won’t be a fun read for you.


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Book Review: A Spark of Light


Summary: A group of people are trapped inside a Women’s Reproductive Health clinic with an armed gunman.

My rating: 4/5

I am a huge fan of Jodi Picoult’s voice, her insightful characters, and her willingness to ask questions about controversial topics.

This book was no exception. The characters were deep. Each had their own thoughts and motivations. The many layers of the abortion debate were met head on and I think Picoult presents a multi-faceted discussion of the topic of women’s reproductive health.

I do think there is some bias in this book towards pro-choice views on abortion. That didn’t bother me as I am pro-choice but I don’t know that someone who is staunchly pro-life will feel that their side of the argument was as prominent.

There were two issues I had with this book that took it from a 5 star read down to a 4.

The first is that there were far too many point of view characters. I understand why the author wrote the book this way. It absolutely helped give a solid view of the complexities of the abortion debate. But, I had a hard time keeping track of who was who. I would have enjoyed this story better (though maybe the message wouldn’t have been as strong) if there were half the characters.

The other thing that I didn’t love about this book is that it is told backwards. The book starts at 5pm. Then, it goes back in time to 8am that morning. This was especially frustrating because the 5pm section ends on a cliff hanger with a character’s life in imminent danger. We have to get through the entire book before learning if that character survives in the epilogue.  I did not enjoy the suspense and I think I would have enjoyed this book more if it was told in a linear fashion.

Overall, this was a good book about an important topic and I do recommend it to other readers. I thought it gave excellent character based insights to the complexities of the abortion debate.

Also, it seemed very well researched. I enjoyed reading it and I do think this is an important book that should be read by everyone who has an interest in Women’s Reproductive Health.

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Book Review: City of Ghosts


For Halloween doing a Bonus Halloween Themed Book Review.

Summary: Cassidy can see ghosts. Her parents, who cannot see ghosts, are paranormal investigators.

Her parents are hired to film a television series that takes them to a haunted city where a very angry ghost sets her sights on Cassidy.

My rating: 4/5

I found this book to be absolutely delightful. It is a middle grade book and was a fairly quick read. I read in two days and absolutely loved it.

Cassidy was so much fun to follow. She was the narrator and she had a great voice. Also, she is a huge Harry Potter fan so was hard not to click with her.

Also, she has a best friend who is a ghost who I really love (though some of the foreshadowing makes me a bit concerned about how much love I have for this ghost in later books).

The plot was interesting but for me it was very much the characters that made the story amazing.

This book is part of a series and book 2 isn’t out yet. I was a bit sad about that because there were certain things that weren’t revealed in book one that I was eager to know and hate the idea of waiting for.

I highly recommend this for adults and children who like ghost stories. Not super spooky but has some pretty intense moments. So, maybe not for young kids or those that scare easy.

I feel like if you are an adult who likes ghost-whisperer you will like this book too.

Overall the best thing I can say is that I really enjoyed this book. It was super fun, it was fast paced, and I was entertained throughout.

Highly recommend.

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Book Review: Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow


Summary: Morrigan Crow is cursed. Whenever anything bad happens in her town it is assumed she is the culprit. Like all cursed children, her life has an expiration date. And, the date of her death is drawing near.

Unexpectedly, she is “kidnapped” by Jupiter, a man who wants to put her through a series of trials which would end with her becoming part of an elite society. If she suceeds she can stay in the safety of Nevermoor. If she fails, the price is death.

My rating: 4/5

I wanted to read this book because people said it was a lot like Harry Potter. It has many of the same tropes as Harry Potter but I didn’t like it quite as well.

Minor Spoilers:Morrigan is being raised by parents who hate her because she is cursed. She then is taken into a new and fantastic world where she is told she is special. Everyone taking the trials has a “gift” called a knack. Morrigan isn’t sure what hers is and her patron, Jupiter, refuses to tell her. She becomes friends with two other children. One is a rule breaker. The other a know it all rule followers. There is a big bad who everyone in Nevermoor is terrified of and who Morrigan has a connection to that eventually ends with her and this big bad at a stand off.       :End Spoliers

So, that is how it is similar. But, I didn’t like the world nearly as well as I did Harry Potter. In fact, I found Nevermoor to be super confusing. Even after finishing the first book I don’t really understand the magic system or the rules of the world. I really had a hard time getting into the book until the trials started because the world building was so confusing to me.

I did like the characters and the plot was fun. I enjoyed watching Morrigan go through the trials and wondering, along with her, what her knack was.

So, plot and characters worked for me. Setting wasn’t bad but just confusing.

I do plan to continue the series and maybe after spending more time in the world I will have a better understanding of the world and be more able to enjoy it.

Overall, a fun read. I would recommend to those who enjoy middle grade fantasy. And, if you liked Harry Potter for the plot and characters this book may be a perfect fit for you.


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Book Review: Your First 1000 Copies


Hi everyone. I usually post on Mondays but this week was pretty hectic so posting late.

Summary: This is a marketing book. But, it isn’t just a marketing book. It is a book about interacting with people. There is lots of evergreen information here about making connections with others.

My Rating: 4/5

I really enjoyed this book. I should be clear that it isn’t full of specific marketing tips and tricks. It isn’t telling you what sites to go to for ads etc. Instead, it is an evergreen book about making industry connections. In many ways I think that is some of the most valuable information to learn.

There were several pieces of advice that really stood out to me in this book.

The main one though was thinking about what you can do to help others instead of how you can sell them your book. If you come from a place of helping it creates relationships. I thought that was so important and very much the opposite of what many people are doing. They scream “buy my book” and you kinda roll your eyes at them. Instead, this is about offering help and assistance and kind of becoming a name people recognize. I have several authors whose podcasts I follow and whose books I buy because they are helpful. Probably wouldn’t buy from them if I didn’t feel that connection.

I don’t really have anything negative to say about this book. I would recommend to anyone who is selling a product. Not just writers.

And, I have started following many of these practices and incorporating them into my upcoming plans and marketing strategies.

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Book Review: Racing Hears


Synopsis: Tom is a race car driver who recently suffered a head injury after a car accident. Now, he has seizures and is struggling to figure out what his new life looks like. His parents order him a service dog and the woman that brings it happens to be Meg, a girl who has been crushing on him since they were teens. Romance ensues.

My rating: 3/5

I loved the premise of this book but it ended up being a poor match for me.

What I loved:

I am an animal lover and I really enjoyed the idea of Tom receiving a service dog and that the service dog was a Chinese Crested. It isn’t a type of dog I often see represented. So, that was fresh and fun.

What didn’t work for me:

This book was a novella and I felt like everything happened really fast. Too fast for me to be able to get into the story and appreciate the characters. By the end I didn’t feel like I really knew either Tom or Meg and I just wasn’t invested in their relationship.

Also, the lust was too much for me. I felt like there was a bit more lust than love happening (even though there is a happily ever after). I don’t usually mind a bit of steaminess in books but this was definitely past my threshold.

I can see why other people liked this book and it wasn’t a terrible book. But, it really wasn’t a good match for me.

If you like lusty (maybe smutty) books that also are kinda insta-lovey this book might be for you. Especially if you love dogs.

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