March Books In Review

As an author and avid reader, I understand the profound importance book reviews can have for both parties. I have recently enveloped book reviews into my portfolio and am pleased to share the books I have read this month and a short review.

If you are looking for books to read, I would recommend these:

A Lifetime Of Men

A Lifetime of Men by Ciahnan Darrell presents a dynamic coming of age quilt with each character contributing threads to strengthen development into a creative masterpiece. Tolan is unable to get direct answers from her mother on the history of her family. Tolan inadvertently comes across a book that her mother wrote. The find proves to be an autobiography of her mother’s life which unravels all that Tolan thought she knew. The book dually exposes insight and raises questions causing Tolan to rethink the perception she has held of her mother for her entire life. At the same time, Tolan is desperately seeking comfort, stability, and struggling for answers to define herself and how these revelations will fit into her chaotic life. Tolan wrestles with finding comfort and horror in what her mother’s book exposes.

Darrell takes you through a journey of self-discovery with the introduction of several well-developed characters. The stories are orchestrated in a way that you feel yourself dissipate from the spot you are sitting and immerse yourself in the world that Darrel has created. It surprised me how much I dove into the book and felt myself whisked away, feeling my heartbreak--and soar, with the turn of every page. Beautiful phrases and sophisticated, elegant words display both delicate intimacies and brutal truths that you grapple with side by side with the characters. One of the things I particularly was fond of is how Darrell provides a glimpse into different time periods that many may not know, from the Great Depression through today, and the connections made throughout are relevant and long-lasting. This is a good book for anyone that has personal struggle and is searching for some type of gravity. Well done.

Will Always Be Yours

How do you redefine life without someone that defined you? Will Always Be Yours by Mikael D. Lemieux is a journey of self-discovery through pain thresholds and finding happiness. David Thaxton struggles with the complexities of loss and grief that he endures for his late wife, Amber. Moving beyond grief proves to be a formidable opponent as David searches for an arsenal of strength and grasps at concepts of who he is without Amber. During his journey, he meets Sadie through unconventional means. Sadie is warm, kind, and generous, which leads to David wanting to help her through challenges. He has the skillset, but it requires resurrecting who he was. The question becomes, does he have the strength to confront and make peace with the past?

Lemieux provides ample insight into intimate details and thoughts that enter the mind during significant loss--and recovery. Will Always Be Yours highlights the paramount importance of what most people take for granted. The character development is spot-on and exposes readers to depths and heights of emotion in brilliant detail. Readers can expect to feel inspiration, heartbreak, and compassion in just the right words. Lemieux does an excellent job of empowering David and Sadie to overcome some of the greatest obstacles in meaningful ways. Lemieux made it easy to become fully immersed in the world he created, and I was anxious to turn the page and see what happened next. I found myself rooting for the characters and was moved by their plights. Not all heroes wear capes. Great read!

Sacred Fool

Sacred Fool by Nathan Dean Talamantez is written a letter of love, recognition, and unwavering reverence to Alejandro Jodorowsky. After reading, I am quite smitten with both Jodorowsky and Talamantez. Sacred Fool leaves no stone unturned while diving into sophisticated depths and meanings hidden within his idol’s works. Talamantez pays homage to Jodorowsky’s contributions on a global and intimately personal level. Sacred Fool features relevant lessons future generations can benefit from. Talamantez provides an outline of works and events that resonated with him in his youth while citing time period mindsets in an intricate weave of storytelling that captivates the audience and solidifies Jodorowsky’s legacy. The letters in between chapters from Talamantez to Jodorowsky are comfortably written as if old friends were reminiscing over past adventures--a detail I found warm and endearing.

Sacred Fool is a short-read, but don’t let the length fool you; it is packed with stunning characters, life lessons, and sobering clarity in self-reflection. Talamantez infuses profound wisdom within the pages that are applicable to today’s challenges. A common theme is the profound importance of making mistakes to recognize the virtues of moral fiber and discover both limitation and potential. One of the powerful phrases that I took away from this encounter was foreboding and enlightening: “If I am a fool, I can only walk forward to become wise.” The sentence speaks volumes for us all. Talamantez addresses narcissism and manipulation, courage and cowardice, gluttony and self-sacrifice in a way that resonates with readers and leaves a lasting impression. Sacred Fool will stay with me in contemplation as I tackle my own demons in life.

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