Category Archives: Nonfiction

Book Review: Wild @CherylStrayed

WildTitle: Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
Publisher: Knopf
Author: Cheryl Strayed
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir

★ ☆★ ☆★ – 4 Stars

Summary
At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State — and she would do it alone.
Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.
“One of the Best Books of the Year”: NPR, The Boston GlobeEntertainment Weekly, Vogue, St. Louis Dispatch .

Review
Captivating.
It is about finding yourself, when you have lost so much. Strayed definitely let go, and went head on with nature. I found myself pushing for her to continue on, even through blisters, and missing toenails. I have loved every moment in this book, even with all the people she met along the way. I really enjoyed the back story as to her life before the trail, it painted a picture of why she decided to get real with herself.
One moment of the book that I loved was the horse named Lady. You grieved with her, but you continued to read through her words of everything she had to overcome.
Another part, closer to the beginning were she was screaming Moose! rofl! Oh, I giggled. Strayed has a way with words, and I enjoyed the humor here in there throughout the story.
I personally don’t know if I would ever be able to do such a journey but boy does this book give you hope.
Thank you for sharing your story, and I will definitely have to find the movie!

About the Author
StrayedCheryl Strayed’s memoir, Wild, will be published by Knopf in March 2012. It will also be published in Brazil, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Italy. Her novel, Torch (Houghton Mifflin, 2006) was a finalist for the Great Lakes Book Award and was selected by The Oregonian as one of the top ten books of the year by writers from the Pacific Northwest. Strayed’s writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post Magazine, Allure, Self, The Missouri Review, Brain, Child, The Rumpus, The Sun and elsewhere. The winner of a Pushcart Prize as well as fellowships to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, her essays and stories have been published in The Best American Essays, The Best New American Voices, and other anthologies. She holds an MFA in fiction writing from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota. She’s a founding member of VIDA: Women In Literary Arts, and serves on their board of directors. Raised in Minnesota, Strayed now lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband, the filmmaker Brian Lindstrom, and their two children.

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Disclosure:  I received this book from a friend.  I did not have to do the review, and this review is my honest opinion.

Review: Fly a Little Higher @LauraSobiech

FlyaLittleHigherPublisher: Nelson Books
Author: Laura Sobiech
Genre: Nonfiction, Self-Help/Memoir

★ ☆★ ☆★ – 5 Stars!

Summary
Laura Sobiech tells the amazing story of how God used her son’s battle with cancer to touch the lives of millions.
“Okay, Lord, you can have him. But if he must die, I want it to be for something big. I want someone’s life to be changed forever.”
This is what Laura Sobiech prayed when she found out her seventeen-year-old son had only one year to live. With this desperate prayer, she released her son to God’s will.
At that point, Zach Sobiech was just another teenager battling cancer. When his mother told him to think about writing good-bye letters to family and friends, he decided instead to write songs. One of them, “Clouds,” captured hearts and changed not one life but millions, making him an international sensation.
But Zach’s story is not just about music. It’s a testament to what can happen when you live as if each day might be your last. It’s a story about the human spirit. It’s about how God used a dying boy from a small town in Minnesota to touch the hearts of millions—including top executives in the music industry, major music artists, news anchors, talk show hosts, actors, priests and pastors, and school children across the globe.
Zach once said, “I want to be known as the kid who went down fighting, and didn’t really lose.” Fly a Little Higher is about how God used Zach to do something big.

Review
I heard of Zach’s story before he passed. I found a video on Facebook of a friend who shared “Clouds” as well as Soul Pancake’s YouTube video: My Last Days: Meet Zach Sobiech. I immediately wanted to know more of this precious soul.  I followed his story on Facebook, and watched his songs over and over again on YouTube. Then within a month or so the status came of his passing. I didn’t know a book would come out, but once I seen it, I knew I wanted to read it.
Laura painted a beautiful picture of the ups and downs that went through their life, it was absolutely touching, and the emotions were, and I am sure are still raw. I cried along with them, as I read the words throughout the book; Zach was a phenomenal guy, and one who was full of life.
To read such a story, Laura is a perfect mom, regardless of everything Zach went through she still let him live his life, even if the annoying cancer hung over them. To hear of their trip, the way the community came together to support such an amazing individual and for him to still have the energy to out-pour his songs, and his love is courageous.
If you get this read, keep your tissues close, and it will remind to hug your family a little tighter. Fly High Zach Sobiech, you have already touched millions, and I am sure your story will continue to touch a million more!

You realize that you aren’t leaving the battle field behind but are actually taking it with you and it will be a part of you forever ~ 20%Kindle

I truly understood the meaning of hope. It is something much bigger than anything physical we may desire. It’s about raising our eyes from a point on the horizon to the heavens and into eternity. And it’s about relying on God’s grace to do it, no matter what the cost. ~ 46% Kindle

About the Author
Laura Sobiech was born and raised in Minnesota. She has been married to her husband, Rob, for twenty-four years, and they are the proud parents of four awesome children: one married, one in college, one in heaven, and one in high school. Laura has spent the past couple of years crossing things off her I-Never-Want-To-Do List, now having done most everything that was on it, including: globe trekking, public speaking, fund-raising, Skype-ing on live television, and supporting a child with cancer. In her free time she volunteers as an EMT/firefighter at her local fire department and can knit a wicked awesome pair of socks.

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More of Zach’s Story
Clouds by Zach Sobiech
My Last Days: Meet Zach Sobiech
My Last Days: Zach Sobiech, One Year Later

Disclosure: I received this book for free via NetGalley/Nelson Books. I did not have to do the review, and this review is my honest opinion.