Sugarcoatin’ is for Candy & Pacifyin’ is for Kids
by Nonnie Jules
If I could rate each of the “essays” compiled into this book, there would be a couple that would receive 4 star consideration. My favorite was entitled “Why I Want to Be an Author…” This brief explanation of why Jules chooses to write encapsulates a lot of feelings that all writers have: it’s all we think about, even when we’re busy doing other things. Many of us are good at it. We do it because we love it, even if we don’t always receive recognition or compensation. I also appreciate her desire to make a better world for our children by changing the culture of violence that is being proliferated in social media and through mass-marketed entertainment. She makes several good points about the effects of bullying and the opposite effects of positive feedback.
Overall, the content of the book made several good points, many of which could have received more deconstruction by the author and possibly some supporting evidence for the opinions voiced. Considering these as blog posts, some of them work for the purpose of starting a conversation of current issues, but considering them as a book length compilation, I would like to have seen more poetic word choices and a more formal structure to the rhetoric. Others may enjoy the completely informal style pleasant to sit and read in one sitting, but this just didn’t fit into my expectations.
This book is available at Amazon.com
A Beautiful Life with No Excuses:
The Power of One Human Being
by Maria Mantovano
*Disclaimer: Religious Inspirational Fiction isn’t my cup of tea. I took a chance on this one.
Written as an inspirational message for anyone who has faced adversity and loss, A Beautiful Life tells abuse suffers and victims of misfortune that life doesn’t have to end just because the universe has let you down. Whether you believe in God or not (the narrator states frequently that God gives him the strength to see life as beautiful and continue on), the message is a valid one. Coming from the depths of personal loss of my own, I understand the overall message the book supports.
However, by the time I reached the end, I was hoping this was a satire; because Candide kept coming to mind.
One thing I would like to have seen in this brief novella is more description of the people and scenes to help put the reader in the narrator’s perspective. I sometimes felt as though I was listening to someone tell me the story in a local coffee shop and that I was expected to be familiar with the scenery and faces. I read to explore views and concepts that I might not experience personally, and I wish I could have a better visualization of the neighborhood where the narrator grew up, where he lived, and what the faces of people liked from his perspective.
I also felt that some information was simply glossed over in the narrative, and found myself wondering what it was about the narrator that caused all the women in his life, except his mother, to turn cold. There was a underlying issue with the narrator that wasn’t being voiced, because to have your girlfriend suddenly shout “F*$& you” for no apparent reason and later your wife say she no longer wants to sleep with you means something isn’t quite right. I wanted to hear that side of the story.
A Beautiful Life with No Excuses: The Power of One Human Being is available on Amazon.com