Born with Teeth by Kate Mulgrew

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Available Here! – Born With Teeth by Kate Mulgrew

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

You may know of the name Kate Mulgrew from her movie role as Captain Janeway on Star Trek or “Red” on Orange is the New Black.  I’m going to be honest with you, I had no idea who she was when first read this book, it was the title that interested me as well as the subject of adoption talked about in some of the reviews.  This was a good story, Kate is a good story teller.

Kate was literally….born with teeth.  She grew up Irish Catholic with poetry, acting and drama in her veins.  Her mother was an artist but never seemed to become anything with it as she had children and that took a lot of her time.  Kate saw this as the consequences of a “dream deferred”.   Kate decided to live her own dream and at 18, left the Midwest to head to New York to use her talents.

At age 22, just as her career was taking off she became pregnant and gave birth to a little girl.  Having already signed the adoption papers, she was allowed only a quick glimpse of her daughter.  As she continued to rise, her life became increasingly demanding and yet fulfilling, love affairs, life-saving friendships, and tireless work. Through it all, Kate remained haunted by the loss of her daughter, until, two decades later, she found the courage to face the past and step into the most challenging role of her life.

 

Sensitive: My Journey through a Toxic World by Pookie Sekmet + Goodreads Giveaway

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

If you want to read a true tale of horror this season, follow author Pookie Sekmet on her journey and struggle through our toxic world in her book, Sensitive.  PLUS – she is hosting a giveaway on Goodreads right now! – GOODREADS GIVEAWAY –

Honestly, if we truly think about our way of life in this day in age, we are basically poisoning ourselves on a day to day basis without much thought.  Simple changes in our lives can lessen these exposures and add thoughtfulness to our health.  That wasn’t the case for Pookie in the beginning.  In her memoir, she digs deep into her family history to uncover a specific event that triggered an illness that still effects her today.

In her story she lets us hang along on the journey with her to find the truth as well as how she lives now and the importance of avoiding toxic chemicals.  The path that led her to the event when she was younger is a path of family trauma and mysterious chronic health struggles.  We follow her as she builds an unconventional new life; and, “finally, becomes a whistle-blower within a corrupt and patriarchal corporate culture.”

There is good information here, the book will make you think.  I personally have prior knowledge to some of what the author talks about, but was surprised to learn of what happened to her when she was younger, the event that caused a chain reaction that will follow her though the rest of her lifetime.

Available on Amazon – Sensitive: My Journey through a Toxic World by Pookie Sekmet

 

H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald

 

 

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

“Hunting with a hawk took me to the very edge of being a human, then it took me past that place to somewhere I wasn’t human at all.”

I stumbled upon this audio book on the Libby app one day.  I love birds and the synopsis sounded interesting, so I gave it a try!  H is for Hawk is a memoir about how Helen deals with the death of her father and her love of falconry.  H is for Hawk, but H is also for Helen. Mabel, the hawk, and Helen, the trainer come together in a very unique and special relationship.  The audio version I listened to was narrated by the author, which made it very interesting as well.

Helen weaves three story threads here: her grief for her late father, her experience training a goshawk, and T.H. White’s parallel journey of personal grief and hawking.  Helen Macdonald says, “Hunting makes you animal but the death of an animal makes you human. Kneeling next to the hawk and her prey, I felt responsibility so huge that it battered inside my own chest, ballooning out into a space the size of a cathedral.” At first read you might think this is borderline hyperbole or overwritten prose, but this memoir/nature/bird watching/falconry book goes quite deep with raw emotion.

The only reason I gave the book a 4 out of 5 was that a considerable part of the book is about the trials of falconer T.H. White and his book “The Goshawk.” I struggled reading just a tiny bit with Helen’s frequent jumps to White’s life and “Gos” because it became redundant and too often took me away from Mabel and Helen.  An interesting story none the less and I think I wouldn’t mind reading T.H. White’s falconry story as well!

P.S. If you don’t know who T.H. White is – he is the author of some well known books, including The Sword in the Stone!

Available on Amazon – H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald

Educated by Tara Westover

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This was my Book Club’s pick for September!  I enjoy reading memoirs, although I hadn’t really heard much about this book before it was picked.  The cover was intriguing to me.  I did end up listening to this on audio.  The story stirred up a lot of conversation, a great pick for book clubs!

This story was unreal.  Tara shares with us the tale of how she grew up and how she became something far apart from her upbringing.  She was 17 before she ever entered a class room.  There didn’t seem to be the time between planning for the apocalypse, canning peaches and helping her mother concoct remedies out of herbs for her mothers midwife gig.

Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse.  Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with her mothers tinctures.  The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent.

Tara began educating herself, sometimes hiding behind a chair to do so.  She taught herself enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University, where she studied history, learning for the first time about important world events like the Holocaust, which was mind blowing that she knew nothing about!

There is so much that goes on in this book, you’ll want to keep reading it.  It was said by a few book club members that they found it a little hard to get into at first, but got better.  Have you read this book or are you reading it in your book club?  Let me know your thoughts!

Available on Amazon – Educated by Tara Westover

Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies about Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be by Rachel Hollis

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This book was a reach for me as I don’t normally read these styles of books.  I’m so glad I listened to all the hype from my fellow readers!  This. Book. Was. GREAT!  It also lead me to start listening to her podcasts as well.  She has great knowledge and lays things out to you exactly how they are.  Yes, there were some parts in this book that I thought….”woah, woah, woah chill out lady!” but such a good read!  It’s really hard not to get motivated after you read this as well as listen to some of her podcasts!

This really isn’t some sort of self-help book as one would think.  It’s really the story of Rachel Hollis, founder of the lifestyle website TheChicSite.com and CEO of her own media company, Chic Media.  She has created an online fan base of hundreds of thousands of fans by sharing tips for living a better life while fearlessly revealing the messiness of her own.  She’s failed, she’s lived and she’s learned and she shares it all with us, with no masks of how she earned every bit of where she is now.

Check out this book as well as the next one.  Also, find her on Instagram and her podcast Rise as well as the one she does with her husband – Rise Together!

Available on Amazon – Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies about Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be by Rachel Hollis

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Much Country by Kristin Knight Pace

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I listened to this book on Audio as it was narrated by the actual author herself!  Such an amazing story and a great writer!  Kristin writes her story in all it’s raw and beauty for us in a way that made you feel as though you were right there with her.

In 2009 Kristin went through a divorce that left her in pieces.  She decides to accept an offer to live at a friend’s cabin outside of Denali National Park in Alaska for a few months. In exchange for housing, she would take care of her friend’s eight sled dogs.  It was during this winter that she grew to learn how tough she actually was and how to survive in one of the most remote places on earth.  Here is where a love bloomed with a man, Andy,  and of course running with sled dogs.

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Photo: Katie Orlinsky – Racing dog, Piper

Kristin and Andy eventually start a a sled dog kennel of their own.  Kristin starts training of her own to complete a life goal to complete the Iditarod, the 1,000-mile dogsled race from Anchorage, in south central Alaska, to Nome on the western Bering Sea coast.  She is so honest and the weather is so brutal, but she loves every single part of it.  Along her journey there is loss that will make you tear up and triumph that will make you want to stand up and cheer right along with her.

This is the authors journey through her transformation and where it has brought her to today.  She is amazing and this story is one that I think anyone will find enjoyable, also making you want to put several layers of clothes on!

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Photo: Kristin Knight Pace

 

Interesting article I found about “A DAY IN THE LIFE OF…Kristin Knight Pace, Dog Musher” – http://lessonsinbadassery.com/day-life-kristin-knight-pace-dog-musher/

Available on Amazon – This Much Country by Kristin Knight Pace

The Snow Leopard Project: And Other Adventures in Warzone Conservation by Alex Dehgan

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This was a very interesting book, although I only gave it 4 out of 5 stars as some of the writing lost me in a couple places.  Otherwise, it was great!

Alex Dehgan arrives in Afghanistan in 2006 in hopes to build the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Afghanistan Program, and preserve and protect Afghanistan’s unique and extraordinary environment, which had been decimated after decades of war.  Quite honestly, I never thought about wildlife in that area and what war would do to their home.  I was also surprised at all the animals that actually live there!

Alex found out that conservation actually provided a bond between his team and the people of Afghanistan.  The team worked unarmed in some of the most dangerous places in the country.  Some were so remote that winding roads would just disappear, and travel was on foot, yak, or mule.

This is Alex’s account as he and his team helped create the country’s first national park, completes the some of the first extensive wildlife surveys in thirty years, and works to stop the poaching of the country’s endangered animals, including the elusive snow leopard.  Some of these animals somehow even navigate mine fields, which is why no one had really ventured into finding out what was still out there and alive after all these years of war.

Available on Amazon – The Snow Leopard Project: And Other Adventures in Warzone Conservation by Alex Dehgan