Review: LGBTQ: Outing My Christianity by Ann Townsend

LGBTQ: Outing My Christianity

 

Proceeds to Non-profits Learn More: http://lgbtqoutingmychristianity.com
Inspired by Vicky Beeching’s coming out, her work with the United Nations, and her fight for LGBT rights in the Church and the world, Outing My Christianity is a story for the curious reader and the ashamed Christian about a lesbian’s life, salvation, love, pain, loss, and survival. It is a story about a walk taken as a quirky flower child, awkward teenager, over-enthusiastic twenty-something, and blind adult who can now see. Regardless of your faith, the time is now, folks. We have to stand together if we want change.

 

REVIEW

 

It was an interesting book. Different to what I expected. I didn’t liked it as much as I thought I would, but part of it might be my dislike for biographies and not the book for itself.

I think one of the issues I had was my expectative for a more spiritual book, instead it was more center on telling the author’s experience as a lesbian and a Christian. I learn a lot from the book, mostly about the beliefs of some Christian religions that I wasn’t aware of. It was a nice start point to make some research by myself. I liked getting to know the author’s experience, I can’t help to think how different it is from other places in the world, like where I live. A mostly Christian country, and yet, more surrender by hate than love, and surely much less accepting of homosexuality as I learn every day. I think getting to know a story like this can be helpful to people struggling with similar issues, but I hardly think a book like this can be find in places where is most needed.

There are some great messages in the book, and some of them would work as a great arguments to some extremist people. One that got my attention and I can’t get out of my head is: “God can’t be magnanimous and then, as some of His followers claim, hate any one of His creations, His children. God’s love is absolute and unconditional, and with absolute and infinite love, there can be no hate”. I think that’s the basic massage of the book. I might have some issues about it, but the intention and the overall feeling of it was just great.

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Review: Anger: Taming the Beast by Reneau Z. Peurifoy

Anger: Taming the Beast

 

Don’t Let Anger Control You!

If you or someone you love is experiencing difficulty coping with their anger, this useful and practical book is the first place to turn to for help. With its clear, evenhanded approach, this book shows you

• Why you handle anger the way you do
• Positive ways to manage anger
• How to speak up strongly and effectively
• Effective ways to handle frustration and resolve conflicts
• How to set limits and say no to unreasonable demands
• Practical ways to cope with stress, embarrassment, and shame
• How to relate your feelings to others without losing your cool

Whether you have an explosive temper or are brooding over suppressed anger, the questionnaires, step-by-step exercises, and strategies outlined in Anger: Taming the Beast will teach you how to change the way you experience and express anger.

 

REVIEW

 

This was an amazing book. It took me so long to read it, but just for the right reasons. It’s a book that need to be read slowly and taking enough time to understand where the anger comes from and be committed enough to work for a better anger management. If you are willing to give the book the time it deserves, then it’s a very powerful tool to “tame the beast”.

I’ll admit I might have read it faster than I should. I kept returning to the previous chapters several times, because they seemed so important. I didn’t think I had anger issues when I started reading it, but I find myself giving a lot of thoughts, not only on anger but in other emotions and where they come from.

The language used was very simple, it was easy to understand the exposed concepts. The structure of the chapters made sense, it felt very organized. I don’t think the examples were needed, since it was very comprehensive, but still they were helpful. At the end of each chapter there is a summary of key ideas recommended activities. I suggest to take those seriously and practice it, if you are really willing to make a change in your life.

The book address several interesting topics, such as where the anger comes from, distorted thinking, resolving conflicts, stress management, among others. It is a great book. I just can’t recommend it enough.

*Book provided by NetGalley.

Review: Epilepsy Pocket Guide: Full Illustrated 2016 by HC-HealthComm

epilepsy

 

Chapter 1 Introduction
Epilepsy Prevalence and Epidemiology
Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder that is characterized by sudden recurrent episodes of sensory disturbance. It can lead to loss of consciousness and/or convulsions. The term “epilepsy” encompasses a wide variety of seizure disorders. According to the Epilepsy Foundation, it is one of the most common neurological disorders, affecting 65 million people worldwide and over 2 million people in the United States (Epilepsy Foundation; www.epilepsy.com). The prevalence of epilepsy is higher in the developing world, affecting almost twice the number of people in low- and middle-income countries than in the developed world. The estimated incidence of epilepsy (adults and children) in high-income countries is approximately 50.4 out of 100,000 persons/year, while the incidence in low income countries is approximately 81.7 out of 100,000 persons/year (Ngugi et al., 2011).
Epilepsy in most forms is considered a treatable disease. However, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), up to three quarters of people with epilepsy who need treatment in the developing world do not receive that treatment (WHO 2012). Commonly cited reasons for this disparity include the high cost of drugs and drug availability. Financial hardship is also cited as a reason for treatment non-compliance in North American populations (United States and Canada) (Burneo et al., 2009). Additional factors that lead to non-compliance are difficulty interacting with the care providers and non-private insurance (United States) (Burneo et al., 2009). In the developed world, minorities have reduced access to medical care for epilepsy, but there is insufficient data to determine whether this disparity is a function of race/ethnicity or other closely related factors such as socioeconomic status and education level (Bureno et al., 2009).

Table of Contents
List of Abbreviations
Chapter 1 Introduction
Epilepsy Prevalence and Epidemiology
Epilepsy Versus Seizures
Types of Epilepsy
Causes of Epilepsy
Environmental Triggers
Brain Injury
Tumors
Tuberous Sclerosis
Fever
Neurocysticercosis
Brain Malformation
Focal Cortical Dysplasia
Hemimegalencephaly
Classical Lissencephaly
Polymicrogyria
Genetic
Conclusions
Chapter 2 Physiology and Pathophysiology
Introduction
The Brain
Basic Anatomy of the Cerebral Cortex
Neurons and Their Function
Neuronal Excitability: the Action Potential
Pathophysiologic Mechanisms
Alteration of Inhibition and Excitation
Epileptogenesis
Epilepsy Co-morbidities
Autism
Psychiatric, Cognitive and Social Comorbidities
Conclusion
Chapter 3 Genetics and Epigenetics
Introduction
Genetics of Epilepsy Disorders
Generalized and Idiopathic Epilepsy
Dravet Syndrome and Other Syndromic Epilepsies
Epilepsy with Encephalopathy and Mental Retardation
Progressive Myoclonic Epilepsy
Epigenetics
DNA Methylation
Chromatin
Role of MicroRNA
Conclusion
Chapter 4 Diagnosis and Guidelines
Introduction
Guidelines
The International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE)
The American Epilepsy Society (AES)
Diagnosis of Epilepsy
Diagnostic Tests
Conclusion
Chapter 5 Treatment and Management
Introduction
Treatment of New Onset Epilepsy
Treatment of Refractory Epilepsy
Treatment of Febrile Seizures
Imaging Guidelines for Epilepsy Studies
Conclusion
Chapter 6 Recent Advances &lt

 

REVIEW

 

It might not be the kind of book I used to review, but it was an interesting reading.  And sometimes I also read nonfiction, not very often but I do.

I started reading this book looking for information about EEG and maybe some treatment guidelines. I liked what I found, but since is a pocket guide, the information was a little limited.

I was pleased with the book. It had a lot of information about types and causes of epilepsy. I liked that the book summary showed the table of contents. That is always something that I look before reading a book and it made my decision easier.

The writing style is simple. Easy to understand. The tables and images were appropriate, but I have a comment on this. I switched from my kindle to the PC app while reading this book, it might be an issue of me don’t knowing how this work, but when I was on the PC app I had trouble looking at the images, so I would recommend to use either a kindle, a tablet or a phone app for reading this book, to have the ability to maximized the size of the tables and figures.

I think the whole material can’t be extrapolated to everyone, or most likely to anyplace, mostly in the case of the use of some technologies, even though the principles might be right, not all the technology mention in the book is possible everywhere.

In general terms, the book was really good and give a great help to someone looking for quick information about epilepsy.

Review: Self-Esteem for Teens: Six Principles for Creating the Life You Want by Lisa M. Schab

Self-Esteem for Teens: Six Principles for Creating the Life You Want

 

Blurb

 

Start feeling good about yourself! In Self-Esteem for Teens, best-selling author Lisa Schab offers six core principles to build a healthy, positive view of yourself as you face all the challenges of teen life.

How you feel about yourself affects every aspect of your life. When you have healthy self-esteem, you’ll approach people, situations, and feelings with confidence. You’ll have an easier time making friends, excelling in school, and interviewing for jobs. You’ll be able to see yourself more clearly—celebrating your strengths and accepting your weaknesses. And finally, you’ll be better able to accomplish any goal you set. This book can teach you how.

Self-Esteem for Teens will show you how you are in control of your own self-esteem. When you truly believe in your own worth, discovering and developing your authentic self gives you the power to feel good and succeed in any area of life. You can learn to turn any life situation into a positive one and see mistakes and hurdles as opportunities and challenges. You can develop inner strength and peace. And you can make choices in your thoughts and actions that lead to positive outcomes with friends, family, dating, school, jobs, and activities.

So, stop being unkind to yourself! Start cultivating a deep and abiding belief in your own self-worth. You can create the life you want! The principles in this book will show you how.

 

Review

 

This was a great book. It was organized in a way that was easy to know what to expect of it.

It used a simple language to explain its concepts.  I liked the examples it had, very appropriate for the age target, and the wisdom tales were so beautiful.

It was divided in two sections. The first one, core beliefs, oriented to understand where self-esteem comes from and how it’s in our hands. And the second, power-filled choices that helps to understand how to deal with the struggles we find in life. Each section contains principles that are very clearly explain. The way the sections were divided in learn, explore, become and affirm was very enlightening

 

Even though it was oriented to teenage, I think it can be useful, not only to that group but to any other readers. The examples and general language might be oriented to a younger public, but the concepts were universal and any reader can get great knowledge from it.

 

It was a very insightful book, I think it is important that the person who read it it’s willing to work and to deal with difficult emotions. It is not a book to be read in a hurry, it’ll take time and effort to get something out of it, but I think it can be very useful in someone willing to do it.

 

Overall it was is a good book, but its possibility of success remains in the hands of the reader. I would recommended not only to teens, but also to people who work with them, maybe in an educational, social or any other ambit. I also think any reader, regardless the age, can benefit from it.

 

*Book provided by NetGalley.

Review: Addict in the House: A No-Nonsense Family Guide Through Addiction and Recovery by Robin Barnett

Addict in the House: A No-Nonsense Family Guide Through Addiction and Recovery

 

Blurb

Everyone suffers when there’s an addict in the family. Written by an expert in alcohol and drug addiction and recovery, this no-nonsense guide will help you understand the causes of addiction, end enabling behaviors, support your loved one’s recovery, and learn how to cope with relapses.

If you’re the family member of an addict, you may feel confused, guilty, and scared of doing the wrong thing. And when you don’t know how to help, you may find yourself in a codependent role, trying so hard to keep your addicted loved one alive, out of jail, or emotionally appeased that you may actually prevent them from realizing they need help.

Drawing on her own personal experience with her brother’s addiction, Addict in the House offers a pragmatic, step-by-step guide to dealing with a loved one’s addiction, from accepting the reality of the disease to surviving what may be repeated cycles of recovery and relapse. You’ll learn how to encourage your addicted loved one to get help without forcing it, and finally find the strength to let go of codependence.

With this revealing and straightforward book, you’ll have the support you need to take an honest look at how addiction has affected the family, cope with the emotional hurdles of having an addicted family member, create and maintain firm boundaries, and make informed decisions about how to best help your loved one.

 

Review

 

This was a great book. I’m pleasantly surprise by it. I was attracted to it from the description, which make a very good job explaining what the book is about. It was very straightforward and the concepts shared by it, are very helpful to begin to understand what an addiction is about, and how a family member can help recovery.

It is very well structured. It was easy to understand how it was organized. It used a simple language and a lot of examples, making it easy to understand the concepts described. One of the things that made me doubt about reading it was that I didn’t knew the contents before choosing it, but I take a leap of faith, because a book addressing this matter, deserved it. Now that I read it, I’m very glad I had this opportunity.

The contents are diverse. It had a nice approach on the concept of addiction and how to understand it. It gives very important tools about how to communicate, which I think it was one of the strongest parts of the book. There are also some exercises, which I don’t like to do, but I think they can be very useful to most readers.

One of the chapters that drag most of my attention was the one about teenage addicts. It was great to see someone is taking time to acknowledge this issue, and most important, to try to give the parents some orientation on what to do and what not to do.

Overall I think it was a great book, and a very important one to people dealing with addicts in their family. But I wouldn’t recommend it only to that group of readers, I think it might be a good book to read for anyone who is willing to give help to a person, not necessary family member, dealing with an addition. I also think it might be useful to people who work in a medical environment and don’t know how to manage this issues, this book can work as a very good guide.
**Book provided by NetGalley.

Review of Hounded by God: A Gay Man’s Journey to Self-Acceptance, Love, and Relationship By Joseph Gentilini

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Blurb

In Hounded by God, the author writes about his struggle to integrate his homosexuality with his personality and his Catholic-Christian spirituality. Born in 1948, he grew up in the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s when homosexuality was considered either a mental illness or a major sin. In 1968, he had his first homosexual experience. Feeling shame and trying to repress his feelings, he spent over six years in therapy.
Raised a strict Roman Catholic, Joseph confessed his many “sins” to a priest and attended Mass daily. He felt hopeless in accepting his homosexuality and living happily as a gay man, repeating nightly, “If it gets too bad, I can always kill myself.” By 1974, he knew that therapy was not changing his sexual orientation and felt desperate.
Joseph experienced God as hounding him to accept his gay identity and to believe that God loves him as he is. His autobiographical journal reveals his gradual awakening to live his vocation, not only as a gay man in relationship with his partner and with God, but also as someone willing to share his journey with those who struggle with their homosexuality and their faith.
St. Augustine put it beautifully into words: “You made us for yourself, Oh Lord, and our hearts will never rest until they rest in you.” Most of us go through life covering over that yearning at the heart of every human, distracting ourselves with the desires of this world. Not so, Joseph Gentilini. God gave Joseph an extraordinary awareness of that call to union with God.
In his autobiographical journal, Joe spells out his painful journey as an active gay man, from revolt against that voice of God to final acceptance with God’s grace of his gay identity given to him by God-a remarkable journey which brings hope to all of us that God’s call to union is to the authentic self. God dwells within us, and the only way to union with that God is through the authentic self!
John McNeill, former Jesuit priest and author of The Church and the Homosexual; Taking a Chance on God; Freedom, Glorious Freedom; and My Spiritual Journey: Both Feet Planted in Midair

 

Review

This was a very insightful and emotional book. It’s full of pain but it’s also very hopeful and uplifting
It was written as entries from the author’s journal, it also includes letters sent and recieved, and some of the author’s prayers. It’s not written in chronological order, instead, the chapters lead to an specific subject and the entries from the journal are related to the subject the chapter is about.
It took me a while to read it but for the right reasons, it had some very deep thoughts that had me, on several ocasions, stoping, rereading and analyzing what i’d just read. It made me think a lot and i think very much of the concepts displayed are valid not just for gay or catholic people but to everyone.
The chapters adress very interesting topics such as the relationship with the parents, sexuality and promiscuity, understanding God’s love through the ability to love another person and being love by another, the constant presence of God in our lives.
For me, one of the hardest chapters to read, was the one that talked about the author’s relationship with his parents, as the whole book, is full of ups and downs, but i think that, consider a parents love conditional, is one of the most difficults things a person can experience, and yet, it’s such a common thing to see.
One constant subject along the book is the self acceptance, it’s hard to see the struggle, but it’s also very satisfiying to see where the authors stands at this moment.
There are very strong critics to the catholic church, but there is also hope within some of the aspect of what it represents, i think, some paragraph on the book, are a very good example of it, and it makes a beautiful summary of the meaning of the book.

“…This process of self-discovery and self-examination was a painful and lengthy struggle, but, in the end, I stood before God and decided that, in this area, the teaching of the Catholic Church were wrong for me. I choose to dissent from the teachings in this area but that does not negate for me the Catholic faith and traditions, in which i believe and which i practice”.

“My task in life is to hold on to the belief that I am a son of God, that I am loved as a son in spite of whatever Church may say about me as gay. Even though all condemn me, I must hold on to the belief that God loves me as I am, as a son, as a gay son…”

“…God loves us as we are, not as we might like to be or as others, including the Church, want us to be…”

In general, i think, it was a great book. I did have some issues, maybe because of the way it was written i got a little bored at times, but that is on me, the book is very good and overall i think it’s an amazing reading, i would really recommen to anyone to give it a try.

*Book provided by NetGalley.

From the Begining

I’m going to start with the book that named the blog. I’m not doing a review about this, but i wanted to explain a bit the name of the blog. There is this amazing series from Gregory Maguire named The Wicked Years. The second book of this series “Son of a  Witch” has a great main character named Liir. He give himself a last name “Ko”.

Liir is one of the greatest character i have read. I love the whole series, but Liir has a special spot in mi heart, so i decided to named the blog after him, to remind myself how much a fictional character can be loved by a reader.