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Memoir / Autobiography

  • Plot: The author is indeed a warrior; he also knows how to tell a story. This is a page-turner.

    Prose: Well written and a pleasure to read.

    Originality: There are many recovery books out there. This one just seems to go a little deeper. If readers are initially turned off by the second person, by the end of the book, they will appreciate the author's choice in using it.

    Character Development: Character plus conflict equals change. Through the author's skillful (sometimes painful) descriptions of the conflict, the reader is able to experience change and even a degree of resolution.

    Blurb: Only an author with such an impressive history and talent could create this inspiring story that will act as a guide for others on similar paths.

  • Plot: Well plotted and well paced. That the character arc develops slowly makes the book that much more believable. I wouldn't cut a word.

    Prose: This gifted author's prose is beautiful, carefully wrought, and a pleasure to read. The only issue is the title, which doesn't do justice to a wonderful book.

    Originality: Wholly original. This makes Eat, Pray, Love look like a summer vacation.

    Character Development: The author's spiritual development occurs gradually. It is believable and by degree -- and brilliantly told. The way the author handles the deaths of her parents is both painful and perfect. Dasi walks the line between sentiment and sentimentality and never veers too far toward the latter.

    Blurb: As multi-faceted and luminous as the photos it contains, this book is an important historical and spiritual journey told seamlessly.

  • Love Sick

    by Cory Martin

    Rating: 7.25

    Plot: Love Sick moves along swiftly, jumping from past to present, with many side stories from the author's journey. The characters in her life are mostly humorous with resonating qualities.

    Prose: The author uses humor throughout the memoir, while reliving her most painful moments. This leaves the reader feeling empathetic to her situation, and able to engage with the book.

    Originality: The author's struggle with MS is clearly defined throughout the memoir. The anguish of waiting for test results while trying to find romance makes for a riveting read that is both refreshing and original.

    Character Development: The characters in this memoir are fully developed and greatly enhance the book. The author's detailed stories about various relationships she had are both comical and heartwarming, especially when the author writes about her family.

  • Hair of the Corn Dog

    by A.K. Turner

    Rating: 7.25

    Plot: This well-written, funny memoir is skillfully structured. Each chapter opens and closes smoothly and the book flows well.

    Prose: The book's solid prose, humor, and entertaining voice make for a fun read.

    Originality: This is an original memoir about unique characters. Overall, the tone is somewhat reminiscent of Erma Bombeck or Nora Ephron.

    Character Development: Characters are well introduced and well rendered. The narrator/mother and the youngest daughter are the most vivid; also memorable are the in-laws with their love of fun and sometimes noisy lovemaking.

    Blurb: This book is sure to elicit laughs from anyone living in this crazy, irreverent time in the U.S.