The Book Review: “Forgiven: The Amish School Shooting” by Terri Roberts

Advance Reading Copy Disclosure:

Thanks to BethanyHouse and the publisher for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review. I have not read anything else by Terri Roberts before but what drew my attention to this book the most was the title. This does not affect my opinion of the content or the book in my review.

“I had no answers, only questions. Even with inconctroversible evidence, I still struggled to accept the reality of the day’s events. My son had grown up so loved-and loving. He had a wonderful wife, three beautiful children, a job he had aspired to and attained. Nothing of the bizarre, horrific, evil decisions he’d made this day matched the man I knew.” – Terri Roberts. 

What drew my attention to this book is that school shootings happen way too often recently. See this list of school shootings in the US. Everybody should have heard about the recent shooting in Nashville, Tennessee on October 22nd 2015 by now. One person was killed and three injured at an outdoor courtyard at Tennessee State University. Why this particular shooting happened is still unclear but it might have been over an argument at a dice game. According to CNN, a suspect has not been arrested or identified. A couple of weeks ago I drove with my family back home to the States from Canada and we passed through Pennsylvania. I have never seen “real” Amish people so for the first time I was able to experience the traditional Amish buggies which I thought was awesome. They just go along with their business while cars pass right next to them. I have not heard about The Amish School Shooting that happened in October 2006 so I wanted to find out more about it. Let’s dive into the book review. 

The author Terri Roberts is the mother of the gunman Charles Robert (Charlie) who initially took hostages a the West Nickel Mines School – an Amish school in Lancaster Country, Pennsylvania. He shot five girls (aged 6-13 years old). The other five girls had been seriously injured but gladly survived. Charlie Roberts committed suicide after he shot at the girls. Terri Roberts was on her way to work when her husband called her to let her know that she has to drive to her son Charlie’s house immediately. She mentioned that there were many helicopters in the air that morning but she never could have imaged that they were there because of her son. This crime her son had committed was something she could not have anticipated or predicted. 

“A short while later, Charlie and his son came back inside, and the house began to empty out. It had been a good evening. I remember thinking as we all said our farewells that Charlie had seemed quieter than usual.” -Terri Roberts

The Roberts’ family was in shock after what happened. I thought the best part of the book was when the Amish reached out  to the family after this tragedy. It is simply a great story about forgiveness and love. Initially Terri and her husband thought about leaving the area and to start somewhere fresh because the pressure was just too intense. The author describes very clearly how much they suffered and at the same time obviously the Amish people; especially the ones who lost their child. When you read the book you will find out how she stayed connected to the Amish community and you will learn how Terri’s family dealt with all the pain and suffering and also her struggle and her anger with God. It is important to mention that she does not search for excuses of what her son did. But will she be able to forgive her own son? 

It is simply a wonderful read, because I have never read this type of story from the perpetrators mother’s perspective. I highly recommend this book. You will end up looking at your own life in a different perspective. Let me know if you decide to read Terri Roberts book: “Forgiven: The Amish School Shooting” or share your thoughts if you have read it. There is also a great documentary describing the shooting as well as the Amish way of life if you would like to see.

Thank you for following and reading my blog. 

The Book Review: “Furiously Happy” by Jenny Lawson

“If you put a bunch of chameleons on top of a bunch of chameleons on top of a bowl of Skittles what would happen? Is that science? Because if so, I finally get why people want to do science.” ― Jenny Lawson

This book I picked up because of all the hype. Honestly, I don’t usually listen to this but I have read a couple of posts on The Bloggess and I liked what she is all about. She has a very funny way of writing and this book is her memoir.  I also liked the author’s note when she explains how she struggles with depression and then she changed her concept of just being furiously happy. I still don’t know if this “extreme joy” that I read throughout her book is really good either, but it is funny. So very funny. The story with the dog food at the pharmacy made me cry laughing when I read it out loud to my husband. The author is just doing whatever she feels like and this I love. Like saying whatever you want, jumping into whatever you want (like a fountain or a pool with no water in it and just lay in it for the fun of it ordering a piña colada). All this made me order her first book so she did something right. 

Jenny Lawson mentions some of her issues pretty fast. She is suffering from compulsive hair-pulling (ahm… I had to look this one up: trichotillomania), anxiety disorder, ADD, OCD and depression. She is sharing stories of her life that are just funny, strange and weird at the same time. The arguments she describes in Furiously Happy that she had with her husbands seem weird to me. I would never argue about anything like this. Not even for five minutes. But she does, and again in a funny way. She just has a very wicked sense of humor. 

I don’t think she leads a boring life but to me it seems somewhat chaotic. The book is a great mix of really cry out loud funny and quite serious topics. I love how honest Lawson is about her mental illnesses. If you suffer from a mental illness and you simply just need to lighten up a little then this book is defiantly for you. Even though having my own blog I would not be that open and share as much as she does. This must have taken her a great deal of courage to write and talk so freely about all her problems. Or maybe it did not. But then again I guess she does not care what other people think and simply accepts herself the way she is – with all her flaws and mental disorders. 

This book was simply a great read from beginning to the end. You get a great insight on mental illness and laugh out loud at point and the next second you are thinking clearly and get overwhelmed by her ability to capture these diseased so accurately. Of course I will be reading her first book soon. 

Thank you for reading my blog and feel free to share if you are going to read her book or already read it. I would love to hear your thoughts. 

Five Things


Hey and Happy Friday! It is almost weekend again. My week was crazy with a weird mix of stressful, sad and happy! More sad than anything else though! But as you can see, my son and I had fun at the beach and this I think is very important to balance everything else out. No matter how difficult and hard a situation seems, try to find something positive or try to move on. One day at the time. Life goes on. With you still in it. My husband left again last Saturday. Yep, he is back in Congo. It was tough but we did the quick drop-off that I use whenever my dad drives me to the airport. Just pull over, open doors and open trunk. Then get your stuff out, kiss and leave. Whenever I go inside and stick around to have coffee or food before leaving or the person I drop of leaves I feel how the tears start welling up and my heart might burst so this is the best way for us to deal with it. How was our week otherwise and what did we do and experience? Read on. 

Watching: My brother mentioned to see “Californication”  several times already and that “I have to watch this because it is F’n awesome!” I finally got sucked into it after just one episode and I am currently watching Season 5. David Duchovny is in it and he plays a writer.Whoop Whoop! Otherwise, do you know Sarah Silverman? I love her – she is a great funny comedian and just “different”.  Check her out here! 

Reading: As usual a lot. I am reading “City of Thorns” by Ben Rawlence, “Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe” by Max Lucado and “Furiously Happy” by Jenny Lawson. Besides all this I am reading the New York Times Book Review online and several blogs that I am following. I literally could read all day long – I love it so much! Reviews will be on the blog soon and the links to some of the blogs that are on my daily reading list. 

Listening to: Howard Stern on Siruis whenever I am driving in our car. I love him. He is funny, entertaining and crazy at the same time. 😉 I have to stop at this, even though I love to listen to him but my son picks up on all the f-words he uses. I mean, he uses it a LOT and so do all his guests. I also listened to this great talk with Hal Hartley. Hal Hartley is a screenwriter, producer and director and is a key figure in the indecent film movement of the 80s and 90s. He is just amazing. I also occasionally listen to  shows, podcasts and talk on PBS. And of course TED Talks. 

Thinking about: These days I think a lot about death, change and how to deal with all this. Life can get really tough at points and one has to find a way to deal with difficult circumstances and situations. And then it is important to take it one day at a time. When people tell me that “Time heals all wounds” I tend to hate it in that particular moment because I feel they sort of need to say that, you know. To comfort me in a way. But guess what? Time DOES heal wounds. Sometimes it takes a long time, but it all gets better eventually even though everything seems hopeless right now. 

Enjoying: Planning my son’s birthday. He will be two years old on the 24th and I am alone here to celebrate it with him. This day will be special either way. I will bake his favorite blueberry/banana muffins, we will go to the playground at the beach, he will enjoy his new toys and I found out that the local Fire Department here has an Open House that day. He is currently obsessed with fire trucks or any ‘big” truck actually. I am also enjoying my blog and writing every single day. It is shaping into some cool read that I would love to follow myself. 😀  I am not a pro but if you are thinking about starting your own blog, I can give you some tips. I figured this blog business out on my own! It is a lot of work but in the end so worth it because I love what I am doing. 

Thank you for reading. 

The Book Review: “Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe” by Max Lucado


Advance Reading Copy Disclosure:

Thanks to Booklookbloggers and the publisher for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review. I have not read anything else by Lucado before but what drew my attention to this book the most was the cover and title. This does not affect my opinion of the content or the book in my review.

“Dear God (if this really is you), I hate the church. I hate religion and everything about it. It seems so obvious that religion causes more problems than it solves. It manipulates and separates people with fear. The church is nothing more than a place for people to pose as someone they’re not. How can you defend all this hypocrisy?” Chelsea chuckled. “That’s from someone named Spencer, if I remember correctly.” “You’re good,” Tony said. 

The book starts out great and the author describes exactly what caught my interest for the book. Chelsea Chambers leaves her NFL, famous, good looking husband who cheated on her. She decides now to open a café – The Higher Grounds Café”. Instantly I loved how Lucado describes the taste, smell and texture of the coffee and pastries. I literally made myself a cup of coffee, curled myself up on the couch and started reading this book in one sitting. (183 pages which is done by me in a couple of hours!) Chelsea tries to gain control again of her life and her family (she has two kids with her husband and her son’s name is Hancock) Like instantly, “WHY would you name your kid HANCOCK?”

It is a nice little story about forgiving and love which grabbed my interest. When they introduce the “God blog” at the café the author lost me however. It is supposed to be a hotline to God. God answers questions that customers come up with and her business starts to go up the roof. I do not want to give away spoilers so I leave it at that. You read the quote above? This was God’s answer: 

“Dear Spencer, I don’t even try to defend hypocrisy. Now I have a question for you. Do you really think I started that? Don’t you think I’ve had my fill of worship charades, religious games, and fearmongering, as you and your friends say? You think I want this? No thank you. Yet, Spencer, I haven’t seen much compassion out of you, have I? You pride yourself in authenticity, yet behave like everyone in your own circle. You make irreligion a religion. Leave the hypocrites up to me. And from time to time, look up. Focus on me. I think you might be surprised by what you’ll find. Love, God.”

I would say that the plot was good and what made me turn the pages were the characters. If you love coffee, pastries, cafés, spiritualism, belief and angels this is your book. 

Thank you for reading and enjoy the book if you decide to read it. 

Firma SEHES in Rödental/Bayern/Deutschland

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This post will be on request in German only. Thank you! 

“Wir würden Ihnen gerne helfen, wenn wir dürfen!” – Ottomar Uwe Meissner

Zu Firma SEHES bin ich durch Zufall gekommen, obwohl ich schon jahrelang daran vorbeilief und mir nichts dabei dachte oder eher nichts daraus machte. Ich denke, im Leben kommt alles zur rechten Zeit oder manche Tore öffnen sich, wenn man dazu bereit ist. Ich war bereit an jenem schönen Tag im Mai, als ich mit meinem Sohn spazieren ging “um dort einfach einmal reinzuschauen, um zu sehen was die dort so machen”. Gesagt, getan und niemals bereut. 

Wissen Sie, wer Sie sind? Die Firma SEHES ist ein ganzheitliches Gesundheitszentrum, das Antworten gibt auf solche Fragen. Sie haben Beschwerden, Leiden etc. und hetzen von Arzt zu Arzt und jene können nur noch Pillen über Pillen verschreiben aber gesund werden Sie nicht? Sie wollen gerne mehr über sich wissen? Sie sind an sich interessiert und wollen sich weiterentwickeln bzw sich helfen lassen? Wollen Sie wissen, wer Sie eigentlich sind? Wollen Sie Ruhe finden im täglichen Stress?  Antworten auf diese Fragen brauchen Zeit und Geduld. Wollen Sie das? 

Ottomar Uwe Meissner zusammen mit seiner Frau Martina Meissner sind die Verantwortlichen und Ansprechpartner der Firma SEHES in der Rosenauer Strasse 2, 96472 Rödental. Telefonnummer:(09563/405840) (Telefonzeiten: Montag bis Freitag 09:00 bis 18:00 Uhr) oder Email: Dort werden Sie Antworten auf Ihre Fragen finden wenn Sie bereit dazu sind und offen für das Neue. Mit Ihrer Einverständniserklärung wird Ihnen im SEHES Haus geholfen. 

“Gewöhnlich wenden wir uns bei Schwierigkeiten, sogenannten Problemen an Psychologen, Neurologen, Motivationstrainer usw. , die uns dann auf einen langen beschwerlichen Weg schicken. In der Hoffnung auf Lösung und Beschwerdefreiheit. Dies tun sie dann durch Neuprogrammierung, Suggestion,Operation Medikamente und noch vielen anderen Techniken. Das Ergebnis dürfen sie selbst tragen. [….] Die Schwächung bleibt. Aber auch die Manipulation bleibt. Andere leben sie weiter. ” – Ottomar Uwe Meissner.

Wichtig ist hier zu erkennen, dass Sie auch an sich selbst arbeiten müssen. Wenn Sie wirklich etwas verändern wollen, um Antworten auf Ihre Fragen zu finden dann vereinbaren Sie einen Termin bei Firma SEHES. Ich spreche aus Erfahrung. Ich war von Mai – Juli ein-bis zweimal wöchentlich bei Ottomar Uwe Meissner (spezialisiert in Tuina.zur Behandlung.  

Sie sind fast überzeugt aber wissen nicht wie Sie das Ganze nun in die Tat umsetzen sollen? Sie rufen erst einmal im SEHES Haus an (09563/405840) oder erscheinen persönlich zu einem Gespräch. Wenn Sie Schmerzen, Leiden oder chronische Beschwerden haben, müssen Sie Formblätter ausfüllen, die Auskunft geben über Ihren Zustand und welche Medikamente Sie zu sich nehmen, bevor die Behandlungen beginnen können. Also am Besten einfach einmal vorbeischauen und “Hallo” sagen. In dem gemütlich eingerichteten Büro erwartet Sie auch immer eine Tasse Tee oder Kaffee und viele einfühlsame Gespräche und Geborgenheit. Dies ist nun Ihr erster Schritt zum Weg der Besserung in jeglicher Hinsicht. Die anschliessenden Behandlungen finden in den oberen Räumen des ausgebauten und renovierten Hauses statt. Und glauben Sie mir, Sie werden Dinge sehen und lernen, die Sie noch nicht kannten. 

Martina Meissner steht mit Rat und Tat zur Seite und ist die “gute Seele des Hauses” aber auch gleichzeitig Leiterin des Meditationskurses der jeden Mittwoch von 18:00-19:00 Uhr stattfindet. Ich war selbst jeden Mittwoch mit dabei uns es hat mir sehr gut getan.  Wie Sie sehen, es wird sehr viel angeboten im SEHES HAUSFür jeden ist was dabei. 

Ein Treffen mit Ottomar Uwe und Martina lohnt sich! 

The Book Review: “The Art of Spiritual Healing” by Keith Sherwood

Advance Reading Copy Disclosure:

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review. I have not read anything else by Keith Sherwood before but what drew my attention to this book the most was the cover and title. This does not affect my opinion of the content or the book in my review.

I am searching and trying to grow psychologically and spiritually and I love to discover new things. When I first found out about SEHES I thought that I want to know more. More about energy healing, Reiki, meditation and aura reading. So guess what? I read a ton about it. I have been at SEHES for a couple of months and then I traveled and came back to the States so I could not attend my Wednesday- Meditations anymore nor my weekly Reiki sessions with Uwe Meissner. I was very happy when I found the book “The Art of Spiritual Healing” by Keith Sherwood. This is the latest edition however that will be released in February 2016. I want to share upfront that the ebook was not easy to read because the pictures the author shared where apparently not meant to be read as an ebook. I think a book like this should be read in paperback or hardcover. Consider this before purchasing it. 

This book is very powerful. I do not want to become a healer and I do not think you can learn this by reading a book obviously but you get the chance to know what you as a person are all about. You will learn about healing energy and what is going on in your body. Healing energy is described and ways to meditate are offered so you enhance functions of your mind that you never know you had. You will get introduced to spiritual healing and consciousness. Many chapters go into a lot of detail so I think it is not a book for the absolute beginner – like me. Sherwood describes how to heal and laying on of hands on patients, breathing techniques and simply healing other peoples through Prana Healing. 

The chapter I enjoyed the most was Chapter 5 on Auric Healing. You learn about auric colors, how you can learn to see auras and how to focus and meditate. Advanced auric healing is also explained but this was again too much for me. Here I have to mention again the bad quality of the ebook. The way the body and aura is explained thorough pictures just does not work. The author goes on about mental healing and describes many exercises. What amazed me the most was that he mentioned cancer, depression or kidney stones can be completely healed through energy healing and laying on of hands. This book is not meant to be red in one sitting for sure. Rather chapter by chapter and once you mastered the exercises you can move on the next chapter. 

This book might be for you if you look for answers about healing your soul and spirit, about karma, trauma and very specific chapters with in-depth explanations of meditation techniques. The author also explains about restoring your won wellness and valuable preconditions for wellness in the first place. He also mentions how important it is to enhance the relationship to the physical environment – like eating the right things and not smoking and drinking too much and shares the benefits of fasting. Further physical exercises are explained in depth like Yoga (Morning Sun Meditation), self-acceptance and contentment and how important it is to just go outside and play in nature. When was the last time you have been at the beach or in the woods? 

You do not have to be a victim of poor health or disease to read this book. However, this book is great for someone who already works in the energy-healing field and knows how to heal others. I like how the author writes in concise and very clear manner. Keith Sherwood’s book is well written and thought through out and I highly recommend it. 

How to: Two Delicious Smoothies

Sometimes I simply run out of breakfast ideas for my family. I also don’t want to eat the same every day so change is needed. Usually I want something healthy fast that keeps me full for a couple of hours. Smoothies are a good way to get your fix on vitamins and energy booster fast and easy. I mentioned that I have a very good blender.  It is a bit on the pricey side but if you use it a lot it is definitely worth it. If you use a blender simply for juices, a regular, cheaper one does the job just fine. I also make my own Almond milk  and here you do need a powerful blender for example. I would love to share two of my favorite smoothie recipes here. The best part about smoothies is that you can just play around and throw in what is in your fridge you think might work together and would taste good. Avocado in a Smoothie always gives it a nice texture, so keep this in mind. If you are using Facebook check out Anna Burkon’s Ganzheitliche Ernährungsberatung. This Facebook page is awesome and you get great insights on healthy food, recipes, lifestyle and upcoming events. Yes, she teaches what she preaches 🙂 I have been to one of her events and I loved it. She made an awesome smoothie that evening and I would like to share her recipe here. 

Serves 5

Anna Burkon's Smoothie

5 minPrep Time

5 minTotal Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • 1 banana
  • 1 apple
  • 3-4 beets (peeled)
  • 1-2 cups of water
  • 1/2 pineapple (I used canned pineapple once and it was great)
  • Linseed oil


  1. Add all the ingredients in your blender and mix on high speed for 3-4 minutes or until texture is creamy and smooth(ie). 🙂

The second Smoothie Recipe is a true Powershake! I made it for my husband a couple of times and he mentioned that especially when he works out, this shake keeps him full and gives him great energy. Win-win I would say. (He loves to say that – win-win situation!) Apparently it only let’s me save ONE recipe at a time. So here is the second one without the nice layout. 


1-2 cups of water

5-6 dates

1 apple

handful cashews (or almonds)

1 cup of grapes

chunk of fresh ginger

1 carotte

1 banana

Add all the ingredients in your blender and mix for 3-4 minutes on high speed or until consistency is smooth(ie) and creamy. Enjoy! 

I want to share the health benefits of ginger and Linseed with you!

Ginger is very healthy and provides a great zesty flavor to your smoothie, drinks, sauces or all kinds of dishes. I have seen dried ginger out there but I think nothing is better and as strong as the fresh one. When my throat hurts a little and I have the feeling I might get a cold I boil some hot water, grate some fresh ginger and add some lemon juice. Usually this does it for me and I won’t get sick. Try it! I hope it works for you as well! You can add ginger to any stir fry and it goes really well with sesame oil and Tamari soy sauce. I am a sushi addict and I love that they always serve the dishes with a little pickled ginger on the side. My husband and I always ask for extra ginger. 

The Health Benefits of Ginger: 

Ginger is very nutritious because it is high in vitamin B6 and magnesium (both are great to reduce stress). Ginger is also very high on potassium (good for the heart) and the mineral copper. Ginger is good for digestion. If you have an upset stomach, Yogi ginger tea  always worked for me. I used to drink a cup here and there when I felt a little nauseous when I was pregnant. The last benefit I want to add is that ginger is anti-inflammatory and great for pain. I have read once that ginger also might reduce arthritis pain. Who would have thought no? 

Thank you for reading. 

My take on: Julia Child

“This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook- try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun! I don’t think about whether people will remember me or not. I’ve been an okay person. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve taught people a thing or two. That’s what’s important.” Julia Child 

My love for Julia Child started when I watched the movie “Julie & Julia” which was based on a cooking blog by Julie Powell. Watch the movie if you get a chance. It is just very beautifully done and makes you simply want to eat and appreciate food! After watching it of course I wanted to find out more about Julia Child. She has been on TV for several years on a cooking show channel. You want to know how to make Julia Child’s traditional omelette? Click here. She is just so sweet how she explains everything. 😀

Here is a little insight on Julia Child (1912-2004). She was American, 6 feet 2 inches tall, an author, chef and had her TV show. Julia was married to Paul Child (1902-1994) who was a diplomat.She moved to France with her husband and fell in love with the French cuisine. I mean how could you not!? She has written “Mastering the Art of French Cooking I +II” – together with Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle; that I, being married to a Frenchi obviously own. Publishing these books was groundbreaking for them. Julia’s dream was to become a writer when she was young; so with her love for French food, France and her passion to write she did what she loved and always wanted to do. 

Julia’s TV-show was very popular and she proved again that if you do what you love you never work another day in your life. In her older days; and a couple of years after Paul passed away,  she lived in an assisted living complex but kept working a bit and still wrote at age 92! Pretty impressive. She said that “In this line of work…you keep right on till you’re through. Retired people are boring otherwise.” She died in 2004 of kidney failure.

In 2012, Julia Child would have been 100 years old. In celebration of her birthday, restaurants all over America took part in a “Julia Child Restaurant Week” and offered some of her recipes on their menus. There is an ongoing Julia Child exhibit at the Smithsonian – National Museum of American History in Washington D.C. that is worth checking out. When it comes to books I can recommend “My Life in France” which is an autobiography of Julia Child and very well written. My husband knows about my Julia Child obsession and purchases a poster with an original signature by Julia Child on eBay. Gotta love this man! He also bought me this book which I haven’t read yet. 

Thank you for reading and Bon Appétit! 

On dressing like a halfway hipster (Part II – Hipster lifestyle)

This is a continuation of my previous post on my Half-Hipster Lifestyle. Read part I here. 

It is always important to me to take a “greener approach” to food. I would love to grow my own veggies but I do not have the means yet but it is just a matter of time. I don’t usually like meat but once in a while I have it and then really enjoy it. There is nothing better than my mom’s chicken soup. Nothing! And just because of this soup I will never turn into a vegan/raw-foodist vegetarian. I do consider my eating habits healthy and I feel good about the way I eat. I love coffee and tea! I love Sushi and I love Fruit. And when my husband, my son and I were in Canada at the Chalet we BBQ’ed and even had marshmallows on a stick at the fireplace. <3 

It is important to be educated. Hands down. If you are a hipster or whatever you are. Being a hipster however almost requires it. Go to a college or university and study. Or sign up for courses or classes in something that interests you. I love that I learned about art, science, literature, writing classes, psychology and so much more. Education is just so important. Besides education – as you know by now – I read a lot. If you cannot afford the book go to your local library or simply go to the bookstore and read a couple of chapters there. Who cares right! I am about to start my Master Degree next year so continuous learning is key for me. I am also planning on taking photo-and writing classes. 

Just be yourself! I am doing my own thing. No matter what anybody says if I stand behind it 100%. Period! Whenever it comes to reading I am your woman! The key is you want to connect to others and know what you are talking about- especially when it comes to books. What I would recommend to read? The classics. Allen Ginsberg, Norman Mailer and Jack Kerouac to start. Then again, as long as you read you are good to go so to speak. Go and explore political science, sociology, anthropology or any other section in your local library or bookstore to simply broaden the horizon. 

I love to watch good movies. As I have stated previously, I am a huge Woody Allen fan. I think it is important to watch some foreign and independent films once in a while, see a musical or go to the opera. You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars for broadway shows. The off- or even off-off broadway shows are just as amazing. One of the best plays I have ever seen was off-off broadway – “Our Town” by Thornton Wilder. I love to see great plays. Always have been – always will. Whenever you are in New York and have time go check out these movie theaters: Angelika Film Center and Lincoln Plaza Cinema. They show great independent movies. I have been to both several times and can recommend them. If you don’t have time for all this just watch this short movie about the poem Howl by Allen Ginsberg. 

I love good music. Usually the good old or independent stuff. I love everything from Queens, Bob Dylan, Serge Gainsbourg to Elephant 6. It is also important to be open to new things like Blogspot, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or WordPress and connect with others. 

Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed these little insights. Share your questions and comments below. 

The Book Review: “If I Fall, If I Die” by Michael Christie

Advance Reading Copy Disclosure:

Thanks to Blogging for Books and the publisher for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review. I have not read anything else by Christie before but what drew my attention to this book the most was the cover and title. This does not affect my opinion of the content or the book in my review.

“So whether she was scared for him, or of him, it mattered little. Her job was still the same: To build them a world that death could never touch.” – Michael Christie

If I Fall, If I Die is a novel by Michael Christie that can be best described as a boy’s story who wants to go Outside or escape his agoraphobic mother Diane (agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder when the sufferer perceives the environment unsafe and dangerous) who chose to stay in the house with her son. At some point the story transforms into action/mystery that I just did not enjoy. The book starts out with the sentence “The boy stepped Outside and he did not die” which I thought was very catching and interested me to find out why he never stepped outside. You learn quickly that Will stays with his mother in the house (with rooms named after major cities like New York, San Francisco etc.) and never went outside before. His life is his mothers’ and vice versa which I thought was strange. Will’s mother home schools him so he does not need to put himself into danger by going to school. Diane is afraid of choking on the food, so she cooks only in a slow cooker which takes her fears to an extreme crazy extend. 

I loved that their lives are filled with art, painting, reading tons of books and spending so much time together and I also think that Diane really loves her son. As soon as Will steps outside, the reader realizes that conflicts between his mother and him are programmed. Will gets more and more curious and she is simply afraid every single second it seems. Then one of Will’s friends disappears  – then Diane’s past is described. Later some illegal acts come up. I thought the story was very slow and confusing at points which made me put the book aside many times. 

The entire story just seems incomplete to me and I do not recommend the book.