Monthly Archives: August 2015

Frightening Historical Fiction

Kim van Alkemade has written a historical fiction novel inspired by true events.  It is 1919, and we meet 4 year-old Rachel Rabinowitz and her 6 year-old brother, Sam.  Tragedy strikes the family, and the pair find themselves orphaned.  The two are split up.  Rachel is sent to the Hebrew Infant Home while her brother is sent to the orphanage.  At the Hebrew Infant Home, Rachel is subjected to cruel medical experiments over the course of two years.  She is repeatedly given X-ray treatments to help support Dr. Mildred Solomon’s research.  After the two years, she is sent to the orphanage with her brother.  Though she is safe from the experiments, her life does not get easier, she has many side effects from the experiments and finds herself a misfit in the orphanage.

It is now 1954, and Rachel has become a nurse.  Her latest patient is Dr. Mildred Solomon.  All the memories of the experiments become fresh in her mind, and she realizes the power she now holds over the doctor.

A must-read.  Powerful, intense, shocking, and sad.


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Nonfiction: Eating Real Food

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I have been interested in eating healthier and cleaner for many years now, and I find myself drawn to stories, accounts, and recipes that focus on eating real, unprocessed food.  Yet, in these times, it is getting harder to determine just what is good for our bodies, and who we can trust to tell us what is healthy.

Megan Kimble has written an account on her year of eating unprocessed food ONLY.  Real Food.  Let me preface this by saying, she did this in her 20s with no spouse or any children, so she could focus on herself.  And even with focusing on just what she ate, it was a time-consuming and an expensive task (though at the end of the year, she tallied her food bills and it averaged $4.50 a meal…not too bad).

She goes off on a few political discussions, but nothing too in your face.  She was driven to eat clean because of all the food waste in the world especially the United States.  She was also concerned about the effect of all the pesticides and chemicals used to treat the produce we eat as well as the junk put into food that isn’t even food.  It is quite disturbing when one stops and considers it for too long.  She explains how 100 years ago, a person could go into a market and there would be a dozen items to purchase.  You would tell the clerk and the items that you desired and they would be fetched for you.  Easy.  Nowadays, we head into the super grocery stores and have thousands of items to choose from…and most of them are not even food.  But these items are cheap, convenient, and they taste good.  Cheap for us to buy, and they make the big food companies very rich.  And yet, we, the consumer are the ones  who are suffering.  Quite disturbing…and sad.

She demonstrates how she makes her own bread from wheat berries…not from a mix or white flour.  She discussed how she makes chocolate using cacao butter which costs $28.  This is why people do not make their own chocolate….cheaper and easier to simply pay a couple of bucks for a bar of Hershey’s chocolate.  And we pretend not to consider how it was made.  Life is easier when we are ignorant.  She participates in co-ops, CVS farm share, and food swaps.  She interviews various farmers to learn more about the process.  Quite interesting.

She does not lecture us on why we should eat healthier; though, after reading this book is not hard to understand why we should.    I recommend this book for those interested in learning more about our food industry,  what is happening to the farming industry in our country, what deems a food to be truly organic, and what it is like to slow down and really taste your food and understand the process of food.

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Ghosts and Reality Television

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Merry has an older sister.  Marjorie is her name.  Everyone is afraid of Marjorie.  She is not what she seems.  She is dangerous.  A priest has offered an explanation to the Barrett family.  He believes she is possessed by a demon.  The family is at their wit’s end, and there is no money to pay the doctors who have tried unsuccessfully to diagnose Marjorie.  Their sanity is wiped, and they fear for their safety.  This is when they agreed to allow a reality show to film the bizarre events of their household in return for financial compensation.  Yet, a horrible tragedy strikes the family.

Fifteen years later, and Merry has agreed to be interviewed by a bestselling author to reveal just what happened through the filming of their reality show.  Will the truth be discovered?  And more importantly, will Merry find peace?


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