Sunday, April 18, 2021

Publisher Gift (via NetGalley) | Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted

 

I received a free digital copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐

When I was contacted by the publisher via email with the offer of this book, I admit I hesitated quite a bit at first. The news of the world was already hard enough, and adding something even more awful to my life seemed like something I did not want to do.

Still, I dove in anyway and I am glad I did. I had a few stops and starts, and there were places I skimmed only because some descriptions of her sickness and treatments were graphic and I don't have the stomach for that. Even so, I recommend this read.

The author graduated from college and promptly moved to Pairs that summer. Her dream was to be a war correspondent, but not long after settling into her new life fate had other plans.

It started with a strange symptom - a constant itchiness on her feet and legs. Then came the fatigue and no amount of sleep could make it go away. Don't forget the sores in her mouth. The more she slept, the more tired she became. Just before the author turned 23 she received the diagnosis that I would not wish on my worst enemy - leukemia. Even worse, this version came with a 35% survival rate. Suddenly the world she had been slowly building for herself in Paris was gone, obliterated by that one terrifying word.

Jaouad returned home to New York and began her fight to survive - all of which she chronicled as an on-going story for the New York Times. For nearly four years she underwent all kinds of traumatic events - rounds of chemo, a clinical trial, and then a bone marrow transplant. She made and lost friends who suffered as she did, and those stories are especially heartbreaking. I can't imagine going through something so life-altering, finding those who understand because they are in the same position, then losing them to the very thing you've beaten. Survivor's guilt would crush me.

When Jaouad is finally deemed cancer-free, she finds that in her fight to live, she has forgotten how to do that very thing - to live. This is understandable, having spent the last four years constantly stalked by death. To begin her journey of healing mentally and emotionally, she decides to crisscross the country on a 100-day journey to meet with people who had written to her while she was in the hospital and writing about her battle with the disease for the Times.

Jaouad's account is brutally honest. I can't imagine having to make some of the decisions she did, and so quickly. This is especially clear when it came to the issue of the clinical trial and whether she would do it if she was a candidate. Also the decisions made when it came to fertility and how any treatments could later impact her ability to become pregnant if she decided she wanted to have children. Jaouad had a solid support system there every step of the way. I can't imagine going through this alone and was glad that she did not have to.

Knowing the story has a happy ending did not make the hard stuff any easier. This is a powerful memoir of a life interrupted and the search for how to begin again.

Highly recommended.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Stacking the Shelves #142

 


Stacking the Shelves is a weekly feature co-hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Reading Reality. It is a chance to showcase all the goodies you've collected throughout the week, whether they're bought on-line or in-store, an ARC or a final copy, borrowed from a friend or the library, physical or digital, etc.

Prime Library

Library Treasures


Happy Reading!
Sarah 

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Tackling the TBR Week 14: April 8 - April 14, 2021

        

I am now entering year three of Tackling the TBR. Slowly but surely I have made big strides in getting by TBR under control. When I first started in 2019, my TBR was topping out at over 5,000 books. I don't know that I will ever get below 500, but a #BookDragon can dream!


I will be posting on the 7th, 14th, 21st, and the last day of the month. Feel free to join in if you'd like!


Previous Week's TBR Total: 2,923


Currently Reading



Books Added to TBR



Books Removed from TBR: 2


Books Read



Books DNF-ed: 0




Duplicates Removed: 2


New TBR Total: 2,919


Any of these catch your eye? Have you already read any? Let me know!


Happy Reading!

Sarah

Saturday, April 10, 2021

oi!

 The last couple weeks have been crazy and I have only been able to post things I already had scheduled. But I finally have a breather today and will be around this weekend, FINALLY!

Stacking the Shelves #141

       


Stacking the Shelves is a weekly feature co-hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Reading Reality. It is a chance to showcase all the goodies you've collected throughout the week, whether they're bought on-line or in-store, an ARC or a final copy, borrowed from a friend or the library, physical or digital, etc.

NetGalley


Happy Reading!

Sarah 

Thursday, April 8, 2021

First Line Friday #127

 

First Line Friday is brought to you by Hoarding Books. Playing along is easy: open the book nearest you and share the first line. Then check out the link to see the other first lines posted this week.


"At 8:30 a.m. on November 8th, 2018, John Sedwick pounded on his daughter's bedroom door."

This one is deeply personal to me. One of my good friends has lived in Paradise for several years and after a stint here in Nebraska for a couple years as our church's youth pastor, she moved back home. Until I finally heard from her, this one was one of the longest days of my life, just waiting. Her stories, the videos and photos she sent, absolutely devastating. When they say the entire town was nearly decimated, this is not hyperbole. She and her boyfriend were incredibly lucky in that their home remained, while nearly every other home in their neighborhood was at least partially or fully destroyed. I thank God every single day that He kept them safe, and pray for those who did not survive, as well as their families.

Leave a comment and let me know what you think, and leave a link to your FLF so I can stop by to see what you've posted this week.

Happy Reading!
Sarah

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Tackling the TBR Week 13: April 1 - April 7, 2021

       

I am now entering year three of Tackling the TBR. Slowly but surely I have made big strides in getting by TBR under control. When I first started in 2019, my TBR was topping out at over 5,000 books. I don't know that I will ever get below 500, but a #BookDragon can dream!


I will be posting on the 7th, 14th, 21st, and the last day of the month. Feel free to join in if you'd like!


+++++++++++++++


Announcement: I have added a linky to this post and will do so for future Tackling the TBRs as well. A few people expressed interest in this in one of my 'goals' posts so I thought this would be an easy way for us to all connect. I post weekly, but feel free to do whatever works for you - weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, whatever!


The link will be open the entire week.


+++++++++++++++


Previous Week's TBR Total: 2,925


Currently Reading


Books Added to TBR


Books Removed from TBR: 0


Books Read



Books DNF-ed: 0




Duplicates Removed: 0


New TBR Total: 2,923


Any of these catch your eye? Have you already read any? Let me know!


Happy Reading!

Sarah

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Sunday, April 4, 2021

He is Risen!

God bless you on this joyous and beautiful Easter morning.

As mentioned in previous posts, I faithfully read The Final Days of Jesus every year starting on Palm Sunday.

It is a fantastic way to see the four books of the Gospel side by side and to read the accounts of the disciples as they watched everything they thought they knew disappear in the most traumatic way possible.

Yet that morning, the third day, Jesus rose as He said He would. He appeared to His followers who had lost hope, had given up, gone into hiding, and/or began the journey home. Yet He did not give up on them, and He has not given up on us.

Happy Easter!

Sarah

P.S. While Matthew is probably my fave book of the Gospel, I love John as well, and the shade he throws in Peter's direction by saying he outran him to the tomb. You have to admire John's details.


 

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Stacking the Shelves #140

       


Stacking the Shelves is a weekly feature co-hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Reading Reality. It is a chance to showcase all the goodies you've collected throughout the week, whether they're bought on-line or in-store, an ARC or a final copy, borrowed from a friend or the library, physical or digital, etc.

Prime First Reads

NetGalley ARCs

Publisher Gift

Library Treasures

Happy Reading!
Sarah