Friday, 30 September 2016

Book Review: Hassan El-Tayyab: Composing Temple Sunrise Overcoming Writer's Block At Burning Man

Composing Temple Sunrise

Author: Hassan El-Tayyab
Title: Composing Temple Sunrise: overcoming Writer's Block at Burning Man
Genre: Arts and Photography, Music, Theory, Composition and Performance, Self-Help, Communication and Social Skills, Humanities, Performing Arts, Memoir,

I got this book for free in exchange for an honest review. Somebody on the behalf of the author contacted me through my book reviewing blog asking me to review this book.

First of all I would like to say a big thank you to Hassan El-Tayyab for sending me this book and giving me a chance to read it. I also want to say a big thank you to Serena Agusto-Cox who contacted me and thank you for taking the time to email me.

Thanks To:
Front and back cover art by Alice Guo.
Cover design by Melody Shirazi and John Peterson.
Photos in the book that were turned in to sketches by Hassan El-Tayyab and Gretjen Helene.
Sketches by Stephanie Wong.
Introduction by Jess Hobbs.
Transcription of temple sunrise by Colin Sapp.
Back cover photo by Amal Dar Aziz.
Edited by Faith Adiele, Marisa Belger, David Colin Carr, and Kayli De Saussure.
Arabic Translation Assistance by Devon Peterson.

Dedication: To all the amazing people I have met, and continue to meet on this journey.

This book has 224 pages and 32 chapters in it.

I would tell people that you should step outside your comfort zone with books because it is good to add more authors and genres to your reading portfolio. Even if you do not read books like this.

I normally do not read books of this genre but l stepped outside my comfort zone with authors and genres I am so glad I did because I have read so many great book and come across some great authors.

I highly recommend this book.

Quotes In This Book:

All growth is a leap in the dark, a spontaneous unpremeditated act without benefit of experience. - Henry Miller.

As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Other people and other people's ideas are often better than your own. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life. - Amy Poehler.

I think it is in collaboration that the nature of art is revealed. - Steve Lacy.

All that we see or seem, is but a dream within a dream. - Edgar Allen Poe.

Faith is taking the first step even through you do not see the whole staircase. - Martin Luther King Jr.

when one door closes another door opens: But we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the one's which open for us. - Alexander Graham Bell.

He who is not busy being born is busy dying. - Bob Dylan.

When written in Chinese the word 'crisis' is composed of two characters one represents danger, and the other represents opportunity. - John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

Sometimes you have to play for a long time to be able to play like yourself. - Miles Davis.

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. - Thomas Edison.

A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at. - Bruce Lee.

Home is where one starts from. - Ts Elliot.

My great concern is not whether you failed, but whether you are content with your failure. - Abraham Lincoln.
He is not a lover who does not love forever. - Euripides.

As we look ahead in to the next century, leaders will be those who empower others. - Bill Gates.

Every artist was first an amateur. - Ralph Waldo Emerson.

A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness. - Robert Frost.

A house is not a home unless it contains food for the mind as well as the body. - Ben Franklin.

Every dream begins with a dreamer. - Harriet Tubman.

Music happens to be an art form that transcends language. - Herbie Hancock.
To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue. - Buddha.

A good artist should be isolated, if he is not isolated, something is wrong. - Orson Wells.

It is not the strongest species that survives, nor the most intelligent who survives it is the one that is the most adaptable to change. - Charles Darwin.

The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It can not be changed without our thinking. - Albert Einstein.

The word enlightment conjures up the idea of some superhuman accomplishment, and the ego likes to keep it that way, but it is simply your natural state of felt oneness with being. - Eckhart Tolle.
If any human being is to reach full maturity both the masculine and feminine sides of their personality must be brought up in to consciousness. - Mary Esther Harding.

Tell me and l forget, teach me and l may remember, involve me and l learn. - Benjamin Franklin.

Et Tu, Brute. - Julius Caesar.

Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful. A meaningful friend – or a meaningful. - Dalai Lama.

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindness. - Mark Twain.

It seems no work of man's creative hand, by labour wrought as wavering fancy planned, but from the rock as if by magic grown, eternal, silent, beautiful, alone!. Not virgin-white like that old Doric shrine, where erst Athena held her rites divine, not saintly-grey, like many a minster fane, that crowns the hill and consecrates the plain, but rose-red as if the blush of dawn, that first beheld them were not yet withdrawn, the hues of youth upon a brow of woe, which man deemed old two thousand years ago, match me such marvel save in eastern clime, a rose-red city half as old as time. - Johann Ludwig Burckhardt.

Through forgiveness, which essentially means recognizing the insubstantiality of the past and allowing the present moment to be as it is, the miracle of transformation happens not only within but also without. - Eckhart Tolle.

Just as a candle can not burn without fire, men can not live without a spiritual life. - Buddha.

The grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere, the dew is never dried all at once, a shower is forever falling, vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in it's turn, as the round earth rolls. - John Muir.

What is commonly called “falling in love” is in most cases an intensification of egoic wanting and needing. You become addicted to another person, or father to your image of that person. It has nothing to do with true love, which contains no wanting whatsoever. - Eckhart Tolle.

Where there is love there is life. - Mahatma Gandhi.

Synopsis: This is a memoir by musician Hassan El-Tayyab and recounts his trip across the US looking for that elusive muse. He arrives in Berkeley and hooks up with a group creating a metal sculpture called FishBug. They go to burning man in the Nevada dessert and here he writes the musicial piece temple sunrise. Hassan is a musician singer/songwriter with his group American Nomad. This is a book of travel, personal exploration, community, and that elusive finding of the creative source. A beautiful song comes of this journey as well as a beautiful, insightful book.

Review By Other People:

in this candid, inspiring memoir, singer/songwriter Hassan El-Tayyab of American Nomad takes us deep in to the heart of what it means to chase a creative dream. After experiencing multiple losses (family, home, love, job, self-confidence), El-Tayyab sets out on a transcontinental quest that eventually lands him in Nevada's black rock dessert, his vivid descriptions, paired with artist's renderings, capture both the vast, surreal landscapes of the burning man festival and the hard practice of art-making. Composing temple sunrise is both a page-turning adventure and a road map for anyone struggling to forge their way. - Faith Adiele: an inward odyssey: editor of coming of age around the world: a multicultural anthology.

Going to burning man for the first time can be a powerful, life-changing experience. That is particularly true when someone is involved with building a major art installation, and even more so when that person is wrestling with personal demons and searching for a new life path, and so it was in 2009 when struggling teacher-turned-musician Hassan El-Tayyab found himself in a strange warehouse in a new city, buzzing with preparations to bring FishBug to the playa in a few weeks. - Steven T. Jones, author of the tribes of the burning man: how an experimental city in the dessert is shaping the new American counter culture.

Review: I found this book really easy to get in to and hard to put down once l started reading it. I was hooked after reading the first page. I really enjoyed reading this book I was sad to finish this book. I loved reading about building the FishBug and the team who built it. I was sad to read that Rebecca's brother committed suicide. I loved reading about burning man and all the people that met each other there. I was sad to read that Hassan's father lost his eye when he was young and he left home and dropped out of school to go to Germany to get his eye sorted out because he thought the doctors was better there Hassan's father now has a glass eye. It was to read that Hassan's parents split up and then they lost their home when his grandparents passed away. Hassan worked as a special education teacher but he lost his job. I love the quotes in this book I was sad to read that Hassan's bike was stolen. It did not take me long to finish this book. Hassan's father slept on the streets of Germany just so he could get his eye sorted and l think he was very brave doing so. The temple that was built to burn at burning man they was load's of messages wrote on the wood so when it was set on fire all the names and messages would go up in smoke. Hassan wrote his ex-girlfriend's name so he could move on and get over his broken heart. Hassan's mother sounds so brave and Hassan sounds like he is very close to his sister Sara. I can not put in to words how great this book is l would tell people to read it for themselves to know how great it is. I am glad Hassan over come his writer's block. I was happy that Hassan wrote a song and got a band together. I am glad Hassan never committed suicide. As his family and friends would miss him. I would love to read more about Hassan, his family and friends. Hassan sounds like a great guy. I could not get enough of this book. I love reading memoir. I loved reading about Hassan, his life and his family and friends. I wish this book would finish. I would love to read more books from Hassan El-Tayyab. I got this book in paperback. I am glad I read this book and glad it is on my bookshelf. I would happily read this book again. I love reading books about other people's life. When l was reading this book I would chill out on my bed listening to magic. I fell in love with this book and it took me away I easily got lost in this book. I loved that Hassan made lots of friends after he put a ad on Craigslist looking for someone to drive cross country with him so they could take turns at driving and share the prices of petrol and then he met the FishBug crew and helped them build the FishBug and their become friends. The pictures in this book was drawn by Hassan and his Gretjen I think they both are really good at drawing. My sister is currently reading this book as I am writing up my review. This book is a must read.

About The Author: Hassan El-Tayyab is an award-winning singer/songwriter, author, teacher, and cultural activist currently residing in San Francisco, California. His critically-acclaimed Americana act american Nomad performs regularly at festivals and venues up and down the west coast and beyond. In addition to performing Hassan is also a music educator, having taught songwriting and guitar classes for the freight and salvage and the east bay center for the performing arts. Hassan has also guest lecturer on songwriting at the university of California, Berkeley. You can follow Hassan and his music at

About The Book: I really love this book cover and the pictures and the colours on this book cover.

Star Rating: Five Out Of Five Stars.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Author Q And A: WH Wisecarver: Resurrection

Q: Your newest book in the “resurrection” series, an american journey, deals with some pretty heavy political, social, and economic issues, and yet the book is science fiction. Why did you choose that genre?

A: Actually, I didn't choose the genre, it kind of chose me. I am often asked why resurrection: an american journey uses an extraterrestrial civilization to explore the political and social disarry of our current society, yet many don't make the connection that since the 1980's science fiction has been the genre of choice for enlightening, and warning, a misinformed society against the forces of tyranny; from Herman Hesse's steppenwolf (1929) and Orwell's 1984 (1949) to William Gibson's necromancer (1984). The history in the resurrection series is factual in detail, and the alternatives presented, regardless of political or religious persuasion, are viable. Like Frank Herbert's dune (1965), in seeing current events in the middle east today, was to really science fiction? As l've said before, the resurrection series is about the true “game of thrones” the powers-that-be-are running, and it's accelerating. The big difference is that all my monsters are real. I'll let the reader decide the novel's genre.

Q: you're a credentialed national security expert and international business executive, so what made you choose to write fiction? Why now?

With tongue firmly in cheek, I answered in the preface of resurrection: “today only in fantasy may one speak truth.” l've been at the highest levels of our country's national security, political, and economic infrastructures, working for some of the most powerful, richest people in history. I have lived and worked with people of many cultures, both for and against them, long enough to understand them. I've seen enough of the true history behind the headlines in the last thirty years. To paraphrase Ayn rand: fiction? Check your premise.

As to why, for me it's simple. I swore an oath to the constitution of the united states. For thirty-five years, I fulfilled that oath and remained silent. But things have become so twisted and we are becoming so uninformed on what's happening to our civilization, I could no longer remain silent. Again I go back to the preface of resurrection: an american journey. “fantasies are easily proven in an age of technological marvels; an age where all secrets revealed, bar one – we live again in a time of no quarter or mercy.” I write novels because my kind are the ones the public never hears about. We don't hold press conferences. Consequently, I never learned to speak in politically correct sound bites. Not my thing. I'll let my readers decide if l've done a good job and what they want to verify on Wikipedia.

Q: can you give us some insight into your main character, Kirk Danner? What makes him so special? What does he represent or symbolize in the book?

Kirk Danner represents an every-man suddenly trust upon a path to enlightenment and forced by circumstance to become aware of the world around him. Although in american male, Danner represents the average person of reasonable intelligence raised in western civilization who understands the current course our civilization is taking is not the way it's supposed to be. We learn through his eyes that the technology, science and financial resources available today offer alternatives to us that are not being utilized for our species' evolution. Why it's not happening and how our evolution is being stifled becomes his focus. The forces opposing all of us, as individuals and as a society are revealed. The direct parallels in history are provided by his alter egos and why those forces protecting their own economic or political power, haven't changed in the last 3,000 years. In my own view, individuals of contemporary european societies are ahead of Americans in this realization. That's why l include so much European history in the novel. Kirk Danner isn't a cliché superhero, just an individual who begins to realize the power all humans have – their own minds. I don't use the term resurrection in a biblical sense, but rathert that we all need to awaken to move forward. Kirk Danner, we learn in the story is a guardian, his message is: “wake up, people, so are you.”

Q: Based on the character of Leila Freyan, it's clear that you have a very positive view of the Millennial generation, yet the widely held belief is that they as lazy and entitled. Why don't you buy into that notion? What do you think society can learn or gain from millennials?

In my experience, the sound bite about millennials is false. I heard the exact same complaints about my generation. When I flew fighters in the marines, I put my life in the hands of 19 years olds on a daily basis. The biggest shock to me in my travels since was that those 19 years olds had more responsibility and integrity then most of the so-called political and business leaders of today. One needs to understand the millennials' history. They have lived through two economic crises both of which were artificially induced; continual war and terror threats, and; bombarded since birth with hyper mass marketing telling them that they must make “more” money to be considered a successful human being. They leave college with more debt than my parents had after 15 years of marriage, six children and a mortgage, yet the way the system is rigged, only 1 in 25,000 will find a job allowing them to pay if off in ten years, all the while being told that it's perfectly legitimate that in a so-called democratic, free market system, 1% of the population owns 99% of the wealth. And their government tells them the answer every economic issue is to cut the taxes of the rich and the answer to every foreign policy issue is to bomb. I think they have the right to be a little cynical. Their major issue is that they don't know their own history, I use the quotes at the beginning of each chapter to show them today's issues have a deep history in the human experience and we have overcome far more terrible crisis and evil forces before.

Lecturing at colleges, I am constantly amazed at the lack of, or complete misunderstanding of our nation's post-WWII political and economic history. For anyone who doesn't see that as an issue, I point to the current administration: a bunch of smart kids, who have no understanding of the national and international issues. They know about crisis of the day but without understanding its history, they don't resolve them, but rather politicize them. Nothing changes the course we're on and there are forces out there that are quite comfortable with that inaction.

The millennials are the first generation who understand technology, they are socially conscious, and environmentally aware. The vast majority of western civilization's millennials have been turned into economic serfs at birth. Their potential is stifled by the system that rose from the ashes of Wwll. They, along with past and future generations, need to think about how to free themselves from that system. We must work towards freeing ourselves from the political correctness of “group think” and the lie of “the futility of individual effort.” in my view, the millennials' history is still to be written. I'm just telling them that there is 5,000 years of recorded history out there to learn what worked and what didn't. That's the only way they can understand where they are and not they got here, and then think about how to fix it, as a generation, and as individuals.

Q: what's next for you? Are you working on another resurrection book? If so, please tell us more about it.

I designed the resurrection series as a trilogy, each book's storyline capable of standing alone. I tried to pattern them on H.G wells, the outline of history where you can jump in at any part of the tale through fictional flashbacks from 30,000 BC to 2012. the characters through multiple subplots of competing perspectives, reveal the legacy of the crisis, its current form and present oppression, both good and bad. The revelation shifts the power to the new generation of women and men, who enlightened by the past, find the strength to trust themselves and confront those whose plans threaten their lives, their society, and their future.
In book III, presently in work, the story comes to a climax when the established leaders of both sides realize that the situation has evolved beyond their abilities to control. Danner has his own plan of how this is going to work out. Leila Freyan and her allies level the playing field with the weapons of their generation, finance, politics and technology, but the old ways aren't going quietly, and as Danner warned in book II: ghosts of the past deserve the demons their myths have resurrected.”

l've received some feedback about how resurrection's was scenes are too graphic, and that my depiction of various spectrums of the human experience such as in sexual and occult traditions, are too controversial for a mass audience, but l wanted people to understand the reality of was and those spectrums on the human condition and we each have a role to play in the greatest dynamic in earths' history, our species evolution. Besides, I warned the reader up front that the resurrection series is not a story for the "faint of hearts". 

Monday, 12 September 2016

Book Review: Tressa Middleton: Tressa: The 12-year-old Mum: My True Story

Tressa: The 12 Year Old Mum: My True Story

Author: Tressa Middleton.
Title: Tressa: The 12-year-old mum: My True Story.
Genre: health, family and lifestyle, families and parents, motherhood, pregnancy and childcare, women's health and lifestyle, biography, autobiography, memoir, true story, nonfiction.

I bought this book as a treat for myself.

I would tell people that you should step outside your comfort zone with books because it is good to add more authors and genres to your reading portfolio even if you do not read books like this.

I normally read books of this genre but l also stepped outside my comfort zone. I am so glad l did because l have read so many great books and come across some great authors.

I highly recommend this book I would tell people not to judge the book by it cover or title .

Book dedication: this book is dedicated to my little girl Annie, I love you with all my heart and always will, my life will be complete the day I meet my sweet baby once again.

This book has 276 pages and 27 chapters in it.

Quote In This Book:

Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice. From what l have tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire but if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate to say that for destruction ice is also great and would suffice. - 'fire and ice' by Robert Frost.


Dear Annie,

I am walking along the woodland tracks in polkement country park, ten minutes from my house. It is beautiful here – the sun streams through the trees and dapples the ground with bright beams of light, picking out the stones and rocks by tinkling stream at my feet. Here it is peaceful and quiet. I come here a lot – especially when the noise of the world gets too loud. I walk through the dense woodland, listening to the babbling of the river at my feet and suddenly I feel calm, and I think of you. The fact is, you are never far from my thoughts. Every day, you are the first person I think of when I wake up and the last person in my mind as l drift off every night. You are the beating pulse of life. In my cupboard I keep the clothes you were wearing when you were just a wee baby. The pink and white babygros I dressed you in, the crocheted yellow cardigans that kept you warm. Everyone says I should get rid of them – but I can not. I suppose I never really learnt how to let go of you, and yet, these words are all l have now. According to your adoptive parent's wishes, we are not allowed any physical contact, and though at the time I felt cheated, today I understand, you see, I have grown up abit since we last meet – when you were just 2 years old and I was fourteen. I have come a long way and though I know I have still got a whole mountain to climb, I feel it is time to tell you a little about me, my life and why we are apart. Because, Annie, my beautiful girl, I do not want you to ever think that I did not want you. I did, very, very much. Alot was written about me back in those days a lot of things were said that just were not true, it is funny how people you have never even met can form an instant opinion about you just because they have read something in the paper. Twelve-year-old mum! - it made a good headline. It was not such a good life. But people did not know the truth back then – they said horrible, hurtful things about me. Later, I realized that I had been used, taken like a lamb to the slaughter. But l am not angry anymore and suppose I do not care, about those people. I have learnt to accept what happened to me in the past and moved on with love in my heart. Here is the truth: Annie, I always wanted you, and l loved you with all my heart. No, I did not want to give you up and even though I was very young, I knew l could take care of you if they just gave me the chance so l fought. I fought all the way to court and in the end the judge convinced me that I was not doing the best thing for you. He said I was being selfish and he was right – I could not give you the life you deserved. I wanted you to have a better life than l had – but I could not give you that. So instead, I gave you away to someone who could. Annie, this is my story, and it is yours too. I hope that it helps you to understand what happened to us both and why I hope that you can forgive me and perhaps, one day, we can be apart of each other's lives again. For now, I just want you to know that I love you – I always have and I always will. You are forever in my heart. - mum x.

Synopsis: nobody knew the truth. For all those years while people judged me, I protected those closest to me. Not it is time for the real story to be told. It is time for healing and forgiveness; Tressa Middleton made UK history when she became Britain's youngest mum in 2006 aged just 12 years and 8 months. Her case provoked shock and outrage – but the truth behind the headlines was far sadder than anyone could ever have imagined. Born in to a life of poverty and neglect, Tressa was forced to grow up fast when she was taken in to care at just four years old. She was returned to her mother's chaotic world but by the age of seven, she was being abused by her own brother and at 11 years old she fell pregnant with his child. For years she kept his dark secret in an attempt to hold her family together until the truth threatened to destroy her completely. In the years since the birth, Tressa has gone through more pain and turmoil than most adults experience in a lifetime – yet today she survives a brave, strong and compassionate young woman. Now, for the first time, Tressa Middleton tells her own harrowing yet poignant story – a story of hop, forgiveness and above all, love.

Review: I found this book really easy to get in to and harder to put down once l started reading it. This book was heartbreaking to read. This book made me want to cry. I was hooked on this book after just reading the first few lines of the prologue. It was sad to read that Tressa's father hit her mother and the only way her mother could get away from him was to put her children in to care which was the hardest decision any mother had to do so she could get away from her abusive husband. I was sad to read that Tressa was abused from the age seven. It was sad to read that she was raped at 11 years old by her brother and she got pregnant with his baby. Tressa wanted to keep her baby I was sad to read that Tressa was used by the papers. I think Tressa would have been a great mother if they had given her a chance with Annie. Tressa sounds like she loved working with children. It took me less than two days to read this book I could not put it down I just wanted to read about Tressa and Annie. I was glad Annie survived when she was born because her lungs was underdeveloped. Jason met his daughter in the hospital when she was in NICU. Tressa's family should have believed her when she told them what Jason did to her and when the DNA test come back saying Jason was Annie's father. They should have not turned against her when she needed them most. I was sad to read that Tressa tried to commit suicide I was glad Tressa had told the truth about who Annie's father was. Tressa made the hardest decision to let her beautiful daughter go so Annie could have a better life Tressa knew she could not give her. Tressa was heartbroken knowing her mother lost her sister and two brothers even though Tressa kept the abuse a secret so she did not lose them because Jason told Tressa that if she told their mother and social workers their mother would lose them all. I was sad to read that Tressa's father picked his girlfriend over his daughter and Tressa got on heroin. I was happy to read that Tressa got off drugs too  and she met a guy named Darren he was on drugs too but they got off them together. Tressa got pregnant again but she lost the baby and her mother within a week which was upsetting to read. Jason was out of jail for the funeral and he was not aloud near anyone under 18 after what he did to Tress. Tressa sounds like a very brave person after everything she been through. I hope one day Tressa and her daughter, Annie are together again. I hope one day Tressa's brothers Ollie and Kai find her. Tressa has her mother's ashes with her as Jason is back in jail. This is a great book but upsetting and heartbreaking. Tressa is very brave telling her story. I am glad someone who makes her happy and she kept pictures of Annie and the clothes Annie wear when she was a tiny baby. I can not put in to words how great this book is l would tell people to read it for themselves to know how great it really is. I wish l could rate this book more than five stars because it is worth more than the five stars I rated it. I hope Annie has the best life and future that Tressa would have wanted to give her. It was horrible that Tressa was called all sorts of name because of her past.

Acknowledgements: firstly, I would like to thank – Katy Weitz – if it was not for you, I would not have had the opportunity of reading this book for Annie so thank you for everything you have done. I would also like to thank our publishers, Blake, Andrew Lownie my literary agent and everyone who have worked on this book – it means so much to me that you all gave me the chance. I would like to thank Annie's adopted parents for giving her the upbringing that l could not and making her in to the person she is today – a very big and heartfelt thank you. I would also like to thank all my workers for not giving up on me when l needed help the most, you did not have to keep giving me all those chances, but you did and without all your amazing help I do not think I would have been able to get to where l am today – a very different place than before. A very big thanks goes to Margaret Scullion and Laura Mitchell – without you both my life would not have been worth living even the times you were very strict with me – I know I needed it and it probably helped to shape me in to the person I am today. Thanks to everyone else who supported me through the years – it means a lot to know that people do care and want to help, so thank you. Finally, words can not express my gratitude to Darren – the person who has had faith in me, and given me care, love and understanding when I needed them. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

About The Author: Tressa Middleton attracted huge press coverage aged 12 when she became Britain's youngest mum – but the real story behind the headlines was far more complicated and heartbreaking. Tressa was the third child of four born to an absent father and an alcoholic mother who were regularly taken in to care. Tressa was more like a mum to her youngest sister and later to her mother's young sons by other men. The abuse by her brother began when she was seven but he used the family's instability against her. He said that if she ever told, all the children would be taken permanently in to care and they would never see their mother again. To protect them she kept his dark secret. By now her mother Tracey was a heroin addict and unreachable to Tressa. Almost inevitably, she followed her mother down the road of addiction. However, by 2011 she was determined to turn her life around and she has been clean for years.

She says ' I was raised in darkness and fear. Motherhood at 12 was hard but far harder was the loneliness of keeping my brother's secrets. Not l want to share my story to help others overcome fear in their lives'.

Star Rating: Five Out Of Five Stars.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Book Review: Jason B. Ladd: One Of Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot's Reconnaissance Of The Christian Worldview

One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot's Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview

Author: Jason B. Ladd
Title: One Of The Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot's Reconnaissance Of The Christian Worldview
Genre:Christian Books and Bibles, Christian living, Religion and Spirituality,

I got this book for free in exchange for an honest review.The author contracted me through my book reviewing blog asking me to review his book.

First of all I would like to say a big thank you to Jason B. Ladd for sending me his book and giving me the chance to read it.

I would tell people that you should step outside your comfort zone with books because it is good to add more authors and genres to your reading portfolio. Even if you do not read books like this.

I normally do not read books of this genre but l stepped outside my comfort zone with authors and genres I am so glad l did because l have read so many great books and come across some great authors.

I highly recommend this book.

Quotes in this book:

It is faith that keeps the whole terrible edifice of religious certainty still looming dangerously over our world. - Sam Harris.

Keep your protection of your wife strong and know in your hearts out lord will carry you through whatever happens. - Ravi Zacharias.

I have begun worshiping the sun for a number of reasons. First of all, unlike some other gods I could mention, I can see the sun. - George Carlin.

I believe in christianity as l believe that the sun has risen, not only because I see by it, but because by it I see everything else. - C.S. Lewis.

The secret of attraction is to love yourself. - Deepak Chopra.

My command is this: love each other as l have loved you. - Jesus

I have decided to believe everything I hear. Why not? It is all unbelievable anyway. - Shirley Maclane.

The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of judgement (prov.10:21) . - Solomon.

We are survival machines – robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes. - Richard Dawkins.

It is the very act of self-sacrifice that demonstrates that there is something more noble than more survival. - Ravi Zacharias.

Gimme some pt good for you, good for me. - Military Cadence.

Physical training is of some valve, but godliness has valve for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. - The Apostle Paul.

The wax dissolved; and as icarus flapped his naked arms, deprived of the wings which had caught the air that was buoying them upwards, 'father!' he shouted, again and again. - Ovid.

The reason birds can fly and we can not is simply because they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings. - J.M. Barrie.

Do not think, feel. - Bruce Lee.
The unexamined life is not worth living. - Socrates.

Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence, faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence. - Richard Dawkins.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen . ( Heb.11:1). Author Of Hebrews.

He who desires peace, let him prepare for war. - Vegetius.

In peace l will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. (psalm 4:8) . - David.

(man's) origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms. - Bertrand Russell.

A human being is a collections of atoms in the same way that Shakespeare's plays are collections of words, or Beethoven's  symphonies are collections of notes. - Dinesh D'Souza 

Man is naturally good. - Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

There is no one who does good, not even one (Rom:3:12). - The Apostle Paul.

Because there is a law like gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. - Stephen Hawking.

In the beginning god created the heavens and the earth (gen 1:1). - Moses.

Faith can be very very dangerous, and deliberately to implant it in to the vulnerable minds of an innocent child is a grievous wrong. - Richard Dawkins.

Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these (Matt 19:14). - Jesus.

Heaven is not a location but refers to the inner real, of consciousness. - Eckhart Tolle.

The lord looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand (PS.14:2). - David.

There is no holy life, there is no war between good and evil, there us no sin and no redemption. - Deepak Chopra.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us ( 1 John 1:8). - The Apostle John.

Remember, it is important to enjoy erotica in moderation. - Laura Berman, LCSW, PHD.

You are a slave to whatever controls you (NLT, 2 pet. 2:19). - The Apostle Peter.

After all, we are advocating the destruction of the centrality of marriage and the nuclear family unit. - Activist.

A man will leave his father and mother to be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh (gen 2:24) . - Moses.

Heavy drinking in the military has been an accepted custom and tradition. – encyclopedia of drugs, alcohol, and addictive behavior.

Any perception that alcohol is central to our traditions is wrong. - Commandant Charles C. Krulak.

Let me get wine! Let us drink, our fill of beer! And tomorrow will be like today, or even far better (Isaiah 56:12). - Isaiah.

Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler I whoever is led astray by them is not wise ( Prov 20:1). - Solomon.

We are going to go right on trying to discredit you in the eyes of your children, trying to strip your fundamentalist religious community of dignity, trying to make your views seem silly rather than discussible. - Richard Rorty.

Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith (1 Tim 1:20-21). - The Apostle Paul.

It is only when we forget all our learning that we begin to know. - Henry David Thoreau.

Those who can not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. - George Santayana.

It now seems almost certain that... (love and kindness) are not the product of some immaterial substance or spirit but arise through the natural operations performed by a highly complex but still purely material brain. - Victor J. Stenger.

Whoever does not love does not know god, because god is love (1 John 4:8). The Apostle John.

I am convinced universalist I believe that in the end all men will be gathered in to the love of god. - William Barclay.

Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of god unless they are born again (John 3:3). - Jesus.

The only demons we must fear are those that lurk inside every human mind: ignorance, hatred, greed, and faith, which is surely the devil's masterpiece. - Sam Harris.

If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all (Isa 7:9). - Isaiah.

Most of what we currently hold sacred is not sacred for any reason other than that it was thought sacred yesterday. - Sam Harris.

God's temple is sacred, and you together are that temple(1 Cor 3:17). - The Apostle Paul.

The hour of departure has arrived and we go our ways: I to die, and you to live. Which is better? God only knows. - Socrates.
He will swallow up death forever. The sovereign lord will wipe away the tears from all faces ( Isa 25:8). - Isaiah.

The author kindly signed my book.

This book has 317 pages and 36 chapters and 3 parts in it.

Review By Other People:

Skepticism about biblical truth claims comes in many forms. For some, no amount of evidence can assuage their zeal to deny god. Their will set against even the possibility that they might actually be accountable to god, and they are therefore more interested in dreaming up ways to disprove the evidence than to prove it. But there are other skeptics who are genuinely convinced that biblical truth claims are mistaken while remaining open to be convinced. This is a type of skepticism that those of us who are firmly convinced of the truth and importance of biblical truth must learn to address. Jason B. Ladd makes an admirable contribution to this end an accomplished fighter pilot in the U.S marines, his life story is itself an adventure worth reading about. Few are vouchsafed the types of experiences Jason Ladd has lived through. But as Ladd makes clear, there is a far more exciting adventure to which everyone, including skeptics of all stripes, is invited - the discovery of god's original blueprint for humanity. Ladd is a sure guide in this adventure. If you have ever wondered how to speak to speak to a seemingly self fulfilled skeptic or if you are skeptical about christian truth claims yourself, Jason Ladd's book is the place to begin. I highly recommend it. - John Njoroge, Speaker and host of RZIM's radio programs let my people think and just thinking.

In one of the few, marine fighter pilot Jason B. Ladd take you on a thrilling mission to make life's most exciting and impactful discovery you will really enjoy being his wing man (and the rewards are eternal)!. - Frank Turek, author of stealing from god and I do not have enough faith to be an atheist.

Marine fighter pilot Jason B. Ladd describes his journey from atheism to become a disciple of jesus Christ, the narrative moves along in a manner that captures and keeps one's attention, describing how his journey to jesus and afterward caused Ladd to wrestle with common misconceptions about christianity and various issues that often pit western culture against the teaching of jesus. This book is recommended for those seeking truth and those who need encouragement in their christian faith. It is also an encouragement for all of us believers to keep praying for our friends who do not know jesus, no matter how negative they may be toward the gospel. For one of them may be the next Jason B. Ladd. - Michael Licona, author of the resurrection of jesus: a new historiographical approach and associate professor in theology, Houston baptist university.

Jason B. Ladd explains why we should be “skeptical” about skepticism in relation to biblical truth in a powerful story of moving from atheist to skeptic to committed servant of jesus Christ. In a moving testimony, he debunks fallacies and clarifies truths, effectively challenging the notion of glamorous atheism by depicting the christian journey as life's greatest adventure. I highly recommend it for seekers and saints alike. - Steven Garofalo, author of right for you, but not for me a response to moral relativism and president of reason for truth.

One of the best works I have ever read, bar none. - Sandra T. Lloyd, writer.

Jason B. Ladd is the real deal: a top-ranked marine fighter pilot, a dedicated father, and a thoughtful writer. We studied and served together, and l often unpredictable service obligations. Now l know, thanks to his book, one of the few. The book offers valuable insights for anyone examining faith, and the eternal questions of what matters most in life and why. - Rye Barcott, author of it happened on the way to war.

One of those few rare books. Entertaining and informative, I will keep extras on hand to pass along. - Caleb Nelson, director of resources, ratio Christ.

I have long seen parallels between the life of the marine and the disciple. Both involved servant leadership, require discipline of the heart and mind, demand commitment and sacrifice, and result in a transformation of one's identity. As a marine and, more importantly, as a disciple of jesus Christ, Jason B. Ladd deftly draws on his training and experience as a marine officer in rehearsing his own transformation and subsequent growth. Using his journey in to the life of marine aviation, Jason exploits those parallels and provides a fresh perspective on the challenges and joys of following jesus Christ with all your heart, soul, strength and mind. Read this book and share it. - Karl Johnson, LT. Col USMC (ret.); director, C.S Lewis institute – Chicago.

Jason B. Ladd writes with courage on a topic (and in a world) that needs it. - Tom Morkes, CEO of insurgent publishing.

What a read. Here I am on the edge of my chair, white-knuckling my kindle reader, and I am still in the prologue for Pete's sake! If Jason B Ladd flies as well as he writes, then both america and the kingdom of god are blessed to have him on their side. - Ray MCClendon, writer, minister, and police Chaplin.

Strap in to your favorite chair. Lock and load the coffee pot, and prepare for your greatest mission in the battle for your soul! Supremely crafted, this book engages life's most difficult questions with a compelling and insightful view from the heart and soul of a warrior. Like adding hot sauce to grits, this is not your average bowl of Theology, was and peace. You will be stirred to the point of action. - John M., husband, father, and marine.

This book will transform your heart and strengthen the heart of your family. - Susan Irene Fox, blogger and teacher.

One of the few books that gets down to business. Real, honest, and authentic. - Andrew, writer,

A masterful story blending military life, family, faith and the life-changing power of god. A must read for service members, parents, and their children. - Michael Silva, pastor and former USMC captain.

One of the few is both fascinating glimpse in to the world of a marine fighter pilot and an intriguing conversion memoir that is destined to reach an under-served readership. Ladd's account of his journey has a sharp authenticity about it, it is honest and intellectually sound, but without affectation. I have already begun recommending it. - Melissa Cain Travis, M.A, assistant professor of christian apologetics, Houston bapist university.

Jason uses the events of his life, from the seemingly mundane to the life-changing, to show us something about the father and jesus Christ, and to draw out deeper spiritual points in this way, he uses his own journey from agnosticism to christianity as a spiritual roadmap for those at various places on their own journeys. - Joseph Heschmeyer, blogger and seminarian at roman catholic archdiocese of Kansas city.

A personal journey with a convincing rationale for conversion from agnosticism to saving faith in jesus Christ and full confidence in the world of god. Contrasting quotes to start each chapter, word pictures and vivid illustrations throughout made it a joy to read. - Clarke Holtsberry, retired missionary.

An insightful exploration of what it takes to live in today's culture. A must read. - Elizabeth Ellis, poet, artist, and It professional.

Jason B. Ladd offers a unique look in to the life of a soldier, a son, and his savior. With the same precision that he uses as a jet fighter pilot, he unpacks a rationale for why he lives by faith – and why he passionately invites others to join him. It is the adventure of his life time – one that l have been invited in to as his pastor and his friend. If you read this book, you will be better because of it. - Steve Wyatt, lead pastor, Christ's church at the crossroads.

I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a strong resource for christian growth; especially young men who have a heart for god and seeks support from men who demonstrates strong, moral character. Jason B. Ladd balances story, with worldview comparison, and apologetics. This combination provides powerful insight for understanding how to live in a dark world without conforming to its mold. - Scott Steiner, minister of music, first baptist church middleville.

I was first drawn to this book because of my connection to loved ones in the military. What l discovered is that the subject is deeply meaningful to anyone who desires to live a life devoted to the lord and desires to live uprightly, fresh, insightful, and exciting, it really lifts my spirits, but more importantly it compels me to lift up Christ in my interactions with my world. I identify with Jason's passion for god and how he sees everything through the eyes of faith. I wish everybody could read this book, especially those in the military!. - Kathryn W. Armstrong, blogger and teacher.

Jason tells an engaging story of how we should see the world with christian eyes, and his experience in the marines provides an intriguing backdrop for addressing the struggles of walking in faith. Jason's story goes from mere existence, to christian discovery and growth. He shares his lessons and thought-provoking question with his readers using an inheritance of common sense, ethics and integrity, providing a fresh perspective and using language that is easy to understand. I would recommend one of the few to anyone wanting to look at the world with new eyes. It will touch the heart and mind of the civilian, service member, child, parent, spouse, teacher, student, friend, and faithful and faithless alike. - Anita Vandermolen, public affairs journalist, army national guard.

I consider it a privilege as a pastor, missionary, Vietnam vet and a former infantry officer to commend this book for the way in which Jason skillfully paralles military service with discipleship principles, this will resonate with all who have served and is certainly in keeping with the many biblical references to the struggle believers must endure to achieve victory in Christ. I was surprised however by the unique way in which the author so engagingly covered important topics for believers, especially graphy. Jason reflects on the obstacles to appecting Christianity and ably reveals the heartbeat of the book – how Christ provides the only sufficient worldview. This book presents apologetics in a winsome and inviting manner. Read it together, and allow the spirit to bring you closer to god and encourage you to strengthen others in the faith. - Bill Vermillion, one mission society.

Drawing from the depths of his own experience, knowledge of others, and wisdom of god's word, Jason B. Ladd has written a survival guide for today's christian. Of the estimated 50 books I have read in the past year, there is none that parallels the learnings I received from one of the few. Using an extensive scope of credible resources, Jason paints a broad stroke, covering the foundations of living a Christ-filled life at any age. He writes with deep conviction on why the world needs god and how to be part of the remnant that seeks honor god and serve his kingdom with spiritual boldness and integrity. - Jane Anderson, insite skill, chief communications officer.

Synopsis: A marine fighter pilot embarks on the greatest mission of all: pursuit of truth.

Jason B. Ladd realizes that while he is ready to defend his country, he is unprepared for his most important decisions as a husband and father.

In one of the few, Ladd pulls from his extensive military training to offer a compelling defense of the christian faith as he warns seekers to avoid spiritual apathy and offers effective Christianity tactics for withstanding spiritual attacks. Filled with deeply personal stories, this compelling book comes directly from the spirit of a man with the soul of a marine, the mind of a fighter, the heart of a father, and a commitment to Christ.

Review: I found this book really easy to get in to and hard to put down once l started reading it. I like reading about Jason and his wife, Karry. I was sad to read that his wife was hit with something in the eye I was glad the doctors saved her eyesight. It was nice that Jason and his wife have been together since they was younger you do not hear much of that these days. I got this book in hardback. I also take pictures of every book I get and share them to my Instagram that l made to share pictures of my books too it is called donnareviewsbooks and l put my link to my book reviewing blog on there so people can read my reviews. I have been reviewing books a year now it is the best thing I get to share my views on my favorite things books. If my reviews help other people read the great books I have read, I listen to magic when l am reading books and writing up my reviews. I can not put in to words how great this book is l would tell people to read it for themselves to know how great it really is. It did not take me long to finish this book. I was hooked after reading the first page. I love the quotes in this book. I normally do not read books about god but l am enjoyed this book. I have christian's in my family. I wish this book did not finish because it is amazing I was sad to finish reading this book. I love reading about the military and christian's. Jason sounds like a great guy. I wish l could rate this book more then 5 stars because it is worth more then the 5 stars l rated it. I reviewed this book on amazon UK and us, goodreads and on my blog. I found this book a great read l am glad this book is on my bookshelf and this book is a must read. I was sad to read about the loss of Jason and Karry's baby son Boone Shepherd Ladd I would like to say to the author and his wife that l am sorry for your loss.

About The Author: Jason B. Ladd is an author, marine, and Iraq war veteran. He has flown as an instructor pilot in both the F,A-18 and the F-16. He and his wife, Karry, are the parents of five children.

About The Book: I really love this book cover and the colours. I like that the font is white because it makes it stand out more.

Star Rating: Five Out Of Five Stars