BOOK REVIEW ~ Borderline Shine

Borderline Shine: A Memoir of Complex Trauma and Recovery


This book was a fascinating read on the subject of trauma and family issues. It follows the life of author Connie Greshner after her family goes through extreme trauma in early days, and how it affected her as she went along with her life afterward. It seemed to affect every part of her life, from friendships, relationships with family and men, and even her education and sobriety. I found it very readable, as she kept struggling along, trying to find her way through. There would be periods of great progress and then a relationship breakup might throw her into a tailspin and a total reversal for a time.

This memoir is quite an amazing road to recovery for those who like that type of memoir, you might want to check it out. I found the last quarter particularly well done. Advance electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, author Connie Greshner, and the publisher.




The publisher: Dundurn Press – 240 pages
Publication: Feb 15th, 2020 for Kindle edition and Mar 10 for paperback.
My rating: 5/5 Stars

The Author- Connie Greshner is a mental health therapist who works with people who often have complex trauma. She has always been a writer, an artist, and a lover of nature. She lives with her family on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

How to Be Loved

How to be Loved: A Memoir of Lifesaving Friendship

A rather uniquely written memoir about a woman who has a difficult time letting people get close. She finds herself an addicted alcoholic from trying to chill out and fit in, then later has to go to groups to get free of it. But it’s at the groups that she makes her first real friends of her life, Allison is the main one, and she’s much older. As time goes by, and they talk a bit and she gets to know Allison, she feels herself opening just a bit to the idea of letting her in. They get along so well, and they are so good for each other, it’s not long before she feels herself opening more.

Then Allison shares with Eva that she’s ill with cancer, that it’s come back again and it’s likely terminal this time; she just wanted her to know since they have become close. They rely on each other. Eva for Allison’s mature advice, helping her stay sober and teaching her about friendship. Allison for Eva’s help when she was having bad days from chemo or radiation treatments and needed Eva’s assistance. This is a good book about friendship and learning how to ask for help and accept it. Sometimes that’s the hardest part of all, just admitting you need someone’s help. I was glad I read it. My thanks for the advance electronic copy that was provided by NetGalley, author Eva Hagberg Fisher, and the publisher for my fair review.

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – 240 pages
Publication: Feb 5th, 2019

Rated: 4/5 Stars

The Author– Eva Hagberg Fisher’s writing has appeared in the New York Times, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Tin House, Wallpaper*, Wired, Guernica, and Dwell, among other places. She lives in California and New York City.

Landwhale: On Turning Insults Into Nicknames, Why Body Image Is Hard, and How Diets Can Kiss My Ass

I give this a 3.5 out of 5.0 stars. This is a new book by writer Jes Baker, a brave and honest memoir sharing her weight battle and family issues during her life like many of us have had and can relate to. I know I had weight issues after having my son at 24, and I really struggled until about my mid 40’s. I was finally able to lose about 90 pounds mostly due to severe pain and medication issues, loss of appetite/nausea and being ill for several weeks when new doctors changed all of my medications at one time. I didn’t look at food the same for a very long time. So I do understand what the author means, and she is so very brave to put herself out there as an advocate for body image acceptance.

This book is worth checking out if you have weight issues or used to, or are close to someone who does, Jes has a great way of telling her story and sticking up for herself and others after going through what she went through. We all have different family issues we deal with. And dating issues, etc. It sounds like she’s put together some pretty great resources through her years in this area of work. An advance digital copy was provided by NetGalley, author Jes Baker, and the publisher for my honest review.

Seal Press
Publication date: May 8th, 2018

RATING: 3.5/5

BULLIED TO DEATH: A Story Of Bullying, Social Media, And The Suicide Of Sherokee Harriman

This was a good story about a teenage girl who was having problems that included bullying. It looks at many aspects of her life, different things that had happened earlier in her life that had made her struggles difficult, along with various things they had tried to help her.  The book covers a very important story and the subject of the ongoing problem of bullying and also mentions other cases that ended in suicide.  It is very informative and also heartbreaking for sure, as the problem seemed to be almost a common thing.  Not just the bullying but also the incidence of teen depression and suicidal thoughts and attempts.  It is something that communities are used to dealing with on a regular basis for sure.   There were a few odd grammar glitches in the book that stood out to me.

Date of publication:  April 10, 2018

WildBlue Press


The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind: My Tale of Madness and Recovery

A very good book written by multiple cancer survivor Barbara Lipska, who is such an accomplished lady. She is the head of the brain bank at NIMH (National Institute of M. H.) in and has studied the brain for over 30 years. Until one day hers seemingly went haywire and she had to go and get treated for melanoma in the brain. While she was being treated for it, it left her acting like she had some of the mental illnesses that she’d been studying all those decades.

This is one strong lady used to being in charge and when her brain started acting off, her family really didn’t know how to react, and she didn’t realize it’s happening, so it’s a real mess for a while because no one wants to take the reins from her or tell her she’s not in charge anymore.
She tells a well planned out story and is so wonderfully qualified to explain what went wrong, and how it made her act while it was going on. She knew pretty quickly that there was a problem and went to get checked out by her doctor, and they found the problem. An MRI was done and 3 tumors were found. It follows as she fights to get well again with this scary condition, knowing what’s going on in her head all too well.

An advance digital copy was provided by NetGalley and author Barbara K. Lipska for my honest review.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
April 3, 2018.

With One Shot: Family Murder and a Search for Justice

A well researched and written book, done by the niece of the victim 40 years after the murder. Later generations realize they don’t know enough and want to dig to find out what answers remain while there are still people living that know what happened. So Marcic begins piecing together what happened back on that night, and after a couple of years of research and interview, a sickening picture emerges. This turns out to be a very interesting case, with lots of crooked carrying on behind the scenes. It should interest most true crime fans as it stalks info about a murder that happened back in the 60’s, and possibly several more.

An advance digital copy was provided by NetGalley and author Dorothy Marcic for my honest review.
Publication date: March 27, 2018

Son of a Predator

Author David Davis wrote his book for some very personal reasons after going through a painful realization regarding his family. It’s almost incredible to read about what he went through and came back from and the situation he ultimately came to understand as the one that exists for him. The book delves into areas of addiction, psychology, the #metoo movement, prostitution, therapy, emotionally abusive relationships, and much more, and will appeal to a broad range of interests. I found it a stirring and timely read and recommend it highly.

An advance digital copy was provided by NetGalley and author David Davis for my honest review.

Published by Phoenix Organization
March 30, 2018

THE BEAST I LOVED: A Battered Woman’s Desperate Struggle To Survive

This wonderfully informative book, originally published as FIGHTING BACK in 2000 is by Robert Davidson. It tells the story of June Briand, whose life of misery turns even worse when she marries Jimmy Briand. What started out feeling like the answer to her prayers when her previous husband left her, slowly turns into the biggest nightmare a person could imagine as Jimmy begins battering June to control her, fearing she might leave him. It just gets worse as time goes by, and the injuries are awful just to read about. One can’t imagine having to suffer through them while trying to keeping house to please such a brute and take care of his children too.

She was so mentally beaten down by him, and so terrified of him that it’s a wonder she didn’t break before she did. The book gives some really good background on June and some on how Jimmy became the way he was, and explains how their codependency played off one another in this vicious cycle of abuse. A good book for those interested in true crime, women’s issues, domestic violence, and more.

WildBlue Press 2nd Edition published March 13, 2018

Violent Mind: The 1976 Psychological Assessment of Ted Bundy

This book is based on a report that Dr. Al Carlisle wrote for the judge to help him determine a sentence for Ted Bundy after he was found guilty of the aggravated kidnap of Carol Da Ronch near Salt Lake City, Utah. Bundy was sent over to the Utah State Prison for a 90 day period for Dr. Carlisle and the rest of the team to test and talk to him to get a full idea of him psychologically and assess him for violence for the court.

The judge had been rather surprised by a group of citizens who rallied on behalf of Ted Bundy despite his conviction, saying they still believed he was innocent and asking him to make sure he wasn’t sending him away wrongfully. So the judge requested this added step, just to be sure. I found it quite interesting as part of the Ted Bundy lore, filling in some of the picture about him mentally, telling how he tried to fool the experts and how he was doing while being held. No one knew at that time if he had killed anyone. There were only suspicions.

“Dr. Carlisle’s assignment was specific: Determine to the best of his ability, without being biased by any of the reports previously done, whether Ted Bundy had a violent personality. The judge would use this information in deciding whether Bundy should serve time or be released on probation.”

The book shares the evaluation process and its conclusions, along with some of Ted’s answers on different tests he took. There are conversations he had with Dr. Carlisle during that time and in later years. and it even has a letter found in Bundy’s effects after his death that he wrote to Dr. Carlisle and never sent. All in all, a very unique look at the killer that would be lacking if left out. For Ted Bundy readers, and true crime readers, and psychology readers.

Permanent Marker: A Memoir

I found this memoir by award-winning high school English teacher Aimee Ross to be very moving and I’m so glad she shared it with the rest of us. It comes across as a heartfelt, empowering and a cathartic read that sprinkles bits of her growth across its pages as she opened up about the horrible “Trifecta of Shit” as she refers to it that happened to her in a 6-month period of her life. At the age of forty-one and unhappy in her marriage, she asked her husband for a divorce.

Just three days later, she suffers a heart attack. Slowly recovering from that and starting over in her own place, five months later, she survives a near-fatal car crash caused by an intoxicated driver.
This book is about her recovery and in a way IS her recovery as she explores the connection between writing and healing…physically, emotionally..and learning to forgive. A very moving book that touches on many topics, some unexpected. Very honest and emotion filled.

I was provided with a free advance reader copy by Ki-Cam Projects and the author for my honest review.      Publication date is March 13, 2018