Before I Forget

Product DetailsSynopsis: “I know where I’m going. I’m still myself. I just can’t remember things as well as I once did. So on short trips, I work hard not to be confused. I’ll say to myself, ‘What are we going to do? How long are we staying?’ It’s like I’m talking to my other self – the self I used to be. She tells me, ‘This is what we need to buy – not that.’ I’m conscious of that other self guiding me now.

Restaurateur, magazine publisher, celebrity chef, and nationally known lifestyle maven, B. Smith is struggling at sixty-six with a tag she never expected to add to that string: Alzheimer’s patient. She’s not alone. Every sixty-seven seconds someone newly develops it, and millions of lives are affected by its aftershocks.

B. and her husband, Dan, working with Vanity Fair contributing editor Michael Shnayerson, unstintingly share their unfolding story.

Part memoir, part caregiver’s guide, this work is a unique entry on the Alzheimer’s shelf. Crafted in short chapters that interweave their narrative with practical and helpful advice, readers learn about dealing with the day-to-day challenges of Alzheimer’s, family realities and tensions, ways of coping, and coming research that may tip the scale, as well as lessons learned along the way.

At its heart, Before I Forget is a love story illuminating a love of famly, life, and hope.”

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I wanted to read Before I Forget because my mother suffered, if not from Alzheimer’s (she was never diagnosed), certainly from severe dementia.

Combining their own personal story with conversations with Alzheimer’s experts in the medical field with known facts and research – along with unknowns, this book is very helpful for any family member or caregiver dealing with Alzheimer’s patients. And, sadly, as the baby boomers continue to age and as people live longer because of advanced medical technology and people taking better care of their bodies, there will be even more people diagnosed with this dreadful disease.

One thing I learned reading this book is that a diagnosis could only come after a person died and an autopsy was performed. Now, because of PET (positron emission tomography), a patient can be diagnosed before death. This helps the clinical trials to learn what medications may help cure Alzheimer’s because the research scientists will only test patients with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis and, therefore, won’t waste valuable research time and money on non-Alzheimer’s patients. Sadly, Medicare won’t pay for a PET exam and the cost for a patient is $5,000.

I could go on and on about this book, but I won’t. Again, I highly recommend it to anyone with aging parents or for a man/woman who’s spouse is dealing wiith dementia of any kind. It will help you understand what’s going on with your loved one. I also recommend it to caregivers of any kind – even those who work in hospitals or nursing homes.


The Tank Man’s Son: A Memoir

24345781SYNOPSIS: In the tradition of “The Glass Castle” and “Angela’s Ashes” comes the most unforgettable memoir you’ll read this year!””What did it mean to be the Tank Man’s son? To grow up overwhelmed by my father’s presence and personality? It was as if I didn’t exist, as if I was just something else for my father to crush.””So begins the haunting memoir of Mark Bouman as he recounts the events of his childhood at the hands of his larger-than-life, Neo-Nazi father in brilliant, startling detail. From adventure-filled days complete with real-life war games, artillery fire, and tank races to terror-filled nights marked by vicious tirades, brutal beatings, and psychological torture, Mark paints a chilling portrait of family life that is at once whimsical and horrific–all building to a shocking climax that challenges even the broadest boundaries of love and forgiveness.An epic tale of redemption and reconciliation, “The Tank Man’s Son” is a literary tour de force that is sure to become an instant classic.

Excellent book! I was gifted with a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review. And, honestly, it was a fantastic book! The author, Mark Bouman, and his older brother, Jerry, his younger sister, Sheri, along with their mother, were subjected to daily insults and beatings – verbal and physical abuse – by their father/husband. He had an eccentric personality – he owned a tank! – but it was also very volatile. This book is about life growing up – without friends and no real comfort at home. It all ends good and I definitely recommend it.

As I was reading this book, it struck me how good of a home life I had growing up. I lived a sheltered life – and I knew it. I never knew how horrfic some kids had it – until I read this book.

This book was easy to read and had some humorous tales in it.

I give it 5 stars.

Blackkatte Blogs About Books

I’ve always been a reader, but in the last year, I’ve stepped up the volume of books I read. Let’s just say I discovered Goodreads and have accepted the Reading Challenge. Last year I set a goal of reading 30 books. I read almost 50. This year I set the reading goal at 60 and have so far finished 8 books. Granted, some of those books were started in 2015.

Something else that has helped me increase my reading volume is the “Book Buddies” at my local church that I joined last year. I’ve enjoyed meeting with these ladies monthly as we discuss the books we read. And, we always visit about other things too. There’s something about the fellowship of like-minded ladies talking about things we have in common.

Last week I discovered “reading to review”, therefore, my blog will include reviews of books I’ve read. Others’ reviews will be better because sometimes I don’t get very wordy. Rather, I think it may be because my brain works faster than my fingers can type.

Probably the best book I’ve read so far this year was The Book Thief. Another book I enjoyed – and it was totally not a book I would have chosen to read had it not been recommended to me – was Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

I’m not going to review those books for this blog now, because I’m just starting to do this. And, I’m not saying I’m going to review every book I read. Guess you just have to stay tuned! Continue reading “Blackkatte Blogs About Books”

Ain’t Modern Technology Grand?

I just got an external Bluetooth keyboard to use with my phone, tablet, or computer. In fact, I’m typing on it right now! This is crazy. What will they come up with next?

I mostly wanted the keyboard because I don’t have Word or any of the Office apps on my computer, but I do have them on my phone. It’s a lot easier typing on a keyboard than it is swiping the letters on my handheld device.

Speaking of typing. I’ve been typing since I was a sophomore in high school. I won’t tell you how many years that’s been, but, suffice it to say, it’s been a while. I’ve made my living my entire life on typing. I’ve scored in the 90s, and even in the 100s once on typing tests. I’m not saying all of that to brag – I know where my typing gift came from and He gets all the glory.

Why I said all that is because I’m reading The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell. It’s set in the 1920s and all they had back then were big, old manual typewriters. I started out in the late 60s typing on manuals, then was introduced to electric typewriters, and finally computers. In the book, the protaganist said she could type 160 words per minute – on a manual typewriter. Right away I yelled out, “Liar!!!”. That’s impossible to do on a manual typewriter. Even on electric typewriters and computer keyboards, I’ve never typed that fast and I’m a fast typist (again, know who I give the glory to).

Regardless of that glaring lie, I’m still reading the book and hope it’s good. I think I’m about to start chapter 5.

Speaking of reading – I’ve challenged myself to read 60 books this year. I keep track of my reading on Goodreads. If you’re on there and want to follow me, please do. I like to see what others are reading as well.

Happy New Year 2015

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blogpost. So much so that I forgot where it was! But the reason I started this blog originally was to record my thoughts as I do a daily Bible study starting in 2016. That’s tomorrow. Therefore, this blog will be more current – hopefully, daily.

This has been a good year. I finished reading the Bible through in chronological order. Don’t know that I’ll do that again. I’ll read – just not chronologically.

I read 47 books according to Goodreads – my goal was to read 30. My goal for 2016 is to read 60.

In 2016 I want to sew more. I want to make a table runner for Christmas, fall, and spring…and maybe more. I want to make curtains for our house.

I want to do more art. And, I want to make bread – a lot of bread.

And I want to love more – everybody. But, more than that, I want everyone to know Jesus and that you would see Jesus in me.

That is my prayer. Lord, help me to not let YOU down.