Book Review & Giveaway: Crash: How I Became a Reluctant Caregiver by Rachel Michelberg

Crash: How I Became a Reluctant Caregiver by Rachel Michelberg

Publisher:  She Writes Press, (April 27, 2021)
Category: Memoir, Divorce, Parenting, Moral Conflict, Caring for Disabled, Caregiver
ISBN: 978-1647420321
Available in Print and ebook, 224 pages

Description

Rachel likes to think of herself as a nice Jewish girl, dedicated to doing what’s honorable, just as her parents raised her to do. But when her husband, David, survives a plane crash and is left with severe brain damage, she faces a choice: will she dedicate her life to caring for a man she no longer loves, or walk away?

Their marriage had been rocky at the time of the accident, and though she wants to do the right thing, Rachel doesn’t know how she is supposed to care for two kids in addition to a now irrational, incontinent, and seizure-prone grown man. And how will she manage to see her lover? But then again, what kind of selfish monster would refuse to care for her disabled husband, no matter how unhappy her marriage had been? Rachel wants to believe that she can dedicate her life to David’s needs, but knows in her heart it is impossible.

Crash tackles a pervasive dilemma in our culture: the moral conflicts individuals face when caregiving for a disabled or cognitively impaired family member.

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Guest Review by Sage Nor

A heart wrenching look at the underappreciated caregivers in our lives.

Rachel Michelberg was a young mother of two when her husband, a pilot, was in a terrible accident. His plane crashed into a vineyard in California, and David Michelberg was left with severe brain damage as well as spinal damage. This kind of catastrophe would be enough to destroy almost anyone’s life, but Rachel had an added problem.

Before the crash, she and David’s marriage was already in trouble, and Rachel had begun seeing another man. Now, Rachel must care for a husband that she is not sure she feels anything for beyond duty. And, of course, caring for someone with such severe injuries is a full time job.

David is capable of speech and some memory, but he doesn’t remember his children and he is prone to fits of irrationality. Between caring for her children and health issues of her own, Rachel struggles to take care of a husband who has mentally regressed back to the state of a small child and take care of herself at the same time.

Michelberg’s writing was fantastic and she held nothing back from scrutiny. Reading this book felt like an intimate look at the life of someone suffering through a time that most of us hope we’ll never have to face and getting through it in a realistic way. Despite putting all of her flaws out for everyone in the world to see, Michelberg was so sympathetic and so easy to understand.

I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to deal with someone that you love going through something so terrible and irreversible. ‘Crash: How I Became a Reluctant Caregiver’ changed my mind and my opinions in a lot of ways, and it’s one memoir that I know I will be thinking about for a long time to come.

About the Author

Rachel Michelberg grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and still enjoys living there with her husband, Richard, and their two dogs, Nala and Beenie. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from San Jose State University and has performed leading roles in musicals and opera from Carmen to My Fair Lady as well as the part of the Mother Abbess (three times!) in The Sound of Music.

When Rachel isn’t working with one of her twenty voice and piano students, she loves gardening, hiking, and making her own bone broth. CRASH: How I Became a Reluctant Caregiver is her first book.

Website: https://www.rachelmauthor.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RachelMAuthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RMichelberg
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rachelmichelbergauthor/

Giveaway

This giveaway is open to the U.S. only for the choice of print or eBook for each winner. It ends on May 18, 2021,midnight pacific time. Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.

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Book Review: My Story for God’s Glory by Deborah Luke

This is my story of how I came to believe and trust in Jesus and what that has since meant in my life. It is about finding purpose in our lives, peace in the valleys and hope in the midst of hardships.

My Review

Debby Luke is married to my mom’s cousin, and we see her and her husband, Jahn, occasionally (not often enough). They are the nicest couple I have ever met, and they’re the kind of people you can sit and talk to for hours.

When Debby asked if I wanted to read her book, of course I said yes. I then put it on the bookshelf with all of the other books on my TBR list and sadly forgot about it…until yesterday. Once I started reading My Story for God’s Glory, I wasn’t able to put it down.

I knew Debby has had some health problems, but I had no idea how much she’s gone through! Sharing her thoughts throughout her journey is inspiring, and I feel blessed to have learned more about her. What a woman! I don’t think anyone can read this book and not see what a faithful servant Debby is and how awesome God is, even when He doesn’t answer our prayers how we want them answered.

About the Author

Debby lives in Englewood, Ohio, with her husband, Jahn, and their two cats. They have two grown children. Debby is a retired Special and elementary education teacher but continues to work with children in a private tutoring practice. She enjoys spending time with friends and family and spending quiet times with God.

Book Review & Giveaway: Becoming Dr. Seuss by Brian Jay Jones

Dr. Seuss is a classic American icon. Whimsical and wonderful, his work has defined our childhoods and the childhoods of our own children. The silly, simple rhymes are a bottomless well of magic, his illustrations timeless favorites because, quite simply, he makes us laugh. The Grinch, the Cat in the Hat, Horton, and so many more, are his troupe of beloved, and uniquely Seussian, creations.

Theodor Geisel, however, had a second, more radical side. It is there that the allure and fascination of his Dr. Seuss alter ego begins. He had a successful career as an advertising man and then as a political cartoonist, his personal convictions appearing, not always subtly, throughout his books—remember the environmentalist of The Lorax? Geisel was a complicated man on an important mission. He introduced generations to the wonders of reading while teaching young people about empathy and how to treat others well. 

Agonizing over word choices and rhymes, touching up drawings sometimes for years, he upheld a rigorous standard of perfection for his work. Geisel took his responsibility as a writer for children seriously, talking down to no reader, no matter how small. And with classics like Green Eggs and Ham, and One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, Geisel delighted them while they learned. Suddenly, reading became fun.  

 

 

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy from the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I knew very little about Theodor Geisel before reading this fascinating biography. I think it would be almost impossible to find someone who hasn’t heard of Dr. Seuss. His books have helped millions of children to learn to love reading. I remember my mom reading his books to me, and I loved reading Green Eggs and Ham to my son. I have a stack of his books waiting to read to my grandson who is just a couple of weeks old.

Besides writing children’s books, Geisel was also a political cartoonist and worked in advertising. He wrote the lyrics the to the song “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” in the movie How the Grinch Stole Christmas. He was also one of the producers and wrote the lyrics to the songs in the 1970 TV special “Horton Hears a Who.”

Geisel had his ups and downs like we all do, and I was surprised that he had an affair with the wife of a good friend. In 1967, his wife Helen committed suicide because she couldn’t bear to lose him. The fact that he married his lover a year or so later didn’t set well with me. However, no one is perfect and no matter what he did in his personal life, his work speaks for itself. 

Although I don’t read much nonfiction, I enjoyed reading Becoming Dr. Seuss. I did think there were parts that gave a little too much information, especially at the beginning. Overall, though, it’s a book that’s an interesting read for anyone because we all know who Dr. Seuss was! Or at least we all know his works.

 

 

 

About the Author

Brian Jay Jones is the critically-acclaimed, bestselling biographer of some of the world’s most iconic creative geniuses. His most recent biography, Becoming Dr. Seuss: Theodor Geisel and the Making of An American Imagination (Dutton, 2019) will be published in May 2019.

His 2016 biography of filmmaker George Lucas was the first comprehensive biography of the influential creator of Star Wars and Indiana Jones in nearly two decades. George Lucas: A Life (Little, Brown, 2016) was praised as “definitive” (New York Times), “whiz-bang” (People), “must-read” (Parade) and deemed by Rolling Stone as “the one biography for casual and die-hard [Star Wars] fans alike.”

Brian’s second book, Jim Henson: The Biography (Ballantine, 2013) was a New York Times bestseller, and chosen as the Best Biography of 2013 by Goodreads, as well as one of the year’s Top Ten books by CNN viewers. The first full-length biography of the iconic creator of the Muppets, Jim Henson: The Biography was celebrated as “illuminating” (The Atlantic), “insightful” (Parade), “masterful” (Kirkus) and “compulsively readable” (The AV Club).

Praised by the Washington Post as a biographer of “slightly off-center American geniuses,” Brian’s biography of Washington Irving (Arcade, 2008), was hailed as the definitive biography of American literature’s first popular author and pop culture icon. The Associated Press deemed it “authoritative,” the Washington Post called it, “engaging,” while the New York Times summed it up simply as “charming.” Which pretty much made his year.

Born in the Midwest and raised in the Southwest, Brian has a degree in English from the University of New Mexico, which he immediately parlayed into a brief career as a manager of a comic book store before getting into politics and speechwriting. He spent more than two decades as a public policy analyst and speechwriter for elected officials at all levels of government, including nearly ten years in the U.S. Senate.

He lives in Virginia with his wife and a very excitable dog who refuses to stay off the furniture.

 

 

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