This post is an edited version of an earlier one on this site. Yet with the recent demise of Anne Rice – whose words I quoted in the above video – and bell hooks – who has become an icon and mind liberator for a lot of us, I believe it’s worth a revisit.

I have just written something on one of my earlier blogs. I may have indirectly stated that if I were to choose a piece for my rest and recreation time, my go-to ones would tend to be those that tickle my imagination, allow me to escape the clutches of negativity, and come up with ideas to make things better for a future reality.

Yet there are times that the path towards respite and enlightenment is possible not only through fictional pieces. For, at brief times, a non-fiction work’s sample or blurb could also pique my curiosity and make me decide to pick up a book from another albeit-unexpected genre because of that promise of hope and betterment. Well, even JK Rowling had a change of heart recently – albeit on a different topic – when she wrote for The New York Times, “How many times have I been asked whether I believe in magic? On the day I finished “The Christmas Pig,” for a few shining moments I really did.” That’s when she used to say and as often quoted, “I don’t believe in the magic in my books.”

I am not looking for an excuse. You and I may even find ourselves on opposite sides of Rowling’s personal conversations on the web these days. Yet we’re supposed to be in a free country, and a free world is what we’re after. So why curtail one’s thoughts that don’t trample on anyone’s shoes nor violate any legal or moral parameters, but are merely expressive of one’s individuality, right? Right.

Without further adieu, here’s the list of the 8 non-fiction books that graced my shelves and made my days brighter in each of their own respective ways. They have painted pictures not only of possibilities but also of realities through actual, first-hand life accounts deliberately called and meant as so.

Lofty ideals in relatable terms

And Then I Met Margaret

And Then I Met Margaret by Rob White

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There are things that we thought are true, and yet they turn out to be not so. As we live each day, there are opportunities for knowing what is not versus what really is. Learning is a lifelong process that we could acquire in almost everything and every one although we aren’t aware that such is the case more often than not.

In this memoir, White takes us on a practical and relatable journey in his life story and how he discerned realities among the myths. With only the slightest hints of flaws, this piece is well-written and truly insightful.

Here’s the link to my full Amazon review about the piece.

An Amazing Woman’s Story of Resilience

Reconciled - Black by Experience: My Struggle for Legitimacy

Reconciled – Black by Experience: My Struggle for Legitimacy by Dana Clark-Jackson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

She became an illegitimate child because it had been illegal for her parents to marry. Quite odd, but it had been true at that time. It’s more than a bit ironic, too, because of her extended family’s beliefs. There were points in time when she felt she was not black and not white, and when being either one works to her disadvantage. How difficult that could be, indeed! Those don’t completely sum up what she had to go through because she experienced far worse. Yet, she turned those negative memories into something better. There may have been technical flaws in the version I read so I can’t give it a perfect rating, but her story is stoically told and inspiring nonetheless. Without the usual parameters to consider, this book should deserve 5 stars.

Check out my full (OBC) review through the following link:….

Here’s the link to my Youtube book review trailer:

A Businesswoman’s Success Story

Finding the Exit: It’s Not Where You Start, It’s Where You Finish

Finding the Exit: It’s Not Where You Start, It’s Where You Finish by Lea A. Ellermeier

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Is a person’s success determined by one’s birth, nurturing, experiences, and other circumstances alone, or could one decide one’s eventual fate?

This memoir is a straightforward yet relatable anecdotal account of insider stories that may not be prescriptive and yet are descriptive enough to point us to the right answers and direction.

Check out my book review trailer for the piece here:

Here’s the link to my full OBC review:…

Against all odds

It's Easier to Dance - Living Beyond Boundaries

It’s Easier to Dance – Living Beyond Boundaries by Annie Haris-Meachem

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Our current society has already gone a long way in terms of easing biases and discrimination. Not only policies but laws has been instituted as a testament to such progress. Nonetheless, nothing could ever be perfect, and there are areas where being a woman, a person of color, or someone with a disability could still pose disadvantages in one way or another. Yet, what happens if all of those odds become yours? Annie had it all, and she tells the start and the rest of her story through this memoir. This book may not be technically flawless enough to warrant a perfect score, and yet it’s an endearing read to remember.

Check out the full version of my Amazon review here.

I think I need to read this one again.

The Unbound Soul: A Visionary Guide to Spiritual Transformation and Enlightenment

The Unbound Soul: A Visionary Guide to Spiritual Transformation and Enlightenment by Richard L Haight

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Technically speaking, the manuscript is well-written, with only a few very minor errors on the supplementary pages and not on the main book itself. With four main sections that began with Haight’s account of his personal experiences that led him to his spiritual journey that made it more relatable, I couldn’t help but marvel at the relevant, rich, eloquent, and somehow poetic language used that’s worthy to grace anyone’s collection of favorite quotes.

This is also a well-regarded book by a bestselling author with heaps of great reviews to support its literary worth. However, I’ve got qualms about the plausibility of its contents. Nonetheless, I don’t think I should be stuck with that perception given that I’m not satisfied that I’ve done enough to be able to do full justice to this piece at this point. Thus, I’m planning to re-read it in the future.

Perhaps when I already have the right amount of time and mindset, I’d be able to have a more open-minded or receptive take. By that time, perhaps I could already find my way through its maze of new terminology and analyze better its somehow unique concepts anchored on (and yet at times defying) well-established practices and belief systems.

Maybe I could already give it a perfect rating by then (or maybe not).

In the meantime, I recommend that you consider this review as an interim or non-final one. I’d keep you posted when the right time comes.

This review also appears on other sites.

This is a treasure trove of wise words.

The Light in the Heart

The Light in the Heart by Roy T. Bennett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Are you stuck somewhere? Are you looking for inspirational and motivational thoughts to give your day a positive start? Then you check out this collection of golden nuggets of wisdom. I should have found this book earlier, but it’s always better “late than never” as the cliche goes.

This review also appears on other sites.

Here’s the link to the author’s website.

An Online Pathway to Monetary Independence

THE EIGHT STEPS TO FINANCIAL FREEDOM: A DIY Venture Via Amazon Associates & Fulfilment by Amazon

THE EIGHT STEPS TO FINANCIAL FREEDOM: A DIY Venture Via Amazon Associates & Fulfilment by Amazon by Dr BA MABASO MB ChB MPhil MBA

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Yes. I’ve recently posted a blog here about the piece. Here is the link to my previous post.

This is the shortcut to my full OBC review for your convenience.

Note: Reviews that appear on this post are non-commercial.

By Esperanza Pretila

I am a certified HR professional, founder of award-winning micro businesses, lady cavalier, book reviewer, blogger, sports dummy, music fan, former phone photographer, beloved daughter, proud mum of 3 wonder boys, loyal wifey to an awesome hubby, life traveler, and believer.

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