By turns thoughtful and hilarious (even, inexplicably, both at the same time), this deeply Midwestern book quietly unfolds a vision for how to navigate in a world where we can’t always resolve things.
It begins with an old man’s call to the insurance company to get a minor house repair covered. Once the adjuster shows up, a journey both tender and tough is set in motion. These men need each other in ways it will take time to discover.
To complicate matters, the adjuster also needs (and is needed by) his aged landlady Pearl Jenkins. Theirs is a friendship both fraught and kind.
When the latest “outsider” from Minneapolis shows up to this small Dakotan town, with her non-approved hybrid car parked right across from Pearl’s house, the cast of characters is almost complete.
Just add the generous appearance of colorful minor characters the adjuster works with and serves in his work (none of whom, arguably, are truly minor) and you’re holding a delightfully satisfying book that, while it has you laughing, manages to quietly delve into the ways we bring people in and shut them out—on the job, in the town, or at the threshold of our hearts.
As much as the characters have a relationship with poetry and story (and they do), it is also a profound book about naming both the things that have held us back and the things we want, to move us forward—a book about choosing life.
In Will Willingham’s “Adjustments,” Will Phillips is an insurance adjustor, working in the plains, hills, and valleys of South Dakota. He lives in a room of what was once a mansion but is now more of a boarding house. He has a give-and-take relationship with his 70+ landlady, Pearl Jenkins, who is part friend, part mother, part judge, part advisor, and full-time matchmaker who usually cheats at cards. So far, Will has resisted the matchmaking and gone along with the card cheating.
Will’s work, like most work, involves a daily sameness. After a few years, insurance claims become similar. A fire is a fire, and Will can usually sniff out when it was accidental and when it isn’t. Same thing for a stolen truck; even doctors are known to report a truck stolen when it’s time for a replacement. Will investigates a fire claim; the house is owned by a man unmarried to the woman and her children living with him. Will knows how this will end – the house will be replaced or rebuilt, the man will get a new girlfriend, and the woman will find herself and her kids homeless.
It says something about Will that, even as he sees the sameness, it doesn’t numb him to people’s anguish and pain. It may be that Will is still dealing with his own, even as he masks it from himself. That mask begins to fall when he investigates a claim by Joe Murphy, a 73-year-old widower originally from Chicago. Joe and his wife had moved to the area when Joe retired from the fire department in Chicago; his wife had grown up in the area and wanted to go back. After her death, he stayed, and Joe senses something in Will that needs to be reached. Hoe begins to try to reach whatever it is in Will through literature and music.
It is filled with humor and poignancy, insight and emotion. The reader sees into the soul of an inherently decent man who knows he’s broken and has found a way to live with that, until he can’t.
Adjustments is more than a good novel; it is a fine novel. It is, simultaneously, moving and real and surprising and true. We see ourselves and our personal histories and, like Will Phillips, we bear scars. This is a story about what matters, and it’s told beautifully well.
Will Willingham was a claim adjuster for nearly 20 years, helping people and insurance companies understand loss. Now, he trains others to do likewise. When he’s not scaling small buildings or crunching numbers with his bare hands, he occasionally reads Keats, upside down.
(CNN)John McNamara was a sportswriter for the Capital Gazette when his life was cut short by a gunman who attacked the newspaper’s office in 2018.
His wife of 33 years, Andrea Chamblee, decided to keep her husband’s memory alive the best way she knew how — by finishing and publishing his book.
“I knew how hard he worked on this book, I couldn’t let it go unfinished,” she said.
Chamblee, who said she was so impressed when she saw McNamara’s boxes of files organized by district, school and player, immediately got to work, recruiting local sportswriters to help.
She recalled the particularly difficult feat of identifying the players in 178 photos that her late husband left behind.
“He didn’t save the captions, so I didn’t know who they were or what game it was,” she said. “I printed them all out and carried the file around with me for about three months and found people who can identify them for me. I cross-referenced with yearbooks.”
What resulted from Chamblee’s determination was a 300-page book recounting the century-long history of basketball in DC, with stories featuring legends such as Edwin Henderson and Dave Bing.
“The Capital of Basketball” is now on shelves in the DC area, a year after Chamblee set off to complete her husband’s passion project.
“It’s awfully bittersweet, I keep wanting to show it to John,” said Chamblee. “Part of me wants to keep it as our last love letter together, but on the other hand, I want people to know these stories.”
A romance rooted in journalism and sports
Chamblee, who, like McNamara, majored in journalism at the University of Maryland, is a sports enthusiast herself. She describes their relationship as a romance rooted in journalism and sports, adding that they met for the first time at a football game in 1981.
Chamblee described McNamara’s enthusiasm for sports as infectious, noting that his passion came through in his three books, including “University of Maryland Football Vault.”
She remembers McNamara as a devoted man.
“He was devoted to writing, he was devoted to basketball and baseball, and for some crazy reason, he was devoted to me,” Chamblee told CNN. “He would get up early to scrape snow off my car, and make me coffee even though he never touched the stuff.”
Have you ever lost your camera? If so, you know how awful it can be. Not only have you lost an expensive piece of hardware, but often some of your best and most precious memories too, if you didn’t happen to download them yet.
So what to do to maximize your chances of getting your camera back? Well, you could just take a photo of your business card and leave it in the picture roll, hoping that somebody will find it and respond. Or, you can do as Australian author Andrew Mcdonald suggests, and make a much more memorable and persuasive plea for magnanimity.
“Have you lost your camera recently? Mislaid it somewhere in a national park? Left it in a taxi? Dropped it in the gorilla pit? Anyone can be a victim of the thoughtlessness and/or sleepiness that can lead to Camera Loss,” he writes. “‘How can I prevent Camera Loss?’ I hear you ask, wishing I’d get to the point. Well, you can’t prevent cameras from getting lost, but you can do something so your camera can be found very soon after it has vanished.”
“All you have to do is take some photos – which you never delete from your camera – so when someone finds your camera at the bottom of the gorilla pit they are able to locate you and return the lost property to its rightful owner. To illustrate just how you can safeguard your camera from the crippling effects of Camera Loss, here are the pics that I always keep on my camera.”
Andrew is an Australian blogger and author of the hilarious children’s series ‘Real Pigeons,‘ which is already out in some countries (and about to be out in others – it’s being published in the US in January 2020).
“I never actually lost my camera. The whole thing was always just a lark, just me having fun in my backyard,” he explained about his post, which is still just as popular today as it was when he first created it 10 years ago.
“I’ve had a few people ask me if I ever got my camera back. But I’ve had A LOT of people message to say that the post put a big smile on their face and made their day. Hearing that feedback is just the best. I always think that if you’re making another human smile, then you’re doing something right.”
A man who has claimed that the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School was a hoax has been ordered by a jury to pay one of the victim’s parents $450,000 for publishing false claims in a book.
James Fetzer, a retired college professor who co-authored a book called “Nobody Died at Sandy Hook,” was ordered in Dane County, Wisconsin, on Tuesday to pay damages to Leonard Pozner, who filed a defamation lawsuit against him in November 2018. Pozner’s 6-year-old son, Noah, was one of 26 victims killed in the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
Fetzer has accused Pozner of circulating fabricated copies of his son’s death certificate and also claimed that Noah was not Pozner’s son.
He went on to say that Fetzer and others like him have a right to believe what they’d like as part of their First Amendment right. But, Pozner said, that doesn’t mean they should be free to harass and terrorize others.
Fetzer reportedly called the damages “absurd” and said he would appeal. The attorneys listed as his representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Wednesday.
Pozner has filed similar suits against other conspiracy theorists, including against Alex Jones, who runs the website Infowars. In August, a Texas judge turned down Jones’ attempt to toss a defamation suit brought against him by Pozner and Noah’s mother, Veronique De La Rosa, who are seeking more than $1 million in damages from Jones, who has reiterated his belief that the shooting was a hoax and the parents are “crisis actors.” This led to victims’ families receiving death threats and online harassment from Infowars followers.
Fetzer has maintained that the shooting was a staged federal emergency drill to promote gun control.
Fetzer’s co-author Mike Palecek and their publisher were also named in Pozner’s lawsuit. Both later reached out-of-court settlements, details of which were not disclosed, according to the State Journal.
“My face-to-face interactions with Mr. Pozner have led me to believe that Mr. Pozner is telling the truth about the death of his son,” Gahary said. “I extend my most heartfelt and sincere apology to the Pozner family.”
But Gahary later told Splinter News that he has no “discomfort” selling such books and that it’s up to readers to decide what they want to read. He said he also continues to have questions about the Sandy Hook attack.
Shauna M Ahern used to make her living by writing a food blog. But when times got tough, she realised keeping up appearances can make you lose sight of lifes meaning
I arrive at six in the morning, two hours before the store opens. Awaiting me is an aisle of boxes, stacked up. One last sip of my coffee, then I put on my gloves and take a big breath. Time to go in.
I lug boxes, slash open tops with my cutter, put new packages of wholegrain seeded bread, naan and seasonal sugar cookies on the shelves, and then haul the overstock to the back freezer. It takes me nearly an hour to stack all the boxes in the right places, label them and leave the freezer clean. Then I walk to the bakery department and make sure the doughnuts are glazed and set in the case, waiting.
By eight oclock, when the store opens, I have made an inviting space for the first customers. At 10, during my lunch break, I meet my husband at the sports bar down the street for a plate of hash browns, sausages and eggs over easy. I am hungry. I have worked hard.
I am a James Beard awardwinning glutenfree cookbook author. And for nine months, I worked in our local grocery store for $15 an hour.
It is the best job I have ever worked.
Online, no one knows you are poor. No one is posting photos of the basket of bills overflowing, some of the envelopes with urgent stamped on them. Very few people write about the choices they make out of fear of going bankrupt, like selling expensive camera lenses that feel less important than rent. And few of us want to admit that we are struggling with money, even though we live in a culture where the rich have grown astronomically rich and the rest of us have grown anxious about health insurance. As my friend Ashley Ford wrote online one day: Im trying to choose an insurance plan, but Im pretty sure the only good insurance is wealth.
I never shared online the time that my husband Danny and I looked at our bank account and saw $85 left for the last week of the month. We didnt have a savings account. We didnt have a 401(k) to drain for emergency funds. I had already done that eight years before. Our credit score was shot by the medical bills we couldnt pay after my daughter Lucys terrifying time and the hospital stay for my ministroke.
We had only $85 and no way to charge anything on a credit card. Luckily, we were expecting a $6,000 check from a freelance gig, but it had been delayed. Still, we were like most Americans living paycheck to paycheck (almost eight out of 10 Americans, according to reputable studies) and unable to pay for an unexpected bill of more than $500 (nearly six out of 10 Americans). We were struggling. And we were terrified. I realized that the mindset of worrying that we might go broke was damaging us.
I was no longer interested in following my bliss. I wanted to pay my bills.
Several artist friends recommended I find a manual labor job, one that would require none of my mind. I had never worked a job that merely asked me to show up. I found out that working parttime at the grocery store three days a week would give me health insurance for the entire family. And maybe putting premade pies on a display table would give me some time to think. So the next time I took a case of our glutenfree flour mix into our grocery store, I delivered an invoice and a job application. They hired me that week.
They put me in the bakery. Since I have celiac, I cant eat even a bit of gluten. But the bakery section in the grocery store is almost all packages, and Im not allergic to plastic. It was a bit of a shock, at first, not being able to stop what I was doing to work on an essay or take photographs. Or check Twitter. After years of being a freelancer, I couldnt believe how wild my mind was when asked to do a task and then check back with my supervisor (a former student of mine) to ask what task she wanted me to complete next. I noticed that my mind balked. I kept working. And after a few weeks of shelving bags of croutons and cleaning out the cake case, I started to enjoy the wildness of my mind. At the store, I had to show up on time, do my work, then leave it all behind. I didnt know work could be that easy.
Friends came into the store and we would talk in threeminute bursts as I stocked frozen pizzas. Customers asked me questions about where we kept that one brand of wholewheat bread, since it was the only one their kids would eat. I answered dozens of little questions a day. I realized that I liked feeling useful.
And all day long, I saw people, in tiny bantering interactions and questions. I developed a daily routine with fellow employees: a checkin at the cheese counter, a quick conversation about politics in produce. I would never have met any of these people I came to like, any other way. I started to feel like part of the community of my town.
On my lunch hours, I sat at the front of the store, taking notes. On the backs of papers that read Grainfree flatbread, $6.49 each, I started writing lists. I look back at them now and realize I was clearing my mind of how I had lived. I wrote lists of what I wanted to accomplish in our house, our medical appointments, our taxes. I jotted down ideas for how to let go of my blog, GlutenFree Girl. And I started taking notes on what I noticed about customers who had less money than most.
I noticed that the people who lived on the dayold breads looked around furtively to make sure no one saw when they reached into the discount bin. I led one woman to the back of the store to find the package of dayold rolls I had put in there, the gravy packets on sale, and some croutons for stuffing. Thank you! she said before she put her arms around me. Im going to have Thanksgiving because of you.
I found out that 22% of all students in our communitys schools qualified for free or reduced lunches. That didnt account for the 10% of families who were above the official poverty line but still scrambling, or the single people or couples who did not have enough. That meant that nearly one out of three people who came into the store struggled to make ends meet.
Each day, at about two, I walked to the back freezer with a laminated list and a tall cart. I pulled boxes down from the top of the back freezer. Methodically, with plastic gloves on, I pulled the doughnuts raspberry-filled, Bavarian cream, chocolate glazed and put them on black trays in a specified pattern. I was in the freezer by myself, pulling the doughnuts, humming a little. And then I wheeled the cart to the cooler, ready for the morning crew to bake them the next day.
Years before, I would have disdained these doughnuts: full of sugar, premade months before in a factory.
In the second year of my blog, I wrote a silly little piece about how Danny and I stood in line at the store and wondered at the crap in other peoples carts. I received emails telling me I was being a food snob. At first defensive come on, America eats lousy food! I came to understand how wrong I had been. A woman shared with me how little she makes on her teaching salary in Oklahoma, how she visits the food bank to make it, and how a trip to the grocery store for cheap cake is an experience only reserved for once in a while when she cant stand the shame any more. I was chastened and changed. And now I try to do better. How do I know that the woman buying the 99cent doughnuts at our store isnt giving her two kids the only treat she can afford that week? And who am I to say that they shouldnt eat those doughnuts?
One day, I had a long conversation with the stores owner. At 89 years old, he had owned the store for 53 years. His grandson had taken over managing the store, but the owner still clocked in 20 hours a week. Mostly, he spent that time in the city, at a store in a lowincome neighborhood. He consulted a list of the 20 topselling foods at our store. If the price in the city was lower, he called his grandson and told him to lower the price on ours. I stopped him one day to thank him for all that he did for our community. He told me: It befuddles me that people put their focus on what is happening across the country and the world. There is enough to do here.
A few months after I started working there, I switched away from the bakery to bagging groceries. I loved the rhythm of fitting in food like a Jenga game. I have a lot of friends on the island. People who recognized me from my website came through my line. It took me a while to stop talking so much and focus on my work instead. (The assistant manager had to reprimand me in his office for that. I learned fast.) So I had the chance to do what I have always loved most: observe people when theyre not watching me.
I learned that very few people make the highly styled dishes offered on Instagram. Oh sure, about every two weeks someone would come through with a bag full of vegetables, determined to juice for 30 days to lose weight. A few people bought jojo potatoes from the deli and an energy drink. But both of these were the outliers. Instead, most people bought meats, cheeses, some fruits and vegetables, three to five packaged crunchy foods, cat litter, toilet paper, beverages, butter, pads and some kind of sweet thing or two. Maybe three people a day were buying ingredients for a specific recipe. Over and over, I saw that what my fellow recipe developers and I hashed out to make ourselves relevant Vegan treats for the whole family! How to use hempseed! was not being made in most homes. It humbled me.
I started paying attention to the people who shopped for the entire week with a plan. I took note of their food as I bagged it and how much it cost. I compared it to the people like my husband and me who shopped at the last moment. We were spending too much money on food. I started buying our meat from the discount bin and giving ourselves a limit on how much money we could spend each day. Our grocery bill started to grow smaller. Shopping was no longer a decadent pleasure for us but a mindset for being able to cook and eat without stress.
I left the job, eventually, because another opportunity worth more money walked into my path. And then, when that fell through, the next step arrived. Danny is the one working three days a week now, expediting in a restaurant, mostly for the connection with our community. I no longer earn any money online.
When I go back to the store, every Sunday, my daughter skipping next to the cart, I hug my friends who work there. As I pass the front counter on my way out, I remember the urgency of those lunchhour breaks writing notes on the backs of recycled sale signs, where I first imagined the idea, then created the structure, and jotted down some of the first sentences for this book.
2019 By Shauna M. Ahern. All rights reserved. Excerpted from Enough: Notes From a Woman Who Has Finally Found It by permission of Sasquatch Books
In April, Bridenstine said before lawmakers that NASA astronauts could be on the Red Planet by 2033, pushing up the timeframe, Fox 2 previously reported.
“We can move up the Mars landing by moving up the moon landing (to 2024),” Bridenstine told the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. “We need to learn how to live and work in another world. The moon is the best place to prove those capabilities and technologies. The sooner we can achieve that objective, the sooner we can move on to Mars.”
Vice President Mike Pence also spoke at the IAC and said that NASA’s Artemis program, which aims to return astronauts to the Moon by 2024, is a stepping stone for an eventual mission to Mars.
“With Apollo in the history books, the Artemis mission has begun, and we are well on our way to making NASA’s moon-to-Mars mission a reality,” Pence said, according to Space.com.
Pence added that America is leading the world when it comes to space, but does want to partner with other countries that have like-minded values.
“To be clear, our vision is to be a leader amongst freedom-loving nations on the adventure into the great unknown,” the vice president said at the conference. “The United States of America will always be willing to work closely with like-minded, freedom-loving nations as we lead mankind into the final frontier.”
Indeed, Mars looms ever larger in America’s space future. In November 2018, NASA announced that it had selected the location where its Mars 2020 Rover will land on the Red Planet. The rover is expected to reach the Martian surface on Feb. 18, 2021.
Although Bridenstine and NASA’s long-term goal are to send a manned mission to Mars in the 2030s, Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin thinks that a slightly later target date of 2040 is more realistic.
In an interview in 2016, Aldrin, the second man to walk on the Moon, told Fox News that by 2040, astronauts could visit Mars’ moon Phobos, which could serve as a sort of stepping stone to the Red Planet.
What do you do when you feel unworthy? How do you find freedom from shame, guilt, and sin?
We’ve boiled down the message of Christianity to being imperfect people who have been forgiven. But what if the message isn’t just about what Christ has done for us–forgiving our sins so we can go to heaven one day–but also about what He has done to us?
Life is filled with shame, guilt, sin, and hurt. These things have convinced us that we’re flawed, we’re not enough, and that something is uniquely wrong with who we are. And quite honestly, we look to Christianity for help and the message we often hear leaves us disappointed, doubtful, and disillusioned.
Zach Maldonado has experienced this firsthand. But he’s discovered that who we truly are is not found in what we’ve done or what we’ve gone through. In Perfect and Forgiven, Zach takes us into his own journey of identity, and with humor, vulnerability, and a unique story-driven format, reveals how to live free from shame, guilt, and sin.
Through understanding who you are in Christ, you can begin to live free from the shame that condemns you, the guilt that riddles you, and the sin that entangles you.
“Zach Maldonado has been radically and authentically undone by grace. He is also gifted to communicate like few others. Those realities combined allow truth, lived out, to jump from the page. He is smart, vulnerable, and funny, funny, and funny. I think you will love this book.”
–John Lynch, Author of “On My Worst Day” and co-author of “The Cure”
“Zach unpacks powerful Biblical truths, raw and transparent stories from his own testimony and many inspirational examples to help you unlock the God-given potential lying dormant inside.”
–Dave Willis, Best-selling author of “The Seven Laws of Love” and TV and Podcast Host for MarriageToday.
“‘Perfect and Forgiven’ is a wonder of practical beauty and theological truth! I laughed, gasped, marveled and cried when reading Zach Maldonado’s book, because the God I know, who speaks to me and motivates me, moved through its’ pages. If you know–or have yet to know–the God of all grace, get this book. You’ll be deeply moved.”
–Ralph Harris, Best-selling author of Life According to Perfect, and God’s Astounding Opinion of You
“This book is such a beautiful reminder of God’s relentless, radical grace. It inspires and challenges us to reject the narrative of shame, accept that we are accepted, and live out our identity as sons and daughters of God.”
–Dominic Done, Lead Pastor at Westside: A Jesus Church and author of When Faith Fails
Zach Maldonado serves as a pastor at Church Without Religion and with Andrew Farley Ministries. Zach is also an author and speaker with a passion to proclaim the gospel and to help people believe Jesus is enough. He holds a Master of Arts in Theology degree from Fuller Theological Seminary. You can follow him on social media at @ZachMaldo or visit his website ZachMaldonado.com
Princess Beatrice is engaged to her boyfriend Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, her parents have announced.
The 31-year-old daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah, Duchess of York, got engaged to the 34-year-old property tycoon in Italy earlier this month.
The princess, who is ninth in line to the throne, will marry Mr Mapelli Mozzi next year.
“We are both so excited to be embarking on this life adventure together,” the pair said in a statement.
“We share so many similar interests and values, and we know that this will stand us in great stead for the years ahead, full of love and happiness,” they added.
Beatrice said on Twitter she was “so excited” by the announcement, while her fiance said on Instagram: “You will never be alone my love, my heart is your home.”
The Duke and Duchess of York said: “We are thrilled that Beatrice and Edoardo have got engaged, having watched their relationship develop with pride.”
“We are the lucky parents of a wonderful daughter who has found her love and companion in a completely devoted friend and loyal young man. We send them every good wish for a wonderful family future,” they added.
“It’s been a long time coming and you two are meant to be,” Eugenie added.
Who is Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi?
Mr Mapelli Mozzi – known as Edo – is descended from Italian aristocracy, according to AFP.
He is the son of former alpine skier Count Alessandro Mapelli Mozzi, who competed for Britain in the 1972 Olympics.
His mother, Nikki Williams-Ellis, was formerly known as Nikki Shale, from her marriage to the late Christopher Shale – Edoardo’s stepfather.
Mr Shale – who died from heart disease at Glastonbury Festival in 2011 – was a senior Tory and close friend of former prime minister David Cameron.
Mr Mapelli Mozzi has been a friend of Beatrice’s family for some time.
The BBC’s royal correspondent, Jonny Dymond, said he believed the pair had been together for about two years – and that they have only been seen together in public a handful of times. He said things have “moved pretty quickly”.
Cordelia Lee has experienced something few in the Western world have even witnessed: exorcism. Demonic possession brought her to a Taoist shaman who could drive out her tormentors, but only temporarily. Cordelia’s problems were multifaceted: a troubled childhood, molests, rape attempt, black magic, anorexia, unfulfilled maternal instinct, failing marriage, and depression. Given the severity of her experiences and the return of the evil spirits, Cordelia had to dedicate her life to healing if she was ever to recover.
She had earlier experienced an unexpected kundalini awakening; it awakened her to the spiritual realm and the unseen energies that fill the universe. Things she used to think were illogical and nonexistent. But the spiritual realm that promised answers also held the ghosts that flooded her—and a much more human danger.
Not everyone had the kindness of the shaman who exorcised Cordelia. She met other teachers on her journey, and some of these gurus wanted to manipulate her with black magic. Discerning between helpful guides and wolves in sheep’s clothing proved challenging. Yet the promise of healing through earthly and spiritual means urged her forward. With the support of trustworthy friends, Cordelia would become a healer in her own right.
Possessed: From Darkness to Light by Cordelia Lee is a memoir that reads like horror, and it’s hard to believe this is a true story, but the narrator’s voice is so real that the reader is compelled to accept the extraordinary events narrated in this memoir. Readers are introduced to a protagonist with a heap of problems — difficult childhood, molestation, attempted rape, black magic, anorexia, marital issues, and depression. Possessed, a shaman exorcises her, but is unable to completely banish the evil spirits. While Cordelia Lee seeks healing, she has an unusual experience of awakening — transported to a spiritual realm where she experiences the different energies in the universe. She could find answers to her quest for healing in this dimension, but this realm is also the dwelling of malevolent spirits. Can she beat the ruses of manipulative spiritual teachers who would use black magic to get what they want, find the tools she needs for her battles, and win her inner freedom? This is a story that exudes a rare kind of pathos and as the reader encounters young Cordelia Lee — a once happy and exuberant child — they become keen to find out what could possibly happen to her. They quickly learn to care about her.
The author has a unique narrative voice and knows how to make readers feel what she has felt. You’ll touch her fear; you’ll feel the chills run down your body as you connect with the images she conjures. While the writing might not be exceptional, the story is confidently told and the author has a voice that is original. Possessed: From Darkness to Light is a true story that gives hope to readers, making them understand that they can be masters of their destiny and that no matter how horrific their experiences in life, they can always choose to seek the light at the end of the tunnel. This is an engrossing story that will awaken all kinds of emotions in readers.
Author Comments about the book:
My personal memoir as a survivor of black magic and demonic possession, on top of other life challenges like troubled childhood, molests, rape attempt, anorexia, unfulfilled maternal instinct, failing marriage, and depression
This is the only personal memoir in the market of a real person who came out triumphant, positive and healed after a harrowing experience as a black magic victim and that of demonic possession.
Not to mention becoming a healer who helps others who suffer such torment.
Most victims end up diagnosed as schizophrenic and having to medicate themselves for life or end up being committed to a mental institution. Or they live a life of suffering till they are able to find salvation.
Cordelia Lee lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband and their son. After overcoming depression and anorexia in her teens, Cordelia experienced a spontaneous kundalini awakening in her thirties. Although she had no prior training, she found herself able to perform vocal sound healing, which she has used to help others handle stress and heal.
Together with her husband Ket, they are meditation teachers. Their practice is nonreligious and not mainstream. The most important aspect of their work is to help and empower people to heal, especially those who have gone through ordeals like hers. Their work has taken them around Asia and Australia as they lead meditation sessions, retreats and workshops.
Cordelia is a firm believer in second chances and their availability to anyone who seeks them.
After immersing themselves in mantras in I AM Manifesto, young siblings Hao Finley and Sabine Yi Lee are on their journey of seeking knowledge from around the world. In Humongous (& Cool) Words For Kids, these philomaths not only learn about words from their own and other cultures and countries, they absorb new facts about stuff they thought they knew. Name the subject, they’re sharing: science and math (big, uncomplicated check!), different languages (“oui, sí, shì” check!), environmental awareness (layered-atmosphere check!), etiquette (thank you, check!), music (treble clef check!), international cuisine (lots of yummy checks!), and many more. Shared with wit.
Humongous (& Cool) Words For Kids is a nonfiction educational book for children written and illustrated by SB Hilarion. Hao Finley Lee (HF) and his little sister, Sabine Yi Lee (SY) are philomaths, and they really enjoy it. What’s a philomath, you may wonder? According to the definition provided at the beginning of this book, a philomath is “a seeker of knowledge; a person who loves learning and studying new facts and acquiring new knowledge.” And by even picking up this book and reading through the first page or two, kids and adults alike will find themselves suddenly appreciating the concept that they might already be philomaths themselves.
Each chapter in this quite engrossing book covers a letter of the alphabet. No big deal, you say? Actually, it is. Along with learning the pronunciation and meanings of words that will dazzle parents, teachers and fellow students alike, readers are treated to entertaining snippets, drawings, and even some science as they read through this book. And while the thought of learning vocabulary usually makes even the most dedicated student yawn and start to feel drowsy, this book will achieve the exact opposite reaction in all but the truly undead zombies out there.
I love words and have always considered that I have a fairly strong grasp of vocabulary, at least English vocabulary, that is. SB Hilarion’s uniquely mesmerizing vocabulary primer had me questioning my actual credentials as a philomath from the very first page. I love this book! I enjoyed the presentations my two hosts, HF and SY, gave in each chapter, and I had to slow myself down to adequately digest all the data, drawings, humor and knowledge found on each page. This book is a sheer delight and will, no doubt, convert even the most abject despiser of vocabulary drills into a fellow philomath, one who easily uses the most amazing words and actually knows what they mean. Each word presented is given glorious, multicolor life, making learning an interactive and simply amazing experience. I hope that Hilarion, HF and SY are planning further books and eagerly await further learning adventures with them. Humongous (& Cool) Words For Kids is both humongous and cool — it’s also most highly recommended.
SB Hilarion is the author and main illustrator of the narrative nonfiction children’s books in the Raising Young Scholars Series. The author of I AM Manifesto, Hilarion holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from Columbia University, and a law degree from Harvard University. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and children, plus some deer who refuse to pay rent.