About Me!

Laurie Here - Contemporary Fiction and MORE - Book Reviews


About Me!

This page is ALL about ME! I write this book blog because I have a love affair/obsession with books! Hey, at least I admit it! I also love to write reviews about the books I read, too! I love to talk about the books I read, so writing a review gives me the opportunity to do that!talk about the books! (How many times have I told my husband about books and I start to see him get glossy eyed! LOL!!!) You, my friends, LOVE books as MUCH as I do, and you don't turn glassy eyed! LOL!!! 
Yes, my love affair with books started when I was very young, prior to Kindergarten! My dad was always so proud how well I could read that when company came over he would grab anything  and have me read it for his friends or whoever! I felt pretty special when he did that, too! the sheer joy I get from reading them, and getting to share what I read with you! I hope the book reviews I write inspire you to want to read the BEST books I can find as I share them with you! I DO write honest reviews, I tell you exactly how I feel about each one, and I'm not afraid to tell you if there are ones I don't like, too.  
NO, I am not employed by ANYONE to do or write this blog, I just do it on my time, my terms, as I am able to do it! Anyone can write a blog, even you! It's free and I happen to go through Blogger.com. There are many other places out there, too!
Okay! I admit it! Books are my hobby . . . okay, no! I know you caught me! I lied! The truth of the matter is I am book obsessed! I LOVE BOOKS! Books, books, books, and MORE books! I LOVE to have books around me, with me, everywhere! A home is not a house without books! I find books comfort me and bring so much joy into my life! We get to live and be anything we want to be in the books we read, and that is priceless! How can I not share that? I must! Therefore, this blog! 
I have loved books since I could hold one, and I always will! Reading is a GREAT escape from 'real life'! It can help keep your mind sharp, your vocabulary broad, and your memory intact.
Keep reading on to 'get to know me better!'

Why do I have my a Book Blog? Because I LOVE to read and share the books I read with as MANY people who want to read my blog as I write book reviews about the books I read!
I LOVE books, grew up with books, went NOWHERE without a book! I slept with books, LIVED for Library Day at school! My best girlfriend in High School and I would buy books like crazy and share them to read! It goes on and on and on! My father used to travel as I grew up, and every Friday when he got home from work he would have a prize for us! I ALWAYS got a book! I was always SO excited! The BEST book I ever got, and I remember it to today, was Little Women by Louisa May Alcott!
Do I get paid to do this? NO! Is there a way to do this and get paid? Yeah, sure, but I am not able to do that. I will cover that later, but no, I am unable to work or earn an income because I could never keep up. It would also be considered a 'job' if I were to post products and all kinds of other things and accept payment for it, but my doctors all have me totally and permanently disabled due to having a very rare neurological muscle disease where only 1 in 1 million people worldwide have this neurological muscle disease called Stiff Person Syndrome.
Due to having SPS, (Stiff Person Syndrome) I am unable to work. Yes, I DO write this blog, but it's on on MY time, MY terms, 'when I am able to' unless muscle spasms set in. You can read my post I have written all about my illness to get better understanding about it here at this blog at this link which I recently wrote on Rare Disease Day, February 28th, 2015 - - -> Stiff Person Syndrome! If you scroll down a little further, too, there is a medical link about this disease, too, which will answer ANY question you have about this disease. It is from Medscape.

I LOVE books and I LOVE sharing them with people! Also, since I don't get out much, in order to keep my sanity, LOL! I'm serious!!! I have Alzheimers in my family, too, I NEED to keep my brain sharp! I think this is a GREAT thing to do to keep it sharp! In ALL seriousness. I LOVE doing this - blogging about books! I LOVE books and have since I met a guy named Dr Seuss! There are others, too! SO many other people! Louisa May Alcott (up above!), Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Judy Blume, The Hardy Boys! Yes! They were my favorite!! Nancy Drew was okay, but the Hardy Boys were the BEST! Books called, The Littles, The Borrowers, My Side of the Mountain, The House Without a Christmas Tree and SO MANY MORE!  
Then I grew up!
I still read like crazy! Although now my books are Adult books! LOL! Books are a GREAT way to escape this disease, as long as it lets me!

Why do I do this Book Blog? I am OBSESSED WITH BOOKS!  Yes, I am disabled, but . . . you see, I like to focus on the positive and NOT on the negative. I am able to read, and already was reading and writing reviews about books on Amazon when one day I must have clicked on a blog address and came to a book blog which made me want to write my own!

However, because of my disability, I do this Blog 'when' I can, 'as' I can, and 'when' I am ABLE TO, but only on 'my' time, 'my' terms, and 'when' I am physically able to. I can do it from my recliner, with my legs elevated, . There is nothing that 'requires me to do this', there is no travel, no deadlines to make because if there were, it would cause stress, and this disease with stress is a NO/NO! There is no stress in doing this blog, no time frame that I MUST adhere to, nothing that MUST be done, and no amount or number of things I MUST do unless I 'want to'. This blog is NOTHING like a 'job' or 'work' to be done. This blog is strictly enjoyment for myself and other people who may read it!

I own this blog, am the author of the blog, and the writer of the blog. I am the boss. I can do this blog whenever I want to, or can, or not at all. It's a hobby/"an obsession with books"! I LOVE BOOKS! Those are the 'key' words, and it's because of my ability 'when' I can do it. I'm not able to 'just' go ahead and 'do things' whenever I want because this disability kind of gets in the way quite a bit.
I am not able to work because of Stiff Person Syndrome, ALL day, every day, and if you really want to know what this disease is, the best description I have come across is on Medscape, so if you want to read more about it, click this LINK to learn ALL ABOUT Stiff Person Syndrome! I can tell you it causes extremely severe muscle spasms that I fight 24/7, so severe, it's hard to even breathe. They take over my entire body, and are the MOST painful thing I experience every day. So if there is ANYTHING I can do to help me focus on the POSITIVE, I do it!

Everyone has a hobby, and 'should' have something they enjoy and love to do, and with not being able to work, I need something to do! So, this is my thing I LOVE to do! Reading, sharing, and writing reviews, and posting my opinions publicly on my blog to share with other people what I think about the books I read.
I like to think I am "encouraging literacy" by setting an example with my reading! That is a MUCH BETTER thing to do than rotting in front of a television set that never has any good programming on! Unless, of course, you LOVE talk shows, as that seems to be the ONLY thing on TV, EVER, and there is NOTHING I hate more than talk shows! Talk about Attention Deficit Disorder, I think the Producers who make those shows have it! LOL! They never focus on 'one' subject long enough for anyone to really learn anything about it! That is it! I don't call it HD TV, TV. I call it ADHD TV! Not ONE talk show on TV seems to be able to focus on ONE subject and stick with it! Instead they are all over the place! Have you ever looked at what's on TV during the day? The ENTIRE TV land is FULL of TALK SHOWS!! NO!!!!!!! (YAWN!)
Besides, with books you can learn so much, and enjoy so much MORE than you EVER could on TV, not to mention I LOVE being able to escape my own life, 'everything' in life,including my disability, for many hours in between the two covers of a book! NOTHING COMPARES! This is, after all, my ONLY escape from my life, literally!
I am pretty much literally 'stuck' in the house due to SPS. No, I cannot drive because of the severe muscle spasms I get. They are intensified by the motion of any vehicle. I am SO lucky in that my husband is aware of this when he drives, as he takes extra special caution to drive very carefully and not knock me around from accelerating, breaking and turning. I've got a great guy!

Again, I would like to discuss the fact I do NOT earn any type of income from this blog. My husband is an Amazon Affiliate, and HE is the one who puts the Amazon links on my blog! LOL! If you see a lot, he found a lot he likes! ANY income he has earned from the blog he gives to me to put back into the blog! Awesome guy! It goes back into the blog so I can continue to buy my domain name so you don't have to type blogspot ALL the time, and believe me, it has been GREAT to not have to do that! It also goes for all the giveaways, too! If you shop at Amazon from my blog, that is where ANY income earned for my HUSBAND goes back into buying MORE BOOKS FOR YOU IN THE GIVEAWAYS!

I am 'NOT' employed  NOR PAID by ANYONE to do this blog, nor to  write or to publish this Book Blog.

I received this book for FREE from the __(publisher or author or both)__ in exchange to read and write a review about it. It is NOT required for this review to be either positive or negative, but of my own honest opinion. "Free" means I was provided with ZERO MONIES to read this book nor to write this review, but to enjoy the pure pleasure of reading it. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

I made this blog was made on my own for my own personal pleasure/enjoyment, for free by using templates at http://www.blogger.com. However, I do purchase a domain name so I can leave the tail end of .blogspot off of the blog! That SAVES a LOT of typing!
ANYONE can make a blog about ANYTHING, and I choose BOOKS!
I blog about books because it is one of my favorite things to talk about! It is also one of the very FEW things I CAN do, as stated above, and I go more into detail below, as well, when I talk about this neuro disease I have. 
Books/Reading, is a GREAT hobby to have, and to think I never knew about blogs before? Tragic! I had heard about them, especially from the TV show and movies such as "Sex in the City", where Carrie wrote a fashion blog for a newspaper. That was her income, and I thought ALL blogs were paid blogs, but that is NOT the case, as anyone can have a blog!

This blog is my hobby/Book Obsession! I do this blog when I am able, due to my disability, and it brings me much personal enjoyment by doing it, not income.

Why a Book Blog and why do I love to read so much? I happen to enjoy reading very much! I have always LOVED to read since I learned how, prior to Kindergarten! Then, in Elementary School, the Scholastic Book Club made a mint off of my parents when I was in school! LOL! I am SO grateful to my parents to this day for allowing me to purchase books every month through Scholastic! I can rattle of the names of many of those books I got back then. (It really was my mom who gave me the money, as my Dad traveled for work every week, Monday through Friday, but I'm sure my dad knew about it, too!) ALL parents want their children to read, and I know it probably made them pretty happy that I was SO happy to be reading books! Not to mention, it made me quiet! LOL! You see, I am kind of known for 'liking to talk'! That was probably their ONLY way to get peace at times! In fact, I'm SURE of it! LOL! I was one of the few kids who 'always' had an order! Oh, how I remember those days the orders came in! It was like Christmas when the orders arrived! Sometimes the teacher had me stay after class to give me my books as there were so many that she did not want the other kids to see how many I was blessed with in front of the other kids. I understand and am appreciative they did that.
When I was a teenager, the little town I grew up in had a bookstore. Everyone shopped at that bookstore! My best friend, Cindy, and I would shop there every chance we had money to do so! We exchanged books back and forth and had a ball! 
As I grew older, there was Waldenbooks and a D W Dalton in the malls! Anyone remember those bookstores? My husband and I met in D W Dalton Bookstore! Yes! It was 2 days after Christmas in 2002! Yes, the date is FOREVER etched in our minds! (This Christmas will make 10 years ago now!) That Christmas I caught the flu! I MISSED CHRISTMAS! 'WHO' COULD FORGET THAT? I was throwing up on Christmas Eve, and Christmas DAY! I ended up in the hospital over it! Two days after Christmas my girlfriend called me on the phone and asked if I would like to go to the mall with her. At first I told her no, as I wasn't quite feeling 'up-to-par' yet. After she convinced me to go, I did. We went into the bookstore, and HISTORY WAS MADE! So, yes, my husband LOVES BOOKS just as much as I do! Our FIRST DATE consisted of shopping at the bookstore! No kidding! Unfortunately, that bookstore is now gone. Barnes and Noble made it go under, like SO MANY bookstores have because of it.) I could not go to the mall and NOT go into the bookstore! There were always those two bookstores, too. D W Dalton Bookstore always had better deals on their books! (The things we remember!) Most teenagers HAD to go to the music store and buy albums. (Yes! Vinyl Albums!!! I am from that 'era'! LOL!!!) Then Barnes and Noble came along. Wow! I would spend HOURS in there! Who could NOT spend hours inside of that store? Now with my physical disabilities, it's Amazon! I have always very much enjoyed writing about the books I have read to share with other people who like to read the kind of books I do. I even used to belong to a Book Club at one time, long before this disability hit. I LOVED Oprah's Book Club, and now she has a NEW Book Club, online!  It's an online only Book Club, so no one has to go anywhere but online! 

Oprahs' website for the Book Club 2.0 is: http://www.oprah.com/packages/oprahs-book-club-2.html 
I hope you enjoy it! I am! I want to read the book, Fields by 

If anyone is interested in doing a blog, one of your choice about anything, is to go to http://www.blogger.com and sign up for your own blog with the name of your choice. 'You' choose what 'you' want your blog to be called, what subject it will be about, and it's up to you as to 'what' you want to do with it. May I suggest to really put consideration into the 'name' of your blog! Unlike me, I did not know of ALL the really cool blog names out there that are in reference to books. If only I could change it now! Oh, well. I did start out in March of 2010 with 2 blogs. I can't remember now why I did that! One blog was Laurie is Reading, and then THIS blog. This blog is the one that I had the most visitors to, so I stuck with this one after all! So it doesn't really matter 'what' you name your blog, but the content of the blog is what matters! 
This blog happens to be my 'only' creative outlet I have which gives me great pleasure! It is something I can do with all of the health problems/disabilities I have. I don't talk about them in my posts, and I really don't include much personal information in my posts either. I focus on the books themselves. I 'do' give my opinion about what I've read! Everyone does when they write a review about anything.

Stiff Person Syndrome is a very rare disease and only 1 in 1 million people get this disease. There is NO cure for it. The doctors do NOT KNOW what causes it, either.
There are a lot of great websites that explain this disease MUCH BETTER than what I do here, and here are some links to them: Here are more links about the disease:
There IS a BOOK ABOUT THIS DISEASE! I 'just' found this! It was written in 2008, which would have been about 4 1/2 years into my disease. It's strange I have not come across this book before. There are MANY support groups for this disease across the Internet. I have belonged to many of them, and for several years in the beginning while trying to make sense of this disease, but after a while, constantly reading about, hearing from some of the same people over and over, it can really pull you down and get you depressed, so I did pull back out of them for quite a while now. I am still active on only ONE. I "only" go there every now and then to see if there is anything new in the way of treatment, to say hello to my friends there, etc. NO. No new treatment EVER. It's ALWAYS a "NO". Even with my Neurologist. There are not many medications that treat this disease, either, mainly only muscle relaxers.
I AM SO excited, though, to see a BOOK about it! I HAVE to get it now! I remember this woman's name in one of my support groups. She was newer to me about the disease and I had a LOT of questions! I remember a LOT of people from that support group, but many of those people ended up going separate ways, and it mostly disbanded the group.
Well, here is the book!

"A Flower Grows in Stone: My life with Stiff Person Syndrome" by Anisah Hassan

A Flower Grows In Stone by Anisah Hassan
Print Book $19.99
No ebook

You can click on the name of the book, or the photo here and it will take you directly to Amazon if you would like more information on it!
Here is a better photo of the book: 

And, the Author!

Here is the LINK which talks about the book at the American Academy of Neurology:
A Flower Grows In It by Anisah Hussan  This is 'her' story of 'her' ordeal with this disease.
ALL of us are hit with this disease in MANY DIFFERENT WAYS. It's quite amazing what this disease can do to you.

Just because there is ONE book about this disease, it does not mean that EVERYONE suffers from the side effects this woman does. Everyone suffers differently and in their own unique way. This disease affects everyone differently, remember that again, please.

A few quotes from that page:
At times, isolation and loneliness threaten to consume me, but I'm always pulled back by my own laughter. Alone time doesn't seem so bad anymore. I have a vivid imagination, a greater appreciation of the good times, and the power to make something beautiful out of suffering. I've always dedicated my skills to social service, by working as a caseworker in a transitional housing facility, assisting families with securing permanent housing, and working with abused and neglected children. Now, I'm also an author hoping to raise funds for the Stiff Person Syndrome Research Fund with the National Organization for Rare Diseases (rarediseases.org ). By using my energy this way, a flower is growing out of the stone. 

At times, isolation and loneliness threaten to consume me, but I'm always pulled back by laughter. Alone time doesn't seem so bad anymore. I have a vivid imagination, a greater appreciation of the good times, and the power to make something beautiful out of suffering.
Well, this is EXACTLY WHY I read and write reviews on a Book Blog! I 'need' something to do that stimulates the brain! Plus, an added bonus is I get to ESCAPE from this disease while reading! Well, almost. At least as much as I can try to. 

If ANYONE has ANY NEUROLOGICAL DISEASE, there is a great MAGAZINE called "NEUROLOGY TODAY" - IT IS "FREE"!!! It comes out bi-monthly, and covers EVERY neurological disease you can think of! It is and has been VERY beneficial to me, and would be to ANYONE who suffers from one of these diseases! Here is the LINK to the magazine: http://bit.ly/TH0F8P  
From this 'subscribe' page, you can ALSO ACCESS THE CURRENT ISSUE ONLINE! I just learned that! I think it's nicer to have the magazine 'in hand', but you can research the Archives!!! That, right there, is the BEST! I have to do some more of it there myself! See if there is MORE on Stiff Person Syndrome!

I WANT TO BRING AWARENESS OF THIS DISEASE, STIFF PERSON SYNDROME AND OTHER RARE DISEASES, TO OTHERS. This is a HUGE reason I am writing this is as I also stated above and will do so again. I can't go out to the public, just HOPE the public will read THIS. The MORE people know about this disease and other rare diseases, the better! It will be better understood by MORE people, and WE, the sufferers of this disease will be better understood as well.  It took about 1-1/2 years to finally get this disease diagnosed properly. This disease can mimic other diseases very well, except for the severity of the muscle spasms. That was my 'trigger' that told me something MORE was wrong, in addition to the belt feeling around my rib cage that feels like my ribs are being crushed. I KNEW something MORE was wrong than 'just' Osteoarthritis, my first diagnosis, SO KEEP SEEKING ANSWERS UNTIL YOUR GUT AGREES!

ONE HUGE THING I LEARNED FROM THIS ILLNESS: If EVER you have a 'gut feeling' that something MORE is wrong with you, keep seeking answers! DON'T SETTLE for that ONE DOCTOR! SEEK OUT OTHER DOCTORS WHO MAY "REALLY" KNOW WHAT IS WRONG! I did, and it was the BEST thing I could have EVER done! I was being treated for a WRONG disease! I was taking medications that I did NOT NEED! I was NOT being treated properly! I was misdiagnosed, which does happen to be VERY COMMON with this disease and many others as well. Don't let that happen to you. Keep seeking answers until your gut tells you things are correct and there is not ONE doubt in your head. Good luck!