Mothers and Murderers by Katherine Ellison

A True Story of Love, Lies, Obsession … and Second Chances

Rating: 4 out of 5.

My Thoughts:

What I Loved: I don’t read true crime a lot, but this book was provided to me by the publisher, so it was the perfect opportunity to try one out. This turned out to be the perfect book to start with. It was more like a memoir/biography with a true murder story as well. I liked that I got to read about the murder as well as delve into the authors thoughts on her own life.

How I Felt: I was worried that a true crime book would be too grisly for me. I can read the fiction versions of things, but when I know that it really happened, I can be very bothered. However, I didn’t feel that way in this book. I felt like we were given all the information, but I wasn’t ever put off by the facts of the case.

To Read or Not To Read: For true crime lovers, this is a good read, but gives you a memoir too. If you haven’t read true crime before, I feel this a good one to start with! This a great book that kept me quickly turning the pages to see what happened next!

What’s This Book About Anyway?

Katherine Ellison, a Pulitzer Prize-winner, makes a mistake in a court-case article she wrote. This error gets her sued by the victim’s wife, bringing her more personally into the case. She tries to move on with her life, taking freelance work in other countries even, but always comes back to this one case. While she continues to investigate this mystery, she also looks deeper into her own life and her own behaviors.

Where to Find This Book:




This ARC was provided to me by WildBlue Press in exchange for my honest review.

#wildbluepress #mothersandmurderers #katherineellison #truecrime #memoir #truecrimenovel #shejustlovesbooks #bookreview #bookblog

Orange Is the New Black by Piper Kerman

Rating: 4 out of 5.

My Thoughts:

What I Loved: The view this memoir gave of life in prison was so intriguing. My sister works in a prison and the stories I hear from her remind me of the experiences Piper speaks to in her book.

How I Felt: This book was heartbreaking, yet had some funny moments, but I was also angered by some of the things done to prisoners. I was given a new perspective because of this book.

To Read or Not To Read: I think this book is worth reading for everyone. It’s a memoir about a woman’s experiences, and sheds a lot of light on a world we don’t know unless we’ve been there.

What’s This Book About Anyway?

Piper Kerman is living a happy life with a job, boyfriend, family and friends until an action from her past lands her in prison. 10 years earlier, she delivered a suitcase full of money for a drug cartel and it is finally time for her to pay for her crime.

Piper takes us through her imprisonment from start to finish giving us all the details to feel like we are right there with her. Strip searches, making friends, learning the rules of the prison guards, and the separate rules the inmates impose; she tells us all of it.

Orange is the New Black, is a wildly popular TV series, based on this book, however, the show has clearly expanded and gone past the actual experiences of Piper. So, if you watch Orange is the New Black on Netflix, you will probably like this book. But, if you avoid it for one reason or another, know that this book, is the actual woman’s experiences, not a fictional TV series and it is worth the read.


#shejustlovesbooks #piperkerman #orangeisthenewblack #bookblogger

Bossypants by Tina Fey

Rating: 5 out of 5.

My Thoughts:

What I Loved: I listened to the audio of this book because I couldn’t imagine anything better than hearing Tina Fey read this to me, and I was right. She was amazing. The book, the stories, her inflections, all of it rocked. I’m sure reading the book is great as well, but I highly recommend the audio.

How I Felt: This book made me laugh, a lot. And that’s what I was looking for. A friend mentioned that I’ve read a lot of heavy material lately, and I needed something light, and this was it!

In addition to all the laughing, I really appreciated the content. Tina Fey speaks a lot about women in the workplace, which is such an important topic. I have worked so hard to climb my little corporate ladder and be a woman in a man’s world. I appreciate Tina’s insight into her experiences, and had a few take-aways as well!

To Read or Not To Read: I think that this is a to-read for everyone. With wonderful stories to make you laugh, Tina’s very real attitude, and the “don’t give up” undertones made for a great book. Again, I vote for the audio if you are going to pick this one up. It’s amazing!

What’s This Book About Anyway?

Tina Fey, an Emmy-award winning actress and comedian, tells her story through memories of her childhood, reflections on her attitude towards her body, and her climb to the top. She walks the reader through her career struggles at the beginning, and as she became more successful. Topics like tips in case we (the reader) ever find ourselves at a photo shoot had me laughing out loud. Again, I highly recommend this book to everyone!


#tinafey #bossypants #shejustlovesbooks #memoirs #memoir

Hidden Pearl by J.E. Laufer

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This book was provided to me by NetGalley and Little Egg Publishing Company in exchange for my honest review.

My Thoughts:

What I Loved: Learning about the hiding of Jewish children in plain sight was so great. I have not read a story like this before and it just drew me in from the first page. I loved how J.E. Laufer wrote the story. She kept the scenes short and moved the book right along. I actually would have enjoyed this book being a bit longer!

How I Felt: Saddened at the terrible things this family went through, but the strength of this entire family was so moving! Pearl and her entire family, amazingly persevered through incredibly difficult odds.

To Read or Not to Read: You must read this book! I finished it in less than 24 hours. It was so good!!

What’s This Book About Anyway?

This is a true story, following Pearl and her family at the start of World War II in Poland. Pearl and her family must run as the Nazi’s invade their town and begin shooting people. Their grandmother is shot as they run and in the confusion and terror, they lose track of one of her brothers. Thus begins a terrifying journey to survive for Pearl and her family.

After being turned away from numerous homes, they take refuge in a forest and abandoned bunker. As they try to survive there, they realize they must hide some of the children at farms in the area. Pearl pretends to be an orphan and is taken in as a helper on a woman’s farm.

Pearl’s story is so intense and moving, you can’t stop reading. The book is well-written and easy to read. The story never has downtime and my only wish is that there had been more! There’s photos at the end of the book of Pearl and her family, which was a wonderful addition.


#netgalley #littleeggpublishing #littleegg #jelaufer #hiddenpearl #memoirs #shejustlovesbooks

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Thought:

What I Loved: Jeannette’s strong, smart personality. She is able to overcome so much and she was so amazing at such a young age!
How I Felt: I couldn’t help but to love Jeannette and her siblings. You want to help them and give them a better life.
To Read or Not To Read: This is a must read. Her story is well-written and just grabs you.

What’s This Book About Anyway?

Jeannette Walls shares her story of love, sadness, and strength. She, her 4 siblings, and parents constantly move from town to town. Her father drinks, but she shows us his good side when he’s sober. Her mom was more interested in her paintings than being a mother.

As things got worse for the family, the children must rely on each other to make a path forward for their lives.


#theglasscastle #jeannettewalls #memoir #shejustlovesbooks

Not Without My Daughter by Betty Mahmoody

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

Not Without My Daughter is a memoir written by Betty Mahmoody. This mother’s fierce determination in the face of completely insurmountable odds was such a force in this book. I couldn’t tear myself away from her story.

How I Felt:

I was completely terrified for Betty and her daughter. I had such an absolute enraging anger towards her husband for his deceit. I was appalled every time some new horror would appear in the story. It was nerve-wracking to read, and I can’t imagine living it.

The story starts with Betty Mahmoody, her husband, and their 4 year old daughter take a trip to Iran to visit her husband’s family. This was planned as a 2 week trip, however once there, her husband wants to stay. Betty finds she has no rights int his country and becomes a prisoner, for lack of a better term. She starts to work with people that will help get her out, but she refuses to go without her daughter. This book is the story of her trip there and her fight for her daughter and her freedom.

To Read Or Not To Read:

Not Without My Daughter is a must read memoir! It grips you and doesn’t let go. Knowing that this story was the author’s life experiences made all the pain and fear even more real to me because she lived it.

Where To Find This Book:

What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon is available at these sites.

Amazon | Goodreads

There’s a movie too! You can watch it on Amazon here!

In August 1984, Michigan housewife Betty Mahmoody accompanied her husband to his native Iran for a two-week vacation. To her horror, she found herself and her four-year-old daughter, Mahtob, virtual prisoners of a man rededicated to his Shiite Moslem faith, in a land where women are near-slaves and Americans are despised. Their only hope for escape lay in a dangerous underground that would not take her child…

Now the true story of this courageous woman and her breathtaking odyssey bursts upon the screen in the Pathe Entertainment production starring Academy Award-winner Sally Field!

Not Without My Daughter is a Literary Guild Alternate Selection.

Just the Facts:

Not Without My Daughter by Betty Mahmoody
Subtitle: The Harrowing True Story of a Mother’s Courage
Genre: Memoir
Page Count: 420 pages
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Pub Date: February 15, 1991