[Book Spotlight] More than Madness

Today, I am featuring a spotlight of the John Kanieki’s memoir. This sounds like a wonderful life account of courage and hope, so I am really pleased to be hosting this on my blog.

 

 

 

 

Author: John Kaniecki
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Dreaming Big Publications
Release Date: October 31, 2016

Synopsis2There is MORE than the MADNESS

This book gives readers a glimpse into the life of someone living with bipolar disorder. It’s not a clinical book filled with facts and figures, but a book of humanity.

Spanning childhood to early adult, through stories of abuse, being bullied, experimentation with drugs and alcohol, inpatient stays on psych wards, a night in jail, his college days in the fraternity, hitchhiking across America, and his time in a third world country, John gives the reader a personal and up-close look into his life as a manic depressive. The stories are sad, shocking, and at times funny as he shares his antics while at his most manic and delusional. 

Throughout his journey, John also struggles with his faith in God. More than the Madness is a testament of one man’s journey to grow closer to God while gaining a better understanding of himself. 

John wrote his story to help educate others on mental illness and remove some of the stigma associated with it. It is his hope that readers will get to know the person behind the diagnosis; take away the labels and meet someone’s son, friend, and husband. See that there is More Than the Madness.

Buy Links : Amazon , Barnes & Noble

About the Author:

John KanieckiJohn Kaniecki is an author and poet. His works has been published in over eighty outlets. He was born in Brooklyn, New York and grew up in Pompton Plains, New Jersey. He attended Steven’s Institute of Technology for two years before dropping out. At that time John became a Christian and a member of the Church of Christ. Also John began to seriously suffer from bipolar disorder. This mental illness would adversely affect John. As such the topic is dealt with in his writing. In particular in his book of memoirs “More Than The Madness”. Also the experience is poetically explored in the book “Murmurings Of A Mad Man”. John’s shining achievement is his poetry book “Poet To The Poor,Poems Of Hope For The Bottom One Percent.” This book deals with historical figures and events along with people from John’s own life. True to John’s poetic philosophy the book is written with poems that deliver a clear message. Rhyming and rhythm are prominent. John’s book “Sunset Shadows” is a book of classically written sonnets dealing with dying and death in a spiritual and wholesome way. “A Day’s Weather” completes John’s present poetry collection which is a depiction of his days as a neophyte poet. This early work is a wholesome and quaint collection. 
 
John has a science fiction anthology called Words of the Future. This book is interesting, unique and exciting. John presently has two horror books out, “Scarecrow, Scarecrow” and “Satan’s Siren”. These two books are part of a series following the main character Anne McFry. 
 
John presently lives in Montclair with his wife Sylvia. John is a volunteer minister at the Church of Christ at Chancellor Avenue which is located in the south ward of Newark New Jersey. John is also a full time caregiver for his wife. Expect more exciting stuff from John soon.

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Luna Tree: The Baby Project – By Maya Berger

  Rating:

Buy Links:

                                                                 Paperback             Kindle

Note: I received a digital copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis :

Maya is kicking up her heels, living the fabulous and mostly carefree life of a twenty-something young woman. However, in the back of her mind continuous longing for a good marriage and family lingers. How do you find the right man, the one who sticks through thick and thin? Will he provide you with the things you find essential in a relationship? Maya kissed a few frogs before finding her Prince Charming, but what followed was of higher importance. She started feeling chronic pain in her lower back, the pain that wouldn’t let her neither sit nor stand. Thus Maya began her relentless quest for diagnosis and healing, which she ends after discovering Energy healing. She travels the globe to receive and raise her own stored Energy, the one that changes everything. Her ultimate desires come true.

My Review :

I don’t usually read non-fiction so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I really liked the cover of the book and the synopsis so I wanted to give it a try.

This is an account of Maya’s struggle to live with and overcome the once debilitating chronic back pain – more specifically – Ankylosing Spondylitis. We are taken through all that she faced to get through the uphill task of not just finding a treatment but also a correct diagnosis. Maya’s first language isn’t English, so the writing wasn’t the most effective to convey some aspects of her life, emotions and personality. The attempted humor and witty repartee fell flat in a lot of places and I wonder if it is because the gist and essence of it was lost in English. She also speaks about her strained relationship with her parents and while I connected with whatever she recounted about her childhood, I was a bit confused about how exactly her relationship with them (especially her father) changed over the years. I mean, for a while I got the feeling that she wanted to cut off from her dad (who is mentioned as being a control freak), but later we see that her dad (who is a doctor) does help her by recommending specialists who might be able to help her. This is just one small example, but I guess what I am trying to say is that I found it hard to follow just what exactly she was going through in her personal life – especially her early days with her parents, sister and former boyfriends.

However, the most important person in her life is her husband Luca, and damn, he seems to be a gem of a guy!  He is with her every step of the way, supporting her through all her treatment options and the financial stress. It is a long journey to find a cure (or at least something to let her function normally through her daily routines). From physiotherapists to healers, she is constantly researching and trying. It isn’t easy, and all the hospital appointments and callous attitude of doctors takes a toll on her. One aspect that Maya describes really well is how it is to live with constant pain and how it isn’t just about dealing with the physical discomfort, but also how it takes away your freedom to go through your daily to-do list.  She finally finds a relaxation center that devises and works on techniques entirely derived and based on positive thoughts and energy. It is here that I felt the narration meandered a bit, and at times I felt like I was reading a dry account of week-to-week happenings at the center. There were also a lot of references about gossip and politics at the center. Thought I understood the thought behind incorporating it into the book – to talk about positive/negative thoughts – I found it a bit unnecessary and out-of-place.

I wasn’t exactly convinced or sure about how Energy worked to overcome intense physical pain, but the core principle of positive thoughts having positive effects in all aspects of your life is a pretty relatable. It also helped Maya recognize and deal with her own shortcomings. The book is sprinkled with some nice observations, on not just about self-worth and positivity (which one would expect in a memoir anyways..) but also health care and people’s outlook towards it.

I believe it is very important that we understand that we are not giving birth to “just another living creature” but that we are creating a better version of ourselves as well as our partner

Overall, I did find the book pretty underwhelming. But it is an inspiring journey to read about and ends on a bright note – with Maya’s steely nerve and resolve to give her new-born daughter a better and different tomorrow – different from and a better version of her present.