So with my enjoyment of the Youtube channel Ask A Mortician, I picked up her first book – Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty. It is definitely not a book for the squeamish, though this book is not massively graphic. This memoir documents Caitlin’s journey from childhood all the way to her finding her calling as Ask the Mortician and the Order of the Good Death.
She has an amazing talent with gallows humour and is able to tell stories with vivid characters. You really do journey with her, learn with her and feel with her as Caitlin recounts some truly human moments. There is a feeling like you are now so much more intimate a friend with her after this book, and I love that.
This book specifically deals with how death and the funeral industry is run in California. She deals with all sorts of questions in regards to fears, to the process, and options available. Keep in mind a portion of this story is based in a crematory.
This is the person who has led me to consider how do we treat our dead and how do I want my remains to be treated. She asks and tries to give answers to fundamental questions of the why, how, where, who, and what will be done. What are our options? How can we think about things differently? How can we be prepared for these moments?
I would totally recommend this book and just as strongly her youTube channelHERE. Questions of mortality and how our culture, and other cultures deal with this is so important. Zander and I have even watched videos together and discussed them. Caitlin has a real flair with being sensitive and compassionate even with her humour and laughter.
From Bittersweet romance to… a British local. Witchy women and a surprise for a woman who figured her adopted family wanted nothing to do with her. Witch is When it All Began by Adele Abbott is the first in the series A Witch P.I.
This mystery series is actually way more extensive than I realized when I came across this as a free download. I do believe there are 13 at current count of these. The estimated read time for it (typical whatever) was a little over 4 hours so I think it is classified as a novel. It is cute, humorous, not much on the romance really… yet… but the main character – Jill Gooder is an interesting individual surrounded by people who are worth reading more about.
Jill has taken over her father’s P.I. office after his death and employs (I use that term loosely as with a downturn in their clients post change over Mrs. V works for free knitting like crazy and fighting with the office cat – a one- eyed specimen named Winky) a single receptionist. She is determined to continue the family legacy and solve any mystery thrown her way. Apparently including that of her own past.
Jill is adopted and very happy with her sister. It is not until her birth mother sends out a message requesting her presence at her death bed that things get… well… witchy.
A legacy she has yet to fully learn about, a family to acquaint herself with as well as mundane murders and problems to solve. The mystery in this story was interesting with a bit of a surprise solution. The main character has a healthy sense of humour and a stubborn streak a mile long. There is only a dash of a potential romance and a good strong mystery going on that is intriguing. The magic and the mundane characters are all quite interesting. So if you like magic, mystery all wrapped in a very British package this could be a series for you!
Ok so right off the bat… random Amazon freebie… story line interesting, characters endearing, romance (naturally)… slight smut warning. Ok – maybe not slight. More like, it catches you towards the end of the story. They are loving and sweet but… DESCRIPTIVE. I do believe you can skim and skip. BUT if this makes you uncomfortable or turns you off a story. I am warning you now. Sexual activities will ensue!
And with that… onto the rest of the review!
Bittersweet is a contemporary romance novel by Noelle Adams. There are a few underlying themes… grief, healing, finding a new love. Main character Zoe starts the story many years before her current situation where she is friends with Adam, a somewhat awkward but highly intelligent man. She is then introduced (by him) to his cousin Josh and falls in love. Fast forward years to the present where she has married and been widowed after Josh falls ill. Leaving her with a young son (Logan) and a rather distanced relationship with Adam.
Much of this story is dealing with Zoe’s grief process and her letting go of things… Josh’s possessions that do not harbor close emotional ties, their home that really is not suitable for her new situation. Learning to move on and to still be strong enough to be a mother and deal with Josh’s legacy.
Bittersweet is a gentle romantic and emotional ride. I wouldn’t say the feelings that progress are a surprise, rather a comfortable story with some ups and downs but a lot of love, some laughter and a few tears.
I personally enjoyed this book (well I did skip and skim the hot and heavy bits). BUT if sexual content makes you uncomfortable this may not be the book for you. On the other side it did feel like an honest telling of the story of a woman who has to figure out how to move on after being devastated by her spouse’s death (granted she DOES have a bit more… money and such than most). The characters are sweet and broken, the romance a nice pace and the ending quite satisfying. Definitely worth it if you enjoy these sorts of books.