Mind on Fire by Arnold Thomas Fanning

This book plunges one right into the thick of the author's mania, indeed, I felt almost manic after reading the prologue. It was a quite harrowing read. It is a testament to the overwhelming need for better mental health care, finding the right doctors, therapists, medications, and support. As a mother with a son with his own mental health and addiction problems I found my sympathizing a bit with his father. It is hard to tell if the author's impressions are reality based or mostly based on paranoid delusions. His father may have been gruff and stand-off ish but he continued unfailing to give his son support--a roof over his head, money, time, effort etc. even during the repeated times when the author subjected the man to nothing but physical and verbal abuse.

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The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley

I wanted to like this book more than I did. I wish I had realized that this was a continuation of a previous book, The Winter Sea. While I found the mind reading psychometry parts a little hard to believe--I went with it for the sake of the story. I love reading about little known parts of history and since (Outlander) a history buff for the Jacobites. I also do a fair amount of "Royal Reading" primarily about the English monarchy. By far my favorite part of this book was the several paragraphs at the end where the author discusses her nonfictional characters and her research. --Sometimes in books there are simply too many plot devices thrown into one book and I think in this case a lot of the plot devices got short shrifted. It is a book in which events are strung together but nothing really happens. And by the end I thought Rob was a bit shady in his treatment of Nicola. 

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A World Lit Only By Fire by William Manchester

Of all the books in my "fire" category I had been looking forward to this one the most. Don't get me wrong this is a very readable book but I guess I have been down this particular pathway one too many times. I get it the dark ages are called the dark ages for very good reasons. This book read like a newpaper rag publication--flipping from one sensationalist gossipy historical tidbit to the next, the gorier, more gruesome the better. I did like learning more about Martin Luther and Magellean. And he has a good for further reading section at the end.

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Hi! I'm Debbie. Here at Categorically Well-Read I give an extra layer to the reading life. Learn more about me, check out my current category of books, submit your own suggestion, or check out my latest post.