book reviews

4 Non-fictions by Indie Authors

My writing PLN (professional Learning Network) pretty much revolves around blogs and the authors who share their insights and advice through the online blogs. When I have a question, I often go there first, before digging through my shelves of self-help writing books. Along the way, I’ve read many of their books. Here, I want to share several non-fiction books that I’ve particularly enjoyed and think you might too.

  • Do You Have a Dream? 140 Insights to Building Confidence, Overcoming Stress, and Loving Yourself
  • Why are There Bullies and What Can You Do About Them — an interactive Q&A about bullying and its solutions
  • Sir Chocolate and the Sugar Dough Bees Story and Cookbook — a clever blend of baking and reading. This is one of several Robby Cheadle and his family have written
  • Facing Cancer as a Friend — strategies for talking to a friend who has cancer

Do You Have a Dream?: 140 Insights to Building Confidence, Overcoming Stress & Loving YourselfDo You Have a Dream?

by Grace Allison

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Grace Allison’s pithy little book, Do You Have a Dream? (ThinkAHA 2017) shares 140 ways to address change and come out better for it. It’s broken into ten sections like Do You Believe in God and Emotions — Energy in Motion so you can quickly focus on where you need help. Each tip is brief but rich with a section at the end where you can write items that you want to refer back to. With a focus on the spiritual and the positive, I found many that resonated with me. My favorites: What is the Value of Prayer? and Five Keys to Creating Your Dream.

The whole book takes only about twenty minutes to read. It’s called a ThinkAHA book because you think about the tip and later, after re-reading it, you get that epiphany. Recommended for those seeking solutions to recalcitrant problems in their lives.

 Why Are There Bullies and What Can You Do About Them: An Interactive Book for Children, Parents, Counselors, and TeachersWhy Are There Bullies and What Can You Do About Them 

by Rich Linville

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Rich Linville, the author of several humorous child-oriented books (such as one about unicorn jokes), takes a serious look at bullying in his latest publication, Why Are There Bullies and What Can You Do About It (Amazon Digital Services 2016). This is a delightful, interactive, easy-to-read book aimed at all stakeholders in the national epidemic of bullying. He organizes the topic into seven big questions such as What is bullying? and Why do people bully?  Then, Linville, a long-time teacher who’s probably seen more examples of the bullying kids inflict on each other than he ever wanted to, answers each question with a quick useful list of solutions that vary depending upon circumstances.

As a teacher for over 35 years, I highly recommend this book to fellow educators.

Sir Chocolate and the sugar dough bees story and cookbookSir Chocolate and the sugar dough bees story and cookbook

by Robbie Cheadle

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Who could not pick up Robbie and Michael Cheadle’s story-and-baking book, Sir Chocolate and the Sugar Dough Bees Story and Cookbook (TSL Publications 2017) after reading this blurb:

“A greedy snail damages the flower fields and the fondant bees are in danger of starving. Join Sir Chocolate on an adventure to find the fruit drop fairies who have magic healing powers and discover how to make some of his favourite foods on the way.”

This is a fun poetic story about the adventures of Sir Chocolate interspersed with wonderful recipes parents and kids create together–foods like Cheesy Bread and Butter Biscuits–accompanied by cute real-life pictures of the sugar dough creations, I have never seen a book that blended recipes and reading. How clever is that! Kids love cooking with parents, and now they can blend that with a favorite pastime: reading.

One note: This isn’t precisely non-fiction. The recipes are, but the story is fiction. It’s a hybrid.

One more note: Robbie and Michael are mother-and-son. Not only will kids be inspired to cook with parents, but write and publish a book.

Facing Cancer as a Friend: How to Support Someone Who Has CancerFacing Cancer as a Friend

by Heather Erickson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Heather Erickson’s Facing Cancer as a Friend (Vine Publishing 2016) is a compassionate and thoughtful book on how to talk to friends and family with cancer. Using personal experiences, real-life stories, and common sense, Erickson explains this difficult topic both from the perspective of the cancer victim and his/her caregivers. I especially liked the clever-but-obvious ‘calm in dump out’ etiquette. You’ll have to read the book to see what that is.

I have often struggled how to talk to a friend or acquaintance who is sick or dying with any number of deadly diseases, including cancer. Every approach I come up with seemed cold, even heartless. As I read Erickson’s book, her suggestions seemed so right, as though they were exactly what I’d come up with should I calmly be able to consider it. I am thankful for this book.

View all my reviews

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, and the thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and  Twenty-four DaysShe is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer,  a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.


52 thoughts on “4 Non-fictions by Indie Authors

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  4. Just today, I asked my librarian for some excellent examples of narrative non-fiction. I was surprised at how many I knew that were on the list. I guess I just never thought of them as non-fiction because the tales were so gripping.

    Speaking of adventures,, I added one more great review of your techno thriller. Keep ’em coming.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jacqui, you leave the Energizer Bunny in the dust! I am simply amazed by everything you accomplish, and still make time to post so many reviews. I’m a big fan of Robbie’s, so I jumped over from her reblog and am now following you as well.

    Thanks so much for sharing. I added ALL of these books to my TBR list – even tho’ I’ll probably be confined to a rocking chair by the time I get through the list – lol. So much to read, I’ll probably need to be confined to have the reading time I miss now. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      • Let’s hear it for non-fic authors (especially indies!)

        I have seen your gravitar on sites I visit, but something always got in the way of my clicking to investigate – before this anyway.

        The bulk of my reading is non-fiction, with a focus on neuroscience and neuropsychology – but a couple of people I follow (like D.G.Kaye) have written some [non-fiction] memoirs that are rising on my too long to contemplate seriously TBR list. 🙂

        The only downside of following YOU will be adding to that list when I read your reviews – lol 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

          • I used to believe I read rapidly, but when I read what people like you are able to power through I feel like a snail. 🙂

            For those with the patience to jump through the indie-pub tech requirements “this new publishing world” is a miracle indeed – opening floodgates formerly beyond doors closed to so many talented writers.

            We owe many thanks to the ongoing work and support of those who trail-blazed self-publishing.

            Liked by 1 person

    • You don’t–you’re right. I have a slew of non-fic books and an associated blog, but the community isn’t nearly as much fun as this one. OK, that came out wrong: They’re much quieter, not chatty, which is the ‘fun’ part!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Jacqui, thank you for including my book, “Why Are There Bullies and What Can You Do About Them.” I wanted to write a book for children and adults that provided questions for discussion before turning the page for answers to consider. I prefer the term target over victim which implies hopelessness. Also, I’ve included role playing scenarios with possible solutions that prepare the target for bullying situations.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. Jacqui, a great eclectic selection of non-fiction books reviewed with a lovely touch. I can see the one on bullying be useful for schools, pupils, teachers. Personally, the baking one caught my eye and if my son was younger one we would have spent many happy hours reading and baking! 😀 Wishing you a good weekend! 😀

    Liked by 4 people

      • Congrats, Andrew, on your 5-year clear! I’ve been clear for decades now – and for folks who don’t know, the 5-year mark is where cancer survival statistics change dramatically.

        As noted on my June Awareness calendar (which I do for each month), TOMORROW (June 4th, 2017 — 1st Sunday in June) is the 30th Annual National Cancer Survivors Day. Planning a party?

        As an American, I plan to celebrate it writing to the policy-makers and members of the Appropriations Committee advocating that the budget for medical research and health-related concerns be *increased* vs. the $billions proposed to be cut by the current administration.

        Onward and upward!
        (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
        ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
        “It takes a village to transform a world!”

        Liked by 2 people

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