RaveUSA Today\"Tara Westover is living proof that some people are flat-out, boots-always-laced-up indomitable. Her new book is a heartbreaking, heartwarming, best-in-years memoir about striding beyond the limitations of birth and environment into a better life.\
PositiveUSA TodayThis tough-to-put-down book by Anthony Doerr proves its worth page after lyrical page as young Marie Laure, in the company of her father and a mysterious gem, flees Paris to take up residence in her troubled uncle's seaside home, and young Werner is indoctrinated by the Nazis … Each and every person in this finely spun assemblage is distinct and true. All, even the most heroic and likable, are flawed in some way, as real people are (and people in novels often are not). Most are utterly unforgettable, long after the last page has been turned.
MixedUSA TodayThis is no easy-stroll primer. Well-researched (complete with citations and footnotes), it is a deep dive into the horrors of how the mentally ill have been treated over the centuries, told with a decided point of view — one that rarely entertains the notion that others might see things differently ... One wonders, however, if in this era of harsh discourse, when many are growing weary of us-and-them arguments and pronouncements that allow for no middle ground, this level of tenacious condescension will help secure the allies he seeks in his somewhat encouraging final chapter.
RaveUSA TodayRelentlessly honest and surprisingly funny (in parts), the book is also an energetically researched history of this drug ... Although hers was a journey few will take, A Really Good Day reads almost like an Everywoman’s experience, because Waldman's fears and reactions are so commonplace. She is so likable in her flaws and her determination that it's a relief to learn that the microdoses (or possibly her therapy sessions or maybe even a placebo effect, she acknowledges) allowed enough of a head shift that her life has become easier, lighter. She had the courage, the credentials and the insight to make this journey and tell us about it. They all add up to a fine read.
Mary Mann Hamilton
PositiveUSA Today...there’s not a whiff of self-aggrandizement or a hint of a woe-is-me mindset — a welcome departure from many of today’s memoirs. With every sentence, she indicates she believes her life was as routine as spring dandelions and as unremarkable as water flowing downhill ... underscores the huge power of unvarnished storytelling. And it reminds us of a time when even those who were uneducated could compel us.
PanUSA TodayThere are interesting stories about Steven as a teen during the Holocaust and his subsequent adventures in Denmark and South America ... But some of the historical research, though impressive, seems a stretch relevance-wise and is far more detailed than any but the most passionate family-tree searcher would regard as interesting. It’s understandable that not every thread is neatly tied or every question fully answered. In the end, though, In the Darkroom fails to shed real light.