Signs of (a) Life by Liam Samolis

OK, women, here it is!

Finally, a gut honest personal journal written by a man that hits the pages of Signs of (a) Life with both serious and laugh-out-loud stories.

To begin with, Liam speaks of issues that we can all relate to as we stand in front of a mirror and are surprised to see the older, graying image of someone we barely recognize staring back.

Liam states this right off the bat, “Warning: this book contains within it accounts of real conversations which may therefore occasionally include naughty words and rude phrases. I’ve even made up some words of my own. That’s the real world for you.”

Within the 502 pages and 61 topics this author presents his half century of life experiences in a relaxed, well thought out format that lets the readers empathize with him. His stories involve experiences not just a man, but as a boy. Very few men will bare their souls to share experiences of awkwardness while moving from childhood into manhood. Liam shares some of his experiences while attending a single-sex school for boys. He shares his discovery of girls, cars and various medical issues.

Some of the most interesting stories involve his experiences as a police officer in England. The most touching are his stories about the birth of his children. Liam dedicates this book to his children.

I invite you to come laugh and cry with Liam Samolis as we wait to see what happens in his next fifty years of living.

I leave you with this quote from Liam. “Like the vast majority of men; I feel. I enjoy (which, by the way, seems to be an ‘allowed’ emotion), I grieve, I feel sad, I feel hurt. I screw up. At times I am emotionally vulnerable. And there is nothing – to my mind – remotely un-masculine about any of that; feeling is part of living – an integral part. In fact for me, feeling is THE essential part of living. Feeling can never be wrong in principle (because it simply happens without conscious intention) – and neither can displaying or being honest about our emotions. Being overtaken by emotions in a situation where action is necessary could, of course, be problematic, but feeling and showing our feelings is essential in the long term for our personal health. I wonder how much happier many men could be if their emotions were not effectively under lock and key? Hey – that almost rhymes.”

Theodocia McLean endorses Signs of (a) Life by Liam Samolis as the honest account of a man living his life with all the human emotions that men typically try to avoid speaking about. This review was completed on October 18, 2015.

Genre: Biographies & Memoirs, Memoirs, Nonfiction

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Within Her Grasp by Joanne Simon Tailele

Mari-Rae Sopper knew what she wanted to be since she was ten-years-old, when she watched Nadia Comãneci score that “perfect ten” at the Montreal Olympics. She wanted to be a professional gymnast. So she made a plan.

Driven by excellence and determination, “Mari-Rae put Fremd on the map,” according to Larry Petrillo, her high school coach. She moved on to be a formidable opponent in college gymnasts at Iowa State University and an impressive defense attorney for the Navy JAG core.

Within Her Grasp chronicles Mari-Rae’s journey to reach her dream while battling emotional issues that soared her to the skies and plunged her into the depths of despair, drove her to veer from her plan, but never from her dream.

“A beautiful thing about Mari-Rae was that she did more than get upset when she saw injustice – she acted on many of her convictions. She had an undying belief in doing the right thing, regardless of mainstream thinking.” Jennifer Eichenmueller

“Mari-Rae was known for a dramatic flair. Her letters were no postcards – five pages front and back, hand-written and smeared because she was a lefty. They were her manifestos, read and re-read with notes in the margins, until they were perfect, because she wanted you to know exactly where she stood. And that’s what we could count on, her honest opinion.” Dave Eck

“She lived her life basically like she wasn’t going to be here tomorrow. If she believed in something, she went all the way, and I think if more people did that, they’d be happier.” Mari-Rae’s mother, Marion Kminek

Genre: Biography

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