Category: Daily Devotions of Inspiration from Life

Non-Fiction Book Review | “Looking to the Stars from Old Algiers and Other Long Stories Short” by Jan Risher

Posted Saturday, 29 December, 2018 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a part of the blog tour for this unique collection of stories hosted by iRead Book Tours. I haven’t been reviewing or hosting iRead authors in quite a long while – for most of the year, outside of the fact I did host the Marilyn Wilson blog tour as it was her second release. I couldn’t find stories which excited me to read and/or there were a heap which I felt would fit other readers better than they would my own readerly inclinations. When I came across ‘Old Algiers’ I thought it was such an interesting collection of personal history, experience, reflective insight and philosophical enquiry – it was something I was keenly looking forward to reading.

I received a complimentary copy of Looking to the Stars from Old Algiers direct from the author Jan Risher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

On why I was eager for this book & how life interfered with my plans in

reading ‘Looking to the Stars from Old Algiers’:

When I first learnt about this collection of stories – I thought it would be wicked interesting to read which is why I was excited about signing on for the blog tour! I had wanted to read the stories and curate a conversation with the author to coincide with my review, however, a few things ended up derailing all my lovely plans for this blog tour – which is in effect, why I am posting off-tour instead. In fact, I’ve been attempting to get this review put to order since a week ago Friday, except to say, my physical unwellness has been a bit extreme these past three weeks ever since I came down with a beast of a Winter virus. Secondly, my father had a medical emergency where we spent 4+ hours in the ER which rattled my nerves and my emotions never did quite settle down that particular week until the start of the next one. My father, is fine – thankfully, the fall was not serious but we had to ensure it was nothing major as Thanksgiving weekend marked his 2nd year past his stroke.

To return back into reading, I had to wait til a) my health was less stricken and b) my mind could re-attach into reading and blogging. It wasn’t until Sunday (last weekend) where I felt well enough to resume where I had left off with a lot of different stories but my return has been slow going which is why my posts are populating at a bit of an odd rate of progression. This review is one I wanted to finish earlier in the week, but I’ve literally been plagued with health issues and honestly, it took extra time to compose.

Having said that, I decided to make my journey into this book a bit uniquely different than most readers might have approached it. I knew in my heart I couldn’t traditionally read this start to finish, as I just didn’t have the capacity to do that right now – therefore, I hope you’ll enjoy the notes, ruminative reflections and takeaways I am sharing on behalf of Old Algiers!

Likewise, I am hoping my note of apology reached the author – somehow, for whichever reason, life became a bit of a determining factor of how I was unable to release this review in step with the blog tour itself whilst I had to realise also, the conversation would have to remain unknown as just to get this featured before the New Year I felt was more priority after having missed the blog tour.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Non-Fiction Book Review | “Looking to the Stars from Old Algiers and Other Long Stories Short” by Jan RisherLooking to the Stars from Old Algiers
Subtitle: And Other Long Stories Short
by Jan Risher
Source: Author via iRead Book Tours

Jan Risher took the long way to get from Mississippi to Louisiana with stops in between in Slovakia, Mexica, China, Burkina Faso and more than 40 other countries. Since moving to Louisiana, she has been a Sunday columnist for The Daily Advertiser and has written a column every single Sunday since 2002.

Looking to the Stars from Old Algiers and Other Long Stories Short is the collection of columns written over 15 years. Arranged in chronological order, the collection creates a narrative of one woman's aim to build her family, build up her community and weave the stories and lessons learned from the past into the present.

From her family's move to Louisiana, adoption of a daughter from China, covering Hurricane Katrina, travels near and far, author Jan Risher attempts, sometimes failing and sometimes succeeding, to do her small part to make the world a better place.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781946160331

Genres: Anthology Collection of Short Stories and/or Essays, Biography / Autobiography, Non-Fiction, Short Story or Novella


Published by Lafayette Press, Sans Souci Books, University of Louisiana

on 11th September, 2018

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 312

Published by: Sans Souci Books

an imprint of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press

Formats Available: Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #NonFiction & #ShortStories

About Jan Risher

Jan Risher

Jan Risher is an award-winning journalist and investigative reporter. She was managing editor of The Times of Acadiana. Before and after her time as a full-time journalist, she was an English teacher. She has taught English near and far, in its most basic and most lyrical forms. She continues her career as a freelance writer and now owns Shift Key, a content marketing and public relations firm. She, her husband and their two daughters have made their home on the banks of the Vermilion River.

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Posted Saturday, 29 December, 2018 by jorielov in Anthology Collection of Stories, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Daily Devotions of Inspiration from Life, Equality In Literature, Indie Author, iRead Book Tours, Memoir, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Motherhood | Parenthood, Non-Fiction, Orphans & Guardians, Philosophical Intuitiveness, Publishing Industry & Trade, Short Stories or Essays, Sociological Behavior, Sociology, Stories of Adoption, Travelogue, Vignettes of Real Life

Blog Book Tour | “3,000 Miles to Eternity: A true internet love story” by Duane & Selena Pannell Otherwise known as “the book!” Jorie has been happily chattering about for over a month!

Posted Monday, 13 July, 2015 by jorielov , , , 3 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Cedar Fort whereupon I am thankful to have such a diverse amount of novels and non-fiction titles to choose amongst to host. I received a complimentary copy of “3,000 Miles to Eternity” direct from the publisher CFI (imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

An apology on the delayed posting:

I was originally scheduled to post my review on the 12th of July – a date I knew would give me a heap of lead-way to post my thoughts and ruminations because I honestly couldn’t wait to dive straight into reading this book! I started at least two weeks early, which for me was a bit of a luxury as I tend to run into my deadlines or stay so close on top of them, that it doesn’t give me flexibility on the hours I can give the stories.

I never would have felt severe lightning storms would have taken me offline nor given me the grievances they had where being online was not even an option! Imagine my shock, as I was about to settle into blogging the rest of my thoughts this Monday eve, when the phone rings alerting that there is a major water crisis and all water is turnt off! Turnt off? Oy vie. First it’s the electricity, now it’s the water! Talk about when it rains it pours down in spades!

Thankfully, I can continue to curl inside #3000MilesToEternity, blog my joy about what I’m finding inside, and have my worries about my tardiness put aside knowing the authors are understanding of these little hiccups that disrupt our lives! I truly was thankful for their understanding and seriously hope that everyone I’ve been chatting too about this real-life love story (both online and off) will enjoy reading this post!

I was happily surprised to find my ‘tweets’ quoted on the Pannell’s wicked new site for #3000MilesToEternity! Inasmuch as finding that they found a way to ‘pin’ a tweet correspondence of mine to their Twitter account! It’s nice being able to relate to author(s) how your enjoying the beauty of what they left behind for you to devour on the page!

(this was the one they pinned)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com Epistolary | Letters & Correspondances | a passion of mine:

You may or may not have stumbled across my review of Letters from Skye in which I articulated a definitive passion for letters and correspondences; or perhaps, you might not have realised I broached the subject again on my review of Lemongrass Hope. It was within my review of Seven Letters from Paris I first had my taste of a memoir writ in a style of love for Epistolary loveliness and it gave birth to a newfound joy of finding real-life love stories interwoven with a throwback to communicating via the not-as-lost-art of corresponding over long distances! You’ll also take note of the growth I went through as a book blogger as these posts arch back over a shortened history of my past two years I’ve blogged my bookish ruminations. A smaller nod to this side of my life is contained in the threaded index of Postal Mail | Letters and Correspondences (which will continue to expand).

It was an original hope of mine to bridge the gap between my non-bookish interests and the world of stories on my blog, however, time has escaped past me and this still remains a fervent goal. For you see, I’ve been a correspondent since I was quite a young girl and communicating via postal letters and correspondences is a true joy I’ve had the pleasure of having in my life. Knitting together your innermost thoughts and conveying a slice of your life inside the bolt lock of a letter is a true experiment in giving a piece of yourself to an encapsulated vessel of friendship and casting it out into the world to ride the four winds and sail into a postbox of a dearly cherished friend. Start to finish, letter-writing is not something straight out of 19th Century England nor a dying age of inked pens and stationery, but a pure joy of tactile connection and a slower paced conversation where time isn’t inking off the clock but rather has become suspended and elongated.

It strikes to reason that friendships formed through correspondence can lead to romance, as women are not the only letter-writers out there nor are they the only ones who have picked up the creative side of it through artistic experimentation via mixed media art collages and mail art. Men such as Tim Holtz are changing the way art is visually seen and understood within the mixed media realms, but it’s bloggers like The Missive Maven (@MissiveMaven) who are truly championing us all and giving us a nexus point to interconnect.

If I were to dream, I’d love to start to integrate pieces of this culture into my blog, as I’m a mixed media collage artist who fancies curating mail art (especially being rather artsy with her envelopes!) and using Indie Artists who create original stationery (sold on Etsy) as her vehicle of choice to carry her words abroad. There are a wicked lot of resources I can share as time shifts forward but for now, I have only been giving out a petering amount of information as I was not as sure to the timing of bringing this part of my life into the forefront of my non-bookish blog posts. To a greater extent, I’m a future typosphere blogger as well, because the logo for “The Ethical Treatment of Typewriters” is a bit of a clue to the fact I’m a bonefide vintage typewriter enthusiast!

However, this nonfiction love story has a very modern twist to the style of correspondence I have a penchant for myself – the Pannells met online and thereby their entire exchange took place in the netherspace of the internet. I, too, have embraced email and electronic ecards (trusting Jacquie Lawson above all others) but try as I might, my attempts to carry-on a friendship solely through electronic means has not always ended well for me. This is in part my main inspiration for wanting to read a true-life success story where lives were changed and a romance was sparked out of that curious little sphere between where friendship begins and love knits together a connection two souls might not have felt would have been possible if their paths hadn’t crossed inside those little spurts of words and conversation.

As an aside, my absolute favourite letter orientated motion picture is truly the composite for this real story: You’ve Got Mail. There is a heap amount of hope for all of us who are seeking a real-life romance by reading stories such as these and for embracing the unexpected of where communicating through alternative means of conversation can lead to something quite serendipitous.

Footnote:

During my first Twitter chat involving #bringbackpaper hosted by the lovely Jocelyn (@ReadingRes) I had a secondary convo about this lovely book with fellow letter-writers! You can gather the gist by viewing this twitterverse capture of that convo! What I found inside that wicked awesome chat was an incredible network of like-minded individuals who love letters & correspondences as much as I do myself! So much so, I have active plans to pick up the momentum next month and make a more regular impression on their activities and meet-ups! The creator behind this movement has a compliment feature on her blog simply stated: Read. Write. Create. wherein your meant to find *balance!* between reading books, your personal writerly pursuits (i.e. fiction, poetry, journalling, etc. not book blogging per se!) and creating art. I definitely want to take up the torch as I miss my knitting UFOs (Un.Finished O.jects) and my mail art!

It felt like I had found people I could relate too who share my mutual passion for the creative arts in which I enjoy outside of book blogging and reading. I hope the ones I share the link with on this book will see why I was inspired to draw their eye on it’s release!

Blog Book Tour | “3,000 Miles to Eternity: A true internet love story” by Duane & Selena Pannell Otherwise known as “the book!” Jorie has been happily chattering about for over a month!3,000 Miles to Eternity: A True Internet Love Story
by Duane and Selena Pannell
Source: Direct from Publisher
But . . . what if?

What if two people who were meant to be together for eternity had to live their earthly lives separate for many years? And what if when they did finally meet, they were a little broken and the miles apart helped them ease into their destiny together?

Years before online dating became a respectable option, two broken and imperfect souls digitally crossed paths on their journey back to God. Join PapaBear38 (Duane) and Moongoddess (Selena) as they share the emails and the notes that eventually brought them together.

Unafraid to dig deep, this fascinating love story is a book you won't be able to stop reading. From the first page, you'll find yourself smiling, laughing, and maybe shedding a few tears as you see the hand of God in their lives. Engaging and entertaining, this book is the perfect reminder of the power of God's love, redemption, and hope.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781462116317

Genres: Epistolary | Letters & Correspondences, Memoir, Non-Fiction


Published by CFI (imprint) Cedar Fort Inc

on 14th July, 2015

Format: Paperback

Pages: 272

Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Published By: CFI (imprint) of Cedar Fort Inc (@CedarFortBooks),

an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFortBooks)

Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Read a sample of Duane & Selena’s journal entries | via 3000MilesToEternity.com

Read their interview about the book | via Debra’s Book Cafe

Converse on Twitter via:

#3000MilesToEternity, #RealLifeRomance, #NonFic, #Epistolary

#Memoir, & #ChristianNonFiction OR #LDS nonfiction

About Duane and Selena Pannell

DUANE AND SELENA PANNELL “met” online while living in Virginia and Alberta, Canada. After a complicated long-distance relationship spanning four years, they married and have a son together. Their first book is borne of yet another separation in their lives when Selena was in Alberta for several months in 2013 with her dying father.

Duane was going through their old correspondence because he is a “mushy man” and thought this was a story worth telling. After some coaxing, he convinced Selena, and with a little help from googledocs, they began their collaboration on “3,000 Miles To Eternity.”

Today they serve as missionary group leaders in the LDS (Mormon) Addiction Recovery Program where they lead two 12 Step meetings a week. Duane is putting the final touches on a manuscript addressing addiction recovery while Selena homeschools their son and teaches archery in her spare time.

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Posted Monday, 13 July, 2015 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, A Father's Heart, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Contemporary Romance, Cultural & Religious Traditions, Daily Devotions of Inspiration from Life, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Diary Accountment of Life, Disillusionment in Marriage, Divorce & Martial Strife, Drugs & Alcohol, Epistolary Novel | Non-Fiction, Family Drama, Family Life, Humour & Satire in Fiction / Non Fiction, Indie Author, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Journal, Lessons from Scripture, Life of Thirty-Somethings, Life Shift, Memoir, Mental Health, Modern Day, Mormonism, Motherhood | Parenthood, Non-Fiction, Philosophical Intuitiveness, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Short Stories or Essays, Single Fathers, Single Mothers, Singletons & Commitment, Small Towne Fiction, Spirituality & Metaphysics, Story in Diary-Style Format, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Vignettes of Real Life, Women's Fiction