Narcissistic Mothers: How to Identify Her Manipulative Behaviours and Finally Discover Your Inner Peace by Lilia Johnes

Nonfiction Book Review

Title: Narcissistic Mothers: How to Identify Her Manipulative Behaviours and Finally Discover Your Inner Peace
Author:  Lilia Johnes
Publisher: Independent
Released: February 17, 2023
Pages: 134
Stars: 4.0

Lilia Johnes has written a genuinely honest, poignant, and impactful book Narcissistic Mothers: How to Identify Her Manipulative Behaviours and Finally Discover Your Inner Peace, that not only defines and describes narcissistic personality disorder and narcissism itself but also what having a mother with that disorder did to her and could be doing to others.

The book is well-written and contains colour photographs, but I think the cover could have been more eye-catching. It includes a brief glossary of terms, references for articles on the internet (but no books), and image references.

I decided to read this book because my niece and nephew, who are twins, and the children of my deceased sister, found themselves at 15 years old with a narcissistic stepmother. This woman’s impact on their lives, and our family’s life, has been significant. So I wanted to understand as much as possible about this woman.

One of the most beneficial sections of this book for me was Chapter 3: The “F” Word—Forgive. Her insight here is remarkable: “… hardest thing to forgive is an apology that was never heard.” Forgiveness is complex and challenging but starts with self-forgiveness and alleviating negative self-talk. Johnes also discusses setting boundaries and asks us to deal with the possibility that we may never achieve love and affection from our narcissistic parent. Finally, she talks about quiet confidence, how to identify and develop it, how to handle confrontations, and explains the nature of trauma bonds.

Throughout the book, she speaks with knowledge, understanding, and compassion. As someone who had difficulty with boundaries and codependency in my youth, 20s, and 30s, I found this book to be not only on point but a constructive review of how to be the best, most confident person we can be without feeding the egos of those who feel they are more important. The most important thing we can do is concentrate on our healing and disengage from the negative dialogue between us when confronting a narcissistic person. It takes time to develop techniques to do so.

I have an overactive immune system in my late 50s, so I can tell you that holding on to trauma, fear, and anxiety about your relationships, will only do you harm because living in a state of flight or fight for an extended period takes its toll on your body as well as your mind. I have allowed my trauma to keep me from trusting men in romantic relationships, and I have been single my entire life. While I have some regrets about that, I have learned how to be quietly confident and to be my own best friend. Life is too short to be engaged in relationships that do not enhance your life. But healing cannot occur if healthy people do not adequately support us. Finding the right therapist for us may take some time, but it is time well spent. As the author states, those we love deserve a full and uncompromised version of us.

This book will be helpful if you have a narcissistic mother or are in a relationship with a narcissist. I will be passing it on to my niece.

A Brief History of Ukraine: A Singular People within the Crucibles of Empires by Dominic Haynes

Nonfiction Book Review

Title: A Brief History of Ukraine: A Singular People within the Crucibles of Empires
Author:  Dominic Haynes
Publisher: Independent
Released: April 13, 2022
Pages: 172
ISBN: 979-8802067925
Stars: 4.5

A Brief History of Ukraine: A Singular People within the Crucibles of Empires by Dominic Haynes is an absorbing overview of a beleaguered country with an indomitable spirit that continues to fight for its freedom and independence from Russia.

Because I cannot stomach watching or listening to the news regularly, I learn about world events through books, documentaries, and online articles. Therefore, I wanted to read this 30,000-word book to try to understand more about how Ukraine has found itself in the position it’s in today. (Also, my childhood friend’s husband is of Ukrainian descent.) Haynes has crafted a well-written, informative brief history of Ukraine that helps us understand precisely what the country has been up against and what has led to the current war with Russia.

It begins with the roots and origins of ancient Ukraine from 30,000 BCE to 800s CE and takes us all the way up to the 21st century to 2022 CE.

The book has a few typos but is engaging and easy to read. However, I would have found it very helpful if the book had included a map of Ukraine, preferably one from ancient times and one from modern-day Ukraine, so I wouldn’t have to keep referring to the Internet on my phone while reading it to pinpoint where the areas referred to are located.

I looked up many leaders and empires discussed in this book, beginning with the Trypillya. I knew nothing about Ukraine other than what I experienced at a traditional Ukrainian wedding reception I attended in Toronto many years ago and saw in Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations when Tony travelled to Ukraine in 2011 with his friend and travel companion Zamir Gotta who had ancestors from Crimea. Ukraine appeared to be a beautiful country, “Europe’s breadbasket,” rich in fertile lands, abundant culture, and strong, passionate people.

I love archaeology programs, historical movies, and television series, including those about Goths and Vikings, so I knew a bit about some historical figures, like Atilla the Hun, Ghengis Khan, and Catherine the Great. But I have never read Herodotus.

The book helps put Crimea and Belarus and their influence on Ukraine into perspective. We understand that Ukraine has always been ruled by other countries, including Lithuania, Poland, and Russia. Despite this, Ukraine has its own unique culture and identity that it continues to fight to retain.

As with the evolution of any country, religion plays a pivotal role and unfailingly leads to conflict. While I believe in a Higher Power, I think that more harm than good has come from organized religion and would not be upset if Roman Catholicism and all its offshoots were abolished. I also believe in personal sovereignty and that the medieval practice of serfdom must be wholly eradicated in order for its enslaved people to be free to choose how they want to live. In light of the current war between Russia and Ukraine that some think may lead to World War III, it is evident that most of the world believes that freedom from tyranny is worth fighting for.

“Dominic Haynes has a degree in Social Sciences from the University of Manchester, and his years of study have fueled a passion for independent research. He has a deep interest in history, and his degree marked the beginning of a lifetime of extensive study.” I would not hesitate to read other books by Dominic Haynes as he has written a series of A Brief History of books, including America, Canada, England, Portugal, and China.

How to Write a Compelling Memoir

Writing Tips

Memoirs are a potent tool for sharing personal experiences and lessons with others. They can be used to tell a wide range of stories, from overcoming adversity to learning valuable lessons to achieving great success. But if you want your memoir to be read and appreciated by others, it must be compelling and engaging. In this article, I will describe how to write a compelling memoir that people will want to read.

  • Start with a clear theme or purpose.

The most compelling memoirs have a clear theme or purpose that ties everything together. This theme should be meaningful and relatable to your readers. For example, if your memoir is about overcoming a difficult childhood, your theme might be resilience or the power of perseverance. On the other hand, if your memoir is about achieving success in your career, your theme might be hard work or determination.

When you have a clear theme or purpose, it will be easier to focus your story and ensure everything you write is relevant and captivating to your readers.

  • Use descriptive language.

Use descriptive language to make your memoir more engaging and appealing. This means using words and phrases that paint a picture in the reader’s mind. For example, instead of saying, “I was frightened,” you might say, “my heart was pounding in my chest, and I could feel sweat beading on my forehead.” This descriptive language will help your readers feel like they are right there with you, experiencing what you experienced.

  • Share your emotions.

Memoirs are often personal and emotional. Your readers will be more invested in your story if they can appreciate your emotions. This means being honest and vulnerable about how you felt during different parts of your story. Don’t be afraid to share your fears, doubts, and struggles. This will make your story more relatable and help readers connect with you more profoundly.

  • Use dialogue.

Dialogue is an effective tool for bringing your story to life and making it more engaging. It can help break up long blocks of text and allow your readers to feel like they are in the room with you when reading your story. When you use dialogue, make sure to use quotation marks and to indicate who is speaking. (Also, always put punctuation inside the quotation marks when writing dialogue.)

  • Show, don’t tell.

One of the most essential rules of writing is to “show, don’t tell.” This means you should show your readers what something is like instead of showing them. For example, instead of saying, “I was furious,” you might say, “I slammed my fist on the table and shouted at my boss.” This will help your readers to see and feel what it was like rather than just reading about it.

  • Use flashbacks and flash-forwards.

Memoirs often cover a lot of time, and keeping the story flowing smoothly can be difficult. To help with this, you can use flashbacks and flash-forwards. Flashbacks are when you go back in time to recount a tale from the past, and flash-forwards are when you jump ahead to give an account of the future. This can help to keep your story interesting and to give your readers a sense of how things have changed over time.

  • Edit and revise.

Once you have written your memoir, it’s crucial to take the time to edit and revise it. This means reading through your story and making changes to make it more precise, engaging, and absorbing. You should also have other people read your memoir and give you feedback. This will help you see where your story might be confusing or boring and allow you to make changes before publishing.

To sum up, writing a compelling memoir takes time, effort, and dedication. It’s essential to start with a clear theme or purpose, use descriptive language, share your emotions, use dialogue, show, don’t tell, use flashbacks and flash-forwards, and take the time to edit and revise your story. By following these tips, you can create an engaging, relatable, and meaningful memoir for your readers. Remember, your story is unique and valuable, and by sharing it with others, you can inspire, educate, and entertain them. So go ahead and start writing your memoir, and be proud of the journey you’ve taken.

How to Write with Clarity, Professionalism and Your Own Sense of Style

Nonfiction Writing

Writing with clarity and professionalism is an important skill to have in any profession. Whether you are writing a business report, a blog post, a research paper, or a nonfiction book, having the ability to communicate your ideas clearly and concisely is essential. Writing with your own sense of style is also important and can be a daunting task. Yes, it can be challenging to know where to start, but you can learn how to make sure that your writing is clear, professional, and still reflects your unique voice. By focusing on these simple tips and strategies, you will write with clarity, professionalism, and your own sense of style.

Let’s discuss some tips and strategies for writing with clarity and professionalism. First, it is essential to understand the purpose of your writing. Before you begin, take some time to consider what you want to accomplish with it. For example, are you trying to inform, persuade, or entertain your readers? Knowing the purpose of your writing will help you focus your thoughts, draft your main points, and create a clear and concise message. In addition, knowing who you are writing for will help you to tailor your writing to their needs and interests. Once you clearly understand the purpose of your writing and who you are writing for, it is time to start writing.

When writing, it is essential to use simple language. Avoid jargon or overly complex words, as this will help to ensure that your writing is clear and easy to understand. Also, be aware of the tone of your writing. Professional writing should be formal and polite while conveying your message clearly. Be mindful of any potential biases or assumptions that you may have when writing. Awareness of these potential biases will help ensure that your writing is fair and unbiased. These things will help ensure that your message is clear and concise.

It is vital to use active voice when writing. Active voice is when the subject of the sentence is performing the action. For example, “We are going to a concert tonight” is an example of active voice. Using active voice will help make your writing more direct and easier to understand.

It is also important to use short sentences and paragraphs. Long sentences and paragraphs can be challenging to read and can make your writing seem cluttered. Sometimes it is acceptable to use a longer sentence but read your writing out loud to measure its fluidity. Is your tongue tripping as you read it? Are you gasping for breath to get the words out? If so, consider that your sentence is too long. Shorter sentences can often be more impactful. So instead, use short sentences and paragraphs that are easy to read and understand. This will help ensure that your message is clear and concise.

Make sure your writing reflects your unique style by using your own words and phrasing and incorporating your personal experiences and opinions. Be diplomatic, and avoid profanity, but don’t be afraid to hold back. For example, add your emphasis in italics. And if your original voice rambles on with run-on sentences, reconsider!

You must use correct grammar and punctuation or have a copy editor edit your work if grammar and punctuation are not your strong suit. Grammar and punctuation mistakes can make your writing seem unprofessional and sloppy. Always proofread your work. Use an editing aid like Grammarly, ProWriting Aid or Ginger to help you. This will help ensure correct grammar and punctuation and that your writing is clear and professional, and it will save you money when it’s time to hire an editor.

Use visuals when relevant and possible. For example, visuals such as charts, graphs, diagrams, sketches and photographs can help make your writing more engaging and easier to understand. Using visuals can also help break up long blocks of text and make your writing more visually appealing.

Finally, it is crucial to be consistent with your writing style. Make sure you use the same tone and style throughout your writing, and consider using The Chicago Manual of Style as a style guide to keep you consistent. This will also help ensure that your writing is clear and professional.

Writing with clarity, professionalism, and a unique sense of style is crucial in any profession. Understand the purpose of your writing, consider your audience, use active voice, short sentences and simple language. Also, be aware of the tone of your writing and its phrasing, and use correct grammar, punctuation, visuals and a consistent tone and style that incorporates your unique voice. If you do this, you can ensure that your writing is clear, professional, and reflects your own sense of style.

If you need a copy editor or proofreader for your work, consider Bodacious Copy!