Flying Alone: A Memoir by Beth Ruggiero York {Book Review}

Beth Ruggiero York

Flying Alone by Beth Ruggiero York

Book Summary:

“From the time she was a teenager, Beth knew she wanted to fly, and a solo trip across the country to visit family confirmed her aspirations of becoming a pilot. But her dreams were almost grounded before they could take off when she received the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis at the age of 22.

Beth vowed that this new challenge would not put restrictions on her life and embarked on a journey to become an airline pilot. Starting at the small local airport, the aviation world swallowed her whole, and the next five years of her life were as turbulent as an airplane in a thunderstorm, never knowing when, how or if she would emerge.

An agonizing love affair with her flight instructor, dangerous risks in the sky and flying broken airplanes for shady companies all intertwined to define her road to the airlines, eventually being hired by Trans World Airlines in 1989.

Flying Alone outlines the struggles and the challenges of civil aviation that Beth faced 30 years ago.

Ultimately a story of survival and overcoming overwhelming odds, Flying Alone is told with soul-baring candor, taking readers on a suspenseful journey through terror, romance and victory.”

Publication Date:

September 14th, 2019

Genre:

Memoir

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My Review:

Genevieve Trono Gen The Bookworm

Link to Flying Alone by Beth Ruggiero

I have always been a huge fan of memoirs. I think there is such a power and connection with sharing our stories and so I was delighted to receive an advanced copy of Beth Ruggiero York’s Flying Alone. In Flying Alone, York brings us through the highs and lows of her early professional life in her journey to become an airline pilot in a male-dominated industry.

About the Author:

Beth Ruggiero York is a former airline pilot for Trans World Airlines. She entered the world of civil aviation in 1984 shortly after graduating from college and, for the next five years, climbed the ladder to her ultimate goal of flying for a major airline. Beth now has dual careers–Chinese translation and professional photography. She teaches photography workshops for Arizona Highways PhotoScapes and her own company, Ruggiero Images LLC. She and her husband live in Fountain Hills, AZ.

While this book is focused a lot on her goals in aviation, it is so much more than that. We follow York as she faces many obstacles within and outside the commercial airline world. I loved seeing York’s personal growth as she faced many obstacles both personally and professionally.

Her voice is relatable and I loved that while she was faced with many roadblocks in her quest, she pushed on and her resilience shined through. This is an honest account of the trials and tribulations she has faced and I so appreciated that she was raw and real about the real challenges she faced wtih her medical challenges and sometimes turbulent personal life.

In addition, Flying Alone was a fascinating look at the commercial aircraft industry and how much it has changed over the last few decades. This was an informative read for me as I am not someone who knows a lot about this the aviation world. I found York’s tenacity and ability to share the ups and downs of her life inspiring and if you like reading memoirs I think you would enjoy reading Flying Alone too.

Thank you to FSB Associates for an advanced copy of Flying Alone. 

Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella | Random House Dial Press {Book Review}

Sophie Kinsella Shopaholic Series

Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

Book Summary:

“’Tis the season for change and Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) is embracing it, returning from the States to live in the charming village of Letherby and working with her best friend, Suze, in the gift shop of Suze’s stately home. Life is good, especially now that Becky takes time every day for mindfulness . . . which actually means listening to a meditation tape while hunting down online bargains.

But Becky still adores the traditions of Christmas: Her parents host, carols play on repeat, her mother pretends she made the Christmas pudding, and the neighbors come ’round for sherry in their terrible holiday sweaters. Things are looking cheerier than ever until Becky’s parents announce they’re moving to ultra-trendy Shoreditch—unable to resist the draw of craft beer and smashed avocados—and ask Becky if she’ll host this year. What could possibly go wrong?

Her sister demands a vegan turkey, her husband insists that he just wants aftershave—again, and little Minnie demands a very specific picnic hamper: Surely Becky can manage all this, as well as the surprise appearance of an old-boyfriend-turned-rock-star and his pushy new girlfriend, whose motives are far from clear. But as the countdown to Christmas begins and her big-hearted plans take an unexpected turn toward disaster, Becky starts to wonder if chaos will ensue, or if she’ll manage to bring comfort and joy to Christmas after all.”

Publication Date:

October 15th, 2019

Genre:

Holiday/Humorous Fiction

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My Review:

Sophie Kinsella

I have such wonderful reading memories of the Sophie Kinsella Shopaholic books and it was one of the first series that I really got into as an adult reader in the early 2000s. It was so fun to reconnect with Becky in Christmas Shopaholic and see what she is up to now all these years later. Becky Bloomwood (now Becky Brandon) has matured and grown in many ways and is now juggling life as both a wife and mother.

While Becky has changed in many ways, her shopping habits and overthinking just about everything has not… which always was part of the charming appeal of these lighthearted booked. Christmas Shopaholic was a wonderful addition to this collection and it was the perfect weekend read to curl up with on the couch. We get to see Becky take on hosting Christmas for the very first time and there was plenty of laugh out loud moments.

Becky is flawed but completely lovable and you can’t help but root along for her while also being highly entertained. While this is part of a series, Kinsella created a book that can also be read as a stand-alone book, although it might intrigue you to read the rest of them after.

Thank you to NetGalley, Random House, and The Dial Press for an advanced copy.

The Antidote for Everything by Kimmery Martin | Berkley Publishing {Book Review}

The Antidote for Everything book review

The Antidote for Everything by Kimmery Martin

Book Summary:

“In this whip-smart and timely novel from acclaimed author Kimmery Martin, two doctors travel a surprising path when they must choose between treating their patients and keeping their jobs.
 
Georgia Brown’s profession as a urologist requires her to interact with plenty of naked men, but her romantic prospects have fizzled. The most important person in her life is her friend Jonah Tsukada, a funny, empathetic family medicine doctor who works at the same hospital in Charleston, South Carolina and who has become as close as family to her.

Just after Georgia leaves the country for a medical conference, Jonah shares startling news. The hospital is instructing doctors to stop providing medical care for transgender patients. Jonah, a gay man, is the first to be fired when he refuses to abandon his patients. Stunned by the predicament of her closest friend, Georgia’s natural instinct is to fight alongside him. But when her attempts to address the situation result in incalculable harm, both Georgia and Jonah find themselves facing the loss of much more than their careers.”

Publication Date:

February 18th, 2019

Genre:

Medical Fiction

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

My Review:

The Queen of Hearts and The Antidote for Everything

I was very intrigued by this book after reading Kimmery Martins’ debut novel The Queen of Hearts. While I enjoyed a lot of the storyline, I struggled with some of the stereotypical language the author chose to include when describing some of the patients and it was off-putting as the reader.

When I read the premise of The Antidote for Everything I was very curious to see how she would handle a topic that is important but also something that I hoped would be spoken about with compassion and understanding. The Antidote for Everything takes on the issue of discrimination against members of the LGBTQ community specifically in the healthcare world.

I applaud Martin for taking on this highly relevant and important topic and it did seem as though she did her research to connect with people who are actually living this (because yes, this does still happen and without legal ramifications in place!)

This is a medical drama written by someone who obviously knows her stuff as she is a medical doctor herself. There is a certain amount of medical jargon throughout the book but not so much that someone that doesn’t work in this field would feel completely confused.

As far as the connection with the characters, that is where it got a little lost for me. I often long for more backstory and I just wanted a little more and to feel more of an understanding of who they were as individuals and in relation to one another. I felt strongly about the topic but unfortunately, things feel a little flat with the actual plotline because I felt I was analyzing things more than getting fully pulled into the writing.

So I have mixed feelings about the Antidote for Everything. It was an intriguing storyline that just lacked a strong connection with the characters for me. I do appreciate that she took on this highly relevant and timely topic that hopefully will help raise awareness of something that is still going on right now in our non-fictional world.

Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for an advanced copy. All opinions are my own.