All I Can Handle: I’m No Mother Teresa – by Kim Stagliano (2010)

All I Can Handle
If you have ever wondered what life is like with an autistic child, this is the book to read. In “All I Can Handle”, Kim Stagliano describes her life with not one, but three autistic daughters. She has a frank manner of speaking that may come across as too opinionated or even offensive in spots, but keep reading. This mom is courageous enough to let you see many intimate parts of their family life. Would you or I be able to handle three autistic children day in and day out, for years, with no end in sight? Probably not.

The subject of childhood vaccinations and their connection to autism pops up many times in the book. This is still a hotly debated topic, but the author makes her point with passion and wit.
Excerpt from page 21:

At her two-month checkup she also began her routine childhood vaccinations. She was given her hepatitis-B vaccination (along with a bonus 12.5 micrograms of mercury that I never suspected in a trillion years would be in anything given to babies)… She got five more vaccines during this visit as well: polio, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (DTaP), and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib). Pediatricians call them “well visits”.


The Splitting Storm – by Rene Gutteridge (2004)

The Splitting Storm


“The Splitting Storm” follows the prequel “The Gathering Storm”. The novel begins with Mick Kline, FBI special agent, trying to determine who killed his brother Aaron. There doesn’t seem to be any motive for the murder, and there are no leads in the case. But Mick is not a man to sit back and wait for someone else to solve the case.

I enjoyed the psychological aspect to this novel. The mind is an infinitely complex organ, one that can be used for brilliance or for great harm. The story reminded me that while we can try to guess what’s going on inside someone’s head, only God truly sees the pain each person has been through, and what thoughts are in their mind.
Excerpt from page 93:

Mick’s jaw tightened at the thought. Guilt for simply being alive beckoned him into deeper sorrow. Aaron had always been the good son. The son of integrity. The man whom everyone looked up to. Including Mick, through it took years for Mick to admit it. Mick owed so much to his brother, and now the most he could do for him was find out who took his life. It would do nothing but provide justice, which was obsolete to a man who no longer breathed.

Storm Gathering – by Rene Gutteridge (2005)

Storm Gathering


“Storm Gathering” is a tale of two brothers, Mick and Aaron. All his life Mick has thought of Aaron as the “good” brother, the one with a successful career in the local police force, the one who married the woman he wanted. Mick sees himself as the “bad” brother”, the one who came back from Vietnam with nightmares and a drinking problem. Aaron is a man of faith, but Mick is angry with the Almighty for the way his life turned out.

One evening Mick finds a young woman – Taylor – that he really feels comfortable talking with. He goes home with her, and wakes up to find himself lying on the floor and Taylor missing. It isn’t long before he is accused of kidnapping her. Mick will do anything to prove his total innocence, including conducting his own investigation and becoming a fugitive. Fortunately, Mick has God and a cop named Shep looking out for him.

Note: This book is a prequel to the novel “The Splitting Storm”

At Close Of Day – by Joseph Bentz (2003)

At Close Of Day


Hugh is a guy who is having a hard time – a heart attack ten years ago, followed by another, then a stroke six months back, then two more. He’s in the hospital recovering, and his three daughters are all thinking that it might be time for their parents to give up the house and move into some sort of assisted living. But Hugh is not about to go along with the plan quietly, and inadvertently blurts out a secret he’s kept for over fifty years.

The author lets us see into the mind of every character in the story. Each chapter is seen through the eyes of a different character – ornery Hugh, his devoted wife Vonnie, or one of the kids. The personalities of the family members are so varied that they are constantly clashing. The conversations are often hilarious, and everyone can find some member of the family that they identify with. In the end, their love for each other brings them back together.

Excerpt from pages 12-13:

Now, every time I visit, I make him tell me who I am, which bugs him no end. I also test him with other questions, like what day it is, or what year it is. Last night he retaliated by pelting me with questions the minute I walked into the room. He really loved it. You could see him perk up the minute he saw me. “Who’s the president?” he yelled so loud they could hear him all the way down the hall. “What month is it? What planet are we on? What’s the square root of seven hundred? When was the last time you had a bowel movement?”…

When Dad and I played our little question game, Mom waved her arms back and forth to try to quiet us, but we ignored her. Then my sister Pam stepped in to take Mom’s side. Pam doesn’t usually like to mess with me directly, so she turned to Dad instead and said, “Settle down, Dad. The doctor said you’re not supposed to get all riled.”

“He’s not allowed to talk?” I asked.

“Bellowing down the hall is not talking,” Pam snipped.

Mom said, “Don’t you know there’s sick people in this hospital? You don’t have to create a ruckus.”

In The Kingdom Of The Sick – by Laurie Edwards (2013)

In The Kingdom Of The Sick


We are living in wonderful times, medically speaking. The use of vaccinations, antibiotics, high-tech testing, and advanced surgery options have spared many from the early deaths that people in the early 1900s experienced. But now we have moved on to the age of chronic illness. It seems that everywhere you turn, people are struggling with both common and unusual diseases and syndromes.

The battle is on to try to conquer these illnesses and diseases. Often, there is not a total cure, but rather treatments that attempt to keep the symptoms under control so the individual can have a normal life. The author herself battles several chronic illnesses and requires much medical intervention to be able to work and function normally.

The book covers changing attitudes over the years in regards to sickness and disease, different causes of chronic illness, the development of patients’ rights, disability laws, the AIDS epidemic, raising money to research cures/treatments, fibromyalgia, Lyme disease, and other topics. This book demonstrates how widespread chronic illness is in our society.

Excerpt from page 11:

“Chronic illness affects nearly 50 percent of the population. By the year 2025, it is estimated that chronic illness will affect some 164 million Americans. Some of the most common are heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and asthma, but that list is by no means exhaustive. Arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, and thousands of other diseases cause ongoing symptoms and are treatable but not curable. Chronic illness is the leading cause of death and disability in this country, with seven out of every ten deaths attributed to chronic diseases. Eighty-one percent of hospital admissions are a result of chronic illness, as are 76 percent of all physician visits. These statistics come with a hefty price tag, too; 75 percent of a staggering $2 trillion in health care costs in 2005 came from chronic diseases. “


The Eye Of Moloch – by Glenn Beck (2013)

The Eye Of Moloch
What do you do when life has kicked you down over and over, the world is against you, and your hope is gone? You retreat to lick your wounds, rest for a bit, then re-group to decide whether it’s worth doing battle again.

This is the condition at the beginning of “The Eye Of Moloch”. Six months have passed since the end of “The Overton Window”. The band of Founders’ Keepers is a defeated group. The fire seems to have gone out. But from the ashes of despair comes a small spark that re-ignites the flame. They become convinced that no matter how outnumbered they are, they just can’t quit.

The book is full of action, impossible situations, heroic characters, and government oppression. The story introduces another group of people who say they want to restore America, but are brutal and violent. They want to merge with the Founders’ Keepers group, which wants no part of them. Although the battle seems impossible to win, you will feel hope rising in you by the end of the book.


The Overton Window – by Glenn Beck (2010)

The Overton Window


Meet Noah Gardner, a young man who is living a comfortable life as a PR executive in his wealthy father’s Wall Street company. He knows many of the company secrets, and is savvy enough to know that there are a handful of individuals who control the American economy and the government.

When he meets Molly Ross, he has to re-think what he knows and believes. Ms. Ross is part of a movement of citizens who are trying to expose the corruption in the government and advocate that more power be returned to the people.

As the story progresses, you may find yourself going back and forth on whether various characters are the good guys or the enemies. When you see the truth, what’s the best thing to do? Do you join radicals in trying to overthrow the government, try to enlighten the general public in the hopes that an outcry will bring change, or continue with the flow because you believe society couldn’t handle the truth?

Although it sounds as if the story could be a put-down of one or the other major political party, the author never mentions either one as the cause of the problem. In fact, you aren’t even given information about whether there is a Democrat or a Republican president in the White House, or which party controls Congress. The book is fiction, but it certainly mirrors reality.