Category Archives: Books

A Grimm Tale…


As I’ve finished this book, I have become more and more curious on this new author. I found her book at my rural little book store. Half Off Books is located in Whittier, California and is one of the best book stores I know of. It is family owned and it carries mainly used books. I love recycling books and keeping the money within the book store rather than buying from a big corporate one. You can sell your books there and use that money to buy new books! They also hold Open Mic sessions twice a month where I have gone to hear other poets share their work as well as frightenly going up myself and reading a few of my published poems.

They also carry new books written by new authors or small town book publishers. What better way to be one of the first to read a new book? 

This is where I found A. Portera’s novel. I most likely would have never found her at a big book store like Barnes and Nobles. I am beyond blown away with her writing. I am impressed that this is her first published book. As I’ve read about her, she was working on her next Grimm Tale. I am in hopes that she has published her next book, so I can continue my love of her writing.

If you are looking for a Grimm Tale, read the one and only, “The Robber Bridegroom”

Her words put me smack in the middle of this Grimm world. I was unable to put her book down until it was complete within a week.  

And my search for another great Grimm Tale continues…..

Book Review: “The Voice of Knowledge” by Don Miguel Ruiz



Those who follow my blog will know that I am a huge follower of Don Miguel Ruiz.  He is a Nagul, which is a Native group of people who believe in following the “truth” and live a life of love.  Mr. Ruiz in my opinion IS knowledge!  He was born into our Universe just like us, with the parasite constantly trying to bring us to suffer, but he was lucky enough to have had an awakening and found himself.

This book is a great book to read after you read “The Four Agreements”.  I do have a book review on that book as well in the archives.  Once you understand The Four Agreements, this book will make better sense.  The Four Agreements basically gives you an introduction on how to live a life of love and compassion.  This book, “The Voice of Knowledge” goes into finding your true self even deeper!  I highly recommend this book for all individuals to read.  Even if you are not a follower of Mr. Ruiz or even a Spiritualist, this book will open your eyes to ideals that have been embedded into our lives by our parents and society.  Seriously, go pick up your copy today!!

Without giving out too much information, Mr. Ruiz basically states that everything we have learned are all “lies”.  Everything.  And it makes sense.  Even the ideas we have about ourselves are lies!  Once we can overcome and get rid of all the lies in our mind, this is when we can stop all the suffering.  And yes we all suffer!

So, go out and pick up a good summer read!  Your life will change!  To end, below is a quote I pulled out of his book.  He is amazing and is always changing my life (in a good-inner peace manner).

Behind everyone’s story, “everything is love, which means everything and everybody is divine.  You are divine, you are perfect, but as an artist, you create your own story.  And by justifying the story, you are wasting your life”.



Mini-Book Review: Women by Bukowski


“Women” is a book I found about a year ago. Every time I would pick it up, I would feel like I was living in a dirty hotel room with dim lites, nausea uprooting my stomach while feeling horney as fuck. When I read, I get lost in the story and that is exactly what it felt like to live in his book.

I loved this book at first, but then it slowly became very, very tedious. It was the same story over and over again. “Chinsky”, the male character is an older man who is a writer. He absolutely loves women and enjoys their company and sleeping with them. He is a drunk and really does not have high standards for himself, so in order to fill his void of life, he is a man whore. But throughout the many women he sleeps with, he is in love with this one particular woman named, Lydia. She is a crazy, jealous, obsessive women that made me want to grab her out of the book and give her some damn comments sense! She annoyed me throughout the book because of her psycho ways with Chinksi.

I love Bukowskis writing and he writes in a such a passionate and poetic way when he describes his affairs. Below is one of my favorite quotes when he was describing one of his sexual encounters. His writing is raw, which I love! Overall, the writing itself was awesome, but the plot could have used a lot more variety.

“Its like making a rosebud open….
It’s like two roses in a garden moving slowly towards each other. The male works his slow magic. The female slowly opens. I like it. I like it.”

From his book “Women”
Charles Bukowskiimages


The Mastery of Love

What an amazing read this was! I bought this book a few years ago and read it two times. The first time I read it, I was amazed. The second time I read it, I was enthralled!

This is one of those books that should seriously be taught in schools. It is the basics and not so basics on how to live life coming from a life of “love”.

So, every once in a while when I finish a novel or self-help book, I get bored. I had just finished a novel and needed something to read. It was a work night and I didn’t want to go out to a bookstore, so instead, I looked at my own book shelf.

And there it stood. “The Mastery of Love”, written by, Don Miguel Ruiz. It was calling me in. So, there I sat, re-reading this book for the 3rd time. And this time, wow! I felt like I was living in the book. It was amazing.

Miguel Ruiz, who is a Mexican born native, was not born to be a writer. He actually went to school to be a surgeon and later in life, he was in a car accident that changed his life. At this point, he began learning about his family heritage, which is part of the “Eagle Night Lineage”. Miguel is a “Nagual”, which is a master of this lineage. He has a strong binding family that has lead a life of people of knowledge.

People of knowledge! I wish I was born in that lineage!

So, here are some ideas/ideals/knowledge Miguel discusses in this wonderful book:

*When you live a life of positive or negative energy, it is all created because of YOU! “You create yourself, whatever you believe you are. You are the way you are because that is what you believe about yourself”. That is pretty powerful! If you think your fat and ugly, well you actually believe that about yourself! If you believe you are beautiful, once again, it is because you believe you are. All of our suffering is due to our thinking! Change the way you think of yourself, be positive, you are beautiful, no matter what anyone else thinks, and life will be easier on your soul and heart!

So, once you love yourself inside and out, Miguel says that this is when we will begin attracting people who will respect us. If you don’t like yourself, you will most likely end up being with someone who will abuse you (mentally, emotionally, physically) because you are actually abusing yourself by constantly putting yourself down.

If you love yourself from within, you will not tolerate anyone mistreating you. This is when you will attract someone who will respect you.

So, when you do find that one person you want to spend your time with, how do you handle the ups and downs? All people, whether they are highly spiritual or not, go into valleys every once in a while. When a person is in a valley, they are not in a good mood. I am sure you have seen this. So, how do you handle a situation when your significant other is grouchy, in a bad mood or he/she does not want to hang out with you or have any fun?

Easy, as Miguel discusses:
-Don’t take anything personal (them let handle their garbage on their own)
-You can only handle your half of the relationship. You can never make your other half happy, they have to do it on their own.

Unfortunatly, we are not all graceful in how we handle our emotions, especially when we feel we are being attacked personally. But this is when those emotions turn into negativity and start playing tricks on us.

Miguel discusses that these negative emotions are brought upon ourselves. Now how can this be? You may say, “well, he/she did this to me, so I have every right to feel this way”. Yes, you do have the right to feel those negative feelings, but do you really like those feelings? When you feel these negative feelings, isn’t it hell? Well, it is! You are living in hell, when you feel that way. Heck, I don’t feel like living that way, and when and if I do, yes, it is HELL!

So, how do we get rid of those negative feelings that can creep up on us? That can drive us mad?

Once again:
-don’t take anything personally
-you are not responsible for what is happening around the world or to anyone else. You are only responsible for making yourself happy.
-If you fully love yourself, you will never have to go out and hunt for it!
-It is your your choice to suffer or not.
-Choose to not suffer and live free!

In a nutshell, this book is all about empowering yourself. It is learning how to LOVE yourself from within, so you never have to look for it. If you love yourself, everything around you will be filled with love.

What a beautiful, spiritual and wonderfully written book!

If you would like to get better at relationships-whether it is family, lovers or friends-read this!
If want to learn to love yourself a little more-read this!

I can’t express how much I loved this book. This book is part of my life.


Book Review: “The Mastery of Love”

Mini-Book Review: Acts of Faith by Eboo Patel


Mini-Book Review:  Acts of Faith by Eboo Patel

I began my summer with thoughts that I would read books based on different religions and cultures.

What captures my mind is how all us humans strive for one thing. It is to be welcomed into their world, it is to be loved and feel joyful with their life. By reading different authors from around the world, I can capture this and bring a satisfaction to my ever curious mind.

The first book I read was “Acts of Faith” by Eboo Patel. He is a an intellect that was brought up in America with the torn feelings of being American and Indian. He was also torn between his religion thoughts. He grew up in a Muslim family. His mother would tell him stories and sing songs to him when he was a tiny boy. But as he grew older in the American world, he was a little lost in that department.

When I walk into a bookstore, I usually walk around not looking for anything in particular. I let the books call my name and have that spiritual connection with my books. One early summer day, I walked into the bookstore with thoughts that I wanted to find a book based on a different culture and religion than myself.

There is stood on the bookshelf. A red book, my favorite color! An author named Patel, which comes from India. My eyes grew wide and my ever-thinking brain opened up. I grabbed the book, opened it up like I do to all books and read a passage that stated that he felt like he was lost within his Indian identity being in America. Right there and then, I knew it was the book for me.

So, Mr. Patel grows up between different cultures. The American culture, which is to live free, party, drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes with your teenage friends. On the other side, he had his Indian family that prayed in the morning and at night. His Indian culture was dwindling down and he didn’t know what to do. He ended up tinkering with a catholic community in which he felt briefly connected too. I really adore the fact that Patel actually took a step forward in his life, to experience the catholic religion. He experienced a community that gave. He ended up volunteering for a group home of sorts and he felt angelic about it.

And at the end of his book as he was now in his doctorate program, he connected with Indian Buddhism or Muslim-Buddhism.

Very, very interesting. Interesting because in the end, all we want is peace. That is all he was looking for. That is what all religions teach us. Peace. How to live our lives giving to others and how to control ourselves to live a fully peaceful life.

This really is the whole point as to why I wanted to dive into different cultures and religions. Like I said above, we are all the same.

Patel ended up writing stories on Islam and the Taliban and all that crazy mess. But that was not the reason I read the book. But it was quite interesting to read from the perspective of someone who grew up alongside those men who will kill for the sake of “their God”.

I digress, I loved the book! It lost me a little here and there as at times it got a little to deep into Islam and the Taliban, but when he got back into discussing about himself him trying to find himself, I was glued.

Thank you Patel for writing a great book! It was a great intellectual book, that is unique in a good way!

Now, I am on to reading about the Japanese culture and Buddhism.

Addiciton. Relapse. My Life. The Sheff Books.


Current mood:artistic

Books…Books…and more books…

Beautiful Boy By: Sheff

Okay, this father has to endure a life of an addiction like no other.  Why did I read this book?  Well, for one, I love books, but I usually read spiritual and religion stuff.  Well, I lied, I also get my kicks from reading memoirs, so of course this book caught my eye.  I was walking through Borders as I normally do every couple of weeks or so and noticed a book that caught my eye.  It was white with the title, “Beautiful Boy”.  Well, for one, it caught my eye because that’s a title of one of John Lennon songs and if anyone knows me, he’s my fave.  So, I picked up the book and those who are readers will understand that sometimes,  you don’t pick the book, the book picks you.  I felt a surge like no other.  I felt like the book wanted me to take it home (and no I was not high, hahah, not that I get high).  But of course on this particular day, I didn’t have the extra money to buy this book.  I left the book store as a sad six year old, wanting to cry because I wanted it so bad.  But I told myself, once I had the money, I would go grab it.  So, sure enough, I got paid, and rushed over to Borders to buy that book!

I got my hands on the book.  It was nothing but pleasure, like a kid getting an ice-cream!  I got home, read the book and did’t put it down for a whole week.  I read it.  I was amazed.

Amazed because I can feel this father’s pain.  Not on such a deep level, but a pain like no other.  You see, there are addicts.  Drug addicts.  Alcoholics.  They have a disease.  This disease not only eats these people up, but it effects their whole family.  I related to Sheff.  My own two parents were addicts.  But luckily my mom over came it.  Thank God.  But she’ll always have the disease.  Now, I’m not ashamed to say it.  But she works the twelve-step program and she has to every day or her disease will over take her.  This is just like Sheff’s son.  Nic.  Poor Nic.  He has a drug addiction that is hard for him to over come and it effects his Father.  This scares me to shit because not only do I have a child that I have to look out for, but this disease is genetic.  My daughter can be prone to this disease.  This was my fear as I grew up.  Knowing that both my parents were addicts, I was always afraid I would become addicted to drugs.  This, luckily saved me.  I never touched a hardcore drug in my life.  If I did, I probably would have gone into a spur of drug addiction.  I probably would have been like my parents and Nic, who would have been swallowed by drugs.  Not being able to get out of the addiction.  And then my family would be dying to know if I were alive or not.  Just like Nic’s father.  He lives in misery because he’s worried to shit where his son is.  He’s scared his son is in jail.  Or maybe he’s laying dead in the street.  It’s the scariest thing.  Anyway, to close on my thoughts, go out and read “Beautiful Boy”.  It is a deep book that talks about addiction coming from a fathers perspective.

As Mr. Sheff was writing his book, Nic his son had gone through several recovery homes trying to get sober.  He would get sober for a year and then forget that he was an addict and relapse.  He finally went to a good, therapeutic recovery home.  He is a good writer, so while he was sober he began writing about his addicted life.

So, out comes the book “Tweak” by Nic Sheff. it’s more like OMFG.  This book takes you into a world of addiction.  I now know what my parents went through.  The love he had for his family.  The want to be part of his family, yet when he did drugs, nothing else mattered to him, but getting high.  I felt like I was there with him.  I read this book even quicker.  I think in about five days.  I could not put this book down.  I read it before bed.  I read it when I got home. I read it while I was cooking.  This is a damn good book.  And not because I have a connection with these people, but because Nic Sheff is a damn good writer.   He has a blog, just google, “Nic Sheff”.  But he stopped writing.  Maybe he’s out on the streets again.  Or maybe he’s really focusing on promoting his book.  I don’t know.  But this disease is major.  And here we are spending all kinds of money on war.  Our state and country is in debt.  Yet, we don’t even think of trying to find a cure for this gene of addiction.  Some people don’t even realize the seriousness of this disease.

My father lays in the ground because of Alcoholism.  And he’s not the only one.  How many people have died because of this disease?   But most lay people out there think it’s their choice.  They overlook the fact that their in a deep somber of something that has taken over them.

So, the reason I began writing this is because I have an idea.  And I feel like if I put it out there, I’ll be more likely to finish it.  I have gone through this disease myself as I have mentioned above.  I have seen my Papa (my dad’s dad) suffer with alcoholism.  I saw his son, my own father suffer from it.  I have seen my mother suffer from drug addiction.  And her father suffer from alcoholism.  I have seen my uncle suffer with prescription drug addiction.  I have seen my cousin suffer with a slight sense of alcoholism.  I have seen a very close family member suffer with a slight sense of alcoholism.  With that said, should I be worried?  Gees, I don’t know.  I’m freakin’ scared for my daughter.  I suppose all I can do is educate her and let her know that this addiction disease is strong in our blood.  One shot of heroin could take her into addiction and she can be lost in the streets with other heroin addicts who sell their bodies for one shot.  One snort of cocaine could take her on whirlwind of addiction.

This is my life.  It is my story.  And I plan on writing a book about how my childhood and addiction have led to who I am.  I will not tell the basis of the story, I will tease  you.  Hopefully one day soon, you’ll see a colorful book with Camille Ruiz on the cover.  Hopefully one day, I’ll get into some research on how to cure this disease.

Till then, look out for the name……