Tag: non fiction

#Diverseathon2021: Only in India: Adventures of an International Educator by Jill Dobbe

Only in India: Adventures of an International Educator
Jill Dobbe

Published:  August 2, 2018
230 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: November 27- December 4, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

“We’re moving to India!”

Travel along with two international educators who take the leap and move to Gurgaon, India, to become principals at an Indian/International school. Excited by the opulent marble hallways and the grandness of the school, they quickly learn it lacks even the most basic supplies, like chalkboard erasers. The couple, however, make a go of it and ultimately adjust to the dizzying day-to-day life of Indian society where sacred cows stop for red lights, women wear glittery saris while planting rice, and dreadlocked sadhus go about renouncing all their worldly pleasures.

Part memoir, part travelogue and part tragic comedy, readers will marvel at all the couple has to endure only to end up leaving the school and India abruptly, without even so much as a Namaste. Despite a catastrophe or two, their go-with-the-flow attitudes and kindred senses of humor help them to endure the overwhelming bustle of India, while recognizing and appreciating its distinctive allure.

Jessica’s Review:

I read Jill Dobbe’s previous memoir of living in Cairo, Egypt titled Kids, Camels, and Cairo several years ago. Having been to Egypt, her writing brought me right back to Cairo and those wonderful memories of my family trip I was on with my aunt, uncle, mother, and sister.  That was to be my final trip with my uncle as he passed from lung cancer just two months later.  Needless to say, I looked forward to reading Only in India and taking a trip without ever having left the house! 

Jill and her husband left Cairo and then India was their next destination in their teaching adventures.  India is not on my bucket list, but I have seen Bollywood movies, movies in general, and tv shows taking place in India and enjoy all the colors that are present.  I honestly do not know much about India, but reading Dobbe’s memoir I definitely learned about the country, culture, religions, and history.  I now definitely want to see the movie Gandhi that stars Sir Ben Kingsley, it is sad to say that this ignorant American did not know about the circumstances of his death.

The memoir actually starts at the end of their time in India when she and her husband had to suddenly leave due to visa issues.  As I read of her time in India, I enjoyed going on her journey of remembrance with her, as I ‘experienced’ India for the first time.  There are definitely huge culture differences and she shows us the culture shock experienced by her and her husband.

It is written similar to a diary, so the memoir is honest and full of their experiences, good and bad while also seeing how the Dobbe’s react to certain situations.  They are presently living in Honduras, so I look forward to a memoir that takes place there, so I can journey to another country I have never been to! 

I have had this memoir on my kindle for a few years, but just now picked it up.  I read it as a part of #Diverseathon2021, and this month’s prompt is a book set in India. December’s Host is Natalie @ One Sleepy Reader and she is hosting at Instagram and You Tube. She is also be having a giveaway: See her You Tube and Instagram pages for information on the giveaway.

For full details on this year long read-a-thon, please click here.
And don’t forget about the awesome GRAND PRIZE at the end of the year. Click the link here for that information.

If you are interested in travel memoirs or teaching in foreign countries, I definitely recommend looking into Dobbe’s books. I wish it had not taken me this long to read Only in India, but there are so many books and not enough time!  She has one more memoir written that I find myself wanting to read!

Only in India: Adventures of an International Educator is recommended!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Book Review: Diary from the Lunatic Asylum by Mary Pengilly

Diary from the Lunatic Asylum
Author: Mary Pengilly

Published: November 2, 2012
28 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

DECEMBER.—They will not allow me to go home, and I must write these things down for fear I forget. It will help to pass the time away. It is very hard to endure this prison life, and know that my sons think me insane when I am not.

Kim’s Review:

So this isn’t a horror story; it’s not even fiction. I’m not gonna lie, I was a little disappointed. However, once I figured out that this was an actual diary, written by a real woman who had been committed to a real asylum, I just went for it. It’s definitely not as good as Nellie Bly’s account, but it was interesting and informative. Mrs. Pengilly managed to write an account from a relatively neutral viewpoint, while still keeping a handle on all the problems. It’s a simple, easy to read report on her stay, the issues in the Aylin’s of her time, and a list of solutions. I looked up Mrs. Pengilly after I finished reading this book, and she went on to spearhead some cool movements to try to improve conditions for female patients.

It’s not a book I’d recommend to everyone, but it’s a good personal story that I enjoyed reading.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK


True Ghost Stories: Real Haunted Hospitals and Mental Asylums by Zachery Knowles

True Ghost Stories: Real Haunted Hospitals and Mental Asylums
Author: Zachery Knowles
Published: October 15, 2015
88 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars

Book Description:

Looking for a Scare? Then Read These 13 Spine-chilling StoriesFor people who believe in the paranormal-ghosts, spirits, and other unexplainable encounters-most will agree that old hospitals and asylums are the most haunted places you can visit. With thirteen chilling chapters, Haunted Hospitals delves into the history of the most infamous asylums, sanitariums and hospitals on Earth, unlocking their dark histories and detailing their paranormal activities.

Take Waverly Hills Sanatorium, home to Mary, the apparition of a little girl who “wasn’t normal.” Left behind after a disease cut her young life short, Mary went from innocent in life to something more horrific in death.

Then there’s Old Changi military hospital, where a history of wartime bloodbaths still stains the old abandoned halls-leaving behind chilling images in the minds of trespassers.

Or what about any of the other haunted hospitals contained within, where apparitions, disembodied voices, and strange occurences are commonplace. With overcrowding and barbaric medical procedures being practiced, these buildings were the torture houses of the 20th century, and the eeriest haunts of the 21st.

Haunted Hospitals unlocks the dark histories of the most chilling abandoned hospitals from around the world. Every chapter describes the eerie and often frightening details of the best ghostly encounters. Are these sightings based on myth or true horrors? Only you can decide.

Ready to scare yourself senseless? Scroll to the bottom of the page and hit buy!

Kim’s Review:

I mean, duh. I saw this and had to read it … I think we’re all aware that I have a type. One crucial thing to understand about this book is that it is not an in depth history. It’s a vague overview; like a tantalizing, small appetizer. I wish I could have a book with a complete history for each of the hospitals listed in this book, because now I want to know! This very tiny book gives a very tiny look into some of the stories from these hospitals. And I mean tiny. It whet my whistle for a ghost story, but it felt like this book was for those who don’t normally read horror, but want to say that they do. It was ok, but not enough for an addict like me!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK