Reading recommendation

So has it been cold enough for ya? My Jeep was hesitant in starting Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, but I managed to get it going. Even though I live just a few blocks from work, it was downright boneshakingly cold out there. I piled on the layers, even if I was going so far. I never know if I’m going have to walk home from work. And those few blocks can seem extremely long.

I noticed on the book-related Facebook pages how people were hunkering down with a good book, a blanket and a beverage. I’ve been slow-going for this year, but a few weeks ago I read a good one called “Diary of a Beautiful Disaster” by Kristin Bartzokis. Bartzokis was born with Treacher Collins syndrome, which is a facial abnormality. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine website, it affects the development of bones and other tissues of the face. Some with Treacher Collins have a cleft palate (which Bartokis did). Most have underdeveloped facial bones, and a very small jaw and chin. “This condition is also characterized by absent, small or unusually formed ears,” the website said. Hearing loss occurs in half of all affected individuals.” Bartzokis wears hearing aids.

Through the years, she’s undergone many surgeries. And she, along with her parents, tell about those times in the hospital. She also talks about growing up with the condition, how people would look at her. But I was amazed at her perseverance. She played sports and excelled in gymnastics. She has many friends. But she has had faced several challenges and has overcome them. She is honest and candid in her memoir, which made it a refreshing read.

According to the description on Amazon: “‘Diary of a Beautiful Disaster’ empowers readers to embrace their own uniqueness and boldly go forth into the world being exactly who they are. Kristin reminds us that although life can be complicated and messy, it is always, above all, beautiful.”

It’s also a short read, just under 200 pages. I read it through the hoopla streaming site, so it’s readily available. She also has another book out “(Extra)Ordinary Women,” which is 10 inspirational stories of women who are “survivors.” They’ve been through brain cancer, abuse, poverty, etc. It’s also available through hoopla. I think I may have found my next read.

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