As a Multiple Sclerosis patient, it has become necessary for me to reinvent myself. I have ... and continue to ... refuse to lie down and die, or in this case, follow the normally prescribed drugs and treatments that do nothing to defeat my disease. I am not only surviving by pursuing alternatives, I am thriving. I do the things specialists told me I would never be able to do. I walk and hope to one day even run regularly. I retain my cognitive and creative abilities for the pleasure of my readers. Although you may never see me on my daily walk, you are welcome to read my novel(s) and in doing so, come to ask yourself, "How can the 'out of the box' protocol she has followed, help my loved one with an autoimmune disease like Multiple Sclerosis?"

Book Reviews by Marci Blackner

I just finished Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman. It is her "confessions of a common reader" meaning that each chapter is her thoughts about reading books. It is an easy read but very engaging. She writes about her feelings towards reading a book while actually being there in the location that it took place, or how she arranges her books on the bookshelf, or her reactions to editing errors, or the words written on the flyleaf, etc. I really enjoyed it as I related to her thoughts as well as didn't relate to them. I recommend it because it stretched my mind with difficult vocabulary and stirred deep emotions of my fondness for reading that mirrored hers.

I also read Mao's Last Dancer which is a true story of a young man growing up in China in the 1970's. I loved learning more about the communist rule in China at the time and how it affected him and his family and the customs and cultures of the country. It is a story of personal triumph over the odds of living in squalor and obscurity and through determination and hard work he is able to become a success as a dancer. It is a fascinating memoir that took place about the same time I was growing up here in America so I enjoyed making comparisons to my life here.
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