But My Brain Had Other Ideas
Don't let the-less-than-catchy title put you off reading (or listening to) this beautifully written, funny, brave, scary and ultimately uplifting book. Of obvious interest to anyone who has any kind of brain injury or disability - as well as to those helping and supporting people with brain injury, this book deserves a much wider audience.
Cavernous Angioma (in which abnormal clusters of blood vessels in the brain sometimes burst and bleed) and the three life saving surgeries that Deb has undergone, have had a profound effect on all aspects of her life. She has to deal with sometimes terrifyingly random symptoms: loss of taste, dizziness, seizures, memory loss, depression and a heightened sensitivity to smell, noise and light that cause her to 'zone out' in difficult situations and environments..
Deb tells her story with humour, rage, pragmatism and hope and manages to find humour and courage amid the nightmare that is happening in her head which affects everything around her; her work, her life, her children, her relationships - even her belief in herself. She tells her story of survival with searing honesty and self-knowledge and a complete lack of self-pity. Her conversations with herself carry you through her journey to survival with her and the whole memoir has a lightness of touch and sensitivity that engenders not only empathy, but admiration for her courage and determination - not to mention admiration for her skill as a writer.
This is a book that made me thankful to be alive and healthy - and gave me a new perspective on my life, my family and friendships and all the things that I value the most. I was so honoured that Deb chose me to 'get inside her head' and tell her story in Audiobook form - it was a privelige - and I am so grateful to her and 'She Writes Press' for giving me the opportunity.
Here's what Deb says about the audiobook:
'Helen did a fabulous job narrating my memoir “But My Brain Had Other Ideas.” Not only was her voice and intonation perfect, but she really captured the essence of who I am. She hit all the nuances of my inner self, fear, humour, grief, just right. As I listened to the final product, I felt as if I was listening to (a better version of) myself telling my story. I can’t be prouder of this audiobook.
About Deb Brandon
Deb Brandon PhD was born in England, raised in Switzerland, Israel and England and is now Professor of Mathematics at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. She has participated nationally and internationally in Dragon Boating and is a renowned textile artist and enthusiast. Her essays have been published in Dragon Boat World International, Hand/Eye Magazine, Logan Magazine; and SIAM Journal of Mathematical Analysis and Journal of Integral Equations and Applications. She has also written 'Threads Around the World: From Arabian Weaving to Batik in Zimbabwe'
The Forgotten Age Book 1 - Rise of The Druids
By Wayne M Sefton
'History is not always an accurate record as it was often written by the victor of the events that led up to the here and now. But there is another history, one that is remembered by those who exist only in myth and folklore. A history from the dawn of this world when Man walked with Elves and Dwarfs, a history from the time of magic. But that was long ago and is long forgotten .. Until now.'
It's a thriller! But unlike any other that I've read or narrated. The plot is so intriguing and so gripping. - On a wet Monday in January, Jess Mount receives the devastating news that she hasn't got long left to live. She doesn't hear it from a doctor, though. She discovers it when her Facebook timeline skips forward 18 months and family and friends start posting tributes to her - following her death.
As Jess reads the heartbreaking posts from her loved ones, who are struggling to come to terms with her loss, she finds photos of a gorgeous baby son she has not yet conceived. Jess is instantly besotted with him. But when her best friend then claims that her death wasn't an accident, Jess is left wondering who, if anyone, she can trust. With time running out, Jess realises the only certain way to save her own life is to sacrifice that of the baby boy she has fallen in love with. It's a real heartbreaker - you'll need tissues for sure.
British actress Emmy Rose narrates most of the book and creates a perfect Jess. What a talent! This, her debut audiobook narration is absolutely stunning in its power, emotion and authenticity - and it is quite rightfully getting wonderful reviews from audiobook listeners on Audible.co.uk.
I really recommend this psychological thriller - the concept is original and it has plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing. The main narration with a superb stellar narration debut by Emmy Rose. Five stars in my book ... and those of you who know me well, know that I am really difficult to please!
Available as a digital download from Audible.co.uk
Just click on the 'AUDIOBOOKS' tab on the top of this page, which will allow you to click on the image of 'Afer I've Gone'. You'll then be redirected to the audiobook listing on Audible. Easy peasy!
Photo Credit: Paul Haynes
I've gleaned quite a lot of knowledge over the years, knowledge that might be of interest to others, especially authors, actors and voice actors. Because I read so much, for pleasure and professionally, I also occasionally write reviews of what I read - so they're here too.
My opinions are mine and my views are my own!