Book Review: From Utopia to the American Dream

Title: From Utopia to the American Dream
Author: John Czingula
Genre: Memoir, Nonfiction
Year Published: October 23, 2021

Date Started: March 2, 2023
Date finished: March 7, 2023

This is a memoir about John Czingula, the author of the book. It follows him through childhood in his home country of Hungary to the United States. The focus on the memoir is John’s ambition to become successful in his endeavors. His father inspired him to be the best and to never give up and that stuck with him.

Through war torn Hungary from WW1 through to WW2, John and his family lived in fear. His father refused to join the communist party and thus John followed in his father’s footsteps in avoiding any confrontation or push to join the party. Communism, as it should be, was not what it really was. On the outside, it looked perfect and pristine, but the reality of it was not so. For John and his family (and a lot of other Hungarians) the party and its belief worked against them. John had a lot of ambitions. There was so much he wanted to do but communism wouldn’t allow him any of his success. He yearned to experience life in America where he’d heard he’d be able to do whatever he wanted without politics stopping him at every point. The way to America was not an easy one, especially during war, but John persevered. He took chances to escape his home country. With some luck he made it to America successfully.

John didn’t live in a dream world. He knew the good and the bad of America, but compared to communism, America was freedom in both mind and opportunities. John’s story is about overcoming fears and never giving up. There were times in his life when things were so bad that he was at a lost, but he didn’t let those moments take him down. He kept going. He became a successful business owner, actor, and pilot. He came from a place where dreams were stomped on to a place where a single idea could create massive success.

I’m so glad to have read John’s story because I can relate to a lot of his experiences. I liked that he looked up to America and saw the beauty of it and the ability to succeed. I see America the same way and it’s a great feeling to know that there are still people out there who believe in this country. Btw, John mentioned goulash a couple of times and it made me crave it (I’m not Hungarian though but have made my own version of it many times and have also had it at a restaurant). Love it when a book does that!

Who should read this book: Anyone who enjoys a memoir about war and overcoming the harshness of communism and realizing what freedom really is.

Book Review: The Circle Around the Wall: A Fictional Biography Inspired by Carl Jung (The Mind the Heart the Spirit)

Title: The Circle Around the Wall: A Fictional Biography Inspired by Carl Jung (The Mind the Heart the Spirit)
Author: Suzanne Steinberg
Genre: Fiction, Alternate History, Women’s Literary Fiction
Year Published: January 28, 2023

Date Started: February 21, 2023
Date finished: February 26, 2023

This story is a twist on the famous psychologist, Carl Jung. Instead of Carl, the main character is a female named Carla Jung. The story is a combination of biography and third person limited following Carla through her youngers years to old age. Carla’s life is immersed in education (the biography side), but we also become acquainted with her personal life (the limited third person point-of-view). There are also characters thrown in with short clips of their stories and thoughts through the third point-of-view.

I really enjoyed this story. I liked the combination of the psychology world and Carla’s personal life. I thought the twist with Carl Jung being Carla Jung was a good take. It fit the women literary fiction style perfectly. There were a lot of characters, but it was done well. It started with just a few and then near the middle and end, more characters were thrown in. The pacing is on the fast side. There were lots of information thrown in as well as time jumps. Could be a little confusing if you prefer a slower storyline. I didn’t mind it because it was necessary to get Carla’s story and the people she loved stories across.

There were lots of really interesting and debatable/thought-provoking thoughts and theories in this story. I’m a fan of diving into the psych and learning/understanding the human mind and this book does it. On top of that, you get a woman’s story about her personal struggles through love and lost. If you’re looking for a book to keep you intrigued in humanity, the psychology of the human mind, and women’s lives, this book will do it.

Who should read this book: Anyone interested in the mind and relationships between women.

Book Review: Heaven on Earth: A Simple Reminder of the Everyday Miracles that Happen Around Us

Title: Heaven on Earth: A Simple Reminder of the Everyday Miracles that Happen Around Us
Author: Julia McCoy and Rachel Keagy
Genre: Self-help; Christian Inspiration; Memoir
Year Published: February 10, 2023

Date Started: February 14, 2023
Date finished: February 17, 2023

This book is a collection of the author’s real life experiences and how she overcame the struggles within these parts of her life through the help of prayer. Each story is meaningful and also relatable. They’re struggles that each of us have either gone through or know someone close to us who’ve gone through, and even if not, they could possibly be insights into future experiences that might be similar and thus provide some guidance for your future. Knowing about prayer and how to overcome struggles will make things easier. In this book, the author talks about how prayer can lead to miracles, to situations where a better outcome overcomes what could end up being disastrous.

I found this book very insightful. Some of the stories touched me such as the birthing story and the barn on fire story. I liked how the author used prayers to help her through these times and how the prayers came through in the form of miracles. It just goes to show how powerful prayer can be in both possibly making the situation better and also provide peace of mind or a quiet calm. Even if you’re not a believer in miracles, you can learn to use prayer during difficult times of your life and ask for guidance or help. You don’t have to feel like you’re going at it alone, and you don’t have to pray to a higher God. Find a method that you feel comfortable with and use it to bring you a better outcome.

This is an excellent book for inspiration and hope. Again, even if you’re not a believer of faith, you won’t be disappointed in this book. There is something to learn from it.

Who should read this book: Anyone looking for inspiration, hope, and just anything to help pick you up when you’re feeling at your lowest.