Reviews

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Professional Reviews for 

The Little Love That Could

“Capone’s latest book opens with a prologue that establishes its central, unifying theme. In it, she explains that the title of the work was inspired by the story of the ‘little engine that could’; it’s fitting, she says, because it’s how ‘love seems to have shown up in my life: underdog love, tenacious love—small love that turns into big love.’ Over the course of sixty-five pieces, the author examines how various aspects of love have touched her life. Her subjects include her bond with her adoptive family, her volunteer work with her church and an organization that aids girls in Guatemala, her trips to Italy with her husband, and the importance of friendship and finding connections with others. . . .Capone’s Christian faith is a central element of many essays . . . and she delivers her spiritual messages with nuance and grace. . . .

“A thoughtful, inspiring collection that may appeal to fans of Erma Bombeck’s and Anne Lamott’s work.”

-- Kirkus Reviews

“Capone’s humorous and faith-laced autobiographical anecdotes arguably cast a wider net than variants on the theme of love. . . . The book imparts sage messages of wisdom that come from age and having experienced the highs, the lows, the anguish, and all the happiness that life has to offer. Simple messages such as a smile goes a long way; making amends and saying you’re sorry should be on one’s daily to-do list, not on one’s bucket list; children have a voice; one is never too old to learn something new; and there are ample rewards in random acts of kindness.

“While some of these may sound like bromides . . . they are given new life when seen through Capone’s witty and energetic perspective. The engine behind her advice is her spirited prose, which has the power to change one’s own point of view as well as transcend demographics.

“Whether in need of entertainment, inspiration, or merely a different perspective on life in general, The Little Love That Could has something that will fit each bill, for a recommended blend of memoir and self-help.”-- Self-Publishing Review

“This collection of over sixty mainly autobiographical short pieces . . . might be understood as gentle sermons . . . or prayers. Reading Pamela Capone’s brief essays is like having a heart-to-heart conversation over a cup of tea with a kind, funny, honest friend who has emerged from a life touched by sorrow with
her heart gloriously intact.

“. . . The Little Love That Could is a refreshing reminder that faith and joy exist within an honest accounting of our imperfect days. This series of personal and faith-based essays compassionately guides readers through the doubts and struggles to a place of greater peace, appreciation, and understanding.

“IR VERDICT: In The Little Love That Could, author Pamela Capone is passionately committed to using her own life experience—written in accessible, compassionate prose—to help, advise, and heal.”

-- IndieReader

“Pamela Capone shares her epiphanies in a moving collection of personal essays that explore the power of love and her transformation from orphan to child of God. . . .

“When loving foster parents took her in, she was filthy and malnourished, a self-described ragamuffin who spent decades overcoming the belief that she was unlovable. Now a hip, gregarious California powerhouse in her mid-50s, Capone confides that it took God’s unconditional love to set her straight.

“Mixing the style of a motivational speaker with evangelical zeal, Capone reveals herself as a kind, generous woman who has mastered the skill of turning small talk into big conversations. Each chapter is a modern parable ending with a lesson about tenacity, forgiveness, generosity, and God’s grace. . . . Capone pulls from personal experiences, Eastern spirituality, self-help gurus, Bible verses, and pop culture, even using invented words . . . when traditional vocabulary fails. Together, these elements create a warm, entertaining, and edifying read.

“Although Capone’s male, Christian God may not be everyone’s deity, her insightful, good-natured stories represent the best of human nature, sharing universal truths that can be appreciated by people of all cultures.”

-- BlueInk Review

“An amazing compilation of wonderful stories that inspire love for self and, more importantly, for others. Through her family experiences and wonderful friendships, Capone shows how love can change and empower lives. . . . She also includes friends’ stories, people who have given up their comfort for the benefit of others, and meaningful historical accounts such as that of Rosa Parks. The stories are filled with beauty, love, and courage. They show what simple acts of kindness and pluck can achieve. . . . They also touch on social issues, and the
accounts reveal deep-rooted problems that can be solved through compassion and putting others first. . . . The Little Love That Could is a must-read for anyone longing for some warmth and inspiration.”

-- Readers' Favorite

“Pamela Capone’s The Little Love That Could is a spiritual autobiography
told in vignettes—about living with your own flaws, choosing to be a helpful
force in the lives of others, and expressing gratitude for blessings. . . .

“The book imparts its perspective well across its many different stories,
reinforcing connections between Capone’s faith and her daily reflections. Life
lessons come through in an endearing, self-critical but good-humored tone. . . .
Capone’s revelatory vulnerability around her own tendency to be too sensitive
and her bouts of impatience result in original takes on common subjects such as
marital spats and gratitude for life’s gifts. Gentle self-mockery . . . and colloquial
phrases . . . lighten the tone in a pleasing way. . . . The end result is a cohesive,
satisfying memoir.”
-- Foreword Clarion Reviews

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Professional Reviews for

I Punched Myself in the Eye

Writer’s Digest score for — I Punched Myself in the Eye (1 is “needs improvement" and 5 is “outstanding”):
Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 5
Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 5
Production Quality and Cover Design: 5
Plot and Story Appeal: 5
Character Appeal and Development: 5
Voice and Writing Style: 5

"The book definitely delivers on its promise of ‘hope and humor in the face of life’s challenges.’ The author walks a beautiful line between inspiring and amusing throughout. I loved the words the author makes up, like ‘Metabopause’ for the slowing down of metabolism. There is so much freshness and unique handling of life’s challenges, it makes for an engaging and enjoyable read. Author’s writing voice is light and friendly. Nice job. I like the ties the author puts in to connect the essays, like returning to ‘man, I need a massage.’ That kind of organization and wise knowing of lines to re-deliver is stellar. ‘Being able to call him my Dad is what grace sounds like to me’ is very resonant and stays with the reader. Well done. Gorgeous phrasing throughout. Structure is excellent and serves well to bring the reader through the book. Dialogue is natural and engaging. I loved the section that says ‘JoAnne still thought of me as who I was.’ Very thought-provoking. We ask who in our lives does this. The ‘this is where you are’ tattoo is another memorable line and image. Author writes resonantly, a great strength in this book. Lots of heart in the mention of graves and their resulting question of whether or not left-behind spouses sought God to fill the void. Moving and very enjoyable. Nice work."
-- Judge, 4th Annual Self-Published e-Book Awards - Writers Digest

PUNCTUATED WITH HUMOR

"Pamela Capone must be a riot at parties. She can turn the most mundane details of a day into witty poetry, and find a way to connect it all to God's higher plan for us. From the mini-essays in this collection, it is clear that Pam is the kind of woman you'd want in your corner when you're in trouble to say just the right thing and help you laugh along the way...Some details of Pam's life are repeated motifs--her adoption into an Italian-American family at a young age, her children, her charity work--but her voice, rather than her situations, really drive the stories."
-- IndieReader

OFFICIAL "RECOMMENDED READ" LIST FROM KIRKUS REVIEWS

"Messages of faith sprinkled throughout will appeal to readers with connections to the Christian tradition, but they're handled with subtlety, so readers of other persuasions can still enjoy the work....Capone's gregarious, approachable voice allows her to deftly handle a broad variety of subjects. Rather than dwelling on misery and mishaps, the collection calls attention to the glimmers of hope and humor that lie in life's challenging moments. An upbeat, honest celebration of imperfection that makes a compelling case for the power of accepting oneself, warts and all."
-- Kirkus Reviews

FIVE STAR REVIEW FROM FOREWARD CLARION

"Even when cracking jokes, Capone is gentle, often poking fun at herself for small offenses fed by insensitivity. As the book progresses, the author's personality becomes its primary strength, a situation not unlike a celebrity's or comedian's collection, and the author's experience with stand-up comedy may factor in. Though many vignettes also deal with serious or sad subjects, the majority cast the author's life in a humorous light. The book's editorial style engages with wordplay, including puns, and is at its strongest when delivering jokes. I Punched Myself in the Eye is a family-oriented book most likely to appeal to Christians. Easily read in a series of short sittings, or in one long one, this collection of short-short essays easily punches above its weight."
-- Foreword Clarion Reviews

HUMOR AND GRACE

"In this engagingly written, faith-based essay collection, Pamela Capone finds the humor and grace in ordinary --and sometimes extraordinary-- situations. Capone has coined the term, 'messay' for her prose, a combination of 'messy (informal untidy, embarrassing, difficult)' and 'essay.'... More than a few of the essays are poignant and thoughtful, rather than out-and-out funny - albeit handled with Capone's appealing light touch and conversational style... Adopted at 18 months by her foster parents, after her birth parents were charged with child neglect, Capone writes many of the essays as reverent tributes to the parents who raised her and to her birth siblings, with whom she has a special bond. She also writes about her work at a girls' school in Guatemala and about helping in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake."
-- BlueInk Review

ANY READERS OUT THERE WHO NEED A GOOD BELLY LAUGH?

"Pamela Capone’s latest work I Punched Myself in the Eye is just the tonic for any reader looking for a fun book to pick up. This is a sparky collection of sketches drawn from everyday life: by turns hilarious, familiar, heart-warming and heart-rending. It’s a book the reader can dip into at leisure, enjoying the bite-sized chapters in any order. This is observational comedy in a very human style, and the reader (be they male or female) will surely find themselves laughing or crying out loud along with the author as she regales us with her witty prose…

"Capone’s ability to, as she says herself, 'admit we don’t have all the answers,' is very endearing, and her willingness to expose her own foibles and shortcomings is something readers will most certainly appreciate. Genuine laugh-out-loud humor is a more and more rare thing to come across in books these days, and the author takes readers back to the era of 'I Love Lucy' and the kind of selfless comedy that audiences used to enjoy on a regular basis once upon a time. Effortless writing in the dialogue in every story helps to make this a smooth read, while characterization is rounded, well-observed and vivid…

"'I’m all about carpe diem, I have the tattoo!' Capone cries out – and on the strength of this well-crafted book that just about sums her up." -- Self-Publishing Review, 4½ Stars

AN INVITATION TO BECOME PART OF HER FAMILY

"I Punched Myself in the Eye is a look at a lifetime collection of very short essays highlighting the life of Pamela Capone and her family. Each essay was unique and had a special thought, emotion, idea or event to pass along. Pamela shares her stories beautifully, both the good and the bad, with readers - starting with her message; followed up by her favorite chocolates; going to Grandma’s house; God encounters; her childhood, her husband and her children; making bread; traveling to foreign countries and to New York City; a middle of the night intruder; a scary train, and mermaids. There are just too many to tell you about and it is impossible to include more of the details without spoilers, but each one was special in itself.

"I Punched Myself in the Eye is easy to read and many times I found myself shaking my head in agreement and laughing or crying at a remembered moment in my own life. Pamela Capone has written her essays with love and an invitation to become part of her family and share in their life. This non-fiction story of real life happenings is indeed worth reading and, as the description claims, it is filled with imperfection and perfect grace. I found it impossible not to like Pamela, and felt as though she was sitting in my family room and we were sharing the stories of our lives. If you are a mother, wife, woman, and a believer in God, this is a must-read." -- Trudi LoPreto for Readers' Favorite

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