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Reviewed by Donna Parrey for Readers' Favorite
Author Maxwell Ivey Jr. describes his book, The Blind Blogger’s First Speaking and Signing Adventures, as “part memoir/part self-help” and the two genres are inextricably entwined. Max takes us along on his journey from Texas to New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, South Carolina, and Florida, sharing his successes, his troubles, and his life lessons along the way. The book is structured somewhat chronologically, although there are occasional re-routes to examine a back story along the way. Most of the 32 chapters are a quick read and each includes priceless “key takeaways” at the end. While the storyteller may be unsighted, he has a keen vision for extracting opportunities to learn and grow from his experiences, and we are the beneficiaries. In his last chapter, he gathers all 95 inspirational key takeaways as a handy reminder for readers that they, too, can overcome obstacles and achieve more than they may have thought themselves capable of doing.
Right from the first page of chapter one, it was clear to me that Max Ivey could sense authors’ insecurities and wanted to help us erase them. He’s been there, done that. Through honest and sometimes humorous anecdotes, we learn about how the blind author plans for success, solves problems, and gets things done. In The Blind Blogger’s First Speaking and Signing Adventures, Ivey combines family history, new acquaintances, travel adventures, and personal insights to give readers a full picture of this man and his mission. He teaches and entertains with stories about canned oysters, singing doo-wop, and facing every author’s fear: what if you had a book signing and nobody came? One of his key takeaways after chapter ten is “God will put people in your path that you are destined to meet.” Perhaps this is why you have found Maxwell Ivey’s book. To reference his carnival days, you might be a “lucky duck.”