Book Review: Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man by Mary Trump

Book Review: Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man by Mary Trump (2020) (Nonfiction) 4 Stars ****

Is turning into your parents one of your greatest fears? That’s exactly what happens to Donald Trump, President of the United States. This diatribe by the president’s niece should more correctly have a photo of img_2641
her grandfather Fred Trump Sr. and all of his children on the cover—except the author’s father. Fred Jr., the hapless victim of his father’s and younger brother Donald’s merciless criticism and public insults. Fred wanted his kids to be killers, i.e. always the winner in any situation by any means necessary. Anyone who is not a winner, is a loser. Period. The dirtier the deal and the conduct, the louder and bigger the lies, the more people stepped on, the more praise is deserved. If you can’t use them to attain your goals and better your deal, get rid of them—just useless trash not worthy of your time. Ill-fated Fred Jr. lacked the killer instinct—out he went with his younger brother Donald, an apt and eager student for his father’s warped ideals, ready to take his coveted place in the Trump Empire. Look out New York City!

Fred Sr. was a force to be reckoned with. His sons longed for his approval. With an unreasonably condemnatory and demanding father and an aloof, sickly, uninvolved mother, the five Trump siblings struggled for approval, attention, and love. Taught to be hypercrtical of one another, suppress feelings and vulnerabilities, and always put themselves before all others, this dysfunctional family became a war zone at the family and holiday dinner table. Drowning? Too bad for you. You should have learned to swim. Your baby is critically ill and near death? So, what do you want me to do about that? Your brother lies dying in his hospital bed at 42 years old from a heart attack brought on by years of alcoholism and depression? What’s that got to do with me? I’m going to the movies.

The Trump family is portrayed as greedy, spiteful, cold, merciless, deceitful manipulating lawbreakers by Mary Trump who holds a MS in Literature and a PhD in Clinical Psychology. She labels her grandfather Fred Sr. and her uncle Donald as two peas in a pod. She attributes the following to Donald Trump: anti-social personality disorder, dependent personality, narcissism, learning disabled, and sociopathy to name a few, which is all exacerbated by his poor diet, lack of exercise and sleep, and his protected environment (body guards, Oval Office, military school, private schools, colleges where his parents donated millions of dollars) whereby people outside of his coterie cannot get near him. Mary Trump concludes, “We can’t evaluate his day-to-day functioning because he is, in the West Wing, essentially institutionalized. Donald has been institutionalized for most of his adult life, so there is no way to know how he would thrive, or even survive, on his own in the real world.”

Wow! Wow! and Wow!

It’s obvious that Mary Trump has an ax to grind. If what she says is true, the Trump family intentionally went out of their way to cheat her and her brother out of the fortunes due them. Fred Sr. had only contempt for his oldest son Fred Jr., loathed his weak, purposeless wife, hated their two children for blatant disrespect such as not wearing a tie or or in Mary’s case, wearing a baggy sweater to the dinner table. Fred Jr. is dead. He was a useless, weak disappointment. He’s not around to receive his share of the family fortune. Why should his lazy widow and equally lazy kids get the money that would have been his? He’s not here, but we are. (BTW, the kids aren’t at all lazy and their mother was a stay at home mom, as was the custom of the day.)

Mary Trump is now exacting revenge on the whole clan by using her uncle Donald as a pawn in her scheme to topple the Trump family right off their pedestals. By now you’ve heard of the major tax fraud investigation being brought against Donald Trump? Guess who supplied the New York Times with boxes and boxes of family financial statements, records and receipts?  It seems Mary inherited the family thirst for revenge, “When I finally realized that my grandfather didn’t care what I accomplished or contributed and that my own unrealistic expectations were paralyzing me, I still felt that only a grand gesture would set it right. It wasn’t enough for me to volunteer at an organization helping Syrian refugees; I had to take Donald down.”

Regardless of your politics and whether you believe Donald Trump was a great president or a total disaster, we can’t ignore that this books airs dirty Trump family laundry. Who knows what is true, false or that vast gray area in between? As I have said many times: When a parent abuses a child physically, mentally or emotionally, the child does not grow up to hate the parent; they grow up to hate themselves.

Please let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at

I wish you all a life inspired by the wonder of the world around us. May you find and live your truth, in harmony with people, nature and the environment. May you be a force for good and a source of love and comfort. May the world be a better place for you having lived and loved here.

All rights reserved 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023

Book Review: I Can’t Find My Flashlight ed. by JK Larkin


Book Review: I Can’t Find My Flashlight-Contemporary Campfire Stories ed. By JK Larkin (Red Penguin Books, 2020)

Love scary stories? With Halloween coming up, there’s nothing like keeping the lights off with burning candles casting spooky shadows and spooky music in the background. This book is filled with some of the scariest stories you’ll ever read. The best part is that these are adult stories—not written for children or the faint of heart!

Topics? Kidnapping by a mysterious man, creepy neighbors, an anti-hero Santa, visits from the Devil, virulent food, ubiquitous street entertainer, evil shape shifters, vengeful souls, roasting souls, and an ominous Ouija board.

Authors? Hayley St. James, Christina Hoag, D E McCluskey, William John Rostron, Christ Kennedy, David Lange, Elaine Donadio, Lisa Diaz Meyer, Alex Grey, Frances Lu-Pai Ippolito.

Available at

Happy Reading!


All rights reserved 2021

Remembering—A 9/11 Tribute

Whenever I see images of what once were the North and South Towers of The World Trade Center, my body reacts with chills and tears. Yes, the spaces are filled with something else, but the spirits of the lost remain. Native New Yorkers can’t forget. I did not lose family or friends that terrible day, but the collective conscience remains strong with the pain of loss experienced by thousands. My prayer for the lost: may eternal light shine upon them ….

I remember my visit to the 9/11 Memorial in downtown Manhattan. It was something I wanted to do, but no one wanted to go with me. “Too far,” they said. “Too sad,” they added. “Besides, you can’t park there and I don’t do subways.”

I guess the universe picked up my thoughts. One of my former colleagues soon called me unexpectedly to ask if I was at all interested in visiting the Memorial. I was very thankful for this gift.

We boarded the Express Bus in Queens to the Wall Street area and rode in air-conditioned comfort on a scorching hot day.

At first the memorial seemed disappointing because we kept looking up, expecting to find the exhibits on the upper floors. Instead, we were directed to descend deeper and deeper into the very heart of the earth where the exhibit slowly revealed itself. We walked the same stone steps that led the few lucky survivors to life, and helpless victims to death—the remaining remnants of the stairwells filled with terrified employees rushing down, and brave First Responders confidently moving up.

How many made it out alive to tell their stories? How many left their wallets, shoes, photos, lipstick, handbags, ID cards, and uniform buttons as proof they had once lived? Their bodies somehow missing, only scant possessions remained.

Sad for days, the visions stayed with me—the thwacking sounds as their bodies hit the pavement after jumping out of windows to escape the flames, screams of terror and disbelief, tears of sadness.

I remember.

Please let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at

I wish you all a life inspired by the wonder of the world around us. May you find and live your truth, in harmony with people, nature and the environment. May you be a force for good and a source of love and comfort. May the world be a better place for you having lived and loved here.

All rights reserved 2021.

Book Review: Am I Overthinking This? A Self-Help Essay Collection, ed. by JK Larkin

Am I Overthinking This?

A Self-Help Essay Collection

Ed. By JK Larkin

Red Penguin Books (2021)

If you’ve ever felt confused and overwhelmed about what action to take in making important life decisions, you’re sure to find some sage advice in this book to point you in the right direction. Examples come from relatable life experiences. Suggestions are direct and to the point and are easy to follow. 

Topics: How to find happiness, controlling news and social media bombardment, coming back from PTSD, walking our true path, how our astrological sign affects brain overload, is luck random, how proper breathing releases anxiety, looking for the Light, even with help only YOU can fix YOU, how our thoughts become our reality, walking away from abusive relationships, life’s lessons from a chess game, getting to the crux of the problem of bad dreams, learning to disregard fears to live a fulfilling life.

Authors: KB Gauthier, Michael P. Kusen, Jim Tritten, Elaine Donadio, Joanne Angel Barry Colon, Skye Ballantyne, Anna E. Kravis, David Lange, Christina Hoag, Mary Claire Leming. Happy reading

Book Review: The Roaring ’20s-A Decade of Stories, ed. by JK Larkin

Book Review: The Roaring ’20s-A Decade of Stories, Anthology, ed. by JK Larkin (Red Penguin Books, 2021)

Has life really changed so much in the last hundred years? You’ll realize just how much when you read the short stories by these eleven talented authors. Capturing the attitudes, culture, and everyday lives of days gone by, readers are struck by the differences. Despite the title, this book contains stories that are set in the 1920s as well as the decades that follow. 

Music? Dances? Cocktails? Slang? Transportation? Family life? Relationships? Clothing Styles? Goals? Problems? All different from those of present day life.

You’ll read short stories by such authors as David Lange, Shevaun Cavanaugh Kastl, Eric Wayne, Amanda Montoni, Debbie De Louise, Olivia Arieti, Terri Paul, Elaine Donadio, Anita Haas, Robert A. Morris, and William John Rostron. 

Available at Amazon. Happy reading!

Book Review: The Beauty Within: Stories of Spirituality, Faith, and Love (Anthology)

Review by Elaine Donadio
The Beauty Within: Stories of Spirituality, Faith, and Love (Anthology)
Ed. By JK Larkin (Red Penguin Books, 2020)

The cover of this book attracted my attention as I immediately noticed the contrast between the sterile foreground as compared with the lush, verdant background. Hmmm.

Browsing through the chapter headings I realized the symbolism. The beauty within us is often hidden by a cold, uncommunicative exterior, but go a little deeper, and the inner beauty reveals itself.

This book is comprised of sixteen stories of spirituality, faith, and love, all written by different authors with a different slant on these themes. Don’t expect preachy, archaic, mundane dogma. Instead, appreciate life’s lessons portrayed in the real world.

How does a brother show his love? What makes a hero? How can we help our loved ones transition to the next realm? Do we really overcome the loss of unborn children? How do we keep the faith when we are plagued by sickness? How do supportive people remind us of God’s love? Can yelling at God help us live a better life? How is hope the twin of faith? How can the Divine Wind give us hope? How do the cultural contrasts of New Orleans portray and strengthen love of God? Is the quest for Tao meant to be easy? Must the memory of lost love haunt us forever? How can past, present, and future transcend the physical realm? How are the Northern Lights a sign that no one is really ever gone? Does freedom mean escape or enlightenment?

You’ll be pleased to discover short stories, poems and even a play by such talented authors as Linda Trott Dickman, William John Rostron, Dan Kerr, Jacqueline Bottenbley, Rolanda T. Pyle, Jenna Zeihen, Skye Ballantyne, Katherine Abraham, David Lange, Elaine Donadio, J.S. Mannino, Sage Holloway, Brianna White, and Alaina Messineo.


Happy Reading!


Free Ebooks by Elaine Donadio: July 4-11

Free Ebooks – July 4-11 by Elaine Donadio

Elaine Donadio Interviewed by Stephanie Larkin- Between the Covers- Dec 4, 2021

Please click here to watch as Stephanie Larkin interviews me, Elaine Donadio, and fellow authors Janet Rudolph and Nicholas Shatarah at Strong Island TV, Massapequa, NY

Great News! Two Submissions Accepted to Am I Overthinking This? Anthology, Red Penguin Books (2021)

I am so happy that both my submissions “How Your Thoughts Become Your Reality” and “Walking Your True Path” have been accepted for Am I Overthinking This? (Red Penguin Books, 2021, Anthology ed. by JK Larkin)

Great News! My Short Story “The Frog Princess” in Once Upon a Time, Red Penguin Books

I am thrilled and honored that my modern short story adaptation of “The Frog Princess” has been accepted into the Once Upon a Time Fairy Tale Anthology, ed. by JK Larkin, Red Penguin Books, 2021

Previous Older Entries

Saturday, March 14, 2020- Barnes & Noble, Massapequa, NY 12:00-4:00pm

May 2023
%d bloggers like this: