My Thinning Years – Review and Giveaway

My Thinning Years – Review and GiveawayTitle: My Thinning Years
Author: Jon Derek Croteau
Source: TLC Book Tours
Rating: five-stars
Links: Amazon|Goodreads|Indiebound

Summary: This was a tough read, but also engaging and eye-opening.

It was clear from an early age that Jon was not the athletic, all-American boy his father wanted him to be. His father responded with fear and hate, trying to change Jon with physical and emotional abuse. As a teenager, Jon’s internalized homophobia caused him to continue abusing himself, with eating disorders and excessive, unhealthy amounts of exercise. Only years later, by cutting his father out of his life and out of his head, was he able to come to terms with his sexual identity and to recognize that he deserved to be happy. Continue reading

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Filed under LGBT, Memoir, non-fiction, Psychology, Review, Self-Help

30 Authors in 30 Days: Jean Kwok on Celeste Ng’s Everything I Never Told You

i love authors 3

Today, I’m excited to share with you a book recommendation from author Jean Kwok as part of 30 Authors in 30 Days. Here’s what the event is all about:

30 Authors in 30 Days is a first of its kind event aimed at connecting readers, bloggers, and authors. Hosted by The Book Wheel, this month-long event takes place during September and features 30 authors discussing their favorite recent reads on 30 different blogs. There are also some great prizes provided by and BookJigs. For the full schedule of participating authors and bloggers, visit The Book Wheel ( or join the Facebook group ( You can also follow along on Twitter with the #30Authors hashtag! Continue reading


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The Underground Girls of Kabul

The Underground Girls of KabulTitle: The Underground Girls of Kabul
Author: Jenny Nordberg
Source: NetGalley
Rating: four-stars
Links: Amazon|Goodreads|Indiebound

Summary: This was a very enjoyable story, but a very sad reality.

In Afghanistan, where a son is viewed as an honor and daughters are viewed as a burden, it is not uncommon for a family to temporarily raise a daughter as a son. This can happen because the family needs the financial help of having a working son; because the family wants to increase their standing in the community; or because of the superstitious belief that raising a pretend son will help a woman give birth to a boy. Girls raised in this way are typically treated as women once they reach puberty. Some find this experience helps them survive a world dominated by men while others struggle with their return to womanhood because of the oppression they then face.
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Filed under Biography, History, Narrative Non-Fiction, non-fiction, Review

Non-Fiction Friday

NonFictionFriday2Non-Fiction Friday is a link-up where you can find all of the awesome non-fiction happenings of the week. Be sure to link-up your non-fiction posts too!

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Filed under Biography, History, Memoir, non-fiction, Science

GI Brides

GI BridesTitle: GI Brides
Author: Duncan Barrett, Nuala Calvi
Source: TLC Book Tours
Rating: four-stars
Links: Amazon|Goodreads|Indiebound

Summary: I loved learning about this fascinating bit of history and the incredible journeys of the GI brides, although I found the third person narration a bit stiff.

During the “friendly invasion” of Britain by American GIs during WWII, many women were bewitched by the handsome soldiers with their foreign accents. Thousands of these liaisons ended in marriage and the US army paid to transport the newly married GI brides to the US. For many, this was an exciting, but terrifying prospect. Many of the couples were just getting to know one another and the women rarely knew what they were getting themselves into. From cultural differences to overbearing families, from drinking husbands to gambling husbands, these women faced incredible, impossible to anticipate challenges when they reached their new homes. The four women in this story didn’t all find fairy tale endings, but through sheer force of will, they each shaped lives that would make them happy. Continue reading


Filed under Biography, History, Narrative Non-Fiction, non-fiction, Review

Bloggiesta Sign-Up and To-Do

Bloggiesta-Button-FallLife, especially grad school, is keeping me pretty busy right now, but I just can’t pass up the chance to work on my blog while interacting with lots of wonderful bloggers at Bloggiesta. I’m looking forward to hosting a mini-challenge and can’t wait to check out everyone else’s mini-challenges as well. Here’s my tentative, not too ambitious, to-do list for this weekend:

  • update blog roll (actually deleted instead – I’ve never, ever used someone else’s blogroll, so I’m not sure I think it’s worth maintaining)
  • update review cross-posting and spreadsheet tracking
  • participate in at least one twitter chat
  • do at least 2 mini-challenges (Browser Extensions via Brianna, Negative Reviews via April)
  • schedule posts for the upcoming week

What are you looking forward to most about Bloggiesta? What’s your most important goal for the event?


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Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge: How to use Riffle As a Blogger


I’m always looking for the next big social book reviewing site, but so far, I’ve found very few sites I like as well as Goodreads. It’s primarily what I use to track my reading and share reviews, despite the uproar over reviews being selectively deleted by the site. However, I have started using Riffle in parallel for several reasons. First, it’s a really good looking site. I love the Pinterest-inspired layout, with everything from activity feeds to book recommendations displayed using book covers. Second, the list feature is a lot of fun, both because of the book cover-focused layout and because the site moderators do a great job moving interesting lists (best sellers, for example) onto the site. The resulting lists are also easily embedded into blog posts. And last but not least, the site emphasizes genre, allowing you to sign-up as an expert in a particular genre and to categorize the lists you create as belonging to up to three genres. As a book blogger, this is invaluable, because it gives other users of the site a way to find you. The moderators of particular genres are also great people to be friends with, since they sometimes will choose to share your themed lists with their followers. Continue reading


Filed under Blogger Events, Giveaway