Soundbite Sunday: Not That Kind of Girl

July 5, 2015 Audiobook, Memoir, non-fiction, Review 3 ★★

Soundbite Sunday: Not That Kind of GirlTitle: Not That Kind of Girl
Author: Lena Dunham
Rating: two-stars
Links: Amazon|Goodreads|Indiebound

Summary: I found the author’s voice annoying and the focus of her story was on relationships I didn’t find very interesting.

I’d never heard of Lena Dunham prior to reading Not That Kind of Girl, but I’m always up for a memoir read by the author, so I decided to give it a try. Unfortunately, this particular author’s voice really did not work for me. Although I did enjoy hearing the story with the author’s intended inflection, she sounded whiny and childish to me. Read more »

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Beauty and Chaos Review

July 1, 2015 non-fiction 1 ★★★★★

Beauty and Chaos ReviewTitle: Beauty and Chaos
Author: Michael Pronko
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: five-stars
Links: Amazon|Goodreads|Indiebound

Summary: This collection renewed my faith in short stories collections with a series of beautiful, meditative pieces on the little things in life.

After living in and writing about Tokyo for years, Michael Pronko is able to share fascinating details about the city that the casual visitor would probably miss. He highlights the duality of the city, with its islands of serenity and peace in the midst of what is the largest city in the world, and explains many beautiful customs. Read more »

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Review and Giveaway: Everything I Never Told You

June 27, 2015 Fiction, Review 9 ★★★★★

Review and Giveaway: Everything I Never Told YouTitle: Everything I Never Told You: A Novel
Author: Celeste Ng
Source: NetGalley
Rating: five-stars
Links: Amazon|Goodreads|Indiebound

Summary: This book was heartbreakingly real, with some of the most relatable characters I’ve ever encountered.

““Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.” So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee, and her parents are determined that she will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue. But when Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, tumbling them into chaos.” (Source) Read more »

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Review: Hotel Moscow

June 25, 2015 Fiction, Historical Fiction, Review, Thriller 8 ★★★★

Review: Hotel MoscowTitle: Hotel Moscow
Author: Talia Carner
Source: TLC Book Tours
Rating: four-stars
Links: Amazon|Goodreads|Indiebound

Summary: This book was more thriller than I expected, but both the thriller and historical fiction elements were very well executed.

When Brooke Fielding volunteers her business knowledge to help Russian female entrepreneurs after the fall of communism, she knows her visit will be complicated by the fact that her parents are Russian Jewish holocaust survivors. What she doesn’t know is how dangerous the trip will turn out to be. Despite her parents’ past, Brooke becomes deeply involved with the women she’s trying to help. Mafia members and corrupt officials employ brutal tactics in their attempt to acquire the newly privatized businesses owned by the women Brooke hopes to help. And only Brooke has the financial knowledge and connections needed to discover who is behind the violent takeovers. Read more »

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Review: A Deadly Wandering

June 18, 2015 Biography, Narrative Non-Fiction, non-fiction, Psychology, Science 8 ★★★★

Review: A Deadly WanderingTitle: A Deadly Wandering
Author: Matt Richtel
Source: TLC Book Tours
Rating: four-stars
Links: Amazon|Goodreads|Indiebound

Summary: Although the science and citations weren’t as detailed as I’d have liked, this book was a profoundly moving and enjoyable read.

This is a story about something that could happen to any of us if we’re not careful. This is a story about the sometimes deadly consequences of texting and driving. This is a story about Reggie Shaw and how he caused an accident that killed Jim Furfaro and Keith O’Dell, both fathers and rocket scientists, because he was texting while he drove. Through extensive interviews with Reggie, his family, and the families of Jim and Keith, the author shows the impact this accident had on their lives. He also explains the science that makes texts so hard to ignore that many of us choose to text and drive, despite knowing that doing so is dangerous. Read more »

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Review: Something Must be Done About Prince Edward County

June 15, 2015 History, Memoir, Narrative Non-Fiction, non-fiction 8 ★★★

Review: Something Must be Done About Prince Edward CountyTitle: Something Must Be Done About Prince Edward County
Author: Kristen Green
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: three-stars
Links: Amazon|Goodreads|Indiebound

Summary: This was an enjoyable book, but more autobiography than I expected and lighter than I would have liked.

In response to the Brown v. Board of Education ruling that segregated schools were unconstitutional, Virginia’s Prince Edward County closed public schools rather that integrate their school system. They then started a private school exclusively for white children. This left many African American and poor white families with two options: send their children away or pull them out of school. Although author Kristen Green attended the local private school, she knew little about her hometown’s past and her own family’s role in the public school closings. Read more »

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