Posts Categorized: Biography

#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: A Warrior of the People

November 11, 2016 Biography, History, non-fiction 4

#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: A Warrior of the PeopleTitle: A Warrior of the People: How Susan La Flesche Overcame Racial and Gender Inequality to Become America’s First Indian Doctor
Author: Joe Starita
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Summary: An incredible and engaging story, although written a bit simply.

Susan La Flesche was the first Native American to become a doctor, at a time when any female doctors were rare. She overcome many obstacles and made difficult personal sacrifices to serve her people. Her level of community involvement while in school and while serving as a doctor was almost unbelievable. She led a fascinating and inspiring life. Read more »

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Review – Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear War

August 12, 2015 Biography, History, non-fiction 9

Review – Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear WarTitle: Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear War
Author: Susan Southard
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: five-stars

Summary: This was a difficult book to read, but incredibly well written and worthwhile.

I hoped to write a review of this book on August 9th, the 70th anniversary of the day an atomic bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki. Unfortunately, life interfered, but this horrific event still deserves to be remembered today. Drawing on extensive interviews, the author is able to share the stories of five survivors, from the time of the bombing through the present. She also places their personal stories in the greater historical context, both leading up to the decision to use the atomic bomb and following the way the decision was presented afterwards. 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
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

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: Model Woman

June 10, 2015 Biography, non-fiction 10

Review: Model WomanTitle: Model Woman
Author: Robert Lacey
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: This was a very fun, easy read which kept my interest because of both Eileen’s character and the interesting industry she worked in.

Eileen Ford, founder of Ford Modelling Agency, was a woman of many contradictions. Fiercely protective of her models, she could be extremely sharp towards people she thought were taking advantage of them. But she could be equally sharp with models who didn’t follow her rules or meet her standards for beauty. Her drive and eye for talent, combined with her husband’s business sense, helped models become a more respected part of the fashion industry. They also turned Ford into the largest and most successful modelling agency in the 20th century. Read more »

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The News Sorority

April 11, 2015 Biography, History, non-fiction 12

The News SororityTitle: The News Sorority
Author: Sheila Weller
Source: NetGalley
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: five-stars

Summary: Thoughtful, even-handed, with lots of great quotes, this book brought to life three fascinating women and highlighted the state of women in journalism today.

Like really great historical fiction, this biography did a wonderful job bringing to life not only individuals but also a larger setting. I found Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, and Christiane Amanpour’s histories and inspirations fascinating. They’re all incredibly interesting women with many unique life experiences. Although I probably would have described this as narrative nonfiction, the author explicitly states that she thinks of this not as narrative nonfiction, but as journalistic nonfiction, told largely through quotes from primary sources. I’m not sure those two genres are mutually exclusive, but I did notice and appreciate all of the direct quotes the author used. Most flowed smoothly with the narrative bits she’d written. Together, they presented what seemed to be an unbiased and well-rounded view of each woman. Despite obvious similarities, particularly their success in a male-dominated profession, the author also clearly highlighted their individual personalities, strengths, and weaknesses. Read more »

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The End of Your Life Book Club

November 26, 2014 Biography, Memoir, non-fiction, Review 23

The End of Your Life Book ClubTitle: The End of Your Life Book Club
Author: Will Schwalbe
Source: Gift
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: five-stars

Summary: This was a beautiful story which I found both inspirational and moving.

Will Schwalbe and his mother Mary Anne have always shared a love of reading, but rarely ended up reading the same books until Mary Anne was diagnosed with cancer. Mother and son then started a small, informal book club of two, discussing books while waiting in hospital lobbies. Their conversations were “both wide-ranging and deeply personal” (source) and showed how books can both help us forget ourselves and help us make sense of our own experiences.
Read more »

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Nonfiction November: Cleopatra Read-a-Long

November 19, 2014 Biography, non-fiction 8

nonfiction november readalongs

Welcome to the Nonfiction November Read-a-Long Discussion for Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff!  Last night I had a great discussion with my fabulous co-host, Becca from I’m Lost in Books. We had a lot of fun talking about the book and are excited to share our discussion with you. We’ve also got a link-up at the end of the post where you can share your thoughts as well as some optional discussion questions to get you started. If you also want to chat about The Restless Sleep, be sure to check out the great discussion hosted by Kim at Sophisticated Dorkiness and Leslie at Regular Ruminations. Read more »

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The Woman Who Would Be King

October 20, 2014 Biography, History, Narrative Non-Fiction, non-fiction, Review 17

The Woman Who Would Be KingTitle: The Woman Who Would Be King
Author: Kara Cooney
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: five-stars

Summary: The subject of this book was fascinating, even though the writing was sometimes a bit dry, and I loved how transparent the author was about her sources.

In ancient Egypt, royal women were expected to defend their family’s bloodline, marrying their brothers and producing royal heirs. Women might act as reagents for their young sons, but it was almost unheard of for them to rule in their own right. This biography tells the story of Hatshepsut, “the longest reigning female pharaoh in Ancient Egypt” (source) and her rise to power. The author uses what little archaeological evidence remains to speculate about Hatshepsut’s feelings and to analyze the political maneuvering required for Hatshepsut to retain power in a traditionally male leadership role.
Read more »

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The Underground Girls of Kabul

September 21, 2014 Biography, History, Narrative Non-Fiction, non-fiction, Review 19

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

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.
Read more »

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