Doing Dewey Your Source For Everything Nonfiction! Sat, 22 Jul 2017 06:56:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 61904956 Nonfiction Friday Fri, 21 Jul 2017 14:00:00 +0000 Read more »]]> NonfictionFriday

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

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Nonfiction Friday Fri, 14 Jul 2017 14:00:00 +0000 Read more »]]> NonfictionFriday

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

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New Release Review: The Almost Sisters Wed, 12 Jul 2017 11:00:00 +0000 Read more »]]> Title: The Almost Sisters
Author: Joshilyn Jackson
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: five-stars

Summary: I loved this even more than Joshilyn Jackson’s previous books, for it’s great geek culture and heart-warming but realistic moments.

Leia Birch Briggs has a lot on her plate. Right after finding she’s pregnant after a one night stand at a comic convention, she discovers that her always dependable step-sister has been hiding a crumbling marriage, while her grandmother has been hiding her worsening dementia. “Just when Leia thinks she’s got it all under control, she learns that illness is not the only thing [her grandmother]’s been hiding. Tucked in the attic is a dangerous secret with roots that reach all the way back to the Civil War. Its exposure threatens the family’s freedom and future, and it will change everything about how Leia sees herself and her sister, her son and his missing father, and the world she thinks she knows.” (source)

I really enjoyed Joshilyn Jackson’s Someone Else’s Love Story, but saw some of the problems others pointed out with it after I finished reading. The second book of hers that I read, The Opposite of Everyone, didn’t seem like anything special to me. However, there’s something about her writing that I can’t get enough of. I love the believable characters she creates and the equally believable, impressively varied relationships she creates between them. For that reason, I didn’t hesitate to pick up her newest book, The Almost Sisters. This was one of my better decisions! I loved this book more than either of the previous books I’ve read by this author. The characters were as believable and lovable as I hoped. The plot was almost outside the realm of possibility, but not quite, and it was gripping. The geek culture the author worked into the story was a ton of fun. I couldn’t have enjoyed reading this more.

The big issue the author tackles in this book is the issue of racism, sometimes blatant and sometimes hidden behind the facade of a wholesome community. I felt it was handled well, although it was clearly addressed from the perspective of someone white, as the main character’s eyes are opened to the darker side of the town she loves. The romance in Leia’s life was also handled very well, in way that was heart-warming but believable. I adored her love interest, who stutters and shares her love of all things geeky and isn’t the stereotypical love interest, which made me love him even more. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a feel-good read that features delightful characters and family relationships.

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Nonfiction Review: Better Than Before Mon, 10 Jul 2017 11:00:00 +0000 Read more »]]> Title: Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives
Author: Gretchen Rubin
Source: Library
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Summary: I didn’t think this was nearly as good as The Happiness Project but I do think it has lots of useful suggestions for anyone trying to make change their habits.

Gretchen Reuben’s Happiness Project is actually the book that inspired me to start blogging, so I’m surprised it’s taken me so long to pick up any of her other books. Better Than Before is a book about how we can intentionally form habits to make our lives easier. It includes 21 different habit-forming strategies, sometimes back by research and always demonstrated with interesting anecdotes from Gretchen, her family and friends, and her readers.

While I would love to say only good things about this book, since I’m so grateful to the author for inspiring the great experience I’ve had with this blog, it didn’t live up to my memory of The Happiness Project. The writing wasn’t chronological. It was instead grouped by types of habit strategy and felt more disjointed as a result. The 21 habits were a lot to keep track of and I would have loved to have a cheat sheet at the end. In The Happiness Project, I think Gretchen’s strategies to improve her life were typically backed by research. When they weren’t, however, it wasn’t a big deal, because she was just telling us the story of her personal attempts to improve her life. In Better Than Before, she’s trying to generalize habit forming strategies for everyone and so the fact that many seemed to be based on anecdotes bothered me.

The writing style reminded me of her podcast, Happier, which I’ve recently discovered and would highly recommend. It has definitely made my commute happier. Unfortunately, the style works much better for an informal podcast than for a book. The writing quality didn’t impress me. Despite the problems I had with this book, I did find it inspiring and think I could benefit from some of the author’s suggestions. Although I didn’t love this enough to recommend it to anyone, I do think it would be helpful to anyone looking to make some changes in their habits or feeling the desire to improve their lives.

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Futuristic Friday: Exciting New Releases July-September 2017 Wed, 05 Jul 2017 14:00:00 +0000 Read more »]]>

As you might guess by the fact that today is not Friday, I’m a bit late sharing the list of books Tamara of Travelling with T and I are most looking forward to this quarter! Unfortunately, I’ve been sick since last week and it’s put me a bit behind. We have some great books to share with you though and I can’t wait to get to reading and reviewing them. Don’t miss our Futuristic Friday picks over at Tamara’s blog!

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Nonfiction Friday Fri, 30 Jun 2017 14:00:00 +0000 Read more »]]> NonfictionFriday

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


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Is the First Book You Read By An Author Always the Best? A Review and Some Stats Tue, 27 Jun 2017 14:00:00 +0000 Read more »]]> Title: The Inexplicable Logic of My Life
Author: Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Source: Library
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: I really enjoyed this book, but it didn’t quite live up to the emotional punch of Ari and Dante.

“Everything is about to change. Until this moment, Sal has always been certain of his place with his adoptive gay father and their loving Mexican-American family. But now his own history unexpectedly haunts him, and life-altering events force him and his best friend, Samantha, to confront issues of faith, loss, and grief. Suddenly Sal is throwing punches, questioning everything, and discovering that he no longer knows who he really is—but if Sal’s not who he thought he was, who is he?” (source)

This book had a lot to live up to, because I fell so completely in love with  Sáenz’s first book, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. I did my best to temper my expectations, but it was hard! Although I did really enjoy this book, it didn’t quite live up to Ari and Dante for me. It was moving and felt very real, two things I loved about Ari and Dante. However, it lacked the emotional crescendo of Ari and Dante. It was constantly pretty moving, which I didn’t enjoy as much as the way the emotion in Ari and Dante slowly built up to a climactic ending.

Since I couldn’t attribute my preference for Ari and Dante to anything more specific than how it made me feel, I was curious if Inexplicable Logic was actually just at a disadvantage because I read it second. I know that I often love books where I feel as though the author has done something novel. This is obviously less likely to be the case if I’m reading a second, very similar book by a given author. Surprisingly, the data actually show the opposite – 85% of the 75 times I’ve read a second book by an author, I’ve rated the second book as high or higher than the first. The only caveat I’d add to that conclusion is that there the star rating I give a book doesn’t always mean the same thing. A five star book that is one of my favorite books ever is very different from a five star book that isn’t. I just don’t have a higher rating for these all time favorites. Anyway, going back to Inexplicable Logic, I think my previous ratings suggest that I do give second books a fair chance. I’m guessing that means that Ari and Dante would have been my favorite of the two regardless of the order in which I read them.

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Review: Why Time Flies Sat, 24 Jun 2017 14:00:00 +0000 Read more »]]> Title: Why Time Flies: A Mostly Scientific Investigation
Author: Alan Burdick
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Summary: I learned some fun facts and mostly enjoyed reading this, but it was not well organized or cohesive.

‘“Time” is the most commonly used noun in the English language; it’s always on our minds and it advances through every living moment. But what is time, exactly? Do children experience it the same way adults do? Why does it seem to slow down when we’re bored and speed by as we get older? How and why does time fly?’ In an attempt to answer this question, author Alan Burdick ‘visits the most accurate clock in the world (which exists only on paper); discovers that “now” actually happened a split-second ago; finds a twenty-fifth hour in the day; lives in the Arctic to lose all sense of time; and, for one fleeting moment in a neuroscientist’s lab, even makes time go backward.’ (source)

There were two really great parts to this book – the fun facts and the author’s own experiences and musings on time. I loved hearing about the experiences he had while researching this book. The science parts were fascinating. Some of my favorite bits included the way global time is calculated; the fascinating research being done on how we experience time; and the way our perception can mislead us. I learned a lot and I enjoyed doing it.

The less good parts of this book were where the author tried to get philosophical about time. I didn’t find anything he said particularly profound. I also didn’t feel like he want anywhere with this line of thought. The organization of the book was also poor. There were a few sections that had cohesive themes ( a section that focused on circadian rhythms, for example), but other sections were all over the place. The book also felt repetitive to me, particularly the philosophical bits that covered the same points over and over throughout the book.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book and it never dragged, so I would recommend it if you’re interested in the topic. However, if you’re looking for something philosophical, there are other books that I think have succeeded much better at addressing the big questions (Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, for example).

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Review: Four Reigns Mon, 19 Jun 2017 14:00:00 +0000 Read more »]]> Title: Four Reigns
Author: Kukrit Pramoj
Source: Bought
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Summary: This was very long and not much happened, but it did provide an interesting glimpse of another culture.

“This English version of the Thai novel Si Phaendin tells the rich and entertaining story of one woman’s life both inside and outside the royal palace in Bangkok. Spanning a period of four reigns, from King Chulalongkorn to the reign of his grandson King Ananda, this popular modern classic gives insight into the social and political issues facing Thailand from the 1890s through the turbulent years of World War II.” (source)

I picked this book up hoping to learn more about Thailand and it was pretty perfect for that. The main character, Phloi, grows up serving in the palace, so I learned about both domestic life as a woman in Thailand and the Thai political landscape.  Unfortunately nothing terribly exciting happened in Phloi’s life or in Thai politics for the first 400 pages. There were some big events in Phloi’s life, but she was a bit of a Mary Sue and her life presented few challenges. Any interest I had in the book was due almost exclusively to the setting.

In the remaining 200 pages, WWI, WWII, and an internal revolution all happen, drastically shaking up the political landscape. Phloi’s family is divided as different members support different factions of the Thai government. This was the most eventful part of the book and by far my favorite. Throughout the book, Phloi’s story was a perfect choice to teach the reader about Thailand and I thought it was clever the way her home life paralleled events in Thai politics. However, I’d much rather have had a character with a consistently exciting life to get me through the uneventful parts of Thai history!

Nonfiction Friday Fri, 16 Jun 2017 14:00:00 +0000 Read more »]]> NonfictionFriday

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

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