Source: from publisher for review

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Review: Capital Dames

June 3, 2015 History, non-fiction, Review 18

Review: Capital DamesTitle: Capital Dames
Author: Cokie Roberts
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: This was such a fascinating look at women in history! I enjoyed it and learned a lot too.

I’ve always thought that history tends to focus on men because the sexism of the past meant that men really were the only ones doing things. Both I and the male-focused histories have been very wrong! Capital Dames tells the story of the women in Washington during the Civil War and the many varied and important roles they played in that conflict. Women involved in Washington society continued to influence politics throughout the war, while other women took on new professions, from journalism to making munitions. Read more »

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Five Things You Should Know About Antibiotics: A Review of 10% Human

May 30, 2015 non-fiction, Science 22

Five Things You Should Know About Antibiotics: A Review of 10% HumanTitle: 10% Human
Author: Alanna Collen
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: This book was fascinating and informative, so full of fun facts that I wanted to take notes on nearly every sentence.

The title of this book, 10% Human, refers to the fact that for every cell in your body, there are nine microbes living in your gut. Your health can be influenced by these microbes in surprising ways. From your weight to your immune system, to your mental health and choice of partner, your microbes can affect every aspect of your life. By influencing your gut microbiome (the microbes living in your gut), antibiotics may play a surprising role in your health. Here are some interesting things this book taught me about antibiotics:
Read more »

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So What’s the Deal With Bitcoins? A Review of Digital Gold

May 25, 2015 History, non-fiction, Science 11

So What’s the Deal With Bitcoins? A Review of Digital GoldTitle: Digital Gold
Author: Nathaniel Popper
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: Like all my favorite narrative nonfiction, this book told a great story about fascinating people while teaching me something new.

If you’re like me before reading this book, you’ve heard of the digital money called Bitcoin only when it’s gotten negative press. Honestly, after hearing about many people losing the money they’d invested in Bitcoins, I thought this experiment was dead. I was still fascinated to learn about it though and especially about the people behind Bitcoin. As the subtitle indicates, this group included a wide variety of people, from millionaires to social revolutionaries, from hackers to drug dealers. Like most narrative nonfiction I love, it was the way the author told these people’s stories that made this a great read for me. Read more »

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Five Ways The Last Bookaneer Made Book Pirates Boring

May 18, 2015 Fiction, Historical Fiction 23

Five Ways The Last Bookaneer Made Book Pirates BoringTitle: The Last Bookaneer
Author: Matthew Pearl
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: two-stars

Summary: Despite an exciting premise and some interesting plot elements, the dry, sometimes condescending writing made this a boring read for me.

In the same way that the phrase “assassin nuns” made me instantly want to read Grave Mercy, as soon as I got to the words “literary pirates” in this book description, I knew I had to read The Last Bookaneer. Sadly, unlike Grave MercyThe Last Bookaneer didn’t live up to my expectations. Although this book picked up a little towards the end, it was a mostly a very slow read that I was always close to giving up on. Here are a few of the reasons it didn’t quite work for me: Read more »

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Legacy: An Anthology (#30Authors)

May 18, 2015 Contemporary, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Literary, Magical Realism, Memoir, Narrative Non-Fiction, non-fiction 7

Legacy: An Anthology (#30Authors)Title: Legacy
Author: Adria J. Cimino, Allison Hiltz, David Whitehouse, Didier Quémener, J.J. Hensley, Jenny Milchman, Kristopher Jansma, Lizzie Harwood, Marissa Stapley, Maureen Foley, Paula Young Lee, Piper Punches, Regina Calcaterra, Stephanie Carroll, Vicki Lesage
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

 

Last year, I was able to participate in the fun #30Authors event, connecting authors with bloggers and readers. This interaction led to the creation of Legacy, a collection of short stories written specifically for the anthology. This collection includes both fiction and nonfiction pieces, all connected by their exploration of the idea of legacy. Read more »

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Diamond Head Review

May 12, 2015 Fiction, Historical Fiction 9

Diamond Head ReviewTitle: Diamond Head
Author: Cecily Wong
Source: from publisher for review, TLC Book Tours
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Summary: Although I loved the historical setting, I didn’t immediately connect to the characters and even when I did, the plot didn’t have much drive.

This family saga spans four generations, following the Leongs from China to Hawaii and from the Boxer Rebellion to WWII. Throughout the years, the women  are each unlucky in love in their own way, with their accumulating secrets and tragedies influencing the following generations. Read more »

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The Invention of Wings – Review & Giveaway

May 9, 2015 Fiction, Historical Fiction, Review 10

The Invention of Wings – Review & GiveawayTitle: The Invention of Wings
Author: Sue Monk Kidd
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: The characters and historical setting of this story were brought vividly to life in all their complexity.

From an early age, southern aristocrat Sarah Grimke knows she doesn’t believe in slavery. Her beliefs are challenged when she is given ownership of ten year old Hetty “Handful” Grimke for her eleventh birthday. Although the two become friends of a sort, their relationship is strained by their circumstances. Sarah is simultaneously weighed down by her guilt at her privileged position and by the restraints she faces as a woman, while Hetty will do whatever is necessary to attain freedom. Read more »

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Nightbird

March 23, 2015 Fantasy, Fiction, Magical Realism, Review 8

NightbirdTitle: Nightbird
Author: Alice Hoffman
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: Cute, short, light, with a very fairy tale feel. I enjoyed this a lot, but wish the author had take the time to develop the plot further.

“Twelve-year-old Twig’s town in the Berkshires is said to hide a winged beast, the Monster of Sidwell, and the rumors draw as many tourists as the town’s famed pink apple orchards. Twig lives in the orchard with her mysterious brother James and her reclusive mother, a baker of irresistible apple pies. Because of a family secret, an ancient curse,Twig has had to isolate herself from other kids. Then a family with two girls, Julia and Agate, moves into the cottage next door. They are descendants of the witch who put the spell on Twig’s family. But Julia turns out to be Twig’s first true friend, and her ally in trying to undo the curse and smooth the path to true love for Agate and James.” (source) Read more »

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Mistress Firebrand

March 18, 2015 Fiction, Historical Fiction, Review, Romance 6

Mistress FirebrandTitle: Mistress Firebrand
Author: Donna Thorland
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: The romance and other plot elements were both enjoyable and complemented one another in a great way.

Jenny has always wanted to be famous for her plays, but had resigned herself to a background role until she has the opportunity to present her work to the playwright General John Burgoyne. British intelligence officer Severin Devere is concerned that Jenny will simply be a distraction for the womanizing general and during his efforts to control the situation is surprised to find himself falling for Jenny instead. Unfortunately, as Severin maintains his steadfast loyalty to the crown and Jenny begins to achieve fame writing propaganda for the rebels, they find themselves torn between their loyalties in the war and their loyalty to each other.
Read more »

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The Ship of Brides

January 27, 2015 Fiction, Historical Fiction, Review 18

The Ship of BridesTitle: The Ship of Brides
Author: Jojo Moyes
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: This was an enjoyable read, but I didn’t feel as connected to the characters as I have in Moyes’ other books.

“The year is 1946, and all over the world, young women are crossing the seas in the thousands en route to the men they married in wartime – and an unknown future. In Sydney, Australia, four women join 650 other brides on an extraordinary voyage to England, aboard the HMS Victoria, which also carries not just arms and aircraft but 1,000 naval officers and men. Rules of honour, duty, and separation are strictly enforced, from the aircraft carrier’s captain down to the lowliest young stoker. But the men and the brides will find their lives intertwined in ways the Navy could never have imagined.” (Source) Read more »

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