Source: from publisher for review

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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
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

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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Review: Disclaimer

June 11, 2015 Fiction, Thriller 22

Review: DisclaimerTitle: Disclaimer
Author: Renée Knight
Source: from publisher for review, TLC Book Tours
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: five-stars

Summary: With a fast pace, lots of twists and turns, plus fascinating moral questions, this was a book I couldn’t put down!

“Finding a mysterious novel at her bedside plunges documentary filmmaker Catherine Ravenscroft into a living nightmare. Though ostensibly fiction,The Perfect Stranger recreates in vivid, unmistakable detail the terrible day Catherine became hostage to a dark secret, a secret that only one other person knew–and that person is dead. Now that the past is catching up with her, Catherine’s world is falling apart. Her only hope is to confront what really happened on that awful day even if the shocking truth might destroy her.” (source) 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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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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