Posts Tagged: books

Gutenberg’s Apprentice

October 13, 2014 Fiction, Historical Fiction 23 ★★★★

Gutenberg’s ApprenticeTitle: Gutenberg's Apprentice
Author: Alix Christie
Source: TLC Book Tours
Rating: four-stars
Links: Amazon|Goodreads|Indiebound

Summary: Although this story was slow-paced, I loved how the author captured the way people would have thought and acted at such an interesting time in history.

When Peter Schoeffer’s foster-father insists he return to Munich, abandoning a promising career as a scribe in Paris, he’s dubious about Gutenberg’s invention. He doesn’t believe that a machine can replace a scribe and at first thinks the idea borders on blasphemy. However, as he is able to add some beauty to Gutenberg’s process, he begins to see the potential of the printing press. However, Gutenburg’s volatile temper and warring political and religious factions threaten what Peter has come to see as a divinely inspired project he must complete.
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Wikipedia U: Knowledge, Authority, and Liberal Education in the Digital Age

October 8, 2014 History, non-fiction, Psychology, Review 17 ★★

Wikipedia U: Knowledge, Authority, and Liberal Education in the Digital AgeTitle: Wikipedia U
Author: Thomas Leitch
Source: Edelweiss
Rating: two-stars
Links: Amazon|Goodreads|Indiebound

Summary: This book wasn’t a success as either an entertaining read or as a well thought out scholarly work.

Despite discouragement from many teachers, I feel like student use of Wikipedia is on the rise, so I was excited to read about the phenomenon from an educator’s perspective. However, as I perhaps should have gathered from the description and subtitle, the main focus of this book is on the nature of authority. Wikipedia is primarily used as an example of a situation where authorities are in conflict and the source of authority is up for debate. Read more »

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Soundbite Sunday – Embassytown

October 5, 2014 Audiobook, Fiction, Review, Science Fiction 8 ★★★★

Soundbite Sunday – EmbassytownTitle: Embassytown
Author: China Mieville
Narrator: Susan Duerden
Rating: four-stars
Links: Amazon|Goodreads|Indiebound

 

Like Mieville’s The City and the City, the world building in Embassytown blew me away. It was a bit hard to follow as an audiobook because the world was complex and there was no exposition, but I loved how the author slowly revealed the world as the plot unfolded. The plot itself took a bit of a backseat (inevitable, perhaps, with world building this good) . I was interested in finding out what happened, but I was far less engaged towards the more action-packed ending than I was at the beginning, when I couldn’t wait to piece together more about the world the author created.

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Accidents of Marriage

September 30, 2014 Contemporary, Fiction, Review, Women's Fiction 9 ★★★

Accidents of MarriageTitle: Accidents of Marriage
Author: Randy Susan Meyers
Source: TLC Book Tours
Rating: three-stars
Links: Amazon|Goodreads|Indiebound

Summary: This was a gripping book, but more tense than emotionally moving, and I didn’t feel as though the main character had enough agency.

“Maddy is a social worker trying to balance her career and three children. Years ago, she fell in love with Ben, a public defender, drawn to his fiery passion, but now he’s lashing out at her during his periodic verbal furies. She vacillates between tiptoeing around him and asserting herself for the sake of their kids – which works to keep a fragile peace – until the rainy day when they’re together in the car and Ben’s volatile temper gets the best of him, leaving Maddy in the hospital fighting for her life.” (Source) Read more »

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My Thinning Years – Review and Giveaway

September 23, 2014 LGBT, Memoir, non-fiction, Psychology, Review, Self-Help 10 ★★★★★

My Thinning Years – Review and GiveawayTitle: My Thinning Years
Author: Jon Derek Croteau
Source: TLC Book Tours
Rating: five-stars
Links: Amazon|Goodreads|Indiebound

Summary: This was a tough read, but also engaging and eye-opening.

It was clear from an early age that Jon was not the athletic, all-American boy his father wanted him to be. His father responded with fear and hate, trying to change Jon with physical and emotional abuse. As a teenager, Jon’s internalized homophobia caused him to continue abusing himself, with eating disorders and excessive, unhealthy amounts of exercise. Only years later, by cutting his father out of his life and out of his head, was he able to come to terms with his sexual identity and to recognize that he deserved to be happy. Read more »

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The Underground Girls of Kabul

September 21, 2014 Biography, History, Narrative Non-Fiction, non-fiction, Review 18 ★★★★

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

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.
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Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge: How to use Riffle As a Blogger

September 17, 2014 Blogger Events, Giveaway 38

BloggiestaRiffleChallenge

I’m always looking for the next big social book reviewing site, but so far, I’ve found very few sites I like as well as Goodreads. It’s primarily what I use to track my reading and share reviews, despite the uproar over reviews being selectively deleted by the site. However, I have started using Riffle in parallel for several reasons. First, it’s a really good looking site. I love the Pinterest-inspired layout, with everything from activity feeds to book recommendations displayed using book covers. Second, the list feature is a lot of fun, both because of the book cover-focused layout and because the site moderators do a great job moving interesting lists (best sellers, for example) onto the site. The resulting lists are also easily embedded into blog posts. And last but not least, the site emphasizes genre, allowing you to sign-up as an expert in a particular genre and to categorize the lists you create as belonging to up to three genres. As a book blogger, this is invaluable, because it gives other users of the site a way to find you. The moderators of particular genres are also great people to be friends with, since they sometimes will choose to share your themed lists with their followers. Read more »

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Five Days Left

September 10, 2014 Fiction, Review 15 ★★★★★

Five Days LeftTitle: Five Days Left
Author: Julie Lawson Timmer
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: five-stars
Links: Amazon|Goodreads|Indiebound

Summary: This was an incredibly moving story, with interesting and heartbreaking ethical dilemmas.

“Mara Nichols, a successful lawyer, and devoted wife and adoptive mother, has recently been diagnosed with a terminal disease. Scott Coffman, a middle school teacher, has been fostering an eight-year-old boy while the boy’s mother serves a jail sentence. Scott and Mara both have five days left until they must say good-bye to the ones they love the most.” (Source)
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