Posts By: DoingDewey

More Monsanto History in Review: Seed Money

October 13, 2021 Uncategorized 1 ★★★★★

More Monsanto History in Review: Seed MoneyTitle: Seed Money: Monsanto's Past and Our Food Future
Author: Bartow J. Elmore
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:five-stars

Summary: This was an incredible look at how the history of a powerful corporation shaped the world we live in today.

I recently read The Monsanto Papers, a book that primarily focused on the first court case to result in a judgement against Monsanto for selling the carcinogenic herbicide RoundUp. This broader history of Monsanto was a very complementary read. It takes a bigger picture look at the history of the company. We follow the story of Monsanto from founding to acquisition by Bayer. In-between, there’s a whole bunch of making chemicals that are useful, but harmful to both humans and the environment. Also lots of shady behavior trying to conceal the harmful bits. Read more »

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Science History Review: The Great Secret

October 11, 2021 Uncategorized 1 ★★★½

Science History Review: The Great SecretTitle: The Great Secret: The Classified World War II Disaster that Launched the War on Cancer
Author: Jennet Conant
Source: Library
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) Rating:three-half-stars

Summary: This was an interesting, well written story that quoted lots of primary sources, but it suffered from repetitive and unclear sections.

I picked this up for my book club and I had low expectations. Based on the subtitle, I was concerned this would be a conspiracy-theory focused book. Instead, it was a fascinating story of doctor and researcher, Stewart Alexander,  who realized that mustard gas could be useful for chemotherapy. I thought it was pretty incredible that as early as the 1940s, scientists realized that one of the greatest challenges with cancer is distinguishing cancer cells from normal ones. The specific impact of mustard gas on only white blood cells therefore made it a good candidate for targeting cancers that impact these cells. The military disaster that allowed Alexander to study the impact of mustard gas on humans and the subsequence cover up made for a more action beginning to this story. Read more »

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Nonfiction November Is Almost Here!

October 11, 2021 Uncategorized 9

Good morning everyone! I’m super excited to be able to announce Nonfiction November today. We have all sorts of fun events planned for you. Rennie of What’s Nonfiction and I will be returning as hosts, but we also have three new hosts who I’m thrilled to have joining us. Veronica at The Thousand Book Project is one of the bloggers I’ve been following for the longest and already has some great nonfiction reviews you should check out. Christopher at Plucked From the Stacks has added an intersting new discussion prompt for you, which I think will be a lot of fun. Jaymi at The OC Book Girl will be running the Instagram photo challenge & giveaway and also made our snazzy new graphics, which you can grab for your posts from this google drive folder. The format is the usual one, with Instagram challenges happening daily and one discussion prompt posted each week on Monday. We’ll be using the normal hashtag as well, #NonficNov.

If you’d like to join us, we’d love it if you’d share a sign-up post on your blog or social media to spread the word. We can’t wait to chat about nonfiction with all of you in November!

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Nonfiction Review: The Art of Gathering

September 27, 2021 Uncategorized 8 ★★★★★

Nonfiction Review: The Art of GatheringTitle: The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters
Author: Priya Parker
Source: Library
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:five-stars

Summary: This book was both full of helpful, practical advice and an interesting read.

After my experience reading Belong, I was concerned that this book on how to host good gatherings, from professional facilitator Priya Parker, might be too focused on big events. To my surprise, I found that generality was one of this book’s greatest strengths. The first four chapters were the most helpful to me. They first two chapters cover the basic elements of a gathering – purpose, venue, and attendees. The following two chapters were helpful for thinking about details of the events itself – explicit and implicit rules, what will happen at the event, how to host, etc. I finished these sections with some ideas I’m excited about for as simple an event as the next time I host friends for games. They were helpful and practical and really made me think about what I want from a gathering. Read more »

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Light Fiction in Mini-Reviews

September 23, 2021 Uncategorized 6 ★★★

Light Fiction in Mini-ReviewsTitle: The Last Time I Saw You
Author: Liv Constantine
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:three-stars

This fast-paced thriller about a woman who starts receiving creepy threats after her mother was murdered was the sort of light read my brain can handle right now. The writing was good and the frightening situation kept me turning pages. I enjoyed how information about character’s past connections was revealed over time. However, an author in the book gets a review describing her story as both predictable and unbelievable. That might seem contradictory, but I think that was true of this book too! I guessed immediately who the bad guy was and was only thrown off the scent in the middle of the book because the author withheld information in a way that doesn’t feel totally fair to me. And the way we got back to my initial suspect being the bad guy required some pretty melodramatic, nearly unbelievable twists. Not an amazing book, but a fun one and just the sort of read I needed when I picked it up. Read more »

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Nonfiction About Millennials in Review: Can’t Even

September 20, 2021 Uncategorized 8 ★★★★★

Nonfiction About Millennials in Review: Can’t EvenTitle: Can't Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation
Author: Anne Helen Petersen
Source: Library
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:five-stars

Summary: This was an informative, engaging history of work, but mostly it was cathartic to hear that I’m not alone.

I have to say, I really enjoyed reading this book about the systemic issues leading to millennial burnout. I didn’t relate to quite everything here. I think I may have a healthier relationship to social media than the author (of course, it’s not part of my job!). I’m also fortunate to be dealing with pretty low precarity in my life in terms of jobs and finances. I related to almost everything here though. It was incredibly cathartic to hear about other people who feel the way I do about life, work, and relationships. It was also affirming to see all the ways the system is stacked against millennials laid out so clearly. The author does an great job mixing memoir, interviews, and history together to give a complete picture of where we are and how we got here. Read more »

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Self-Help Book Review: Belong

September 15, 2021 Uncategorized 6 ★★★

Self-Help Book Review: BelongTitle: Belong: Find Your People, Create Community, and Live a More Connected Life
Author: Radha Agrawal
Source: Library
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:three-stars

Summary: There were a few bits of extremely helpful, practical advice here, but most of the book was a poor fit for my goals and values.

This book included a few really helpful pieces of advice, but overall, it wasn’t what I was looking for. I thought maybe that was my own fault for not reading the cover blurb carefully enough. However, the cover blurb does actually promise a first section on figuring out what you want (which it delivered!) and a second section on finding friends and community (not so much!). Read more »

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Sci-Fi Review: Project Hail Mary

September 13, 2021 Uncategorized 4 ★★★

Sci-Fi Review: Project Hail MaryTitle: Project Hail Mary
Author: Andy Weir
Source: Library
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:three-stars

Summary: The plot at the heart of the story was great, but the book was too long and neither the humor nor the science was as well-executed as in The Martian.

The latest from Andy Weir has a premise very much like his much-beloved blockbuster, The Martian. Ryland Grace is stranded in space, the sole survivor of his crew. Unfortunately, he’s just woken up from a coma like that which killed his crewmates and he doesn’t even remember that he is in space. As his memory slowly returns, he realizes that his mission is truly critical. Humanity’s ability to survive an extinction level event depends on his ability to complete his mission. Now, if he can only remember his own name…

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