Posts By: DoingDewey

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Nonfiction Mini-Reviews: Whales, Spies, and a Daily Diary

January 27, 2021 Uncategorized 6 ★★★

Nonfiction Mini-Reviews: Whales, Spies, and a Daily DiaryTitle: The Angel: The Egyptian Spy Who Saved Israel
Author: Uri Bar-Joseph
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:three-stars

This story of how Ashraf Marwan, a son-in-law of the Egyptian president, became an Israeli spy was fascinating. Unfortunately, the author’s narrative choices robbed this story of some of its power. The author introduced us to this story by explaining what a big difference this spy made to the outcome of an Egyptian attack on Israel in 1973. The key question the author posed was why an Egyptian man with connections to the highest ranks of government would become an Israeli spy. This made the first half of the book particularly intriguing. After this question was answered, however, the second half of the book dragged. We already knew the outcome for both the war and Marwan. There just wasn’t the same suspense as their was in the first half. The writing was engaging, with a great initial hook and vivid descriptions . I also really liked that the author lets us know when different sources supported different timelines and why he thought one was more likely than the others. Overall, this was enjoyable narrative nonfiction. I just wish the author hadn’t provided spoilers for their own story! Read more »

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Medical Memoir Review: The Lady’s Handbook for Her Mysterious Illness

January 18, 2021 Uncategorized 7 ★★★★

Medical Memoir Review: The Lady’s Handbook for Her Mysterious IllnessTitle: The Lady's Handbook for Her Mysterious Illness
Author: Sarah Ramey
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:four-stars

Summary: This was a mix of beautiful/entertaining prose and clear explanations, as enjoyable as it was informative.

This memoir of author Sarah Ramey’s experience with a ‘mysterious illness’ describes her many infuriating and unhelpful encounters with both doctors and alternative medicine practitioners. The callous response she receives from doctors, who regularly disregard clear physical evidence she’s sick and suggest a psychological explanation, was horrifying. Unfortunately, it isn’t a rare experience. Especially among women, complex diseases of the immune system are on the rise. Many of the women who experience these ‘mysterious illnesses’ encounter the same disbelief from medical practitioners and friends. In this memoir, Ramey’s personal experience therefore provides the reader with insight into a common but rarely discussed experience. She also suggests some helpful approaches to dealing with these illnesses and for contextualizing them that will likely be of use to other people, or those related to other people, experiencing similar health issues. Read more »

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Fiction Mini-Reviews: Trying a New Genre and Revisiting an Old Favorite

January 11, 2021 Uncategorized 6 ★★

Fiction Mini-Reviews: Trying a New Genre and Revisiting an Old FavoriteTitle: Let the Right One In
Author: John Ajvide Lindqvist
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:two-stars

I’m currently working through the backlog of unread books on my shelves. That sometimes means a departure from my current reading tastes – more YA, more fantasy and sci-fi, and fewer books by authors of color. This book is one I requested in a gift swap when I thought I might try reading some horror. I’ve since discovered I don’t like horror very much, but this is one of the books in that genre that I’ve enjoyed best. The supernatural horror was delightfully creepy, perfect for fans of the recent Netflix show Evil. The human horror in the story was far scarier to me. I often found it stressful to read about. There one truly awful scene where cats are injured that I saw coming and was able to skim, but I nearly knocked a star of this rating for it. It was just terrible to read. The book did keep me turning pages, wanting to know how everything would turn out. I wasn’t emotionally invested though and it just wasn’t my kind of story, so there wasn’t anything to make me really love it. It’s also now been a little while since I read this and I’m finding that this story hasn’t stuck with me, so I have knocked a star off for that! Read more »

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2020 Reading Stats

January 6, 2021 Uncategorized 14

Well, it’s time for some stats and I’m excited! There were definitely some changes in my reading habits this year and it will be fun to see how the stats compare to 2018, the last year that I put a stats post together. I’ll break this up into the same categories as 2018, with info on the books I read, the authors who wrote them, the publishers they were from, how I rated them, and how well they reflected the demographics of our diverse world. Read more »

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Nonfiction Review: A Walk in the Woods

January 4, 2021 Uncategorized 4 ★★★

Nonfiction Review: A Walk in the WoodsTitle: A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail
Author: Bill Bryson
Source: Book Swap
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:three-stars

Summary: The sense of humor in this book left me with mixed feelings, but the personal stories and fun facts were great.

This memoir of hiking the Appalachian Trail is the second book I’ve read by author and novice hiker Bill Bryson. I tried his A Short History of Nearly Everything and found his dad joke-y humor wasn’t enough to carry me through a long book that rehashed natural history I’m already familiar with. This memoir, which included details of his personal experience and new-to-me info, was much more enjoyable. I’m glad I finally gave his books a second chance. Read more »

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Futuristic Friday: Find Your New Reads {Jan-March 2021}

January 1, 2021 Uncategorized 0

Happy New Year everyone! May this year be better than the last. If the publishing is any indication, it will be. What a good start to the year! Tamara of Traveling with T and I are excited to share with you all the books we’re most looking forward to in the next month. I had an even harder time than usual narrowing it down. There are just so many great options. To see what books we each picked, check out the post at Traveling with T.

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Favorite Fiction Reads of 2020

December 31, 2020 Uncategorized 8

I actually ended up with only four fiction favorites this year! Although I’ve always loved nonfiction, this year, I’ve leaned even further that direction. This is true in terms of what I’m reading (I think about 2/3 nonfiction, up from normally closer to 1/2) and obviously in terms of what I’m enjoying as well. I’m currently really trying to clear out unread books from my shelves though, which might force me to balance back out and include more fiction in the coming year. Read more »

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