Category: non-fiction

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: Bookshop (affiliate link) |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:
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So What’s the Deal With Bitcoins? A Review of Digital Gold

May 25, 2015 History, non-fiction, Science 12 ★★★★

So What’s the Deal With Bitcoins? A Review of Digital GoldTitle: Digital Gold
Author: Nathaniel Popper
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |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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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: Bookshop (affiliate link) |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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Nonfiction Book Recommendations: Mother’s Day Edition

May 7, 2015 History, Narrative Non-Fiction, Nature, non-fiction, Science 30

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m a bit tired of all the Mother’s day book recommendation lists that focus on traditionally “girly” books. Many include no nonfiction, with the possible exception of a few memoirs, almost always by women. In order to do my bit to get rid of gendered genres, I’d like to recommend some fantastic nonfiction books on the basis of your mother’s possible interests, not just the fact that she’s a woman.

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Can the Word Slut Be Reclaimed? My Takeaway From I Am Not a Slut

May 6, 2015 History, non-fiction 12 ★★★

Can the Word Slut Be Reclaimed? My Takeaway From I Am Not a SlutTitle: I Am Not a Slut
Author: Leora Tanenbaum
Source: Edelweiss
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:three-stars

Summary: This was an eye-opening book and I think it contains an important message, but it taught me less about different feminist perspectives than I’d hoped it would.

Blogging on any topic provides a platform for people to speak about topics they’re passionate about and the bloggers I read have inspired my interest in diverse reading, feminism, and a number of other important causes. I was also motivated to learn more about feminism by books I’ve read about women gaining and losing rights in other countries. Since I’m still relatively new to the many divided opinions about feminist issues, Leora Tanenbaum’s discussion of the word slut and the sexual double standard was a must read for me. Read more »

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The Residence

April 23, 2015 History, Narrative Non-Fiction, non-fiction 17 ★★★★★

The ResidenceTitle: The Residence
Author: Kate Andersen Brower
Source: TLC Book Tours
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:five-stars

SummaryFascinating and easily readable narrative nonfiction, perfect for fans of the genre or of Downton Abbey.

“America’s First Families are unknowable in many ways. No one has insight into their true character like the people who serve their meals and make their beds every day. Full of stories and details by turns dramatic, humorous, and heartwarming, The Residence reveals daily life in the White House as it is really lived through the voices of the maids, butlers, cooks, florists, doormen, engineers, and others who tend to the needs of the President and First Family. ” (source)

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The News Sorority

April 11, 2015 Biography, History, non-fiction 12 ★★★★★

The News SororityTitle: The News Sorority
Author: Sheila Weller
Source: NetGalley
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:five-stars

Summary: Thoughtful, even-handed, with lots of great quotes, this book brought to life three fascinating women and highlighted the state of women in journalism today.

Like really great historical fiction, this biography did a wonderful job bringing to life not only individuals but also a larger setting. I found Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, and Christiane Amanpour’s histories and inspirations fascinating. They’re all incredibly interesting women with many unique life experiences. Although I probably would have described this as narrative nonfiction, the author explicitly states that she thinks of this not as narrative nonfiction, but as journalistic nonfiction, told largely through quotes from primary sources. I’m not sure those two genres are mutually exclusive, but I did notice and appreciate all of the direct quotes the author used. Most flowed smoothly with the narrative bits she’d written. Together, they presented what seemed to be an unbiased and well-rounded view of each woman. Despite obvious similarities, particularly their success in a male-dominated profession, the author also clearly highlighted their individual personalities, strengths, and weaknesses. Read more »

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Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

March 12, 2015 History, non-fiction 10 ★★★★

Sapiens: A Brief History of HumankindTitle: Sapiens
Author: Yuval Noah Harari
Source: Edelweiss
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:four-stars

Summary: A surprisingly philosophical, funny, and thought-provoking trip through human history.

I recently read a great article that highlights some concerning inaccuracies and illogical arguments in this book. I found this article convincing, so I want share it with you after myself hearing about it from Jenny at Reading the End. I also had some similar problems with the author’s Homo Deus, although I didn’t give the book the same level of scrutiny as this article did.

I think I picked this up because of a comparison to Jared Diamond and that could be why I expected a focus on the early years of humanity’s existence. In actuality, the author spends approximately equal time on the years before and after each of three major revolutions in human thought: the agricultural, cognitive, and scientific revolutions. I was also surprised by how philosophical this book was. Instead of simply relating a factual history of humanity, the author asks tough questions, discussing the foundations of current belief systems and wondering whether or not each of the major revolutions he discusses really made people happier. Read more »

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The Monopolists

March 10, 2015 Narrative Non-Fiction, non-fiction, Review 22 ★★★★

The MonopolistsTitle: The Monopolists
Author: Mary Pilon
Source: NetGalley
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:four-stars

Summary: This was really fun narrative nonfiction, with lots of great facts to share and interesting people stories that brought the book to life.

Although Parker Brothers has always billed Monopoly as an American dream success story, invented by a family man trying to get by during the Great Depression, the truth is much less wholesome. As Ralph Anspach discovers when he tries to market a game similar to Monopoly, Parker Brothers has gone to great lengths to protect their rights to the game even though many unrecognized individuals contributed to the game’s creation. This book tells the true story of the games origins and of Ralph’s court battle with Parker Brothers. Read more »

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