Category: non-fiction

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
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:five-stars

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 19 ★★★★

The Underground Girls of KabulTitle: The Underground Girls of Kabul
Author: Jenny Nordberg
Source: NetGalley
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:four-stars

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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GI Brides

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

GI BridesTitle: GI Brides
Author: Duncan Barrett, Nuala Calvi
Source: TLC Book Tours
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:four-stars

Summary: I loved learning about this fascinating bit of history and the incredible journeys of the GI brides, although I found the third person narration a bit stiff.

During the “friendly invasion” of Britain by American GIs during WWII, many women were bewitched by the handsome soldiers with their foreign accents. Thousands of these liaisons ended in marriage and the US army paid to transport the newly married GI brides to the US. For many, this was an exciting, but terrifying prospect. Many of the couples were just getting to know one another and the women rarely knew what they were getting themselves into. From cultural differences to overbearing families, from drinking husbands to gambling husbands, these women faced incredible, impossible to anticipate challenges when they reached their new homes. The four women in this story didn’t all find fairy tale endings, but through sheer force of will, they each shaped lives that would make them happy. Read more »

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The War on Women in Israel

September 15, 2014 History, non-fiction 10 ★★★★★

The War on Women in IsraelTitle: The War on Women in Israel
Author: Elana Maryles Sztokman
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:five-stars

Summary: This thought-provoking book is well-written and addresses issues relevant to everyone.

Although in many ways, Israel has historically been progressive in terms of women’s rights, ultra-Orthodox Jewish extremists are influencing the government to curtail women’s freedoms in frightening ways. From segregated buses and streets to mobs attacking women who wish to pray in public, the results of this lobbying are terrifying. Resistance is also growing and there have been some great victories for women’s rights, but the problem is far from resolved.
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Tacolicious

September 3, 2014 non-fiction, Review 12 ★★★★★

TacoliciousTitle: Tacolicious
Author: Sara Deseran
Source: NetGalley
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:five-stars

Summary: Very usable, great pictures, and tasty recipes!

This cookbook includes fare from the San Francisco restaurant Tacolicious. The recipes include a wide variety of tacos which seem more traditionally Mexican than what I usually make or get at restaurants. There are also large sections devoted to salsa, snacks, and drinks. In addition to the recipes, there are some beautiful pictures of food and interesting tidbits about the history of the restaurant. Read more »

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Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy

September 2, 2014 Biography, History, Narrative Non-Fiction, non-fiction, Review 21 ★★★★★

Liar, Temptress, Soldier, SpyTitle: Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy
Author: Karen Abbott
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:five-stars

Summary: Some of the most exciting narrative nonfiction I’ve read. All four stories are brought vividly to life, with great detail and accuracy.

The four women in this book are very different but they also have a lot in common. Two of them were Confederates and two were loyal to the Union. They each had different motivations, from Belle Boyd’s pursuit of notoriety to Emma Edmonds’ desire to provide medical aid to soldiers on the battlefield. However, they all shared common attributes, including their bravery, their dedication to their work, and their ability to influence the outcome of the war.
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In the Kingdom of Ice

August 10, 2014 History, Narrative Non-Fiction, non-fiction, Review 12 ★★★★★

In the Kingdom of IceTitle: In the Kingdom of Ice
Author: Hampton Sides
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:five-stars

Summary: My favorite narrative nonfiction this year! Well-researched and packed with details that bring this more fantastic than fiction adventure story to life.

The north pole was the late nineteenth century’s final frontier. Popular belief suggested that an undiscovered group of people might live at the pole in a region kept habitable by warm ocean water flowing under a surrounding ring of ice. After a rescue mission in which he acquitted himself heroically, navy man George Washington De Long was the obvious choice to lead the next expedition. With funding from eccentric newspaper owner Gordon Bennett, he led a team of 32 men (including a reporter) on a voyage aiming for the pole. However, as their ship was first trapped in ice and then smashed to pieces, it quickly became clear that the men of the expedition would be lucky to make it home alive.
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