Posts Categorized: Uncategorized

#NonficReads18 Quarterly Read Review: Hunger

February 23, 2018 Uncategorized 2

#NonficReads18 Quarterly Read Review: HungerTitle: Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body
Author: Roxane Gay
Source: Library
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: five-stars

Summary: Incredibly well written, thoughtful set of essays that I can’t recommend enough.

“In her phenomenally popular essays and long-running Tumblr blog, Roxane Gay has written with intimacy and sensitivity about food and body, using her own emotional and psychological struggles as a means of exploring our shared anxieties over pleasure, consumption, appearance, and health. As a woman who describes her own body as “wildly undisciplined,” Roxane understands the tension between desire and denial, between self-comfort and self-care. In Hunger, she explores her own past—including the devastating act of violence that acted as a turning point in her young life—and brings readers along on her journey to understand and ultimately save herself.” Read more »



#FuturisticFriday Review: In the Enemy’s House

February 19, 2018 Uncategorized 5

#FuturisticFriday Review: In the Enemy’s HouseTitle: In the Enemy's House: The Secret Saga of the FBI Agent and the Code Breaker Who Caught the Russian Spies
Author: Howard Blum
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: five-stars

Summary: Exactly what I want from narrative nonfiction – engaging, detailed, with even dialogue and emotions supported by primary sources.

“In 1946, genius linguist and codebreaker Meredith Gardner discovered that the KGB was running an extensive network of strategically placed spies inside the United States, whose goal was to infiltrate American intelligence and steal the nation’s military and atomic secrets. Over the course of the next decade, he and young FBI supervisor Bob Lampshere worked together on Venona, a top-secret mission to uncover the Soviet agents and protect the Holy Grail of Cold War espionage—the atomic bomb.” (source) Read more »



#FuturisticFriday Review: This Could Hurt

February 15, 2018 Uncategorized 6

#FuturisticFriday Review: This Could HurtTitle: This Could Hurt
Author: Jillian Medoff
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: A realistic but heartwarming story about human interactions influenced by both work and personal crises.

This is the story of five members of an HR department, struggling together to survive the aftermath of the recession. In many cases, they have shared goals, but some of them harbor grand ambitions while others simply want to get by. Each faces challenges in their personal lives that will influence their work together. In particular, a dramatic change in the life of their boss, Rosa, will result in promotions and job losses that will either bring some of these colleagues together or leave others estranged. Read more »


Girl at the End of the World in the 277s

February 13, 2018 Uncategorized 4

Girl at the End of the World in the 277sTitle: Girl at the End of the World: My Escape from Fundamentalism in Search of Faith with a Future
Author: Elizabeth Esther
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Summary: This was a difficult story with simple writing, but I appreciated the nuanced discussion of the good and bad parts of religion.

Elizabeth Esther was raised in a fundamentalist family. She was raised to be prepared for the apocalypse; to obey her parents and her husband; and to ignore her own desires. They enforced these rules with pretty brutal spanking into her teens. Even as stress began to make her seriously ill, she couldn’t bring herself to leave. Only having children of her own made her begin to consider the seemingly impossible option of leaving her family and their fundamentalist views. Read more »


The Billionaire’s Vinegar in the 641s

February 11, 2018 Uncategorized 8

The Billionaire’s Vinegar in the 641sTitle: The Billionaire's Vinegar: The Mystery of the World's Most Expensive Bottle of Wine
Author: Benjamin Wallace
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: A great micro-history, covering many interesting topics in just enough detail to bring this history to life.

The single subject connecting the threads of this story is a unique bottle of wine – a 1787 Château Lafite Bordeaux, supposedly owned by Thomas Jefferson and sold at auction for $156,000. The origins of this bottle were a mystery. Speculation had it coming from a cellar in Paris, a secret Nazi bunker, or a forager’s workshop. While exploring the mystery of this particular bottle, the author gives us a fascinating history of wine appreciation in the US. He also explores what draws some people to wine, gives us a glimpse into the world of wealthy wine collectors and wine forging, and considers what factors make people value a single bottle of wine so highly. Read more »



The Southern Reach Trilogy: A Series Review

February 7, 2018 Uncategorized 8

Most of what I have to say about this series is equally true of all three books, so I’ll be reviewing them all together. This review will be spoiler free except for my very general expression of how satisfying or not I found the explanation at the end of the series. Here’s (some of) the blurb for the first book, which explains the general premise for the series:

“Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; all the members of the second expedition committed suicide; the third expedition died in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another; the members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within months of their return, all had died of aggressive cancer. This is the twelfth expedition.” (source) Read more »


Re-Read Review: The Happiness Project

February 5, 2018 Uncategorized 12

Re-Read Review: The Happiness ProjectTitle: The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun
Author: Gretchen Rubin

Summary: I enjoyed this as much as on my first read – an inspiring look at what it means to be happier, based on a mix of personal experience and research.

I first read The Happiness Project in 2011. I remember so exactly because this book is the reason I started blogging. As part of her quest to become happier, author Gretchen Rubin spent a week trying to engage with new topics by reading several magazines on random topics each week. That inspired me to start my attempt to read one book per Dewey Decimal number. She also started a blog, which is what gave me the idea to track my reading this way. I don’t do much re-reading, but I wanted to revisit this book that got me started on my blog and as a self-help type book it seemed like a good pick for my first read of 2018 – although it’s obviously taken me a little longer to review! Read more »