Category: Uncategorized

#KirkusPrize Shortlist Review: Stakes is High

October 26, 2020 Uncategorized 0 ★★★★

#KirkusPrize Shortlist Review: Stakes is HighTitle: Stakes Is High: Life After the American Dream
Author: Mychal Denzel Smith
Source: Library
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:four-stars

Summary: Really thoughtful look at the American self-conception vs reality, but I had a hard time slowing down and engaging with it.

Stakes is High is one of the first books I’ve read on racism and other structural inequality in the US that post-dates Trump’s election. It sounds as though that election is part of what drove Smith to write this book. The election certainly fits into the compelling framework he’s developed here, contrasting the American dream with the historical reality of the US. He makes a strong argument that dreams are valuable as something to aspire to, but can prevent us from correcting our flaws when we act as though those dreams are already true. Read more »

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What Makes a Thoughtful Book Review?

October 21, 2020 Uncategorized 12

For at least the past year, one of my main blogging goals has been to write more thoughtful reviews. Tracking my goals every month has made me realize I need to better define what this even means. I know there are many bloggers I follow whose reviews I consider thoughtful, so to answer this question, I considered what features they have in common. I also thought about commonalities between my favorite reviews that I’ve written myself. I’ll share the qualities that I look for in a thoughtful review below, but I’d also love to hear what you think makes a thoughtful/good book review in the comments. Read more »

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#KirkusPrize Shortlist Review: The Address Book

October 19, 2020 Uncategorized 4 ★★★★

#KirkusPrize Shortlist Review: The Address BookTitle: The Address Book: What Street Addresses Reveal About Identity, Race, Wealth, and Power
Author: Deirdre Mask
Source: Library
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:four-stars

Summary: Parts of this book felt obvious to me, but other sections included novel fun facts and thoughtful analysis that I loved.

This is a book that’s been on my radar since I included it in my Futuristic Friday list of books I was excited for in April. The subtitle (‘What Street Addresses Reveal About Identity, Race, Wealth, and Power’) immediately grabbed my attention. I love books where you get to learn about overlooked facets of everyday life. I’ve also been making a push to read more books addressing racism and classism, so I was interested to see how those concepts are embedded in our street addresses. Read more »

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#KirkusPrize Shortlist Review: Fathoms

October 12, 2020 Uncategorized 6 ★★★★★

#KirkusPrize Shortlist Review: FathomsTitle: Fathoms: The World in the Whale
Author: Rebecca Giggs
Source: Library
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:five-stars

Summary: This was beautifully written, thoughtful, and changed the way I see the world.

Unlike my previous shortlist read, which immediately seemed like my kind of book, I was deeply skeptical of Fathoms. I hate stories where bad things happen to animals and, let’s be honest, that describes most human interactions with whales. Whale hunting did play a large and sometimes graphic role in this story. However, I was able to make it through those bits because the author approached them with curiosity and empathy. The author clearly wanted to understand how humans interact with the natural world and whether we can all be moved to preserve it. Read more »

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#KirkusPrize Shortlist Review: A Furious Sky

October 5, 2020 Uncategorized 11 ★★★★★

#KirkusPrize Shortlist Review: A Furious SkyTitle: A Furious Sky: The Five-Hundred-Year History of America's Hurricanes
Author: Eric Jay Dolin
Source: Library
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:five-stars

Summary: I loved everything about this one, which was informative, well written, and fun to read.

This is one of those books where the cover designer just gets me. At first sight, I knew this history of hurricanes in the US was going to be my type of narrative nonfiction. And I’m happy to say that I was right! I’m also reading this book because it was nominated for the Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction. It seems like the goal of this prize is to pick the subjectively best nonfiction book awarded a Kirkus star during the year. Under that criteria, I think this first book I’ve read from the shortlist is a strong contender. Now, let me count the ways I loved this book.

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#FuturisticFriday: Find Your New Reads {Oct-Dec 2020 Edition}

October 2, 2020 Uncategorized 4

How am I always surprised by each new quarter?! I don’t know, but it’s already time for me to share with you the books Tamara of Travelling With T and I are looking forward to in the next three months. Although publishing still seems to be disrupted by COVID, with fewer books published in the next few months than I’m used to seeing, we’ve both found some new releases we’re excited to highlight.

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Nonfiction November Is Almost Here!

October 2, 2020 Uncategorized 30

Well, one wonderful thing about the year going by so quickly is that it’s already almost Nonfiction November again! I’m excited to be helping to host, along with Julz of Julz Reads, Rennie of What’s Nonfiction, and Leann of Shelf Aware. We’ll be using the #NonficNov hashtag to share our weekly discussion posts starting November 2nd. The Instagram challenge is returning too, with details to come. We’d appreciate sign-up posts or tweets to help spread the word, but they’re not required. Join us as you like and at your own pace 🙂 We’ll have link-ups every week, where you can share any responses you write for the discussion prompts or nonfiction reviews you post during the month. And without further ado, here’s the discussion prompt schedule: Read more »

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September Wrap-Up

October 1, 2020 Uncategorized 8

It’s been another good month for reading and blogging! I’ve been particularly enjoying both. My book club is also back up and running and I’m considering joining another one that’s newly accessible to me on zoom. Obviously the broader situation is a bit more of a dumpster fire and I’ll be crossing my fingers through November. Despite that, I hope you’re all doing as well as you can be too.

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