Narrative Nonfiction Review: The Food Explorer

July 26, 2018 Uncategorized 4

Narrative Nonfiction Review: The Food ExplorerTitle: The Food Explorer: The True Adventures of the Globe-Trotting Botanist Who Transformed What America Eats
Author: Daniel Stone
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

“In the nineteenth century, American meals were about subsistence, not enjoyment. But as a new century approached, appetites broadened, and David Fairchild, a young botanist with an insatiable lust to explore and experience the world, set out in search of foods that would enrich the American farmer and enchant the American eater.” (source) Read more »

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Women in Tech Review: Broad Band

July 23, 2018 Uncategorized 2

Women in Tech Review: Broad BandTitle: Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet
Author: Claire L. Evans
Source: Library
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: This included many fantastic women I’d not heard of, but also played to stereotypes of women as good at the people stuff in some annoying and boring ways.

This is the story of the women who made technological advances that gave us the internet and computers as we know them today. I love stories about women in tech history, so I knew I had to pick it up. The author won me over immediately with her enthusiasm for her own first computer. Then she lost me as she started talking about how the women she interviewed were all people especially good at making computers accessible, although they didn’t create them. Even with her caveats disavowing gender essentialism, this reductionist view of the women in her book was an unfortunate and inaccurate capitulation to sexist stereotypes. Granted,  the women she discussed (mostly) didn’t come up with new computer architecture, but some of the software they created was just as fundamental to the technology we have today. For instance, I wouldn’t describe contributions to the development of the internet as simply ‘making computers accessible’, even though that was one result of the technology. Read more »

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#FuturisticFriday Recommendations: July-Sept 2018

July 20, 2018 Uncategorized 0

Given the day of the week, you can tell I’m a bit late posting this. However, I do want to point you over to Tamara at Traveling With T‘s, where she’s posted the books we’re both most looking forward to in the next few months. I’m excited to put some of these on hold at the library and recommend checking if your library lets you put books on hold before they’re out too! Here are our Futuristic Friday picks.

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Fun Summer Reads in Mini-Reviews

July 16, 2018 Uncategorized 6

Fun Summer Reads in Mini-ReviewsTitle: Confessions of a Shopaholic (Shopaholic, #1)
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

I actually picked this book up because I was thinking of clearing it off my shelves and decided to give it a chance first. Because I have a terrible time making myself put a book down, I read a few pages and couldn’t stop reading! It also turned out to perfectly fit my reading mood. I was starting my vacation, I’d just finished reading some true crime, and this was exactly the light, fluffy sort of read I wanted. The only thing I have mixed feelings about is the protagonist. She makes incredibly terrible life choices in the name of her shopping addiction. I felt like I should find her infuriating, but also felt like I should have some compassion for her stress buying. I found the situations she got herself into vicariously stressful, but also experienced some relief or perhaps even schadenfreude at knowing I’d never make the bad decisions she did. I enjoyed that she got the expected happy ending, but found it annoying her bad behavior was rewarded. I’m not sure what you’re supposed to take from that. I suppose that this is something I might recommend as an unexceptional, fun, fluffy read, but which I only find confusing when thought about more deeply! Read more »

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Nonfiction Friday

July 13, 2018 Uncategorized 10

NonfictionFriday

Nonfiction Friday is a link-up where you can find all of the awesome nonfiction happenings of the week. As a reminder, if you’re participating in the Nonfiction Reading Challenge, you’ll get a giveaway entry for each nonfiction review you link-up below!
Read more »

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TLC Book Tours Review: Dead Girls

July 5, 2018 Uncategorized 10

TLC Book Tours Review: Dead GirlsTitle: Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession
Author: Alice Bolin
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Summary: Thoughtful and well written, but not cohesive and heavily reliant on singular examples rather than stats to support the author’s claims.

“In her debut collection, Alice Bolin turns a critical eye to literature and pop culture, the way media consumption reflects American society, and her own place within it. From essays on Joan Didion and James Baldwin to Twin Peaks, Britney Spears, and Serial, Bolin illuminates our widespread obsession with women who are abused, killed, and disenfranchised, and whose bodies (dead and alive) are used as props to bolster a man’s story.

From chronicling life in Los Angeles to dissecting the “Dead Girl Show” to analyzing literary witches and werewolves, this collection challenges the narratives we create and tell ourselves, delving into the hazards of toxic masculinity and those of white womanhood. Beginning with the problem of dead women in fiction, it expands to the larger problems of living women—both the persistent injustices they suffer and the oppression that white women help perpetrate.” (source) Read more »

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Narrative Nonfiction in Mini-Reviews

July 3, 2018 Uncategorized 18

Narrative Nonfiction in Mini-ReviewsTitle: In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin
Author: Erik Larson
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Like Devil in the White City, this was delightfully engaging. It was also extremely creepy to read about how people denied, minimized, or justified atrocities happening in pre-WWII Germany. It was heartbreaking to think how many lives could have been saved had people taken Hitler more seriously earlier. This personal perspective on Germany shortly before WWII was also fascinating for its novelty. I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as Devil in the White City though. Part of that could be that this was exactly what I expected, instead of a pleasant surprise, since it wasn’t my first book by Larson. It could also be because I never felt like our main characters needed to fear for their lives, so there was less suspense than in the serial killer story of Devil in the White City. I’m not sure, but this was at least close to as good as White City and I’d definitely recommend it. Read more »

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June Wrap-Up

July 1, 2018 Uncategorized 9

I feel like I have the same thing to say at the end of every month! I’m always surprised the month is over already and I generally have great things to say about my month of blogging. I always enjoy interacting with all of you and I’ve had a lot of fun with my reading this year. For some reason, I’m on even more of a nonfiction kick than usual and I’ve found some good books!
Read more »

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Nonfiction Friday

June 29, 2018 Uncategorized 0

NonfictionFriday

Nonfiction Friday is a link-up where you can find all of the awesome nonfiction happenings of the week. As a reminder, if you’re participating in the Nonfiction Reading Challenge, you’ll get a giveaway entry for each nonfiction review you link-up below!
Read more »

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Interview with Unbound Author Arlene Stein

June 29, 2018 Uncategorized 4

Hi Arlene and thanks for joining me on the blog today! I enjoyed your book and am excited to have a chance to chat with you about it. Could you please tell us a little bit about your book, Unbound, and what got you interested in writing about this topic?

Hi Katie, Unbound is the story of four individuals who undergo “top surgery,” chest masculinization, the same day, at the same surgeon’s office in Florida. It follows their experiences over the one year, looking at the ways younger people are modifying their bodies and challenging popular notions of masculinity and femininity. Three out of four of the individuals I document are female-assigned individuals who are undergoing gender transitions, and are seeking to align their bodies with their masculine identities.

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