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January Wrap-Up

February 1, 2018 Uncategorized 10

It’s been a pretty great January for reading! I’m making good progress on all my challenges and I feel like I’ve been reviewing more thoughtfully. I haven’t had any five star reads yet though, so if you have any recommendations for something stellar I should pick up in February, let me know 🙂
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Indelible Ink in the 686s

January 29, 2018 Uncategorized 6

Indelible Ink in the 686sTitle: Indelible Ink: The Trials of John Peter Zenger and the Birth of America's Free Press
Author: Richard Kluger
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Summary: Fascinating story, but a little bogged down in the details.

Although freedom of the press is (mostly) a value we accept without question today, when the British first colonized North America, they brought with them a long history of punishing any published criticism as libel. Regardless of whether the printed material was true or false, it could destabilize the government and must be stopped! When a small, weekly newspaper began criticizing the British governor of New York, there was no question the printer would be punished. The novel argument his lawyer made, that accusations must be false to be libelous, was the beginning of a new approach to freedom of the press in the nascent United States. Read more »

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Fooling Houdini in the 793s

January 27, 2018 Uncategorized 19

Fooling Houdini in the 793sTitle: Fooling Houdini: Magicians, Mentalists, Math Geeks, and the Hidden Powers of the Mind
Author: Alex Stone
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: The author of this memoir sometimes rubbed me the wrong way, but I enjoyed hearing about an interesting subculture with fun tangents on science and history.

This story of author Alex Stone’s attempt to become a master magician reminded me of a stunt memoir, like The Happiness Project, or of Mary Roach’s books (although less humorous). Like these books, the author meets with fascinating people and tries off-beat approaches to learning more about his topic. He also couples descriptions of his experience with fascinating tidbits of relevant science and history. Read more »

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A Beginner’s Guide to Nonfiction

January 24, 2018 Uncategorized 27

 

Do you have particular fiction genres you love, but have trouble finding nonfiction you enjoy as much? Are you a fiction reader looking to read more nonfiction? If so, I’ve got some ideas for you! I’ve picked out some favorite nonfiction reads from the past six years that I’ve been blogging. All of them have a strong narrative and were just as easy and engaging to read as any fiction. I hope you at least one that works for you! Read more »

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#WomenInScience Review: Enchantress of Numbers

January 22, 2018 Uncategorized 22

#WomenInScience Review: Enchantress of NumbersTitle: Enchantress of Numbers
Author: Jennifer Chiaverini
Source: Library
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: A slow start made the ending of this fascinating story about a female scientist all the more satisfying.

This is the fictionalized story of Ada Lovelace, the woman credited with writing the first computer program in the 1800s for Charles Babbage’s then theoretical, mechanical calculating machine. As the daughter of the famous Lord Byron, she struggles to follow her passions when her mother views any imagination as a sign she might be dangerously like her father. She also has to face down many people who believe women are constitutionally unsuited to doing math. All this, while being expected to marry suitably, provide her husband with an heir, and avoid scandalizing society along the way! Read more »

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#TLCBookTours Review: The Promise Between Us

January 16, 2018 Uncategorized 9

#TLCBookTours Review: The Promise Between UsTitle: The Promise Between Us
Author: Barbara Claypole White
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Summary: Suspenseful and hard to put down, but not as emotionally engaging as I’d hoped because of unrealistic dialogue.

“Metal artist Katie Mack is living a lie. Nine years ago she ran away from her family in Raleigh, North Carolina, consumed by the irrational fear that she would harm Maisie, her newborn daughter. Over time she’s come to grips with the mental illness that nearly destroyed her, and now funnels her pain into her art. Despite longing for Maisie, Katie honors an agreement with the husband she left behind—to change her name and never return. But when she and Maisie accidentally reunite, Katie can’t ignore the familiarity of her child’s compulsive behavior…Katie has the power to help, but can she reconnect with the family she abandoned?” Read more »

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#BeatTheBacklist Review: Dangerous Books for Girls

January 15, 2018 Uncategorized 16

#BeatTheBacklist Review: Dangerous Books for GirlsTitle: Dangerous Books For Girls: The Bad Reputation of Romance Novels Explained: Expanded Edition
Author: Maya Rodale
Source: Gift
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: A really thoughtful collection of essays, conversational in tone but addressing substantial questions raised by the romance genre.

Even among some romance readers, who may describe reading romance as their ‘guilty pleasure’, romance has something of a bad reputation. Formulaic. Unrealistic. Fluff. These are just some of the charges commonly leveled against romance. In this collection of short essays, romance author and reader Maya Rodale explores the origins of the stigma surrounding romance novels. She explores the history of the romance and discusses how the treatment of romance novels tracks with the way society treats women. She also shares survey results and interview quotes to support claims about how romance novels are perceived. Read more »

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