Source: from publisher for review

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New Release Review: Emma in the Night

August 14, 2017 Uncategorized 6

New Release Review: Emma in the NightTitle: Emma in the Night
Author: Wendy Walker
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: five-stars

Summary: This was fascinating, twisty, gripping – a great thriller.

“One night three years ago, the Tanner sisters disappeared: fifteen-year-old Cass and seventeen-year-old Emma. Three years later, Cass returns, without her sister Emma. Her story is one of kidnapping and betrayal, of a mysterious island where the two were held. But to forensic psychiatrist Dr. Abby Winter, something doesn’t add up. Looking deep within this dysfunctional family Dr. Winter uncovers a life where boundaries were violated and a narcissistic parent held sway. And where one sister’s return might just be the beginning of the crime.” (summary) Read more »

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New Release Review: The Portable Nineteenth-Century African American Women Writers

August 7, 2017 Uncategorized 4

New Release Review: The Portable Nineteenth-Century African American Women WritersTitle: The Portable Nineteenth-Century African American Women Writers
Author: Henry Louis Gates Jr., Hollis Robbins
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: five-stars

Summary: I loved far more of these pieces than in most collections, I loved learning from them, and I found some of them disturbingly timely.

I don’t read many older books and the ones I’m aware of are pretty exclusively classics by dead, white men. Many of the classics I’ve not read are those that don’t appeal to me and I don’t see much value in reading more books by white men just because they’re classics. They’ve already been such a large part of my education. On the other hand, I was thrilled to see this collection of older essays, poems, speeches, and novel excerpts by African American women, because perspectives on this time by these people are entirely missing from my previous reading. I found it incredibly valuable and enjoyable to learn about the experiences of African American women immediately before and after emancipation. Read more »

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Nonfiction Review: What She Ate

August 2, 2017 Uncategorized 6

Nonfiction Review: What She AteTitle: What She Ate: Six Remarkable Women and the Food That Tells Their Stories
Author: Laura Shapiro
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: five-stars

What She Ate is a biography of six famous, infamous, or just plain interesting women told through the food they ate. Subjects include Dorothy Wordsworth; an 19th century caterer; Eleanor Roosevelt; Eva Braun; author Barbara Pym; and Helen Gurley Brown, editor of Cosmopolitan.  Since I’m all about quirky micro-histories, I was so here for this. Read more »

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Nonfiction Review: The Brain Defense

July 31, 2017 Uncategorized 2

Nonfiction Review: The Brain DefenseTitle: The Brain Defense: Murder in Manhattan and the Dawn of Neuroscience in America's Courtrooms
Author: Kevin Davis
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: This was a fascinating topic and the author did a good job presenting research in a nuanced way.

I’ve always been fascinated by books about how the brain works, so this book about how neuroscience may influence criminal behavior really appealed to me. The most interesting case I’ve heard and one which was repeated here, was the case of a man who experienced pedophillic urges when he had a tumor. These urges stopped when the tumor was removed and he could tell when the tumor recurred because the urges returned. However, this book mostly focuses on the first case where a brain scan was presented as evidence in the courtroom. The author also shares many other interesting, specific cases; discusses the research linking brain activity to behavioral trends; and explores the current relationship between neuroscience and the law. Read more »

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New Release Review: The Almost Sisters

July 12, 2017 Uncategorized 7

New Release Review: The Almost SistersTitle: The Almost Sisters
Author: Joshilyn Jackson
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: five-stars

Summary: I loved this even more than Joshilyn Jackson’s previous books, for it’s great geek culture and heart-warming but realistic moments.

Leia Birch Briggs has a lot on her plate. Right after finding she’s pregnant after a one night stand at a comic convention, she discovers that her always dependable step-sister has been hiding a crumbling marriage, while her grandmother has been hiding her worsening dementia. “Just when Leia thinks she’s got it all under control, she learns that illness is not the only thing [her grandmother]’s been hiding. Tucked in the attic is a dangerous secret with roots that reach all the way back to the Civil War. Its exposure threatens the family’s freedom and future, and it will change everything about how Leia sees herself and her sister, her son and his missing father, and the world she thinks she knows.” (source) Read more »

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Review: Why Time Flies

June 24, 2017 Uncategorized 6

Review: Why Time FliesTitle: Why Time Flies: A Mostly Scientific Investigation
Author: Alan Burdick
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Summary: I learned some fun facts and mostly enjoyed reading this, but it was not well organized or cohesive.

‘“Time” is the most commonly used noun in the English language; it’s always on our minds and it advances through every living moment. But what is time, exactly? Do children experience it the same way adults do? Why does it seem to slow down when we’re bored and speed by as we get older? How and why does time fly?’ In an attempt to answer this question, author Alan Burdick ‘visits the most accurate clock in the world (which exists only on paper); discovers that “now” actually happened a split-second ago; finds a twenty-fifth hour in the day; lives in the Arctic to lose all sense of time; and, for one fleeting moment in a neuroscientist’s lab, even makes time go backward.’ (source) Read more »

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Review: Touch

June 14, 2017 Uncategorized 4

Review: TouchTitle: Touch
Author: Courtney Maum
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Summary: This didn’t feel very unique, but the career-focused part of the plot was fascinating and the whole thing was thought-provoking.

“Sloane Jacobsen is the most powerful trend forecaster in the world (she was the foreseer of the swipe ), and global fashion, lifestyle, and tech companies pay to hear her opinions about the future. Her recent forecasts on the family are unwavering: the world is over-populated, and with unemployment, college costs, and food prices all on the rise, having children is an extravagant indulgence.” (source) However, when she predicts that people will rebound from their tech-obsession and want more human interaction, both her employer and her partner get all sexist about things and accuse her of confusing her personal desires with her professional predictions. Read more »

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Review: Cork Dork

April 24, 2017 Uncategorized 10

Review: Cork DorkTitle: Cork Dork: A Wine-Fueled Adventure Among the Obsessive Sommeliers, Big Bottle Hunters, and Rogue Scientists Who Taught Me to Live for Taste
Author: Bianca Bosker
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: Light, funny, and engaging mix of personal experience, history and science in the style of Mary Roach.

When tech reporter Bianca Bosker stumbled across a wine tasting competition, she was blown away by the ability of sommeliers to “after a single sip of wine, identify the grape it was made from, in what year, and where it was produced down to the exact location, within acres.” She was also intrigued by their passion for wine, as well as the passion of the many creators and collectors of wine. To determine what made wine so special to these people, she gave up her job and decided to try to become a sommelier herself. Starting as a ‘cellar rat’, storing and retrieving bottles of wine, she slowly works her way into the wine world. She eventually attends exclusive tasting groups and visits expensive restaurants and dinners for dedicated wine collectors. She also learns about the science of wine tasting and wine creation. This is the story of her experiences and what she learned. Read more »

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New Release Review: Lucidity

February 20, 2017 Uncategorized 0

New Release Review: LucidityTitle: Lucidity: A Thriller
Author: David Carnoy
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

“Twenty years after the unsolved case of Stacey Walker’s disappearance went cold, a Silicon Valley executive hires the retired Menlo Park Police Detective Hank Madden to find her body and track down her missing husband, the prime suspect in her unsolved murder. Four months later, author Candace Epstein is pushed in front of a car near Central Park. Her editor Max Fremmer becomes entangled into the investigation of her attempted murder, though he is adamant that he is uninvolved. As he digs into Candace’s background to clear his own name, Fremmer grows suspicious of his client’s connection to a nefarious institute for lucid dreaming on the Upper East Side and its staff whose stories never seem to add up—all while an unexpected link emerges to Detective Madden’s investigation in California.” (source) Read more »

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#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: Furry Logic

February 2, 2017 Uncategorized 2

#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: Furry LogicTitle: Furry Logic: The Physics of Animal Life
Author: Matin Durrani, Liz Kalaugher
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Summary: Interesting and informative, but it read like a textbook at times.

As I mentioned when talking about Storm in a Teacup, I’d really like to know more about physics than I do. Since I love animals, this book about animal physics seemed like the perfect solution. In this book, the reader will learn that “the way cats and dogs lap up liquids can be explained by the laws of surface tension, how ants navigate is due to polarized light, and why pistol shrimps can generate enough force to destroy aquarium glass using their ”elbows”!” (Source) Read more »

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