Source: from publisher for review

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Review: Cleopatra’s Shadow

October 3, 2015 Uncategorized 6

Review: Cleopatra’s ShadowTitle: Cleopatra's Shadows
Author: Emily Holleman
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: This was an exciting, fast-paced story of murder and intrigue with a surprising emotional depth and complex situations involving gender and politics.

Everyone has heard of Cleopatra, but her sisters are less well known. Filling in the gaps in the historical record, Cleopatra’s Shadow tells the story of her older sister, Berniece’s coup and her struggle maintain power. As Berniece deals with untrustworthy advisors she must navigate both battles and marriages. In the meantime, Cleopatra’s younger sister, Arsinoe, must survive Berniece’s court after being abandoned by Cleopatra and their father. Read more »

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Review – Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear War

August 12, 2015 Biography, History, non-fiction 9

Review – Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear WarTitle: Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear War
Author: Susan Southard
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: five-stars

Summary: This was a difficult book to read, but incredibly well written and worthwhile.

I hoped to write a review of this book on August 9th, the 70th anniversary of the day an atomic bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki. Unfortunately, life interfered, but this horrific event still deserves to be remembered today. Drawing on extensive interviews, the author is able to share the stories of five survivors, from the time of the bombing through the present. She also places their personal stories in the greater historical context, both leading up to the decision to use the atomic bomb and following the way the decision was presented afterwards. Read more »

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Review: Xamnesia

July 8, 2015 Memoir, non-fiction, Review 20

Review: XamnesiaTitle: Xamnesia
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: five-stars

After reading my interview with Lizzie Harwood, my mom jumped at the chance to review her memoir and I’m excited to share her review with you today. Thanks Mom for the great guest post!

Wow! I love reading memoirs and have read quite a few, but none quite like this one!   Xamnesia:  Everything I Forgot in my Search for an Unreal Life   is the story of a young woman who leaves her native New Zealand to work for VIP billionaires in a remote oil-rich oasis.   The perks are extravagant but the cost to the author turned out to be very steep. Read more »

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Beauty and Chaos Review

July 1, 2015 non-fiction 5

Beauty and Chaos ReviewTitle: Beauty and Chaos
Author: Michael Pronko
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: five-stars

Summary: This collection renewed my faith in short stories collections with a series of beautiful, meditative pieces on the little things in life.

After living in and writing about Tokyo for years, Michael Pronko is able to share fascinating details about the city that the casual visitor would probably miss. He highlights the duality of the city, with its islands of serenity and peace in the midst of what is the largest city in the world, and explains many beautiful customs. Read more »

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Review: Something Must be Done About Prince Edward County

June 15, 2015 History, Memoir, Narrative Non-Fiction, non-fiction 8

Review: Something Must be Done About Prince Edward CountyTitle: Something Must Be Done About Prince Edward County
Author: Kristen Green
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Summary: This was an enjoyable book, but more autobiography than I expected and lighter than I would have liked.

In response to the Brown v. Board of Education ruling that segregated schools were unconstitutional, Virginia’s Prince Edward County closed public schools rather that integrate their school system. They then started a private school exclusively for white children. This left many African American and poor white families with two options: send their children away or pull them out of school. Although author Kristen Green attended the local private school, she knew little about her hometown’s past and her own family’s role in the public school closings. Read more »

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Review: Disclaimer

June 11, 2015 Fiction, Thriller 22

Review: DisclaimerTitle: Disclaimer
Author: Renée Knight
Source: from publisher for review, TLC Book Tours
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: five-stars

Summary: With a fast pace, lots of twists and turns, plus fascinating moral questions, this was a book I couldn’t put down!

“Finding a mysterious novel at her bedside plunges documentary filmmaker Catherine Ravenscroft into a living nightmare. Though ostensibly fiction,The Perfect Stranger recreates in vivid, unmistakable detail the terrible day Catherine became hostage to a dark secret, a secret that only one other person knew–and that person is dead. Now that the past is catching up with her, Catherine’s world is falling apart. Her only hope is to confront what really happened on that awful day even if the shocking truth might destroy her.” (source) Read more »

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Review: Model Woman

June 10, 2015 Biography, non-fiction 10

Review: Model WomanTitle: Model Woman
Author: Robert Lacey
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: This was a very fun, easy read which kept my interest because of both Eileen’s character and the interesting industry she worked in.

Eileen Ford, founder of Ford Modelling Agency, was a woman of many contradictions. Fiercely protective of her models, she could be extremely sharp towards people she thought were taking advantage of them. But she could be equally sharp with models who didn’t follow her rules or meet her standards for beauty. Her drive and eye for talent, combined with her husband’s business sense, helped models become a more respected part of the fashion industry. They also turned Ford into the largest and most successful modelling agency in the 20th century. Read more »

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Review: Capital Dames

June 3, 2015 History, non-fiction, Review 18

Review: Capital DamesTitle: Capital Dames
Author: Cokie Roberts
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: This was such a fascinating look at women in history! I enjoyed it and learned a lot too.

I’ve always thought that history tends to focus on men because the sexism of the past meant that men really were the only ones doing things. Both I and the male-focused histories have been very wrong! Capital Dames tells the story of the women in Washington during the Civil War and the many varied and important roles they played in that conflict. Women involved in Washington society continued to influence politics throughout the war, while other women took on new professions, from journalism to making munitions. Read more »

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Five Things You Should Know About Antibiotics: A Review of 10% Human

May 30, 2015 non-fiction, Science 22

Five Things You Should Know About Antibiotics: A Review of 10% HumanTitle: 10% Human
Author: Alanna Collen
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: This book was fascinating and informative, so full of fun facts that I wanted to take notes on nearly every sentence.

The title of this book, 10% Human, refers to the fact that for every cell in your body, there are nine microbes living in your gut. Your health can be influenced by these microbes in surprising ways. From your weight to your immune system, to your mental health and choice of partner, your microbes can affect every aspect of your life. By influencing your gut microbiome (the microbes living in your gut), antibiotics may play a surprising role in your health. Here are some interesting things this book taught me about antibiotics:
Read more »

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So What’s the Deal With Bitcoins? A Review of Digital Gold

May 25, 2015 History, non-fiction, Science 11

So What’s the Deal With Bitcoins? A Review of Digital GoldTitle: Digital Gold
Author: Nathaniel Popper
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: Like all my favorite narrative nonfiction, this book told a great story about fascinating people while teaching me something new.

If you’re like me before reading this book, you’ve heard of the digital money called Bitcoin only when it’s gotten negative press. Honestly, after hearing about many people losing the money they’d invested in Bitcoins, I thought this experiment was dead. I was still fascinated to learn about it though and especially about the people behind Bitcoin. As the subtitle indicates, this group included a wide variety of people, from millionaires to social revolutionaries, from hackers to drug dealers. Like most narrative nonfiction I love, it was the way the author told these people’s stories that made this a great read for me. Read more »

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