Source: Library

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Review: Your Inner Fish

November 8, 2016 Uncategorized 0 ★★★★

Review: Your Inner FishTitle: Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body
Author: Neil Shubin
Source: Library
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:four-stars

Summary: Despite a very simple message, the author’s enthusiasm, plus clear prose and images, made this accessible and compulsively readable.

Paleontologist Neil Shubin primarily studies ancient fish, but he uses what he learns to gain new insights into human anatomy and our evolutionary past.  By examining living and ancient fish, it’s possible to trace the history of many aspects of human anatomy. As he explains this history, we also get to learn about the process by which his lab continues to make new discoveries. Read more »

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Review: Brain on Fire

November 2, 2016 Memoir, non-fiction, Psychology, Science 14 ★★★★★

Review: Brain on FireTitle: Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness
Author: Susannah Cahalan
Source: Library
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:five-stars

Summary: This was an amazing mix of clear, informative journalism and moving, emotional memoir.
“When twenty-four-year-old Susannah Cahalan woke up alone in a hospital room, strapped to her bed and unable to move or speak, she had no memory of how she’d gotten there. Days earlier, she had been on the threshold of a new, adult life: at the beginning of her first serious relationship and a promising career at a major New York newspaper. Now she was labeled violent, psychotic, a flight risk. What happened? In a swift and breathtaking narrative, Cahalan tells the astonishing true story of her descent into madness, her family’s inspiring faith in her, and the lifesaving diagnosis that nearly didn’t happen.” (source) Read more »

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Review: The Girl With the Lower Back Tatoo

September 28, 2016 Uncategorized 8 ★★★★

Review: The Girl With the Lower Back TatooTitle: The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo
Author: Amy Schumer
Source: Library
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:four-stars

Summary: Schumer’s willingness to talk about anything felt honest and refereshing, but fortunately shock value was not the source of her ability to be hilarious.

I’d heard of Amy Schumer before reading her memoir of course, but I’d actually not seen any of her comedy. I’d read about her occasionally as someone speaking up about feminism and sometimes for being embroiled in one controvery or another. But I wasn’t sure if I’d like her humor or her radical honesty. I love funny memoirs by women though, so when I saw her memoir on the Bestseller’s shelf at my library, I couldn’t resist picking it up. Read more »

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Review: The Chief

April 11, 2016 Fiction, Historical Fiction, Romance, Uncategorized 14 ★★★★★

Review: The ChiefTitle: The Chief (Highland Guard, #1)
Author: Monica McCarty
Source: Library
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:five-stars

Summary: This was just as good as the first book I read in the series and despite major similarities, felt like a fresh story.

For my Reluctant Romantic project in February, I read four romances and while I enjoyed them all more than I expected, my very favorite was The Recruit. This was book number six in the author’s Highland Guard series and I immediately wondered if I’d like the rest as well. I admit that I also had/have an image of romances as particularly formulaic, so I was especially curious if similarities between books by a given author would be great enough that they’d all feel the same. To find out, I picked up this first book in the series, The Chief. Read more »

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Review: Grace Hopper and the Invention of the Information Age

March 21, 2016 Uncategorized 10 ★★★★

Review: Grace Hopper and the Invention of the Information AgeTitle: Grace Hopper and the Invention of the Information Age
Author: Kurt W. Beyer
Source: Library
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:four-stars

Summary: Grace Hopper’s story was fascinating and inspiring, but the writing was sometimes repetitive.

This is the first book I’ve finally picked up for my Women in Science History event this month. I’m already excited for next year just so I can do more with this event! Anyway, Grace Hopper was one of the fantastic female scientists in Headstrong who particularly caught my attention, in part because I’m aware of a computing conference named after her, but didn’t previously know about her work. It turns out that she invented the first compiler, a program that allows us to use higher level, human readable programming languages by converting them to machine readable languages. Read more »

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Review: Voices from Chernobyl

March 13, 2016 History, non-fiction 26 ★★★★★

Review: Voices from ChernobylTitle: Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster
Author: Svetlana Alexievich, Keith Gessen
Source: Library
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:five-stars

Summary: This was an incredible, heartbreaking account.

Since I’ve been trying to read more translated books, I immediately added Voices of Chernobyl to my to-read list when author Svetlana Alexievich won the Nobel Prize last year. This is a collection of interviews with survivors of the Chernobyl disaster, relatives of survivors, and the many individuals involved in the reaction to the disaster. Read more »

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9 Reasons Uprooted Lived Up to the Hype

January 28, 2016 Uncategorized 18 ★★★★★

9 Reasons Uprooted Lived Up to the HypeTitle: Uprooted
Author: Naomi Novik
Source: Library
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:five-stars

Summary: This story lived up to the hype with a unique protagonist and magic system, plus a fairy tale feel based on fascinating Slavic folklore.

“Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.” (Source) Read more »

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Review: Case Histories

December 13, 2015 Uncategorized 11 ★★★

Review: Case HistoriesTitle: Case Histories (Jackson Brodie, #1)
Author: Kate Atkinson
Source: Library
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:three-stars

Summary: The writing was great, but the ending of this mystery was anticlimactic.

Jackson Brodie has had nothing but the most mundane of cases lately, until he’s pulled into three high profile cold cases all at once. One involves a missing child, one the murder of a man’s favorite daughter, and one the murder of a man by his wife. By interviewing a number of new suspects, Jackson is able to bring to light the dark secrets behind each of these crimes, all while avoiding someone trying kill him for reasons unknown. Read more »

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Blog Inc Review

August 18, 2015 Uncategorized 7 ★★★

Blog Inc ReviewTitle: Blog, Inc.: Blogging for Passion, Profit, and to Create Community
Author: Joy Deangdeelert Cho, Meg Mateo Ilasco
Source: Library
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:three-stars

Summary: Mostly too basic or too advanced for me, but I still enjoyed how much it made me think.

This book starts you right at the beginning, with helpful advice for picking a blog topic, a title, and a blogging platform. While these are obviously things I already have, I still appreciated these sections. I thought the author had some great advice. She made me revisit a lot of my original choices to decide if I was still happy with them. I think we can all use that kind of prompting every once in a while! As someone who started blogging almost 4 years ago, I really should be asking myself if all my original blogging choices are a good fit for me. Read more »

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Review: Siddhartha

August 5, 2015 Classics, Fiction 9 ★★★★

Review: SiddharthaTitle: Siddhartha
Author: Hermann Hesse, Hilda Rosner
Source: Library
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:four-stars

Summary: I loved the beautiful, lyrical writing, but the plot was too focused on the divine for my taste.

I picked this book up based on a glowing recommendation from a friend.  It’s the story of a young man in ancient India on a spiritual quest to find  enlightenment. He tries dedicating his life to various pursuits, from contemplation to love, from self-deprivation to hedonism. Even encountering Gautama Buddha fails to bring him peace until after he’s discovered more of life himself. Read more »

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