Source: NetGalley

Divider

Memoir Review: Chasing Lakes

June 14, 2022 Uncategorized 2 ★★

Memoir Review: Chasing LakesTitle: Chasing Lakes: Love, Science, and the Secrets of the Arctic
Author: Katey Walter Anthony
Source: NetGalley
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:two-stars

Summary: There were a few good bits of science and nature writing here, but they weren’t worth the slog through a disjointed religious memoir.

I decided to read this lake science book/memoir as a break from my women in media project and I have regrets. First off, this book was very poorly served by its marketing. The title and the cover picture focus only on the science, although the subtitle does tell you its also a memoir. The blurb compares it Lab Girl. Looking back, I feel like it was reasonable that I expected this to be about a 50/50 split between science and memoir. It was not. It was, at best, 25% about scientific expeditions, with very few in-depth explanations of the science. This is far more a memoir about the author finding her faith and a husband than about science, a type of book I most certainly would not have picked up on purpose. Read more »

Divider

Nonfiction About Romance in Review: Black Love Matters

February 7, 2022 Uncategorized 10 ★★★★★

Nonfiction About Romance in Review: Black Love MattersTitle: Black Love Matters: Real Talk on Romance, Being Seen, and Happily Ever Afters
Author: Jessica P. Pryde, Carole V. Bell, Sarah Hannah Gómez, Jasmine Guillory, Da’Shaun Harrison, Margo Hendricks, Adriana Herrera, Piper Huguley, Kosoko Jackson, Nicole M. Jackson, Christina C. Jones, Julie Moody-Freeman, Allie Parker
Source: NetGalley
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:five-stars

Summary: This was a great bland of touching personal stories, history, and thoughtful analysis.

When I first starting reading romance, I immediately loved how light and enjoyable the genre can be. Unlike nonfiction, where I’m often working to learn and retain new knowledge, I let myself relax into a romance, swept away by the characters’ emotions. However, I also immediately recognized that there was a lot of interesting content to discuss in a romance. This included topics like consent, equality, and respect in relationships. This book showed me that I was more right than I knew. This was an incredible collection of essays by people who write romance and/or professionally analyze romance novels, specifically those by or about Black people. I think it made a strong case for the value of romance and of representation within romance novels. It also highlighted the depth to be found if you take the time to really think about these apparently “light” novels.

Read more »

Divider

Nonfiction Review: Dear Fahrenheit 451

September 25, 2017 Uncategorized 6 ★★★★★

Nonfiction Review: Dear Fahrenheit 451Title: Dear Fahrenheit 451: A Librarian's Love Letters and Break-Up Notes to the Books in Her Life
Author: Annie Spence
|Goodreads
Rating:five-stars

Summary: Funny, entertaining, and relatable – I loved this and would recommend it to anyone who love books.

This is a collection of letters from librarian Annie Spence to books she’s loved, books she’s hated, and everything inbetween. She shared books that have meant a lot to her in her life, along with some personal stories and some of her interesting experiences as a librarian. She then wraps up with some book recommendation lists. Read more »

Divider

Nonfiction Review: The Great Quake

August 28, 2017 Uncategorized 5 ★★★★

Nonfiction Review: The Great QuakeTitle: The Great Quake: How the Biggest Earthquake in North America Changed Our Understanding of the Planet
Author: Henry Fountain
|Goodreads
Rating:four-stars

Summary: Lots of story threads were sometimes hard to follow, but once things came together, this was a run, fascinating read.

“On March 27, 1964, at 5:36 p.m., the biggest earthquake ever recorded in North America–and the second biggest ever in the world, measuring 9.2 on the Richter scale–struck Alaska, devastating coastal towns and villages and killing more than 130 people in what was then a relatively sparsely populated region.” (source) In addition to wreaking havoc in the lives of inhabitants, this enormous earthquake provided geologists with a novel research opportunity. If they could figure out why it occurred, they could learn more about the way the earth moves and potentially predict future quakes. Read more »

Divider

#FutursticFriday Review: The Unwomanly Face of War

July 24, 2017 Uncategorized 6 ★★★★★

#FutursticFriday Review: The Unwomanly Face of WarTitle: The Unwomanly Face of War: An Oral History of Women in World War II
Author: Svetlana Alexievich, Richard Pevear, Larissa Volokhonsky
|Goodreads
Rating:five-stars

Summary: This was a tough read, but it was amazing to hear emotional, first-hand accounts from women in WWII.

I previously read Nobel Prize-winning, Belarusian journalist, Svetlana Alexievich’s Voices from Chernobyl, and I was blown away by that collection of beautiful and moving interviews. The Unwomanly Face of War is a similar collection of interviews with Soviet women who served in WWII and with a few of the men who served with them. Unlike Voices from Chernobyl, this collection includes some commentary from Alexievich explaining how she became interested in this topic and her process for conducting interviews. Read more »

Divider

Review: The Last One

April 13, 2017 Uncategorized 4 ★★★

Review: The Last OneTitle: The Last One
Author: Alexandra Oliva
|Goodreads
Rating:three-stars

Summary: This was a lot of fun and somewhat insightful about reality TV, but overall it was also light and predictable.

I always enjoy a fresh take on disaster/dystopian novels and I’ve been enjoying reality TV lately, so I couldn’t resist this story of a reality show contestant who begins to be uncertain whether a disaster is real or part of the show. While Zoo participates in an endurance  and survival skills challenge, the lines between reality and the show begin to blur. Determining which is which may make the difference to whether or not she survives. Read more »

Divider

New Release Review: Lotus

January 2, 2017 Fiction, Literary 13 ★★★★

New Release Review: LotusTitle: Lotus
Author: Lijia Zhang
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:four-stars

Summary: This was a slow paced book, but the character and relationship development were touching and believable.

“Surviving by her wits alone, Lotus charges headlong into the neon lights of Shenzhen, determined to pull herself out of the gutter and decide her own path.” However, she quickly finds herself working as a “massage girl” or prostitute while lying to her family about the source of the money she sends home. The men who notice her provide her many opportunities for a chance at security, but each also presents their own dangers. As Lotus struggles to make a decision, she finds it difficult to envision a life of her own due to the guilt and insecurity she feels. Read more »

Divider

#FuturisticFriday Review: All the Missing Girls

June 25, 2016 Uncategorized 12 ★★★★★

#FuturisticFriday Review: All the Missing GirlsTitle: All the Missing Girls
Author: Megan Miranda
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:five-stars

Summary: This felt fresh and surprising and kept my heart pounding the whole way through. Loved it!

“It’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne’s case” (source) when another girl disappears and yet again, it seems possible some of the people closest to Nic might be involved. Read more »

Divider

#FuturisticFriday Review: Face Value

June 21, 2016 non-fiction 10 ★★★★

#FuturisticFriday Review: Face ValueTitle: Face Value: The Hidden Ways Beauty Shapes Women's Lives
Author: Autumn Whitefield-Madrano
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:four-stars

Summary: I really enjoyed this thoughtful, balanced look at both the empowering and enjoyable side of beauty and the negative ways it affects women’s lives.

“In Face Value, journalist Autumn Whitefield-Madrano thoughtfully examines the relationship between appearance and science, social media, sex, friendship, language, and advertising to show how beauty actually affects us day to day. Through meticulous research and interviews with dozens of women across all walks of life, she reveals surprising findings, like that wearing makeup can actually relax you, that you can convince people you’re better looking just by tweaking your personality, and the ways beauty can be a powerful tool of connection among women.” (source) Read more »

Divider

Want to Understand GMOs? First Read The Gene

June 1, 2016 non-fiction, Science 13 ★★★★

Want to Understand GMOs? First Read The GeneTitle: The Gene: An Intimate History
Author: Siddhartha Mukherjee
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:four-stars

Summary: Although this lacked The Emperor of All Maladies‘ focus on moving human stories, it was one of the most ambitious yet accessible books I’ve ever read on the history of genome editing.

Throughout history, our understanding of heredity and the gene has become more precise and more nuanced. As a result, our ability to manipulate the genes of other organisms and eventually our own has increased as well. In The Gene, Siddhartha Mukherjee places our current genome editing abilities in the context of this history and insightfully presents both the promise of these abilities and the potential results of their abuse. Read more »

Divider