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Welcome! The ultimate luxury for me is curling up with a good book and a warm blanket. The next best thing is reviewing books and sharing them with others.

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3 01, 2017

Review: You Will Not Have My Hate by Antoine Leiris

By | January 3rd, 2017|Categories: Death & Grief, Health, Mind, & Body, Memoirs, Nonfiction, Parenting & Family|Tags: , , , |5 Comments

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you will not have my hate book coverReviewed by Marcus Hammond

In 2015, terrorists attacked six different sites in Paris, killing 130 people. A large number of those victims came from the Bataclan Theater, where Helene Muyal-Leiris was attending a concert. While there were survivors of the attack on the Bataclan, Helene was not among that number. With Helene’s death, Antoine Leiris lost his wife and the mother of his child. It is this tragic loss and Antoine’s struggle to move forward that serves as a backdrop for the raw, powerful emotions that are portrayed throughout the beautiful, heart-wrenching You Will Not Have My Hate.

The memoir is structured in short, conversational passages that begin on the night of the attack and end two weeks later. Antoine details everything from his initial concern and then panic on the night of the attacks, to the deep sorrow, desire for isolation, and appreciation for support in the days that followed. Each passage builds a portrait of a man who lost half his heart, but recognized the need to remain strong to raise his son, Melvil.

2 01, 2017

Review: The After Party by Jana Prikryl

By | January 2nd, 2017|Categories: Literature & Fiction, Poetry|Tags: |2 Comments

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the after party book coverReviewed by Alexander Morrison

Unlike the last book of poetry I reviewed, Christine Heppermann’s Ask Me How I Got Here, Jana Prikryl’s The After Party is not particularly narrative. The last third or so of the book, titled “Thirty Thousand Islands,” has some narrative elements, but for the most part the book is built more around form and language and personal history than plot. While that gives Prikryl a considerable amount of freedom to experiment, it also makes the collection a bit more hit-or-miss on an individual level, prone to wild shifts in subject from moment to moment. But Prikryl is an immensely talented writer, and while I never warmed to every poem in the collection, her wit, imagery, and style unquestionably won me over.

26 12, 2016

Review: Spirit Rising by Jim Cymbala

By | December 26th, 2016|Categories: Christian Living, Nonfiction, Religion & Spirituality|Tags: , |1 Comment

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spirit rising book coverReviewed by Alyssa Katanic

Spirit Rising, by Pastor Jim Cymbala of the Brooklyn Tabernacle, is sub-titled Tapping in to the Power of the Holy Spirit, and does a wonderful job of communicating what Cymbala means by it.

Spirit Rising is simple and explanatory enough for new Christians to understand (ie. Cymbala avoids or defines much of the Christian lingo that some Christian Living books can fall into at times), yet is in-depth and challenging enough to engage and encourage a seasoned Christian leader in his or her own relationship with the Father, Son, AND the Holy Spirit.

22 12, 2016

Review: Being British by Chris Parish

By | December 22nd, 2016|Categories: Human Geography, Nonfiction, Politics & Government, Social Sciences|Tags: , , , , |3 Comments

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being british book coverReviewed by Poppy Johnson

Where to start, where to begin? I will say at the outset that I did not “bond” with the author of Being British. The book is neither witty, nor funny, but rather a probably accurate statement on what it is really like to be British, and that is, I admit, the entire point of the book, isn’t it?

The book reviews British culture and has 14 chapters that cover the history of Britain, downsides of British culture and its current evolution, perceptions of the British Empire and its supposed decline, national identity and patriotism, British people’s love of nature as well as the future of Britain. 

22 12, 2016

Review: Die Young With Me by Rob Rufus

By | December 22nd, 2016|Categories: Arts & Literature, Disorders & Diseases, Health, Mind, & Body, Memoirs, Nonfiction|Tags: , , , |3 Comments

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die young with me book coverReviewed by Sarah Lelonek

I’m not the one to read memoirs, especially not ones with heavy topics like cancer, but Rob Rufus’ Die Young With Me turned out to be the perfect exception to my rule. Mixed with teen angst and underground punk culture, this book enticed me until the end.

Rob and Nat Rufus live in a typical little town in West Virginia where punk is nothing but noise. It’s not until the twins visit a relative that they find out how punk truly can be a way of life. After that, the brothers and a few friends start a band and never look back. When Rob, young, angry, and full of potential, is diagnosed with cancer, the dreams the Rob had fought so hard to achieve turn into a life or death battle.

15 12, 2016

Blog Tour: ScriptureDoodle Books by April Knight

By | December 15th, 2016|Categories: Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Nonfiction, Religion & Spirituality|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

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scripturedoodle book coverPlease join April Knight, author of ScriptureDoodle and ScriptureDoodle: God’s Promises, as she tours the blogosphere with Litfuse Publicity!

Reviewed by Amanda Schafer

Bible journaling meets adult coloring in April Knight’s ScriptureDoodle books, but the process goes deeper than that. With ScriptureDoodle books, you are guided through learning how to effectively doodle while also increasing the depth of your study and meditation time. April Knight starts each book out with an introduction and an explanation of how to use the book, but she also covers different tips and techniques that will benefit the user as they progress through the book.

13 12, 2016

Blog Tour: Killing It by Sheryl O’Loughlin

By | December 13th, 2016|Categories: Business & Investing, Entrepreneurship, Gift Ideas, Health, Mind, & Body, Non Fiction, Nonfiction, Self-Help|Tags: , , |4 Comments

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killing it book coverPlease join Sheryl O’Loughlin, author of Killing It, as she tours the blogosphere with TLC Book Tours!

Reviewed by Holly Madison

In order to properly review this book, I should probably start with a tiny bit about myself. I am a self-made entrepreneur, and I started my business almost four years ago.

Back then, my husband and I were at an all time low. He had just been laid off, and we had exactly $220 in our bank account. One day, out of pure luck, I stumbled across a fantastic business opportunity and a chance to buy a bunch of left over fiber from a nearby farm. After a lot of convincing, I finally talked my husband into spending $200 to buy the entire stash of alpaca…convinced that I could prep it myself and sell it on Etsy to make money. That left us with $20 to live off of.

12 12, 2016

Blog Tour: Hound of the Sea by Garrett McNamara

By | December 12th, 2016|Categories: For Men, Gift Ideas, Health, Mind, & Body, Memoirs, Nonfiction, Self-Help, Sports & Outdoors|Tags: , , |3 Comments

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hound of the sea book coverPlease join Garrett McNamara, author of Hound of the Sea, as he tours the blogosphere with TLC Book Tours!

Reviewed by Nina Longfield

Hound of the Sea by Garrett McNamara is a memoir that delves into the hypnotic draw of big wave surfing. This book, however, is also a look back to an unconventional childhood. McNamara was born at the tail end of the flower power era with parents who embraced the concepts of peace, love, sex, drugs, and communal experimentation. Throughout his memoir, McNamara dips into his past sharing vignettes of memories. Using his own recollections as well as stories he heard from others, McNamara creates a picture of a boy with an unconventional childhood growing into a man with an exceptional occupation.

8 12, 2016

Review: Christmas Quiet by Maisie Sparks and Lauren Younis

By | December 8th, 2016|Categories: Arts & Literature, Children's Books, Coloring Books, Entertainment, Nonfiction, Religion & Spirituality|Tags: , , |7 Comments

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christmas quiet book coverReviewed by Charity Lyman

For many people, reading books tends to relieve stress. I am one of those who will devour a novel because it takes my mind off things going on in my world around me. But for others, they take the route of actually being able to scribble in their books. I know, not what I would do, but when you have a book as pretty as this one? Oh, and while it has devotions and text, it is, also, a coloring book!

This strikingly beautiful adult coloring book is titled, Christmas Quiet. Contained within is a 25 day devotional, along with coloring pages. The authors take a piece of Scripture and then writes up a small word of encouragement or inspiration. This is leading up to Christmas so all the little pieces deal with the advent.

21 11, 2016

Review: Weapons of Math Destruction by Cathy O’Neil

By | November 21st, 2016|Categories: Business & Investing, Computers & Technology, Nonfiction, Politics & Government, Social Sciences|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

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weapons of math destruction book coverReviewed by Alexander Morrison

How do we decide how long a person stays in jail? Which teachers get fired and which get to keep their job? How is our credit rating linked to the ads we see online and the amount of money we pay for car insurance? There’s one answer for all these questions: Algorithms. There are thousands of mathematical models built that track each and every one of us, putting us in neat little boxes for purposes of safety, advertising, and a dozen other broad causes. But are those algorithms always fair, or even coherent? Cathy O’Neil is here to argue that many of the algorithms running invisibly in the background of our day-to-day lives are ‘weapons of math destruction’, vicious computer codes that can destroy lives as a byproduct of completely failing to measure the thing they were created to measure.