Things My Son Needs to Know About the World #ThrowBackThursday

June 17, 2021

Things My Son Needs to Know About the World by Fredrik Backman
#throwbackthursday

Genre/Categories: Non-Fiction, Essays, Humor, Parent/Child

In 2020, I decided to systematically revisit my older review posts and update them. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads. Today, I’m re-sharing a review of a poignant and reflective essay collection, Things My Son Needs to Know About the World by Fredrik Backman. This might make an interesting Father’s Day gift (U.S. Father’s Day this weekend).

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Things My Son Needs to Know About the World is a collection of humorous and poignant essays Fredrik Backman wrote to teach his son about life. Essays range from short and light (how to beat Monkey Island 3) to poignant and deep (why a dad might hold onto his son’s hand just a little too tight). Underlying it all are thoughtful themes including those of unconditional love, a desperate desire to not fail at fatherhood, falling in love, and friendship.”

Humorous, insightful, creative, and appropriately poignant…

Continue here for my full review of Things My Son Needs to Know About the World



QOTD:

Have you read Things My Son Needs to Know About the World or is it on your TBR?

Open by Andre Agassi [Book Review]

March 12, 2021

Open by Andre Agassi

Open by Andre Agassi (cover) Image: a head shot of Andre Agassi

Genre/Categories: Nonfiction, Memoir, Autobiography, Sports

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Have you discovered the secret of life?

Have you ever played tennis or watched a professional match?

a tennis racket and two tennis balls lying on the tennis court

My Summary:

Andre Agassi is a celebrated professional tennis player. Andre was groomed and driven into the sport from a young age by his demanding and emotionally abusive father. Andre won his first grand slam at the age of twenty-two and his memoir traces the ups and downs of his sports career as well as his relationships with Barbara Streisand, Brook Shields, and Steffi Graf. From his memoir, we also gain insights into his ultimate pursuit of philanthropy and the creation of the Andre Agassi College Prep Academy in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Tennis pro, Andre Agassi holding a racket waiting for a serve

My Thoughts:

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The Answer is … Reflections On My Life [Book Review]

January 22, 2021

The Answer is … Reflections On My Life by Alex Trebek

The Answer is ... Reflections On My Life by Alex Trebek (cover) Image: a head shot of Alex Trebek

Genre/Categories: Nonfiction, Memoir, Biography

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Since 1984, Alex Trebek has been the beloved and respected host of Jeopardy! Last year, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and received an outpouring of support from fans. In response, Trebek felt compelled to write the story of his life and career highlights. As might be expected, each chapter title is in the form of a question.

My Thoughts:

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Never Broken: Songs Are Only Half the Story [Book Review]

December 18, 2020

Never Broken: Songs Are Only Half the Story by Jewel

Never Broken by Jewel (cover) Image: Barefoot Jewel is dressed in a full skirted orange summery dress and sitting bareback on a black horse

Genre/Categories: Nonfiction, Memoir, Biographical, Music

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Are You Old Enough to be a Jewel Fan?

Summary:

Never Broken meets Educated meets The Glass Castle meets Hillbilly Elegy….

In Never Broken, poet and singer-songwriter Jewel shares her unconventional childhood, her rise to fame, her marriage, and her musical journey. In her younger years, she lived on a homestead in Alaska, learned to yodel at three, and sang with her father in hotels, honky-tonks, and biker bars. Even though the family valued creativity and music, there was also trauma and instability. Jewel left home to live on her own at age 15. The following years took her to a private performing arts school in Michigan (applying for a scholarship and financing her own transportation). By eighteen, she had hitchhiked across the country, was homeless (living in her car), writing poetry, and playing in coffee shops in San Diego to support herself. A local D.J. played one of her songs, and at twenty-one, she had a following and a debut album which went multiplatinum. From there, we hear her story of complicated family, financial difficulties, insecurities, fear, survival, the breakup of her marriage, and deep heartache over the estrangement from her mother. She also shares poetry and the audio version features some singing. There’s more in the story (including Jewel’s own heartfelt advice) that can’t be covered in a brief summary.

My Thoughts:

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I Was Anastasia [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

December 17, 2020

I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon
#throwbackthursday

I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon (cover) Image: a lady wearing a hat, boots, coat, and scarf sits on her suitcase in the middle of the road)

Genre/Categories: Historical Fiction, Biographical, Mystery

This year as part of Blog Audit Challenge 2020 I’m going back to update older review posts. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads, and today I’m eager to share my review of the compelling I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon…an intriguing international mystery.

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“For nearly a century, many have speculated about the survival of Anastasia Romanov after her famous political family was forced into a basement in Siberia and executed by firing squad in 1918. Bolshevik executioners claim that no one survived, but in 1920 a young woman surfaces and claims to be the Russian Grand Duchess Anastasia. People who don’t believe her call her Anna Anderson. For years, rumors that Anastasia did survive circulate through Europe. In this story, readers have an opportunity to form their own opinion.”

If you like uniquely structured books…

Continue here for my full review of I Was Anastasia ….



QOTD:

Have you read I Was Anastasia or is it on your TBR?
Have you read other books by Ariel Lawhon?

Tell Me More [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

December 10, 2020

Tell Me More by Kelly Corrigan
#throwbackthursday

Tell Me More by Kelly Corrigan (cover) black and white text over a multicolored background

Genre/Categories: Memoir, Biographical, Humor, Self Help

This year as part of Blog Audit Challenge 2020 I’m going back to update older review posts. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads, and today I’m eager to share my review of the compelling Tell Me More: Stories About the Ten Hardest Things I’m Learning to Say.

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“In these various personal essays, popular author Kelly Corrigan explores the power of words to make a difference in our lives. Throughout the engaging and thoughtful collection of stories, there runs a theme of grief as she learns to accept the loss of her father and best friend. Each chapter includes humorous, insightful, and poignant reflections revolving around the roles she plays as a parent, a spouse, a survivor, a daughter, a sibling, a seeker, and a best friend.”

Friendly, engaging, thought-provoking, reflective…

Continue here for my full review of Tell Me More ….



QOTD:

Have you read Tell Me More or is it on your TBR?
Have you read other books by Kelly Corrigan?

The Choice: Embrace the Possible [Book Review] #NonFicNov

November 27, 2020

The Choice: Embrace the Possible by Dr. Edith Eva Eger
#NonFicNov

The Choicde by Dr. Edith Eva Eger (cover) Image: black text on white background, a black stemed coral colored flower decorates the left border

Genre/Categories: Nonfiction, Memoir, WW11, Holocaust, Mental Health, Jewish, Self Help, Psychology

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

Edith Eger and her family were taken to Auschwitz when Edith was sixteen. Her mother and father were killed shortly after they arrived. Edith and her sister survived. In this memoir, Edith recounts her experiences and her mental health journey. Her practice as a psychologist later in life focuses on PTSD. Edith weaves her own stories together with case studies from her practice to talk about healing, forgiveness, and freedom from the prison of the mind.

My Thoughts:

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My Year in Nonfiction 2020: #NonficNov

November 2, 2020

My Year in Nonfiction 2020: #NonficNov

Nonfic Nov (Image: a list of hosts and dates on a background of vibrantly colored fall leaves)

I’m eager to participate in Nonfiction November this year hosted by Doing Dewey, Julz Reads, What’s Nonfiction, and Shelf-Aware. During the month of November, you will notice one nonfiction focused post each week:

Weekly Topics:

My Year in Nonfiction: From November 2019 to November 2020 (today’s post)

Fiction/Nonfiction Book Pairings

Be the Expert

Nonfiction TBR

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Year in Nonfiction: Nov 2019-Nov 2020

Nonfiction November is an opportunity to reflect on the year, to celebrate and appreciate nonfiction, and to share recommendations.

While my sixteen nonfiction reads fall below my year’s goal of twenty, it’s the quality and enjoyment and not the quantity that creates a successful and meaningful reading year! In one other way, sixteen seems like a low number to me: I read a majority of historical fiction, so I’m frequently immersed in history and spend time googling various events. Does anyone else feel like they’re reading nonfiction when reading well-researched histfic? This must count in some way, right?! It certainly feels like it does!

From November to November!

For this post, I am counting my nonfiction reads from the beginning of November and December of 2019 because those nonfiction reads were not represented in last year’s post. So my nomfiction year will be from November to November!

Please join me for Nonfiction November!

“Just like the Grinch couldn’t stop Christmas from coming, the tire fire that is 2020 can’t stop Nonfiction November.”
~Rennie, What’s Nonfiction

Today’s host is Leann @ Shelf Aware.

**This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

***Book titles are Amazon affiliate links or links to my blog reviews.


Memoir is always my most-read category!

Family in Six Tones: A Refugee Mother, An American Daughter (memoir)

Between Inca Walls: A Peace Corps Memoir (memoir)

The Salt Path (memoir)

Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood (memoir)

Hey Kiddo: How I Lost My Mother, Found My Father, and Dealt With Family Addiction (YA memoir)

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed (memoir)

The Girl With Seven Names: Escape From North Korea (memoir)

Finding Chika: A Little Girl, An Earthquake, and the Making of a Family (memoir)

Rust: A Memoir of Steel and Grit (historical event)


Historical Event

The Only Plane in the Sky by Garrett M. Graff (cover)

The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11 (historical event)


Topics/Issues

Be the Bridge: Pursuing God’s Heart For Racial Reconciliation (racism, spiritual)

She Come By It Natural: Dolly Parton and the Women Who Lived Her Songs (feminism)

Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life (spiritual)

Don’t Overthink It: Making Easier Decisions, Stop Second-Guessing, and Bring More Joy to Your Life (self-help, essay)

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents (racism)


Books About Books

Book Girl by Sarah Clarkson (cover) Image: a reading chair surrounded by piles of books and bookshelves

Book Girl (book about books, essays)


Questions:

  1. What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year?
    This is the most difficult question! So I’ll give a complicated answer!
    Born a Crime is my favorite memoir about racism.
    Finding Chika is a favorite memoir because it is the most emotional and heartfelt.
    The Girl With Seven Names is a standout because it’s the most compelling and suspenseful.
    The Only Plane in the Sky is an important book that everyone should read!
    These are the standouts!
  2. What nonfiction book have you recommended the most?
    See answers to number one!
  3. What is one topic or type of nonfiction you haven’t read enough of yet?
    I don’t think I can ever read enough fascinating, thoughtful memoirs!
  4. What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November?
    I’m eager to read posts from other bloggers and add inspiring nonfiction titles to my 2020 TBR!


QOTD

I would love to hear all about your favorite nonfiction reads in the comments! If you could recommend ONE NF title for me, what would you recommend?

If you are participating in NonficNov, please leave a link to your post in comments.



Happy Reading Book Friends!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



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***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

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Family in Six Tones: A Refugee Mother, an American Daughter [Book Review]

September 15, 2020

Family in Six Tones by Lan Cao and Harlan Margaret Van Cao

Family in Six Tones by Lan Cao (cover) Image: a mom holding a young girl

Genre/Categories: Nonfiction, Memoir, Refugee, Vietnamese American, Vietnam War, Mother/Daughter

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

Thanks, #Netgalley #PenguinBooks @FSBassociates @AnnaSacca for a complimentary e ARC of #FamilyinSixTones for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Lan Cao escaped Viet Nam (and the Vietnam War) as a refugee when she was a child. The sacrificial love of her parents and the hopes they had for her future caused them to put her on a plane alone to travel to America to live with a distant relative. Leaving Viet Nam was traumatic and adjusting to a new family and culture added to the trauma, especially since she thought she was going on a brief vacation. Lan endures extreme culture shock (it’s especially sad that she can’t figure out how to open her milk carton at lunch), completes school, becomes a lawyer, marries, and has a child. Her daughter, Harlan, navigates two cultures and rails against her mom’s overprotectiveness. In this memoir, we hear both perspectives. As we understand that Lan’s fearfulness for her daughter is the result of her own childhood trauma, we also sympathize with Harlan and her need to fit into her American culture and be allowed some freedom. This is an “own voices” story of loss, trauma, a mother/daughter relationship, and the refugee experience.

My Thoughts:

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Killers of the Flower Moon [Book Review] #throwbackthursday

July 23, 2020

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann
#throwbackthursday

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for
#throwbackthursday.

This year as part of Blog Audit Challenge 2020 I’m going back to update older review posts. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads, and today I’m sharing my review of Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann, a story of true crime….cruel and incomprehensible racial injustice…greed…

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann (cover) Image: White text over a burnt orange and goldish moonlit sky .... a tall oil derrick is silouetted by the moon

Genre/Categories: Narrative Nonfiction, Osage, Native Americans, True Crime, U.S. History, Racial Injustice

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

true crime….cruel and incomprehensible racial injustice…greed…

My Summary:

Killers of the Flower Moon is a true-crime murder mystery involving the wealthy Osage Indian Nation of Oklahoma in the 1920s. After oil was discovered beneath the wasteland that they had been forced to live on, the Osage became extremely rich. However, one by one, members of the Osage began to die under suspicious circumstances, or as some believed to be killed off. To introduce readers to this community and the crime, the author closely follows the story of Mollie Burkhart and her family.  It was dangerous to investigate the murders because investigators could also die under mysterious circumstances. As the death toll surpassed more than twenty-four Osage, the newly formed F.B.I. took up the case.  The F.B.I also experienced difficulty in the investigation until J. Edgar Hoover enlisted Tom White, a former Texas Ranger, to form an undercover team to unravel the mystery. White’s team (which included a Native American) infiltrated the region and employed the latest modern techniques of investigation. This story tells whether or not they were able to expose one of the most monstrous and heinous crimes in American history.”

Continue here for my full review of Killers of the Flower Moon

QOTD: Have you read Killers of the Flower Moon or is it on your TBR?