An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination

Elizabeth McCracken

An Exact Replica of a Figment of my Imagination by Elizabeth McCraken

I was pregnant when a friend suggested I read this one. When I bought it I was horrified to find out it was about a woman who has a stillbirth. I don’t consider myself over superstitious, but my pregnancy was already high risk and would need a c-section (something I’d never endured with my previous children) so I put the book aside to read later. Read More »

12 Years a Slave

by Solomon Northup

12 Years a Slave by Soloman Northrup

This book was written in 1853 about a free black man who was kidnapped and transported south to live as a slave for 12 long years. I’ve read other memoirs written in the same time frame, and I have to say that I don’t love the style of personal narratives written at the time. So that dislike of the way this memoir was written is reflected in how much I was able to enjoy the book as a whole, if one can enjoy reading about the utter misery of another human being. Read More »

The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop: A Memoir, a History

by Lewis Buzbee

The Yellow Lighted Book Shop by Lewis Buzbee

I like books about reading. And books about books. And books about loving books… Buzbee’s book about bookstores was right up my alley. I think all book lovers can relate to the themes he touches on, and as he takes his little walk down memory lane, a lot of what Buzbee remembers will be familiar. Read More »

Crow Killer: The Saga of Liver-Eating Johnson

by Raymond W. Thorp and Robert Bunker

Crow Killer by Raymond Thorpe and Robert Bunker

Though I don’t typically read mountain man books, this was a birthday gift that looked pretty interesting. Also, I know very little about any but the most famous mountain men and I am always interested in learning new things. Sadly, Crow Killer ended up being a little too folksy and not academic enough for me. Read More »

Child of the Dark: The Diary of Carolina Maria de Jesus

by Carolina Maria de Jesus

Child of the Dark by Carolina Maria de Jesus

I was reluctant to read this book because I was worried at the emotions it might bring out. I lived in Brazil for a year and a half, and spent a fair amount of time visiting favelas and speaking to the poor and weary who were unfortunate enough to call those wretched places home. Read More »

You Were Always Mom’s Favorite! Sisters in Conversation Throughout Their Lives

by Deborah Tannen

You Were Always Mom's Favorite: Sisters in Conversations Throughout Their Lives by Deborah Tannen

I wanted to read this book from the moment I read a review on NPR.com. I don’t have sisters, but I have always been fascinated with the dynamic. Having come from a home with three brothers and moving into an all girls apartment in college, I could tell you stories of culture shock! Read More »

Wish You Happy Forever: What China’s Orphans Taught Me About Moving Mountains

by Jenny Bowen, founder of Half the Sky Foundation

Wish You Happy Forever by Jenny Bowen

I really shouldn’t read books like this when I am pregnant. Sure, orphans get to me any time, but when I am pregnant I have no control over the tears. Whenever I find anything particularly sad, or touching, my eyes turn into sprinklers. This book was both touching, and sad, in spades. Read More »

The Butterfly Mosque

by G. Willow Wilson

The Butterfly Mosque by G. Willow Wilson

This book came highly recommended, by someone whose opinion I trust. That in and of itself can be dangerous. It is hard to read a book that has been talked up so much because I want something amazing. Well, The Butterfly Mosque wasn’t amazing, but it was certainly good. Read More »

Yes Sister, No Sister: My Life as a Trainee Nurse in 1950s Yorkshire

by Jennifer Craig

Yes Sister, No Sister by Jennifer Craig

The title of this book pretty much sums up what is about. I wonder if I would have enjoyed it more if I had not read the Call the Midwife Trilogy beforehand. This memoir seems to have a lot less heart than the Midwife books, though I did learn more about the mechanics of training to be a nurse. Read More »

Farewell to the East End

by Jennifer Worth

Farewell to the East End

Farewell to the East End is the last book that Worth wrote concerning her time in London’s East End working as a midwife in the 1950s, but interestingly not the last book she wrote about nursing. I am planning to read those as well. Once again Worth splits up parts of the narrative telling stories about her fellow midwives, Trixie, Cynthia, and Chummy. Read More »

Shadows of the Workhouse

by Jennifer Worth

Shadows of the Workhouse by Jennifer Worth

This book is the second book of the Midwife Series Trilogy on which the BBC drama Call the Midwife is based. Whew, that was a mouthful. Suffice it to say that this book is every bit as sad as the title suggests, in the very best possible way. Read More »

Call the Midwife: A True Story of the East End in the 1950s

by Jennifer Worth

Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth

Once upon a time I stumbled upon the BBC series Call the Midwife on Netflix. I generally enjoy what the BBC has to offer and I devoured this entire series in a matter of a few weeks. I cried every single episode. Perhaps I should preface all the crying with the fact that I am pregnant, and tend to be easily touched into tears when I am pregnant. Read More »

A Mormon Mother: An Autobiography by Annie Clark Tanner

by Annie Clark Tanner

A Mormon Mother by Annie Clark Tanner

My little brother got me this book for Christmas. I suspect that it was heavily discounted from the $1.50 price tag that graced its cover. Though I love free books, AND love my little brother for providing so many, it is often hit and miss with his gifts. It was with trepidation that I started this book, but I was pleasantly surprised. Read More »

I Will Lead You Along: The Life of Henry B. Eyring

by Robert I. Eaton and Henry J. Eyring

I Will Lead You Along: The Life of Henry B. Eyring by Robert Eaton and Henry Eyring

I always hesitate when I review religious books about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). It is difficult for me to separate my own religious beliefs and examine a text as a purely impartial reader. For example, as a member of the LDS church I read church texts and the scriptural cannon (Old Testament, New Testament King James’ Version, The Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price) weekly, but I never review them as I consider them sacred. Read More »

Someone Could Get Hurt: A Memoir of Twenty-first-century Parenthood

by Drew Magary

Someone Could Get Hurt by Drew Magary

I’m a parent. I wasn’t always a parent. I find it hard, now, to remember what my life was like before I had all these irrational fears and before I spent my days worrying about things like potty training progress or which educational school of thought best fits my ideal of the type of people I would like to release into the world. Read More »

Silent Courage: An Indian Story

by George P. Lee

Silent Courage: An Indian Story : The Autobiography of George P. Lee, a Navajo by George P. Lee

Oh, so many thoughts about this one. My uncle brought this one to me during Thanksgiving and said, “It is an interesting book. Despite what happened to him later on.” Despite what happened to him later on?! What happened to him later on? To google George P. Lee ┬áthen and there, or read the book first? Read More »

Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World’s Most Wanted Hacker

by Kevin Mitnick with William L. Simon

Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted Hacker by Kevin Mitnick

I slightly dislike these written with books because I am not sure how much was the not so ghost writer and how much was Kevin Mitnick? Which to criticize first, or last? And yes there is plenty to criticize, only where to begin? Read More »

Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time

by Mark Adams

Turn Right at Machu Pichu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time by Mark Adams

I really enjoyed this book, which came as a bit of a surprise. I know I’ve said it before, but I tend not to like when the author inserts himself into the non fiction story. There are clearly exceptions, but they are rare. When I picked up this book at the bookstore, I thought I’d give it a chance based solely on my strange obsession with Machu Picchu. Read More »

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

by Ishmael Beah

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Soldier Boy by Ishmael Beah

One can’t review this book, without talking about the controversy surrounding this story. Read More »

Going Rogue: An American Life

by Sarah Palin

Going Rogue: An American Life by Sarah Palin

I’ve never liked Sarah Palin, I thought she was a poor choice for Senator John McCain as a Vice Presidential nominee, but I will say, this book made me appreciate Sarah Palin a bit more. I won’t say I could envision us being bosom buddies, or anything, but I feel I understand more about her as a person than I did before reading this book. Read More »

Travels in a Thin Country: A Journey Through Chile

by Sarah Wheeler

Travels in a Thin Country: A Journey Through Chile by Sarah Wheeler


Have you ever gone on a trip with someone loatheable? I have… in Ireland… and the beauty of the country could not eclipse the nagging annoyance of the person I was with. That was what reading Travels in a Thin Country felt like. Read More »

Lay the Favorite: A Memoir of Gambling

by Beth Raymer

Lay the Favorite: A Memoir of Gambling by Beth Raymer

While I was reading this book, I was unsure of whether I liked it or not, and after I finished, I decided I did. Read More »

I Hate Your Guts

by Jim Norton

I Hate Your Guts by Jim Norton

This book was absolutely awful. Absolutely. Awful. The highlight of this book was when I used it to kill a wasp this very morning. In short,  not worth the time I spent reading it, and certainly not worth any more time reviewing it.

They Call Me Baba Booey

by Gary Dell’Abate with Chad Millman

They Call Me Baba Booey by Gary Dell'Abate with Chad Millman

I don’t listen to Howard Stern. Ever. So I had no idea who this guy was, but as with every free book, I gave this one a chance. I am glad I did. I feared that I would dislike it as much as the other biographies that came as a result of the library fairy, but to my pleasant surprise, this was oddly uplifting.

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The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon

by David Grann

The Lost City of Z by David Grann

I don’t think I am ever going to get tired of books about Percy Fawcett. An explorer who got lost in the Amazon in search of a lost city? A mystery? Theories upon theories? And David Grann believes he has solved the mystery. Read More »

Louisa May Alcott: An Intimate Anthology

by Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott: An Intimate Anthology by Lousia May Alcott

Any little girl who ever loved to read and write (guilty!) imagined that they were Jo March. I remember the first time I read Little Women in third grade. I really felt that Louisa May Alcott was the greatest writer on earth. I still re-read the Little Men/Little Women/Jo’s Boys books every couple of years. Read More »

There is Something in the Air

by David Yarbrough

There is Something in the Air by David Yarbrough

This book was a hard read, full of the problems that one encounters in the world of the self published book, which is truly a shame because I feel that there is a story here that needs to be told. Unfortunately, There is Something in the Air, is not the best way to tell it. Read More »

The Guardian Poplar: A Memoir of Deep Roots, Journey, and Rediscovery

by Chase Nebeker Peterson

The Guardian Poplar: A Memoir of Deep Roots, Journey, and Rediscovery by Chase Nebeker Peterson

This book was kind of a meh, for me. Peterson writes well, and a lot of his memories are interesting, but it just didn’t seem to resonate with me. Perhaps the lackadaisical, no real moral to the story, type of storytelling just doesn’t grip me personally, but it this book didn’t. Read More »

American Adulterer: A Novel

by Jed Mercurio

American Adulterer: A Novel by Jed Mercurio

I hated this book. That is all you should really know, but let me go into the details. This “novel” details the life of JFK beginning with his Inauguration as President of the United States until his assassination. Mercurio calls it a novel in order to not do the due diligence type of research that a non fiction book of the same topic would require. Read More »

Justice For All: Earl Warren and the Nation He Made

by Jim Newton

Justice For All: Earl Warren and the Nation He Made by Jim Newton

As I’ve mentioned before, sometimes I have a difficult time enjoying a biography if I don’t necessarily like the person the book is written about. To separate the book from the person is a challenge, so full disclosure, I think Earl Warren was kind of a jerk. And a bit of a hypocrite. Read More »