Of Time and Memory: A Mother’s Story

by Don J. Snyder

Of Time and Memory by Don. J. Snyder

Folks, this is a sad one. A truly sad one. This book first came to my consciousness when I was watching a film that used a quotation from the text “Let us hope that we are all preceded in this world by a love story”. I furiously tried to copy the reference because it sounded like a book I needed to have in my life. I was right. Of Time and Memory (I’ve also found the same book with A Parents’ Love Story) tells the story of a man trying to piece together the story of his mother’s life. Read More »

Jim Henson: The Biography

by Brian Jay Jones

Jim Henson the Autobiography by Brian Jay Jones

I was not, like so many of my peers, brought up on the muppets. Sure, I remember Kermit singing, Rainbow Connection, and quite liked it, but I never watched the movies or the tv show. I also didn’t enjoy Sesame Street. I didn’t like Fraggle Rock. My biggest exposure to Jim Henson was through the puppets on Star Wars or The Dark Crystal, which I genuinely thought was one of the most amazing things ever. My seven year old self spent a long time playing the Dark Crystal, and I’ve been tempted to re-watch it as an adult, but I fear that I’ll dislike it and have no desire to destroy the nostalgia. Read More »

Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War

by Nathaniel Philbrick

Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick

We all have eras of history that we find more fascinating than others. While I find US history interesting, it doesn’t usually captivate me in the same way that Latin American history does, but Nathaniel Philbrick is changing that. I read In the Heart of the Sea and quite enjoyed it. Read More »

The Blooding: The Dramatic True Story of the First Murder Case Solved by Genetic “Fingerprinting”

by Joseph Wambaugh

The Blooding by Joseph Wambaugh

If you know me, or read this website, you know I like true crime. Maybe that is wrong. No one should like crime. Let us just say that I am always interested to read about true crime, or watch a documentary, listen to a podcast, etc. Read More »

Assisted: An Autobiography

by John Stockton with Kerry L. Pickett

Assisted an autobiography by John Stockton

Full disclosure. I care less than not at all about professional sports. Well, perhaps that isn’t entirely accurate. I am an only girl, raised with boys who LOVE sports. Though football is the big one in my family, all other sports are also welcomed. And local teams… well, mostly they love the local teams. I am from Utah and was a teenager in the glory days of the Utah Jazz when Stockton and Malone were making playoffs left and right and losing championships to the Chicago Bulls. Read More »

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales From the Making of The Princess Bride

by Cary Elwes and Joe Layden

As You Wish by Cary Elwes

Unlike most of my peers, I didn’t grow up watching The Princess Bride as a kid. I vaguely remember my 4th grade best friend, Katy, raving about it and arranging for me to watch it at her house. I have no idea why that never happened but it didn’t. Instead, I watched it for the first time as a freshman in college, and I LOVED it! I am glad I came to it later than a lot of my friends because some of the subtle humor is really best observed by older teens or adults.  Read More »

David Spade is Almost Interesting

by David Spade

David Spade is Almost Interesting by David Spade

Let us take a moment to talk audiobooks. This is not the first audiobook I listened to… no that honor goes to a horrible Star Wars audiobook which I will be reviewing shortly (and when I say shortly, I actually have no idea when I will get to it… I used to do these things in order, but I’ve given that up). Read More »

The Devil’s Diary: Alfred Rosenberg and the Stolen Secrets of the Third Reich

by Robert K Wittman and David Kinney

The Devil's Diary by Robert K Wittman and David Kinney

Back to reading WWII books, I see. Yes, I am. I genuinely can’t help myself no matter how hard I try. I feel as though I am not entirely to blame because of each book published every year, I’d wager a high percentage are about WWII. Like how I kept it vague without any real statistics? Read More »

Running with the Buffaloes: A Season Inside with Mark Wetmore, Adam Goucher, and The University of Colorado Men’s Cross Country Team

by Chris Lear

Running with the Buffaloes by Chris Lear

If you read this website regularly (and there is no guarantee that you do… I’ve seen my web page analytics), you know that I like to read running books as I consider myself a runner on sabbatical just waiting for that magical day when I am no longer birthing or breastfeeding humans and can devote time back to running. Read More »

It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying is Cool Too)

by Nora McInerny Purmort

It's Ok to Laugh by Nora McInerny Purmont

Sigh… where to begin? Reviewing a book like this is a bit of a challenge. Purmort’s biggest claim to fame, and her reason for writing a memoir in the first place, is that her husband died of cancer. So, if you criticize a book like this, you come across as a jerk… So with that understanding, I am going into this immediately letting you know that I DISLIKED this book. Read More »

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

by Amy Chua

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua

I’d heard a lot about this book and had always wanted to read it. I’d read excerpts of a few of her other books and it looked like Battle Hymn was a bit of a departure, but exciting none the less. Then I had the opportunity to hear Chua speak at my brother’s law school graduation and enjoyed what she had to say. She spoke a lot about the backlash she received after writing the book and the controversy surrounding it. Which goes to show you, people who don’t read books shouldn’t get to make talking points on morning shows. Read More »

Unfamiliar Fishes

by Sarah Vowell

Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell

This is another book I picked up for research for our family trip to Hawaii in 2016. I’m already a fan of Vowell, and at this point I’d already done a fair amount of research so I was excited to add Vowell’s perspective. I knew there were certain things I could count on in a Vowell history. 1- She was going to be cutting. 2- She was going to find the ridiculous. 3-She might eviscerate the colonists. I was right on all counts. Read More »

Americana: Dispatches from the New Frontier

by Hampton Sides

Americana: Dispatches from the New Frontier by Hampton Sides

I have some go-to non fiction writers that I rely on to provide a variety of real life events or stories that I know will educate, enlighten, entertain, and always be great. Erik Larson, Sarah Vowell, Nathaniel Philbrick, Amy Stewart. And Hampton Sides. It was a happy day when I discovered this man. One thing I LOVE about Sides is that his books are so varied, and still so interesting. There is no better example than Americana. Read More »

A Long Way Home: A Boy’s Incredible Journey from India to Australia and Back Again

by Saroo Brierly

A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierly

By now everyone has heard this story as the movie based on this book, Lion, was nominated for all sorts of awards. My husband got this for me before the movie was a thing, and so the first time I saw the trailer for the movie I’d already read the book and therefore had a bunch of pre conceived notions about what it should be, but that is another story for another time. You all know my thoughts on movies based on books.  Read More »

Run Gently Out There: Trials, Trails, and Tribulations of Running Ultramarathons

by John Morelock

Run Gently Out There: Trials, Trails, and Tribulations of Running Ultramarathons by John Morelock

Ah, the book that single-handedly killed my love of running. Just kidding. I’m being a bit dramatic, but in a running book my bar is reasonably low: Does this book make me want to run? If the answer is no, then it isn’t a great running book. But I get ahead of myself. Read More »

Assassination Vacation

by Sarah Vowell

Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell

I don’t know what it is about the darker moments in US history that people find so fascinating, but perhaps it is that psychological warm blanket of knowing that an awful thing happened while you are safe. I could ponder this all day but you came for a review and a review you are going to get.  Read More »

Sixpence House: Lost in a Town of Books

by Paul Collins

Sixpense House by Paul Collins

Help me out there book-lovers: Do you find yourselves getting sucked into reading books about books? That is how Sixpence House came into my hands. Read More »

Hellhound on His Trail: The Electrifying Account of the Largest Manhunt in American History

by Hampton Sides

Hellhound on His Trail: The Electrifying Account of the Largest Manhunt in American History by Hampton Sides

I’m a fan of Hampton Sides, if he writes it, I’m going to read it. (I’m currently reading Amercana: Dispatches from the New Frontier and loving it) I read this book at a challenging time which made it a very heavy read. Read More »

Captive Paradise: A History of Hawaii

by James L. Haley

Captive Paradise by James Haley

Way back in the early days of 2016, my husband and I decided that we would do something spectacular for his four week sabbatical rather than the yard work and errands that we’d initially talked about. Then randomly we decided we’d go to Hawaii, and we’d take the kids. I’ve never had a lot of interest in Hawaii, it seemed too touristy, too obvious, too not my kind of island, but once we decided we’d go (and take three kids aged five and under) for 2+ weeks in paradise, I threw myself into research mode. Read More »

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things

by Jenny Lawson

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson

So, apparently Jenny Lawson writes a beloved blog. I did not know that when I put this on my Christmas wishlist. I thought the description was intriguing enough and at this point in my life various people I know have suddenly become depressed, are seeking help for depression, or are recovering from depression. I was hoping to get a humorous insight into the disordered or depressed mind… that isn’t exactly what I got. Read More »

An Invisible Thread: The True Story of an 11-year-old Panhandler, a Busy Sales Executive, and an Unlikely Meeting with Destiny

by Laura Schroff and Alex Tresniowski

An Invisible Thread: The True Story of an 11-Year-Old Panhandler, a Busy Sales Executive, and an Unlikely Meeting with Destiny by Laura Schroff and Alex Tresnioski

Get ready with the tissues because this book is full of big feelings. In this day and age negative race relations is big money as it sells newspapers, has splashy headlines, and evokes strong emotions. Unfortunately the media has seized on the negativity in a way the early yellow journalists manufactured threats, wars, and published rumor as fact. Read More »

The Beautiful Cigar Girl: Mary Rogers, Edgar Allan Poe, and the Invention of Murder

by Daniel Stashower

The Beautiful Cigar Girl: Mary Rogers, Edgar Allan Poe, and the Invention of Murder by Daniel Stashower

Congrats to Stashower for introducing me to a true crime that I knew next to nothing about. Sometime, somewhere, in some article or book or other I knew that Edgar Allan Poe had based one of his stories on the murder of Mary Rogers, but that is about it. I looked forward to learning a bit more about the whole affair. And MAN, affair it was. Really this book tells two stories. The first is of Edgar Allan Poe, a lonely, kind of ungratious, impetuous writer. The second is of Mary Rogers, a young girl with secrets who happens to get killed and to this day no one knows exactly who did it. I hate to admit it, but the Poe stuff was very secondary and when the story switched to follow him it always took me a couple paragraphs (or pages!) to actually care again. Not a good sign, but overall, I enjoyed the book.

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Ghost Soldiers: The Forgotten Epic Story of World War II’s Most Dramatic Mission

by Hampton Sides

Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account of World War II's Greatest Rescue Mission by Hampton Sides

I keep telling you I am going to stop reading books about World War II, and I keep reading books about World War II. I am in that vicious Can’t Stop/Won’t Stop cycle. Apologies again and always, but I love me some World War II books, and spoiler alert, I’ve started reading spy books about that era so you are going to be in for it for a long time. Read More »

Bastards

by Mary Anna King

Bastards by Mary Anna King

I come from a stable home. Two parents who are still together and just celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. Four kids. A few regular ups and downs but certainly my childhood was filled with a sense of security and well-being if not full of ponies and sweet sixteen parties. My life could not be more different than King’s but I enjoyed reading an account of someone who was able to reconcile a tumultuous childhood and examine it in front of the world. Read More »

Sole Sisters: Stories of Women and Running

by Jennifer Lin and Susan Warner

Sole Sisters: Stories of Women and Running by Jennifer Lin and Susan Warner

I used to be am a runner, but until I regain my former running glory, I made the goal to read one running book a month to keep the inspiration alive as I’ve battled through an IT band injury, knee-injury, various pregnancies (okay, only three), and the sleep depravation associated with having three kids 5 and under in my life. Read More »

The Map Thief: The Gripping Story of an Esteemed Rare-map Dealer who Made Millions Stealing Priceless Maps

by Michael Blanding

The Map Thief: The Gripping Story of an Esteemed Rare-Map Dealer Who Made Millions Stealing Priceless Maps by Michael Blanding

I love maps. I do. In all my dreams of having the “perfect” room (you can go ahead and imagine a library because all my perfect rooms are library dreams) it has maps all over the place. We moved into our current home about 4 years ago (wow, time flies! I remember unpacking all those books when we got here just like it was yesterday) and I am finally getting around to decorating our bedroom. I found the most amazing map printed on glass over some translucent turquoise  painting. It is awesome. I keep waiting for it to go down in price to something remotely reasonable, and one day IT WILL BE MINE. What I’m saying is, I get a guy wanting to steal maps. I understand why people would collect them and preserve them. In short, I get this book. Read More »

The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra

by Helen Rappaport

The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra by Helen Rappaport

Does the world need another book about the Romanovs? That is the question. I’m not exactly sure that it does, but then again I’m not sure that it doesn’t. Helpful, no? There are a slew of nonfiction books about Czarist Russia, Rasputin, the October Revolution, etc and a book has to be unique to add something new to a discourse that has been hashed over to the point of animated musical fodder. Read More »

This is Not a Love Story

by Judy Brown

This is Not a Love Story by Judy Brown

This goes on the record as one of the BEST books I’ve read this year. 2016 has started out with some truly great books, but this one sticks with me. It is Judy Brown’s memories of growing up in a Chassidic jewish family in New York City. She and I have a lot in common, not really, but sort of. Read More »

House of Wits: An Intimate Portrait of the James Family

by Paul Fisher

House of Wits: An Intimate Portrait of the James family by Paul Fisher

I’ve been wanting to read this book since it came out. I’ve kept my eye on it and put it on my amazon wish list in hopes my husband would get it for me for Christmas of my birthday. I am VERY easy to shop for. Books, chocolate, and running shoes, in that order. Easy.
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Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked

by Chris Matthews

Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked by Christ Mathews

No secret. I LOVED Reagan. Loved. Him. Sure I was about a month old when he was elected to office, but he was my first president. I always had an interest (some would say unnatural) in politics. I remember watching the Oliver North trials by choice! Not the average activity of choice for a little kid. Whenever I see that there is a new book out featuring the Reagan presidency, I gobble it up. I was a bit skeptical because Chris Matthews is not well known for fair minded political reporting, but it had REAGAN on the cover so I couldn’t resist.

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