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 »

You Can’t Say You Can’t Play

by Vivian Gussin Paley

You Can't Say You Can't Play by Vivian Gussin Paley

My husband heard about this book on NPR and we’d had a spirited debate about the merits of not allowing children to exclude other children from play. He got me the book for Christmas so we could, no doubt, continue the debate. Read More »

Maps and Legends: Reading and Writing Along the Borderlands

by Michael Chabon

Maps and Legends by Michael Chabon


I suspect my husband judged this book by its cover as he bought it for me. He is a graphic designer. It does have a nice cover, but happily the inner workings are just as nice. 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 »

Great Tales from English History: The Truth About King Arthur, Lady Godiva, Richard the Lionheart, and more

by Robert Lacey

Great Tales from English History by Robert Lacey

I like history, but I am unsure about where this book falls into the historical non fiction category. Lacey covers a lot of events, in chronological order, but does not delve deeply into cause, morality, or effect, of many of the events. Read More »

America Back on Track

by Edward M. Kennedy

America Back on Track by Edward Kennedy

Oh, Ted, Ted, Ted… So many things to write about this book. First, for those of you OUT of the political know, Ted Kennedy died way back in 2009. Also, my political beliefs rarely line up with the late Mr. Kennedy, but I do like to keep informed about different ideas and the values behind them. I also got this book for free and I will read anything that comes into my hands for free. Read More »

One Child

by Torey L. Hayden

One Child by Torey Hayden

I have to ask, did they not have HIPAA when Hayden was teaching school? No, research (okay, wikipedia) informs me Bill Clinton signed this bad boy into law in 1996. Read More »

High Tide at Gettysburg

by Glenn Tucker

High Tide at Gettysburg by Glenn Tucker

I am not a Civil War buff. I find it interesting, but it isn’t the first thing I gravitate toward when looking for non fiction. I actually married into this book. When my husband was a teenager he picked it up because he enjoys military tactics, but he found it pretty unreadable and never finished it. Having read the whole thing, I can understand why he desisted. This was a long, slow slog of a read. Read More »

How Soccer Explains the World

by Franklin Foer

How Soccer Explains the World by Franklin Foer

I grew up with brothers… who watched football. The kind where people wear pads and you throw the ball about. We lived in a small town without soccer leagues. Despite this, I’ve enjoyed soccer. A soccer match is significantly shorter than a football game, and I imagine that is part of the appeal. I even played on an indoor soccer league once upon a time, and ‘coached’ an intramural team. Thus, my soccer credentials are obviously impeccable. 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 »

Trails to Testimony: Bringing Young Men to Christ Through Scouting

by Bradley D. Harris

Trails to Testimony by Bradley D. Harris

My husband suggested I read this book, as he was required to read it since he volunteers in the good ole BSA. He works with the Varsity boys (ages 14-16) and oh the stories he could tell! 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 »

Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era

by James McPherson

Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era by James McPherson

Bless you, James McPherson… I LOVED this book! Though I don’t consider myself a Civil War enthusiast, I do enjoy learning about the battles and the individuals who lived through that turbulent times. When I say individuals, I don’t necessarily mean the Lincolns or the Lees, but the lay soldiers, and those ‘ordinary people’ who witnessed what was going on and felt direct effects. Read More »

The Second World War

by John Keegan

The Second World War by John Keegan

Yet another WWII book. I know I promised there would be less of these in the future, but my husband bought this one and it has been staring at me from the bookshelves for nearly two years.  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.

The Complete Book of Running for Women: Everything You Need to Know About Training, Nutrition, Injury Prevention, Motivation, Racing, and Much, Much More

by Claire Kowalchik

The Complete Book of Running for Women by Claire Kowalchik

Okay. The title is pretentious. Lets just get that out of the way now, shall we? Aside from the title, I find it very hard to review self help books. Do I look at it purely as a literary endeavor? Do I actually judge whether the ‘help’ is helpful? Read More »

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 »

Isaac’s Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History

by Erik Larson

Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History by Erik Larson

It is no secret that I am a fan of Erik Larsen. I’ve wanted to read this one for a while. Larsen is a master, no the master, at blending history with the lives of those living it to create something vivid that even the non history buff can appreciate. It reads like the most delicious fiction, but it is fact, and that is why I finished this book in one wonderful day. Read More »

Captured: A True Story of Abduction by Indians on the Texas Frontier

by Scott Zesch

Captured: A True Story of Abduction by Indians on the Texas Frontier by Scott Zesch

As a western girl (which means I live in the west, not that I like country music) I will admit a fascination to anything that harks back to the lawlessness of the Wild West. A time when you could go around stealing horses, children, and shooting people? 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 »

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 »

Love Goes to Buildings On Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever

by Will Hermes

Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever by Will Hermes

In the preface Hermes writes that this is, “In a sense, an inspirational book.” And I am still wanting to know, in what sense? When a book claims it will inspire, I’d better be inspired, and it didn’t, and I wasn’t, and for this and other reasons, this book was one big fail. Read More »

Nothing To Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea

by Barbara Demick

Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick

I must say, I loved this book. Absolutely loved it. It had all the elements of a wonderful non fiction: compelling subject matter, new information, and nice writing style. I am sad that this book isn’t a best seller, but not terribly surprised when I see the types of books that become best sellers. Read More »

Barack Like Me: The Chocolate-covered Truth

by David Alan Grier with Alan Eisenstock

Barack Like Me: The Chocolate-covered Truth by Alan Grier with Alan Eisenstock

Ugh, I hated this book. Mercifully, it was written so that an elementary student could have gotten through it quickly had they wanted to… and I sincerely hope none would. Read More »

Operation Mincemeat: How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory

by Ben Macintyre

Operation Mincemeat by Ben Macintyre

I feel like I am on a WWII kick. I promise that I have been reading other things as well, but with the discovery of Macintyre’s interesting WWII books which detail the lives of spies and intelligence secrets… well, I might be on this kick for a while. Operation Mincemeat offers a different side of the WWII story. It does talk about specifics campaigns but focuses on the Intelligence community’s unique role in the strategic gathering and decimation of information. Macintyre’s book was well written and well researched. You can tell that his background is in newspaper journalism because each chapter is short and snappy, like a well written article.

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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

by Rebecca Skloot

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

This book and I have history… I read a review before it came out and was very excited about it. Then, one of the defunct book clubs that I am a part of decided to read it. I was thrilled, then they decided to replace the selection with The Help *gag*. I was disappointed but always having 20 books or so on my to read shelf didn’t leave me time for moping. Read More »

Wicked Bugs: The Louse That Conquered Napoleon’s Army & Other Diabolical Insects

by Amy Stewart

Wicked Bugs by Amy Stewart

I recently moved to a house with a basement. And in the basement spiders lurk, everywhere! I was also reading this book while pregnant, which makes me a bit more sensitive to things. Needless to say, my skin crawled the entire time I read this one. The premise is something I can get behind, a non fiction book about the havoc that harmless little bugs can reap, but the book as a whole was not wonderful. Read More »