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 »

The Lampshade: A Holocaust Detective Story from Buchenwald to New Orleans

by Mark Jacobson

The Lampshade by Mark Jacobson

You know I am a sucker for a real life detective story… and a real life detective story with Nazis… sign me up. There were so many things I enjoyed about this book, but a fair amount that I didn’t enjoy. Read More »

Who Do You Think You Are?: A Memoir

by Alyse Myers

Who do you think you are: a memoir by Alyse Myers


Every now and again I like to read a biography about someone I have never heard of. In this case it was an auto-biography, or memoir if you want to get fancy about it, written by Alyse Myers. I knew nothing about who she was, or why her life was important, but discount books are my weakness. Read More »

In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin

by Erik Larson

In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson


When I got this book, I was so excited. I love Erik Larsen’s books. I enjoy how he blends history and murder. I think his style is easy to get lost in. That is why In the Garden of Beasts was a huge disappointment to me. Read More »

Born Liberal Raised Right: How to Rescue America from Moral Decline-One Family at a Time

by Reb Bradley

Born Library, Raised Right by Reb Bradley

This book was a gift… at the time of the receipt of said gift, I had (okay I guess I technically STILL have just the one kid) one kid who was not yet a year old. So I am not sure if this was a reflection on my current parenting, or a future warning… either way, another book that didn’t need to be written. Read More »

The Rasputin File

by Edvard Radzinsky

The Rasputin File by Edward Radzinsky

Rasputin is one of the great characters in history. He features in countless novels, non fiction books, plays, and even cartoons. Often Rasputin is portrayed as a seducing villain who caused the downfall of the Romanov empire.  Radzinsky sets out to present a real Rasputin, one who propagandists failed to present. Read More »

The Great Upheaval: America and the Birth of the Modern World 1788-1800

by Jay Wink

The Great Upheaval: America and the Birth of the Modern World by Jay Winik

The wonderfully researched history follows the fledgling United States, France, and Russia as they navigate into the modern world. For non history buffs, the period of 1788-1800 includes all sorts of rebellion within the United States (Shay’s Rebellion, Whiskey Rebellion, etc), the French Revolution and murder of the French Monarchy, as well as the twilight of Catherine the Great and Russia as a world power. Read More »

Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever

by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard

Kill Lincoln by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard

I am always a bit skeptical when I pick up a book that someone AND someone else wrote. I get vicious flashbacks to university where I had to write papers in a group. Trying to fit your own writing style with the writing style of someone else… well, lets just say I hated writing papers in a group or as a pair. I don’t know how two people organize one set of thoughts, which is one of the problems with this non-fiction. Read More »

Raising a Riot

by Alfred Toombs

Raising a Riot by Alfred Toombs

This non fiction comes to us via my husband and the yard sale. It is another of the ‘christian fiction’ set, though Christianity is not displayed quite so prominently, or prominently at all. If I did not know where this book came from, I would just assume it was another set of memoirs that didn’t need to be written as nothing of import actually happens. Read More »

Stalin’s Children: Three Generations of Love, War, and Survival

by Owen Matthews

Stalin's Children: Three Generations of Love, War, and Survival by Owen Matthews

Stalin’s Children met my criteria for a good biography. Most likely because I found myself crying throughout the first third of the book. Read More »