• Books,  Non-Fiction,  Reviews

    The Splendid and The Vile Personal Tales of London During the Blitz

    The Splendid and The VileBy Erik Larson The Splendid and The Vile is an intimate look at Winston Churchill, his inner circle, and relations with the U.S. during the London Blitz of 1940-1941. It takes you through the personal and political of World War II using archival materials and a narrative style that has you rooting for England even though you already know the outcome. Larson strikes again as a historical storyteller that weaves together diaries, governmental documents, and personal correspondence to humanize stories learned through history. The Personal Angle Years ago I stumbled on Erik Larson‘s book Devil in the White City as I was preparing to move to…

  • Books,  Non-Fiction,  Reviews

    An American Holocaust, The Story of the Cherokee Displacement

    Jacksonland By Steve Inskeep Jacksonland is an American story, a tragedy. It is about greed, white man’s destiny, struggle and death. It is a story not well known and one everyone should hear. As the title suggests, Steve Inskeep, co-host of NPR’s “Morning Edition,” writes about the presidency of Andrew Jackson. Yet the book is more than your traditional presidential biography. Jacksonland is a narrative about the plight of the Native American. It is a story focused on the Cherokee Tribe and how the American government purloined Cherokee lands and removed the tribal citizens westward en masse. Jacksonland is a story of how one population was forcefully cordoned off from…

  • Books,  Non-Fiction,  Reviews

    Strength in Vulnerability – A review of Brain On Fire

      You’re a vibrant woman in her twenties with the beginnings of a great career in journalism, an attentive boyfriend and an apartment in New York City. One day you wake up in a hospital, delirious, restrained and with no memory of how you got there. Your family and boyfriend can’t recognize the person you have become. It sounds like the makings of a psychological thriller or a horror movie. For Susannah Cahalan it was her very real, living nightmare.

  • 20 in your 20s Challenge,  Books,  Fiction,  Findings,  Non-Fiction

    20 Books To Read In Your Twenties

    A few weeks back the book list “11 Books to Read Now that You’re a College Grad,” was brought to my attention. Although I’ve been out of college (though not school) for the last two years, a lot of the list’s themes appealed to me. I began to wonder whether a more apt title for the list would have been “11 Books to Read In Your Twenties.”

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  • Books,  Non-Fiction,  Reviews

    The Boys In The Boat – A Review

      Nine men in one boat achieve a lasting legacy. If The Boys in the Boat were to be summarized in one sentence that would be it. The Boys in the Boat follows the nine students of the University of Washington who won the gold medal in rowing at the 1936 Berlin Summer Olympics. Beginning with their first days in a boat to their victory, The Boys in the Boat marks a notable, but often forgotten, moment in history.

  • Books,  Fiction,  Non-Fiction,  Reviews

    The Books of the Longest Summer

    I’m back. What’s my excuse this time for being gone so long, you may ask. Well – nothing that sounds justifiable. Summer, which is only now ending for me, was long. I have never counted September as summer, but when the graduate school you are attending is on a quarter system everything changes.

  • Books,  Non-Fiction,  Reviews

    My Dreams Turned Into My Personal Comedy Show

    It’s been a month, since I last posted a book review. Hopefully everyone enjoyed the emphasis on bookstores this past month, but it’s time to return to the land of bound paper.     Last month, in an effort to have some light reading, I bought Are You There Vodka? It’s me, Chelsea. I need to start this review in a state of confession. I read this book on a Kindle. Keep your pants on folks! Before everyone races back to my post on ereaders and points out my hyposcrisy, let me explain myself.

  • Books,  Non-Fiction,  Reviews

    Different Paths to the Same Mountain Summit, Religion is Not: And other Yodic-esque Ideas

      From the outset, God is Not One forced me to reevaluate my reasoning for studying religions. Stephen Prothero introduces the idea that the current trend of defining religions as different paths to the same end goal, an attempt at pluralism, is false and argues that each religion has different problems and different goals. Prothero outlines these problems and solutions as follows:

  • Books,  Non-Fiction,  Reviews

    Fleeing Eden: a Pedro Pan’s account of life on the lizard-shaped island

    Swearing portraits, firecrackers, haunting blue-eyed Jesus, evil lizards, Italian Jesuits and Castro all add vibrancy and humor to Carlos Eire’s Waiting for Snow in Havana.  Eire’s memoir about his childhood in revolution crazed Cuba is a great blend of hindsight, older-self reflection and raw child anecdotes.  When I first picked up Waiting for Snow in Havana I expected a historical autobiography about Operation Pedro Pan that airlifted 14,000 children out of Cuba and to the United States.  Instead, I was more than pleasantly surprised to discover Eire’s memoir read like fiction.  From the first pages in which Eire introduces his parents as Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, the vivid imagery…