Strength in Vulnerability – A review of Brain On Fire

brain on fire

Brain On Fire: My Month of Madness
by Susannah Cahalan


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. Read more

20 Books To Read In Your Twenties

20 Books To Read In Your Twenties

20 books to read in your twentiesA 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.” Read more

The Boys In The Boat – A Review

The boys in the boatThe Boys in the Boat
by Daniel James Brown


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. Read more

The Books of the Longest Summer

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. Read more

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.



Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea
by Chelsea Handler


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. Read more

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


God Is Not One
by Stephen Prothero


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: Read more

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

download (11)Waiting For Snow In Havana
by Carlos Eire

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 and lively language captures a reader.

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Save the Middle East, Save the World: One man’s memoir and his hopes for the future

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Our Last Best Chance
by King Abdullah II


Jordanian King Abdullah II published his memoir in the historical, anecdotal, and topical book Our Last Best Chance: The Pursuit of Peace in a Time of Peril.  In an attempt to share his “memories, impressions, and views,” King Abdullah writes a detailed chronology of his life according to the events revolving around the Middle East crisis.

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Exterminating Literacy Would Turn the World into Goddess Worshipping, Earth Loving Hippies – Doesn’t sound too bad


The Alphabet Versus the Goddess
by Leonard Shlain


“The Alphabet Versus The Goddess” constantly reminded me of a book idea a girl in my senior year AP Euro class recommended, history from the perspective of taxation.  However, instead of taxation, Leonard Shlain examines history from the view of literacy and its effect on the feminine.  He claims that “writing fosters a patriarchal outlook” dissolving the role of the goddess and effectively the rights of women.  Read more