• 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…

  • 20 in your 20s Challenge,  Books,  Reviews

    Girl Dating to a New Best Friend

    Reading challenges: 20 In Your 20s Rachel Bertsche’s memoir about her innovative approach to finding a new best friend will keep you laughing, cringing with sympathy embarrassment, and nodding along in recognition of your own thoughts put to paper. Having moved to Chicago to be with her husband, Bertsche left her two childhood best friends in New York City. After three years of work, mild acquaintances, and loneliness, Bertsche decides to do something about her lack of a local best friend. Reading this book contributed to these challenges:20 In Your 20s

  • Books,  Reviews

    Mini-Review: The House on Seventh Street

    This past week I started The House on Seventh Street audiobook. I don’t regularly listen to audiobooks and, in all honesty, this is only my second attempt at listening to a book. However, publishing company, BookTrope, offered me a free copy of the audiobook in honor of its recent release so I thought I’d give it a try. I’m only part way through the book at the moment, but the story has captured my attention. Continue below for an “at-this-moment” review. To celebrate the release, BookTrope is also having a sale on the ebook. For a limited time, you can purchased The House on Seventh Street ebook for only $0.99. Buy the book from…

  • 20 in your 20s Challenge,  Books,  Challenges,  Fiction,  Reviews

    The Group — Mary McCarthy’s novel of 1930s women

    The Group by Mary McCarthy follows eight girls through the experiences of adulthood, marriage, and careers in Depression-era New York City. The upper-middle class women each have their own vignette played-out over various chapters. One woman is the focus of each chapter even though various characters pop in and out of the narrative. Reading this book contributed to these challenges:20 In Your 20s

  • Books,  Fiction,  Read Like Rory,  Reviews

    To Kill A Mockingbird

      Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” is assigned reading in most middle schools and high schools. I can still recall sitting in 8th English talking about Scout and Atticus Finch. As I aged, these memories stuck with me and Scout, Atticus, and Boo Radley were recognizable names. Their personalities and stories, however, were replaced by other characters and other memories. Reading this book contributed to these challenges:Read Like Rory

  • Books,  Fiction,  Reviews

    Anthropology of an American Girl

      When I first picked up “Anthropology of an American Girl,” I approached it with sarcasm. A friend of mine had joked about developing an American Studies class about the elusive American Girl. My response to him was that Hilary Thayer Hamann’s book could potentially be the textbook. After reading Hamann’s work, though, I am flabbergasted and regret my prior scoffing.

  • 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.