Monthly Archives: February 2015

Stuff Matters by Mark Miodownik

Stuff Matters by Mark Miodownik tells the story of several things (like porcelain, paper, and graphite) that are common in our world and we tend to take for granted. All are found in a single picture of the author drinking tea on the roof of his building. Each chapter focuses on a different item in the picture, breaking it down to the tiniest part of its structure, telling stories about its history, and describing why it is important in our lives. Sometimes the explanations can be a bit long-winded and excruciatingly detailed, but usually they are fascinating. A fun, interesting read for someone interested in materials science or just in the world around them.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2015: 13
Pages Read in 2015: 3956
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)


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Filed under Non-Fiction

Apron Strings by Mary Morony

Sallee is a little girl being raised by her family’s black maid, Ethel. Her mother has checked out, her father is leaving her mother. People are angry with their family for either being friendly toward blacks or because her father is building a shopping center, or maybe both. There’s a lot of drinking going on, too.

Apron Strings by Mary Morony is told mostly from Sallee’s point of view with a chapter here from Ethel’s point of view. Mostly the book is just depressing. There are quite a few spelling and grammar errors, particularly in the second half of the book. It was okay, but I didn’t really enjoy it and it left me feeling cold.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2015: 12
Pages Read in 2015: 3729
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under Realistic Fiction

The Elements by Theodore Gray

Every named element on the Periodic Table is profiled in The Elements by Theodore Gray. Information varies from how it was discovered to what the current applications are (if there actually are any) to historical (and sometimes crazy) uses. For the elements that can be pictured, there are full color images of the element itself, things containing the element, and/or things related to the element. There is humor sprinkled throughout along with the author’s very specific opinions on certain things such as Himalayan sea salt, homeopathic remedies, and incandescent light bulbs. Because of the easy to understand language and descriptions, you don’t have to be a scientist to enjoy The Elements.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2015: 9
Pages Read in 2015: 2719
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Applied to Category for Special Reading Challenge: A Nonfiction Book

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Feeding Eden by Susan Weissman

Eden had problems with food practically from birth. By the time he was a toddler, he had been diagnosed with multiple food allergies. A few drops of soy milk on his skin would send his parents running for the Benadryl as Eden’s skin swelled and turned red, and he broke out in hives. Trips to the emergency room were common. Feeding Eden Susan Weissman is part mother’s memoir of the first few years of Eden’s life and part self-help and part motivational book aimed at parents of other food allergic children.

The book includes an appendix with links and book suggestions for helping live with your child’s allergies. Also included is extensive endnotes referencing all the statistics and information provided throughout the book. The only negative was the book needs a better editor. I highly recommend it for any parent with a child with food restrictions. My daughter’s only issue is gluten, but I still found Feeding Eden to be useful for me.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2015: 8
Pages Read in 2015: 2179
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under Non-Fiction, Self-Help/Motivation