Monthly Archives: June 2019

Children of the Great Depression by Russell Freedman

Full of stunning pictures taken during the 30s, Children of the Great Depression tells the story of (mostly) poor children and their plight during the worst economic downturn in American history. It is short, but still packed with information. I recommend it to kids who are studying the Great Depression.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 72
Pages Read in 2019: 19,565
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Filed under History, Reason: Pre-Reading for Adrian

Breaking Free by Rachel Jeffs

I knew Warren Jeffs was an awful person, but I never realized just how crazy and controlling he is to those inside the FLDS church. Rachel Jeffs, one of Warren Jeffs’ daughters, is one of the lucky ones. She found the strength to get out. Breaking Free documents what she went through at the hand of her father and how she finally was able to leave. It reads pretty fast and is quite interesting. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys memoirs or is interested in what life is like in a cult.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 71
Pages Read in 2019: 19,447
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Filed under Memoir, Reason: LitHub Bingo

Becoming by Michelle Obama

The story of Michelle Obama’s life is told in Becoming in a way that sucks the reader in and helps you to understand how she was feeling at the time and why she did what she did. While I did not vote for her husband, I do have a new appreciation for the Obamas, and especially for Michelle as a woman, wife, and mother, having read her book. I recommend Becoming to anyone interested in knowing where Michelle Obama came from and what life in the White House can be like for a first lady who isn’t too fond of politics.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 70
Pages Read in 2019: 19,130
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Filed under Memoir, Reason: LitHub Bingo

What a Trip!: Around the World in Eighty Days by Tony Abbott

Devin and Frankie are off on another book adventure, this one based on Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days. The Cracked Classics series makes classic books accessible and fun for a younger audience. My boys and I enjoyed What a Trip! very much. I recommend this book to middle grade kids. It makes a great family read-aloud!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 69
Pages Read in 2019: 18,702
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Filed under Middle Grades, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys

Who Killed My Daughter? by Lois Duncan

Author Lois Duncan’s daughter Kait Arquette was murdered. There is no question the Albuquerque police botched the investigation. But Who Killed My Daughter? is basically a poorly written concoction of what the family assumes happened, mainly because of multiple psychics they consulted. Most of the psychic transcripts included are so vague that it’s kind of funny that they decided the psychics meant certain things because what was said could have meant virtually anything. I’ve read a lot of true crime and this was the dullest I’ve ever read. While the author stated her purpose was to encourage someone who knew what led to Kait’s murder (which is still unsolved today) to come forward, it felt more like a mother wanting to tell the story that she has decided led to her daughter’s murder and happens to have a platform where she could do so. It’s not worth anyone’s time to read this book.

1 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 68
Pages Read in 2019: 18,536
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Filed under Reason: Alphabet Soup Challenge, True Crime

The Fifth Season by NK Jemisin

The world laid out in The Fifth Season, the first of The Broken Earth series, is complicated. For this reason, I was confused more often that not for more than the first half of the book. That wasn’t really a problem, though, because the result of putting it all together and figuring out all the rules was incredibly rich and interesting. So many things happened that I just wasn’t expecting. Through most of the book, three stories are being told in alternating chapters, more or less. One of those stories is told in second person. I have never read a book in second person before and I found it to be very effective, especially once you figure out just who “you” are and why the choice to use that point of view was made. I did have one big problem with the book and that is the use of occasional normal English cuss words. They wouldn’t have been a problem if the world itself didn’t have their own expletives. The addition of English ones kind of jarred me out of the story every time like they didn’t belong in the world the author had created. Overall, I found The Fifth Season to have excellent storytelling and world-building. I highly recommend it to people who enjoy sci-fi and fantasy.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 67
Pages Read in 2019: 18,172
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Filed under Fantasy, Reason: Mind Voyages, Science Fiction

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

L. Frank Baum was a genius in the way he phrased things making them a delight for adults and children alike. All of the Oz books are fun to read and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is no exception. I’ve read it more than once before and every time I so enjoy reading about the Scarecrow with no brain who comes up with all the best plans, the Tin Woodman with no heart who is very kind and tenderhearted, and the Cowardly Lion who is really quite brave. I very highly recommend reading this book and all the Oz books. It makes an excellent family read-aloud!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 66
Pages Read in 2019: 17,660
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Filed under Children, Classic, Reason: LitHub Bingo, Reason: Pre-Reading for Adrian