Category Archives: Non-Fiction

Please Stop Laughing at Me by Jodee Blanco

Jodee Blanco was bullied through about half of her school years. She was told kids will be kids and that there was something wrong with her. Years later, she went to her high school reunion and discovered, like many bullies, her tormentors had no idea that what they did was a big deal or how it had affected her. Please Stop Laughing at Me is Jodee’s story. It’s sometimes shocking, but also sometimes familiar. It’s a huge reminder that our actions affect others, and often in ways we never realize. I recommend this book for anyone who has children or deals with kids on a regular basis.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 133
Pages Read in 2017: 36,342
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (P in SAPPHIRE)

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Harry Truman’s Excellent Adventure by Matthew Algeo

Shortly after he left office, Harry and Bess Truman went on a road trip in their 1953 Chrysler New Yorker from Missouri to DC to New York and back to Missouri. Harry Truman’s Excellent Adventure is part chronicle of that trip, part biography about Truman, and part commentary on how the places the Trumans visited have changed in the over 50 years that have passed since. Packed with information and anecdotes that any Truman fan will appreciate, I highly recommend this book!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 121
Pages Read in 2017: 33,308
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (H in SAPPHIRE)

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The Emerald Mile by Kevin Fedarko

I read The Emerald Mile because it’s my best friend’s favorite book. I’ve never been to the Grand Canyon and I’ve never seen the Colorado River. This book, in telling the story of The Emerald Mile’s incredible speed run of 1983, is a love story about the river. I was quite pleasantly surprised at how interesting the story was to me and how beautiful and descriptive the writing. I recommend The Emerald Mile to anyone who loves our earth and, especially, the Colorado River.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 120
Pages Read in 2017: 33,019
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (E in PERIDOT)

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Folktales From Turkey: From Agri to Zelve by Serpil Ural

Folktales From Turkey is a collection of 26 tales, one for each letter of the alphabet. Each tale has a sidebar that gives factual information about places, foods, people, and more related at least tangentially to the folktale. My 9- and 11-year-old boys really enjoyed this book (though the younger one didn’t love the facts part). I highly recommend it as a family read aloud!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 118 (this book is not counted toward annual total)
Pages Read in 2017: 32,301
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Read to the Boys in School

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The Driscoll Theory by Diana Driscoll

Diana Driscoll and her kids were diagnosed with EDS and POTS. She decided to start testing remedies to see what could be used to help others like themselves. She found several natural remedies as well as a few pharmaceutical ones that help various issues related to EDS/POTS. The book outlines what her research has revealed. I found it very interesting and saw my 17-year-old daughter, who has been diagnosed with EDS and POTS among other things, in the descriptions. We will definitely be talking to her doctor about some of Dr. Driscoll’s findings. The only thing I did not like about was the excessive praise for Dr. Driscoll and The Driscoll Theory throughout the book. It just wasn’t necessary and felt weird every time it showed up. I highly recommend this book for people with EDS/POTS and their caregivers.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 107
Pages Read in 2017: 29,533
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Ani has EDS and POTS

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The Origins of Everything in 100 Pages (More or Less) by David Bercovici

The Origins of Everything in 100 Pages (More or Less) very quickly covers about 13.8 billion years of history. Sometimes it made my brain hurt, though usually the explanations were easy enough to understand. I highly recommend it to people interested in the origin and evolution of the universe and especially the earth.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 104
Pages Read in 2017: 28,727
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Pre-reading for Cameron for Next School Year

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The Legend of King Arthur by Stephen Klein

The Legend of King Arthur is an overview of the King Arthur legends including the actual history leading up to when historians believe the real King Arthur lived and notes on when certain characters first appeared in the stories. The information provided in the book was quite interesting, but the author repeated himself over and over like a high schooler needing to pad an essay to reach the required length. The whole thing could have been about a third as long. The grammar was atrocious. There were many extra commas where they didn’t belong, tenses that changed in the middle of sentences, and pronouns that often did not match the sex of the character being referred to. Occasionally, the author would switch to an alternate spelling of a character’s name and then the next time return to the original spelling. Many times the author would write something and then in the next sentence write, “Therefore…” and draw some conclusion that actually didn’t make sense with the other information given. Somehow, the author made the Arthurian legends rather tedious and boring, probably because of the extreme repetition (how many times did I need to be reminded of the names of Morgause’s sons?). The final conclusion at the end of the book summed up everything that had been explained in the previous more than 100 pages and almost could have been all that was needed at all. Overall, this book is just in extreme need of an editor. Because of this, I cannot recommend anyone take the time to read it.

2 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 103
Pages Read in 2017: 28,575
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Pre-reading for Cameron for Next School Year

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