Who knew history could be so ironic? It’s 1978, and the Ku Klux Klan is on the rise in the community of Colorado Springs. Ron Stallsworth, the first African-American detective in the Colorado Springs Police Department, launches an undercover investigation with the mission to thwart the Ku Klux Klan’s infiltration into Colorado Springs. Ron Stallsworth can only communicate via the telephone, so he recruits the “white” Ron Stallsworth, Chuck, to conduct all face-to-face meetings. This creates the perfect breeding ground for irony, insanity, and idiocy.
Out of the pure insanity of the circumstances and the idiocy of the Colorado Ku Klux Klan, this book had me uncontrollably laughing. While the writing style leaves much to be desired, the narrative more than bridges the gap. The BlackKlansmen is a wonderful memoir about standing up to terrorism and hate.
'Geek Girl Rising: Inside the Sisterhood Shaking Up Tech' is a nonfiction book focusing on the women who have taken their place in the tech industry, placing special focus on the women who help empower other women. Each woman is given a snapshot of her successes and story.
The highlight of this books is learning about these impressive women. I can imagine this would be especially empowering for girls who are looking to get into this industry. Over one hundred women are mentioned, and a list of them are included at the end of the book for reference. Furthermore, with this book at the ready, it would be impossible to claim that there aren't sucessful women in tech.
The writing style is quick and snappy, not lingering on any point for too long. It focuses on telling as many stories as possible. However, none of the stories feel empty. Lots of information is fit into small spaces.
My only complaint is that I wished the book had gone more into detail about the challenges women in the industry face. There were brief mentions of sexism in the workplace, but it wasn't discussed much. Though I understand that the point of the book is to inspire, I would have liked a better understanding of why empowerment is so needed in the tech world.
Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the tech industry or feminism. I would especially recommend it to anyone looking for female role models.
Ever read a book that made you physically hungry? For me, that book is Crying in H Mart, a beautifully written memoir of loss and cultural identity mended together with the power of food and memory: the author, Michelle Zauner, a half-American half-Korean, struggles to navigate her cultural identity. Throughout the memoir, Zauner delves into her childhood memories, the times spent in Korea with her family, and the lasting influence of her mother's teachings. Her descriptions of traditional Korean dishes, their preparation, and the emotions tied to them are not only mouthwatering but also serve as a metaphor for the soul-stirring nostalgia she seeks to preserve. It is a book that stays with you long after the last page, reminding us of the preciousness of family, culture, and love.
"The Wild Truth" is Carine McCandless' follow-up to Jon Krakauer's "Into the Wild". Carine McCandless wrote this novel after being pained by the reactions to "Into the Wild", especially the general opinion on Chris McCandless' self-inflicted exile from common society. This book succeeds in explaining more of Chris' life before his hitchhiking escapade. These sections were my favorite part of the book: unfortunately, they were mostly only present in the beginning. I struggled to pull through the longer sections where Carine explained her own life. Parts felt unnecessary, other section dragged on too long, and even more just felt completely unrelated to Chris or "Into the Wild". I wanted to read this book to understand Chris. I enjoyed learning about Carine, but I was reading for Chris. I'm quite lucky that I can't relate to large parts of this book. "The Wild Truth" really drags the reader along to help them understand the terrible abuse in the McCandless family. I can understand the difficult parents; I can relate to the family drama, constant switching between divorce and being back together, etc. that Carine had to live through. Regardless, this book stepped too far away from "Into the Wild" in a way that I did not enjoy. However, this book was still informative about the general McCandless family. There are absolutey readers in the world who can take more from this book than I could, but I will never consider this one of my favorite books.
Reviewer Grade: 11
Into Africa, written by Martin Dugard, details the epic adventures of Stanley Livingstone and his trek across Africa to find the source of the Nile River. Livingstone battles disease, unfriendly tribes, and stubborn porters (the people who help carry supplies) in his journey. The brutal, but beautiful march encompasses Africa from it sweltering hot savannahs to it thick rainforests. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes adventure because this book is about the exploration of Africa. I enjoyed this book because it taught me a lot more about Africa and it's people.
"The Last Lecture" is a non-fiction book based on a lecture delivered by Randy Pausch, a computer science professor diagnosed with terminal cancer. Pausch's lecture, titled "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams," was delivered at Carnegie Mellon University and became a sensation, garnering millions of views online. The lecture was eventually turned into a book by Jeffery Zaslow. In the book, Pausch expands on the themes from his lecture, sharing his wisdom, insights, and life lessons as he confronts his mortality. He encourages readers to pursue their passions, live fully in the present, and embrace the power of perseverance and resilience. Pausch's poignant and inspiring message serves as a reminder of the importance of cherishing every moment and making the most of the time we have. I believe his heart-wrenching story should be shared with everyone. We are all mortal in the end, but most of us choose to act as if we are not; Pausch encourages us to not waste the valuable time that we have.
"Diary of a Young Girl" is the poignant and haunting diary of Anne Frank, a Jewish teenager hiding from the Nazis during World War II. Anne chronicles her life in hiding in Amsterdam, where her family sought refuge in a secret annex. Through her diary entries, she shares her hopes, dreams, fears, and frustrations, providing an intimate account of the daily struggles and emotional turmoil endured by Jews in hiding. I enjoyed the book; having experience the Covid-19 shutdown, the atrocity that she had to go through put my life into perspective. Sometimes what individuals go through is difficult, but is nothing compared to horrors experienced by others. I recommend everyone to read this book because it fosters a sense of humility in all that read it.
Travelers In The Third Reich tells the stories of some people who lived in Germany during the second world war. The book shows the horrors of life in Germany at the time by describing the hangings and executions through the eyes of the people that were there. It also talks about the politics and economy during the war and how it changed the lives of the German civilians.
I had to read this book for my AP English class and usually I am not the biggest fan of books I have to read for school but this one was really good. This book contains a bunch of different stories of comedian Trevor Noah's childhood, ranging from the small interactions with his family and friends to the event that changed his life. Trevor Noah delivers these stories in a fun and lighthearted way even if the stories themselves are not. The book was fast paced and really well written. The humor combined with the pacing helped me to stay engaged and I really enjoyed reading it. I enjoyed how short the stories were and how it helped the audience to empathize with Trevor and gave them an insight to what it was like to grow up in South Africa. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a quick and lighthearted read.
Reviewer Grade: 11
The Boy who Harnessed the Wind is a nonfiction autobiography about a boy falling in love with science. The boy, William Kamkwamba, is the son of a poor African farmer. William grows up creating toys and playing games. When his father can no longer afford to send William to school, William goes to a library and learns about electricity generation. William soon builds a windmill out of the discarded items found at the local junkyard and provides his house with electricity when the windmill spins. Word of his incredible accomplishment spreads, and soon William gets the opportunity to fly to other countries and talk about his accomplishments and how his technology can be imitated throughout Africa to make life easier for Africans. Because of his success on the world stage, he now has the connections and money to send himself and his siblings to school. After completing college in the United States William moved back to his old hometown and inspires young children by giving them opportunities to enrich themselves in education.
The graphic novel “Real Friends” is about a girl named Shannon. Shannon and Adrienne have always been best friends, but when Adrienne begins hanging out with the popular girl, Shannon is just left in the dust. The novel follows Shannon as she goes through one big roller coaster called middle school. The book touches on the subject of how difficult middle school can be and challenging middle school friendships.
I enjoyed this book because I can relate to the lessons and feelings Shannon has towards her friendships and surroundings. Middle School is a tough and confusing time in everyone’s life, and knowing that you have similar experiences to others is nice to know. I would recommend this book to anyone who is struggling to find themselves throughout middle school or even awkward years.
Reviewer Grade: 8
The Doctors Blackwell tells the story of the Western worlds first few female physicians, notably the sisters Elizabeth and Emily Blackwell. The thoroughly researched tale documents the trials and tribulations of women in the 19th century, and provides a nuanced perspective on the origins of our healthcare system.
I had to read this book for a school competition about medical professionals, and it certainly is a story. I don't feel like I can really judge this book too harshly, since I was required to read it and nonfiction isn't my forte, but I will do my level best. The best part of this book is that it's a comedy. The sisters, especially Elizabeth, have such distinct and strong personalities that they almost seem like caricatures. They're both overtly haughty and condescending in ways that could be considered annoying but I considered to be excellent comedic characterization. There are several entries in this book where Elizabeth rails about how dumb all other women are and how she's a paragon that will lead them to enlightenment. That stuff is hilarious. The sexism in the book also starts being funny after a point. While the frustration of the repeated rejections by men comes through very strongly, the way almost every man in this book is terrified of a women doctor is absolutely insane. There's a bit where a man almost has a conniption working with Elizabeth, who has to coach him to treat her as a patient so he doesn't lose his mind sharing a job with a women. Comedic gold. Besides this, the book was also a brilliant insight to the developments in medicine in the 19th century and the changing forces of the time.
My main issue with this book was the seeming lack of authorial voice. I get that this is nonfiction and it doesn't really matter, but about half the book was quoted directly from letters, and with the hilarity of the subject matter I would've enjoyed having a narrator that indulged in the content the same way I did. The dryness of these quotes definitely drove down my enjoyment of the book. All in all, this was a very strong story about the Blackwell sisters, and I'd recommend it to anyone interested in medicine or flawed historical figures!
Reviewer Grade: 12
This was a light and hilarious read, though probably not a good choice if you are looking for something more informational. Jim Gaffigan is a great comedian, and the care he put into organizing this book about food is evident. It was nice that Gaffigan didn't take himself too seriously in each chapter. Since most autobiographies that mention food discuss more negative pressures of food culture, this book turned it around into a positive ode to food, a reminder to never feel bad about fueling your body with good food. Unexpectedly, it was also a reoccurring theme for Gaffigan to discuss the fear of not being a good enough parent and other anxieties about social norms that relate to food. Pick up this book if you are already a Jim Gaffigan fan or you just need a comforting book.
Each page of this book was a joy to read, as it gives readers a glimpse into how different cultures affect the children who grow up within them. Trevor Noah is a talented comedian and an even better storyteller. Each narrative in the book felt like I was experiencing the moment with him, as he struggles with his identity in the boundaries of apartheid. The way Noah describes his mother- strong, resilient, yet strict from a place of love- is a very realistic concept that many people don't discuss. Parents aren't perfect and grow with their children, but it's their true intentions that determine whether or not they are really doing what's best for their child. I also found it fascinating how Noah communicates having to choose between two races that he isn't truly apart of. I highly recommend reading Born a Crime because of the lesson that everyone is more connected than they realize, and where you grow up shouldn't restrict who you grow to be.
I enjoyed this nonfiction book a lot. This book was very informative of what Tourette’s Syndrome is. The author, Evie, walked the readers through the pros and cons of having Tourette’s Syndrome.
I follow Evie on social media platforms and see this journey documented through there too. However, her channel is not as informative as this book. I love how this book brings awareness to Tourette’s Syndrome and the people who suffer from it.
If any reader wants to be more aware of this condition, I recommend reading this well written autobiography by Evie Meg.
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer is a nonfiction story about a young man named Cris McCandless. After graduating college in 1991, McCandless left without a trace hitchhiking around the United States. During his travels, McCandless goes by the name Alex Supertramp wanting to reinvent his life. He meets and changes countless people's lives. McCandless had his sights set religiously on Alaska, thinking it his last grand odyssey. McCandless wanted to fend for himself in the Alaskan wilderness, which inevitably proved fatal. This beautifully written book is full of adventure and life lessons. Overall, I would rate this book four out of five stars.
This book was pretty good. The main reason I picked to read it was because I thought it was crazy that Kim K took such an interest in the author. So, the lady that wrote the book got arrested for drugs and in was in the 90s. She got sentenced to life in prison. She served 20 years and then Kim K heard wanted to help her get out since she was a non violent criminal. She literally contacted the president to get her out. I did find the story interesting because not many celebrities do things like that. She literally fought for the author who was a stranger to her. It was pretty good.
"Soul Surfer" was very interesting to read. Sometimes it takes me forever to get into a story, but with this book I liked it from the first chapter. It is the story of a 13 year old ( I'm only 14) that loved surfing and when she was surfing one day, she was attacked by a shark and the shark bit her arm off! The main story line talks about how she dealt with her new life without an arm. I liked how she wasn't negative and she didn't give up on anything. I also liked how she changed so much, like all of the different stages she went through to get to the end of the story. I am going into the 9th grade.
I picked this book because I follow the author on Instagram, her page is called Juggling the Jenkins. She is very real and down to earth and talks about her book online. The book is her real life story of her adult life. She talks about how hard her life became after she went to jail for being a drug addict. The stories of the things that happened to her while she was in jail, made me cry! I think she is a very strong woman and reading her story made me want to be better. I am going into the 9th grade.
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, written by Maya Angelou, is an autobiographical account of Angelou's childhood. When Maya is a young child, her parents divorce. After the divorce her parents send her and her brother, Baily to Stamps, Arkansas to live with their Grandmother, where her Grandmother, affectionately referred to as "Momma", runs a convenience store. Angelou, despite her self-consciousness, appears to have had a great childhood growing up in the store. After about five years, Angelou's dad unexpectedly comes in and takes Bailey and her to their mother, who was living in St. Louis. While there, Angelou is molested by her mother's boyfriend. The boyfriend is quickly murdered and Angelou feels responsible for the death.
I liked to book because Angelou highlights how anyone can do what they set their mind to, and even in bad situations a human can grow immensely.