Adult Book Reviews by Genre: Nonfiction

Outliers: The Story of Success
Gladwell, Malcolm
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Don't let the genre discourage you from picking up this book. Extremely interesting and eye-opening, this book offers me lots of insight and tips on being successful in your professional and personal life. I'd encourage many young readers like me to pick up this book and give it a try. It's not a book to give excuses to why we are not the next Bill Gates or Einstein. It gives lessons to why these people became successful in the area they were/are successful in, and the steps they took toward it. It's a matter of whether you let their success discourage you or turn it into motivation and lesson to be successful in your own life.

Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: Vy D.
Genres:
Book Review: Protecting the Gift
De Becker, Gavin
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This was a very informative, and honestly slightly scary book. The takeaway is to heed your intuition and gut-feeling regarding the safety of your children. We brought Zoe to a Kidpower workshop, which was just wonderful. Zoe now has some tools to keep herself safe and I feel a bit less worried. Still worried of course, but a bit less... I definitely recommend this book to all parents, especially mothers.

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
Book Review: 7 Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness
Metaxas, Eric
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

A great book with mini biographies of 7 men who made choices that changed their society and left legacies for us. The writing style is informal. I learned things about these famous men that I hadn't known before.

A great inspirational book for teens and adults.

Reviewer's Name: Julie
Next of Kin
Fouts, Roger
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This is one of the best books I have ever read. In an account of Fouts’ experiences teaching chimpanzees to communicate through sign language, he exposes many heartbreaking injustices of animal research that escapes public attention. Even more importantly, to me, he reveals the striking intelligence and “humanity” of great apes and their tremendous capacity to feel emotions and think critically. It is important to note that the book is written through the bias of a man who has befriended chimpanzees for life; however, much of what he describes is backed up by convincing evidence, leading me to truly believe this book. The accounts of chimpanzees, their ability to withstand horrifying situations, and to remember with gratitude those who once helped them, is truly touching. I also enjoyed the scientific discussions interspersed within the narrative elements of the book. For anyone looking to reaffirm their convictions of animals’ feelings or for anyone looking to challenge their current opinion, I would highly recommend this book.

Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: Selena Z.
Book Review: The Sex Lives of Cannibals
Troost, J. Maarten
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

This one was pretty fun. A white guy's experience living in the Southern Pacific on a incredibly remote island called Kiribati. Definitely had some humorous moments. The most I got out of it though was that I had never heard of Kiribati and that I should do more research on it.

Reviewer's Name: Cassie
Genres:
Book Review: The Last Lecture
Pausch, Randy
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

What an amazing book in simplicity and intensity written by Randy Pausch.

Having learned that he had terminal cancer, Mr. Randy Pausch talks about important things in his life and how he had lived. He writes about love, respect, pursuit of dreams and appreciation. This book is not about dying, it is about living every single moment in life and reminds the readers about the beauty of life :) Mr. Pausch's last lecture was about, "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" living not only your dreams but of others as well. The book is about "seizing the moment" and "Really Achieving your Childhood dreams."
This is one of the most inspiring books I've ever read!

Reviewer's Name: Shivani
How To Read Literature Like A Professor
Foster, Thomas C.
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

The book is a very practical book and an amusing guide to literature. It is about a chatty Professor from University of Michigan who talks about different elements of literature such as mythology, geography, faith, Bible, seasons, Shakespeare, etc... There are ample of examples and the language is friendly. The author is quite controversial about some topics but overall, the book is entertaining and fun to read!

Reviewer's Name: Shivani
Genres:
Book Review: Unbroken
Hillenbrand, Laura
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

I found this book extremely depressing for the most part. Not because it was a bad book, but because it was so sad. I was surprised and stunned at the intensity of the book. Normally I don't care for fictional books. This was a true story about a man who went through hard times.
Louis Zamperini was a mischievous kid, an Olympian, a bombardier on a B-24 Liberator and a World War II prisoner of War (POW). As a POW Louis was treated as trash. The Japanese forced them work for them. Turning the POW's into slaves. Many of the POW's died of sicknesses or to much work. Louis was beaten and tormented. They tried to take everything from the POW's. They took those men and stripped them of their dignity, leaving them feeling worthless.

Everyday Louis watches as men unable to hold on anymore give up and die. To keep himself going he thinks about home. As the war gets closer to ending his hopes fly up higher.When the war was finally over Louis comes home. He is not the strong Olympian he was. He is a frail man of 29. He can't leave the horrors of the camp behind. His dreams are tormented by thoughts of the prison. His life might have taken a turn for the bad had he not met Jesus.I highly recommend this book to most teens. This is a heart worming and heart breaking story. I loved it!!!

Reviewer's Name: Rachel
Book Review: Peace In The Storm: Meditations On Chronic Pain And Illness
Pratt, Maureen
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Millions of Americans experience pain every day of their lives. Maureen Pratt, who has lupus, is intimately aware of the toll chronic pain takes on people and their families. In this practical and spiritual guide, she shares how she navigates through the frustrations, fears, and complexities of living with chronic pain and illness. Pratt provides help on such issues as finding meaning in suffering, feeling guilty for being a burden to others, and resolving unmet expectations. The chapters are short and concise, written with honesty and humor. The book can be read from cover-to-cover or just choosing individual topics.

Reviewer's Name: George H.
Book Review: Show Dog
Dean, Josh
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Very interesting inside look at the world of show dogs. You follow the progress of Jack, the Australian Shepherd, but the author also gives you a brief history of dog shows in general, different breeds, and even the evolution of the dog from wild animal to domesticated pet. Well written and fun to read (I finished it in just a couple of days), this is a great book!

Reviewer's Name: Krista
Genres:
Book Review: When Fraser Met Billy
Booth, Louise
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This is a very heartwarming book about the relationship of an autistic boy, Fraser and his rescued cat, Billy. Louise Booth, who is Fraser's mother as well as the author, describes the impact of Billy in terms of helping Fraser overcome many of his physical and emotional challenges.
Fraser comes out of his shell and Billy is a tremendous part of this positive change. Sometimes cats are portrayed as being standoffish, but Billy disproves this stereotype with his friendship with Fraser. A wonderful story!

Reviewer's Name: Lisa
Book Review: Homeschooling FAQs
Orr, Tamra
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

By far the absolute best and most resourceful homeschooling book I have read on our journey. Very Informative!

Reviewer's Name: Jill
Genres:
Book Review: Crazy for God
Schaeffer, Frank
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

I grew up in the evangelical world. I witnessed first-hand the fanaticism of the believer. This book was interesting to me because it pulled back the curtain on the religious right, particularly in the 80s. Frank Zappa was right, there was indeed "50 million dollars in his heavenly bank account". I just wish there had been more pages devoted to this time in the author's life. Nonetheless, the author was honest and forthright about his upbringing and wrote with charisma.

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
Kim, Suki
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

A very unique perspective of North Korea. Kim's descriptions are hauntingly beautiful and poignant. I found this book hard to put down once I started, the suspense of Kim's situation will pull you through her story. I became so attached to the student's stories that it made this book both gut wrenching and heartfelt.

Reviewer's Name: Mary N.
Cain, Susan
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

As an introvert, reading this book felt like coming home. There were many times when I so identified with the feelings and behaviors Susan describes it was like looking into a mirror. Cain examines different facets of personality and why we as a society value certain traits over others. She also looks at what introverts can offer to businesses and in leadership positions. Great read for introverts and extroverts alike!

Reviewer's Name: Becca
Robison, John Elder
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

I put off reading this book because I didn't want to read yet another sad story about someone's rough time growing up. Finally, after seeing all the wonderful reviews about it, I decided to go ahead and read it. I am ever so grateful that I did.

John Elder Robison grew up having Asperger's before it had a name or had been widely recognized. In his book, John tells the story of how he figured out how to fit in with "normal" people without knowing why he didn't see things the way they did. The book is often hilarious, especially in terms of how John worked his way through various phases of growing up not being able to pick up on social cues then mastering self-developed workarounds to succeed in life.

I recommend this book to all adults, those who have Asperger's, who have relatives with the syndrome, or not because sooner or later, you're likely to encounter and try to communicate with someone who does. That's why I'm so glad I read this book. Asperger's isn't a disease, it's a way of perceiving that is different from most just like a left handed person has to learn to live in a right handed world...sometimes things don't fit right and adjustment needs to be made. Try using left handed scissors if you are right handed and see right away what Aspergians deal with in a "nypical" (neurotypical) world. The book is a GREAT read on its own, but has the added bonus of understanding. Such a rare gift in a book these days.

Reviewer's Name: Pauline
MacDonald, Matthew
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Your Brain: The Missing Manual is the book for "the rest of us" who don't want to or can't take in all the medical jargon that usually infests books about how the "little grey cells" work.

Matthew MacDonald takes the information about how the brain functions and breaks it down into usable chunks. He gives a brief but thorough explanation of several functions the brain performs in simple English, then explains how the brain's owner can make the best use of how the brain works. An analogy would be that instead of someone trying to explain what's under the hood of that great car, he shows you the control panel and HOW TO USE the car. Chances are, you don't need to know how many cylinders there are, what kind of oil it uses etc. because all you plan to do is USE the car and maybe do a bit of maintenance. Matthew MacDonald's approach is that of someone explaining just enough of how the brain functions so that it can be used more efficiently and to the owner's benefit. I heartily recommend the book, especially to staff and teens who could use the problem solving techniques the author includes in the book for learning, school problem solving, etc.

Reviewer's Name: Pauline
Book Review: God'll Cut You Down
Safran, John
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

I am a fan of true crime, but I have never actually read a true crime book. I just watch alot of Investigation Discovery! I read several reviews of "God'll Cut You Down" and they were all positive. So I had to read it. What an intriguing story about a murder in Mississippi. John Safran was able to convey what living in Mississippi is like - the haves, the have-nots, politics,etc. It made me sad and afraid to realize that people are still upset over the Civil War. That really stuck with me. But the story of Richard Barrett and Vincent McGee is still a mystery as to what really went on and what lead to murder. I just wish we could know about their secret lives and if that was the real motive behind the murder. A really great true crime book! I couldn't put it down!

Reviewer's Name: Melissa M.
Wizenberg, Molly
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Molly Wizenberg, creator of the popular blog, Orangette, has written an intriguing story of her life centered around the kitchen. No chapter is longer than 5 pages, followed by a recipe or two around which that chapter is written. I want to try them all - from Burg's (her father) Potato Salad to Fresh ginger cake with caramelized pears. I'm inclined to purchase this book .... for the recipes alone!

Reviewer's Name: Vickie S.
Ricketts, Angela
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

This book first interested me because the author's husband is still active duty Army, stationed here in Colorado Springs. The sub-title is "Irrevernt confessions of an Infantry wife." I wondered how she could get away with writing such a book, since military dependants are advised that anything said or done could reflect adversely on their sponsor's career. And yet, she writes candidly and humorously. I admired her insistence that she is an "Army brat," who grew up to become an "Army wife," not a "military spouse." The language gets rough in some chapters, but, as an "Air Force wife" myself, I had to keep reading, to see what she said next. Of course, all names have been changed to protect "the innocent, the not-so-innocent, and those who remain in The Fight." Ranger on!

Reviewer's Name: Vickie S.

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