Nonfiction

Book Review: Lone Survivor

Lone Survivor
Author: 
Luttrell, Marcus
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

This book is incredible! Lone Survivor is the firsthand account of Marcus Luttrell, a Navy SEAL, who served in the Middle East. In an attempt to kill a notorious al Qaeda leader, Luttrell and his team are ambushed leaving him as the only survivor. Lone Survivor shows the courage, bravery, strength, and valor of Marcus Luttrell and every other Navy SEAL. This book is truly inspiring and will make you grateful for all of the US Armed Forces. I highly recommend this book for everyone.

Reviewer's Name: 
John

Book Review: Educated

Educated
Author: 
Westover, Tara
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Growing up on the prairie in the past meant you were mostly isolated from the rest of society for better or worse. In the 1990s growing up in isolation in the U.S was very rare. Most people lived in cities, or suburbs, or small farming communities. Tara Westover was part of this abnormality. She grew up in rural Idaho and was homeschooled and rarely spent much time without her family. Which causes her to believe almost everything her parents and,siblings believed but when she began college she learned a lot more about the world than what she ever knew before.

I don’t typically pick up a memoir but this one was very highly recommended so I decided to give it a read. I thought the beginning was a bit slow but once you get through some of the background it becomes important in later portions of the book. I thought the book had a really good message and very unique perspective. It made me think a lot about how the school system could be improved and how outdated some of the typical school experiences are. I would recommend this book to teachers, school administrators, parents and students since they are so involved in education. I think it would be a good book to read at school and discuss as well.

Reviewer's Name: 
McKenzie

Book Review: Real Artists Don't Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age

Real Artists Don't Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age
Author: 
Goins, Jeff
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

I’m a little conflicted with this book’s message, mostly because it downplays its definitions at the beginning of what an “artist” really is. It would be nice to make a living on my writing, but this book isn’t about how to do that. In fact, I’m already the artist that this book describes: someone who sells their creative hobby while pursuing it on weeknights and weekends. I have a full-time job, so my art isn’t my primary profession like the term “starving artist” is meant to invoke. Sure, there are bits of useful advice sprinkled throughout this book, but it wasn’t anything I hadn’t already picked up by now.

Perhaps the audience for this book is the individual who is thinking of taking a considerable risk and quitting their job to jump wholly into being an artist? Any more, the current Millennial mindset of “hustles” makes this an old way of thinking. We don’t have just one job: we have many, which we also juggle with our relationships and our hobbies. Furthermore, with online communities bringing together like-minded creative individuals with no limitations of geographical separation, some of the advice in this book is already dated three years after it was published.

Even if I already knew a lot of the advice in this book, it was encouraging to know that I’m on the right track for the artist I want to be. There are plenty of examples of successful artists in this book that give me hope that I’m doing the right things to advance my artistic career. It even filled in a few gaps that connected pieces of information I had learned but hadn’t put together yet. In the end, being an artist is a mindset, and it’s not a binary “all or nothing” that we used to consider it. Hopefully, we can soon retire the “starving artist” moniker because many artists don’t make a living on their art.

Fairly evident advice for a redefined group of artists, I give Real Artists Don’t Starve 3.0 stars out of 5.

Reviewer's Name: 
Benjamin W.

Book Review: The Victory Machine: The Making and Unmaking of the Warriors Dynasty

Book Cover
Author: 
Strauss, Ethan Sherwood
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

If you are even mildly interested in sports then The Victory Machine is a must read for you. The Victory Machine is a humorous, firsthand account about the cut throat and ruthless business of professional basketball. This book in particular covers the rise and fall of the Golden State Warriors dynasty. It features some unforgettable and colorful conversations between management and the players. The Victory Machine covers the ins and outs of the complexity of running and managing a pro basketball team.

This book makes the readers feel as if they were also present when big decisions were being made in the war room. I disliked that the author focused too much on Kevin Durant and not as much on the overall team. Overall The Victory Machine is an easy and straightforward read and I highly recommend it.

Reviewer's Name: 
Ananth S.

Book Review: The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself

The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself
Author: 
Singer, Michael A.
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Wow...reading this book will take you on a spiritual journey unlike any other. If the idea of becoming more mentally and emotionally free, mindful, concious, happy and self-actualized interest you, then give this #1 New York Times Bestseller a read today!

Reviewer's Name: 
Alyssa

Book Review: The Code of the Extraordinary Mind: 10 Unconventional Laws to Redefine Your Life and Succeed On Your Own Terms

The Code of the Extraordinary Mind: 10 Unconventional Laws to Redefine Your Life and Succeed On Your Own Terms
Author: 
Lakhiani, Vishen
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Written by the founder of the successful online learning platform MindValley, this book will change your life, or at least spark a bit of self-reflection. Vishen takes the reader through 10 life-redefining laws leading to success, which are then divided into 4 parts. Part I explains how we have each been shaped, for better and for worse, by our culture and childhood. In Part II, the reader is challenged to either accept or modify what was brought to the surface in Part I. Part III is entitle "Recoding Yourself" and delves into mindfulness, discipline, "bending reality," goal setting to lead to lasting fulfillment every time and other compelling topics. Finally, Part IV provokes the reader to find their quest, and change the world. This is one of the most worthwhile self help books I have ever read and I recommend it to anyone wanting to change their life, thinking patterns, or habits for the better.

Reviewer's Name: 
Alyssa

Book Review: Travel As Transformation: Conquer the Limits of Culture to Discover Your Own Identity

Travel As Transformation: Conquer the Limits of Culture to Discover Your Own Identity
Author: 
Diehl, Gregory
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Part travel, part philosophy, part self help, this book is certainly a compelling read. Gregory Diehl shares his unique perspective and riveting accounts from his time spent traveling around the world. He describes in depth how his experiences and sometimes dark and uncomfortable lessons he learned while living in multiple countries around the globe have shaped his unique identity. He also challenges readers to examine the lessons in self discovery they too have encountered when traveling and to experience immersion in other cultures in order to develop a more well-rounded identity and life experience.

Reviewer's Name: 
Alyssa

Book Review: African American Firsts: Famous Little-Known and Unsung Triumphs of Blacks in America

African American Firsts: Famous Little-Known and Unsung Triumphs of Blacks in America
Author: 
Potter, Joan
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

This is a reference book. In this book of American history you will learn a lot of history that you will not learn in primary, secondary school or even higher education unless you have some kind of major or minor in African American studies. This is a book about the first African American who has done a certain thing. Maybe the most notable is the first African American president is Barrack Obama. Or perhaps you didn’t know the first African American lawyer was Macon Bolling Allen. This book spans across a wide range of career fields and subjects. For Instance the first African American West Point grad was Henry Ossian Flipper. Or the first person to reach the north pole was a black man named Matthew Henson. This should be one of many required reference books.

Reviewer's Name: 
Rayn

Book Review: 12 Angry Men: True Stories of Being a Black Man in America Today

12 Angry Men: True Stories of Being a Black Man in America Today
Author: 
Parks, Gregory and Hughey, Matthew
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

This book is a sort of response to a screenplay written in 1954. The screenplay, 12 Angry Men, is about 12 jurors who have to decide the fate of a young man of color. If found guilty the boy would be sentenced to death. It becomes clear that the majority of the jurors are influenced more by their prejudices than the facts of the case. 12 Angry Men: True Stories of Being a Black Man in America Today is from the viewpoint of the defendant of color. However, these 12 black men have not been charged with any crime. Nevertheless they have been prejudged and not favorably in different situations. This is not a book of fiction. These are real men telling their stories.

Reviewer's Name: 
Rayn

Book Review: The Survival Guide for Making and Being Friends

The Survival Guide for Making and Being Friends
Author: 
Crist, James
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

This a a short book, but you get a whole package when buying it! I think this book was a bit young for me. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone ages 7-10. However, this book gave me a little reminder on the effects kindness has on others. This book gives many dialogue suggestions for on-the-spot situations. The author gives information about friendships that 100% of people with experience involving peers would agree with. This text gives tips on what friends really are, how to make friends, how to hold onto friends, how to avoid arguments, how to talk through arguments, and the most important of all, how to kindly and properly end a friendship. The author emphasized that everyone has the potential of being a good friend and I think that that is extremely important. This was a good refresher on important social skills.
Reviewer: Grade 8

Reviewer's Name: 
Samantha

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