Nonfiction

Book Review: Crazy Enough

Crazy Enough
Author: 
Large, Storm
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

This raw and honest memoir is a great mix of entertainment and powerful introspection. Storm Large has spent her wild life with a deep seated fear she will turn out like her mother, who was institutionalized many times for mental illness. Then there's her sex addiction. Definitely not a book for kids or teens. Overall, I recommend this quick read to those who like to read about the wilder side of life and are interested in mental illness.

Reviewer's Name: 
vfranklyn

Book Review: Disloyal: A Memoir

Disloyal: A Memoir
Author: 
Cohen, Michael
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

Disloyal is a personal account of Michael Cohen's time as President Trump'spersonal attorney. Cohen describes in depth about his various experiences as serving as Mr. Trump's personal attorney and adviser. Cohen goes into detail about things and topics that the mainstream media does not report on. I liked this book because of how it it was a personal and first hand account from working in the Oval Office and with President Trump. I choose this book because I am very interested in politics and learning more about happens behind closed doors. This book was surprising and not at all what I was expecting. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading books about politics and political leaders.

Reviewer's Name: 
Ananth

Book Review: Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes

Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes
Author: 
Hamilton, Edith
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Edith Hamilton's collection of Greek and Roman stories covers the gods, creation, and earliest heroes; stories of love and adventure, the great heroes before the Trojan War, the heroes of the Trojan War, the great families of Mythology, the 'less important' myths, and the mythology of the Norsemen. There are over 100 Greek/Roman/Norse stories, and a family tree and glossary of all the gods and goddesses included. A bonus was the illustrations which were really detailed. I read this book because I wanted an introduction to the Greek gods and goddesses before reading the PercyJackson and Olympians series, and I think it's a great book to gain somefamiliarity with the mythological characters.

My favorite short stories were: The Underworld, Cupid and Psyche, Pyramus and Thisbe, Perseus, Theseus, Hercules, and Antigone.

Reviewer's Name: 
Nneoma

Book Review: The Answer Is....Reflections on My Life

The Answer Is....Reflections on My Life
Author: 
Trebek, Alex
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

The Answer Is by Alex Trebek is a well crafted autobiography and masterpiece. Alex Trebek is the beloved television host of Jeopardy and he reflects on his life in this book. Trebek goes into further details about his personal life which he has rarely discussed with anyone. Trebek also mentions his tough battle with stage four pancreatic cancer. I choose this book because I have always been a huge jeopardy fan since I was 5 and I wanted to learn more about this great man. I really liked this book because of all the great moments that were highlighted. I also really liked the very truthful and honest reflections that Trebek gives about his own life. My hope is that more people will read 'The Answer Is' because it is excellent read and it's about a legendary figure that we tragically lost this past year due to cancer.

Reviewer's Name: 
Ananth

Book Review: Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike

Shoe Dog
Author: 
Knight, Philip
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight is a book that you do not want to miss out on! This book is a memoir about the life of Phil Knight, the founder and creator of Nike. I really liked this book because I love Nike shoes and I am also very passionate about starting my own business someday. So this book gave me a lot of encouragement and motivation to start a business. Shoe Dog goes in depth about all the challenges Phil endured to create the empire that Nike is today. I choose this book because it seemed interesting to get the experiences as well as the ups and downs endured in the process of trying to create a world famous brand. I would highly recommend this book to anyone dreaming of becoming a successful entrepreneur!

Reviewer's Name: 
Ananth S.

Book Review: Night

Night
Author: 
Wiesel, Elie
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

The autobiography Night by Elie Wiesel is a gripping nonfiction retelling of his experiences during the Holocaust. Starting with Elie’s normal life before World War II and continuing onto the horrors of the concentration camps. Elie was a young boy growing up in the town of Sighet, Romania when he was taken to a concentration camp with his family. The book saddens me every time I read it. It draws the reader in and makes them feel as though they were there, starving in a camp or trudging across the frigid wilderness with no end in sight. I would recommend Night not because it makes the reader happy but because it is the best depiction of the horrors of the Holocaust.

Reviewer's Name: 
Harrison B.

Book Review: Night

Night
Author: 
Wiesel, Elie
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

I had to read this book in English class Freshman year. I honestly wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did. It's a true story called "Night" written first hand by Elie Wiesel about the Holocaust. It's about a young boy and his family that got sent to Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps. This book is extremely well written, and is a really sad story. There was one part, I won't spoil it, but I couldn't stop crying. "Night" really gives you a look at what it would have been like to be in Elie's shoes. Overall, of course this is quite a sad book, but I would highly highly recommend!!

Reviewer's Name: 
Emani K.

Book Review: Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape

Book Review: Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape
Author: 
Hill, Jenna Miscavige
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

This book is very informative, albeit slow paced. I learned a lot about Scientology and its disturbing practices. If you're looking for a fast-paced nail biter of a memoir, this isn't it, but if you want to learn about what Scientology really is, then give this book a try.

Reviewer's Name: 
vfranklyn

Book Review: White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism

White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
Author: 
DiAngelo, Robin J.
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

With race relations as challenging as they currently are in the United States, a book like White Fragility is required reading for both opponents and allies of racial unity. Racism is a huge problem, and it’s difficult to tackle something this large without first understanding the foundation on which it was built. It can be easy to simply address the problem's symptoms instead of digging out the root and identifying where many secondary and tertiary issues originate. As a straight white male, I was first hesitant to read such a book, but now I think it should be required for all of us straight white males.

The only qualm I have with this book is that it almost exclusively addresses the racism toward the black community. While I understand this is the most volatile and pressing facet of racism right now, I would have appreciated a chapter about applying the tools presented in this book in other interactions with people of color or indigenous peoples. Depending on how open you are to changing your view of this nation's racial status, you may find this book hard to swallow. I know it has helped me face the racist blind spot brought to my attention earlier this year and take steps to address it in my life actively.

Perhaps the biggest eye-opener in this book was how invasive racism is in the system that makes it possible. Sure, there are racist people, but they aren’t nearly as harmful as the system that supports them and oppresses BIPOC. It was also useful to see how the “allies” aren’t helping by being overly emotional or saying that they “don’t see color.” While these allies might think they are empathetic, they are actually making the system worse by making themselves the center of attention, as they have been taught to do in a white male-run society.<

A challenging but eye-opening book and required reading for all white people, I give White Fragility 4.0 stars out of 5.

Reviewer's Name: 
Benjamin M. W.

Book Review: The Emperor of All Maladies

The Emperor of All Maladies
Author: 
Mukherjee, Siddhartha
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

The Emperor of all Maladies is an informative and gripping history of cancer. Starting with the first recorded cases in ancient times and the remedies used by ancient doctors and progressing to the medical breakthroughs of chemotherapy and radiation, the book provides a wealth of information in a riveting tale. Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee tells the stories of cancer’s most prominent adversaries like Dr. Sidney Farber as they work to develop life-saving treatments and procedures. The book is quite lengthy but kept me engaged throughout while teaching me about cancer history and treatment in a form that feels more like a novel than a textbook. If you want to learn more about one of the most prolific diseases in human history while viewing history through the lens of cancer researchers, The Emperor of all Maladies is perfect for you!

Reviewer's Name: 
Harrison

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