Biography/Memoir

Book Review: Eat, Pray, Love

Eat, Pray, Love
Author: 
Gilbert, Elizabeth
Rating: 
2 stars = Meh
Review: 

Elizabeth Gilbert has everything a normal person wants: loving husband, country home, a great career, and much more. But for some reason she was not happy, instead she felt confused and lost in her own world of thoughts. So, through a painful process, she leaves behind everything (her marriage, job, home) and plans a year round trip to Italy, India, and Indonesia, hoping that traveling to these places will help her find herself. I began reading this book this year for a school assignment and I have to say I didn’t like it from the cover and the first few pages. What made it interesting was that Eat, Pray, Love is an auto-biography by Elizabeth herself about her journey for self-actualization and also that you are able to learn a little bit more about the culture of these countries. I recommend this book to those who are having trouble about knowing who they are in the world, but while I was able to be intrigued by the book and it did grab my attention, let’s just say it didn’t have me standing on the edge of my seat and isn’t one of the best books I’ve read this year.

Reviewer Grade: 10

Reviewer's Name: 
Joe T.

Book Review: Night

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

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas was a heartbreaking story, but it was a work of fiction. This story is just as sad, but is written by a holocaust survivor himself. This story will make you cry so beware. It made me cry, but was a complete eye opener to the history of WWII. This book is a classic and will satisfy all audiences with its moving story.

Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: 
Gerilyn M.
Awards: 

Book Review: American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History

Book Review: American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History
Author: 
Kyle, Chris
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Anyone who knows me may realize that this is not my normal topic of interest. However, I do enjoying reading about different perspectives and life experiences from mine. That said, Chris Kyle and I have almost nothing in common as far as beliefs and interests go, but we do have love for country and loyalty to friends and family in common. Of course, he's about as tough as they come. Way tougher than me. I'm sure I would not have been able to do what he did even if I had wanted to. However, I found as I was reading this book that Kyle had a lot of interesting observations about the Iraq War from a front lines perspective. The stories were intense and engaging. I didn't get into the weapons geekery at all, but I'm guessing his target (har!) audience did. Really, a very good book about the front lines experience of a Navy SEAL.

Reviewer's Name: 
vfranklyn

Book Review: 7 Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness

Book Review: 7 Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness
Author: 
Metaxas, Eric
Rating: 
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

Book Review: The Last Lecture

Book Review: The Last Lecture
Author: 
Pausch, Randy
Rating: 
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

Book Review: Unbroken

Book Review: Unbroken
Author: 
Hillenbrand, Laura
Rating: 
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: Crazy for God

Book Review: Crazy for God
Author: 
Schaeffer, Frank
Rating: 
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

Book Review: Without You, There is No Us

Author: 
Kim, Suki
Rating: 
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.

Book Review: Look Me In The Eye: My Life With Asperger's

Author: 
Robison, John Elder
Rating: 
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

Book Review: A Homemade Life

Author: 
Wizenberg, Molly
Rating: 
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.

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