Biography/Memoir

Book Review: The Climb

Author: 
Bukreev, Anatoliĭ
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

A great read for those interested in Mt. Everest. While "Into Thin Air" is the classic book about the deadly 1996 climbing season on Mt. Everest, there are some factual inaccuracies that Jon Krakauer neglected to correct. In "The Climb," Anatoli Boukreev tells the story of the deadly storm from his perspective, correcting some mistaken views of his actions during the climb. With the recent deaths and rising controversy about guided tours on Everest, "The Climb" provides a unique perspective on the topic.

Reviewer's Name: 
Becca

Book Review: Orange is the New Black

Author: 
Kerman, Piper
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

I would say I have a pretty large fascination/genuine interest in prison, the criminal justice system, and prison culture and I sincerely enjoyed reading Piper Kerman's book from cover to cover. Not only does she provide a detailed account of her experience in a federal women's prison, but she does so without catering exclusively to the gritty details and instead offers an in-depth experience for the reader.

Instead of feeling like you're reading a tragic soap opera of events, I finished this book feeling thoughtful and more than a little sad about America's prison system. One can't help but wonder about those still incarcerated, especially in the federal prison system, and wonder what we are really doing by warehousing humans the way we do.

While Piper doesn't attempt to guide the book into long diatribes against our prisons, she does make some very meaningful observations such as this one:
"Great institutions have leaders who are proud of what they do, and who engage with everyone who makes up those institutions, so each person understands their role. But our jailers are generally granted near-total anonymity, like the cartoon executioner who wears a hood to conceal his identity. What is the point, what is the reason, to lock people away for years, when it seems to mean so very little, even to the jailers who hold the key? How can a prisoner understand their punishment to have been worthwhile to anyone, when it's dealt in a way so offhand and indifferent?"

I hope this book can be more than a tastefully offensive miniseries and maybe a watershed to actual change.

Reviewer's Name: 
Evan

Book Review: The Bedwetter : Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee

Author: 
Silverman, Sarah
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

This book was clever and entertaining, just like Sarah Silverman. I listened to it on audiobook and it was read by the author, which I highly recommend. A very sincerely sweet and funny book.

Reviewer's Name: 
vfranklyn

Book Review: At Least You're in Tuscany: A Somewhat Disastrous Quest for the Sweet Life

Author: 
Criswell, Jennifer
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Stumbled across this title through Goodreads, and I am so glad I did!
The author gives and honest, sometimes sad, sometimes hilarious view of her experiences moving to Italy rather impulsively. I didn't realize she had a blog, now I'm going to go through the photos to match faces with people I feel I've met through her book! Highly recommend.

Reviewer's Name: 
Krista

Book Review: Letter to my Daughter

Author: 
Angelou, Maya
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

This book is a compilation of essays on a variety of subjects. Thought provoking and beautiful, I highly recommend this quick read. I especially appreciated Angelou's observation that instead of "you can't go home again", it's more accurate to say you can't ever leave home, meaning your first home, where you grew up. I find this to be very true as I often think of where I grew up and the friends I had there as a child. Thankfully, I'm able to keep in touch with the most dear of them on Facebook.

Reviewer's Name: 
vfranklyn

Book Review: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Author: 
Angelou, Maya
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

I find that sometimes I give 5 stars to what are clearly very good books, but then something like 'I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings' comes along and I realize that there are very few books I've read that are as important and wonderful as this one. I wish I could give it more than 5 stars. Maya's voice is beautiful, honest, and so very observant and wise. I recommend this book to everyone in the world, period.

Reviewer's Name: 
vfranklyn

Book Review: This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection

Author: 
Burnett, Carol
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

I listened to Carol Burnett read this on audio and it was very good. I didn't watch her show as it was before my time, but I liked hearing stories about her life in show business. Thumbs up, especially on audio.

Reviewer's Name: 
vfranklyn

Book Review: Hungry

Author: 
Renn, Crystal
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Crystal Renn's memoir is very powerful. Her description of her battle with anorexia is riveting and her realization that she was killing herself and her decision to become a plus size model was awesome. I love her positive body image. She encouraged me to find my 'set point' and love my body for what it is. Thanks Crystal!

Reviewer's Name: 
vfranklyn

Book Review: Rock the Kasbah

Book Review: Rock the Kasbah
Author: 
Loerzel, Marie
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Rock the Kasbah is an entertaining book written by a Colorado Springs local author. Marie and her family lived in Morocco. This book had me laughing out loud more than once. It is personal and touching and brutally honest. I highly recommend it. (p.s. It may not be for the faint of heart)

Reviewer's Name: 
Jan

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