Category Archives: Non-Fiction

Tales of the Revolution by Seth Godin

Tales of the Revolution by Seth Godin

First of all, Tales of the Revolution isn’t by Seth Godin. He didn’t write any of it, or even edit it. Instead, he just copy and pasted people’s entries, complete with typos. There were a lot of typos. Very few of the entries made sense. They were full of buzzwords and lacked any substance or even explanation of what the people were actually doing to “poke the box” (for that matter I wouldn’t classify most of them as poking the box at all). I found it interesting that in the eleven years since these “amazing” and “revolutionary” ideas were submitted only a few are still in existence. A few, like Teachers Pay Teachers, are still thriving. Some of the submissions were nothing more than living life and doing what many other people do (such as the one who reviews books she reads). At least the book was short. I didn’t find it inspiring or even very interesting. But there was a lot of Seth Godin love in the entries so I guess he did. I don’t recommend this book.

2 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 87
Pages Read in 2022: 30,774
Graphic Novels: 2

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Filed under Non-Fiction, Self-Help/Motivation

Eat the Rich by PJ O’Rourke

Eat the Rich by PJ O’Rourke

Some parts of Eat the Rich are amusing. Some parts are educational. And some parts are just plain ridiculous and not good satire at all. Pretty much every chapter just went on way too long like the author didn’t quite know how to finish it out. I did find a comment about capitalism increasing violence and hopefully that violence would be aimed at Donald Trump to be funny mainly because the book was published way back in 1998. At the end he tried to make an argument that wealth distribution violates the tenth commandment (because it’s obviously due to people coveting the rich peoples’ money). He also made a weird argument for evading taxes not being so bad since that money just goes into the economy instead of to the government. I don’t recommend this book unless you just want to see what certain countries were like to visit in the late 90s and what their economies were like at the time.

2 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 79
Pages Read in 2022: 28,500
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Non-Fiction, Reason: LitHub Bingo

Nazi Games by David Clay Large

Nazi Games by David Clay Large

Nazi Games is incredibly dense and full of information. It’s extremely well researched with lots of end notes and sources (filling about a quarter of the book). It covers pretty much everything you can imagine about the 1936 Olympics (both winter and summer) including the aftermath and how it changed later Olympic games. It’s a good choice for someone who is interested in the Olympics.

3 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 49
Pages Read in 2022: 17,979
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Non-Fiction, Reason: LitHub Bingo

Evicted by Matthew Desmond

Evicted by Matthew Desmond

Evicted is very eye-opening. The author, a sociologist, lived among people in poverty and wrote about them and their experiences with eviction and how not having stable housing affects all aspects of life. This brings a human face to the issue making it about not some random guy in the inner city but about specific people like Lamar and Scott and Arleen. He gives ideas on how we can help prevent evictions and reduce the percentage of income people spend on rent. The book is extremely well-sourced and researched. The last about quarter of the book is footnotes. It’s a really excellent book and I recommend it to anyone interested in learning ways to lift people out of poverty.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 49
Pages Read in 2021: 15,167

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Filed under Non-Fiction, Reason: LitHub Bingo

The School I Deserve by Jo Napolitano

The School I Deserve by Jo Napolitano

The School I Deserve chronicles the 2016 court battle against the Lancaster school system that won older (17+) refugees the right to go to the regular high school rather than be shunted to the last chance school for at risk youth. The writing is excellent and really guides you through the case day by day. Interspersed throughout is background on some of the refugees named in the case, as well as what was going on in the country, at the rise of Trump, related to refugees and their education (as well as increasing anti-refugee sentiment). I found it to be quite fascinating. I recommend it to anyone interested in refugee rights or curious about how life goes for refugees once they have been resettled in America.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 35
Pages Read in 2021: 10,135

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Filed under Non-Fiction, Reason: Vine Review

Broke in America by Joanne Samuel Goldblum and Colleen Shaddox

Broke in America by Joanne Samuel Goldblum and Colleen Shaddox

There are a lot of people living in poverty in this country. Broke in America attempts to humanize them by telling their stories and explaining how various aspects of poverty affect other seemingly unrelated things in their lives. Every chapter has ideas on how you can help. I found the book to be very informative without sounding preachy. I learned a whole lot from it. Having dealt with some of the things discussed as a foster parent, I could relate just a little to how frustrating dealing with bureaucratic red tape can be. The main point of the book is to do something to help our fellow humans. I very highly recommend Broke in America.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 32
Pages Read in 2021: 9072

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Filed under Non-Fiction, Reason: Vine Review

Liberty’s Torch by Elizabeth Mitchell

Liberty’s Torch by Elizabeth Mitchell

Liberty’s Torch is surprisingly engaging and interesting. Often non-fiction can be dry, but this one is definitely not. The author tells the story of Bartholdi and his quest for fame by building a giant statue. I didn’t know much of how the Statue of Liberty came to be so this book was very fascinating and educational for me. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in history.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 28
Pages Read in 2021: 7786

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Filed under History, Non-Fiction, Reason: LitHub Bingo

The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland by Jim DeFede

The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland by Jim DeFede

When the airspace over the United States was closed following the terrorist attacks on the morning of September 11, 2001, several thousand passengers were diverted to Gander, a small town in Newfoundland. Faced with the “plane people” staying amongst them for a few days, the people of Gander jumped into action. They organized clothes, towels, medication, food, entertainment, and places for the stranded passengers to stay. They made lifelong friends. They restored a belief in humanity that was lost when the terrorists turned planes into missiles. The Day the World Came to Town is a quick and easy read. It’ll make you smile and maybe cry, but it’ll definitely make you feel good. It closely follows the stories of a few days in the lives of several people, flipping between them in a more or less linear timeline. Even almost twenty years after 9/11, this story is a wonderful snapshot of a bunch of people making a horrible situation into something not nearly so bad. I recommend it to all adults.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 22
Pages Read in 2021: 5993

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Filed under Non-Fiction, Reason: LitHub Bingo

Raising Multiracial Children by Farzana Nayani

Raising Multiracial Children by Farzana Nayani

Aside from being dreadfully dry and boring, Raising Multiracial Children didn’t seem to have a clear focus or purpose (definitely not what the title indicates). The author rambles on and on and is very disorganized. Sometimes she’s talking to parents, sometimes to teachers, switching sometimes in the middle of a single paragraph. There are some excellent statistics and a few gems for raising children from multiple races or ethnicities, but for the most part it’s just not a very well-written book. Everything useful in it could have been written in a handful of blog posts. This is a book to skip.

2 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 21
Pages Read in 2021: 5733

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Filed under Non-Fiction, Reason: Vine Review

How Not to Get Married by George Mahood

How Not to Get Married by George Mahood

George Mahood is funny. He’s got an excellent British sense of humor (humour). He also was a wedding photographer for several years. In How Not to Get Married he addresses several traditional bits of a wedding from picking your wedding colors (the most important decision you will ever make, obviously) to tossing the bouquet to the honeymoon to cutting the cake (he really hates the cutting of the cake). Interwoven with origins and theories are examples he’s seen in his career photographing weddings. Some are sweet, some are horrifying, and some are just silly. It’s a nice mind vacation and if you are getting married it may even help you chill out and enjoy the ride a little more.

4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 14
Pages Read in 2021: 3960

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Filed under Non-Fiction, Reason: LitHub Bingo