About baw29640

Wri•ter \ˈrī-tər\: Neurotic librarian, lives in dream world, mutters to self, addicted to caffeine, edits compulsively, kills people for entertainment.

How They Choked: Failures, Flops, and Flaws of the Awfully Famous by Georgia Bragg

How They Choked: Failures, Flops, and Flaws of the Awfully FamousHow They Choked: Failures, Flops, and Flaws of the Awfully Famous by Georgia Bragg
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a fantastic read, just like How They Croaked, which I read (by force, for a committee I served on–because why would I want to read a dry nonfiction book about how people die–yuck), and then absolutely loved (by choice–because I absolutely wanted to read every single word in both that and this funny, fast-paced, honest book that tells the truth about historical figures).

I hope they will create more books to match the first two. I would definitely read them all, when normally nonfiction has me taking a step back and giving books the cranky side eye

I highly recommend this nonfiction gem to anyone, though it’s great for the middle grade crowd. You don’t even have to like history all that much to be interested and amused by these charming, well-told stories. I suspect you’ll find that if you open the book and read just one story, nothing will stop you from reading the entire thing. This is a clever concept and format, and I’m completely captivated and always learn something new when I pick up one of these books.

Book 61 read in 2018

Pages: 208

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This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki

This One SummerThis One Summer by Mariko Tamaki
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The artwork was gorgeous and emotional. It won me over fast. 5 stars for the art.

The themes were excellent. This story is all about being on that cusp of a girl to becoming a woman, and figuring out what that means and how females are perceived by others, including what ideas and opinions they absorb from others, versus what opinions they form on their own. It’s that cross divide that comes between giggling and playing kids games in one moment, and doing and talking about really grown up things in the next moment. This element of the story is brilliant, and it comes with a bit of nostalgia for those of us who are grown up and remember those confusing times of sorting out not only what kind of human we wanted to be, but also what kind of woman we wanted to be, including whether we are who we are, or we are how people see us. For theme, the story also gets 5 stars.

The reason I gave it three stars, is because the actual storyline is so rough and sometimes very tedious. There’s no real plot. It’s more character driven, so you are just along for the ride. There are bright moments, but they are few and far between, and then there are pages where you just want to keep turning and not linger. I remember thinking several times that I was just ready to be done, and it’s not like it’s a lengthy read.

It’s not a particularly memorable story either, though I appreciate the grace in some of its subtlety. Also, there’s a limited number of people that I’d actually recommend this to, and I definitely wouldn’t read it again.

I think there’s some underlying brilliance here, but it ended up being more of a disconnect for me. I think there are some sections that could have easily been edited out to help the story, and had they added a few scenes that gave the story a bit more heft or urgency, that would have helped compel the reader to turn the page out of interest, instead of just out of obligation to power through.

Book 59 read in 2018

Pages: 320

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Iron Gold by Pierce Brown

Iron Gold (Red Rising, #4)Iron Gold by Pierce Brown
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

There’s nothing quite so painful as desperately awaiting the arrival of a preordered book, only to read it and find you’re not really enjoying it and can’t wait for it to end.

There’s a lot I could say about why this story was a complete disconnect for me, but I may actually be too sad and disappointed to say any of it.

Luckily, every single other person who read this seems to have absolutely loved it, so you should probably just disregard my opinion in this instance.

There was one new character that I adored and was fascinated by. However, I will confess that despite the tedious storyline, with multiple parts, some of which go nowhere as slowly as possible, the most upsetting thing for me was that this story made me dislike and lose interest in a character that used to be a favorite.

Ugh. I feel a book depression coming on. Send chocolate. Or tequila. Or a book that doesn’t feel like a chore to get through. *cries a million pretty tears of despair*

Really unpopular opinion time: this actually deserves 2 stars from me, but I just can’t do it. I still love the world, and it hurts too much to give it less than 3 stars. At this point, I figure I’ve suffered enough, just by having read the whole thing, so 3 stars it is.

Book 54 read in 2018

Pages: 600

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