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Adult Non-Fiction

Audiobook Review: Beneath the Tamarind Tree: A Story of Courage, Family, and the Lost Schoolgirls of Boko Haram by Isha Sesay

I recently read a review on a book called Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani on A Haven For Book Lovers. This book was about the kidnapping of the Nigerian girls from the Government School in Chibok, Nigeria. After reading the review, I wanted to read it as well. Well, I went looking for this book and somehow switched the title around in my mind. I found another book about the same event, and that is the one I will be reviewing. I apologize in advance for my long review, but this book really spoke to me.

42078820. sx318 Beneath the Tamarind Tree: A Story of Courage, Family, and the Lost Schoolgirls of Boko Haram by Isha Sesay

Published July 9th 2019 by HarperAudio Continue reading “Audiobook Review: Beneath the Tamarind Tree: A Story of Courage, Family, and the Lost Schoolgirls of Boko Haram by Isha Sesay”

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In Pieces by Sally Field

379557484.5 Stars: 

Published September 18th 2018 by Hachette Audio

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Becoming by Michelle Obama

Becoming

5 Stars –  

Audible Audio, Unabridged, 1143 pages
Published November 13th 2018 by Random House Audio

Continue reading “Becoming by Michelle Obama”

The Great Halifax Explosion: A World War I Story of Treachery, Tragedy, and Extraordinary Heroism by John U. Bacon, Johnny Heller (Narrator

345226535 Stars

Published November 7th 2017 by HarperAudio

Continue reading “The Great Halifax Explosion: A World War I Story of Treachery, Tragedy, and Extraordinary Heroism by John U. Bacon, Johnny Heller (Narrator”

Night (The Night Trilogy #1) by Elie Wiesel, Marion Wiesel (Translator), François Mauriac (Foreword)

Night (The Night Trilogy, #1)5 Stars

Published January 16th 2006 by Hill & Wang (first published 1958)

Continue reading “Night (The Night Trilogy #1) by Elie Wiesel, Marion Wiesel (Translator), François Mauriac (Foreword)”

Nature Crafts by Fiona Hayes and Creative Adventures in Cursive by Rachelle Doorley

These two books are both wonderful additions to a family, school or classroom library. They are all about creativity, crafting and homemade gifts. I thought they were both especially timely with Christmas coming. I love homemade gifts from my family and these books have several suggestions.

Nature Craft5 Stars

Published August 14th 2018 by QEB Publishing Continue reading “Nature Crafts by Fiona Hayes and Creative Adventures in Cursive by Rachelle Doorley”

The Illustrated History of the Snowman by Bob Eckstein

The Illustrated History of the Snowman4.5 Stars

Published September 1st 2018 by Globe Pequot Press

Continue reading “The Illustrated History of the Snowman by Bob Eckstein”

The Doggie in the Window: How One Beloved Dog Opened My Eyes to the Complicated Story Behind Man’s Best Friend by Rory Kress

The Doggie in the Window: How One Beloved Dog Opened My Eyes to the Complicated Story Behind Man's Best Friend5 Stars

Published April 3rd 2018 by Sourcebooks

This is not a book that you can read in one sitting. It is a tough book to read, especially for dog lovers, of which I am one.

For anyone who plans on purchasing a puppy or adopting a dog, this is a must read. I’ve heard about puppy mills but the descriptions that the author shares really brings it home. I’ve always been an advocate of adopting from shelters, but know that is not always what someone is looking for, especially if they want or need a specific breed. However, as stated in this book, before adopting a dog, one has to see the environment that it’s currently living in as well as seeing the dog itself. I can’t believe people purchase dogs sight unseen, and just believe whatever information they are told. This book had a good balance of research, first-hand experience, and personal anecdotes. The insight into puppy mills was very in-depth. I was surprised to hear about the inspection process and how it does not really enforce the laws in place. It was very interesting to read information about her dog’s behavior and how being born in a puppy mill can impact the dog’s personality for its entire life.

Check out this issue of the online magazine Shelf Awareness to read a great interview with Rory Kress from the article, The Writer’s Life.

I hope this is read widely and is a force for needed change. I definitely recommend this book to dog lovers or those involved in advocating for dogs and healthy, regulated breeding. I requested and received a copy of this book from the publisher, Sourcebooks, to read. The rating, ideas and opinions stated are my own. Continue reading “The Doggie in the Window: How One Beloved Dog Opened My Eyes to the Complicated Story Behind Man’s Best Friend by Rory Kress”

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

Educated: A Memoir5 Stars

Published February 20th 2018 by Random House

I read all kinds of reviews and accolades for this book, so decided that I needed to read it. Being a retired teacher and administrator, I didn’t want to read it. Well, I am certainly glad that I did. This book hurt my heart and my soul. This is a book that I had to take time outs from. It was so real and so hard to read all at the same time. This is the story of Tara Westover and her dysfunctional family. They were Mormons, but her father took it to an extreme. He did not trust the government, medical care and certainly not schools. He was also a survivalist who stockpiled supplies and lived off the land. He did not have a high school diploma, yet was smart. He also had some sort of mental illness, whether it was bipolar disorder or schizophrenia it was never diagnosed.

Tara Westover never went to school, was not even home-schooled, yet she ended up with a doctorate. She is stubborn as a bulldog and pulled herself up by the steel-toed boots she wore as a child working in her family’s Idaho junkyard. The first class room she ever entered was the first day of her freshman college year at age 17. She had never seen a doctor. Never had a vaccination. Never taken any kind of medication, not even an ibuprofen. She had no birth certificate. She didn’t even know her birthday. As she continued on in her education, there were many things about the world that she didn’t know. She always felt she was a fake, that she didn’t belong there. She was poor, uneducated and a whore, at least that is what she thought.

As you read this book, be prepared for some physical, verbal and emotional abuse. Tara wants to be part of her family, even with her successes at school, but she can not bring herself to accept that the things that have happened in her family were okay. She is so damaged along the way, that without the counselling she finally participates in, she would not be where she is today. EDUCATED is a fascinating story of sheer perseverance and grit. As I said at the beginning of this review, this book brought out so many emotions as I read it, but in the end, I am very glad I did. Bravo to Tara Westover.

Continue reading “Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover”

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