Uncategorized

I’m Back!

Posted on

I know… I know… I’ve been absent from book reviewing for like forever. I recently moved across the country, started a new job, and got married but things are finally starting to settle down and sort themselves into a routine again. This means that I should have more time for reviewing… finally.

I plan on reviewing most of the books I’ve read from NetGalley. I’m hopeful that most of the books I review will be new or not yet published, but I’m going to try and write a good review of most of the books that I read, even if they were published forever ago.

Sorry for the long absence but it’s good to be back!

 

Advertisements

Priorities

Posted on

Sorry for the radio silence folks. I have been (and will continue to be) taking a break from reading/reviewing to focus on schoolwork. I will hopefully resume reviewing around August 1 but will then be taking another break around September.

Thank you for your ongoing support and I look forward to catching up on reviews once I’m done with schoolwork.

-Jennifer

The Secret World of Oil: Review

Posted on Updated on

Image

The Secret World of Oil provides a comprehensive look into the lesser talked about aspects of a corrupt, global oil industry. Even if you follow current events relating to oil, this book will give you information on aspects of the industry you likely have heard hardly anything about.

This book was fascinating. I had no idea that the oil industry was so corrupt and that it was just a fact of life that the corruption occurs, no one is really set to stop it. I also learned a lot about the environmental aspects of the oil industry, which was fascinating. I know the basics of how oil drilling can hurt the environment but I never really understood the specifics. This book gave me all the specifics, as well as detailing other information about the tensions surrounding the environment and oil companies that really portrayed the environmental issues in a stronger light.

The format of this book was very easy to follow. Each chapter revolves around a specific topic, from the fixers to the environment, and each chapter flows smoothly into the next. Each chapter was also comprehensive, with small subtopics of information for the reader to understand the bigger picture of the issue in the chapter. This book is easy to follow and understand, for even the most novice non-fiction reader.

Silverstein writes in a style that is informative, yet still easy and pleasurable to read. The author writes in a smooth style that flows along the pages nicely. He also does a fantastic job of painting a picture in the readers head of the things that he saw while out researching the information and interviewing officials for the book. 

I would definitely recommend this book to all whom are interested in learning more about the oil industry, especially the corrupt side. I would also recommend this book to those who are interested in books about the environment. Oil is a huge part of our everyday lives and thus has a big impact on the environment, this book does a fantastic job of illustrating the issues the oil industry brings to the environment.

I received this book for review purposes via NetGalley.

Least Favorite Books

Posted on

After reading so many books, it’s surprising how few I seriously dislike… My “Not Worth It” shelf features a measly 8 books. That being said, to make it onto my “Not Worth It” shelf, I need to seriously hate a book.

Number 1:

Screen Shot 2013-09-10 at 8.09.07 AM

Title: The Kindly Ones

Author: Jonathan Littell

Why I Hate It: I had heard this book was controversial and I honestly assumed it was just because of the graphic descriptions of the atrocities of WWII. I went into this book figuring it would be gross, figuring there would be a lot of graphic deaths, and figuring that it would be upsetting. I never anticipated just what would be so graphic and upsetting about it. The author seems to have a fixation on poop… and not just any poop, specifically pooping out bugs. I couldn’t even get into the story because I couldn’t get passed the descriptions of the dreams that the main character was having, about pooping out bugs. I would say that I’d like to give this book another shot (I still own it, so it shouldn’t be too hard to pick up and read) but the book is soured for me, I really don’t want to revisit any bug poop, thank you very much.

Number 2:

Screen Shot 2013-09-10 at 8.18.20 AM

Title: When You Are Engulfed in Flames

Author: David Sedaris

Why I Hate it: While amusing (at times) I felt that this book was entirely pointless. Sedaris presents stories of his life in an unconnected manner without much flow. At the end of this book I thought to myself, “Now what have I gained by reading this book?” the only answer I could think of was only that I had just wasted an hour of my time reading this book that seemingly had no point.

Number Three:

Screen Shot 2013-09-10 at 8.23.57 AM

Title: Jitterbug Perfume

Author: Tom Robbins

Why I Hate It: I have tried to read this book countless times and have never been able to finish it. I always get stuck somewhere around 3/4 of the way through. I just find myself unable to continue and expose myself to more uncomfortable mentions of sex and horny goats. The philosophy in this book is really quite fantastic and if there weren’t so many references to sexual deeds then this would probably have become one of my favorite books.

Please note that this list is subject to change.

Favorite Books

Posted on

I have read so many good books throughout my lifetime. Here are my top three:

Number 1:

Screen Shot 2013-09-03 at 8.43.13 AM

Title: The Name of the Wind

Author: Patrick Rothfuss

Why I Love It: This book is my all-time favorite book and I have a hard time believing that another book will ever come close to rivaling this book for my top spot. Rothfuss has truly created a masterpiece with this story. He paints a picture of a land so magical, yet so believable, that I want to spend the rest of my life there. Rothfuss also manages to weave incredibly complex and relatable characters, characters who show tremendous growth throughout the story. While normally not a fan of fantasy, this book plays on subtle fantasy elements that managed to draw me right in. There isn’t really anything not to love about The Name of the Wind.

Number 2:

Screen Shot 2013-09-03 at 8.39.56 AM

Title: Collapse

Author: Jared Diamond

Why I Love It: This is the perfect introductory non-fiction book. Jared Diamond manages to give an in-depth overview (is that even possible?!) of how/why societies fail or succeed. Diamond manages to write a quality non-fiction book that is easy to pick up and finish, even for those who don’t normally read non-fiction. It manages to capture the attention and bring light to an interesting subject.

Number 3:

Screen Shot 2013-09-03 at 8.33.33 AM

Title: The Thirteenth Tale

Author: Diane Setterfield

Why I Love It: I’m a total sucker for books  about books as well as protagonists who prefer books to people, and this book definitely brings all that to the table. The writing is beautiful, painting a stunning picture of a life without being overbearing. If you’re looking for a book similar to The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, without the intimidating page count, this is the perfect book!

 

Please note that this list is subject to change.

The Audiobook Fever

Posted on

I’m breaking away from my normal book review posts for the day. Today I’m going to write a post about my newest discovery: audiobooks.

I had never thought I would live to see the day when I began to listen to audiobooks (although I used to say that about ebooks too). But audiobooks just never seemed like the proper fit for me, I can read just fine and love to read words across a page. I draw immense satisfaction from reading a book, how can I draw the same satisfaction from a book when I haven’t even read it myself?

Image

I recently discovered that I’ve been paying for audible for a few months now and had 6 credits on my account (I obviously forgot to cancel my free trial). I browsed through audibles immense library and selected a few audibooks that looked interesting. I bought 6 with my credits and loaded them onto my iPhone. That same night I began to listen to one, “The Hangman’s Daughter”. Imagine my surprise when I realized that I enjoyed listening to the story. I found myself able to immerse myself in the story, visualizing the story in my head as it was read to me.

Listening to an audiobook in bed before I fall asleep is incredibly for me, almost more so than reading an actual book. It reminds me of when I was a young girl and my mom or dad would read me many, many stories as I was drifting off to sleep. There is a magical and nostalgic feeling that envelopes me as I listen to these audiobooks.

The other benefit to audiobooks that I had never previously thought of is: you can listen to a book while you do other things. I’ve been listening to audiobooks while I cook, do laundry, drive to school, or work out. It’s absolutely marvelous to be able to listen to a story while doing other things. I’m inclined to fold all my family’s laundry now that I can listen to a book while I do so. 

So while I never expected to fall in love with audiobooks, it seems that I have done just that. And while this new form of book enjoyment won’t replace my traditional reading, it’s a wonderful addition to the literature in my life. It looks like I will continue to pay for audible every month- it’s a good deal and I’m greatly enjoying this new media.