Wednesday, June 7, 2017

May Wrap-Up

Quantity-wise this was a good month with 12 books read or listened to.  There were also 4 books that I DNF'd for various reasons.

Courage to Soar: A Body in Motion, A Life in Balance

An interesting book about the Olympic gymnast, Simone Biles. Nothing amazing about it, but it was enjoyable. I try to read or listen to 1 book about an Olympic gymnast each year or really it has just worked out to be 1 each year, so now it is kind of a tradition after 3 or 4 years of doing so. The only thing that bugged me was the narrator mispronounced "Nadia Comaneci", other than that I thought she did a good job with using a different voice for many of the characters in the book.

3 stars

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

I listened to this book on audio. Very riveting. It totally kept my attention and books on war are not my favorites, especially not non0fiction. But this was so interesting; how he endured those 3 or 3 years as a POW is nothing more than amazing. The last part of the book was less interesting, but as a whole it was a very compelling book.

4 stars

This Is What a Librarian Looks Like: A Celebration of Libraries, Communities, and Access to Information

I received a digital ARC of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. The idea behind this book is great, but the format of it as an e-book has a lot to be desired. This would be much better as a physical coffee table book. It was awful in regards to formatting on my actual Kindle e-reader, but somewhat better on my phone app and I'm guessing even better on a Kindle Fire. The author spoke with hundreds of librarians and Library Science students, as well as some authors and printed excerpts, quotes and essays. The print fluctuated from crisp and clear print to very light, hard-to-read fonts on a semi-dark background. Some of the essays were interesting, especially when authors or librarians talked about childhood memories of the library and how it shaped their lives. Also, most of the quotes, excepts, and essays were accompanied by photos, but it was often difficult to sometimes determine who was being matched up with whom. At times, the only way, it was decipherable were in the cases where you could determine which name and photo went together based on their gender or ethnicity. Overall, I did like the book, but reading it in a physical format would have worked better and hopefully in the final published version, photographs will be clearly labeled.

3 stars

The Lions of Little Rock

I listened to this on audio; this is based on the story of the year following the integration of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas.  The school district closed to all students rather than allow the integration to take place.  I was not aware of this although I had read a book ,  [book:Something Must Be Done About Prince Edward County: A Family, a Virginia Town, a Civil Rights Battle|23131084] which was about a similar event that occurred in Virginia.  Although this was for middle grade children or young adults, I found this interesting and well-written.

3.5 stars

Falling Hard (A Nugget Romance)

I received this ARC from the publisher through NetGalley. I just loved this book. This is a great series by a great author. It was so wonderful to be back in Nugget, California. Reading this book just felt like getting into a nice snuggly pair of pajamas. It felt great to be back in Nugget, catch up with some of the old characters and meet some new ones. Stacy Finz is starting a new series coming this summer and I look forward to it. Since the new series takes place in a nearby town to Nugget, hopefully we will run into one of these characters occasionally. If you liked Robyn Carr's Virgin River series, you will also like the Nugget series by Stacy Finz.

4 stars

This Land Is Our Land: A History of American Immigration

I very much enjoyed this book. It is marketed as middle grade, but I feel this is appropriate for both high school and adult readers as well. The views on immigrants actually has changed very little in some ways; new immigrants were always discriminated against for one reason or the other. Over history, there was always the sentiment that the newest group of immigrants, regardless of their ethnicity, race, language, or religion would never be able to assimilate into the American way of life. This book covers the years from when the United States first was settled by Europeans to modern times up through the 2015 or 2016. This book is very informative and reading it should be required during high school.

5 stars

Teenage Diaries by Radio Diaries

I got this audiobook through the AudioSync teen summer program. It was interesting, but since there is not an actual print or e-book available, I actually find this should be classified as a podcast and not an audiobook. It was very short, only about 2 hours. This man (forget his name) gave recorders to a bunch of teens back in 1999 to document their life for a program on NPR radio, I believe; 16 years later, he has 5 of them do it again with where they are now. Rather interesting, but I can't make myself give it more than 2 stars (ok). Reminds me of an audio version of the MTV show in the 90s or early 2000s, Real Life.

2 stars

One Perfect Lie

Although I got into the story right away, I found later on in the book things seemed to be unclear or just not consistent. I did listen to this book on audio and had to replay parts thinking I missed something, but I don't think I had; it just wasn't there in the first place. I keep going back and forth about whether to give this 2 or 3 stars. This is my 2nd book by her and I know she has a large following, I just am not that impressed. I don't think I have totally given up on her boks, but I will probably only read the one that I believe I had bought sometime back and read it and then determine if I read anymore by her or not.

2.5 stars

Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the Selma Voting Rights March

This was a very good book. I listened to it within an hour and I wish this would have been longer. It is for the middle grades and should be required reading for everyone in junior high school.

4 stars

American Pickers Guide to Picking

I did enjoy this book, so don't be fooled by a rating of a 3 a 3 is actually a good book, just not something I consider a very good read that you need to read or that is amazing and that I truly loved and would recommend to the world. But it was solidly enjoyable book that I'm glad to have read. Although there were quite a few stories from the show, I would have enjoyed even more and plan to check out there website and watch as many of the shows as I missed. Since I only watched a couple seasons before we got rid of cable and there are 17 seasons, I have a lot to watch. If you are or have been a fan of this show, you probably will want to read this.

3.5 stars

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Believe it or not, I never read this book when I was a child or young adult. It was a pleasant enough book to listen to, but nothing earth-shattering. I may or may not listen to more in the series.

2 stars

I think my favorite audiobook was Unbroken and my favorite that I read was Falling Hard

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