Category: Non Fiction

“The Introvert Advantage” by Dr. Marti Olsen Laney

“The Introvert Advantage” by Dr. Marti Olsen Laney

Narrated by Tamara Marston

Whether or not you consider yourself an introvert, this book is a great way to learn about what makes introverts different from extroverts. Dr. Laney starts by introducing the reader to the characteristics of introverts and then goes on to explain that the brains of introverts are actually wired to process information in a different way. In the second half of the book, each chapter addresses a different aspect life as an introvert and she gives tips and advice for how to live with your introversion in and extroverted world. With topics ranging from dating to scheduling your day, Dr. Laney has thought of everything. I found her tips to practical and easy to implement. The idea here is to accept yourself as you are and then work with your unique characteristics to achieve your goals. Being an introvert can work to your advantage!

I listened to the audiobook version and found the reader to be excellent. She delivered the material in a way that was engaging and informative. I think introverts who are struggling will find this book very helpful. Any extraverts out there who just want to learn about the introverts in their life will also find this book to be a great source of information. I highly recommend this one.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 4-star-rating  4 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Amazon CA

“A False Report” by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong

“A False Report” by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong

This is a true and disturbing story. In August 2008, 18-year old Marie reports a man breaking in to her apartment and raping her for hours. In the initial days of the investigation, detectives begin to have doubts and Marie finds the tables have turned and she is now being charged with filing a false report. Two years later, women in Colorado start reporting that their homes were broken into and they were raped repeatedly. Each rape takes place in a different jurisdiction but word starts to get around and a task force is formed. While investigating their own cases the team finds evidence of the rape of a young lady in Washington. This young lady is Marie.

I was riveted by this story. These Pulitzer prize winning authors relate the events in this case in a very relatable way. I felt like the actions of those involved in the various investigations were presented fairly and objectively. In the end it is obvious where mistakes were made and I was pleased to see that those responsible not only admitted the errors but took steps to ensure they would not happen again. I think this book is timely, given current events, and points out the places in our society where more work needs to done in how we approach rape. This story is very moving and, quite frankly, I think everyone should read it.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 5-star-rating  5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

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“Unwanted” by Andrew Young

“Unwanted” by Andrew Young

It’s the late 1800’s in the Cincinnati, Ohio area and a young woman’s decapitated body has been found in a farmer’s field. This book traces the story of the investigation and prosecution of the perpetrators. The initial challenge is to simply identify her because the head is missing. With fingerprints not yet broadly used in law enforcement and crime scene preservation not even a topic of conversation, the attempt to identify the girl finally comes down to an observant shoe seller who recognizes her shoes uniqueness and is able to actually trace the sale. The young lady had traveled to Cincinnati from her family’s rural farm to meet up with a boyfriend.

This is a very detailed look at a very brutal crime. The story is based on extensive research of the accounts that remain from the time. I really appreciated the structure of the chapters, with each looking at an aspect of the investigation from start to finish. It’s almost surprising that the identification of the body and the perpetrators was possible given the limited tools the police had available to them at the time. This book should be of interest to those who like true crime or historical crime stories.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  3-5-star-rating  3.5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

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Thank you to Pen & Sword Publishing for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.

“The Kings of Georgian Britain” by Catherine Curzon

“The Kings of Georgian Britain” by Catherine Curzon

Who knew that reading history could be fun! Catherine Curzon takes the reader on a journey through the lives and reigns of the four Kings George and she does it with a sense of humor. This is not your stereotypical dry history narrative. The book is broken down into sections, one for each King and tells their story starting with their birth and ending with their death. She will see what they’re their childhoods were like, who had the strongest influence on them, what kind of fathers and husbands they were, and the politics of their respective monarchies.

As you can probably guess, I really enjoyed this book. I wasn’t sure I would because the British monarchy is so complicated, there are tons of players, and I’m an American, so I was delighted that this was such a great read. George the First’s story was a little confusing at first but only because there were so many women named Sophia in his life. I recently received the companion book “The Queens of Georgian Britain” and I’m very excited to read it after enjoying this one so much. For American readers the section on George III would be very interesting as he was the king during the War for Independence. The author really made these men come alive and in a reader-friendly way. I highly recommend this one.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 5-star-rating  5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

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“Goat Castle” by Karen L. Cox

“Goat Castle” by Karen L. Cox

A True Story of Murder, Race, and the Gothic South

The Gothic South, a place of romance and mystery, and Natchez, Mississippi is the epitome of the era. Residents are proud of their heritage and their beautiful houses that draw tourists from all over the country in the 1920’s and 30’s. But in 1932 an act of revenge plunges the town into the scandal of the decade, and leaves two people dead and an innocent black woman in prison, while the real perpetrators are free to profit from their notoriety.

This is a fascinating story and an excellent example of the Jim Crow laws of the era in action. I really appreciated the amount of background that the author gives the reader so that you really get a feel for why circumstances worked out the way they did. The reader gets the history of each of the main characters and a timeline that leads up to the events in 1932. The relationships between those involved are explored in order to understand how the actions of that fateful night came to happen. The Jim Crow era is a period of history that I think most Americans outside of the South know little about and probably because it is so unpleasant. But the author really expanded my knowledge with her descriptions of how the laws impacted both blacks and whites at the time. If you want a glimpse behind the veil of the Gothic South then take a look at this book. Well-written, well-organized and eye-opening.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  4-5-star-rating 4.5 stars!

Happy Reading!

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“London Curiosities” by John Wade

“London Curiosities” by John Wade

The Capital’s Odd & Obscure, Weird & Wonderful Places

If you are planning a visit to London, then you should definitely take a look at this book. It is packed full of unique pieces of London’s history. These are the places that you won’t find in the typical tour guide. The book is organized into categories including Surprising Building, the Pineapple Trail, Tunnels Under London and many more. The text was an easy and enjoyable read and there are pictures of everything mentioned. If you’ve been following me, you know I like the odd and quirky and this book totally nailed it for me. I will definitely have it in my bag if I find myself in London again. Top marks to the author for putting this together.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  5-star-rating 5 stars!!!

Happy Reading!

On Amazon US   |   On Amazon UK   |   On Goodreads

“On Edge” by Andrea Peterson

“On Edge” by Andrea Peterson

We all experience anxiety to some degree, and some amount of anxiety is helpful to decision making. But what happens when anxiety becomes disabling? In “On Edge”, Andrea Peterson tells us her story of struggling with anxiety, the ups and downs, the treatments that have worked or failed, and how she has come to terms with it. In addition to her personal story, she has interwoven the science behind what causes anxiety, what eases anxiety, and ways to cope with it. This book is a fascinating journey into the mental process that is anxiety and the many ways that it manifests itself in our daily lives.

I really enjoyed this book. The author has thoroughly researched every aspect of the topic, with chapters focusing on medications, alternative treatments, anxiety in children, and how anxious parents can avoid creating anxious kids. I like that in every chapter she tells a part of her story but then talks about the science that relates to that aspect of her journey. The book is very well organized and presents even the more difficult scientific pieces in an easy-to-read format. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who lives with anxiety, no matter how severe, or to someone who wants a better understanding of a friend or loved one’s anxiety experience. Anxiety is here to stay but understanding it can make it easier to cope with.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  5-star-rating 5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

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“In A Different Key” by John Donvan & Caren Zucker

“In A Different Key” by John Donvan & Caren Zucker

The Story of Autism

“In A Different Key” presents the history of autism from the first diagnosed case to the status of research and the community today. The movement to create awareness of autism and learn more about its causes and treatments has been largely parent-driven and this book walks the reader through all of it. From the triumphs to the tragedies you will come away with a greater understanding of what autism is, and is not, and the challenges faced by the caregivers who live with it every day.

The authors have done a very thorough job of collecting the stories of autism families and autism science and presenting them in an easy to read format. Chapters are broken down by decades with some focusing on the scientific research aspect and others focusing on the work that parents were doing to find treatments for their children. There are successful stories and not-so-successful stories, but all of them help to further the readers understanding. The writing in this book is so approachable that at times it almost reads like a novel. Anyone who has even a passing interest in the subject of autism should read this book.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 5-star-rating  5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

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“Mercies in Disguise” by Gina Kolata

“Mercies in Disguise” by Gina Kolata

A poignant story about unraveling the mystery of an untreatable illness. The Baxley family is a pillar of their community but a strange illness is taking family members at early ages. They consult with leading doctors but no diagnosis or treatment is in sight. As the youngest generation comes of age they must confront the prospect of the illness affecting them and make choices that could alter their lives forever.

In this book, Gina Kolata traces both the Baxley family and the science behind their family illness in expert fashion. This book reads more like a story than a case report and I think this is largely due to the structure she uses. The chapters alternate back and forth between the scientists working to decipher the cause of the illness and the family as they deal with its consequences. It moves at a really good pace and the alternating storyline keeps the reader engaged and wondering what happens next. This story is both poignant and tragic, and full of hope. I really enjoy a book where the author can take a very scientific subject and make it approachable for the average reader. I highly recommend.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 4-5-star-rating  4.5 stars!

Happy Reading!

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“The Radium Girls” by Kate Moore

“The Radium Girls” by Kate Moore

Genre: Non-Fiction

You are probably familiar with the saying “truth is stranger than fiction”. I think this book fits into that category perfectly. The events detailed in this work are like something out of a sci-fi movie. The pages of this book tell the stories of the young ladies who worked as painters in the radium dial industry starting in 1917. At the time the story opens, the scientific community’s understanding of radium and its effects was still in its infancy, but the substance’s characteristic of glowing in the dark made it a very profitable business venture. It was used commercially as a paint for the dials of clocks so that the numbers could be seen in the dark. As World War I began it became highly demanded for the instrument dials used in the military. The challenge at the time was that the painting of these dials had to be done by hand, this led to large-scale hiring of young girls as dial-painters. The girls were told that the substance was safe and they would even paint the substance on their bodies so that they could glow-in-the-dark when they went on dates. The painting technique involved putting the brush between the lips in order to form a point and in this manner the girls were ingesting the radium in dangerous quantities. Radium was also being used at the time as a treatment for cancer, and as an additive to health tonics.

It didn’t take long before some of the girls starting having health problems. Often the first indication that something was wrong was when a girl’s teeth starting to loosen and fall out. Some girls began to have sarcomas. One of the girls had to go so far as to have an arm amputated because of a sarcoma. It took a few years for the various doctors and dentists who were treating these girls to understand that the root cause of the symptoms was the radium that they had worked with. This diagnosis led to a long, drawn-out legal process as the girls tried to get the companies to take responsibility for having lied to them and to offer some compensation for the pain and expenses they had endured.

The author’s stated objective with this book is to tell the story of “The Radium Girls” from the perspective of the women themselves and she has done just that. I found this book to be both shocking and emotionally moving. These girls are heroes for the fight they put up, and without their efforts this country may not even have a process for protecting the health and safety of workers. Today, we take for granted, and are sometimes annoyed by, the safety procedures present in our workplaces, but after reading this book you will never take them for granted again. I think this book should be required reading and I am giving it a 5-star rating because of the quality of the writing and the importance of its message.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  5-star-rating 5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

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