Category: Non Fiction

“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

Advertisements
“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!

Amazon US   |   Goodreads

“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!

Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads

“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!

On Amazon   |   On Goodreads

“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!

On Amazon   |   On Goodreads

“In Such Good Company” by Carol Burnett

in-such-good-company

Genre: Non-Fiction

Publisher: Crown Archetype

If you are a fan of “The Carol Burnett Show”, you will definitely want to read this book. In its pages, Ms. Burnett takes us back through all 11 years of the show and tells about how the show became the icon of TV comedy that it is today. The book starts with a history of how the show came to be in the first place. Ms. Burnett then takes the reader through her favorite skits, her co-stars, her guest stars and even the feedback that some of the show’s parodies received, not all of it good.

“The Carol Burnett Show” premiered right about the time I was old enough to understand television, and continued throughout my growing up years. It was a staple at our house. I was so excited to receive this book and reading it was like reminiscing with an old friend. I highly recommend this book!

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

Happy Reading!

On Amazon   |   On Goodreads

Non-Fiction Book Review: “The Cult Next Door” by Elizabeth Burchard and Judith Carlone

the-cult-next-door

We typically think of cults as living on a remote compound somewhere, but in this true story we see that a cult can form anywhere, even in the house next door. Elizabeth Burchard’s mother invites a biofeedback therapist she sees and some of her friends to gather at her apartment every week. They seek wisdom and direction for their lives. This man says all the right things and claims to speak the truth of the universe. Over the course of 30 years he subtly manipulates these men and women to do his bidding. After 20 years Elizabeth meets Judith and their friendship starts to change her perspective of her guru. Gradually she is able to disentangle her life from the effect the The Group.

This is a heart-wrenching story as you see Elizabeth being brainwashed by this charlatan. It’s a very eye-opening story. These people were educated, holding down good jobs, but their emotional vulnerabilities make them the perfect victims. The fact that Elizabeth is able to eventually extricate herself is a testimony to her fighting spirit and the support she receives from Judith. The story is told in a way that reads like a novel, taking you step by step through her journey. I really enjoyed this book and found it easy to read. This is a great book for anyone who’s interested in a look behind the scenes of a cult.

Alinefromabook’s rating: THUMBS-UP!

Happy Reading!

On Amazon   |   On Goodreads

Book Review: “Caitlin’s Cruise” by Caitlin Dinoski

Book Review: “Caitlin’s Cruise” by Caitlin Dinoski

This is a collection of blog posts made by Caitlin as she and her husband watched every movie Tom Cruise was ever in, in order. Caitlin gives a rating for each movie overall, and a rating for Tom Cruise’s work in the film. I was sure what I was going to find in this book, but it turned out to be a fun read. Turns out there is more to Tom Cruise than just Mission Impossible. I liked that she watched the movies in order because it gives the reader a chance to see how Tom has developed as an actor over the years. I found the concept behind this book to be fun and Ms. Dinoski’s reviews were enjoyable to read.

Alinefromabook’s rating: THUMBS-UP

Happy Reading!

Amazon

Book Review: “Siddhartha’s Brain” by James Kingsland

Book Review: “Siddhartha’s Brain” by James Kingsland

“Siddhartha’s Brain” is a fascinating look into the human brain and how meditation can have an impact on the way the brain works. Using the latest in scientific research, Mr. Kingsland has opened the door to understand how the meditation practices of Buddha worked to literally change the way his brain worked. The book starts off by laying a foundation of the various areas of the brain that process our perceptions and prompt us to act in think in certain ways. The author then goes into the research of meditation and describes the impact that meditation appears to have on the brain structures and how that impact changes our perceptions and thinking processes. Along the way, the author ties in relevant Buddhist teachings and reveals that Buddha was way ahead of his time in his understanding of human thinking.

I found this book to be relatively easy to read, though some chapters have more scientific terminology than others and that may prove daunting to some readers. This book is best for readers who have an interest in the structure and function of the brain, or those who desire a greater understanding of meditation from a scientific perspective.

Alinefromabook’s rating: TWO THUMBS-UP!! The author has done a fantastic job of elucidating the subject matter in a readable way.

Thanks to Edelweiss and William Morrow for providing a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Happy Reading!

View on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1REJ0rl

Book Review: “Good Morning Diego Garcia” by Susan Joyce

Book Review: “Good Morning Diego Garcia” by Susan Joyce

Batten down the hatches! This memoir will take you on a wild ride across the Indian Ocean on a 54’ yacht. This is the second book in a series of Susan Joyce’s memoirs. In this book she and her husband Charles agree to join their friends Dylan and Mia as they sail a yacht from Sri Lanka to the Seychelles. The author’s vivid descriptions have you feeling like you are right there with her. When she described the storms on the ocean I actually started to feel queasy. This story takes place in 1975 and the author incorporates well the political upheaval taking place in India and Sri Lanka at the time. The trip also turns out to be a significant personal journey for the author and she includes her many reflections throughout the story.

I really enjoyed the story and the author’s descriptions of all the places they visited. If I were planning a trip to India, this book would certainly give me lots of ideas for things to do and see.

Alinefromabook’s recommendation: THUMBS-UP! To a great travel story/memoir.

Happy Reading!

To purchase click here: http://astore.amazon.com/alinefromab00-20/detail/1943158908