Category: Non Fiction

“Children’s Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain’s Young” by Peter Higginbotham

“Children’s Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain’s Young” by Peter Higginbotham

This book is exactly as it describes itself, a history of the care of children. In this case we are talking about orphans, waifs, strays, kids who today would be in the care of social services. The author has chapters discussing the different charitable and governmental organizations that had responsibility for the care of these children. There is also a look back at the development of child care philosophy, from large institutional care to the foster system we are more familiar with today. The author discusses the most prominent movers and shakers in the history of children’s homes and also some of the lesser known lights. The book concludes with a discussion of day to day life in the different types of children’s homes and some of the more notable instances of abuse.

I found this book to be another well written history of a social issue in Britain. It’s a very approachable book and not a heavy history tome. I really appreciated learning about how social services for children got to where they are today and how they have changed along with the changing of the surrounding culture. All in all, an enjoyable look at a critical but often overlooked social issue, probably best enjoyed by those interested in these issues.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Amazon CA   |   Author’s website

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“Everyday Kundalini” by Kathryn McCusker

“Everyday Kundalini” by Kathryn McCusker

Kundalini is a type of yoga. I have heard the name but didn’t really know anything about it and what makes it different from other types of yoga. This book is on the short side but I found it to be thoroughly informative. The author has been practicing Kundalini for many years and is a certified teacher. The book covers the history of the practice, explains the essential components of Kundalini, and provides the reader with the basics that you need to get started. There is a series of yoga poses that are used, which are fully described. The book ends with a selection of Kundalini meditations and explains exactly how to do them yourself. There appears to be a strong spiritual component to Kundalini and the book gives the reader an understanding of this aspect without becoming too woo-woo. I think this book makes a good starting point if you are interested in Kundalini.

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

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Amazon CA   |   Author Website

“Bad Girls from History: Wicked or Misunderstood?” by Dee Gordon

“Bad Girls from History: Wicked or Misunderstood?” by Dee Gordon

This book is another one of my forays into the quirky corners of history. Dee Gordon has compiled what seems to me to be a pretty comprehensive list of bad girls. The biographical sketches for each are short but very informative. The book is broken down into sections: Courtesans and Mistresses; Madams, Prostitutes and Adulterers; Serial Killers; “One-Off” Killers; Gangsters, Thieves and Con-Artists; The Rebel Collection. The author has collected stories of women going all the way back to biblical times and up to the 20th century. These bad girls come from all over the world, and all kinds of backgrounds. The author presents the historical facts of these women’s lives and then leaves it up to the reader to decide if they were truly wicked or just misunderstood. I found this book really enjoyable and easy to read.

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

Happy Reading!

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

“A Visitor’s Guide to Georgian England” by Monica Hall

“A Visitor’s Guide to Georgian England” by Monica Hall

Do you want to learn about life in Georgian England without picking up a history tome? Well, this book is your ticket. At 135 pages it’s not daunting but it is packed with information about how the Georgians lived. The author delivers the information to the reader as if the reader is preparing to time-travel to the 18th century. Each chapter covers a different aspect of life with topics such as Clothes & Beauty, Home & Work, Health & Medicine, Sports, Law & Order, How to Behave, Going to the Opera, and Gambling. She not explains how things how you can get in trouble with the law, but gives you background on how the law developed up to that point. There is much discussion in the book on how the Enlightenment affected the culture in England at the time. For a more casual reader of history, I think this is a great way to get to know the Georgians and the time-traveler aspect made it more fun to read. This is a fascinating time when the middle class was starting to develop, exploration of science and geography was in vogue and philosophy was beginning to reach the masses. Definitely worth the read!

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

Happy Reading!

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

“A Secret History of Brands” by Matt MacNabb

“A Secret History of Brands” by Matt MacNabb

The Dark and Twisted Beginnings of the Brand Names We Know and Love

Welcome to another quirky corner of history! Matt MacNabb takes the reader through the secret history of nine different well-known brands. He gives you the inside scoop on how these brands got started and the controversies that surrounded them. I found this book to be really fun to read, largely because it is so well written in way that is really engaging and informative. You’ll learn about the brands that marketed what today are illegal drugs. Some brands have a hidden history of involvement with the Nazi party. Along the way you will also discover the behind the scenes family dramas that influenced the development of various brands. All in all, this book is fun read with lots of fascinating historical moments.

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

Happy Reading!

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

“Educated: A Memoir” by Tara Westover

“Educated: A Memoir” by Tara Westover

A story that will move and enlighten you! Tara was raised by parents who live on the fringes of society. They are survivalists living at the base of a mountain in Idaho. They claimed they were homeschooling their children but the education they offered was little more than how to read and write. Tara did not enter a classroom until she was 17 and a freshman at Brigham Young University. To say she experienced culture shock would be an understatement. And few would think it possible that she would end up with a PhD from Cambridge University.

First, I love her writing style. The narrative is easy to read and flows very nicely without ever getting bogged down. I could hardly put this book down. Second, her story will pull at your emotions. Some scenes are disturbing but necessary to effective relating the story and the challenges, both physical and emotional that she had to overcome. Finally, I found this book to be inspiring. Tara comes to adulthood with the odds stacked against her but she has a determination which allows her to continually try again. Overall, I loved this book and highly recommend it.

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

Happy Reading!

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

“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!

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

“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!

Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Amazon Canada

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!

Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Amazon Canada