Tag: #nonfiction

“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

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“Childhood & Death in Victorian England” by Sarah Seaton – History Book Review

“Childhood & Death in Victorian England” by Sarah Seaton – History Book Review

When this book popped up on my TBR I couldn’t help but wonder what I was thinking when I picked out such a gory sounding book. But I read it anyway and it turns out to be a fascinating look at the potential pitfalls that children in Victorian England faced. The book is broken down into 5 chapters each covering a different “cause of death” including Industrial Mishaps, Accidents, Poverty and Health, Murder, and Infant Deaths. It was a bit surprising to me as read the different chapters that the only category that as a society we have really eliminated is Industrial Mishaps. We still see childhood deaths in the other 4 categories on a pretty regular basis, at least here in the U.S. I am constantly reminded, when reading history books, that the human struggles never really change, whether you’re talking about our vulnerability to disease or the presence of evil.

The author uses real stories to relate the conditions of the time and it was really interesting to see how far our culture has come in the last 200 years in some of the categories. Thank goodness we don’t have 8 year olds working in factories anymore. It’s also eye-opening to realize that the concept of a carefree childhood that we have today only existed for a very few in the Victorian period. The book is written in a way that is easily readable for anybody but I expect will be particularly interesting to those who enjoy social history or the Victorian period in particular.

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

Happy Reading!

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

“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

“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

“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!

To purchase on Amazon US, click here.

To purchase on Amazon UK, click here.

To view on Goodreads, click here.

“Children in the Second World War” by Amanda Herbert-Davies

“Children in the Second World War” by Amanda Herbert-Davies

This book, for me, was a real eye-opener. Being an American, born after the war I had no real understanding of what conditions were like in a country where the war was actually being fought. This book focuses on the experiences of children in Britain, and while I’ve seen movies and TV shows set during the period, it’s a whole different understanding when you hear (or read in this case) from the people who actually lived through it.

The book opens with the recollections of what children were thinking or doing when the war was announced and then moves on to talk about the evacuations, the bomb shelters, shortages, education, war efforts and culminates with thoughts on the end of the war. I think the author has done a fantastic job of weaving together the facts of the war and the thoughts and recollections of people who actually grew up during the war. There are stories from kids who thought that bombed out buildings were a great playground and those for whom the terror of air raids left them permanently traumatized. The various chapters present a comprehensive look at the living conditions during this time, from those who were evacuated to an idyllic countryside childhood to those who were in the heart of the bombing zones and spending their nights in shelters. I hope that reading this book will give people pause when considering the act of war because it is often the youngest among us who bear the brunt of such action. I highly recommend this book as I found it both informative and moving at the same time.

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

Happy Reading!

On Amazon US   |   On Amazon UK   |   On Goodreads