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November 28, 2022

 

“David and Goliath” by Malcom Gladwell Book Review

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qdx9NlMixtYsUZKUMESdt0SIvyOojisy/view?usp=sharing

This book contains stories about underdogs in life and each chapter offers an interesting new story, but Gladwell was, unfortunately, unable to connect the chapters together which weakened the overall plot of the book.


Born a Crime Book Review


“Atomic Habits” by James Clear Review

This is a podcast-style book review of “Atomic Habits” by James Clear.
He has studied habits for years and decided to show their significance through detailed explanations and real-world examples.
While reading this novel, I repeatedly saw the importance of patterns in my daily life and attempted to apply what I learned to make my habits more effective.

Ranger’s Apprentice: The Kings of Clonmel Book Review

The title of my book is “Ranger’s Apprentice: The Kings Of Clonmel”, by John Flanagan. John Flanagan won the “Australian Publisher Association’s Book Of The Year” and the “Older Children and the International Success Award”. His main genre of books are all fiction and they appeal towards teenagers and young adults. This book is a part of a twelve book series that was created for pure entertainment and thrills. I really enjoyed this book and have enjoyed this series so far. It has been very interesting and action packed.

This book starts off with the main character who is an apprentice to a ranger. A ranger is a skilled fighter that handles the most important missions assigned by the king. They keep the peace and they help barons to govern their fiefs and in the time of war, they provide battle tactics, strategies and lethal skill. It only takes a couple of these highly trained fighters to turn the tide of a battle or war. Their ingenuity and quick thinking helps outnumbered armies accomplish impossible feats. The book starts off with the main character going to a “Gathering”. A gathering is a meeting of all of the rangers in order to train new recruits, graduate young apprentices into full rangers, discuss what needs to be done to keep the kingdom safe, and discuss how to prevent wars. While there, the main character is expecting to meet his master, who is one of the most renowned rangers in the whole kingdom. He realizes that his master is not at the gathering and the chief ranger informs him that his master is on a secret and dangerous mission to get rid of a cult. 

I really enjoyed this book because right from the get-go, you are hit with an unexpected turn. It gets you thinking and wondering what is going to happen next. I found this to be very exciting because in only about 4 pages at the start of the book, it has a good way of making you feel the emotions of the characters. If you really love a book series like this one, you realize that over time, you build up an attachment to it. That is exactly what happened to me with this series. I felt the letdown that the main character felt when he found out that his master whom he looks up to as a father wasn’t there. I really like the way that these books are structured because you never know what is going to happen in the first few pages. It could be something that slowly eases you into the plot of the story, or it could just throw you right into something that you weren’t expecting like this book did for me. 

I have grown a deep connection with this book and the entire series. It always keeps you on your toes, it is filled with never ending mystery and action, and it makes you want to read more and never put the book down. I would recommend this to anyone who likes fictional books based around the Middle Ages, that are packed with adventure, action, war, politics, and comedy. This is a very well-rounded series, and I can’t wait to read the next book.


How Your Thumb is the key to the Galaxy – Book Review: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

If you are looking for a book that will make you chuckle while simultaneously giving you an existential crisis about your place in the universe, then Douglas Adams The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is for you. What began as a BBC Radio Series in 1979 became a worldwide sensation that continues to be enjoyed to this day. This review pertains to the first three books in the five part series: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, and Life, the Universe and Everything. The sci-fi series tackles all the absurd things that could be happening in the universe but that us “monkeys” are missing out on because we haven’t figured out that a cup of tea is the answer to space travel. Still don’t believe me? This series contains an immortal alien who has made it their task to insult every single sentient being, in alphabetical order. At the same time, however, the series tackles some very human issues: the search for purpose, for friendship, questioning what the future holds, and what time you’ll have lunch. These are just small glimpses into the galaxy that Douglas has expertly crafted. Douglas combines a deep analysis of the human psyche with a lighthearted comedy that just so happens to take place across the galaxy’s most extraordinary locations.

The story begins, like many others, with a man. That man is named Arthur Dent, and unbeknownst to him, the entirety of earth is to be demolished to make way for a hyperspace bypass. Before you start shrieking about why I am spoiling the entire novel, don’t. That information is printed front and center on the back of the book. Fortunately for Arthur, his oddball friend, Ford Perfect, is not from northern Britain, but from a completely different star system. Through an improbable but not impossible series of events, the two manage to escape the rest of humanity’s fate just because they stuck their thumb out and caught a ride.

On the other side of the universe, Zaphod Beeblebrox, the President of the universe, stole the Heart of Gold, a brand-new spaceship utilizing a revolutionary technology that allows it to completely bypass hyperspace, which had been the de-facto for decades. Technical jargon combined with a cup of tea is responsible for powering the entire spacecraft. Zaphod is looking for who really controls the universe, because he is sure it’s not himself, and he needs to know who is really pulling the strings. Why else would the President of the Universe steal the product of centuries of research?

These events coincide at the nick of time, and the two parties are united. Fortunately for Arthur, Zaphod and Ford are distant relatives. Joining Zaphod is Trillian McMillan, a stowaway from earth that Zaphod brought from a party on earth a few weeks prior. Realizing that Zaphod had visited Earth and had not at least said hi is a source of friction between him and Ford. Regardless, the story continues, following Arthur, Ford, Trillian, and Zaphod as they attempt to discover who truly controls the universe. 

Arthur, being a “earthman,” has a very difficult time adjusting to having everything he thought was true being torn up. Trillian, on the other hand, was tired of earth and the day to day, so it is a dream come true for her. However, Ford warns that, neglecting how large space is, the novelty wears off quick. Despite Ford’s warnings, the Universe seems big enough that just about every conceivable thing is possible. As the story progresses, they encounter a planetary architect who exclusively designs fjords, Marvin, an eternally depressed robot, a restaurant that allows its patrons to witness all of creation collapse, and a party that never ends and ravages an entire planet. Nothing is necessarily impossible in this universe, just improbable. The series follows this train of thought tightly through all of its novels. If you think of even the most absurd things, chances are that somewhere, someplace that thing happened. It’s a lot like the old saying about a million monkeys with a million typewriters will eventually write out all of Shakespeare’s works; the book believes that the universe works similarly, with a million planets and a million years.

The Guide is well engrained in culture today; many of its odd quips and quirks have weaseled their way into everyone’s heads. For instance, the fun fact that the number 42 is the final and ultimate answer to the question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. Many may know about this fact, despite the fact that they may have never read the book. The story has been referenced to from everything from search engines, video games, to an Eccentric Billionaire who launched his car into orbit around the sun. I’ve heard all about the series, but never read it; so I let my curiosity get the better of me and picked it up. I wondered if the book would be a par-for-the-course story that just happened to be stuffed with pop culture references. After reading it, I am happy to say that the first book is a lot more than just that, so don’t just write it off before reading it.

The first and second books, Hitchhiker’s Guide and Restaurant, are very accessible to any reader who wants to just pick up a good read. Hitchhikers is grounded by the fact that it’s characters face very human problems, despite at least half the cast not being human and very, very far from earth. It makes the characters relatable and likeable, and the book enjoyable and easy to read, because it begs the question, “What would I do if I were in their shoes?” The story brings up some deep questions, dabbles with them for a moment, comes out with an equally deep answer, then, in classic Douglas style, makes it the butt-end of a joke. The absurdity is fun, and the books revel in it; it is a comedy, after all. For example, the book recognizes that its main characters are virtually immortal and makes fun of this, listing out the probability, or more accurately, improbability of their survival in some situations. 

There is an important distinction to make. The third book departs from the precedent set and dives straight into the absurd. There are sections in Life, the Universe, and Everything that I recall that I needed to re-read multiple times because I simply did not understand what was going on. One of the large changes that may catch readers off guard is that the main cast is separated from one-another. This greatly changes the dynamic of the characters, and the characters can feel foreign at times. A reader needs to pay very close attention to the several branching plot lines and characters because the novel gets very complicated, very fast. The change in pace of the plot can be attributed to the time spent in between the release of this novel and the last, and later books in the series suffer from a similar problem. Instead of feeling like one, conclusive story from beginning to end, the third book feels like numerous disjointed stories jammed together. It is still an enjoyable read, because the good parts of the book only get better and more interesting. However, the changes can be quite jarring. It’s everything that is in between the good moments gets harder to enjoy.

The titular topic of the book is right up my alley, I am completely obsessed with space and everything that could be happening out there right under our noses. The Hitchhikers Guide attempts to demonstrate just one of the many possibilities in a satirical way, and despite my adoration of space as well as the book’s presence in culture, I am not forcing myself to enjoy it. I simply am. Most readers will be able to find something from themselves within Arthur, in Ford, in Trillian, maybe even in the eccentric Zaphod. For example, I reckon I would probably be acting a lot like Arthur, asking so many questions that I would risk being thrown overboard. At the same time, however, I might also possess the childlike curiosity that Trillian exhibits at the wonders and technology that the universe can present. Zaphod’s burning desire to discover the truth will resonate with other readers, as will Ford’s quick thinking and problem-solving skills. I just really hope that no one feels like Marvin the Robot. Regardless of whatever you go into this series looking for, whether that be a high stakes sci-fi adventure, a comedy, or just trying to figure out why everyone is talking about the number 42, you will certainly leave the book with more than you came in. With all that said, if you want to just jump into the series, I highly recommend reading the first two books. If you find yourself having a good time and are still curious about how their adventures continue, give the rest of the series a shot!


Book Review: To Your Eternity

As the renowned author of A Silent Voice, Yoshitoki Oima brings yet another masterpiece to the table. In contrast to her previous work, this title delves more into the future rather than the past.  The fantasy To Your Eternity , originally titled “To You, the Immortal,” is the first graphic novel of 16 volumes, and is currently still ongoing.  If you’re already familiar with Oima’s works, you know that this series will bring you on a rollercoaster of emotions- and not the happy kind, either. To Your Eternity appeared as one of the best Shonen series of 2017 and was awarded at the Japan Expo Awards with the 2018 Best New Series daruma. 

The book starts us off with a nameless character- a white orb cast down on to earth, created by a God.  Fushi (meaning immortal), the main character, starts out emotionless but develops a self as he interacts with the world around him.  He first takes the shape of a rock in an arctic-like area and is able to take on the forms of dying animals in his proximity.  The first victim of this series is an arctic wolf.  As it lay down dying, Fushi morphed into the animal.  Through various means, Fushi was able to obtain the body of a young white-haired boy.  Unable to drink or eat, Fushi dies several times before he meets a five year old named March.  This whole ordeal was just the prologue- from here, the story truly begins to flesh out.   

To Your Eternity explores what it truly means to be human and explores the bonds that we create with one another.  As Fushi travels, he learns to speak and interact with humans.  The story may seem simple at first, but it also covers darker topics, such as loss of loved ones and mental health.  I believe this is how Oima’s grandmother inspired this piece- Oima wanted to find answers in her death, and wrote this story as a way to explore death and the meaning of life.

This novel really manages to capture emotion and make you attached to the characters, even if you just meet them for a few minutes.  I find the masterfully written characters to be the most beautiful part of the book and its overall theme of life and death. I recommend this book if you’re looking for something to cry to in the middle of the night. Perhaps you may discover a thing or two about life yourself while reading. 


Book Review: Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion

Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion by Greg Boyle, is a book that falls under the Christian Literature genre. Boyle has won many awards not for writing this book, but for what he does that he wrote the book about. The awards were the Civic Medal of Honor from the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, the California Peace Prize granted by the California Wellness Foundation, the Lifetime Achievement Award from MALDEF, and the James Irvine Foundation’s Leadership Award. He was named Humanitarian of the Year by Bon Appetit magazine in 2007. He was inducted into the California Hall of Fame in 2011. He was awarded the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Whittier College in 2014. Then he won 2016 Humanitarian of the Year by the James Beard Foundation. There are a few more awards that he has won all for his dedicated service to his community. Anyway, back to the context of the book. This book is about the organization that Boyle created to help provide jobs, job training, and encouragement to young gang members so that they can work together. And learn the mutual respect that comes from collaboration. After reading this book, I thought it was a pretty great read but it does get pretty repetitive. To me, it almost seemed like the same thing was happening in every chapter but in different stories. The book definitely has a great meaning behind it.

Father Boyle was a preacher in the Dolores Mission Church in one of the poorest, if not the poorest, parts of the city of Los Angeles. He discusses the amount of gang violence that he witnessed. That’s what he based the book Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion on. He explains the interactions he has had with all the youth and gang members over the years. He sets this book up so that each chapter is a new interaction that he has had with either current or former gang members and explains what he learned from that experience. A theme that shows up a lot in the book is this idea of kinship. “You stand with the least likely to succeed until success is succeeded by something more valuable: kinship. You stand with the belligerent, the surly, and the badly behaved until bad behavior is recognized for the language it is: the vocabulary of the deeply wounded and of those whose burdens are more than they can bear.” He explains how important connections are in this book. Everybody needs somebody that they can rely on, trust. He also focuses on how we should live like God. We need to show compassion to each other to better society. “Compassion isn’t just about feeling the pain of others; it’s about bringing them in toward yourself. If we love what God loves, then, in compassion, margins get erased. ‘Be compassionate as God is compassionate,’ means the dismantling of barriers that exclude.”

I believe that this book has some great meaning and it’s one that everybody should read. The themes in the book are things that we should learn as a society and I think it’s great to hear the stories of those that were struggling or are struggling with gang involvement. He focuses a lot on connections, compassion, and love for others. The only issue I have with the book is that almost the same thing was talked about in each chapter. This book is really one of those that you have to pay close attention to in order to really see the difference in the chapters but once read closely, is a terrific book. 

This is a great book for all to read. When reading this book, make sure you really understand the point of each chapter. That will really help you get the most out of the true meaning of what Father Boyle wants us to get out of it. Overall, it is a great read and it is cool to hear the stories that he tells about his interactions with the gang members.


“Room” Book Review

Emma Donoghue’s intriguing book, Room is narreated by the main character Jack, who is only 5.  This book is a powerful story of a mother and son whose love lets them survive the impossible. Emma Donoghue really embraced the young character of Jack in her writing. Jack and his Ma live in what they call “Room”. Room is all Jack knows, he was born and grew up only knowing Room. Room is home to Jack but to Ma it’s where she has been imprisoned by Old Nick for 7 years. Ma has tried to make the best life for Jack but knows that’s not enough. She wants Jack to grow up like a normal kid. 

Emma Donoghue gave an interview to The Guardian, in which she said that her story was inspired by the true story of Elisabeth Fritzl. Elisabeth Fritzl is a woman who was held captive by her father, Josef Fritzl, for 24 years. In the book we go on a journey while Ma is coming up with a bold escape plan. This plan relies on Jack, her young son and his bravery. 

For more background information I found Emma Donoghue’s website talking about all her books. For each of her books she includes a personal note, for Room she says “Room was inspired by having kids; the locked room is a metaphor for the claustrophobic, tender bond of parenthood. I borrowed observations, jokes, kid grammar and whole dialogues from our son Finn, who was five while I was writing it”. Hearing the background of the book can help us as readers understand and feel more connected to the story. 

This whole story was told from 5 year old Jack, Donoghue did a great job connecting her readers to the young boy. Readers get the full perspective of how Jack feels during the book and can see the confusion he has when Ma tells him about the outside world. Room is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to go through a journey from one world to another. 


Book review of The Time Keeper

Mitch Albom’s novel The Time Keeper is a journey of the relationship we have with time. The author, Mitch Albom is an accredited sports writer but also works in many other genres and has sold over 39 million of his books. Many of Alboms books take on interesting and unique topics that most authors don’t tend to tackle. In The Time Keeper Albom bridges the concept of time, mainly through the well-known figure of Father Time. You follow three perspectives, Father Time who is known as Dor, a teenager named Sarah Lemon, and an old businessman Victor. You follow their relationship with time and how they are constantly changing what they want from it. I was drawn in by this book. The concept of time and Alboms take and commentary on it was extremely fascinating. 

In the beginning, we are introduced to three children that are from a time long before our own. Alli, Dor, and Nim. All of them were extremely different but Dor was one fascinated by a concept that had not been discovered in his time. He would spend his day counting and making contraptions that would track the sunlight and water. We find out later that the concept that he was tracking was time. Soon we switch perspectives to Sarah Lemon who is a teenager and is constantly switching between asking for more time or less time. Similar to Sarah our other character Victor switches for more or less time but not for the same reasons as her. Through the book, you will follow those three’s journeys and how time plays an important role in who they are. 

I found this book fascinating. The idea of how time has affected humans more than any other being was startling. We are the only ones who track time so closely with many forms of clocks. Our days revolve around schedules and routines that are highly affected by the ticks of a mechanical hand. Our reliance on knowing what time it is so that we “aren’t late” or “are early”. How we make important decisions and events based on what time it is. Time is a crutch to us and it is something we rely on way too much. 

Another concept that I found entrancing in the book is how much we beg for time to move slower and/ or faster. The rate that time moves at never seems to be enough. Whether our life is fast-paced or slow it seems like times speed always is a struggle for people. Begging for more time with a family member or less time in a boring class. We talk to time as if it is a sentient being that can walk on its hamster wheel faster. 

Alboms commentary on Time in the form of this multi-perspective novel was enticing. It drew me in with its complex concepts and its use of different ages. I loved how the story followed many people supporting Albom’s idea of how everyone has a crutch on time, from the way it rules over our decision-making, to how we beg it for a different pace.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13624688-the-time-keeper

 https://www.amazon.com/Time-Keeper-Mitch-Albom/dp/0316311537


Descent of Angels

Descent of Angels by Mitchel Scanlon is a book in the Horus Heresy series. It focuses on the first of the 20 Space Marines Legions, the “Dark Angels.” Unlike the other Horus Heresy books, Descent of Angels doesn’t mention the heresy at all and describes the formation of the 1st legion, The Dark Angels. I think that even though it doesn’t mention the heresy and the writing isn’t always the best, it has its moments, and it’s good at explaining the lore of the Dark Angels.

As I mentioned, Descent of Angels isn’t about the Horus Hersey, a prelude to the current storyline of Game Workshops Warhammer 40,000 game despite being part of the series. Descent of Angels is set primarily on Caliban, a planet that is a fantasy medieval-like planet despite the Science Fiction setting. Before the Emperor came, there were knightly orders that, after he arrived, evolved into their legion. 

The book wasn’t horrible, but at the same time, it wasn’t my least favorite book in the Horus Heresy Series. The book seemed to be just a several chapter-long training session, one chapter of exciting action, another several chapter-long training session that was almost the same as the first, and then a couple of outstanding action-packed chapters.


Book Review; The Industrialization of Soviet Russia

The Industrialization of Soviet Russia was written by R.W. Davies, a lead professor for Soviet and eastern studies at the university of Glasgow during the 1960s. While the book is certainly not for everyone, I found thorough enjoyment of it after the first couple of chapters. Those who are interested in alternative forms of economies and political systems however, this book certainly is for. While one may expect a book like this to be intensely dry, I personally found it to feel less like a text book history and more like a flowing story of a developing land. The book contains minimal charts and graphs and instead focuses on the attitudes of the government and the people. 

The largest detriment to this book and the reader’s enjoyment of it would of course be the lack of narrative. Being an analytical book we follow the story of Russia as a whole starting where else but the year of the Soviet revolution.  The book is likely at its driest and toughest to get through here. None of the brutality or cutthroat nature of Soviet politics revealed itself at this point. 

The next few chapters of the book begin to focus on the development from farmland to industrial land. Here the story starts to pick up as we start to see many different figures and opinions forming within the USSR. After Lenin’s death the book begins to go in depth into Trotsky vs. Stalin and everyone in between. The power struggle for the industrialization of the union has begun.

Once this power struggle and the paranoia of the Soviet Union is put on display within the book, for me at least it became captivating. All the while you learn fascinating bits of information about the Soviet Union such as their incredibly open LGBTQ laws during the time of Lenin and how this factored into industrialization.  And in addition to this the method in which a country can truly go from a struggling and cold wasteland shattered by a civil war to a rival power to the United States. 

Easily the best chapter of the book for me was the post Stalin chapters. It discussed the effects which were very real and visible across the union. A science sector that sent the first rocket into space 40 years after the country was torn by civil war and a World War which claimed millions. The development of many Soviet attitudes and the effects of the often brutal and no compromise policies of people like Stalin and Lenin. 

In conclusion, this book certainly has its dry and tough to get through parts; however, pushing past these reveals a deep and fascinating book for anyone interested in the Soviet Union or anything relating to that area. It certainly read more as a scientific text to begin with, but as the book goes on you can see the stories of those in charge of the USSR throughout history unfold in front of you. 


Song of Achilles Book Review

The 2011 novel, Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller is a retelling of the well known Greek iliad of Achilles written from the perspective of his companion and lover, Patroclus. Song of Achilles itself is a stand alone novel. With an Orange Prize in Fiction and a place on the New York Times #1 Best Seller list, Miller’s writing speaks for itself. Miller’s elegant and capturing writing can pull any type of reader in. 

The story starts with the young Greek prince, Patroclus. Though it is not long before Patroclus makes an irreversible mistake and kills a boy from a noble family. With this he is exiled to Phthia. In his time here he grows to befriend Achilles. As they grow their bond only deepens. They go on together to fight in Troy. But, Achilles’ own ego and prophecy for greatness leads him astray. Ultimately, Achilles’ ego and Patroclus’ love for him, lead the two to their own bitter end. 

As someone who has read my own fair share of books I can confidently say that this book has been my favorite of all thusfar. I also find myself to be a rather picky reader but I was sucked into this book from the very first page. Miller’s writing is some of the best I’ve seen. Poetic but yet not incomprehensible. Even the most simple lines have stayed my favorite quotes from the book. Such lines might include, “I feel like I could eat the world raw.”. So simple yet so vast.

Miller draws you into this retold love story with wonderful lines like, “I could recognize him by touch alone, by smell; I would know him blind, by the way his breaths came and his feet struck the earth. I would know him in death, at the end of the world.”. And even if you’re not one for romance the novel has its own fair share of adventure and tribulations. It is hard not to be pulled into this epic.

With this tale we can be left to consider as well; how does greed consume a person? And how does grief do it just as well? Is love stronger than greed? Or is it regret that triumphs? I find that the greatest books leave you with the strongest emotions and questions. And Miller does just this, skillfully, and elegantly. No matter the reader, Miller can effectively pull anyone into this longlived tale with her beautiful writing and storytelling.


“Ala’s Story” Book Review

I chose “Ala’s Story” totally at random. I woke up, went “oh shoot, Mr. Sloan wanted us to have a nonfiction book today!,” and grabbed the only nonfiction book I could find. However, this choice ended up a happy accident, as the book is a really fun exploration of one woman’s remarkable life. This book isn’t my absolute favorite, but I like it for what it is, which is maybe not the most sophisticated piece of writing in the library but is a walk through the crazy interesting life of Ala, the author. We follow her through a tough childhood being shipped across 3 continents, separated from her father after the Russians took Poland in WWII, to her whirlwind life working in hospitality in Africa. This is quite the set of life experiences, and she’s picked up plenty of interesting anecdotes about the animals, the people, and what it was like to live in colonial Africa. Throughout the book, it’s clear that Ala isn’t the most sophisticated writer, nor the most experienced, but her connection to the material is clear. The impact that this life has had on her is obvious, and you can feel her emotions in the vulnerable parts of the story. An example of this is a passage where she writes, “By now I had fallen madly in love with Africa. I felt that I would never be able to leave. It was so totally different to any of the places from my childhood.” While the grammar is simple, its directness helps the raw emotion behind her writing to come out, and this is where the book really shines. For someone who needs to be intellectually challenged with their literature, this may not be the book for you, but if you come for the story, I’m sure you’ll love it.

My audio book review.

“Born a Crime” by Trevor Noah

This book was a part of the summer reading list and the back story was very interesting and intriguing. After reading many positive reviews and people raving on and on about the book, I decided to give it a go and read Trevor Noah’s memoir “Born a Crime,” and I am glad I did because it did not disappoint. This book has two of my favorite aspects to find in a book, history, and a first-person perspective. I loved not only learning more about the war and life under apartheid but also having a character take me through their life in the story to further understand the reality of the event.

This book is about Trevor Noah’s life growing up in South America neither white nor black but mixed under apartheid. He learns that he is different and how to navigate life with the privilege he has. He learns how to navigate under apartheid and embraces his rich black culture from his mom’s side and how to overcome the barrier of being, mixed. He learns how to navigate and interact while under the pressures of apartheid.

This book is in first-person point of view and is written in past tense but eluding to the emotions and details that were in the past events and interactions he has. In this book, every couple of chapters had a history outline of the historical figure or event that he mentioned in the previous chapter while still maintaining his voice and tone in this section. An example of this was after chapter 3 talking about the importance of language in his culture, “The great thing about language is that you can just as easily use it to do the opposite: convince people that they are the same. Racism teaches us that we are different because of the color of our skin. But because racism is stupid, it’s easily tricked the fact that he can’t speak like you reinforces your racist preconceptions: He’s different, less intelligent. A brilliant scientist can come over from the border from Mexico to live in America. but if he speaks in broken English, people say, ‘Eh, I don’t trust this guy.’” Throughout even his historical explanations and outlines in the book, Noah is able to maintain his voice and uses his diction to explain the importance to readers and help them further understand.

I highly recommend this book to take a deeper dive into the life of America’s favorite reporters. This book is not only educational but takes you into Noah’s life, giving you first-hand experience under the life of Apartheid and the struggles he faced. This book is a 10/10 I highly recommend!!!


Zodiac Book Review

Zodiac by Robert Graysmith is a perfect book for curiosity surrounding the Zodiac killer. The intense, frightening background of the killer makes the book what it is. The way the author takes you through the timeline of the Bay Area’s unknown killer is dark and addicting. The author gets you hooked on this mystery using his own fears and emotions at the time to draw you in. The book begins with the Zodiac’s first confirmed kill and you follow along as Graysmith presents evidence, conspiracies, and interviews from the people who had any sort of connection to the case. The book’s writing is emotional and chilling because the author lived through the Zodiac’s reign of terror. Graysmith was a cartoonist at the San Francisco Chronicle when the first letter arrived. Graysmith recalls the time he read the letter where the killer claimed he would attack a school bus with children in it, “Schoolchildren make nice targets. I think I shall wipe out a school bus some morning. Just shoot out the front tire and then pick off the kiddies as they come bouncing out”. This quote wasn’t made public until years later. The detective at the time, Dave Toschi kept it confidential not to disturb the community more than it had been. This is just one of the many disgusting and terrifying things the Zodiac claimed he would do or had already done. Graysmith took matters into his own hands and decided to carry-out his own investigation. He was able to get his hands on whatever the police departments had and more. Without his individual search for the killer, quite a lot of information about the killer wouldn’t have been found for a while or at all.  This book is great for true-crime and mystery lovers. For those who are intrigued by how the killer’s identity has gone without 100% confirmation for over 50 years, this book will increase your interest immensely.


“A Moveable Feast” Review

This is a podcast-style review of “A Moveable Feast” by Ernest Hemingway.

In this book, Hemingway recounts his time in Paris, France between World War 1 and World War 2.

In the first chapter, he describes his life then by saying, “You belong to me and all Paris belongs to me and I belong to this notebook and this pencil.”

This book changed the way I see writing.

I recommend it to anyone interested in the life of the author or any of his relationships, or who just would like a short, good read.

I’ve also set the background as “La Vie en Rose,” a french song that I think encompasses the theme of the book.

https://www.youthvoices.live/tag/book-review/