Book Review: 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann


Author: Charles C. Mann Title: 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus Narrator: Peter Johnson Publication Info: Minneapolis, Minn. : Highbridge Audio, p2005. Summary/Review: This book attempts to reconstruct what the world of the Native peoples of the Western Hemisphere was like before contact with the Europeans.  Often what the first conquerors and colonists saw was…

Book Review: The Great Bridge by David McCullough


Author:  David McCullough Title: The Great Bridge  Narrator: Nelson Runger Publication Info: Recorded Books (2006) Previously Read by the Same Author: John Adams, 1776, and The Wright Brothers Summary/Review: What’s the longest period that a book has been on your “to read” list before you actually read it?  For me, it may be 33 years as I got a copy…

Book Review: Who was Johnny Appleseed? by Joan Holub


Author:  Joan Holub Title: Who was Johnny Appleseed? Publication Info: New York : Grosset & Dunlap, c2005. Summary/Review: Another children’s biography that I read to my son that ended up teaching me about someone I knew little about.  John Chapman, Massachusetts born, moved to the frontier to raise apple orchards and sell seeds and seedlings to the…

Book Review: Who Was Neil Armstrong by Robert Edwards


Author:  Robert Edwards Title:  Who Was Neil Armstrong Publication Info:  New York, New York, USA : Grosset & Dunlap, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 2012. Summary/Review: My son and I enjoyed another “Who Was?” biography about the first person to set foot on the moon.  Armstrong was always a private person so he was harder…

Book Review: Feminism is for everybody : passionate politics by bell hooks


Author:  bell hooks Title: Feminism is for everybody : passionate politics Publication Info: Cambridge, MA : South End Press, c2000. Previously read by the same author:  All About Love: New Visions Summary/Review: This book is a short primer on feminism that bell hooks always wanted but had to write it since it didn’t exist.  hooks lays down…

Book Review: Amsterdam : a history of the world’s most liberal city by Russell Shorto


Author: Russell Shorto Title: Amsterdam : a history of the world’s most liberal city Narrator: Russell Shorto Publication Info: Random House Audio, 2013 Summary/Review: Shorto’s history of the Dutch city of Amsterdam is built on a principle that the city defines liberalism in both senses of the word.  There’s economic Liberalism – the principle of laissez-faire in free…

Book Review: Who Is Michelle Obama by Megan Stine


Author: Megan Stine Title:  Who Is Michelle Obama? Publication Info:  New York : Grosset & Dunlap, An Imprint of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., [2013] Summary/Review: My song picked out this children’s biography to read at bedtime from the Who was?/Who is? series and we both noted that despite her prominence, neither of us knew much about Michelle…

Book Review: Bitch Planet. Volume 1 Extraordinary Machine by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Valentine De Landro, Robert Wilson, and Taki Soma


Author:  Kelly Sue DeConnick, Valentine De Landro (Artist.), Robert Wilson (Artist.), Taki Soma (Artist.) Title: Bitch Planet. Volume 1 Extraordinary Machine Publication Info: Berkeley : Image Comics, 2015. Summary/Review: Writer Phillip Sandifer stated that this comic series is “most unapologetically social justice oriented book on the stands” so I thought I’d give it a try.  Bitch Planet…

The Comment Challenge (August)


I’m once again signing up for The Comment Challenge in August. I previously signed up for the July Comment Challenge, and here on July 1 I already have a comment from my partner! The basic gist is that participants are paired up to read and comment on each other’s blog.  That’s it, pretty simple!  I…

Book Review: A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn


Author: Howard Zinn Title: A People’s History of the United States Narrator: Jeff Zinn Publication Info: HarperAudio (2009) Other Books Read By Same Author: A People’s History of American Empire and Marx in Soho Summary/Review: This is a powerful “alternate” history of the United States that I’ve long intended to read but only just got around to…

Book Review: Who Was Davy Crockett? by Gail Herman


Author: Gail Herman Title:  Who Was Davy Crockett?  Publication Info:  Grosset & Dunlap (2013) Summary/Review: I read this children’s biography to my son.  I actually knew very little about Davy Crockett (who as we learn in the biography preferred to be called David) so it was interesting to read a book that focused on the…

Book Review: A History of Boston in 50 Artifacts by Joseph M. Bagley


Author: Joseph M. Bagley Title: A History of Boston in 50 Artifacts Publication Info:  Hanover ; London : University Press of New England, [2016] Summary/Review: A few years ago I listened to the brilliant podcast series A History of the World in 100 Objects presented by the BBC and the British Museum.  Joseph Bagley also listened…

Book Review: Ramona the Brave by Beverly Cleary


Author: Beverly Cleary Title: Ramona the Brave Narrator: Stockard Channing Publication Info: New York : Listening Library, 2007 (originally published in 1975) Books Read by the Same Author: Ramona and Her Father, Beezus and Ramona, and Ramona the Pest Summary/Review: Ramona is now in first grade, maturing away from being a “pest” but still finding trouble.  She also…

Book Review: We Love You, Charlie Freeman by Kaitlyn Greenidge


Author: Kaitlyn Greenidge Title: We Love You, Charlie Freeman Publication Info: Chapel Hill, North Carolina : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2016 Summary/Review: This book is difficult to describe in a few sentences.  The Freeman family moves from Dorchester to a rural town in Western Massachusetts where they will live in an apartment at the Toneybee Research Institute…

Book Review: Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary


Author: Beverly Cleary Title: Ramona the Pest Narrator: Stockard Channing Publication Info: HarperAudio (2010) – originally published in 1968 Books Read by the Same Author: Ramona and Her Father, Beezus and Ramona Summary/Review: In the second book of the Ramona series, Ramona begins kindergarten with much excitement, and while she’s eager to learn to read…

Book Review: Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary


Author: Beverly Cleary Title: Beezus and Ramona  Narrator: Stockard Channing Publication Info: HarperAudio (2010) – originally published in 1955 Books Read by the Same Author: Ramona and Her Father Summary/Review: This is the first in Cleary’s series of Ramona books.  I listened to it with my daughter at bedtime.  In many ways my four-year old daughter…

Book Review: Ramona and Her Father by Beverly Cleary


Author: Beverly Cleary Title: Ramona and Her Father Narrator: Stockard Channing Publication Info: New York : Listening Library/Random House Audio Publishing Group, p1991. Summary/Review: I sadly deprived myself of Beverly Cleary books as a child, so I’m making up for lost time.  In this Ramona Quimby book, her father is laid off meaning that Ramona spends more…

Book Review: Stuart Little by E.B. White


Author: E.B. White Title: Stuart Little Narrator: Julie Harris Publication Info: New York : Bantam Audio, p1965. Books Read By Same Author: Charlotte’s Web and Trumpet of the Swan Summary/Review: Listened to this audiobook on a road trip to New York City, appropriately enough.  The titular character is born in New York, surprising his human family by actually…

The Comment Challenge (July)


I signed up to participate in another challenge, this one called The Comment Challenge.  It will be running in June, July, and August this summer.  I missed sign ups for June, but signed up for July and probably will sign up for August as well. The basic gist is that participants are paired up to…

Book Review: Suicide Hotline Hold Music: Poems by Jessy Randall


Author: Jessy Randall Title: Suicide Hotline Hold Music: Poems Publication Info:  Red Hen Press, April 2016. Summary/Review: Jessy Randall, the Curator of Special Collections at Colorado College, and blogger at Library Shenanigans used her librarian skills to track me down and offer me free copies of her books in exchange for an honest review.  While I’ve never…