Category: Just Read

Just Read: The Mirage Factory by Gary Krist @garykrist @CrownPublishing

The Mirage Factory Book Review On Novels And Nonfiction

I came across The Mirage Factory while looking for nonfiction books to include in my May 2018 Book Releases post. It was interest at first sight. I’ve lived in Los Angeles for over 10 years now and yet I felt that there was a lot I didn’t know about the city’s history. The idea of being able to learn more about such a crucial period in the metropolis’ development was immediately intriguing.

I ended up discovering a new favorite nonfiction writer. Krist was able to interview four different stories (LA’s, Mulholland’s, Griffith’s and Semple McPherson’s) into a single convincing narrative, and that’s darned impressive. It might help to love LA when reading this book, but I think it’s a good fit for anyone who likes historical nonfiction.

Just Read: Educated by Tara Westover (Audiobook Review) @tarawestover @randomhouse

Educated Audiobook Review On Novels And Nonfiction

Educated is one of those memoirs that is able to bridge the gap into nonfiction for people who typically only read fiction. As for other memoirs, the personal nature of the story is what makes it more accessible to those who don’t normally delve into nonfiction. Westover’s memoir in particular, however, is so unbelievable in its extremity that it often actually reads like fiction.

That is why there has been so much buzz about this title in the book blogging world – it really crosses the lines between genres in a way that makes it universally appealing. It’s sort of the ultimate redemption story. I listened to the audiobook version and found it a very powerful delivery, though a few times I found myself mouth-agape in my car, in disbelief at what I was listening to. Find out more of my thoughts on the memoir in my full review.

Just Read: I Should Have Honor by Khalida Brohi @KhalidaBrohi @randomhouse

I Should Have Honor Book Review On Novels And Nonfiction

The title I’m reviewing today – I Should Have Honor by Khalida Brohi – was one of my selections for my September 2018 post on new releases that I was excited about. I’ve been trying to read books on the experience of women living in Middle Eastern (and adjacent) countries, all of which have been equal parts upsetting and inspiring.

My plan is to eventually to put together a book list of these titles – mostly memoirs – and to include I Should Have Honor in that list. I didn’t want to wait till then to review Khalida Brohi’s memoir, however, both because it was a Net Galley ARC and because I wanted to give you insight into my thoughts on it sooner.

Just Read: The Book Of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir @MeghanWeir

The Book Of Essie Book Review On Novels And Nonfiction

I selected The Book Of Essie as my June 2018 Book Of The Month pick, and then added two more books to my shipment for that month – The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang and a copy of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’ve read and absolutely loved Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine (my rave review here). I just added it to my June Book Of The Month box so I could have a hardcover copy of the novel at home, since I originally read it as a library ebook.

Since I ended up DNFing The Kiss Quotient only 4 or 5 chapters in (unreadable for me because of the cringe-worthy romance novel writing), I decided to just review The Book Of Essie as a stand alone post instead of putting together a whole June 2018 Book Of The Month post.

The Book Of Essie made up for my not being able to get through The Kiss Quotient. It was a complex novel that captivated my interest with an original premise and enough plot twists to keep me reading. See why I gave it 4 stars in my review.

Just Read: The Seclusion by Jacqui Castle @JCastleWrites @Inkshares

The Seclusion Book Review 1

I had a lot of new novels to choose from when I was picking five fiction titles to include in my September Book Releases post, and The Seclusion was a relatively unlikely candidate. It’s a debut novel from a new author but has been racking up positive reviews on Goodreads and had what I felt was going to be a captivating and currently relevant premise.

Turns out I was right! I found reading The Seclusion equal parts fun and disturbing. The dystopian future in which the narrative is set is plausible enough and sufficiently related to our current political situation to be extra creepy. The book ends with a final cliff-hanger that left me wanting more. Read my full review to find out why.

Just Read: Review Of Leonardo da Vinci by @WalterIsaacson @simonschuster

Leonardo Da Vinci Book Review On Novels And Nonfiction

For an Italian, and especially a Milanese like I am, Leonardo da Vinci is kind of the ultimate cultural symbol. It’s true that he was born in Florence and spent part of his life there, but he also lived for multiple years at different points of his life in my hometown of Milan. While in Milan, under the protection either of the Sforza family or the conquering French, Leonardo had a significant impact on the city, from it’s canals to its artistic heritage.

Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs has been gathering dust on my shelf for a while now (I’ll get to it eventually), but when I learned he had published a biography of Leonardo da Vinci, I immediately felt drawn to reading it. The biography was wonderful (full review below) and it was such a great coincidence that I finished it just ahead of my yearly summer trip to Milan. You pretty much can’t round a corner in Milan without happening upon a Leonardo da Vinci exhibit or one of his works. I’m sharing some images from the Leonardo3 exhibit I attended a few days ago that featured spell-binding re-imaginings of some of the designs Leonardo left us for machines he envisioned.

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