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Showing posts from December, 2015

I Had to Survive: How a Plane Crash in the Andes Inspired My Calling to Save Lives by Roberto Canessa and Pablo Vierci

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I Had to Survive: How a Plane Crash in the Andes Inspired My Calling to Save Lives by Roberto Canessa and Pablo Vierci


                I was familiar with the story of the Uruguayan Rugby team that crashed in the Andes after watching the movie Alive years ago. I remember thinking after the movie ended how one could possibly go on living any semblance of a normal life after being in such a horrendous situation for over two months. Watching your friends die, having to eat their bodies to survive and the constant fear. It would take an unimaginable amount of strength to survive and then even more to continue to live. When I first ran across this title I was intrigued and ultimately overjoyed. Here was proof that someone could survive and not only continue living but use that strength to help others survive. I Had to Survive: How a Plane Crash in the Andes Inspired My Calling to Save Lives is well written memoir by Roberto Canessa who was 19 years old when his plane crashed in the Andes Mo…

Florynce “Flo” Kennedy: The Life of a Feminist Black Radical by Sherie M. Randolph

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Florynce “Flo” Kennedy: The Life of a Feminist Black Radical by Sherie M. Randolph

                I love reading a biography that does more than just educate, instead it enlightens, broadens perspectives and changes the way certain segments of history are viewed. This biography of Florynce Kennedy is a great example of this type of biography. It is well written, narrated and honest about the life of a black feminist radical. Her story takes readers through many different pivotal moments throughout history and readers are exposed to the many injustices imposed on women, the Black community and both fights for equality.                 A simple narrative worked beautifully for this biography because Florynce Kennedy lived such a long and complex life. Her grandparents on both sides had been enslaved and at a young age, Kennedy saw her own parents threatened by members of the white community around her and they didn’t back down. Watching her parents stand tall in the face of discriminati…

In The Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin by Erik Larson

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In The Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin by Erik Larson

                Imagine the year is 1933 and you have just been sent to Berlin as America’s Ambassador to Germany. You have brought your wife and two grown children. You have loved Germany since attending school there years prior and have looked forward to returning. You’ve heard rumors of Hitler’s regime and how they are dealing with the Jewish problem, but you don’t have any reason to believe that this is more than hearsay. You arrive and see the pomp and circumstance that surrounds Hitler and his followers. You grow to realize that everything is not as it seems. American civilians are being attacked and the German soldiers involved are not being punished. Other things also catch your attention like the incident your daughter witnessed where a woman was stripped of her clothing, beaten, and paraded in the streets for having a relationship with a Jewish man. Time passes and you become d…

The Oregon Trail: An American Journey by Rinker Buck

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The Oregon Trail: An American Journey by Rinker Buck


                Rinker Buck and his brother Nick took three mules and covered wagon across The Oregon Trail in 2011. They were the first people to cross the trail in a covered wagon in over a century. The trials and tribulations they experienced were similar to those of the pioneers of the 1800’s: questionable craftsmanship of the wagon, a constant search for water, handling mules across varying terrains and weather. In this day and age the trail wasn’t exactly like the trail of the 1840’s. Now there was plenty of state sanctioned land and corrals for camping, friendly “trail families” along the way that offered showers, food and a dry place to sleep. The brothers were determined to cross the trail without motored assistance and they did. They took part in a journey that many could only dream of but never comprehend. A journey through a huge part of American history.                 Oh, The Oregon Trail. The first images that come to…

Alexander McQueen: Blood Beneath the Skin by Andrew Wilson

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Alexander McQueen: Blood Beneath the Skin by Andrew Wilson

                I’ve always found Alexander McQueen fascinating. I wasn’t overly aware of his work before he passed but I was aware of some of his designs and was a fan of what I had seen. His suicide sent shock waves through the fashion world and it was then that I became more aware of the impact he had on fashion and the theatricality he brought to the runway. As sometimes happens after someone famous passes, Alexander McQueen became the hot topic and his fashion was thrust into the spotlight. It wasn’t until reading this biography I learned more about the man who was born Lee Alexander McQueen and how the way he lived his life and the clothes he created changed the way many saw fashion.                 Alexander McQueen was very complex. He was a gay fashion designer that struggled with his appearance and his confidence. He had been sexually abused, would later be diagnosed with HIV, did drugs, drank alcohol and had been in …

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

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Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

                When I begin reading a biography there are a few things I am looking for right off the back: authenticity because the book needs to be well researched, a sense of depth because I ultimately want to understand and appreciate the people I am reading about and (most importantly) an unbiased author. Steve Jobs nailed every single one of these on the head. After years of research, interviews with not only Steve Jobs himself, but his family, colleagues and even Bill Gates, Steve Jobs feels like a completed and honest biography about a man who revolutionized the way we use technology.                 Based on this biography I can easily conclude that Steve Jobs was an extremely complicated man and the few things that I knew about him before reading this book, paled in comparison to the truth. Isaacson covered Jobs abandonment issues from being adopted, his awareness of being smarter than his parents at a young age and how that affected his mentali…

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

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The Maze Runner by James Dashner

                Thomas was jilted awake, with no memory of anything but his name. The walls surround him and he could feel the lift taking him higher. He came out of what the boys called “the box.” He was the newbie, the greenbean. There were boys who had been in the Glade for two years. Every month they got a new boy in the box. He would have to pitch in so there would still be order. He would stay away from the doors. The Glade was enclosed by four humongous, ancient walls. Outside those walls was a maze that none of the Runners could solve. In that maze were the Grievers. No one had lasted a night in the maze after the doors closed. The Grievers were keeping them in but the maze would be their only way out.                 You have no idea how hard it was for me to write that small blurb about this book. No idea what so ever. I really wanted to like this book. I went into reading this book convinced that I would really like it. The premise was amazin…