Category: memoir

Reading about the Environment: The Book of Hope and Diary of a Young Naturalist

This year I signed up for a challenge to read more books about the environment (hosted by Gum Trees and Galaxies).  I haven’t read too many yet this year, but I read these two in June and July and it made sense to write about them together. Both books are pretty impossible to “review” in…

Review: Mala’s Cat by Mala Kacenberg

In some ways, every Holocaust story is like every other: the horrors endured, the unbelievable cruelty, watching family members die, and having to make unimaginable decisions to survive. But in other ways, every Holocaust story is unique, as is this one. Born in 1927 in Tarnograd, Poland, Mala had a happy childhood until 1939, when…

Review: The Puma Years by Laura Coleman

I loved this memoir about Coleman’s time working in a wildlife sanctuary in Bolivia. It was completely different from anything I’ve read before, and I enjoy reading about people who do things that I’ll never have the courage to do.  In her early twenties, Coleman quit her job in England and backpacked around Bolivia. Wanting to do…

Review: Garlic and Sapphires, the Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise by Ruth Reichl

I’m reading Reichl’s life backwards.  Last year I read the excellent Save Me the Plums, so this year I decided to go back to her previous book, about her work as the restaurant critic for the New York Times.  And while I enjoyed this one a bit less, Reichl is still an engaging and thoughtful…

Review: Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want to Come by Jessica Pan

This book is Pan’s memoir of a year when she decided to challenge herself to live like an extrovert.  She explains that there’s nothing wrong with being an introvert, only she’s an excessively shy one (a “shintrovert” as she calls herself), which means she’s probably missing out on friendships and career opportunities by not engaging…

Review: Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

I picked up this book partly because I saw Zauner interviewed on the Daily Show, and partly because it was recommended in Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Summer Reading Guide. I was intrigued by the title and the subject — it’s a book about family and loss, about being biracial and the daughter of an immigrant, and…

November Wrap-Up and Mini-Reviews

I spent a lot of time this month participating in Nonfiction November, so I thought instead of the usual monthly wrap-up I’d post some mini-reviews instead. These three books address issues related to science, religion, and the intersection of the two. I recommend all three.  The Story of More by Hope Jahren (audio by the author):…

Review: Popular by Maya Van Wagenen

I’ve been recommending this book a lot lately, especially to my friends with daughters.  There aren’t that many books out there that feel fresh and original, and this one did.  First, a major disclaimer: I am NOT the target audience for this book.  It’s a bit hard to fairly review a book written by a…