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Rock Stars on the Record by Eric Spitznagel

Rock Stars on the Record by Eric Spitznagel


Rock Stars on the Record: The Albums That Changed Their Lives by Eric Spitznagel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher, HighBridge Audio, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

What’s a song that changed your life? One that moved you, inspired you, broke down a wall within you and helped you grow? What song can bring back a memory as sharp as a snapshot, bringing you back to a time and place and smell and one prismatic moment any time you hear the first notes playing through a speaker? I don’t think any other art form on the planet can so deeply evoke sense memories and wildly variant emotions that music. While I love books with every fiber of my being, it’s music that has the most power to move me. And I think this is true for far more people than realize it. Music is the language of the soul, and it’s fascinating to see what speaks to the hearts of different people. Especially those who move others with their own music.

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Book Review: Why She Wrote by Hannah K. Chapman and Lauren Burke, Illustrated by Kaley Bales

Book Review: Why She Wrote by Hannah K. Chapman and Lauren Burke, Illustrated by Kaley Bales


Why She Wrote: A Graphic History of the Lives, Inspiration, and Influence Behind the Pens of Classic Women Writers by Lauren Burke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher, Chronicle Books, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Why She Wrote is not a book I would have stumbled upon without NetGalley, and I would have been missing out. This collection of graphic biographies takes 18 women who wrote and, in sets of three, seeks to illuminate their lives and motivations just the tiniest bit. I really like the way this is presented. Each author gets a page-long bio, followed by a short comic answering the titular question of why she wrote, and finished off with a list of published works and important facts. It reminded me of Rejected Princesses, though I can see where it would have even more in common with Monster, She Wrote, which I have yet to read.

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Book Review: Hollywood Park by Mikel Jollett

Book Review: Hollywood Park by Mikel Jollett

I have a Booktube channel now! Subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/petrikleo

Hollywood Park: A Memoir by Mikel Jollett

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Standalone

Genre: Non-fiction, Memoir

Pages: 384 pages (Hardcover)

Published: 26th May 2020 by Celadon Books


A heartbreaking and beautifully written memoir.

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Book Review: Kitchen Confidential, by Anthony Bourdain

Book Review: Kitchen Confidential, by Anthony Bourdain


Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am not, nor have I ever been, a foodie. I wish I was. I wish I had a more adventurous palette that loved encountering new things. But alas, such is not my lot in life. However, I’ve always loved cooking shows and food-based travelogues for reasons that honestly elude me. I still remember watching Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations on the Travel Channel when I was in high school and losing myself in daydreams of exotic locales and finding my way off of their beaten paths and into locals-only areas. I thought Bourdain had one of the most fascinating jobs on the planet. Because of this, I was intrigued by his early life and decided to read my first ever foodie memoir about how he got started in the business.

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Book Review: I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

Book Review: I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara


I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

I’ve heard amazing things about I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer. One of my resolutions for 2020 is to read more nonfiction that I find interesting, and true crime is a topic that is endlessly fascinating to me. I expected to be caught up in the chase for an elusive killer. What I didn’t expect was breathtaking, engaging prose dripping with compassion and empathy for the victims. Beautifully written and deeply insightful, this book was an experience unlike any other I’ve yet found in the genre.

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Book Review: Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari

Book Review: Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: Standalone

Genre: Non-fiction, Philosophy, History, Science

Pages: 464 pages (US paperback edition)

Published: 8th September 2016 by Harvill Secker (UK) & 21st February 2017 by Harper (US)


Not as good as Homo Sapiens but Homo Deus did provide me with additional informative knowledge and intriguing speculations told in an engaging and thought-provoking style.

“People are usually afraid of change because they fear the unknown. But the single greatest constant of history is that everything changes.”

I will first say that Harari is a good writer, he really knows how to make interesting topics more compelling and he also kept me focused on information that would’ve been boring to read usually. Frankly speaking, there were indeed some sections in Part II—liberalism—that in my opinion was super dull and dry to read, but Part 1 and Part 3 of the book was superb; I found the majority of my attention grabbed by the way Harari discussed topics that evidently relevant in our society. Unlike Homo Sapiens which mostly dealt with facts and how humanity progressed—or stay the same—from the past up to the present, in Homo Deus Harari tells and speculates what comes after; what kind of futures humanity might be facing or going for based on the data and theories gathered from our history and present timeframe. There are so many topics that I could talk about here, but I feel like talking too much would diminish the benefit of reading this book itself; I’ll refrain from doing that and gives a bit of my opinion regarding one of the topics discussed: the power and curses of social media.

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Book Review: Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

Book Review: Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly


Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“I changed what I could, and what I couldn’t, I endured.”

I’m a former history teacher, and yet I still somehow didn’t realize how large a role racism and segregation played in the Cold War. When I watched the movie inspired by this book with an American History class I was temporarily teaching, my eyes were opened to just how little I knew about the Cold War and Civil Rights eras, and how the two were so deeply entwined. I’m thankful for the information; I just wish I had realized it sooner. After having read the book as well, I have a new appreciation for the story overall, but also for the title of the book. I love anything with a dual meaning, and both the math behind these amazing advancement and the women who calculated them were indeed hidden figures.

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Book Review: Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader

Book Review: Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader

Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reading a book about books are among the coziest experiences a bookworm can have, in my opinion. Even if you don’t share all or many or any of the author’s views on books at all, there’s something about the knowledge that this person took the time to write an entire book for the soul purpose of expressing their fervent love for the medium that produces instant camaraderie between writer and reader.

“I have never been able to resist a book about books.”

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Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

Educated by Tara Westover
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Tara Westover’s Educated is a case of truth being stranger than fiction. I seldom read nonfiction because I often have a hard time connecting to a book if it doesn’t have a compelling story to tell, and will find myself fighting boredom and finally abandoning the book. That was never a danger with Educated. Westover’s memoir is horrifying and poignant and powerful, and it captivated me in a way that few books outside the fantasy genre have. It’s a story that I can’t stop thinking about, and I truly believe that it will stay with me for a long time to come. It also made me insanely thankful for my family and upbringing, my freedom and education.

“My life was narrated for me by others. Their voices were forceful, emphatic, absolute. It had never occurred to me that my voice might be as strong as theirs.”

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Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Chris Evans highly recommended this book. When Captain America says so, you listen.

It’s been almost three years since I joined Goodreads and this is literally the second non-fiction book I finished reading. The last time I read a non-fiction book was in December 2016, it was an autobiography titled In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park. Anyone who knows my reading taste should know that I don’t read non-fiction, not only I found the majority of them to be boring, the main reason behind why I read is escapism and the best genre to offer me the best escapism experience lies in SFF. I don’t even know how to rate and review this book because it always made me feels awkward to give a rating to a non-fiction work, especially if it’s an autobiography, which luckily this book is not. Please remember that my rating—as always—speaks mostly for my reading enjoyment, not the technicality of the book.

“Nothing captures the biological argument better than the famous New Age slogan: ‘Happiness begins within.’ Money, social status, plastic surgery, beautiful houses, powerful positions – none of these will bring you happiness. Lasting happiness comes only from serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin.”

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