The last time I remember reading and connecting with a musical memoir like this was with Hollywood Park, but Grohl’s story is immediately a happier read. I absolutely love his joie de vivre, his unapologetic enthusiasm for life. The Storyteller is a joyful, irreverent, triumphant look at a life lived hard and fast but well. And hearing it told in Grohl’s own voice added even more power to a rocking story. This is one of those books that demands to be heard, though I’m also thankful to have a physical copy that I was able to annotate and which provided some wonderful photos of his life to complement the stories.
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. …
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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Hollywood Park: A Memoir by Mikel Jollett
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Genre: Non-fiction, Memoir
Pages: 384 pages (Hardcover)
Published: 26th May 2020 by Celadon Books
A heartbreaking and beautifully written memoir. …
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.
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.
Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
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. …
“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. …
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.”
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.”