Saturday, June 27, 2015

What YOU are reading: Nonfiction

Everyone in the Summer Reading Club for Grown-ups is reading and writing book reviews, so we thought we'd feature a few of them here from time to time! Here is a varied group of nonfiction reads:

A Curious Mind, by Brian Grazer
Reviewed by James Bridenbaugh

What makes A Curious Mind entertaining is how casual Brian Grazer is with his interviews. He suggests that "curiosity conversations" are not formal interviews because it distracts the listener from engaging in the conversation. Curiosity conversations are much more about listening than asking the questions. He advises readers that they should not be afraid to schedule curiosity interviews. Grazer wants people to find what interests them and further explore their interests. He had many conversations with politicians, celebrities, law enforcement and athletes. Grazer is a down-to-earth, interesting guy. He wants people to be interesting and curious. These curiosity conversations helped Grazer succeed in his career. Brian Grazer, an award-winning film producer, has produced films such as Splash, Apollo 13, and A Beautiful Mind.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, by Marie Kondo
Reviewed by Bonnie Yee

Using the KonMari method of de-cluttering is another way to tap into the fascination with organizing our lives and households to keep the tendency to hoard at bay. A bestseller, this book appeals to those trying to take control of their stuff--clothes, books, and psychologically meaningful items.

The viewpoint is very Zen; appreciating each item and thanking it may not be a Western world point of view. Still, an inspirational work. Kondo wants you to tackle the task, completing the decluttering and organizing by following a certain order without stopping. I made it through one side of my closet. Maybe I need to read her book again...

And the Good News Is... by Dana Perino
Reviewed by Jeanne Gervin

Dana Perino tells the reader about the road she took to become press secretary in President George W. Bush's administration. She provides a balanced view of issues and thoughts about both Republicans and Democrats. I liked Chapter 6 the best because she provides both some advice and some examples to prove her points.

Killing Lincoln, by Bill O'Reilly
Reviewed by Kathy Neal

I never enjoyed the subject of history in school....too many facts and dates. I've always had an interest in Abraham Lincoln, though, and when a coworker shared Killing Lincoln by Bill O'Reilly, I was more than amazed at the details of of the last 14 days of both Abraham Lincoln and John Wilkes Booth. I strongly recommend this interesting and thoroughly researched book. Now, I want to read some of Bill O'Reilly's other books.

Crafting A Colorful Home, by Kristin Nicholas
Reviewed by Elizabeth Booth

I really LOVE this book! I'm a knitwear designer, I love homemade, crafty things--done well, of course--and I love color. I don't particularly want my house to look too austere and plain, which seems to be the "thing" with top decorators. Kristin gives lots of fun projects and ideas for filling your house up with color and DIY. When I'm not reading, I'll probably be working on projects out of this book!

The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, by Issa Ra
Reviewed by Valerie Reynolds

Funny essays and stories about Issa growing up and feeling awkward, not cool like so many depictions of black people that she saw in the media, and real life. She talks about her family in Senegal and the love and confidence that they instilled in her. Through her writing, she shows her drive and focus--although sometimes they backfire on her in cringe-worthy ways.

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