Sunday, December 4, 2016

Jerry on Jerry

An insightful and enjoyable listen for Deadheads and music fans alike. Dennis McNally combed through the Grateful Dead archives in California and found some truly enlightening and candid interviews from Jerry and compiled them into this fun audiobook. It was a great experience getting to hear Jerry in his own words talk about a variety of topics from Neal Cassidy to the Catholic Church to gay bars to LSD. A quick listen at only 4 discs, but a time well spent. Th audiobook also has an extra disc with a PDF of images and other items found in the printed book.

Friday, December 2, 2016

A Bitter Pill to Swallow

I honestly wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up this book and it didn't immediately grab me, but by page 20 or so I became hooked. Told through alternating perspectives, this story follows two young patients in a mental illness facility for youth, a promising med student, and the director of the facility. Each of their voices help flesh out this small contained world of confusion, pain, and hope. Devante is admitted after he tries to commit suicide for being unable to deal with the death of his close friend. Janina has been a resident for four years and is extra sensitive and hard on herself. Gail is unsure if she's in the right career, but she knows that she has to help people as a promise to her brother. Finally Dr. Lutkin has to find a way to keep his residents safe from big companies that threaten to take over his home and turn it into a hospital with unsavory methods. The perspectives are told in letters, thoughts, and journal entries, and really offer a fresh look at what it's like to have a mental illness; the stigma, fear, and confusion are hard to bear. A wonderful novel for teens and adults alike.

I received this book for free from the author in return for my honest, unbiased opinion.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Nickel and Dimed

I loved the concept of this book, I just hated how it was executed. The author/ "undercover agent" of this book kept throwing around how much money she had in real life and how comfortable her place in society was. She was also really judgemental and at times racist as shit. Once you look past the author's bias, the research and method was actually really fascinating and depressing. Barbara Ehrenreich lived in three different cities and worked menial jobs and searched for the cheapest rent she could find to see if she could make ends meet while posing as a low income worker. What she uncovered was worse than what many middle class people could ever imagine. Personally, I had never even considered how truly hard it is to make ends meet. Even if you're working hard it's impossible to get ahead with minimum wage or even a few dollars above. Millions of Americans are living below the poverty line and this struggle is a daily aspect of their life that they just accept because they know there is no other option available. A great read.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Proven Guilty

It's been a hot second since I picked up a book in this series and boy was I glad to get back in it! Harry Dresden never catches a break. Tasked with finding out about possible black magic brewing in Chicago, he gets side tracked by a bunch of movie monsters that attack a horror convention. To make matters more complicated, his good friend, Michael's, daughter is somehow involved. What's a poor wizard to do? Narrated brilliantly by James Marsters, this book kept me on the edge of my seat and I enjoyed it immensely. On to book nine in the Dresden Files series!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Red-Blooded American Male

This coffee table collection of photographs is stunning, visually appealing, and hilariously awesome. Photographer Robert Trachtenberg does an amazing job of catching his male subjects (not all of whom are American like the title applies, for which he apologies numerously) in out of the ordinaary poses and manages to have fun and catch the ridiculousness of the everyday without poking fun at the subjects themselves. You'll find yourself giggling over the absurdity of Will Ferrel, Paul Rudd, JAmes van der Beek, and more. Many of the photographs are accompanied by an amusing story or tidbit about the actor in question. Another great thing is that not all the subjects are actors, there are some musicians, politicians, comedians, non-celebrities and more (as well as a few women). A great addition to any coffee table and a wonderful holiday gift for the comedian or photographer in your life.

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in return for my honest, unbiased opinion.

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things

From the first page I was in love with this book. It was dark, unsettling, disturbing, endearing, and all around addicting. It's a fairy tale romanance but with a dark fucked up fairy tale and a forbidden (at times disturbing) romance. Wavy has never known normal, psychologically scarred from her drug addicted mother, she barely talks, barely eats, and is thought by most to be a weird mentally challenged little girl. Lurking behind her weird ways though is a fiercely smart girl and the only other one who really sees that besides her little brother is a big burly Native American biker who runs drugs for her dad. When Jesse Joe Kellen lays eyes on Wavy for the first time she's only eight, but over the years they find themselves growing in love with each other.  Their illicit romance is naive and innocent until one day it isn't. Told from alternating perspectives over a decade this book will keep readers on their toes. A must read!!!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Engineering Eden

Fascinating, disturbing, and enlightening, this raw epic look at the National Parks and regulating nature will leave readers enthralled. Covering a lot of ground, "Engineering Eden," covers a brief history of the creation of Yellowstone National Park, the fight over controlling nature, and a major trial involving the death of a young man mauled and eaten by a grizzly. Although it covers a lot of ground and introduces many key players this book doesn't feel too overwhelming and introduces readers to a complex history without being too overwhelming. Covering many gruesome bear attacks, the fight between being a guardian versus gardening national parks, controlled fires, the role of government, and public safety this book has enough to satisfy anyone: outdoor enthusiasts, wildlife lovers, and history buffs. A wonderful and enlightening read.

I received this book for free from Librarything in return for my honest, unbiased opinion.