Book Review | What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions

What If?
What If?

This was a book that was recommended to me by a librarian.  That’s about as a  good a recommendation as you can get?  I mean who knows books better!  What If? is from the creator of  There are always plenty of cool stick figure art, with witty snappy writing.

I read most of this on a plane.  It was extremely helpful it distracting me from a long horrible cross-country flight from sunny beautiful California to New Jersy.  …Yeah.  Anything that can make that flight better is a damn good book.

I especially liked the discussion on how to rid the world of the common cold.  Really fun topics and plenty of real science behind every little story in here.  This read earned its 4/5 star rating.

Book Review | An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

Owl Creek Bridge
Owl Creek Bridge

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce is not really a book, it is a short, very short story.  It is only 36 pages.  Readers of the blog probably know that I picked this one up primarily as a way to get another book under my belt during the summer reading contests that the local libraries always have.  The more books you read the more chances you have to win a prize.

“The condemned man stands on a bridge, his hands bound behind his back. A noose is tied around his neck…” – From An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

Finding books to read in this way has introduced me to many new authors I would not have found on my own.  For example, I had never heard of this book but it has 16,800 ratings on goodreads, with an average rating of 4.02.  Which I agreed with giving it a 4/5 rating.

The photo above is from the Ambrose Bierce Project.  This is not Owl Creek bridge, but a similar bridge on the same river to give you an idea.  More pictures are available at the website.

I would say you won’t lose anything by reading this book including your time as it is so short, but don’t take my word for it:

“I consider anybody a twerp who hasn’t read the greatest American short story, which is ‘Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,’ by Ambrose Bierce.” – Kurt Vonnegut

If you can’t trust Kurt who can you?

Book Review | When Paris Went Dark: The City of Light Under German Occupation

When Paris Went Dark: The City of Light Under German Occupation
When Paris Went Dark: The City of Light Under German Occupation

A meticulously researched book with lots of details and stories and National Book Award Nominee for Nonfiction in 2014.  When Paris Went Dark was recommended to me by a friend who is very interested in Parisian history.  Of course I was somewhat familiar with this time in history, however, I didn’t know that Paris was occupied in such a way.  This is only 4 years, but as you read the book you feel that both sides of the war, the French and the Germans were uncertain and anxious about the occupation.  Ronald weaves the story well, incorporating anecdotes and facts seamlessly.

You get a wonderful feeling of the time, while also understanding that you will never know how the people on either side of the war really felt during this time period.  Having said that Ronald gets us very close.  History buffs and lovers of Paris (who isn’t) will equally enjoy this book.  This book gets 4/5 stars.  I’m including a video from C-SPAN book TV if you would like to hear more about this book.  I can’t embed it so just use the link.


Book Review | Eating Animals

Eating Animals

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer is a very powerful book.  It may change the way you eat forever.  In the book, Jonathan tells the story of how he became vegetarian.  I think he did a lot more research than the average person.  This was the first book that I have read of his.  It was his first time writing non-fiction.  Since this book, he has gone on to write more non-fiction.

I picked up this book because it is at the top of the list for books about veganism and vegetarianism on goodreads.  Jonathan has filled the book full of numbers to drive home his points:

“Americans choose to eat less than .25%of the known edible food on the planet”

“Ninety-nine percent of all land animals eaten or used to produce milk and eggs in the United States are factory farmed.”

“… omnivores contribute seven times the volume of greenhouse gages that vegans do.”

There are more, many more.  Before you balk at these statements let me tell you that Jonathan had the book fact-checked by two independent professional fact-checkers.

When you read this you can’t dismiss it.  This is how our nation is creating food for us at low prices.  We are suffering for it.  I really don’t think that people know this is happening.  If they do they are ignoring it.  This is not good for us, the animals, our nation or our planet and we simply don’t have to do it.  If you have doubts read the book.

The documentary of this book came out on 9/2/17.  I can’t find it online.  I believe its release may have been limited to Sundance.  I’ll keep an eye out for it.  The bonus is that Natalie Portman narrates it.  She actually reached out to Jonathan to help him produce the documentary.

As if it needs to be said, I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Book Review | Supergirl, Vol. 1: Last Daughter of Krypton


Another comic and another failed review.  I wrote only two sentences to describe my review of Supergirl, Vol. 1: Last Daughter of Krypton on goodreads.  Thirteen whole words.  I don’t have much to go on with this one.  I really need to catch up with my reviews and write them as soon as I finish the book or in this case the comic book.  I think the goal should be to write the review while I still have to book in hand.  Here I am writing about a book I finished months ago when I really need to be writing about the book I just finished this week.

What I do remember about this comic is that the artwork was good but not as good as Captain Marvel I had read just before.  I also know that I grabbed this from the library and it really confuses me why they would buy only one volume and then never buy the next?  Was it a request from a patron and then never followed up with a request for the next in the series?  I liked this Supergirl comic and would like to read more.

I’d like to read more comics of lots of different kinds, but my libraries really don’t invest much in them.  They do however have a subscription to Hoopla which recently acquired the rights to “lend” Marvel comics.  That’s very cool, that means they will have the Star Wars comics on there.  It’s been so long since I read one I don’t remember where I was in all the different series.  I will have to find out though!

5/5 Stars!

Book Review | Captain Marvel, Volume 2: Down

Captain Marvel - Down
Captain Marvel – Down

I failed as a goodreads reviewer on this one.  I read Captain Marvel, Volume 2: Down, but I failed to write a review.  I remember the story and the art from the issue but for whatever reason, I did not write a review of this comic.  I’ve been a fan of Captain Marvel for years.  She is very straightforward and wants to do the right thing.  She doesn’t seem to have an evil streak or anything sinisterly wrong with her like some other comic book heroes.

This comic had an interesting story where Captain Marvel meets with someone from her past and manages to get them fired up again.  I think it also has a positive effect on the Captain as well.  The artwork is perhaps the best of the Captain Marvels that I have read.

4/5 Stars!

Book Review | The Divide

The Divide
The Divide

The Divide by Matt Taibbi will make you think.  It will humble you.  It will open your eyes to the other side of America.  The side most of us hardly ever see and also the side that many of us won’t want to acknowledge.  Reading The Divide lead me to read other books like it that depict the other side of America.  Those people truly struggling to make ends meet every week.  The Divide made me feel lucky to have the life that was given to me.  My family had the money to give me an education and that education has to lead to a safe and happy life for myself and my family.

This book made me appreciate the things I have.  It also made me realize a lot of the things I have I don’t need, much like The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

After reading Tidying Up, I made some changes.  The Divide has helped me see that many of the changes I made could be much more profound.  I can give up a lot more than what I have.  In other words, I can do a lot more than re-organizing my shirt drawer.  I gave this book three stars because I think the point could have been driven home in a much shorter way.

Book Review | Alight


This review may suffer from my delay in writing it.  I know what this sounds like but this is another 5-star book.  Alight is the follow up of Alive by Scott Sigler.  I can’t say enough about this book series.  As I write this I’m checking goodreads to see when I read the third novel.  I can’t believe I haven’t read the third book yet!  This is frustrating because I had my next book to read already lined up, but I loved the first two books in the series SO much.

The storyline is original.  Right there is something that is far too rare now.  You are immediately invested in the characters.  This is YA and I do find myself really enjoying these novels as a whole.  I’m not aiming to find them or anything.  They seem to find me and on the whole, I really enjoy them.  The story in Alight is fast paced and keeps you coming back for more.  When you have to put this book down it is disappointing and you can’t wait to come back to it.  The story has twist and turns.  There are love triangles.  There are baddies that are mysterious.  So far its kind of like reading a LOST series.

Alight is 448 pages, but it moves incredibly fast.  If you liked the first book, Alive, you will love the follow-up.  If you haven’t read Alive yet, go back and read my review of that and then go read the book!

Book Review | You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)

You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)
You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)

I’ve seen some of what the author, Felicia Day has done as far as the creation of content on the Internet and I’ve seen her featured as a guest on a lot of Internet shows like Twit and the like, but I never really knew her. She seems to be pretty similar to me. She seems pretty geeky. After reading You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) I can vouch for her geekiness! Actually, I think she has much more geek credibility than myself. She wrote a very entertaining biography. If you are a geek I think you will enjoy this book, she is also very funny!

I enjoyed listening to this book on audio from Overdrive a service that my local public library pays for. And one that I enthusiastically take advantage of. Ms. Day reads this audiobook herself. Which I love. Not many authors do this anymore. I feel as though you really get the whole idea of what the author is meant to be getting across to you. It is read as it should be in otherworldly because the author is reading it. No room for misinterpretation. I gave this audiobook 4 out of 5 stars. A very high rating for me. Almost nothing I read gets 5 starts. Maybe 2 or 3 books a year maximum will get a 5-star rating from me.

Book Review | Tarkin

Tarkin (not actual cover)
Tarkin (not actual cover)

I never need an excuse to read a Star Wars novel! Reading Tarkin by James Luceno was interesting because I learned more about the Star Wars universe as Disney sees it. I always enjoy learning more about the characters that we have all learned to love and grown close too since the first movies came out when I was a child. It was a good enough story, but it centered wholly on a character that I never really cared for. Not that they sold it as anything else since I mean the title is pretty explicit, it’s just that I don’t think anyone really cared too much about this character but here is a whole novel about him. I’m a little lost on what within this novel helped tell the story of the Star Wars universe. It is not a poorly written book, just a book that was written without anyone asking for it. I can’t recommend it but judged solely on it writing it is a good story if you care to read it. I gave this book three out of five stars, but I’m not sure it deserved it.