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All Books

Author:

April White

This interesting short ebook looks at the period in US history when divorce was just starting to become acceptable. The laws were still against it, so people in search of divorce would move to the state with the most lenient laws in order to get a divorce. They would need to establish residency before they could file their case, which led to the create of a community of divorce-seekers, waiting for residency. This book focuses on the "divorce colony" in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in the early 1890s, using the case of the Baroness Margaret Laura De Stuers as an example. The story is well-written and well told, and the use of the example case both fleshes out the story and adds some suspense. This is a very enjoyable quick read that taught me something about an era of US history when the moral panic over marriage was about whether people should be allowed to end their marriages.

Favorite Thing:
The parallels the author draws to the marriage-related moral panic of our time.
The Divorce Colony book cover
Book Length:
Shortest
Part of Series:
Not part of a series
Stand Alone:
Yes
Stickiness:
Moderate
Categories:
Disclosures:
None
Author:

E.A. Deverell

This is a fun, well-written steampunk story. It has the action-packed plot and hint of romance that I've come to associate with the genre. The best thing, though, is the world the author has created, in which technology as well as much of the culture is based on plants. As much as I enjoyed the story itself, if I go on to read the other books in the series, it will largely be because I find this world fascinating, and want to spend more time in it.

Favorite Thing:
The plant-based technology
The Floral Underworld book cover
Book Length:
Short
Part of Series:
Part of a series of short stories/novellas
Stand Alone:
No
Stickiness:
Moderate
Disclosures:
None
Author:

Tim Radford

This book looks at four scientific breakthroughs of the 1960s- telecommunications satellites, plate tectonics, experimental evidence of The Big Bang, and the eradication of smallpox- and traces their transformative impact through to modern times. It is an interesting premise, well-executed, and even people who know the basic outlines of these discoveries are likely to pick up some new information. The book necessarily has to exclude a lot of important work being done in that time period (for instance, this was the time during which the foundations of modern molecular biology were being laid), but that doesn't detract from the importance of the work discussed, and on the whole, it is a very interesting and enjoyable read.

Favorite Thing:
The way the book highlights the additive nature of scientific progress.
Science that Changed the World book cover
Book Length:
Shorter
Part of Series:
Not part of a series
Stand Alone:
Yes
Stickiness:
High
Disclosures:
None
Author:

Matthew Power

This story is ostensibly about a man journeying into the jungle of New Britain island in search of a tree kangaroo... but that is just the pretext that sets the story in motion. It is really a look at one of the last places that can be said to be "off the map" and what drives people to explore it. The description of the island and its history is interesting in its own right, but it is the characters that really make this book a great read.

Favorite Thing:
The insight into the motivations of the people in the story.
Island of Secrets book cover
Book Length:
Shorter
Part of Series:
Not part of a series
Stand Alone:
Yes
Stickiness:
Moderate
Disclosures:
None
Author:

Sara Suleri Goodyear

This book is probably an excerpt from a longer memoir- it feels a bit out of context. Despite the disoriented feeling at the start, I really enjoyed this book. It is a memoir of postcolonial Pakistan, from the point of view of a woman who was at the time a child in a fairly well off household. The writing is beautiful, and one side effect of the way the book just starts without providing any background and then follows a narrative arc that is based more on the author's stream of consciousness than a linear timeline is that you are completely transported into its world. It is an interesting story, well-told, and well worth your time. (Also, it is currently free at Amazon and BN.com, so if you have a Kindle or a Nook, all you'll be spending to read it is your time.)

Favorite Thing:
The feeling of being immersed in the book's world
Excellent Things in Women book cover
Book Length:
Shorter
Part of Series:
Not part of a series
Stand Alone:
Yes
Stickiness:
High
Categories:
Disclosures:
None
Author:

David Samuels

This book takes you inside the world of pigeon racing, and the South African Million Dollar Pigeon Race in particular. It does a wonderful job of showing the appeal as well as the quirks of this world, and I found it fascinating. It also occasionally attempts to connect to a larger theme of "finding home," and in that regard it is less successful. This is only a minor distraction, though, and on the whole the book is enjoyable and well worth the time to read.

Favorite Thing:
Learning about pigeon racing.
The Arc of the Sun
Book Length:
Shorter
Part of Series:
Not part of a series
Stand Alone:
Yes
Stickiness:
Moderate
Categories:
Disclosures:
None
Author:

Ellen Prager

This is a book about slime- sort of. The introduction to this book led me to expect a little more unification in the essays than they delivered, but it was still a really interesting and fun to read look at some fascinating slimy sea creatures.

Favorite Thing:
The creatures!
Hagfish Slime and Lobster Rolles book cover
Book Length:
Shortest
Part of Series:
Not part of a series
Stand Alone:
Yes
Stickiness:
Moderate
Categories:
Disclosures:
None
Author:

Micah Edwards

If you've ever wished you knew the Bible stories better but struggled to get past the seemingly endless "begats," this book is for you. If you've never even considered reading the Bible, you might want to check out this book, too. Afterall, the stories from the Bible pop up in all sorts of literature, and it is nice to be able to understand the references. This book is a humorous retelling of the Book of Genesis that is genuinely fun to read. The author clearly has great affection for and deep knowledge of his source material, and that combined with his comedic skills produced a book that is both accurate and enjoyable.

Favorite Thing:
The author's take on the story of Jacob and Esau.
Okay, So Look book cover
Book Length:
Short
Part of Series:
Not part of a series
Stand Alone:
Yes
Stickiness:
High
Categories:
Disclosures:
Published by TH owner
Author:

Usman T. Malik

This is a really enjoyable and unusual book. At first, I thought this was going to be a fairy tale like story, told as a reminiscence from a grandfather, but then it turned into a story of a young man finding his own place in the world away from his family, And then it turned again- one of the delights of this book is that you never really know what is coming next. The plot held my attention through all the turns, and I was rooting for the main character to figure it all out, whatever I thought "it" was at that point in the story.

Favorite Thing:
The unexpected directions the story took.
The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn book cover
Book Length:
Shorter
Part of Series:
Not part of a series
Stand Alone:
Yes
Stickiness:
Moderate
Disclosures:
None
Author:

Daniel José Older

This is an urban fantasy story, but at its heart it is a story about love and loss, and learning to move on. It is also beautifully written, with interesting and believable characters. In short, it is definitely worth your time.

Favorite Thing:
The lead character.
Book Length:
Shortest
Part of Series:
Short story/novella related to a series of long books
Stand Alone:
Yes
Stickiness:
Moderate
Disclosures:
None

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