Skip to main content

Audiobooks Recap For April, May, & June


You might have noticed that I haven't reviewed any nonfiction books lately. I tried incorporating my new reading interests with my old love of YA, but it never quite felt right to post it all at the same time. I know that most of you are just here for the YA stuff, and that's totally okay. I had plenty of posts over the last couple months, so all my nonfiction reviews kept getting bumped off the list in favor of more YA content. Since I still wanted the blog to grow with me, and I wanted to cover these books, I wanted to throw all of the books I read over the last couple months into a single post.
So, if you're also a nonfiction lover, here's a quick recap of my recent reads on tons of different topics to inspire your next choice. 

What to Eat When
by Michael Roizen, Michael Crupain, Ted Spiker
This was a quick listen. I wrote a review on it a while back, but I wasn't sure if that's something you'd really be interested in reading, so I thought I'd put it in a combination post. Overall, this book didn't bring anything particularly new to the table (if you're like me and read a lot about health/nutrition). It stays pretty neutral on most topics which left me wondering what I really got out of the experience. He suggested a plant based diet would be better, but doesn't make many definitive statements about it. He suggests that people reverse their meal sizes and eat most in the morning, reducing throughout the day, which isn't a new idea. It's well researched and proven.
If you're new to the "optimizing your health" nonfiction category, this might be an interesting first primer, but if you're already interested and have done some research, I'm not sure you'll walk away having learned much.

The F*ck It Diet
by Caroline Dooner 
I was intrigued by the idea of the anti-diet diet book. I finished it unsure of what to think. I stand by her message that food should just be food without emotional baggage or guilt attached to it. Easier said than done, though, so I wanted to see how she recommended getting to that place. I wasn't a huge fan of her tone. I think in an attempt to be provocative and edgy, she swings in the other direction of losing a bit of credibility and alienating the reader. At some points, I felt like she was attacking me for wanting to eat healthy, which struck me as strange for a book ultimately about health. And I was weary of her pushing people to eat all the junk food they want, even if they don't particularly feel like it. Her idea is that if you make yourself sick enough times, your body will eventually decide that eating whatever you want isn't fun after all, and you'll naturally reset to wanting healthy foods. She insists that's the only way to get out of a restriction mindset.
Yes, it works. I've done it myself, but it took a major toll on both my body and mental health, and I felt totally unequipped to climb out that spiral. It took me a long time to figure out regular portions and to get back into food that was fueling my body instead of making me consistently ill. Once I figured that out, I felt so much better. But Caroline doesn't give the reader a path out of the "eat everything" spiral. She acts like you'll eventually just have an epiphany. I don't feel like her guidance set anyone up for success, and it really was all antidotal. For as much as she bashes other health books, hers really is no better. She's aggressively pushing an agenda, without much to back it up, just like everyone else. There's also a lot of shaming about old, restrictive mindsets, wanting to lose weight, and wanting to be healthier or avoid certain foods. While all these things might stem from an unhealthy place, being yelled at about it isn't going to help anyone who's truly struggling.


by Dana Thomas
I did write up a formal review for this one, and I'm still impressed with this book a month later. Fashionopolis delves into the world of fast fashion and the social, economic, and environmental impacts it has. She explains it concisely and makes it all very interesting. My favorite part, though, is that it's very solutions based and hopeful. There is a path to helping the planet and improving the industry. Read my full review here.


Blowout
by Rachel Maddow
Whenever I feel like actually watching the news, I always go to Rachel Maddow's show. She's bold and engaging and she doesn't sugar coat things- which I appreciate. I'd been meaning to read her book forever, and I finally had an Audible credit come in. As I started, I wondered why I was bothering to listen to a book about the oil and gas industry. By the end, my jaw was on the floor. She weaves two stories that seem worlds apart- one about the oil business in Oklahoma and one about the evolving government in Russia- into a stunning final picture that's both sinister and surprising. I wish it was a thriller because it was fascinating and the perfect story but totally horrifying given its nonfiction status. 


Leave Your Mark
by Aliza Licht
I've been exploring possible careers based on my different interests and trying to read books about them or get a look inside what it's like. Aliza Licht's book caught my eye on Audible's explore page. This mix of self help and member details Aliza's time working in editorial, magazines, PR, and social media marketing in the fashion space from being an intern to leading major teams. I wanted to turn it off almost the whole time, but I also couldn't stop listening. I couldn't stand her outlook and tone. It was so stuck up and superior sounding. She also glamorized and encouraged the mistreatment of young employees and talked fondly about being severely underpaid. This is a problem in so many industries and framing it like these companies are doing you a favor or building "grit" is far from helpful. None of her advice felt very helpful or beyond what you could figure out yourself. It can basically be summed up as don't complain and don't be lazy. It really turned me off of the whole idea of that career path. 


On Bowie
by Rob Sheffield 
This one was available on one of my library apps and written by Rob Sheffield, a Rolling Stone writer I really enjoy, so I figured I'd give it a try. I didn't know much about Bowie going into it beyond his esteemed place in pop culture, but I wanted to learn. I've been making it a point to read more music biographies of past musicians that I don't really connect with through their music but want to learn more about. It was a short read and interesting enough. I liked that Rob, while a super fan, was willing to look at Bowie as a complete person with flaws. It was fun to read about someone from the point of view of a person who's life was greatly impacted and shaped by the artist. 


I'll Be Gone In The Dark
by Michelle McNamara 
I'd heard so much about this book that when my library hold came in, I had to jump at the chance to read it. Let me tell you, this isn't for the faint of heart or weak of stomach. The details about the Golden State Killer's crimes are graphic and unflinching. While I listen to the occasional true crime podcast, I don't usually choose ones that get so deeply into the criminal details. The first half is tough to get through and did actually give me a nightmare, so I sped finished that in a day. The second half, though, was a really great read. After you get the full scope, there are fascinating pieces about Michelle's intense focus on her work and bits of personal stories, conversation with detectives who worked on the case, interesting detailing of how they searched for this elusive killer, failed suspects, and a list of theories. There's also an appendix added later with new information garnered since he was caught. They talk about the DNA that got them there and how far off they were in their guesses. Michelle died before the book was totally complete, so it turned into a patchwork of her unfinished draft, articles she'd written, excerpts from her true crime blog, and sections that were finished from her notes. This enriched the book for me and cast the story in a different light. If you're okay with gritty details and true crime stories, it is an interesting and rewarding book. 


The Dorito Effect
by May Schatzker
This is a food book that isn't going to tell you how to eat at all. It doesn't push a way of eating or a diet. Instead, it dives into how food has been altered and processed through the years. You learn about how tomatoes (and almost every other vegetable) has gotten less tasty in favor of super sizing and shelf stability. Our food isn't made to be extra tasty for sure. If it discusses virtues, it does push searching for heritage varieties of both fruits and vegetables and whatever animal products you choose to consume. It advocates for going back to small farming and a level of attention that cares for flavor and nutrition. It's mind blowing to read about how much our food has changed and why, it'll make you angry at our factory food system, and it'll make you consider what and how you're consuming. It's not the best written, most engaging, or my top recommendation in the category, but it's a good choice if you want to hear about the evolution without a layer of judging what you eat.


The Hidden Power of F*cking Up
by The Try Guys 
This is the Try Guys book that came out last year. I recently found their videos and wanted to learn more about them, so I decided to use a credit to listen to their book. While the first chapter starts rough, I enjoyed the book overall. It doesn't give you a ton you can't get out of their videos, but it is a way to get to know them better. Each Try Guy has at least one winning story or anecdote that is either entertaining or heartwarming or actually helpful on the advice front. It goes from silly to poignant and back again super fast. There was a giant range in tone in each section. For example, in one set of tries, Ned walks around in a crop top for a day whereas Eugene confronted the distance in his family and their emotional connection. I did really enjoy Eugene's section there. He was super honest and vulnerable and relatable, making it the standout moment of the book. Honestly, it reads like an internet famous group offered the chance at a book deal and not like someone who was desperate to get their story out, but it's still an easy listen and enjoyable overall.

More Nonfiction Reviews
Here

Links of Interest:
Bi Book Love
I'll Be The One 
You Should See Me In a Crown
Into YA with Lindsay Sproul

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

All Our Worst Ideas YA Book Review

All Our Worst Ideas by Vicky SkinnerOverview: Amy has her life all laid out. She's going to be valedictorian, get the Keller Scholarship, and go to Stanford. Easy. Oliver doesn't quite know where he's headed yet. Taking his gap year has just confirmed that he doesn't want to go to college. No one in his life knows that yet. Amy and Oliver are thrust together when Amy gets a job at Spirits, the record store where Oliver works. They both live and breathe music, and that connects them even though their lives couldn't be more different. Amy and Oliver are a true example of the power of music to unite people. Overall: 4.5Characters: 5 I loved Amy and Oliver. I related to Amy so much. She loves music and uses it to get her through her intense academics and the heavy expectations from her family. She feels pressure to do well that mostly comes from herself, and her drive keeps her pushing to win valedictorian. While everyone knows how smart Amy is, her mom always talks ab…

Badlands Book Tag (from Antari Reads)

School has been so stressful that I just wanted to have fun for today's post. I stumbled upon the Badlands Book Tag on Twitter made by Alison from Antari Reads and knew I had to do it. I get so excited every time I meet another Halsey fan/YA book lover. Halsey has been at the top of my mind lately, so this tag felt like bringing this Badlands era revival full circle. If you really want to get into the music with me, I made a reaction to Badlands for the 5th anniversary of the album. You can click the link here or watch it embedded down below. I'll also leave links to all my recent Halsey related posts so you can read about my Manic book pairings, Halsey's new role in a YA book adaption TV series, and her life Badlands album. I've also included links to Bookshop in this post. Just click Get a Copy to visit the book's affiliate page and grab one. Shopping these links means I might get a small commission, and part of the sale goes to benefit indie bookstores. It's…

Spotify Book Tag

Today, I'm doing a book tag. I haven't done a ton of these yet, but I came across this one on Twitter when Santana shared their version of it, and I got inspired to do the tag! Santana found the tag from the original creator, Sarah @ Book Hooked Nook. Here's the original tag and here's Santana's take on it. I borrowed Sanata's twist and added music choices along with books that fit the prompt, and at the bottom, I complied all the songs into a Spotify playlist so you can listen to that while you read! I also made a special list on my Bookshop featuring all the books if you want to get any of them! Find that here. I hope you discover more books and music to love! If you want more music content, check out my music blog, Music, Musings, and Me. Also, make sure you don't miss Friday's YouTube video that perfectly fits with this tag: Spotlighting Books With Musical Main Characters.

1. Hit Rewind: a book you go back to again and again? 
I don't tend to rere…

Spotlight New Releases: Sunshine Is Forever

Hello, everyone! Today's is a very special post for me as I am reviewing my first ARC (more on that at the bottom). I was intrigued by the summary of Sunshine Is Forever from the second I read it, and I am now so excited to get to share my review of this amazing view into depression and the motives behind self harm and suicide. The impactful story is one I place up with many of my favorite books that tackle mental illness. It also features a male protagonist with a great voice, which we honestly don't see enough of in YA. Anyway, without further ado, to celebrate Sunshine Is Forever's publication, I am bringing you my full review of this new YA mental health fiction novel from a new author to the world of YA.



Sunshine Is Forever by Kyle T. Cowan
*Trigger warning specifically for self harm and suicide*
Overview: Hunter suffers from depression. While he's dealt with it his whole life through ineffective therapy and medication, his condition is worsened by the Incident which…

Larger Than Life: A History of Boy Bands From NKOTB to BTS Book Review

Larger Than Life by Maria Sherman
Get a Copy!
Overall:  5
I don't think I've ever anticipated a book longer than Larger Than Life. I'd heard Maria on a couple music criticism podcasts whenever they'd launched into the confusing world of the boy band, and she always mentioned the book would be coming soon. Well, it's finally out, and it makes me incredibly happy.
As I already knew, Maria is a boy band expert as well as a true fan. Her joy and enthusiasm really does make the book. I also love that boy bands are finally getting their full and comprehensive due. I wouldn't say that I'm particularly a boy band fan (outside of the Jonas Brothers and One Direction (though I guess those are just the boy bands of my generation so many I am)), but I find how they're looked at culturally to be fascinating. Boy bands tie back to feminism and how society constructs their views around things liked by teens/girls/women/LGBTQIA people. Maria doesn't shy away from tha…

August Wrap Up 2020- Reflecting and Getting Excited For What's To Come

I didn't think I would ever say this, but August does not seem like it's been nearly long enough! I feel like the end of summer came in the blink of an eye, and now I'm writing this on my second day as a college student. Considering I started this blog as the 8th grader, I've come a really long way. This school year is extra weird. I wasn't prepared to start school online like I had been in years past. I was anticipating moving to New York. I had an entire New York City themed visuals flip for the blog to honor the new era of my life. Alas, I'm still in the mountains and those plans are on hold. At least August is the last of the losing. I didn't have many plans beyond this month, so all the new days should get less painful. They just are instead of being a "should have been". If you're starting a major milestone this year (especially if you're starting college like I am), my heart goes out to you. We're in this together, and I think …

The Summer of Everything YA Book Review

The Summer of Everything by Julian Winters Want a Copy Right Now? Use my Bookshop link to support the blog! Here.Overview: Wes doesn't know what he wants to do with his life. He has an acceptance letter to UCLA, but he's not sure what he wants to do with that. He loves working at Once Upon a Page, the indie bookstore he's worked at for a number of years. It's the perfect chill job where he's surrounded by comic books and all his friends. When it seems like Once Upon is going to close and his best friend/crush Nico is getting ready to move all the way to Stanford, Wes feels like his entire life is falling apart. He doesn't know what the next step is, but he's going to fight to keep the bookstore (and a bit of his childhood) alive for as long as possible. Overall: 4Characters: 4 Wes isn't totally lost. He loves what he's doing right now, but he's realizing that can't be forever. He's scared of making the wrong move for his future, so he fi…

War and Speech YA Book Review

War and Speech by Don Zolidis 
Overview: Sydney's life is a bit like a tornado. After her dad heading to prison wrecked her first semester of Junior year, she transfers schools with her walls up high and her tongue extra sharp. Sydney is deeply sarcastic, speaks her mind maybe too often, and is happy to join conspiracies to take down the school. She finds them in a group of outcasts tormented by the speech and debate team. She ends up joining down with an eye towards taking them all down and getting the coach fired. While she goes in with one mission, she finds a lot more than she bargained for on the team. Overall: 4.5 

Characters: 5 I love, love, love Sydney. She's so cynical and sarcastic and completely hilarious. She says a lot of the things that I think, so it was a joy to see the world through her eyes. It's nice to see a YA character in high school who plays into it as a complete outsider in the sense that she doesn't even want to play the game or be a part of tho…

Fear of Missing Out

Fear of Missing Out by Kate McGovern 
Overview: Astrid has a form of brain cancer called astrocytoma that causes a star shaped tumor to form near her brainstem. Though she was in remission, two years later, the cancer comes back, and Astrid becomes convinced that she won't beat the disease. She starts to pursue options that will allow her to have a life in the future, namely, cryopreservation. After essentially freezing her body, she hopes to wake up when there's a cure for her cancer so she can rejoin the world and see some of the milestones she fears missing.
On the road trip to tour the Arizona facility, though, Astrid makes other realizations about her life and eventual death that alters how she sees her original plan. Overall: 4 

Characters: 4 Astrid is relatable. She has a touch of dry, witty humor that makes her relatable. She loves her friends and family deeply, but she also has a conviction to follow what feels best for her. I appreciated how she always tried to stay ho…

Into YA with Laura Silverman: Part 2

Today, I'm chatting with Laura Silverman again to celebrate the upcoming release of her book, RecommendedFor You as part of the blog tour! If you haven't heard about this swoony, holiday set romance in a bookstore, you can scroll to the bottom of the page to read the book's official description and Laura's bio. Otherwise, you can check out my review here. I'm so happy to support Laura's new book, and if you want to hear about her past books, I'll link to my review below. If you're excited about Recommended For You, you're in luck because it is out in the world today! If you want to order a copy while supporting indie bookstores and the blog, you can purchase the book here with my link*. Thank you to Laura for taking the time to talk with me!

1. Recommended For You is mostly set in an indie bookstore during the holiday rush. What made you decide on that setting? I spent a year working at a bookstore and fielded many of the same strange requests Shosh…