Welcome to Picking Books, a book blog bursting with in-depth book reviews and bookish lifestyle articles. There’s something here for every reader including the most reluctant ones, so take a look around!
The Ten-Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer resonated with every fiber of my being. Never have I read a book that spoke so poignantly to all the thoughts swirling around my brain. Read my review of The Ten-Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer to learn why I whole-heartedly disagree with the bad reviews of The Ten-Year Nap on Goodreads. Do not overlook or underestimate The Ten-Year Nap because of the bad reviews.
Some books are meant to be devoured. Others should be savored. I devoured The Great Alone. With ever-increasing stakes and intense themes like survival, love, and abuse, you can’t help but binge read it.
After a miscarriage, Rachel feels the urge to seek out her estranged photojournalist father, Henry, who she learns lived in Rwanda. She travels to Rwanda 10 years after the genocide to meet Lillian. Originally from Georgia, Lillian operates an orphanage in Rwanda that she and Henry built together. During her stay, Rachel learns about her father while witnessing how Rwandans are coming to terms with the genocide. Continue reading my review of In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills for more information about both the genocide and the book.
Alias Grace is a novel by Margaret Atwood based on the real-life 1843 murders of Thomas Kinnear and Nancy Montgomery. Grace Marks and James McDermott were convicted of the crime. McDermott was hanged, and Marks had her sentence commuted and ended up in the Kingston Penitentiary. No one knows for sure whether or to what degree Grace Marks was involved in the murders. Alias Grace gives readers a chance to decide for themselves whether this “celebrated murderess” was guilty or not.
I realize now that my essay, “How to Spot Fake News Despite Your Filter Bubble,” however informative, is LONG. So, I created a simple infographic outlining six easy ways to avoid fake news. I’ve also included a few recommended reputable news sources. At the end of the article, you’ll also find book recommendations on the subject of fake news, journalism, rhetoric, and truth.
I started Picking Books as a book blog inspired by history. I’ve since expanded to include additional cross-disciplinary book reviews that look at how society and culture also relates to the books I read. Showing others how to learn about history through enjoyable books was my original intention though, so let’s talk about how we can learn about history through books and why learning about history is important even (especially) for adults.
We are in the midst of an epidemic of hatred. Or filter bubble, fake news, and rhetoric are three of the many reasons we have stopped using our critical thinking skills and lost our ability to empathize with one another. If the news and politics has driven wedges into your relationships, read on and learn what good journalism is and how to spot fake news despite your filter bubble.
Recipe review of Peter Sommer Travels’ ezme. Although ezme is reminiscent of salsa, it’s also bruschetta-like. It’s a simple recipe that tastes like so much more than the sum of its parts. Ezme makes an excellent condiment for Cooks Illustrated’s almost no-knead whole wheat bread, and I enjoyed it more than fresh salsa. Like Sommers says, the flavor is complex.
Pam Jenoff’s quote on the front of Carnegie’s Maid says it all: “Downton Abbey fans should flock to this charming tale.” I’m a Downton Abby fan, and I loved this book. Like pretty much every book here on Picking Books, Carnegie’s Maid contains a wealth of accurate historical information. And within its pages you get a good sense of who Andrew Carnegie was and a loose outline of his rise to prominence. Benedict also touches on the struggles Irish people continued to face after the famine in 1840 and the difficulties immigrants faced both on their way to America and once they got here. What I love most about Carnegie’s Maid, however, is how Benedict delves into Pittsburgh’s rich cultural history.