Posted by: CR Elliott | October 16, 2017

Goodreads Review: She Be Damned

She Be Damned: A Heloise Chancey MysteryShe Be Damned: A Heloise Chancey Mystery by M.J. Tjia
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

*I received a copy for review through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

I’ll be perfectly frank with a little tangent. When I first started reading the book I was drawn in by the writing style but put the book down for awhile because of the first two chapters. Gorey and gritty stories don’t attract me as a rule. True Crime interests me, I read horror and I don’t shy away from gore or grit but in mysteries my preference is for stories that explore inner motives and don’t place the focus on the obvious horror and fear. This is personal preference and it played a role in my putting the book down for so long despite being drawn in by the synopsis and the writing style generally.

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Posted by: CR Elliott | October 13, 2017

Goodreads Review: A Primate’s Memoir

A Primate's Memoir: A Neuroscientist's Unconventional Life Among the BaboonsA Primate’s Memoir: A Neuroscientist’s Unconventional Life Among the Baboons by Robert M. Sapolsky
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was recommended to me as an extra credit opportunity that I didn’t end up taking advantage of in my primate class. I’m a bit surprised by the commenters who wanted something more scientific because while his language is not what you’d see in a textbook he does chronicle the actual experience of field research.

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Posted by: CR Elliott | October 11, 2017

Goodreads Review: After the Bloom

After the BloomAfter the Bloom by Leslie Shimotakahara

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

*I received a copy to review through NetGalley*

The description of After the Bloom intrigued me but I set the book aside for awhile because it felt like a book that deserved my full attention. The stories of Rita and Lily are entwined in their telling. Although the story is centered around Lily going missing there’s a level of mirroring between the daughter and mother’s stories. Both are hesitant to accept the truths in their lives and that tension is worked elegantly by Leslie Shimotakahara. Although the background of the story is the internment of the Japanese during WWII it succeeds because the characters not the history are in the foreground.

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Posted by: CR Elliott | September 17, 2017

Goodreads Review: Sociable

SociableSociable by Rebecca Harrington
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

*I received a copy of Sociable through NetGalley*

I give the book three stars because it reflects the Goodreads rating system which is that “I liked it”. Sociable is one of those easy and quick reads that offers a window into a very specific moment in time and looks honestly at the people occupying that without getting hung up on exploring the depths of it all. And that’s a good thing! It’s an easy book to recommend because it could just as easily be a movie or short T.V. series as it is a book. Genuinely entertaining and topical.

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Posted by: CR Elliott | September 5, 2017

Bullet Journaling

A big part of what I have been doing lately is refining my journaling practice. In my early teens I received Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” from my father as a gift. On and off again for years (but especially for the last seven or so) I have been journaling regularly. More recently (since around the beginning of the year) I have been dabbling in bullet journaling. It is a flexible system created by Ryder Carroll that helped me to streamline my journaling practice, calendar keeping and miscellaneous tracking into a single journal at a time.

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Posted by: CR Elliott | August 16, 2017

Goodreads Review: The Radium Girls

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining WomenThe Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women by Kate Moore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“The company,” said one girl, “always led us to believe everything was under control and safe, but I don’t think they cared.” from The Radium Girls by Kate Moore.

My first encounter with the Radium Girls was from Deborah Blum’s The Poisoner’s Handbook so I was thrilled when I discovered that I’d get the chance to read The Radium Girls through NetGalley. Read More…

Posted by: CR Elliott | August 6, 2017

Goodreads Review: The Man from the Train

The Man from the Train: The Solving of a Century-Old Serial Killer MysteryThe Man from the Train: The Solving of a Century-Old Serial Killer Mystery by Bill James
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Billed as what can only be termed a forensic true crime story, The Man From the Train is a must-read. The style of the book is very deliberately researched and therefore leans heavily on being a forensic analysis of the available documents dating back to the period between 1898 and 1912 when, Bill James convincingly argues, a serial killer road the rails through various states killing families in a signature fashion. Bill James doesn’t sensationalize but rather he lays out his and Rachel’s research for the reader to assess. He argues very strongly for his thesis but acknowledges early on that you, the reader, will have ample time to make your assessment.

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Posted by: CR Elliott | June 6, 2017

Goodreads Review: Eat Fat, Get Fit

Eat Fat, Get Fit: How to Create YOUR Perfect Diet to Lose Weight, Heal Your Gut, and Have More EnergyEat Fat, Get Fit: How to Create YOUR Perfect Diet to Lose Weight, Heal Your Gut, and Have More Energy by Kusha Karvandi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

*I received a copy of this book for free through Netgalley to review*

I’ve read many articles and a few books on modifying diet without dieting and am always eager to read more. Kusha Karvandi’s sounded interesting mainly on the merits that his pitch is that the perfect diet has to be personalized (which seems to be where much of the data points). The book has some issues but Kusha makes his argument in a way that is ideal for beginners. Having spent a whole lifetime researching health and fitness for personal vanity and personal health I think that it is critically important for nutritional advice to be easily applicable to daily life even if the underlying component parts are more complex. Kusha does distill and simplify a lot of where the science is into easily digestible sections.

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Posted by: CR Elliott | May 15, 2017

May Updates: Behave, Edits, Bullet Journaling

For the first few months of the year I’d been fairly good about completing at least one book per month but my pace has slowed because I’m reading drafts of my own book in order to start the painful editing process. I’m also slowly reading through Robert Sapolsky’s newest book, Behave, which is lengthy and meaty. And gradually I’ve been adopting my own bullet journal layout so there are many different projects that aren’t complete but are exciting to navigate.

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Posted by: CR Elliott | April 17, 2017

Goodreads Review: Burnt Land

Burnt LandBurnt Land by Tua Harno
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

*I received a review copy of this title

First off, the concept of this book really drew me in and kept me there almost through the end. I felt that although the book was strong at least 3/4 of the way in, the ending left me disappointed. Sanna’s story is engaging although her relationships with men feel rather triggered I think Tua did an excellent job of exploring Sanna’s motivation and providing her with meaningful growth. Tua maintains an excellent tension between characters throughout the book and I found myself unable to put the book down.

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