• 4 Stars,  Book Reviews,  History,  Non-Fiction,  True Crime

    Assassinations that Changed the World by Nigel Cawthorne

    Assassinations that Changed the World by Nigel Cawthorne

    I’m kind of a dummy when it comes to history, owing to a very flawed educational system combined with a lack of curiosity as an adult. It’s something that I’ve intentionally sought to change over the years, but there’s just so much to catch up on. I appreciate books like this one, which is an overview for those of us who are clueless about history. Assassinations that Changed the World reads kind of like a Wikipedia rabbit hole: learning about one person’s death leads to another, which leads to another, and so on. The book covers well-known figures, such as Archduke Franz Ferdinand, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr.,…

  • 3 Stars,  Book Reviews,  Fiction,  Literary,  Self-Help

    The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

    The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

    The Prophet is considered a classic book and for a while I was confused about it. Is it fiction? Is it non-fiction? How exactly does it provide guidance for everyday life? Is it a religious text? Turns out that it’s classified as spiritual fiction, which makes sense when you read it. To me, it reads very much like the Bible—specifically, Proverbs or the parables of Jesus in the Gospels. Except the narrator gets pretty mystical at times, like when the townspeople ask him to expound on his thoughts concerning pleasure and love. Overall, I thought the book was just…okay. I can see why it’s loved by many, but for such…

  • 5 Stars,  Book Reviews,  Cozy,  Fiction,  Mystery

    Assaulted Caramel by Amanda Flower

    Assaulted Caramel by Amanda Flower

    I’ve read quite a few cozy mysteries to date, so there has to be a unique hook to really catch my interest. Murder in Amish country? That’ll do it. (I might also have a soft spot for the 1985 romantic thriller Witness.) Assaulted Caramel features Bailey, a New York chocolatier (read: fancy chocolate maker) who’s summoned back home to Amish country in Ohio when her grandfather falls ill. Bailey’s grandparents run an Amish candy shop, which is where Bailey had first learned the fine art of chocolate making. While in town to help care for her grandfather, a sketchy property developer winds up dead. Along the way, while investigating the…

  • 5 Stars,  Book Reviews,  Memoir,  Non-Fiction,  Self-Help

    10% Happier by Dan Harris

    10% Happier by Dan Harris

    A book so good, I read it twice (years apart, but still). On my second read, I read the revised edition, which includes new material. Prior to reading 10% Happier, I had known of Dan Harris from his work as an ABC news correspondent. But I really learned more about him when I found out that he had a panic attack on live tv during Good Morning America. If you can handle watching it, it’s still up on YouTube (with my apologies for the appearance by Dr. Oz). There’s something voyeuristic in the second-hand embarrassment, I’m sure, but I also just really felt for the guy. As someone who has…