Nonfiction

Book Review: NFL Century: The One-Hundred-Year Rise of America's Greatest Sports League

NFL Century: The One-Hundred-Year Rise of America's Greatest Sports League
Author: 
Horrigan, Joe
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

NFL Century is a book about the lengthy history of the National Football League. Joe Horrigan gives a brilliant overview from the earliest days of the NFL to now. This book is also not just about the history but about the rise of American football to the pinnacle of American sports. The author beautifully describes how football overthrew baseball as America's favorite sport. I loved this book because I am a huge football fan and I was happy to learn to more about NFL history. I would highly recommend this book if you enjoy reading about sports or history.

Reviewer's Name: 
Ananth

Book Review: Gone at Midnight: The Mysterious Death of Elisa Lam

Gone at Midnight: The Mysterious Death of Elisa Lam
Author: 
Anderson, Jake
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

Gone at Midnight is a nonfiction crime book about the mysterious and brutal murder of Elisa Lam. Elisa Lam was a college student from Canada who came to visit Cecil Hotel but went missing. The Cecil Hotel is notorious for having a chilling haunted past. After a week or so Elisa Lam is found dead and an investigation is kicked off. The author goes in depth about how this investigation was messed up and didn't follow the proper procedures. I liked the suspense of the book and learning about how many people on the internet were also trying to solve the case. Finally, the author goes into detail about how this tragic event greatly impacted Elisa's family and on future investigations.

Reviewer's Name: 
Ananth

Book Review: Final Jeopardy: Man Vs. Machine and the Quest to Know Everything

Cover of the book Final Jeopardy: Man Vs. Machine and the Quest to Know Everything
Author: 
Baker, Stephen
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Final Jeopardy is a wonderful read. Final Jeopardy tells the story of Watson, the question-and-answering computer built by IBM to play Jeopardy. Stephen Baker describes the journey of Watson from an abstract idea, to an ignorant computer that took hours to answer a single question, to the great computing wonder that took on two of Jeopardy's greatest players, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. Final Jeopardy also gives insight into the great minds that developed Watson and their stressful years of programming leading up to the match. Final Jeopardy is a fantastic book and I highly recommend it for anyone who is a fan of Jeopardy, is fascinated by computers and their programming, or is interested in the future of technology.

Reviewer's Name: 
John B.

Book Review: Too Much and Never Enough

Cover of the book Too Much and Never Enough
Author: 
Trump, Mary L.
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

Too Much and Never Enough is a memoir written by Mary Trump. She is the niece of our current president. This book extensively describes the several interactions that Mary Trump had with her uncle. In this book she blames the behaviors of the Trump family for negatively influencing Trump's personality. Also, she describes in depth about Donald Trump's role in the multi-billion dollar family business. She also expands upon the Trump family's political connections, which lead to the creation of a real estate empire. Mary Trump explains the several high expectations that Fred Trump held for his children. This book was well-written and used excellent vocabulary words to express her opinions. Too Much and Never Enough kept my attention as it was interesting and this book gave an insightful perspective about Donald Trump from an insider's point of view. Finally, I liked how Mary Trump elaborately explained each of the Trump children’s lives and the turmoil within the family during tough times of the business.

Reviewer's Name: 
Ananth

Book Review: Born a Crime

Born a Crime
Author: 
Noah, Trevor
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Born a Crime is an autobiography about Trevor Noah's life. I picked this book because it describes the humble beings of a
famous comedian and his extraordinary journey to the pinnacle of American comedy. It describes his life growing up in the apartheid government in South Africa. The title of this book refers to the fact that Trevor Noah's birth was actually a crime. This is because of his biracial background, which made his birth illegal under apartheid laws. Born a Crime is filled with jokes and will not fail to crack its readers up. I would highly recommend reading this book if you love humor and learning about valuable life experiences of famous celebrities.

Reviewer's Name: 
Ananth S.

Book Review: We Should All Be Feminists

Cover of the book We Should All Be Feminists
Author: 
Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Chimamanda is one of my favorite Nigerian artists! In this book, she talks about her life growing up as a girl in Africa and how her friends and family knowingly or unknowingly forced gender expectations on her. I felt that because she used personal experiences, it was easier for me to connect with her. This book is a good read for everyone, whether you identify as a feminist or not; the book is for anyone who believes that women and men should be treated equally.

The book is short, sweet, but filled with thought-provoking ideas on gender dynamics in modern society. Contrary to what the title implies, Chimamanda doesn't necessarily try to sway your opinion on the topic of feminism: she lays out her experiences as a woman and leaves it to the reader's judgment to decide whether feminism is important or not. I also thought it was interesting how she mentioned that the most feminist person in her life was not a woman but in fact a man.

Reviewer's Name: 
Nneoma
Genres: 

Book Review: The Wright Brothers

The Wright Brothers
Author: 
McCullough, David
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Wilbur and Orville Wright changed history in 1903 when they successfully built the first heavier-than-air powered machine that could fly and carry a pilot. Many people are familiar with the Wright brothers, but few know the full story of their quest to build the first flying machine and prove to the world that they were not far-fetched fanatical dreamers. Writtenusing Wilbur and Orville Wright's letters, diaries, technical data books, documents, proposals, and private family papers, this book gives great insight into the curiosity, intellectual ability, diligence, and determination of the brothers. This book is well-written, readable, and exciting, yet still incredibly factual. I highly recommend this book for anyone fascinated with aviation, engineering, or the quintessential American spirit.

Reviewer's Name: 
John

Book Review: Walt Disney: An American Original

Cover of the book Walt Disney: An American Original
Author: 
Thomas, Bob
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

An American Original Walt Disney by Bob Thomas is a masterful biography which tells the story of the man who created Mickey Mouse, along with one of the largest entertainment franchises the world has ever seen. It describes how Walt started as a small-town cartoonist, went through bankruptcy, had his work stolen, and even borrowed money on his life insurance to make his ideas become reality. It was fascinating to see how things like Disneyland and Mickey Mouse originated. While some biographies are extremely dull, this one captivated me from the start. It is written in a way that makes it easy to experience what Walt and his company are going through, whether it is success or failure. Entertaining as well as factual, this book is one of my favorite biographies. I would give this book five stars and would recommend it to anyone who would like to read about one of the most interesting men in the world.

Reviewer's Name: 
Zach M.

Book Review: AP U.S. History Prep Plus 2020 & 2021

AP U.S. History Prep Plus 2020 & 2021
Author: 
Kaplan Publishing
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

I knew that AP US history would be a difficult class with lots of information. Since the beginning of the school year, I've been trying various resources to see which will prepare me the most for the APUSH exam. From browsing YouTube channels to finding online practice tests, I haven't found a resource as valuable as this book. Another helpful piece to this resource is that, with the book, you can access the online website. On the website there are even more quizzes over the various units. I am so glad I found this resource and I am certain it will help me a lot when it comes time for the big test! I strongly recommend. Grade 11

Reviewer's Name: 
Elizabeth P.

Book Review: The Missing Kennedy: Rosemary Kennedy and the Secret Bonds of Four Women

The Missing Kennedy: Rosemary Kennedy and the Secret Bonds of Four Women
Author: 
Koehler-Pentacoff, Elizabeth
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Tragedy ran deep in the Kennedy family--so much so that some people even questioned if the family was cursed. Rosemary Kennedy was born in 1918. At the time of her birth, the hospital was overcrowded with victims of the Spanish flu. The nurse, who though perfectly capable in assisting Mrs. Kennedy to give birth, urged her to wait until the doctor could come. The baby, Rosemary Kennedy, was forced back inside her mother's birth canal for two hours by the nurse during the wait. This irregular birth led to lifetime consequences in Rosemary. She had learning disabilities. Despite this, she was pushed equally as hard by her parents. Rosemary never made it intellectually past the fifth grade level. Her condition affected the Kennedy family because at the time people with disabilities were seen as having a "bad gene" and were not even allowed to receive the sacraments or eucharist at the catholic church. As Rosemary's condition worsened, her parents were desperate to fix her before she "ruined" her brother JFK's political career. This story is unique because it sheds light on a member of the Kennedy family whose tragic story eventually brought positive change in how to deal with the disabled.

Reviewer's Name: 
Elizabeth

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