The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict – Review

There are very few people I can think of who we idolize more than Einstein. He’s remembered fondly as the father of Relativistic Physics and his personal life is rarely looked at. Einstein changed the way that everyone looked at physics and the world around us, it was as big a leap forward as Newton discovering gravity (and also creating calculus so he could do the complex math needed for his equations). He changed the way we measure the movement of the planets and helped make our equations more precise.

It’s by taking relativistic changes into account that causes our GPS to be as accurate as it is, for example, and helps the positioning of our satellites even though both the satellites and the Earth are constantly moving at high speeds.

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Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of Unruly Women by Anne Helen Petersen – Review

[A copy of this book was provided to me by Netgalley in return for an unbiased review.]

There’s no denying that when it comes to the way that women are perceived in the modern media, there’s a specific way that women are supposed to look/act. Usually, that specific way translates to “whatever men desire”, but in a President Trump world, society feels like it has taken a step backward or perhaps a giant leap when it comes to gender politics. In Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman, Anne Helen Petersen outlines the different ways that women are criticized or ostracized. The features that tend to be focused on are ones that males would not be criticized for (or at least would be treated more mildly for).

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The Changeling by Philippa Gregory – Review

From the very beginning of this novel, I was thrown off. Although this is set in the 15th century, the very first sentence threw me out of the book:

“The hammering on the door shot him into wakefulness like a handgun going off in his face.”

I had to put the novel down and go to Wikipedia, determined to find out the truth of the matter and grow about my own superior knowledge. I skimmed some of the entry and then happened upon this small paragraph in the handguns entry:

Handheld firearms first appeared in China where gunpowder was first developed. They were hand cannons (although they were not necessarily fired from the hand, but rather at the end of a handle). By the 14th century, they existed in Europe as well.

You win this round, Philippa Gregory.

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6 Books with Flawed Fathers that You Need to Read

When you’re younger it’s easy to think that fathers are infallible. Maybe it’s just because they’re so tall, but fathers seem perfectly capable of chasing down monsters when you’re a kid. They’re there to be goofy with you, to help support your dreams, and to help you grow into the best adult that you can be. But there are times when fathers fall short of who they’re supposed to be.

Maybe it’s apparent when you’re a kid. Maybe you don’t realize until you’re older, but eventually that shoe has to drop.

Dads are people too and even if you love your father, he’s probably just as flawed as everyone else.

So in honour of Father’s Day and all those dads with all their flaws, here are my top 6 books with flawed father figures.
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The Summer Before by Ann M. Martin – Review

It should be no surprise to anyone that we live in a nostalgia driven world. I mean, take a look at the movies and TV shows that are coming out and you’ll see many appeals to our nostalgia, some predatory, some not. It’s nostalgia that started me on the road of rereading all the Baby-Sitter’s Club books and looking back at the things I’d read as a kid as an adult. It can almost feel like opening up a time capsule to peer inside when you crack open an old book again, looking back into the past with every turned page.

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Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell – Review

“One night last summer, all the killers in my head assembled on a stage in Massachusetts to sing show tunes.

And so we begin our journey down the Assassination Vacation rabbit hole that is Sarah Vowell’s obsession with presidents who were assassinated. She’s determined to go on a road trip and to immerse herself in the macabre details that were a part of what made America the country it is today. Sarah Vowell, a self-confessed weirdo, is joined on some of her trip by her patient sister and her nephew who might just be taking a little too much after her.

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Empty Mansions by Bill Dedman, Paul Clark Newell, Jr. – Review

I feel like we’re all hardwired to be suckers for good mysteries. It doesn’t have to be murder all the time (although my podcast lineup would beg to disagree), but when there’s something unknown, human nature drives to to try and figure it out. If there was the chance of foul play, especially with a huge fortune on the line, it can be hard to shrug your shoulders and walk away.

Empty Mansions feels a bit like a non-fiction carnival that has a little bit of everything, or perhaps it would be better described as an eclectic museum that has strange exhibits that you wouldn’t think were connected to each other at all. What does political corruption, Japanese paintings, dollhouses made to scale, running around the wild west, and ornate empty mansions have in common? If you were to walk into a museum and see these exhibits in place, they would probably seem bizarre.

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