3/5 Stars: The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit, by Michael Finkel

This book was fascinating – until it wasn’t.

I loved reading about Christopher Knight and his story was interesting until I got to the uncomfortable parts (the last 20 pages or so) where the author basically harassed the Knight family in order to get information. He (the author) tried to get close to Christopher, and even showed up at his house after being told not to. I didn’t enjoy any of that part, and it was uncomfortable to read about. I understand he’s a journalist, I understand their job is to find the truth, but the means in which he went about it left me feeling awkward. I at least appreciate that he put it in the book, and was honest about his means.

The story is unbelievable, and yet you’re left believing every word. I felt no sympathy towards Knight since he did steal and terrorize people (whether unintentionally or not) but I also understand the desire to get away from everything. Knight lived a life that few people these days can ever accomplish, and I think that’s why it makes a fascinating story. I just wish there were more ‘morals’ involved, if that makes sense.

3/5 stars


Review: I am Malala, by Malala Yousafzai


I knew even before I started this book that I was going to love it. The story is about Malala, a girl who was shot in the face by the Taliban because she wanted an education. She stood up for things that most of us take for granted. The whole book was incredibly powerful and served as a constant reminder to me about how life is so very different across this world. It reminded me that not everyone has what I have. It made me feel grateful for my life, for my education, for the things that I have.

When I was reading reviews a lot of people seemed to dislike the political and historical turns that the pages brought, but I actually enjoyed those parts the most. I loved learning about the Swat Valley and how it has changed over the years. I liked reading about the political history of Pakistan, and I found that it was woven into the story of Malala very well.

It was one of those books that made me think the entire time I read it, made me feel anger, happiness, sadness, fear, all of these emotions ran over me as I made my way through the pages. While the book is certainly a far cry from my ‘typical’ choices, I’m glad I branched out. I don’t want to spoil the actual book because I feel that it’s one of those books you really have to read for yourself. Keeping in mind that the novel was written by a young girl (a very well spoken one) may help overcome some barriers readers might face.

5 / 5 stars

Review: Dragonwriter: A Tribute to Anne McCaffrey and Pern by Todd J. McCaffrey



This book was an ARC provided to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review.

I’ve read a lot of books by Anne McCaffrey over the years, and although she wasn’t my favorite fantasy author, she did manage to draw me into the world of Pern with ease. After all, who doesn’t love stories of magical dragons and incredibly memorable characters.

The book is a collection of essays about her and remembering her life. They include writings by her friends, family, and other authors. The ones that stood out to me most were by Todd McCaffrey himself, you could really feel the emotion behind his words and I’m guessing that is the point. To remind us all why we fell in love with this fantastic author.

My one small issue is that a lot of the essays provided did not actually seem to be about Anne McCaffrey, but about the specific author who was providing the essay. I know sometimes that is hard to avoid as you’re trying to give backstory, but it distracted from the point of the book in my opinion and was not always necessary.

The essays (while well written) had a tendency to blend into one and it was difficult at times to distinguish one person from another, so I broke the book up into sections to get more of a ‘fresh’ feel while I read it. Still, it was amazing to gain so much more information into her life, and to learn about aspects that I had no idea about. If you were a fan of her books at all I would recommend giving the book a read just for that. It’s a nice reminder that authors are regular people, and that we all have our stories to tell.

3/5 stars