Captive of the Labyrinth: Sarah L. Winchester, Heiress to the Rifle Fortune by Mary Jo Ignoffo

Captive of the Labyrinth: Sarah L. Winchester, Heiress to the Rifle Fortune

Captive of the Labyrinth: Sarah L. Winchester, Heiress to the Rifle Fortune by Mary Jo Ignoffo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was curious about Mrs. Winchester, since I had visited the house in San Jose on a couple of occasions. The stories seemed far-fetched, and after reading this, I understand why.

I didn’t get into this book until after the first third of it. The family tree was dull, and it took hours and many pages to get through. Once we got into the story of Mrs. Winchester herself, and the history of San Jose and Santa Clara, it got interesting.

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Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot

Heart Berries

Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I picked this up for required reading for school. I had attempted to read it when it was part of On City One Book when it first was published, but I got sidetracked and never got to it.

I had a hard time following the story and who the main character was writing to. Even once I figured it out, I still wasn’t thrilled with the book. It read more like fiction than a memoir to me.

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Not fiction, embellished truth

I am a storyteller. If you know me, you know that I always have a story. Most of my stories are actual truth, but I am able to find something funny in most things.

I have been accused of embellishing my stories. I usually am not embellishing. I have realized, though, that a lot of the things I observe are because I am always distracted and many people don’t notice when stuff is going on. When I notice and I’m with someone who knows me, I try to point out the unusual event, so that I have a witness.

I do have several friends who are storytellers, and I am near positive that they embellish. I am rarely with them when these things happen to them, so I don’t know how much is true and how much is fiction. I do believe there’s a strong in between, though. Embellishment.

Warm Up Activities for Nonfiction

Warm up activities for nonfiction

The above linked article shows tips on getting students interested in nonfiction work. Some of it really just applies to students, but a lot of it can be used by anyone who wants to get into reading nonfiction.

One of the best pieces of advice is to encourage discussion. I do this with bookclubs, so I know that it helps me to get into the books.

I also pick topics that interest me or that I know nothing about. I am big on believing that you should learn something new, constantly. Nonfiction is a great way to do this.

Nonfiction isn’t boring. There are so many parts to it, including history and memoir. Pick up something you are interested in and go for it!

Broken by Jenny Lawson

 by Jenny Lawson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have loved the author’s previous books, so when I heard that this one was coming out, I preordered it IMMEDIATELY. Ms. Lawson writes about human flaws in such a humorous, open way that the reader can’t help but be sucked into the story.

I learn a lot from her books, too. I had no idea that watermelon was a laxative for cats until she described her leopard spotted carpet. I had to look up a cockchafer, also.

I live the chapter on fighting with the insurance company every week. Sometimes, it’s several times a week. I comforted me to know that others have the same fights with the same people, and it’s not just me. Now, if we could all band together and allow doctors to decide what is best for patients, and not allow the insurance companies to dictate treatments, so many more people would be happier and healthier.

I highly recommend this book. I laughed through the majority of it, but she discusses many serious subjects, also.

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Becoming by Michelle Obama


 by Michelle Obama

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had read some very heavy books before I picked this one up. I knew how it was going to end, so I didn’t worry about stressing myself out.

The author told her story very well. It was powerful. I am glad that she wrote the story in her own words and didn’t have a ghost writer.

She told the story of a woman who worked hard for everything she got. She told the story of a woman struggling with infertility. She told the story of a mom struggling between work and family.

I would recommend this book highly. It was definitely worth reading.

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Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed by Lori Gottlieb

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed by Lori Gottlieb
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book after the first few chapters. I had heard a lot about the book from multiple sources so when it popped up for bookclub, I jumped at the chance to read it.

I enjoyed the characters and the story. The author put a lot of herself into the book. 

I would definitely recommend the book. Parts of it were funny but it gave me a lot to think about between the laughs. 

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