• Book Review

    Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave

    My Thoughts What blows my mind about this book is how incredibly readable and accessible it is, considering the fact that it was written over a century ago. Frederick Douglass was a fugitive slave and a prominent leader of the abolitionist movement. While in captivity, Douglass worked hard to teach himself how to read and write, viewing literacy and education as his means to freedom. “Power concedes nothing without demand. It never did and it never will… Men may not get all they pay for in this world, but they must certainly pay for all they get.” The narrative discusses Douglass’s experiences as both a plantation slave and a personal…

  • Book Review

    The Road of Lost Innocence: The True Story of a Cambodian Heroine

    Warnings: Sexual Assault, Rape, Child Abuse, Violence Against Women and Children My Thoughts I didn’t know a thing about Somaly Mam or her NGO, AEFSIP (Acting for Women in Distressing Situations) when I picked up this little book at the library. Human trafficking has been a well-known issue in Southeast Asia that is still prevalent today despite humanitarian efforts. It is a horrible industry that continues to grow and affects even my home country, the Philippines. This memoir details Somaly’s upbringing as an aboriginal girl in the years following the end of the Khmer Rouge. Mam was abandoned and eventually picked up by an abuser that sells her. The book…

  • Book Review

    Guns

    My Thoughts I thought that I couldn’t love Stephen King any more than I already do being a long time fan of his short stories, but damn do I love when he writes non-fiction. Guns is a no-nonsense essay about gun violence in America, focusing on mass shootings and the factors that contribute to them. “Semi-automatics have only two purposes. One is so owners can take them to the shooting range once in awhile, yell yeehaw, and get all horny at the rapid fire and the burning vapor spurting from the end of the barrel. Their other use – their only other use – is to kill people.” He doesn’t…

  • Self Help Book Review

    The 5 Love Languages

    My Thoughts The Five Love Languages is one of those books that is so pervasive, so simple in its practicality. It’s always one of the first recommendations from therapists about relationships and it’s easy to see why. I turned to this book myself during my own marital struggles after hearing about the book from a class years before. While it wasn’t a magical solution to my problems, it provided some insight that made me think about myself and my relationships, which is a start. Through his work as a marriage counselor, Chapman identified a basic outline of different love styles. Though each love style is clearly defined it is not…

  • Book Review

    Heart Berries

    Warnings: Sexually Explicit Content, Violence, Abuse My Thoughts What an outstanding memoir, Heart Berries was unputdownable and is one of the few books that I would honestly read again. Terese’s prose is precise and strikingly beautiful even when she is talking about difficult topics. I read the book over the course of a day at work and I was fully absorbed in the author’s story. This book was a lot of things. It is a book about reckoning with mental illness and childhood abuse, about motherhood and her struggle to maintain personal relationships, about finding an indigenous voice that is authentic to her. Heart Berries is short but tells a…

  • Book Review

    Nasty Women

    My Thoughts This book seems to have been published as a direct reaction to the 2016 election, and I read it years ago as an ARC. It is an anthology that covers the intersections of race, sexuality, and feminism. It was really cool to get to see the world through the eyes of women coming from walks of life entirely removed from my own. There were many whose struggles I couldn’t even begin to imagine dealing with, while others I found comfort that I wasn’t alone in the issues that I have faced. Nasty Women covers a wide range of topics by authors from drastically different backgrounds. “Being able to…