Sunday, January 27, 2013

Blog Giveaway!

Join me in my first-ever blog giveaway! Make a list of 5 books that I have reviewed on my blog that you are going to add to your reading list and leave the list in the comments section below. I will select a winner on Saturday, February 2, 2013. The winner will receive my ARC copy of City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Title: The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?
Author: Jared Diamond
Genre: non-fiction, anthropology

A wonderful book for a wannabe anthropologist like me...

So you maybe wondering, what is a traditional society? A traditional society is a small group of people that are hunter-gatherers (they forage for and hunt their food) that have no centralized state government. Their group is so small that a "government/bureaucratic" decision can be reached very quickly. America, on the other hand, is a modern, industrialized society: we "forage" and "hunt" our food in a supermarket. most of our jobs are sedentary and technology driven, and our "group" is so large that we need to elect bureaucrats to represent us in our centralized government.

Jared Diamond compares major aspects of life in the industrialized West versus the few, surviving traditional societies that can still be found in the Amazon, Australia, Africa and Papua New Guinea. Topics covered are distinguishing between friend and enemies, trade, war, death, child rearing, treatment of the elderly, danger, religion, language and diet. Diamond compares and contrasts the advantages and disadvantages of traditional and modern societies and encourages the citizens of modern societies to adopt certain traditional practices (certain aspects of child rearing, diet, and multilingualism). A recommended read for anyone who wants to expand their view of the world and learn about different cultures.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Title: National Geographic 125 Years: Legendary Photographs, Adventures, and Discoveries That Changed the World
Author: Mark Collins Jenkins
Genre: non-fiction, adventure, travel, geography, science, journalism, photography

This is an amazing "coffee table" book that should be read by lovers of history, archaeology. travel, adventure, geography, journalism, and photography....

National Geographic (or NatGeo) is an American icon but I'm sure many Americans don't know the roots of this classic and elegant magazine: The National Geographic Society had humble beginnings as an academic and exclusive society of Washington, D.C's intellectual elite. The need for funds and an increased subscription base broadened the subscribers to armchair travelers (everyday Americans). Once photography, especially color photography, was added to the pages, the subscription rate soared and the rest is history....

(Jenkins is the chief historian for the NatGeo archives and as someone who works in the local history field, I think this sounds like an awesome job!)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Title: Young House Love
Author: Sherry and John Petersik
Genre: nonfiction, DIY, home decorating

I borrowed this book from the library but there are so many great ideas in here I'm tempted to buy myself a copy for when the home renovation/decoration urge strikes. I think the biggest plus for me when reading this book is the Petersiks' honesty about how much time it takes to remodel a home. It took them years to remodel their first home- like the rest of us, life and work sometimes gets in the way of remodeling and redecorating plans. Now I don't feel so bad so that our remodeling and redecorating plans are moving at a snail's pace.
I also love how the Petersiks aren't afraid to use color and whimsy to turn their house into a home. As I was reading through the book I kept thinking, "Now, why didn't I think of that?" or "This is definitely a Pinterest-worthy idea!" Projects range from simple to advanced, cheap to expensive and home decorators of all tastes and budgets will feel inspired to take one of these projects and make it their own.