Book Review: The Six

The Six is about 6 women who were NASA Astronauts. As a girl who would love to be an astronaut myself, I am always excited to read about some of the women who have paved the way, whether it ends up being a path I can actually follow them down or not.  This was a long book and full of a LOT of details and information which made it difficult for me to really get into at times and it took me quite some time to make my way through it.  But a lot of the things they had to go through being women hit home for me as I am also a woman in a male-dominated field – but we can do everything they can – if not moreso!

This book contains some great stories about some remarkable women so if you’re as interested in bad ass women and space as I am, definitely check out this book!

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

In the bestselling tradition of Hidden Figures and Code Girls, the remarkable true story of America’s first women astronauts—six extraordinary women, each making history going to orbit aboard NASA’s Space Shuttle.

When NASA sent astronauts to the moon in the 1960s and 1970s the agency excluded women from the corps, arguing that only military test pilots—a group then made up exclusively of men—had the right stuff. It was an era in which women were steered away from jobs in science and deemed unqualified for space flight. Eventually, though, NASA recognized its blunder and opened the application process to a wider array of hopefuls, regardless of race or gender. From a candidate pool of 8,000 six elite women were selected in 1978—Sally Ride, Judy Resnik, Anna Fisher, Kathy Sullivan, Shannon Lucid, and Rhea Seddon.

In The Six, acclaimed journalist Loren Grush shows these brilliant and courageous women enduring claustrophobic—and sometimes deeply sexist—media attention, undergoing rigorous survival training, and preparing for years to take multi-million-dollar payloads into orbit. Together, the Six helped build the tools that made the space program run. One of the group, Judy Resnik, sacrificed her life when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded at 46,000 feet. Everyone knows of Sally Ride’s history-making first space ride, but each of the Six would make their mark.

Book Review: Too Late To Stop Now

Too Late To Stop Now is More Rock N Roll War Stories.  This book contains 42 different stories – including such greats as Elton John, Joe Cocker, The Rolling Stones and Elvis Costello and spam from 1974 to 2014! Each Chapter is from a different point in time so you can either read straight through, pick and choose or do a couple every night!  Some of these stories may be hard to believe but are all equally fascinating. At one time I wanted to be a music reporter, so it’s fun to see all I was missing out on.  Or was I?

I received a free e-copy of this book from NetGalley to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

More than 40 stories from the glory days of rock’n’roll, featuring Lou Reed, Elton John, Sting and The Clash.

Allan Jones brings stories – many previously unpublished – from the golden days of music reporting. Long nights of booze, drugs and unguarded conversations which include anecdotes, experiences and extravagant behaviour.

– A band’s aftershow party in San Francisco being gatecrashed by cocaine-hungry Hells Angels
– Chrissie Hynde on how rock’n’roll killed The Pretenders
– What happened when Nick Lowe and 20 of his mates flew off to Texas to join the Confederate Air Force
– John Cale on his dark alliance with Lou Reed

Allan Jones remembers a world that once was – one of dark excess and excitement, outrageous deeds and extraordinary talent, featuring legends at both the beginnings and ends of their careers.

Book Review: Don’t Call It Hair Metal

Don’t Call It Hair Metal is a deep dive into the hard rock bands of the 1980s.  The book contains a lot of interviews and content about what some who grew up in the 80s may consider to be legends.  For me, I know of a lot of these bands but being just a kid in the 80s I don’t have that nostalgia/legend factor as I would if this was more 90s bands, but it was still an interesting read for me and kept my attention! If you were into the 80s scene then I think you’ll absolutely love everything this book has to offer.  It’s also written by a musician and music teacher and I think that helps make it flow better as well.

I received a free e-copy of this book from NetGalley in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

A love letter to the hard-rocking, but often snubbed, music of the era of excess: the 1980s

There may be no more joyous iteration in all of music than 1980s hard rock. It was an era where the musical and cultural ideals of rebellion and freedom of the great rock ’n’ roll of the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s were taken to dizzying heights of neon excess. Attention to songcraft, showmanship, and musical virtuosity (especially in the realm of the electric guitar) were at an all-time high, and radio and MTV were delivering the goods en masse to the corn-fed children of America and beyond.

Time hasn’t always been kind to artists of that gold and platinum era, but Don’t Call It Hair Metal analyzes the sonic evolution, musical diversity, and artistic intention of ’80s commercial hard rock through interviews with members of such hard rock luminaries as Twisted Sister, Def Leppard, Poison, Whitesnake, Ratt, Skid Row, Quiet Riot, Guns N’ Roses, Dokken, Mr. Big, and others.

Book Review: How (Not) to Date a Pop Star

Before starting this book, I made the mistake of looking at its reviews on GoodReads-  where it had 2 stars.  The book hadn’t been released yet when I read it and most of the complaints were that it was “obviously a book from WattPad”, I’m not really sure how to tell (aside from it saying so on the cover) but I’m not sure the harsh reviews were warranted.  There were some timeline issues and I had a bit of confusion if it was taking place in present day or not based on some of the slang used (“Go Home Roger” screams 90s Sister/Sister to me?) but nothing that I couldn’t end up working out.

Obviously as a pop music fan the goal was *always* to date a Pop Star.  This story is about Aaliyah and her best friend Tyler.  They were best friends growing up – Tyler a singer, Aaliyah a dancer.  Tyler ended up going off and becoming a popstar leaving Aaliyah behind.  Tyler ends up coming home for a visit, reconnecting with Aaliyah and interrupting her life completely.

It’s not a good book without some drama, right?  So add in some Russian mobsters who are trying to shake down Tyler’s Dad for some money and Aaliyah gets all wrapped up in their mess.

Tyler just wants to get back to a normal life and doesn’t really want to disrupt Aaliyah’s life, but a lot of things end up getting turned upside down and the two have to decide if they want each other or their careers.  Add in some high school mean girls…

It was a cute book and a quick read I enjoyed.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Aaliyah Preston and Tyler Moore were best friends growing up. Tyler played and wrote music, and Aaliyah brought that music to life through dance. They were convinced their lives would change forever after entering a TV talent show, but when Aliyah’s mom ended up in hospital, Tyler had to go alone–and won. Suddenly, he was thrust into the spotlight while she was left behind in their small, seaside town.

Several years later, Tyler is the hottest pop star on the planet, and Aaliyah has her heart set on following in her mom’s footsteps and attending the Boston Conservatory to study dance. However, her future becomes hazy when Tyler suddenly comes back home, and wants to make up for all the years they lost–and even plan a future that includes the two of them together.

While Tyler may have a lavish lifestyle and fans all the world over, he isn’t happy. What he really wants is a chance at a normal life, and he wants Aaliyah to be part of that life. However, family drama, including long buried secrets about both of their fathers, threaten any plans for their futures. But like the best pop songs, when the music and the lyrics come together everything works in perfect harmony. Tyler and Aaliyah will need to write a new duet without giving up on their dreams.

Book Review: Booook! A spooky high-contrast book

Booook! is a spooky high contract board book that will be available in July of 2023.  It is a Halloween story for young children done entirely in high-contrast black and white.  There’s pumpkins, ghosts, skeletons and bones all to get you ready for the spooky season!  A quick read for your toddler and it is apart of a collection that helps to visually nourish your child’s brain with the high contract and clear shapes.  Be sure to look for other books that feature sports, the world, ocean friends, baby animals and garden bugs!

I received a free e-copy of this book from NetGalley in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.



Book Review: Goblin Mode

I will admit, I wasn’t super familiar with what it meant to be in “Goblin Mode” before reading this book – but I had seen that it was one of the Oxford word of the years – and I thought it was just about being lazy and self indulgent and I wasn’t sure it was for me.  But after reading this book, I realized I’m already half way there if not 3/4 of the way there – just perhaps not as in tune with nature as I should be to be in full Goblin Mode and that it wasn’t as negative as I was making it out to be based on the Oxford definitions and probably more “click bait-y” articles that I had been reading.

This book is all about getting cozy, embracing your imperfections and thriving in the “muck”.  It’s for those of us who often times feel like we don’t fit in and that what makes us different than everyone else is the most awesome things about us.  There’s some crafty things to do in the book too – like how to display your rock collection, what to do when you’re out in nature (don’t take anything but pictures!), tips on foraging (but not mushrooms), how to mend your sweaters to make them last longer so the cozy never ends and then a lot of stuff about plants and nature.

Definitely a cool read and I definitely will be trying to embrace my inner goblin a bit more now!

I received a free e-copy of this book from NetGalley in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Embrace your inner goblin! Learn to decorate, dress, craft, forage, and live according to the goblin principles of community, diversity, proud weirdness, and joyful mess.

Do you ever feel strange, gross, chaotic, underappreciated, or like you don’t quite fit in? Great news: you might be a goblin! That means your imperfections and idiosyncrasies are the most awesome things about you, and you can build a more balanced, comfortable, harmonious life by accepting and honoring them—taking inspiration from the frogs, fungus, moss, rocks, and dirt that goblins love.

Can a mushroom give you fashion tips? Can a snail teach you to be a better person? You bet they can—and in this book you’ll also learn to:

  • Build a moss garden for your lair
  • Grow and use medicinal plants
  • Forage for berries (even in the city)
  • Mend your cozy sweaters
  • Display your cool rock collection
  • And more!

Anyone can be a goblin, and Goblin Mode includes life advice for celebrating physical and mental diversity, rejecting prejudice, and generally hanging on to a little joy.

Featuring 25 whimsical illustrations by Marian Churchland, Goblin Mode will help you rethink your relationship with your body, your home, your community, and the earth.

Book Review: P!NK Raise Your Glass

I am really digging these biographic books about musical artists that are mostly cool images that have been coming out lately.  This one tells the story of P!NK, which I knew some of as I have been a fan of hers. But some of the information was new to me.  She is such an amazing performer, I can’t wait to see her live again!

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.


About the Book

Pink: Raise Your Glass is a celebration of one of pop’s longest reigning rebels. Beautifully illustrated with essential images, this book is a fitting tribute to an undeniably, remarkable pop artist.

Pink is one of the most trailblazing artists of our time. Her breakthrough album, Missundaztood, was released to critical acclaim in 2001 and showcased her unique, powerhouse pop vocals, as well as her rebellious style. In the two decades since, she has remained firmly in pop’s upper echelons, despite her refusal to conform.

She consistently out-sings her contemporaries with hit songs such as, “Get the Party Started,” “Just Like a Pill,” “So What,” “What About Us,” and “Beautiful Trauma,” while her willingness to speak frankly about difficult topics has made her a relatable role model. She is an outspoken animal rights activist, and has been vocal about women’s rights, LGBT rights, and her support of same-sex marriage.

Away from the studio, Pink’s live shows are nothing short of phenomenal; her jaw-dropping acrobatics mark her out as a truly spectacular performer.

Loved by fans and revered by the music industry, Pink continues to enjoy global success and substantial airplay. Her accolades are numerous and include, three Grammys, a Daytime Emmy Award, and seven MTV Video Music Awards―the prestigious Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award among them. In 2019, she was honoured with the Outstanding Contribution to Music Award at the Brit Awards, and in 2021 she accepted the Icon Award at the 2021 Billboard Music Awards.

Book Review: Fancy Bear Goes Phishing

Fancy Bear Goes Phishing is about the Dark History of the Information Age and tells it by documenting 5 extraordinary hacks.  Since hacking and cybersecurity are of interest to me, I was excited to read about these hacks.  Some of which were eve before my time – starting with a grad student who accidentally crashed the internet creating one of the first worm viruses.  Also interesting was how things got names – viruses, worms, Fancy Bear, etc. All of which is documented in this book.

I was also quite pleased with myself after reading about a hack to T-Mobile that ended up getting Paris Hilton’s data that my website is now better secured than T-Mobile’s was at the time and how easy it was for anyone to get into their database and get the user data stored there. (I’m assuming they know a lot more now than they did in 2005 or thereabouts when the hack was.)

This book is written by a Yale University professor and he has a class at Yale that goes through some of this information as well ( think they’ll let me take it?) and while it is long and there’s a decent amount of tech jargon I didn’t feel lost at all when reading it and found it really broke things down in an interesting and informative way.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

An entertaining account of the philosophy and technology of hacking—and why we all need to understand it.

It’s a signal paradox of our times that we live in an information society but do not know how it works. And without understanding how our information is stored, used, and protected, we are vulnerable to having it exploited. In Fancy Bear Goes Phishing, Scott J. Shapiro draws on his popular Yale University class about hacking to expose the secrets of the digital age. With lucidity and wit, he establishes that cybercrime has less to do with defective programming than with the faulty wiring of our psyches and society. And because hacking is a human-interest story, he tells the fascinating tales of perpetrators, including Robert Morris Jr., the graduate student who accidentally crashed the internet in the 1980s, and the Bulgarian “Dark Avenger,” who invented the first mutating computer-virus engine. We also meet a sixteen-year-old from South Boston who took control of Paris Hilton’s cell phone, the Russian intelligence officers who sought to take control of a US election, and others.

In telling their stories, Shapiro exposes the hackers’ tool kits and gives fresh answers to vital questions: Why is the internet so vulnerable? What can we do in response? Combining the philosophical adventure of Gödel, Escher, Bach with dramatic true-crime narrative, the result is a lively and original account of the future of hacking, espionage, and war, and of how to live in an era of cybercrime.

Book Review: The Secret To Getting Along

The Secret To Getting Along (And Why It’s Easier Than You Think) breaks down relationships with others into 3 steps to life-changing conflict resolution. While the book makes it seem pretty easy, I’m not sure it’s quite as easy as they make it seem, but there are definitely a lot of  techniques in how to approach those in your life you are having conflict with to resolve things in a healthy way and not in such a way that the conflict doesn’t end up resolved and the relationship is broken.  I am trying to think positively though and have been working on some of the suggested techniques with practice exercises that were provided in the book.  We’ll see how it goes…

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

It is possible to get along better, with 3 simple steps for conflict resolution!

Conflict is everywhere—in our homes, at work, on our social media feeds. But conflict isn’t inherently bad… in fact, it’s a normal and healthy part of human relationships. In The Secret to Getting Along (And Why it’s Easier Than You Think!), attorney Gabrielle Hartley brings more than two decades of divorce mediation experience to helping you learn how to resolve conflict in ways that strengthen your relationships, reflect your values, and lead to positive outcomes for everyone involved. This practical and accessible guide to everyday conflict resolution will help you:

  • Reframe your approach to conflict
  • Harness the power of storytelling
  • Identify three simple steps to resolve any conflict or disagreement in your life
  • Practice the suggested techniques through written and verbal exercises
  • And more!

Whether you’re fighting with your partner about housework, struggling to set boundaries with a difficult family member, or dealing with a toxic coworker, The Secret to Getting Along (And Why It’s Easier Than You Think!) is your best resource for navigating difficult conversations and situations—and finding the solutions that will help you create a peaceful, happy life.

Book Review: Baseball Field Guide

The Baseball Field Guide, 4th Edition, helps you learn about “every inch of the baseball (from the core to the stitches!)”.  As the introduction says, the basic rules are second nature to those who watch the sport regularly (me) but the official rules can be surprisingly complex. Which is true. Every now and then some weird situation comes up and you kind of wish you had a rule guide in your back pocket – and now you can!  I liked how this book has the rules broken down and there’s also graphics and images to help you understand what’s going on.  With several new rules coming to MLB this season, now that I have this field guide available to me I’ll hopefully be a bit less confused while I root on my Mets!

I received a free e-copy of this book from NetGalley in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

A great overview for novices and a precise reference guide for hard-core fans!

Admit it: Even if you’re a die-hard fan of our national pastime, sometimes an umpire’s call can be baffling. And for newer fans, Major League Baseball’s nuanced rules—developed and revised over many decades—can be downright perplexing.

Now updated throughout with the latest changes, including specifications about the universal designated hitter and limits on defensive shifts, the Baseball Field Guide lays out every rule in plain English. You’ll learn to answer all these questions and more:

  • Do you know the twenty-two ways a pitcher can be charged with a balk?
  • Can you list all seven ways a batter can safely get to first base?
  • Obstruction or interference—who’s at fault when things get rough?
  • What are the rules that apply before and after a game?
  • What happens when spectators are the ones who misbehave?
  • How well do you understand the infamous Infield Fly Rule (and why does it exist)?

This is the clearest explanation anywhere of the rules of baseball. Designed for quick and intuitive searches, this entertaining reference will help you understand every aspect of the game and add to your enjoyment of the sport.

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