Caesar’s Last Breath, by Sam Kean

61fun1jph3l-_sl500_ Summary: This book is a detailed scientific description of a variety of different gases. It works as both a history book (covering the discovery of different gases throughout history) and a science book.

My Thoughts: This was a fun book to listen to, but I often wondered what the point was. It lacked a certain charm that I expect in popular science books. On the other hand, it covered a lot of interesting material, and I certainly learned a lot.

3 and half snowflakes

Get Ready to Get Pregnant, by Michael C. Lu

9780061740305_p0_v1_s550x406Summary: In Get Ready to Get Pregnant, Dr. Lu provides a lot of important information for women who wish to become pregnant within the next several months (longer, if you plan on getting down to a target weight before getting pregnant, as he suggests).

My Thoughts: Although the information was interesting and informative at times, I feel that Dr. Lu was a bit of a fear-monger. Is my child really going to have diabetes if I do not get my weight down before getting pregnant? Maybe. Maybe not. Then again, some of the information was quite useful – such as the information on what kinds of foods to eat. Other information was stuff I already knew, and I just ended up skimming a lot of chapters. So, it’s a good, very basic, book for people who want to get pregnant, but I suggest not letting it scare you.

3 and half snowflakes

Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann

51rjdnbi1il-_sl500_Summary: In the 1920s, the Osage Indians of Oklahoma were the richest people per capita due to the discovery of oil on their land. The federal government decided that the Osage were not “fit” to make monetary decisions on their own, and they were appointed legal guardians who did anything but guard the safety of their legal charges. Over a period of several years, many rich Osage were murdered (or died suspiciously) in what appears to be a conspiracy among legal guardians to gain control of the wealth. Outlining malicious greed and terror, Killers of the Flower Moon begins by following a specific set of murders that the FBI “solved.” Grann then continues the book by describing his own research into other mysterious deaths that happened around the same time.
My Thoughts: This book is engaging and terrifying at the same time. It’s sadly too easy to believe that people appointed to be “guardians” would act so despicably. It is disgusting and bigoted that the federal government claimed the Osage needed guardians to begin with. Such a tragic story. But one that I think every American should read to understand how the government has treated Native Americans.

5 snowflakes

Incarceration Nations, by Baz Dreisinger

Synopsis: Dr. Dreisinger travels to different prisons around the world, giving 2-day seminars to the prisoners and comparing the pros and cons of each prison system.
My Thoughts: I admit this book wasn’t quite what I expected. I expected it to have more complaints (with evidence) about the problems of over-incarceration. Although it did contain such comments, that was not the point of the book. It was a fascinating description of different prisons throughout the world and what they were doing right (and wrong) in rehabilitating their inmates. She left some prisons feeling uplifted and left others feeling quite depressed. I found the book quite interesting even if it wasn’t quite what I expected.
I give this book 4 snowflakes for interest level and fluidity of writing
four snowflakes