The Fashion Lovers Guide to Milan by Rachael Martin Book Review

Author Information

Rachael Martin is a British writer who has lived just north of Milan for over twenty years. She writes about travel, culture, the arts, and food in Italy for online and print publications. She has a special interest in the city of Milan and its fashion history, and in the stories of the women involved.

Book Description

Milan is the European fashion capital with one of the world’s most unique luxury fashion districts where the leaders of some of the most exclusive fashion houses are still living and working today. It’s the Italian city whose skyline has changed more than any, and whose fashion industry has extended to encompass the worlds of design, restaurants, bars, exhibition spaces, hotels and more. Whether you’re looking for designer labels within the city’s luxury fashion district, prefer to browse the city’s boutiques or pick up some quality vintage at the city’s vintage shops and markets, this is the guide that will tell you where to go.

Split into geographical sections along with relevant maps, cultural highlights and suggestions for where to eat and drink, it places Milan as the city of fashion within the context of Italian fashion history and a city, and brings the stories of its people to life. Why did Milan become Italy’s fashion capital? And what does it offer the fashion lover as a city today? 

Review

Thank you to Casemate Publisher for the copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Just from reading the introduction of this book, it made me want to read more and also go on my own trip to Milan. I loved how the author eases you into the book and how you get a glimpse of how important writing this book is to her.

Something that I like about this book is that it isn’t just giving you current Milan fashion, it goes through the history of fashion in Milan. I also really like how within each section of this book, it has even pieces included to tie the chapter together. I also really like how this gives different places to shop depending on the style of clothing that you are looking for. This book also includes different places in which you are able to get different meals which was great to read about.

Something else that I like about this book is that you can jump around while reading it. There is no need to go from one section to the next, you can read the portions that you are interested in and save some for later. I skipped around a bit while reading this and glimpsed over the historical pieces but still found the book just as great as when I went back and read the pieces I skipped or skimmed.

While I am not a person who is big into fashion, I did find this book easy to follow along, and found different brands to look into and places in Milan that would be cool to visit. I think this book is great for fashion lovers as well as those of us who might not be too familiar with the fashion world. I highly recommend this book to those of you who might want to explore Milan’s fashion along with their food. I also think this is a great way to explore another country right now during this pandemic where travel might not be possible for all of us.

What Fresh Hell Is This? by Heather Corinna Book Review

Author Information

Heather Corinna is an insufferable queer and nonbinary feminist activist, author, educator, artist, organizer, and innovator. They’re the founder, director, designer and editor of the web clearinghouse and organization Scarleteen, the first comprehensive sex, sexuality and relationships education site and resource of its kind. Heather and the team at Scarleteen have provided millions of young people accurate, inclusive information and support for over two decades. They’re often tired.

Heather’s also the author of the inclusive, comprehensive and progressive sex, sexual health and relationships book for young adults, S.E.X: The All-You-Need-To-Know Sexuality Guide to Get You Through Your Teens and Twenties (Hachette, 2006, 2017), now in its second edition; and, with Isabella Rotman and Luke Howard, Wait, What?: A Comic Book Guide to Relationships, Bodies, and Growing Up (Oni Press/Lion Forge, 2019), for older middle readers and younger teen. They’ve been an early childhood educator, a sexuality, contraception and abortion educator and counselor, a member of the editorial board for the American Journal of Sexuality Education and the Board of Directors for NARAL Pro-Choice Washington; a writer and contributing editor for the 2011 edition of Our Bodies, Ourselves, and a plaintiff for the ACLU where they eventually got to stick it to the Bush administration, which was one of their Best Days Ever. By working themselves to a pulp, Heather has won acclaim and several awards in their field, and a lot of places and people say they’re awesome. Some do not.

They’re navigating middle age and all it entails with as much grace as they can muster (spoiler: not much), and currently, and begrudgingly, live and work in their hometown of Chicago after 20 years away. When not locked in a small room feverishly writing a book in a pandemic or otherwise overindulging in labor, Heather hangs out with their dog, partner and friends, goes outside, makes and geeks out about music, cooks, babies houseplants, and tries to enjoy the purportedly existential theater of life. 

Book Description

An informative, blisteringly funny, somewhat cranky and always spot-on guide to perimenopause and menopause by the award-winning sex ed/health educator and author of S.E.X.
If you don’t know award-winning sex educator and all-around badass Heather Corinna, let them introduce themselves and their new book:
“I’m going to do what I’ve done for millions of people of all ages with sex and relationships: to simplify and share solid, explicit information, to provide support and be sensitive, and to help make everyone feel less alone and get us all through hard, thorny, touchy stuff so we can make it to the other side. I’m going to do this in a similar way I’ve done it for sex and relationships in my work over the last couple decades for young people and adults alike: by talking out loud, shamelessly and frankly, about what others are afraid or ashamed to, much in the way your favorite loudmouth aunt might have if she made this kind of stuff her life’s work and if your family also didn’t always apparently forget to invite her to everything.”
Corinna has been on the cutting edge of health for more than twenty years, always talking about what people are most afraid, ashamed, or embarrassed of. What Fresh Hell Is This? is no different. It’s a companion for everyone who’s reached this “what to expect when you’re not expected to expect anything” time of life. It’s a health-forward, feminist, no b.s. (and damn funny) perimenopause guide for the generation that time forgot (aka GenXers), offering straightforward descriptions of our bodies, minds, lives and what’s going on with them during this time of hormonal chaos. Heather Corinna tells you what to expect and what to do, all while busting some myths and offering real self-care tips so you can get through this. With practical, clear information that also includes affected populations who have long been left out of the discussion, like those with disabilities, queer, transgender, nonbinary and other gender-diverse people, the working class and other marginalized folks, What Fresh Hell Is This? an accessible and inclusive guide for anyone who is experiencing the hot fire of perimenopause.

Review

Since this book is non-fiction, there is no need for me to have this separated into characters and writing style. I was quite surprised with how much I enjoyed this book as I was worried it wouldn’t be relevant to me.

I really liked the way that this book was written and how everything is separated into different chapters based on what is being discussed. I liked how this book talked about a lot of the changes that happen with menopause and not just what happens to the reproductive system. I was quite surprised about the many things that people who may go through menopause don’t know about their bodies. I shared a copy of this book with my mom and kept one for myself so I can reference it in the future.

Something else that I really enjoyed about this book was how the language that is used throughout this book is gender neutral. As someone who is non-binary and one day will experience menopause, it was nice to not have this tied to being a woman. There was no point in this book that I felt like they were not including me in the group of people who experience that phenomenon.

I highly recommend this to those of you who may experience menopause, who are currently experiencing menopause, and those of you who want to better understand those of us who go through menopause. There was so much that I learned through reading this book and a lot of things that I was amazed by. I think its very important to be familiar with the changes that happen to your body so you are prepared when they come.

Survival of the Thickest: Essays by Michelle Buteau Book Review

Author Information

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 10: Michelle Buteau attends the 2019 Glamour Women Of The Year Summit at Alice Tully Hall on November 10, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Glamour)

Michelle Buteau was born on July 24, 1977 in Hamilton Township, New Jersey, USA. She is an actress and writer, known for Always Be My Maybe (2019), Happiest Season (2020) and Isn’t It Romantic (2019). She has been married to Gijs van der Most since July 31, 2010. They have two children.

Book Description

If you’ve watched television or movies in the past year, you’ve seen Michelle Buteau. With scene-stealing roles in Always Be My MaybeFirst Wives ClubSomeone GreatRussian Doll, and Tales of the City; a reality TV show and breakthrough stand-up specials, including her headlining show Welcome to Buteaupia on Netflix, and two podcasts (Late Night Whenever and Adulting), Michelle’s star is on the rise. You’d be forgiven for thinking the road to success—or adulthood or financial stability or self-acceptance or marriage or motherhood—has been easy; but you’d be wrong.

Now, in Survival of the Thickest, Michelle reflects on growing up Caribbean, Catholic, and thick in New Jersey, going to college in Miami (where everyone smells like pineapple), her many friendship and dating disasters, working as a newsroom editor during 9/11, getting started in standup opening for male strippers, marrying into her husband’s Dutch family, IVF and surrogacy, motherhood, chosen family, and what it feels like to have a full heart, tight jeans, and stardom finally in her grasp.

Review

Thank you to Libro.fm for the advanced listening copy of this book in exchange for my review.

Thoughts and Themes: This review is a little different from my others because this book is different from what I usually read. For non-fiction books there really is no commenting on characters because there is none especially in a memoir. I love every memoir by a comedian that I have read to this date because they have the humor in each portion of their memoir, even in the moments that are meant to be sad.

I love how this book is separated into different essays that talk about different portions and aspects of Michelle’s life. I really enjoy reading memoirs from comedians when I don’t know them because the memoir tends to make me want to watch their acts. I only got through two of the essays and am already loving it and can’t wait to listen to the whole thing. I’m so interested in hearing more of this book and learning more about her through this book.

There are so many moments that I was just laughing or having to pause because my mom walked past and there was some inappropriate language. I don’t mind that but I don’t want my mom to question my reading choices, lol. I want to comment on each essay that is included in this book but then this review would go on forever.

I love that Michelle talks about the real things and doesn’t sugar coat anything. I really like her essay “Survival of the Thickest ” and its commentary on what we tell Big girls. I liked how she talks about what it is like to have a larger body as a child and how she was treated. She doesn’t go easy on this topic and she lays out her feelings right on those pages. I love how she talks about the shops that make her feel like worthy. I could go on and on on the relatability of this chapter.

There are so many other essays in this book that I really enjoy, I really liked the commentary that she made on the Catholic church. I related so much to this and loved what her stance was and how she kept her friends a part of the whole ceremony even if her family would’ve preferred otherwise.

Something that I think people may have issues with is that she brings her humor to even the hardest moments of her life. I think when reading you need to understand that this is the way she is comfortable with sharing this very intimate parts of herself with you as the reader. I was very appreciative of the fact that she was willing to share these moments with us.

Hollywood Park ARC Book Review

Thoughts: Thank you to Celadon Books for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for my review.

Memoirs are a little difficult to review as I can’t really rate them on their characters or the plot. It isn’t as if those are features that could have been changed in the person’s life. What I can talk about though is the writing style and the way the story is told.

This memoir is split up into four parts each one documenting a different portion of Mike’s life. Each of these different parts are written with a distinguishable tone which is quite enjoyable.

Escape: This portion of the memoir tells you the story of Synanon and what it was like for Mikel and his brother to live there. This portion is told through the eyes of a very young, naive child who is still learning about the world. You start to get an idea about the relationships that Mikel has with others and the role that certain people play in his life.

Oregon: This portion of the book changes tones and it is like Mikel has suddenly matured and grown wiser. He is still a child and there is so much left for him to learn but often times he plays the role of an adult. In this portion of the book Mikel gets to know his father and that side of his family which changes his personality and his relationship with others. I really enjoy this portion of the book as we learn more about Mikel and start to see some changes for him. This is the point in which Mikel feels as if he is responsible for taking care of his mother and you see him grow up much quicker than a child should have to.

California: This portion of the book where there is a major shift for all of the characters as Mike goes to live with his dad and his dad’s partner in California. There is a major shift in Mike’s behavior at this point in the book as he becomes a teenager and wants to be accepted by his brother. The tone in this portion shifts as we are now hearing this story from a teen rather than a child.

This is the portion of the book that I felt told most of the story and where the story really picks up. This was the portion of the book that kept me reading and really wanting to know what happened to Mikel and his family. I liked how the tone gradually shifts throughout this section of the book as Mikel grows up physically and also mentally. The end of this section is where I put down the book to have all my feelings.

Hollywood Park: In this part of the book Mikel grows up and away from his past. The tone of the book drastically shifts and sounds like a mature young adult telling his story. He walks you through his time in college as he learns about his past and makes sense of his life. I enjoy how this portion is told and how you feel Mikel’s emotions along with him. I like how he walks you through his thought process as he figures everything out.

Overall: I really enjoy how the majority of this book is told through the perspective of a child. The story reads as if a child is recalling these events as best as he can. I really enjoy that because it is as if the story is happening real time. While the story is being told as a child, I like that as the child grows older so does the narrator. You can feel the shift in age and also in mindset as things occur throughout the book.

Something else that I liked is how the story is told in chronological order and doesn’t jump around. I like the way each chapter is organized around a specific point in time or a specific event. It was also helpful that each section had a different tone and the narrators language shifted. I liked that you could track the time passing as things happened.

You can get this book at Eso Won Books or look for it at your local library.

Devolution Book Review

Summary: As the ash and chaos from Mount Rainier’s eruption swirled and finally settled, the story of the Greenloop massacre has passed unnoticed, unexamined . . . until now.

But the journals of resident Kate Holland, recovered from the town’s bloody wreckage, capture a tale too harrowing–and too earth-shattering in its implications–to be forgotten.

In these pages, Max Brooks brings Kate’s extraordinary account to light for the first time, faithfully reproducing her words alongside his own extensive investigations into the massacre and the legendary beasts behind it.

Kate’s is a tale of unexpected strength and resilience, of humanity’s defiance in the face of a terrible predator’s gaze, and inevitably, of savagery and death.

Yet it is also far more than that.

Because if what Kate Holland saw in those days is real, then we must accept the impossible. We must accept that the creature known as Bigfoot walks among us–and that it is a beast of terrible strength and ferocity.

Part survival narrative, part bloody horror tale, part scientific journey into the boundaries between truth and fiction, this is a Bigfoot story as only Max Brooks could chronicle it–and like none you’ve ever read before.

Thoughts: Thank You to NetGalley and Random House Publishing for the advanced copy in exchange for my review.

When I saw that Max Brooks had written another book, I knew that I had to read it. Especially since I had just finished re-reading World War Z and analyzing it to help my mom with an English course she took. This one is a completely different book from that one but I loved it just the same.

I really enjoy that this reads like a found journal even if that takes away from some of the suspense. For example: you know the main character is going to be fine at least until the end of the story or else how would she be writing all this. While you know that she’ll be okay you still wonder what is going to happen to the rest of the characters in the story. The way that things are written allow you to get attached to some of the people that she is living with.

Something else that I enjoyed was that there were articles and interviews included along with the journal entries. It makes the whole book read more like a news story and something occurring in real time. I really love how Max Brooks makes it feel like you are reading non fiction, like this is a retelling of a news story that happened. It was a great escape from what is actually happening in the world at this time in the pandemic.

I love how the narrator of this story is an anxious person because you can feel her anxiety and panic every time something big happens. You can see it and feel her emotions in her writing even if she writes after events already took place. It’s as if she never really leaves the scenes where these impactful events occur. I love how you see her go from this anxious person to a person who has more control over her life.

I recommend this to those of you who enjoyed Max Brooks other works or who are interested in Sasquatch.

You can pre order this book at Barnes and Noble, Eso Won Bookstore, or look for it at your local library coming June 16th.

The New One Book Review

GoodReads Summary: In 2016 comedian Mike Birbiglia and poet Jennifer Hope Stein took their fourteen-month-old daughter Oona to the Nantucket Film Festival. When the festival director picked them up at the airport she asked Mike if he would perform at the storytelling night. She said, “The theme of the stories is jealousy.”


Jen quipped, “You’re jealous of Oona. You should talk about that.”


And so Mike began sharing some of his darkest and funniest thoughts about the decision to have a child. Jen and Mike revealed to each other their sides of what had gone down during Jen’s pregnancy and that first year with their child. Over the next couple years, these stories evolved into a Broadway show, and the more Mike performed it the more he heard how it resonated — not just with parents but also people who resist all kinds of change.
So he pored over his journals, dug deeper, and created this book: The New One: Painfully True Stories From a Reluctant Dad. Along with hilarious and poignant stories he has never shared before, these pages are sprinkled with poetry Jen wrote as she navigated the same rocky shores of new parenthood.


So here it is. This book is an experiment — sort of like a family

Thoughts: Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for my review.

As someone who fears having kids i found Birbiglia’s thoughts prior to having a kid relatable. I thought it was great to see his perspective before and after his kid and how even during that first year of his kids life he was still iffy about having a kid. This book was cute, light and fluffy which I read enjoyed during this time.

I also enjoyed how Birbiglia had his wife’s poetry included throughout the book. We got to see her perspective through these poems and the contrast of her feelings and his. I loved getting to see not just the contrast but also the similarities in their feelings.

The writing style really made this book easy to get through and hard to put down. Its multiple essay pieces with poetry in between and is separated into different parts of Birbiglia’s life. I liked that it was in somewhat chronological order and it was written with before baby and then after baby. While it is chronological I also like that its separated by theme as well.

I recommend this to those of you who enjoy comedy or who enjoy memoirs. I think this book very much reads like multiple comedy acts while giving you slices of Birbiglia’s life. I also think that those of you who are fans of Birbiglia would really enjoy getting to read this book.

Starting today you can get this book at Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, or look for it at your local library.

Once a girl, always a boy Book Review

Summary: Jeremy Ivester is a transgender man. Thirty years ago, his parents welcomed him into the world as what they thought was their daughter. As a child, he preferred the toys and games our society views as masculine. He kept his hair short and wore boys’ clothing. They called him a tomboy. That’s what he called himself.

By high school, when he showed no interest in flirting, his parents thought he might be lesbian. At twenty, he wondered if he was asexual. At twenty-three, he surgically removed his breasts. A year later, he began taking the hormones that would lower his voice and give him a beard—and he announced his new name and pronouns.

Once a Girl, Always a Boy is Jeremy’s journey from childhood through coming out as transgender and eventually emerging as an advocate for the transgender community. This is not only Jeremy’s story but also that of his family, told from multiple perspectives—those of the siblings who struggled to understand the brother they once saw as a sister, and of the parents who ultimately joined him in the battle against discrimination. This is a story of acceptance in a world not quite ready to accept.

Thoughts: Thank you to Booksparks for the advanced copy of the book in exchange for my review.

I’m always worried about reading memoirs about transgender people especially when they are not written by the transgender person. Sometimes these books make me angry because of the way the people in the story get treated or because of the transphobia that is included throughout by the person writing the story. I went into this one expecting that which is what I got but what I didn’t expect was to learn.

As someone who is transgender it was nice to watch Jeremy’s family struggle to understand him. I tend to get frustrated by my family not understanding my gender or sexual identity and seeing all of Jeremy’s family react and learn gave me a new perspective. It taught me to give people some time to learn, especially the people who I know are trying and to listen to why they’re struggling with things related to my gender and sexuality. While it did show me the other side of things there were moments that I just couldn’t deal with the transphobia from the family. There is one scene in particular with Jeremy and his older brother in which the brother and Jeremy are both not aware of how Jeremy identifies and his feelings are dismissed.

I think one of my favorite parts of this book was watching as Jeremy learned about himself and the sections that were written in his voice. It was also really nice to watch Jeremy learn about himself and come to terms with each of his identities. I was able to relate to so many moments that are included in this book and loved how much of his feelings are included. It was refreshing to see how his understanding of his identity was constantly shifting and how he slowly leaned into who he is. I loved that this story was centered on Jeremy’s adult years and how so many of his coming to terms with who he is and learning about himself happens in his late 20s. It made my journey as a non-binary transgender person feel normal and let me know that it was okay to not have the answers at my age.

This was a great book to be able to read during this stay at home order because it made me feel understood. This book uplifted me in moments that I was struggling with because living at home with a family who uses my legal name and misgenders me without having an escape from it gets rough. This book was a constant reminder that I decide my identity and even when others don’t see me that way my identity remains the same.

I really enjoyed how this book was written in multiple perspectives and you got sections from Jeremy, the mom, dad, and the siblings. It was great to see so many of the same scenes through different eyes.

I recommend this to those of you who have transgender family members or I recommend this to those of you who are parents of a transgender child. For those of you who are transgender, I would caution reading this, this book is about how the transgender person needs to have grace with others and give them time to comes to terms with who you are. I felt that so much of it was how Jeremy accepted his family rather than the other way around and that felt off to me. ⁠

You can get this book starting today at Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, or look for it at your local library.

My Squirrel Days Book Review

Goodreads Summary: Meet Ellie, the best-intentioned redhead next door. You’ll laugh right alongside her as she shares tales of her childhood in St. Louis, whether directing and also starring in her family holiday pageant, washing her dad’s car with a Brillo pad, failing to become friends with a plump squirrel in her backyard, eating her feelings while watching PG-13 movies, or becoming a “sports monster” who ends up warming the bench of her Division 1 field hockey team in college.

You’ll learn how she found her comedic calling in the world of improv, became a wife, mother and New Yorker, and landed the role of a bridesmaid (while simultaneously being a bridesmaid) in Bridesmaids. You’ll get to know and love the comic, upbeat, perpetually polite actress playing Erin Hannon on The Office, and the exuberant, pink-pants-wearing star of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

Thoughts: I like listening to audiobooks that are read by the author, especially when the book is a biography or autobiography. I decided to read this one because of how much I enjoyed the show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. I loved that the book was read by the author but I think that this made it so that I felt this was Kimmy Schmidt’s story not Ellie Kempers.

I had a hard time with this one because I wanted to enjoy it for what it was but I couldn’t get over how this read more like a biography of a fictional character. I’m not sure if that’s just because Ellie’s personality matches Kimmy or if that was not intentional. I found that there were some stories that were hilarious and moments that were ridiculous but then there were others that were just mundane stories.

Each of these stories are better told as short episodes on a tv show or as a collection of short stories. It’s like reading the daily life of just another person and I’m not so sure how entertaining that is. I kept listening until the end just because I thought her reading it made these stories funny. It felt like I was given more time with Kimmy Schmidt but I had to keep reminding myself this was a real person’s life.

I think those of you who enjoyed Kimmy Schmidt as a character would enjoy this story. You can get this book at Barnes and Noble or look for it at your local library.

The Perfect Predator: A Scientists Race to Save Her Husband from a Deadly Superbug: A Memoir Book Review

Summary: Epidemiologist Steffanie Strathdee and her husband Tom Patterson, were vacationing in Egypt when he came down with a stomach bug. Steffanie dosed Tom with an antibiotic and expected it to pass, but his condition turned critical. After Tom was medevacked back home, ICU doctors found out why: Tom was fighting the most lethal antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the world.

As Tom lay dying, Steffanie combed through decades-old research and resurrected a forgotten cure—but this drug was alive. Injecting it into him could kill or cure him. Allying with the FDA, and researchers around the world to save her husband before it was too late. The Perfect Predator is a true story of love and against-all-odds survival, detailing how Steffanie helped uncover the science behind what is now a powerful new weapon in the global superbug crisis. 

Thoughts: I love a good virus book and even better if its a non-fiction book because those are scarier. There’s nothing like the scare that real viruses cause and especially viruses that are drug resistant. I’ve started to listen to my virus books instead of reading the physical book because then I can dwell on each word as I hear them. I find them a lot more fearful and the emotions are stronger if I’m listening to someone tell their story.

This book captures both the fear that Tom’s wife felt as she watched him battle this drug resistant bacteria and the lack of understanding and fear that Tom feels as things happen to him. I enjoyed hearing each stage that Tom went through and Steph’s battle with this bacteria and her struggle to keep her hope up as she watched her husband at the edge of death. I liked that you were listening to both Tom and Steph’s perspective and how differently they both felt about this situation.

I thought it was fascinating to hear how these bacteria evolve and how they emerged; I liked thinking about how this story could have gone badly if Steph didn’t have the knowledge that she did. It’s scary that this can happen to anyone and if you aren’t educated on super bugs and don’t have the right connections you may not be able to recover. I really love how Steph acknowledges that they had privilege in the roles they had and in their access to the help they got.

I recommend this to those of you who enjoy non-fiction science related books or those of you who enjoy memoirs. It’s a great read for those of you who want some reality to put fear in you or want something to think about.

You can get this book at Barnes and Noble or look for it at your local library.

Midnight in Chernobyl Book Review

Goodreads Summary: April 25, 1986, in Chernobyl, was a turning point in world history. The disaster not only changed the world’s perception of nuclear power and the science that spawned it, but also our understanding of the planet’s delicate ecology. With the images of the abandoned homes and playgrounds beyond the barbed wire of the 30-kilometer Exclusion Zone, the rusting graveyards of contaminated trucks and helicopters, the farmland lashed with black rain, the event fixed for all time the notion of radiation as an invisible killer.

Chernobyl was also a key event in the destruction of the Soviet Union, and, with it, the United States’ victory in the Cold War. For Moscow, it was a political and financial catastrophe as much as an environmental and scientific one. With a total cost of 18 billion rubles—at the time equivalent to $18 billion—Chernobyl bankrupted an already teetering economy and revealed to its population a state built upon a pillar of lies.

The full story of the events that started that night in the control room of Reactor No.4 of the V.I. Lenin Nuclear Power Plant has never been told—until now. Through two decades of reporting, new archival information, and firsthand interviews with witnesses, journalist Adam Higginbotham tells the full dramatic story, including Alexander Akimov and Anatoli Dyatlov, who represented the best and worst of Soviet life; denizens of a vanished world of secret policemen, internal passports, food lines, and heroic self-sacrifice for the Motherland. Midnight in Chernobyl, award-worthy nonfiction that reads like sci-fi, shows not only the final epic struggle of a dying empire but also the story of individual heroism and desperate, ingenious technical improvisation joining forces against a new kind of enemy.

Thoughts: This book is my introduction to the events of Chernobyl, I am not too big on history so I don’t know much that isn’t taught in the history books. I thought that learning about this event was so fascinating and this book made me want to learn more about this and any other radiation events.

I tried to read the physical version of this book and I am so glad that an audio book version exists. Most non-fiction books if they have anything to do with STEM will catch my attention but they are hard for me to follow. The audio book version of this book made things easier for me and made this book enjoyable.

I really enjoyed how the book opened with the building of this plant and talked to you about the science behind everything before the explosion happens. I really enjoyed how descriptive this book was and how you could see what was happening as you listened to this book.

Something else that I found fascinating was hearing everyone’s individual stories and how invested these scientists were in this project. It was sad to see how people attempted to hide the reality of this event and why it happened. These stories and the reality of this event makes it a lot more devastating and I think it makes the results of this event much more frustrating.

While the results of this plant exploding were terrifying, they made me want to learn more about what exposure to radiation can do to people over time.

I recommend this to you who enjoy learning about historical events around the world or those who enjoy STEM non-fiction books. You can get this book at Barnes and Noble or look for it at your local library.