Monday, April 27, 2015

All Groan Up by Paul Angone

All Groan Up: Searching for Self, Faith, and A Freaking Job! by Paul Angone is a look at one man's journey through the ups and downs that make up the current American twentysomething life. While sharing his own story of navigating these confusing years of his life, Angone shares some of the universal truths he has learned along the way.

Reading All Groan Up is like finding your long lost teddy bear at a flea market; it shows up out of the blue and makes you feel all warm and fuzzy and just a bit more secure simply because you have its company. By sharing not just his failures, but his internal monologue during this season, he offers one of the most comforting pieces of knowledge - you aren't the only failure (self-perceived or not) out there. Nothing is wrong with you because you reached "adulthood" not having all the answers - or even all the questions.

By inviting the reader into his life, Angone offers a precious gift - community. He both opens and closes the book encouraging the reader to read this book not alone, but with a community, because he knows that sharing the load makes it easier to carry. That's what All Groan Up does. It lightens the load of the reader by letting them know they aren't alone as they stumble through the pitfalls along the way "being an adult" whatever that really means.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookLook book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Dead Wake by Erik Larson


Dead Wake by Erik Larson is an engaging account of the sinking of the Lusitania. Using both primary and secondary sources, Larson tells the story from all sides. Once finished, the reader better understands not only what happened on board, but inside the U-boat that sunk her, as well as the broader historical context. 

This is the first book of Larson's that I've read, and it officially made me a fan. His narrative style is smooth and entertaining. He was able to tell the story of a huge event using the little moments that better help us connect to history. Another great feature of this book was getting to understand what was happening not just on board the Lusitania, but also on U-20, the U-boat that sank her. Learning about that particular tour reinforces one of the themes of this account - that a million little things happened that led to the sinking. If just one of these many things had changed, on either side, the Lusitania would simply be the name of another ship from a bygone era. 

Anyone interested in history, WWI, maritime history, U-boat history, or the politics of war will enjoy Dead Wake. It is extremely well written and just as important, accessible to the average reader.

Blogging for Books provided this book to me for free in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255