Review: Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek by Maya Van Wagenen

Stuck at the bottom of the social ladder at pretty much the lowest level of people at school who aren’t paid to be here,” Maya Van Wagenen decided to begin a unique social experiment: spend the school year following a 1950s popularity guide, written by former teen model Betty Cornell. Can curlers, girdles, Vaseline, and a strand of pearls help Maya on her quest to be popular? The real-life results are painful, funny, and include a wonderful and unexpected surprise—meeting {Read More}

Review: The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming

When Russia’s last tsar, Nicholas II, inherited the throne in 1894, he was unprepared to do so. With their four daughters (including Anastasia) and only son, a hemophiliac, Nicholas and his reclusive wife, Alexandra, buried their heads in the sand, living a life of opulence as World War I raged outside their door and political unrest grew into the Russian Revolution. Title: The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia Author: Candace Fleming Source: Finished copy via {Read More}

Review: Escape by Carolyn Jessop (Nonfiction)

The dramatic first-person account of life inside an ultra-fundamentalist American religious sect, and one woman’s courageous flight to freedom with her eight children. I don’t read much nonfiction, but over the past few years I have enjoyed watching reality TV shows like Sister Wives, My Five Wives, and the very short-lived Escaping the Prophet. Reality shows, despite their name, are not real, so you never really know how the storylines are cobbled together and which scenes are recreated. All of {Read More}