ten mini book reviews part 16 blogmas featured image

Ten Mini Book Reviews Pt. 16

Hello everyone! I’m back with another set of mini book reviews!


ten mini book reviews part 16 blogmas featured image

I actually had to start part 17 already because I didn’t realize I’d filled up this list of 10 books already!

Note about my ratings: I’ve switched to using the StoryGraph to track and rate the books I’ve been reading. This site uses 1-5 stars, 5 being the highest, in 0.25 increments. Feel free to friend me on the StoryGraph – my username is StarringPamela there!


Lobizona by Romina Garber

I was pretty excited to read this book based on the description. It was a YA book of a girl who discovers she’s a part of a magical world of witches and werewolves with Hispanic influences. Ultimately the book was sort of disappointing, I’ll admit. The idea and plot were super interesting but the characters weren’t as compelling and the book started out so slowly! I did think the information presented at the start was way too vague and scattered to really get a good understanding of it. There is a second book out already for this series and I would have read it if my library had it available, but it wasn’t so I’m not sure I”ll ever get to it. Of course, I’m not the target audience for the book as it is YA so I’m sure I would have enjoyed it more if I was!

I gave this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson

I do think I got a lot out of this book, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I would have hoped. Johnson starts the book, and often reiterates, that her goal is to help people move towards zero waste without pressure but at times the book did feel pressuring. Johnson will occasionally narrate her struggles with certain things to find zero waste alternatives that eventually it felt like I was supposed to be working to zero waste too, even though I just wanted to move to less waste in general. There were a lot of helpful tips though, don’t get me wrong, but I did come away from the book feeling worse rather than feeling more hopeful.

I gave this book 3.75 out of 5 stars.

Do Nothing by Celeste Headlee

I found this book very informative and well thought out. Unfortunately, I did feel rushed through it to get it done before I had to return it, which was pretty much the opposite of what you want to do when reading a book about slowing down! Despite this, I did grab lots of good snippets and tips from it and I did enjoy the book as a whole.

I gave this book 3.75 out of 5 stars.

Loteria by Karla Arenas Valenti

This was a middle grade book focusing on a young girl in Oaxaca, Mexico. In the book, Life and Death play a game of Loteria, a Mexican card game, to determine a young girl’s fate. The story was really interesting and started out strong, but I thought the story unravelled in such a strange way at the end that didn’t really make sense and broke all the rules the story had already laid out. It felt really disconnected at the end, almost like the author had intended to write two separate books but ended up combining the first half of one and the second half of the other. It was strange but I did appreciate the overall messages and the portrayal of Life and Death.

I gave this book 3.75 out of 5 stars.

The Curated Closet by Anuschka Rees

I waited for this book for a really long time from my library as it was super popular! I love this idea and really want to have a curated closet in the future. For now, since I work from home and don’t get to leave the house too often anymore, I think I’ll just keep this in mind as I keep going forward. I don’t often buy clothing anymore though so it’s a very slow process.

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Heiress Apparently by Diana Ma

I found this book on social media, but not because anyone recommended it directly. It was either an Instagram post or a TikTok from a local library (not one I frequent but a local one nonetheless) that featured this book on their display. The cover looked so cool so I decided to look up the book. The story revolves around a young Chinese-American actress whose family essentially fled China and refuse to talk about their past with the main character. When the actress accepts a low-key racist job as a main character in a film and goes to China to film, she has to hide her job from her family while navigating the fact that she looks just like a famous Chinese heiress and getting mistaken for her. The story wasn’t too realistic but it was super fun and I enjoyed reading it. I really liked the character development as well. At the end, Ma did say she had gone on her first trip to China in her teens and hyped it up in her head that it was going to be an epic homecoming. When that didn’t happen, she wrote the story of what she had been hoping for, and honestly I love that!

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.

The Lady and Her Monsters by Roseanne Montillo

This book was our October book club pick for my library’s non-fiction book club. We all HATED it! Most of us, including the librarian didn’t even finish it. I was one of the few that did but it sucked. Not because of the writing, we just really didn’t like the Shelley’s. The story did open with a lot of relatively interesting facts and background on grave robbers, autopsy/medical students demand for bodies to practice on that led to crimes, and such. Then it was about Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein, and her family. Honestly, Mary, her husband, and her sister were really morally inept and we didn’t enjoy reading about them due to that reason. In the end, we just complained about the book for maybe ten minutes then just chatted about other stuff after that, such as local ghost tours, Thanksgiving plans, and so on.

I gave this book 2.75 out of 5 stars.

State of Terror by Louise Penny and Hilliary Rodham Clinton

I have been slowly making my way through all of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s books, so I thought I’d read her mystery novel. At book club I had mentioned I read this but mystery books aren’t always fun for me as it always creeps me out that people come up with these crazy scenarios for fun? Anyway, the librarian said maybe I should try “cozy” mysteries instead and another person said that Louise Penny is a fabulous author and I should give her other mysteries a chance. Anyway, this book was about a Secretary of State who is tasked with stopping a string of attacks and is helped along by a more junior State Department employee. It was pretty interesting and I did enjoy the cool perspective of the book that came from a former Secretary of State.

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

This was the November pick for the library’s non-fiction book club. We also didn’t really like it! The book did say it was about the Osage tribe murders but also said it would cover the “birth of the FBI”. There was very little about the FBI and so we all felt that we didn’t really get the full history we had thought we were getting. While it was an interesting story and we appreciated learning more about the Osage, it was just a little disappointing we didn’t get much on the FBI and had picked another sad book. Hopefully the next one is good!

I gave this book 4.25 out of 5 stars.

Shattered by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes

This book explored the defeated Presidential campaign of Hillary Rodham Clinton. It was pretty interesting and did bring up some great points as to why the campaign ultimately failed, but I felt that the authors focused so much on only blaming the candidate. While, yes, the buck stops with the candidate, it seemed that they were just determined to ultimately blame her for every single mistake that the campaign made. The criticism was mostly valid, such as the fact that Rodham Clinton’s campaign had no clear message and that there seemed to be too many cooks in the kitchen in her campaign, that much was clear. But it was a little weird that they made claims like that Rodham Clinton’s secretary was keeping her so inaccessible that no one could reach her, and so she never could figure out how bad her campaign was. Honestly it seemed like they thought the ultimate issue was her inability to hire a good staff when it was much more complicated than that. Again, they brought up a lot of good points but then tried to force the narrative back in a way that didn’t make too much sense.

I gave this book 3.75 out of 5 stars.


Those are ten of the latest books I’ve read lately! The next one will likely be in 2022 and cover the last few books for 2021 and the first few of 2022!

Thanks for reading!

Pamela

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