Category: Non fiction reviews

A review of The Diary of Esther Small 1886 edited and transcribed by Sarah Sousa

Sousa was not simply intrigued. She was invested. She deciphered the entries, sleuthed the cemetery records and censuses, and extensively researched nineteenth century women’s diaries, as evidenced in her luminous afterword on the subject. Surpassing the role of transcriber of Small’s logbook, Sousa became conservator and steward of the archive of her daily life.

A review of Kilted Yoga by Finlay Wilson

Because the text is minimal and the pictures large, it’s easy to follow along, especially if you’ve done yoga before. It might be a little trickier for absolute beginners, although none of the poses are particularly complex. The book can also be used as inspiration, as a way of adding to an existing practice with a few new poses, meditations or visualisations. All in all, Kilted Yoga is a bonny wee resource to help anyone get the most out of a regular yoga practice.

A review of And Then I Am Gone by Mathias B Freese

Not only do Freese and I concur on how a psychotherapist best engages with a client, but our approach to writing books also bisects. I too write to try to understand myself, indeed without outlines or a rigid plot structure. I daresay he would nod eagerly in understanding that your characters, given the chance, tell the story for you if you’ll listen to them, and in a more honest, exciting way.

A review of Interweavings by Carol Smallwood

Interweavings rings a perspective that prompts readers to go beyond an interpretation of Smallwood’s stories as descriptive pieces, to a body of work that provides a faceted look at the small moments of life that communicates deeper meanings and speaks to experiences Smallwood narrates from her reflections across her lifetime.

Environmental Justice: Nature and Nation, Wealth and Waste in Carl A. Zimring’s scholarship (Clean and White)

Some questions remain.  How will different perspectives be reconciled?  How will a nation’s citizens conserve what is good, while achieving progress beyond what is bad?  How will people get what they need from the earth, while still protecting the land—and respecting all its people?  True prophecy is rare—and arrogance can lead to destruction.

A review of Kylie’s Ark by Rita Welty Bourke

It’s invariably true that Herriot’s animal stories ended happily, as she notes. Her stories, well, invariably do not. They resist a chipper ending and, indeed, conspire to break her heart. Being a veterinary student certainly is no picnic for her, but when she’s finally graduated and chosen to set up her practice, the life still is no picnic. Not that Wheeler wishes it was! Her last words confess that she’ll look for another line of work if she ever stops struggling to save suffering animals in her care.

A review of The Memoirs of Billy Shears by Thomas E Harriet

Suggestions that the original Paul was getting a little too big for his britches, that his interests were veering into subversive areas and that he was considering using his notoriety and influence to confront some of the bedrock pretenses of the world he lived in, abound on internet forums devoted to this topic. Perhaps one day even this stunning tome will be superseded by yet another more revelatory dissertation that tells the whole truth. It could well be that a still more unimaginable, mind-blowing story is waiting in the wings.

A review of Imperial Plots by Sarah Carter

Government and Canadian Pacific Railway officials (all men), subscribed to the myths that women lacked the technological and physical ability to farm successfully. In practice, wives and daughters of homesteaders frequently performed hard physical toil and operated machinery.  Carter’s study uncovered many women who farmed and ranched, some quite successfully.

A review of Writing True Stories by Patti Miller

Miller, the “writing whisperer” as Jessica Rowe puts it, has created a vital guide to memoir and other forms of creative nonfiction. Though there are many how-to guides on the market, this one is special, both for its depth of wisdom – Miller has over 26 years of experience in teaching others how to write creative nonfiction, as well as her own experience as a nonfiction author/memoirist – and for the simplicity and practicality of its approach.

A review of Those Wild Rabbits by Bruce Munday

I found Bruce’s fascinating book packed full of information, statistics, photographs, and historical accounts His style is relaxed and friendly. Enormous amounts of facts are delivered in a pleasant and easy to read delivery, that carries the engrossed booklover from chapter to preceding chapter at an unexpected rate of pace. This is entertaining and informative reading at its best.