On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons From The Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder| Book Review


Genre: Non-fiction, Political

“Modern tyranny is terror management. When the terrorist attack comes, remember that authoritarians exploit such events in order to consolidate power. The sudden disaster that requires the end of checks and balances, the dissolution of opposition parties, the suspension of freedom of expression, the right to a fair trial, and so on, is the oldest trick in the Hitlerian book. Do not fall for it.”
Timothy Snyder, On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

An historian of fascism offers a guide for surviving and resisting America’s turn towards authoritarianism.

On November 9th, millions of Americans woke up to the impossible: the election of Donald Trump as president. Against all predictions, one of the most-disliked presidential candidates in history had swept the electoral college, elevating a man with open contempt for democratic norms and institutions to the height of power.

Timothy Snyder is one of the most celebrated historians of the Holocaust. In his books Bloodlands and Black Earth, he has carefully dissected the events and values that enabled the rise of Hitler and Stalin and the execution of their catastrophic policies. With Twenty Lessons, Snyder draws from the darkest hours of the twentieth century to provide hope for the twenty-first. As he writes, “Americans are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism and communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience.”

Twenty Lessons is a call to arms and a guide to resistance, with invaluable ideas for how we can preserve our freedoms in the uncertain years to come.

Goodreads | Amazon 

This is a book that I believe everyone needs to read regardless of political affiliation and thoughts on current government officials. So many of the points that Snyder makes are so relevant to the current state of our society and makes some great comparisons to history. It was a super quick read that I was able to read in one plane ride.

Snyder goes through 20 lessons and things we as Americans should do in order to save our society from repeating history and letting the US fall to a tyrant. I will say that Snyder is a little biased, but makes relative arguments from past situations in history mainly around communism and racist leaders in Europe and Russia. He also references some great literature such as 1984 by George Orwell and Fahrenheit 451by Ray Bradbury.

I do believe that sometimes history repeats itself because we don’t learn, change or notice  certain things. Snyder explains how we as citizens have so much power even though it sometimes doesn’t seem like it. It is by manipulation, persuasion  and charisma that political leaders take ultimate control. I think it is important for people to educate themselves on situations and political points before make decisions and getting into arguments with others. It is ultimately up to us, the people to make sure our country doesn’t fall to a tyrant and destroy itself.



Non-Fiction Books I Want To Read

Lately I have really been branching out on what I read and have developed more interests for a variety of books. There are quite a few books that have been on my radar or on my shelves that I really want to read. The only problem is it always seems to take me longer to read through non-fiction, but I am usually always really happy after I do. There is always so much to learn from them about life, the world and even yourself. I would love for any other recommendations people have to offer.

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq by Stephen Knizer

Notorious RBG by Irin Carmon

The Witches by Stacy Schiff

The Impossible Will Take A Little While by Paul Rogat Loeb

Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer

All The Single Ladies by Rebecca Traister

Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff

Why Nations Fail : The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty by Daron Acemoğlu and James A. Robinson

Brave Enough by Nicole Unice

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

♣ Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

What are some of your favorite Non-fiction books?

Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps by Kelly Williams Brown | Book Review


Genre: Non-Fiction, Humor, Self-Help

“Remember that, for better or for worse, you are in control of your physical self and surroundings”
― Kelly Williams Brown, Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps

If you graduated from college but still feel like a student . . . if you wear a business suit to job interviews but pajamas to the grocery store . . . if you have your own apartment but no idea how to cook or clean . . . it’s OK. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Just because you don’t feel like an adult doesn’t mean you can’t act like one. And it all begins with this funny, wise, and useful book. Based on Kelly Williams Brown’s popular blog, ADULTING makes the scary, confusing “real world” approachable, manageable-and even conquerable. This guide will help you to navigate the stormy Sea of Adulthood so that you may find safe harbor in Not Running Out of Toilet Paper Bay, and along the way you will learn:

What to check for when renting a new apartment-Not just the nearby bars, but the faucets and stove, among other things.
When a busy person can find time to learn more about the world- It involves the intersection of NPR and hair-straightening.
How to avoid hooking up with anyone in your office — Imagine your coworkers having plastic, featureless doll crotches. It helps.
The secret to finding a mechanic you love-Or, more realistically, one that will not rob you blind.
From breaking up with frenemies to fixing your toilet, this way fun comprehensive handbook is the answer for aspiring grown-ups of all ages.

Goodreads | Amazon


Being at the age of just graduating college and trying to join the adult world, everything doesn’t seem to be as easy as it looks. There are so many new things that one must do and learn when entering the “real world”. Brown adds humor to this real and important information that one must learn and deal with. Of course some things in this book are common knowledge and seem silly, but she presents a lot of excellent information.

Kelly Williams Brown touches on all areas one might need to know about and take into consideration when one tries to enter the world of being an adult. She had me laughing throughout the whole book, while still being incredibly useful!

“A big part of being a well-adjusted person is accepting that you can’t be good at everything.”
― Kelly Williams Brown, Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps

Brown understands what crosses the mind of every 20 something trying to find and navigate their way around the adult world. It seemed like everything I was confused about or questioning was touched on in this book. It made me feel like I am not alone and made the information accessible and relatable! She adds just enough sass and sweet making you feel like you are talking to a friend for advice! This book provides helpful information on a plethora of topics regarding entering adulthood in a humorous manner that is great for those about to graduate from college to those still trying to navigate the “real world” in their late 20s!

“This is the most difficult and important thing to accept if you wish to be a grown-up: You are not a Special Snowflake.”
― Kelly Williams Brown, Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps

You can also check out her blog (adultingblog.com) which is the inspiration for this book!


Lights Out by Ted Koppel | Book Review



Genre: Non-Fiction, Science, Politics

Source: Blogging For Books in return for an honest review

“To be dependent is to be vulnerable.”
-Ted Koppel, Lights Out

Imagine a blackout lasting not days, but weeks or months. Tens of millions of people over several states are affected. For those without access to a generator, there is no running water, no sewage, no refrigeration or light. Food and medical supplies are dwindling. Devices we rely on have gone dark. Banks no longer function, looting is widespread, and law and order are being tested as never before.

It isn’t just a scenario. A well-designed attack on just one of the nation’s three electric power grids could cripple much of our infrastructure—and in the age of cyberwarfare, a laptop has become the only necessary weapon. Several nations hostile to the United States could launch such an assault at any time. In fact, as a former chief scientist of the NSA reveals, China and Russia have already penetrated the grid. And a cybersecurity advisor to President Obama believes that independent actors—from “hacktivists” to terrorists—have the capability as well. “It’s not a question of if,” says Centcom Commander General Lloyd Austin, “it’s a question of when.”

And yet, as Koppel makes clear, the federal government, while well prepared for natural disasters, has no plan for the aftermath of an attack on the power grid. The current Secretary of Homeland Security suggests keeping a battery-powered radio.

In the absence of a government plan, some individuals and communities have taken matters into their own hands. Among the nation’s estimated three million “preppers,” we meet one whose doomsday retreat includes a newly excavated three-acre lake, stocked with fish, and a Wyoming homesteader so self-sufficient that he crafted the thousands of adobe bricks in his house by hand. We also see the unrivaled disaster preparedness of the Mormon church, with its enormous storehouses, high-tech dairies, orchards, and proprietary trucking company – the fruits of a long tradition of anticipating the worst. But how, Koppel asks, will ordinary civilians survive?

With urgency and authority, one of our most renowned journalists examines a threat unique to our time and evaluates potential ways to prepare for a catastrophe that is all but inevitable.


*I would like to thank Blogging For Books for the copy of this book in return for an honest review*

Koppel paints a vivid, intense and incredibly scary picture of a possible reality. In this day and age our society relies so heavily on electricity and the internet. Everything is digitalized and you never see anyone without an electronic device in front of their face 24/7. Even my three year old niece owns a tablet. Internet dependency of the current generation paves the way for new and unknown terrors. Koppel opens up this book setting the scene of what our lives and world would  look like if a cyber attack on the power grid took place. In our day with terrorist attacks happening all over the world it is just a matter of time until they start attacking other means of our living. It was not until I picked up this book that I realized the real possibility of such an attack happening.

Koppel has done his research and has tons of information from very high up and knowledgable people. He does a really good job of trying to get information from all sides and present a well thought out and unbiased picture of the near future possibilities of a cyber attack and what that would mean for the United States. There is a lot of science talk in this book and at times it gets dense and hard to follow along with. It is understandable with a book such as this, but at times the book was hard to get into and I had to read it in small chunks. Koppel does his best to try and evade this from happening by using real life metaphors. For example he was explaining the cyberspace world and how it works by comparing it to ebola and the way it spreads.

Overall this book was very eye opening to a extremely possible threat. It does seem like a plausible event that could take place and with the dependency that our society has on the internet it seems like such a smart move for someone who wants to attack and hinder the U.S. Whether it is totally possible anytime soon is the debate but I believe it is something to watch out for and to spread more money and time investigating. One of the more chilling parts of the book for me was the dedication written by Koppel:

“To our grandchildren: Jake and Dylan, Aidan, Alice and Annabelle, Cole and Grace Ann(e). Here’s hoping that Opi got it wrong.”

– Ted Koppel, Lights Out

I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys non-fiction and thought provoking topics. Also if you enjoy dystopian or apocalyptic worlds and want to try some non-fiction this would be a good one to pick up!  Also Koppel recommends a fiction book One Second After by William Forstchen which is a similar story of what would happen if there was an attack on the power grid!


Friday Reads [12/18]

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17455817I have been a little busy lately and by busy I mean I have fallen down the dangerous black hole that is netflix. The past year I didn’t have much time to watch television so I have been catching up on all of my shows. I have also begun preparing life and my blog for 2016, which is not an easy task. I am currently juggling a few books. I started Every Last Breath by Jennifer L. Armentrout the final book in the Dark Elements Trilogy. I had to pick this book up because it was getting to that point where I was forgetting what had happened in the previous books. After jumping back into I have remembered why I loved these books so much. I am excited to see how this will end and to see who Layla with pick!25733923 I also received Lights Out by Ted Koppel from Blogging For Books in return for an honest book review. I have a went to school for International Studies and World Politics so it should come as no surprise that I am interested in politics. Terrorism is an area that really intrigues me and I love learning more about it. The idea of a cyberattack on the United States and what the consequences of that would mean for our society are a little scary to think about. So far Koppel has been providing a vivid and intense picture of likely aftermath of a cyberattack on the U.S electrical grid.

What are your plans for the weekend? Anything fun or exciting happening ? What are you reading/planning on reading? I would love to hear from you!    

Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to Be A Grown-up by Grace Helbig |Book Review


Genre: Non-Fiction, Humor, Self-Help

Face it—being a young adult in the digital era is one of the hardest things to be. Well, maybe there are harder things in life…but being an adult is difficult! So Grace Helbig has written a guide that’s perfect for anyone who is faced with the daunting task of becoming an adult.

Infused with her trademark saucy, sweet, and funny voice, Grace’s Guide is a tongue-in-cheek handbook for millennials, encompassing everything a young or new (or regular or old) adult needs to know, from surviving a breakup to recovering from a hangover. Beautifully illustrated and full-color, Grace’s Guide features interactive elements and exclusive stories from Grace’s own misadventures—like losing her virginity solely because her date took her to a Macaroni Grill—and many other hilarious lessons she learned the hard way.

Amusing and unexpectedly educational, this refreshing and colorful guide proves that becoming an adult doesn’t necessarily mean you have to grow up.



Having just officially entered the “adult” world it is always good to know I am not alone. This book was humorous, heartfelt and so incredibly relatable. Helbig covers topics that anyone in their 20s can definitely find a connection to and her writing has the conversational style of someone who you have been friends with forever.

While reading through this “self-help” book, there were so many sections and passages that I instantly wanted to call and talk to my best friend about although while reading it I felt like I was talking to a friend. I couldn’t help but burst out laughing at sections and flagged and noted so many things that I really enjoyed or wanted to share.

If you have ever watched Grace’s youtube channel you will enjoy this book. It is layered with anecdotes from her life and contains the light and funny humor that you come to expect from her channel! I can see myself buying this for my friends who are in the same situation as me, just ending college and entering the adult world. Although most of the book is silly and hilarious, there is loads of practical information and some tips and advice I found to be useful! If you haven’t already check out her youtube channel itsGrace and pick up this book!