“A Field Guide to Lies”–Review

41PBiqBSfLL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_It’s raining bad data, half-truths, and even outright lies…We are bombarded with more information each day than the mind can process—especially in election season.  Levitin shows how to recognize misleading announcements, statistics, graphs, and written reports, revealing the ways lying weasels use them to manipulate and cheat.

In this book, Daniel J. Levitin shows readers how to distinguish misinformation, pseudo-facts, distortions, and lies from the most reliable information.  This field guide is grouped into evaluating numbers, words, including evaluating the world by showing how science is the answer to critical thinking.  Although newspapers, bloggers, the government, and Wikipedia are expected to present factually and logically correct information, the truth is that they’re not always right.  Levitin suggests we all need to use critical thinking if we want to be successful in all areas of life.  It’s important to check the plausibility and reasoning of particular statistics, instead of just accepting them and making decisions based on them—which is a common thing.

I may not be the greatest with statistics, but this book is worth reading.  It’s a plus if you’re a fan of numbers.  In fact, I never really got around to the idea that statistics aren’t actually facts; they’re considered interpretations.  So if we’d like to know why these certain numbers show up on a chart, graph, etc., critical thinking is necessary.

A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age will be available on September 6, 2016.  Feel free to post your comments.  Happy reading!

*I received this book from Dutton Books, in exchange for an honest review.

About the author: Daniel J. Levitin is the James McGill Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience at McGill University and is dean of the College of Social Sciences at the Minerva Schools at KGI.  He is the author of This is Your Brain on Music, The World in Six Songs, and The Organized Mind.  He divides his time between Montreal, Quebec, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

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“The St. Lucia Island Club”–Review

51Mt4PPgMlL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_This is Book 5 of the John Le Brun novels.

It is 1910, New York City, when retired sheriff-turned-detective John Le Brun and his wife, Lordis, travel to the Caribbean island of St. Lucia for a long-awaited honeymoon.  They expect to find paradise and relaxation, once they arrive.  However, they discover they’ve been lured in to solicit the island’s attributes as a vacation retreat to wealthy investors back home.  They, soon, find the land to be filled with racial, social, and economic tension.

John puts his detective skills to use when he learns of the brutal murders of a local plantation owner’s family.  He must figure out if the culprit is one of the white landowners of the exclusive St. Lucia Island Club, the descendants of former African slaves, or another person entirely.  John and Lordis race to uncover the mysteries as the body count rises.

Although I was unaware, at first, that this book is part of a series, I still gave it a chance.  After five chapters, to be honest, I couldn’t get into the story.  I like the idea behind it, but it didn’t work for me.  Perhaps I need to go back to the first book—The Jekyl Island Club—to get a better idea.  Nevertheless, if you’re a fan of John Le Brun, I encourage you to read this book, and I hope you enjoy it.  Feel free to post your comments.  Happy reading!

*I received this book from Turner Publishing, in exchange for an honest review.

About the author: Brent Monahan was born in Fukuoka, Kyushu, Japan in 1948, as a World War II occupation baby. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Rutgers University in Music and his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Indiana University, Bloomington. He has performed, stage directed and taught music and writing professionally. He has authored fourteen published novels and a number of short stories. Two of his novels have been made into motion pictures. Brent lives in Yardley, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Bonnie.

“The Dollhouse”–Review

51mlXpppkzL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Hello, bloggers, and happy National Book Lovers Day!  I finished reading The Dollhouse, by Fiona Davis, and here’s my review.

The story goes back and forth from 1950s New York to the present year, revolving around the glamorous Barbizon Hotel for Women, filled with aspiring models, secretaries, and editors.  Coming all the way from Ohio, Darby McLaughlin arrives at the hotel, in 1952, to begin secretarial courses.  While she is homesick and self-conscious, Darby meets Esme, a Barbizon maid, who introduces Darby to different scenes in New York—places where the young girls at Barbizon aren’t allowed—that include seedy jazz clubs, filled with addictive music and drugs.  Esme is a hard worker, a risk-taker, and aspiring singer, showing Darby to seize new opportunities and to stop doing what others want her to do.  And that’s where Darby meets Sam.

It’s more than half a century later, the Barbizon has become a condo, and most of its residents from long ago are forgotten.  For years, however, there have been rumors that Darby was involved in a deadly incident involving a hotel maid in 1952.  The history and the rumors of the Barbizon become a great idea for a new story for the present-day journalist, Rose Lewin, Darby’s upstairs neighbor.  In fact, it happens to be a good distraction from Rose’s failing relationship and living situation.

The investigation becomes unclear, as Rose’s obsession with the project increases, and both the women’s lives are changed indefinitely when the truth finally comes out.

I, definitely, recommend this book.  It provided quite a twist and I like the occasional historical fiction.  New York sounds so exciting and I hope to visit, one day.  Feel free to comment, as always.  Happy reading!

The Dollhouse will be available on August 23, 2016.

*I received this copy from Dutton Books, in exchange for an honest review.

About the author: Fiona Davis lives in New York City and is a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Virginia and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.  The Dollhouse is her first novel.