Religion, Culture; Continent: Europe, Africa, Asia

Infidel Kings and Unholy Warriors: Faith, Power, and Violence in the Age of Crusade and Jihad by Brian A. Catlos Terms like “jihad” and “caliphate” get batted around Western media; this book offers some context for those ideas 390 pages (324 without Glossary, Notes and Background Reading) Oof! This book felt dense after breezing through […]

The Reject Pile, Mid-2017

Fortunately, it’s been a good year so far with respect to reading material. These two are the only Reject Pile candidates, and the second is a rather soft selection at that. The Mark Inside: A Perfect Swindle, A Cunning Revenge, and a Small History of the Big Con by Amy Reading 304 pages (I gave […]

Race, Class, Disaster; Continent: North America

Katrina: After the Flood by Gary Rivlin Alternately maddening and inspiring, the story of the American phenomenon I can only call the “clusterflood” 462 pages (419 pages through the epilogue, which is worth reading) This is a book I’ve been waiting for. Not this title or author specifically, but I’ve been waiting for years so […]

Crime, Finance; Continent: Asia

Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice by Bill Browder Pretty much everything in every Cold War spy novel you ever read happened to this guy or someone he knows 396 pages (380 pages before Acknowledgments and Index) Bill Browder’s story appeared recently on CBS’s “60 Minutes” […]

Wealth and Society; Continent: Europe, North America

How to Marry an English Lord: Tales of Wealth and Marriage, Sex and Snobbery by Gail MacColl and Carol McD. Wallace Something to consider in case you need a new game plan for next Valentine’s Day 403 pages (320 pages of content until Register of American Heiresses, Index, etc.) As a Downton Abbey fan, I […]

Black History Month, Women; Continent: North America

Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly Read more about the three women focused on by the Oscar-nominated film and learn about more like them 373 pages (Acknowledgements begin about page 243) When I saw the trailer for […]

Women, Japan; Continent: Asia, North America

Daughters of the Samurai: A Journey from East to West and Back by Janice P. Nimura Consider this engaging narrative about three young Japanese women for your book club, even if your group usually goes for fiction 336 pages (277 pages before Acknowledgements, Notes and Index) One hardly ever sees a book of Japanese history […]

Spies, World War II; Continent: Europe

Agent Zigzag: The True Story of Nazi Espionage, Love, and Betrayal by Ben MacIntyre Action-packed and clever, but this bit of history has just enough “Hogan’s Heroes” to make you shake your head 364 pages (305 pages without Appendix and Notes) Who doesn’t love a spy story? Some of the best ones come from information […]