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 […]

Four Books about the U.S. Presidency and Troubling Times

Well, the United States’ presidential election has made us all scrutinize our expectations from the presidency a little more closely. However you voted, you have to admit that we’re in for a wild ride in the coming months and years. These four books have been on my mind as I watch the news lately, each […]

Nationalism, Culture, Germany; Continent: Europe

Author Stephen Winder’s personal, meandering discussion of topics in pre-WWII history will make you laugh and think, often in the same chapter 480 pages (Bibliography begins page 379) I confess, I read Winder’s 2015 book, Danubia, before I got back to read Germania, his 2011 offering. Germania is the slightly shorter book (Danubia is a […]