Cold War, Politics; Continents: Asia, North America

The Cold War; A New History by John Lewis Gaddis A densely packed book spanning the end of World War II through Bush and Gorbachev meeting at Malta 333 pages (266 pages to complete the epilogue) The night I stayed over at my grandma’s house so Mom and Dad could see Red Dawn (1984) in […]

North Korea, Culture; Continent: Asia

Without You, There Is No Us: My Time with the Sons of North Korea’s Elite, A Memoir by Suki Kim A Korean-born New Yorker goes down the rabbit hole to teach at a prestigious North Korean university 285 pages (291 pages including Acknowledgements and Author’s Note) Here in the West, we’ve all seen the video […]

Exploration,Colonization; Region: Pacific Rim

Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before by Tony Horwitz A thoughtful consideration of the impact Cook’s travels had on each of the cultures he visited as well as the one from which he hailed…along with a good chuckle in parts 500 pages (440 pages to Selected Bibliography) Back when I needed […]

Middle East Peace; Continents: Various

Thirteen Days in September; The Dramatic Story of the Struggle for Peace by Lawrence Wright I finished this complex book a week ago and am still processing what I read 466 pages I was born in the early 1970s, and the first president I can remember knowing anything about was Jimmy Carter. Back then, most […]

Marketing, Business; Continent: Europe

Shopping, Seduction & Mr. Selfridge by Lindy Woodhead Same period as “Downton Abbey,” more name-dropping 336 pages (91% content before Acknowledgments, etc. begin) PBS’s “Mr. Selfridge” (a “Masterpiece” production) loosely bases its story on the life of Harry Gordon Selfridge. Selfridge was the American retailer whose London department store turned traditional shopping on its ear […]

The Reject Pile, July 2016 Edition

Over the past six months, I’ve only really had two books I couldn’t bother to finish. They share a couple of common traits (although not topics), chief among them that they are recounted in a narrative style – often a draw for me. Unfortunately, the first becomes repetitive while the second takes on an overly […]

Climate, Medieval; Continent: Europe

The Third Horseman: A Story of Weather, War and the Famine History Forgot by William Rosen This book’s mission isn’t necessarily to preach at you about climate change, although it would be the elephant in the room if the idea of climate change didn’t pop up in the epilogue. 302 pages (259 pages with the […]

Murder, Art; Region: Pacific Rim

Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism, and Michael Rockefeller’s Tragic Quest by Carl Hoffman The author came for the facts, but he returned for the context 322 pages (280 without Acknowledgments, Notes and the bibliography) You wouldn’t think that a book that narrates a gruesome killing in the first couple chapters could be said […]

Archeology and Archeologists; Continents: Various

Lives in Ruins: Archeologists and the Seductive Lure of Human Rubble by Marilyn Johnson Considering a career in archeology? Put this book on your summer reading list 274 pages (240 without Acknowledgements, Index, Bibliography) Someone says “archeologist” to you, and immediately Indiana Jones pops into your head. Author Marilyn Johnson tells us to adjust that […]