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 […]

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 […]

Bars, Taverns and American Culture; North America

America Walks into a Bar by Christine Sismondo This bar crawl through American history doesn’t discuss what patrons and barkeeps drink so much as what they do, have done, and why it matters. 336 pages (279 pages excluding notes, bibliography and index) This was the “okay, what the hell” book I tossed onto the stack […]

Art, Landmarks; Continent: North America, Europe

Liberty’s Torch: The Great Adventure to Build the Statue of Liberty by Elizabeth Mitchell Do you picture crowds of eager New Yorkers welcoming France’s gift to the U.S. as she floated regally into New York harbor with a big red bow on her crown? That’s not exactly what happened. 310 pages (271 pages, including Epilogue […]

Better Together? Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr; Continent: North America

Duel with the Devil: The True Story of How Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr Teamed Up to Take on America’s First Sensational Murder Mystery by Paul Collins High-profile courtroom drama, celebrity lawyers and shocking truths played out 215 years ago 304 pages (195 pages, excluding Acknowledgments, et cetera) Manhattan, 1799 – the veterans of the […]

Exploration, Arctic; Continent: North America, Europe

In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette by Hampton Sides You think you’re having a rough winter? Check this story out. Blanket and cocoa recommended. 410 pages It’s the end of the 1870s, and to the people of the newly industrialized United States, the world yields to […]

Book 16; Continent: North America

Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard 323 pages, Kindle edition (261 pages up to Acknowledgements and Notes) Choose this compelling story of crime and madness in post-Civil War America even if history is a new genre for you Quick: which four American presidents […]

Book 11; Continent: North America

The Tycoons by Charles Morris 383 pages (appendices begin page 319) Put the kids to bed before you dig into this one: the sections are short enough for your own bedtime reading, but following some of the concepts may require “quiet time” Have you ever wondered how the titans of industry liked to unwind? About […]

Book 4; Continent: Europe, Asia, Africa, the Americas

1493 by Charles C. Mann 509 pages (690 with Appendices, Notes and Index) Engaging enough to read even while on the bus or subway; Chapters are long but have reasonable subdivisions. This is the book I’d been putting off until my next transcontinental flights. Five hundred pages seemed like a lot to tackle without those […]