Ironically for a story set aboard a long rail system, the biggest theme in this book has to do with direction.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Finding the Dragon Lady: The Mystery of Vietnam’s Madame Nhu by Monique Brinson Demery I knew she wasn’t a Bond girl, but if you’d see the book cover, you’d understand the passing association 258 pages (225 pages before the Acknowledgments begin) When I was in high school in the 1980s, the Vietnam War never made […]
Honestly, there really is no shortage of bad material out there. I’ve gotten better at spotting the authors who are just shopping around some kooky pet theory (thanks for that literary life lesson, Debt), but sometimes it’s tough to tell how bad something is going to be until you crack it open and start reading. […]
The Ark Before Noah: Decoding the Story of the Flood by Irving Finkel It’s not vacation Bible school: it’s history 445 pages (333 pages includes the interesting Epilogue, but excludes Appendices and Index) This book may be among the best of 2015 for me, and I inhaled it. Not only does the topic capture my […]
Four Queens: The Provençal Sisters Who Ruled Europe by Nancy Goldstone Strictly chattel? This author says at least some royal women played an active role in governing 403 pages (350 pages excluding the family trees and other appendices) Just a few decades into the thirteenth century, the count and countess of Provence had a family […]
a thought-provoking study of human nature and how nearly identical circumstances can bring out the best or the worst in people.
A review of two books for a change In Priceless, authors Robert Wittman and John Shiffman write about the art crimes the general public thinks of: multimillion-dollar theft from museums, galleries and private collections. Chasing Aphrodite authors Jason Felch and Ralph Frammolino, on the other hand, write about a more pervasive type of crime perpetrated […]