Mostly Fiction BOOK REVIEWS



True Adventure, Politics & More

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My Little Red Book by Rachel Kauder Nalebuff - An anthology of stories about first periods, collected from women of all ages from around the world. The accounts range from light-hearted (the editor got hers while water skiing in a yellow bathing suit) to heart-stopping (a first period discovered just as one girl was about to be strip-searched by the Nazis). It is more than a collection of stories; it is a call for a change in attitude, for a new way of seeing periods.(February 2009)

The Most Dangerous Animal: Human Nature and the Origins of War by David Livingstone Smith - A book every politician should read before voting to fund a war. (February 2009)

The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner - Part foreign affairs discourse, part humor, and part twisted self-help guide, The Geography of Bliss takes the reader from America to Iceland to India in search of happiness, or, in the crabby author's case, moments of "un-unhappiness." (Janaury 2009) author page

This Year You Write Your Novel by Walter Mosley - Anyone can write a novel now, and in this essential book of tips, practical advice, and wisdom, promises that the writer-in-waiting can finish it in one year. (January 2009) author page

The Long Embrace: Raymond Chandler and the Woman He Loved by Judith Freeman - Chandler was one of the most original and enduring crime novelists of the twentieth century. Yet much of his pre-writing life, including his unconventional marriage, has remained shrouded in mystery. In this compelling, wholly original book, Judith Freeman sets out to solve the puzzle of who Chandler was and how he became the writer who would create in Philip Marlowe an icon of American culture. (November 2008) author page

Boom! Voices of the Sixties Personal Reflections on the '60s and Today by Tom Brokaw - (October 2008)

Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution by Woody Holton - Woody Holton upends what we think we know of the Constitution’s origins by telling the history of the average Americans who challenged the framers of the Constitution and forced on them the revisions that produced the document we now venerate. (October 2008)

The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development is Bringing Down Civilization by Diana West - West sees the U.S. filled with middle-age Boomers playing air guitar and thinks, "No wonder we can't stop Islamic terrorism. We haven't put down our toys yet." She wonders if there is a single adult left anywhere? (September 2008)

Brother, I'm Dying by Edwidge Danticat - Edwidge tells of making a new life in a new country while fearing for the safety of those still in Haiti as the political situation deteriorates.  (September 2008) author page

The World Without Us by Alan Weisman - A pentrating, page-turning take on how our planet would respond without the relentless pressure of the human prescence. (August 2008)

Digital Destiny : New Media and the Future of Democracy by Jeff Chester - (July 2008)

Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayl by the White House by Valerie Plame Wilson - Plame spent a courageous and honorable career on the front lines of terrorism only to come home and meet the ultimate betrayal, her own country -- unethical politicians and unscrupulous journalists. (June 2008)

China Road: A Journey into the Future of a Rising Power by Rob Gifford - In this utterly surprising and deeply personal book, acclaimed National Public Radio reporter Rob Gifford, a fluent Mandarin speaker, takes the dramatic journey along Route 312 from its start in the boomtown of Shanghai to its end on the border with Kazakhstan. Gifford reveals the rich mosaic of modern Chinese life in all its contradictions, as he poses the crucial questions that all of us are asking about China: Will it really be the next global superpower? (June 2008)

Conquering the Impossible by Mike Horn - In August 2002 Horn set out on a mission that bordered on impossible: to travel 12,000 miles around the globe at the Arctic Circle -- alone, against all prevailing winds and currents, and without motorized transportation. (June 2008)

The River Queen by Mary Morris - This story of a middle-aged woman’s odyssey down the Mississippi River is a funny, beautifully written, and poignant tale of a journey that transforms a life. (May 2008)

Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson - (May 2008)

Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA by Tim Weiner - National Book Award winner (May 2008)

At the Center of the Storm by George Tenet - A revealing look at the inner workings of the most important intelligence organization in the world during the most challenging times in recent history. (April 2008)

A Tragic Legacy: How a Good vs. Evil Mentality Destroyed the Bush Presidency by Glenn Greenwald - “This is the best book about the worst president." (April 2008)

Betraying Our Troops: The Destructive Results of Privatizing War by Dina Rasor and Robert H. Bauman - In this shocking expose, two government fraud experts reveal how private contractors have put the lives of countless American soldiers on the line while damaging our strategic interests and our image abroad. (April 2008)

Planet India: The Turbulent Rise of the Largest Democracy and the Future of the World by Mira Kamdar (February 2008)

The Human Touch : Our Part in the Creation of the Universe by Michael Frayn - With wit, charm, and brilliance, this epic work of philosophy sets out to make sense of our place in the scheme of things. (January 2008)

Fighting for Air : The Battle to Control America's Media by Eric Klinenberg - (January 2008)

The Radical and the Republican : Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the Triumph of Antislavery by James Oakes - (January 2008)

The Birthday Party : A Memoir of Survival by Stanley N. Alpert - On January 21, 1998, the night before his thirty-eighth birthday, federal prosecutor Stanley Alpert was kidnapped off the streets of Manhattan. (January 2008)

The Beautiful Cigar Girl: Mary Rogers, Edgar Allan Poe, and the Invention of Murder by Daniel Stashower (December 2007)

Dragon Sea : A True Tale of Treasure, Archeology and Greed off the Coast of Vietnam by Frank Pope - (December 2007)

The Curtain: An Essay in Seven Parts by Milan Kundera - In this entertaining and always stimulating essay, Kundera cleverly sketches out his personal view of the history and value of the novel in Western civilization. (December 2007)

A Commonwealth of Thieves: The Improbable Birth of Australia by Thomas Keneally (December 2007)

The Audacity of Hope: thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream by Barack Obama - (November 2007) More on author

China Shakes the World: A Titan's Rise and Troubled Future -- and the Challenge for America by James Kynge (October 2007)

Ghost Plane: The True Story of the CIA Torture Program by Stephen Grey - The origins and evolution of the CIA-based program for handling terrorism suspects, known generally as "rendition" is investigated by this long standing human-rights reporter. (September 2007)

Blood Brothers: Among the Soldiers of Ward 57 by Michael Weisskopf - A powerful account of eighteen months in the lives of three soldiers and a journalist, all patients in Ward 57, Walter Reed’s amputee wing. (September 2007)

State of Denial: Bush at War, Part III by Bob Woodward - (September 2007)

Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone by Rajiv Chandrasekaran - As the Baghdad bureau chief for the Washington Post, Chandrasekaran has probably spent more time in U.S.-occupied Iraq than any other American journalist, and his intimate perspective permeates this history of the Coalition Provisional Authority headquartered in the Green Zone around Saddam Hussein's former palace. (September 2007) About Us| Last Modified | Join Newsletter | Contact Us | ©1998-2009