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Book Reviews 10/2017

Book review: 'The Heart's Invisible Furies' is not to be missed
“The Heart's Invisible Furies” is an explosive and expansive epic of a novel that should garner considerable attention for end-of-year book and prize lists. It is rare to describe a nearly 600-page book as a page-turner but John Boyne grabs the reader ...

Book review: Kids, join Hilde to crack the case
If you are a kid who likes mysteries and animals, then “Hero Dog!” is a book for you. But if you don't like mysteries and animals, then “Hero Dog!” is not a book for you. It all starts when Hilde finds out that there was a break-in on Orange Street ...

BOOK REVIEW: "Don't Let Go" by Harlan Coben
Since approximately 2002, suburban New Jersey detective Napoleon “Nap” Dumas has been haunted by the unsettling death of his twin brother Leo, and Leo's girlfriend Diana, after they were hit by a train near their hometown of Wellbridge. And now, in ...

Book review (FICTION): "To Be Where You Are" by Jan Karon
Jan Karon says her goal is to give readers a safe place to go with her novels of Mitford, “the town that takes care of its own.” She delivers on that promise in the terrific “To Be Where You Are,” the 14th in her New York Times best-selling series ...

Book review: 'A Colony in a Nation'
“The United States is the most violent developed country in the world,” Chris Hayes notes near the beginning of “A Colony in a Nation,” his new examination of the relationship between race and crime in America. “It is also the most incarcerated. For ...

Book review: 'The Pride of the Yankees'
”The Pride of the Yankees: Lou Gehrig, Gary Cooper and the Making of a Classic” by Richard Sandomir. Hachette. 304 pp. $27. Review provided by The Washington Post. About 15,000 rain-drenched soldiers and sailors cheered as Gary Cooper took the ...

Book review: 'Dots & Dashes' sums up the military spouse's viewpoint, in poetry
Dubrow's newest collection, “Dots & Dashes,” returns to our generation's Forever War. As the wife of a U.S. Navy officer, she knows that a spouse's deployments get harder rather than easier on the ones left behind. The language of longing that's so ...

Book review: 'Where the Animals Go' maps species' comings, goings
We've come a long way from the days when Aristotle believed that storks winter on the moon. Now GPS tags, DNA sequencing, satellites and cellphone networks allow scientists to track animals across vast stretches of land and through sky and sea. In ...

Book review: Buffalo hunt in 'Savage Country' shows epic struggles
It's impossible to write a thoughtful novel about the West in the 19th century without running into a wall of ambivalence: Admirable though the trail-blazing, peril-facing characters may be, the contemporary writer knows that they're implicated in the ...

Book Review: 'Lighthouse' an 'unsettling story of inescapable fate'
“The Lighthouse” is a short, orderly novel that, despite its uncomplicated narrative and brevity, is a skillfully written, unsettling story of inescapable fate. The haunting sense of inevitability makes this a page-turner not easily forgotten. Alison ...

Book Review: Confessions of a Funeral Director
I thought to kick-off the month of October and the season of Halloween, it would be great to review Wilde's first book, Confessions of a Funeral Director: How the Business of Death Saved My Life, which takes a look at the American way of death through ...

Book Review: “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump” Is Essential for Understanding Our Times and Our President
Like a bulging medical file for a chronically hospitalized ICU patient, every week sees new additions to the folders of evidence for Donald Trump's diseased mind and his mental unfitness for the presidency. This past week, in the “History of Present ...

Book review: Graphic poetry illuminates Arab concerns
Lena Khalaf Tuffaha's first book stands as defiantly as the cover image by Jehad Saftawi, picturing a doorway and a partial front wall of a demolished home. This unbelievable reality is rendered in “DHAYAA'” — Arabic for “loss”). The complete poem ...

Book review: King and son sleepwalk through new horror novel
Some dads take their boys fishing, some throw around a ball. Stephen King and his son imagine a plague that knocks out half the earth's population. That's essentially the plot of “Sleeping Beauties,” the first novel co-written by the horror-meister ...

Book review: Spanish ambassador paints flesh-and-bone picture of Galvéz
The Fife and Drum Corps of the Granaderos y Damas de Gálvez, attired in the uniforms of 18th-century Spanish grenadiers, is a regular feature of public life in San Antonio, including ceremonies at the Alamo and Fiesta parades. The members of the group ...

Book review: Got news “Overload”?
Texan Bob Schieffer's new book on the media and news, “Overload,” is subtitled “Finding the Truth in Today's Deluge of News.” Finding the truth, indeed, is becoming more challenging as news reporting becomes more fragmented and as everyone joins in the ...

Book review: Jesmyn Ward returns with a powerful racial refrain
The goat makes a sound of surprise, a bleat swallowed by a gurgle, and then there's blood and mud everywhere,” Ward writes. Later, she describes the slickness of the skin as it peels off the goat's bloody hide like a banana. It's a fitting image for a ...

A Mind at Play, book review: The life and work of information theory's founding father
About the first half of the book covers his life until his early thirties, when his most important work was done. As Soni and Goodman note, mathematics, like sports, is a young person's game. Besides his mathematical theory of communication, during ...

Book Review
Her hot-off-the-press book, Revivement – Having a Life After Making a Living, introduces you to a new way to experience your life after fifty. She asks readers to note that she uses the word “retirement” for the ending of regular work life. “Revivement ...

Book Review: 'Manhattan Beach'
Filled with gangsters and sailors, night club owners and bankers, this is no ordinary WWII novel; it is also vision of Americans in a time and place, and our place in the world. Like Egan's Pulitzer Prize-winning book A Visit From the Goon Squad, here ...

BOOK REVIEW: "Renegade: Martin Luther, The Graphic Biography"
Far different from the traditional (and sometimes boring) historic books composed of hundreds of pages, this graphic novel proposes a new approach more colorful. Therefore, make it easier to read and learn one of the most important and difficult ...

Book Review: 'The Writing on the Wall: Rediscovering New York City's "Ghost Signs"' by Ben Passikoff
The Writing on the Wall: Rediscovering New York City's "Ghost Signs" is Ben Passikoff's 2006 book of photos of the business ads painted on the sides of Manhattan buildings over the past century - messages from the past that linger long after most of ...

Dan Brown doesn't mess with his formula in Origin: EW review
The Mickey Mouse watch-wearing, claustrophobic, always-near-trouble symbology professor is back in Dan Brown's latest book. And just like he was in his original exploits (Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code), Dr. Langdon is once again wrapped up in ...

Book review: Hillary Clinton's 'What Happened'
The book cover of Hillary Clinton's new book: What Happened. Photo courtesy of Simon & Schuster Publishing Company. Hillary Clinton's newest book, What Happened, was released Sept. 12, 2017. Most people say it is a scathing take-down of President ...

Illustrated Books to Help Children Embrace Their Differences
He is bright, inquisitive and loving, but social situations leave him confused and uncomfortable. He's just beginning to realize he's a little different. He has always loved reading, so I've begun to use books to help him find comfort in this world ...

Khmer book review 'Phum Direchhan' (Evil Village)
“Phum Direchhan” was written between 1964 and 1965 by Deuk Keam and Deak Om, and published in 1971. The book depicts the “April 18 event” of 1925, in which a group of farmers rose up against brutal French colonial administrators. The book led Khmer ...

In 'Manhattan Beach,' Jennifer Egan Sets a Crime Story on the Waterfront
They may also understand, rightly, that this will turn out to be a more traditional novel than the raucous and inventive “Goon Squad,” although the two books offer many of the same pleasures, including fine turns of phrase, a richly imagined environs ...

Book Review: "From Here to Eternity" by Caitlin Doughty
In a sort of grisly travelogue-cum-cultural-studies, her book, “From Here to Eternity” takes readers on a journey from cave to grave in several cultures and countries, in search of answers to our aversion to mortality. Yes, there's dark and ritualized ...

Ta-Nehisi Coates tackles Trump, Obama and race in searing new book
”If there was one thing that South Carolina feared more than bad Negro government, it was good Negro government.'' That quote, made by civil rights icon W.E.B. Du Bois in regard to voting barriers South Carolina began to impose in the 1890s to ...

Book Review: Pitch The Perfect Investment
The authors synthesized many academic publications for the reader to understand the subtleties behind concepts like the Wisdom of Crowds, market efficiency, behavioral finance, and risk into clearer language. This book with its colorful diagrams can ...

Comic Book Review – Batman: The Rebirth Deluxe Edition Book One
Since the start of DC Rebirth, writer Tom King has been at the helm of Batman, crafting some entertaining and insightful stories into the Dark Knight. In keeping with their Rebirth deluxe editions, DC has released Batman: The Rebirth Deluxe Edition ...

In Dan Brown's 'Origin,' Robert Langdon Returns, With an AI Friend in Tow
Dan Brown has thrown off the doldrums of “Inferno” with a brisk new book that pits creationism against science, and is liable to stir up as much controversy as “The Da Vinci Code” did. In “Origin,” the brash futurist Edmond Kirsch comes up with a ...

Book Review: Retrograde By Peter Cawdron
The book opens on a friendly late-night card game inside the Chinese module, where U.S. micropaleobiologist Liz is with her boyfriend Jianyu, a surgeon with the Chinese crew. The game is abruptly interrupted by the Chinese commander, who, without ...

FLIM FLAM REBELLION: Dedication, preface, and introduction
I've written critical scholarly reviews of an English translation of Statius' Thebaid and Conversations with Michael Crichton. These reviews can be found in peer-reviewed scholarly journals. My main mode when writing a book review is to read through ...

Book review: Meet the godfather of libertarianism in 'Democracy in Chains'
When a review copy of Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America arrived, the title put me off. I am not much of a fan of conspiracy theories. But, then I noticed that the author, Nancy MacLean, is a historian ...

Book review: 'Mask of Shadows'
That's truth: it'll be real work, and you're prepared. You know it'll take training, which will take time. You'll have to learn to think differently, and that's okay. You might get discouraged, and you'll handle it. But – as in the new novel “Mask of ...

Book Review: 'Pioneers of German Graphic Design' by Jens Muller
What is graphic design, typography, applied arts, wordmarks, and such? These practices are a form of visual communication based in conceptual expressions and applied to a tangible form such as advertisements, posters, packaging of a product, and the ...

The Sparsholt Affair by Alan Hollinghurst, book review: One of the best books of the year
We first encounter David Sparsholt--the character from whom Alan Hollinghurst's exquisite sixth novel takes its title--he's just a “rhythmical shadow” leaping and shrinking “across the distant ceiling” of a room in the building across the quad of an ...

Book review: Utah author's 'Race to the Bottom of the Sea' is a refreshing high-seas adventure
It's not often in middle-grade books where a story starts out with an overwhelming tragedy and somehow turns into a grand pirate adventure, but Utah author Lindsay Eagar does just that with "Race to the Bottom of the Sea." Eleven-year-old Fidelia was ...

Book Review: Out of Luck, by John Perrotta
There are examples, of course, where the inverse has proven successful: Seabiscuit was a well-received book that made a widely-acclaimed transition to the big screen–but we can imagine that the film might have lacked its captivating attention to detail ...

Sexual Assault on Campus and the Lessons of a Botched Book Review
It is also the subject of what might be the most contested book review of the year. In September, Michelle Goldberg reviewed “Blurred Lines” for the Times. Goldberg was recently hired by the paper as an Op-Ed columnist; Grigoriadis is now a ...

Fairy Tales About the Fears Within
Published just this week, “Her Body and Other Parties” was released in the wake of its success: It's been named a finalist for the National Book Award and for the Kirkus Prize, and its publisher, Graywolf, has already gone back for a third printing ...

Book Review: “Sam, the Most Scaredy-Cat Kid in the Whole World” by Mo Willems
Once again, Mo Willems brings delightful characters to life in the simple tale Sam, the Most Scaredy-Cat Kid in the Whole World. Ironically, Sam is scared of everything except his furry monster pal, Frankenthaler. One day they encounter Kerry who is ...

Book Review: 'Moral Fiber: Awakening Corporate Consciousness' by Shawn Vij
Founded on ethical business principles, it's well articulated in a useful, inspiring new book by Shawn Vij, Moral Fiber: Awakening Corporate Consciousness (Lioncrest, 2017). Vij is a business veteran who has logged a lot of miles as an executive and a ...

Book Review: 'The mitten handbook' by Mary Scott Huff
For years, knitting instructor Mary Scott Huff has been teaching knitters how to make mittens. This book is a compendium of her wisdom about mittens, including an anatomy of each element of knitting them and how to customize your project by combining ...

Book Review: 'What Comes After Homo Sapiens? When and How Our Species Will Evolve into Another Species,' by ...
Book Review: 'What Comes After Homo Sapiens? When and How Our Species Will Evolve into Another Species,' by ...

Kazuo Ishiguro Is Awarded Nobel Prize in Literature
“He is such a rare and mysterious writer, always surprising to me, with every book,” he wrote in an email. Born in 1954 in Nagasaki and educated in Britain, Kazuo Ishiguro is known for, among other things, his lyrical prose, his acute sense of place ...

A revealing look at America's castle, the man who built it and the woman who saved it
The book is subtitled “The Epic Story of Love, Loss, and American Royalty in the Nation's Largest Home,” and lives up to that by putting a very human face on both Vanderbilts. Indeed, Kiernan's research is deep and she writes tellingly of a host of ...

Roz Chast: By the Book
It's also about politics and how power is amassed and urban planning and engineering and New York City in the '20s through the '70s. What influences your decisions about which books to read? Word of mouth, reviews, a trusted friend? All of the above ...

Putin's Russia, guided by its totalitarian past, has no future
Vladimir Putin has now served as Russia's supreme leader longer than anyone since Stalin. With 17 years in office and counting, Putin last month surpassed the record of Leonid Brezhnev, the bushy-browed Politburo chief whose seemingly endless tenure ...


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