a couple of weeks ago

Mysteries set in Elizabethan England

Her story is well known. The reign of Elizabeth I (1533-1603) marked the emergence of England onto the world stage. During the forty-five years of her reign, Elizabeth’s fleet defeated the world’s most powerful navy (albeit by lucky chance) and kept the predatory powers of the Continent at bay through adroit diplomacy and innovative spycraft. […]

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last month

Mystery and thriller series starters can be misleading

So, what can you tell about mystery and thriller series from their series starters—the first books published in the sequence? Sometimes a whole lot. And sometimes not much at all, as it turns out. Mystery and thriller fans love book series. By following the exploits of a leading character or a team of investigators, we […]

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a few months ago

Good books about climate change

Some call it a hoax. For most of the rest of us, myself assuredly included, it’s the climate emergency or the climate crisis. And no matter what you “believe,” climate change is underway. It’s warming the planet. It’s accelerating. It holds the potential to end the long march of the human race toward civilization. And, […]

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a few months ago

20 top nonfiction books about history

What can history teach us? We know, of course, that history doesn’t repeat itself, at least never exactly. But some, perhaps nearly all, of the most successful leaders of the past were ardent students of history. Surely, they learned something from their predecessors, if only how to make their own mistakes that would be different […]

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a few months ago

20 top books about Africa, including both fiction and nonfiction

In the 19th century, as the nations of Europe rushed to grab ever-larger expanses of territory there, Africa was known as the Dark Continent. That label is still apt, but not for the same reason. Everywhere else—Europe, Asia, the Americas—understanding of Africa and Africans is limited, and far too often wildly distorted. It’s time to […]

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a few months ago

Science fiction reviewed here in 2021

2034: A Novel of the Next World War by Elliot Ackerman and Admiral James Stavridis—The Third World War breaks out in 2034, but not how you think Brain Wave by Poul Anderson—How would you behave if your IQ suddenly doubles? Above the Ether by Eric Barnes—Welcome to the apocalypse Darwin’s Radio (Darwin #1 of 2) […]

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a few months ago

Nonfiction books reviewed here in 2021

The Lords of Creation: The History of America’s 1 Percent by Frederick Lewis Allen—Why the Great Recession happened—and the Great Depression before it The Admirals: Nimitz, Halsey, Leahy, and King—The Five-Star Admirals Who Won the War at Sea by Walter R. Borneman—The four men who led the US Navy in WWII The Mission: A True […]

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a few months ago

Mysteries and thrillers reviewed here in 2021

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara—A deeply affecting tale of child trafficking in India today Three Hours in Paris by Cara Black—A suspenseful World War II espionage thriller set in Paris Death by Disputation (Francis Bacon #2) by Anna Castle—Religious conflict in Elizabethan England fuels this gripping spy story A Spy in […]

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