last month

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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last month

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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last month

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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last month

Science fiction reviewed here in 2021

Brain Wave by Poul Anderson—How would you behave if your IQ suddenly doubles? Galactic Exploration (First Contact #4) by Peter Cawdron—Galactic exploration yields conflicting views of extraterrestrial life Wherever Seeds May Fall (First Contact #15) by Peter Cawdron—One surprise after another in this brilliant First Contact novel Amphitrite (Black Planet #1) Brandon Q. Morris—Journey to […]

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last month

Nonfiction books reviewed here in 2021

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 Catcher Was a Spy: The Mysterious Life of Moe Berg by Nicholas Dawidoff—An absorbing biography of Moe Berg, baseball player and WWII spy The Nazi Menace: […]

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last month

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 A Spy in the Struggle by Aya de León—From Aya de León, a brilliant thriller that exposes the FBI’s illegal tactics […]

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last month

Trade fiction reviewed here in 2021

The Kingmaker’s Daughter (Plantagenet & Tudor Novels #4) by Philippa Gregory—Nothing noble about the nobility in 15th century England Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi—Questions science cannot answer in this brilliant new novel Comrade Koba by Robert Littell—A biography of Joseph Stalin as told by the man himself The Lost Diary of M by Paul Wolfe—John […]

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a couple of months ago

Looking back at 2020: my favorite books of the year

It’s that time of year again, when the National Book Awards and the Booker Prize are announced and the Washington Post, the New York Times, and just about any other publication with literary pretensions releases their “best books of the year” lists. And I always review those lists, hunting for treasure I might have missed. […]

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