PositiveBookPageThe history is fascinating, but what makes The Vapors a compelling—and ultimately heartwrenching—book is the author’s account of his own family, who lived in Hot Springs during the casino heyday. His grandmother Hazel Hill landed there as a teen, drifted into casino work after leaving her violent, alcoholic husband and neglected her sons as she fell into her own sad addictions. Hill tells the hard truth of her life with compassion and context.
PositiveBookPage... sensitive, insightful ... After her illuminating visits to Louisiana, Oklahoma and the Georgia-South Carolina low country, Jerkins ends in Los Angeles, where she spent part of her childhood ... moving.
RaveBookPage... Townsend continues her groundbreaking work in the field in the marvelous Fifth Sun, a dramatic and accessible narrative that tells the story as the Nahuas saw it ... helps explode denigrating myths ... Townsend [is] a first-rate writer.
PositiveBookPageEveritt, an expert storyteller, has written a riveting narrative that restores Alexander to his own context—and takes a whack at solving the remaining mysteries ... [Everitt] takes us on a spirited passage through the ancient world, from the Balkans to South Asia, with effective explanations of battles and sieges and a useful description of the ordinary Greek soldier’s experience ... Everitt is particularly perceptive about the impact of Alexander’s charismatic parents, as well as the snake-pit royal court where he was raised.
PositiveBookPage\"... a beautifully written account ... Andrews conveys his passion for the west’s landscape and inhabitants through his sensitive writing, which avoids either anthropomorphizing the wildlife or villainizing ordinary people ... [Andrews\'s] book is a testament to his compassion.\
PositiveBookPage...engaging ... at once an adventure tale and a history of ideas that continue to resonate ... Happily, Wilson-Lee’s insightful and entertaining work refreshes the memory of Colón’s sweeping vision.
RaveBookPage[An] enjoyable biography-mystery tale ... Her sex life aside, Landon was a hardworking, prolific writer of real talent, cheated and undervalued by London’s male publishing establishment. In a sensitive analysis of her work, Miller sees her as a sophisticated pioneer. Landon’s poetry seems unlikely to come back into style, but her life—at turns funny and sad, but always spirited—has enduring relevance.
PositiveBookPage\"Anolik has now written a smart, fast-paced meditation on Babitz in Hollywood’s Eve ... Anolik’s own writing is jazzy and insightful, and her quest to find Babitz—both physically and psychologically—is an integral part of the book.\
PositiveBookPageMarvelous ... This book comes at the perfect moment, as the #MeToo movement highlights sexual harassment and assault.
Eric Jay Dolin
PositiveBookkpage\"Pity poor, honest Robert Snead. A justice in colonial Philadelphia in 1697, he was determined to enforce the laws against piracy by arresting members of pirate Henry Avery’s crew. But the governor’s daughter was married to one of them. Snead’s fellow justice also had a relative married to a pirate. They blocked him at every turn. Ultimately, the sheriff let the criminals \'escape.\' A disgusted Snead gave up. In a nutshell, that’s how the so-called \'Golden Age\' of piracy from 1680-1726 became so golden ... As author Eric Jay Dolin illustrates in his gripping Black Flags, Blue Waters, colonists and pirates were \'partners in crime\'—until their interests diverged.
PositiveBookPageEisen, ambassador from 2011 to 2014, has written a genuinely exciting history of the era, seen through the lives of Frieda and four people who lived in the mansion ... Based on voluminous research, the book offers a detailed, novelistic view of stirring times and impressive characters. For all his riches, Petschek is ultimately a sad figure, unable to understand the fragility of his world.
Ethan J Kytle, Blain Roberts
RaveBookPage\"The married historians’ book Denmark Vesey’s Garden is a remarkable exploration of the radically different memories of antebellum Charleston that coexisted for 100 years ... Kytle and Roberts caution against complacency in the face of racism. Dylann Roof, the white supremacist who killed nine African-Americans in Vesey’s old church in 2015, had visited the city’s historical sites ahead of the massacre—and learned all the wrong lessons.\
Chris Feliciano Arnold
PositiveBookPageA wide-ranging panorama of this vast region in western Brazil, so full of both promise and suffering.
PositiveBookPageEnemies turned comrades, in less than a decade? Cody and Sitting Bull only worked together for a few months in 1885, but it's a fascinating chapter in the lightning-fast transition from Wild West reality to traveling circus. In her compelling Blood Brothers, Deanne Stillman, an expert on the American West, examines their lives to explore the era’s complexities … Stillman also shows that a third person was crucial to the relationship between the two men: Annie Oakley. Both were a bit in love with that remarkable woman, and her story is as riveting as theirs.
Roger D. Hodge
RaveBookPageThe legendary Texas borderland ranch culture is fading, and Hodge takes an unsparing look at how it developed, what it meant and how it’s dying in Texas Blood ... Texas Blood, a title that refers to the blood of Hodge’s ancestors and the blood of Southwestern violence, is a heady, sometimes humorous mélange of family history, memoir, research and travelogue. In the course of the book, Hodge retraces his forebears’ path south from Missouri, drives pretty much the entirety of the Rio Grande Valley, interviews border patrol agents and his grandma, hangs out with Mexican-American pilgrims at the Cristo Rey shrine and explains why Cormac McCarthy’s novels are more realistic than not.