RaveBookPageDolnick has a remarkable ability to explain and contextualize complex topics and create compelling, lucid nonfiction narratives ... In a conversational, accessible tone, Dolnick draws readers into the mystery. He introduces linguist rivals Thomas Young and Jean-Francois Champollion and takes immense care to illustrate the daunting nature of their quest. The result is a book that’s much more than a simple biography or dull history. Readers are immersed in the urgency of these scholars’ task and the weight of why it mattered ... Reading The Writing of the Gods is like tagging along for a dazzling intellectual journey of discovery, akin to listening to a fascinating lecture. Dolnick brings this period of history to life in the same way the Rosetta Stone revived ancient Egypt.
RaveBookPageIn this engrossing biography, author and history podcaster Mike Duncan, who explored the Roman Republic in The Storm Before the Storm, illuminates the eventful life of the Marquis de Lafayette ... Hero of Two Worlds: The Marquis de Lafayette in the Age of Revolution broadens our understanding of his engagement in other major political movements, as well, chronicling his role in the French Revolution and the toppling of the Bourbon Dynasty in 1830 ... Duncan’s impressive biography provides an insightful look at the American Revolution that can be appreciated by history lovers and general readers alike.
PositiveBookPage... a thought-provoking and heady mix of memoir, journalism and philosophy ... Wells seeks out a variety of people whose radical responses to the climate crisis challenge and defy the norm. The characters she profiles are varied and fascinating, and their stories may resonate with older readers who remember their own idealism during the 1960s counterculture movement ... While Wells is adept at communicating her own coming-of-age story and life journey, Believers is most compelling when the author allows the fascinating people she meets to speak for themselves, providing a rich mosaic of perspectives on life in the 21st century. Believers is a reckoning with climate change and a testimony about how to live on our threatened planet that will engage thoughtful citizens everywhere.
PositiveBookPage... charming ... If MacDougall is as skilled with dogs as she is with a pen, it’s no wonder her agency became number one. London’s Number One Dog-Walking Agency bounds along with the energy of a rambunctious pup and exudes the wisdom of a beloved canine with an old soul (you know the type). MacDougall’s writing sparkles with humor, joy and wit. And for dog lovers, of course, the best part is: It’s all about dogs.
PositiveBookPage... thoroughly entertaining ... As a journalist, Dreilinger knows the power of storytelling and makes the women from this history come to life ... Dreilinger also provides overall historical context, delineating the marginalization of Black women in the home economics field ... Dreilinger, who completed her book during the COVID-19 pandemic, correctly notes that people have been thinking about the meaning of home and how homes work more than ever before. As we look toward the future, it’s always good to consider where we’ve been, and The Secret History of Home Economics helps us do that.
PositiveBookPage... entertaining ... [an] energetic narrative ... [Blanding] also delves into Tudor history, illuminating North’s life as a traveler and aristocrat ... It’s unclear if Blanding’s highly enjoyable foray into the field will have an impact on Shakespearean scholars, but at the very least, North by Shakespeare will provide readers with the tools to enter the fray themselves. The book includes McCarthy’s estimated timeline of North’s plays next to a timeline of Shakespeare’s work, which readers can use along with McCarthy’s other techniques to examine passages from both North and Shakespeare themselves. It’s almost as much fun as sitting in a theater.
RaveBookpageBecker’s examination of three journalists’ careers—Webb, Frances FitzGerald from America and Catherine Leroy of France—powers this absorbing narrative about the challenges of covering the Vietnam War ... a significant contribution to the history of both the Vietnam War and women in journalism.
RaveBookpage... an engrossing and accomplished debut work of nonfiction ... Bradford Pearson shines light on a little-known chapter of World War II resistance on the homefront. He sets the stage by confronting the inaccurate vocabulary used to describe the forcible relocation of 120,000 people of Japanese descent in the 1940s, rejecting the commonly used \'internment\' in favor of the more accurate term \'incarceration.\' ... Based on meticulous archival research and interviews with surviving family members, Pearson’s narrative provides the political context for the incarceration of Japanese civilians while bringing readers into the lives of several of the teens who came of age in the camp ... Pearson’s tale goes beyond a simple feel-good sports story to encompass the complex political and racial justice issues of the time ... an inspiring exploration of resistance and a timely examination of how the policy of Japanese incarceration impacted the lives of young people and their families.
Jeffrey H. Jackson
PositiveBookPage... fascinating ... [Jackson] is adept at bringing the vibrancy of 1920s and 1930s Paris to life, including the cafes, nightclubs and personalities that were part of the thriving gay and lesbian community to which Lucy and Suzanne belonged ... This carefully researched volume also includes fascinating photographs, artwork and excerpts from the women’s letters and articles. The author’s attention to detail and prodigious research skills are also on display as he recounts the saga of the German occupation of Jersey and the women’s growing determination to do something to resist ... Impeccably researched and meticulously sourced, Paper Bullets is a welcome and timely portrait of courage and creativity.
RaveBookPage... both compelling and comprehensive, making use of previously untapped archival sources and interviews ... a fast-moving, engrossing narrative ... Michaelis never neglects the politics and history that marked the life of this remarkable, fascinating woman. At the same time, his impeccable storytelling and seamless integration of dialogue and quotations allow him to create an intimate, lively and emotional portrait that unfolds like a good novel. The book is also meticulously sourced, with nearly 100 pages of notes and a 30-page bibliography that’s of interest to historians as well as general readers ... One of the pleasures of this biography is Michaelis’ firm grasp of the material and his ability to sprinkle the text with anecdotes and tidbits that capture Roosevelt’s personality, complex private relationships and public accomplishments ... As America faces another challenging period in its history, there may be no better time for readers to turn to the life of one of our nation’s truly great leaders for inspiration.
RaveBookPageThis is no dry technical narrative. Levesque knows how to tell a story, and her conversational style and clear, easygoing prose bring readers into the action, whether it’s her own first experience of a total eclipse or another astronomer’s discovery of a supernova with the naked eye. Readers will learn what it takes to be granted access to a single night of observation at one of the world’s premier telescopes or to ride along in NASA’s flying SOFIA telescope—and what happens when things go wrong. This is also an introduction to the community of astronomers working today, many of whom Levesque interviewed for her book and whose stories help make her narrative shine. She even devotes a section to how technology may change the field for future astronomers ... the perfect complement to a summer night under the stars.
PositiveBookPageThis choice of narrative structure makes for a fascinating journey through history. However, given the centurylong time frame, chapter titles and defined sections might have added welcome context. It’s also worth noting that not much attention is paid to women’s contributions. In the end, though, Union is timely and thought-provoking, accomplishing much more than a static history.
Rosayra Pablo Cruz and Julie Schwietert Collazo
PositiveBookPageFrom the first page of this account of a mother from Guatemala being separated from her sons at the southern U.S. border, readers are drawn into the wrenching impact of American immigration policy on parents and children ... offers an unflinching look at conditions in U.S. detention centers and a sobering reminder of the power of policy to change the course of lives.
RaveBookPage...informative, thought-provoking ... Williams is a consummate storyteller, and her narrative seamlessly integrates scientific facts with vivid portraits of characters as colorful as the butterflies that intrigue and inspire them ... While the news for butterfly populations is sobering, Williams urges us to never give up the work of conservation ... The Language of Butterflies is more than a small contribution to this crucial effort.
PositiveBookPage... fascinating ... Impeccably researched, with an extensive bibliography, source notes and an index, Coffeeland is a rich and immensely readable journey into an aspect of 21st-century life worth learning more about.
PositiveBookpageSonnenfeld...does more than name-drop or recall Hollywood vignettes in this funny, wry and thoroughly entertaining memoir. Sonnenfeld is, above all, a storyteller, and while his own journey from a skinny, French horn-playing kid to a successful director drives the breezy narrative, he takes time to bring supporting characters irreverently to life—his overprotective mother, Kelly, who spent years threatening suicide, and his father, Sonny, who tormented her with his many affairs. Against this backdrop, Sonnenfeld’s loving and happy family life with his wife, Sweetie, shines through.
PositiveBookPageIn the author’s note of this fascinating memoir, Ginger Gaffney lets readers know exactly what’s to come. The dialogue is drawn from memory, and yes, she’s made some character composites of the more than 50 residents at the alternative prison ranch where she volunteered during the year and a half the book covers. But some of the most compelling characters here don’t speak in words: They are horses. And in Gaffney’s book, they come alive.
RaveBookPageWhat makes Richardson’s account of debutante rituals so fascinating is her exploration of how the practice was exported to the United States ... Blending research and vignettes, she expertly traces the practice through old New York, the antebellum South and into the Gilded Age, when girls outside the tightknit structure of New York society went abroad to seek a husband or a title ... as Richardson reminds us in this engaging and thought-provoking history, the use of daughters to cement power and wealth is very hard to give up.
RaveBookPage...[a] stunning new novel ... With The Fountains of Silence, Sepetys has once again written gripping historical fiction with great crossover appeal to adult readers, combining impeccable research with sweeping storytelling.
PositiveBookPage... includes some wonderful photos of the endearing Sherman and his clan. And while you may not decide to take up burro racing yourself, McDougall’s inspiring story is not to be missed.
PositiveBookPage... fascinating ... And lest you hesitate because events that took place a thousand years ago appear irrelevant, rest assured: This is no dry, boring tome. Entering the world of Crusaders is a bit like plunging into the political machinations of the fight for the Iron Throne of Westeros, only in this case all the players and events are real ... even neophytes will feel well armed to appreciate the journey ... Jones’ focus on human characters and his strength as a storyteller are what make Crusaders a success. Vivid descriptions and the use of primary source quotes help readers span the centuries ... In a thought-provoking epilogue, Jones brings his narrative into the present day.
PositiveBookPage... [a] breathtaking, page-turning foray into the clash between Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and online extremists ... while the title might lead you to expect a dense, academic treatment, Marantz’s narrative is like going along for the ride in a foreign landscape, bouncing into the unknown on a bumpy road ... Marantz has a keen eye for character, and Antisocial sometimes reads like a novel about people with oversize personalities. But his intentions are serious, and ultimately Antisocial is an insightful look at two powerful forces shaping American society ... Traveling with Marantz is indeed a dizzying and often disturbing ride. Depending on what readers know about social media, the characters Marantz encounters may or may not be familiar names. But some of the ideas and positions they espouse are increasingly impossible to ignore ... Whether you use social media or not, Antisocial is an important look at groups that are molding the nation.
RaveBookPage...extraordinary ... a fascinating, in-depth analysis of Koch Industries and its astounding influence and power. Don’t let its 700-page length put you off: Leonard’s book reads like a thriller, and a dark one at that. It’s peopled with myriad characters as fascinating as those in Game of Thrones (and a dictionary of significant people is included) ... Leonard covers a lot of ground, but especially significant is a chapter analyzing Charles Koch’s long-held opposition to climate regulations ... essential reading for anyone concerned about the America our children and grandchildren will inherit.
RaveBookPage...[an] insightful, thought-provoking collection of essays ... It seems fitting that Nussbaum begins her entertaining collection with a new essay entitled \'The Big Picture: How Buffy the Vampire Slayer Turned Me into a TV Critic.\' Here she contrasts that show with the cultural impact of The Sopranos ... It’s also here, in this first essay, that Nussbaum reveals her own model of criticism: \'It’s about celebrating what never stops changing.\' Whether you’ve long been a TV fan or you’ve recently found yourself returning to this fascinating medium for long binge-watching sessions, this is a book you won’t want to miss.
John Von Sothen
PositiveBookPage... while von Sothen’s vibrant memoir is often humorous, he is also a thoughtful observer of politics and modern family life, including the pain of living far from elderly parents and the unique perspective that comes from being an outsider. As his wife, Anais, tells the author, \'We critique best what we love the most.\' And that is definitely true for Monsieur Mediocre.
RaveBookPageOkrent brings his considerable research and narrative talents to a neglected, disturbing aspect of America’s past ... detailed, compulsively readable ... a must-read for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the history of immigration in the United States—and how the past might be relevant to policy makers and citizens today.
PositiveBookPage\" ... captivating ... If Oller once wrote dry, impenetrable legal briefs, there’s no hint of it here. His narrative sparkles with details that set this study of the legal profession’s influence on big business into a fascinating historical context.\
PositiveBookPageFriedman combines his in-depth knowledge of Israel with a riveting narrative to recount the story of the Arab Section, an Israeli spy operation active from January 1948 to August 1949 ... The Arab Section began with a dozen spies (several were caught), but Friedman focuses on four men here, all in their early 20s in 1948, and follows them in amazing detail ... a tension-filled tale of espionage during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War ... Based on both interviews and archives, Friedman drops readers into the complex, shifting and dangerous landscape of the 1948 conflict. Spies of No Country is a fascinating journey into the past that reads like a spy novel—except in this case, it’s all true.
PositiveBookPageBlom examines the Little Ice Age, the great climate crisis of the 16th century, and traces the powerful—and often expected changes—it had on Europe. This is not, by any means, a dry treatise ... Blom’s compelling examination of how societies and cities adapted to unexpected change in the past is both fascinating history and a timely title for our own time.
RaveBookPageFascinating ... Here, Borman’s deep background knowledge serves her—and the reader—well. The pages and years fly by, and one has the feeling of stepping into an engaging historical lecture by a master of the subject ... For readers curious about royal history or fascinated by the styles of leaders in our own time, Henry VIII: And the Men Who Made Him makes for a compelling read. And it will hopefully tide committed Tudor fans over until Mantel’s The Mirror and the Light, the final book in her trilogy about Cromwell, comes out—whenever that may be.
RaveBookpageCharles Glass, former chief Middle East correspondent for ABC News, uses his considerable research and storytelling skills to uncover the little-known story of SOE (Special Operations Executive) agents George and John Starr ... While They Fought Alone may read like a thriller, the enormous toll that the war took on George and John Starr is palpable. As we approach the 75th anniversary of D-Day in 2019, this book is a timely reminder of what it took to defeat tyranny.
PositiveBookpage\"...Higgins plunges into her life in New York, where she’s lived for several years. She reflects on parties, Manhattan summers and the differences in small talk in Ireland and America. Dogs also merit an essay. \'Rescue animals are prized possessions in New York,\' Higgins tells us. \'It seems the older and sicker your animal is, the richer and greater you are.\'
Higgins’ essays sparkle with humor and wry observations. But as she puts it, \'[t]he sliver of shared space between comedy and tragedy is one that fascinates me.\' And so Higgins lets us see into the shadows—of her life and perhaps our own. She speaks of \'the lowness of loneliness\' and how it sneaks up at unexpected moments. She explores the terrain of friendships and failures, and writes about immigration, past and present.
Doris Kearns Goodwin
RaveBookPage...her approach here uncovers new insights and understanding—both for readers and for herself ... Readers will share that sense of discovery ... With Leadership, Pulitzer Prize winner Goodwin cements her reputation as a scholar with a remarkable ability to bring the complexities of our past to life for everyday readers. It’s a welcome gift indeed.
PositiveBookpage\'It started\', Peter Mayle begins, \'with a break in the weather.\' After two weeks of a rainy Mediterranean vacation, Mayle and his wife, Jennie, set out to look for sun and explore Provence on their way home to England. They quickly fell in love with the beautiful region of southeastern France ... In this final memoir, Mayle returns to the beginning, recounting the couple’s early days house-hunting, learning the language and falling in love with the culture ... \'Lunch is taken very seriously in Provence,\' Mayle discovered early on. So it’s fitting that as he makes his way home from the village market, basket piled high with warm bread, fragrant cheese, cherries, grapes and fresh eggs, Mayle’s last words to us are, \'I must go. Lunch is calling.\'
PositiveBookPageIn digging up its history, Robb covers a large swath of time. But in true cyclist fashion, the telling is not rushed but leisurely: The author stops to show us points of interest and sights along the way ... This intimate portrait of the land helps us imagine its colorful past of rebellious clans and border raiders ... For Anglophiles, history lovers and, yes, cyclists, The Debatable Land is a journey worth taking.
RaveBookPageIn the enthralling The China Mission, Kurtz-Phelan, executive editor of Foreign Affairs, uses archival sources and extensive research to give an in-depth look at Marshall himself, as well as a fascinating account of a little-known chapter in the history of that tumultuous era: Marshall’s difficult and complex postwar assignment in China ... As we approach the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe, The China Mission is a timely reminder of the pivotal role George Marshall played in shaping the world we know today.
RaveBookPageA consummate researcher, DeJean teases out this fascinating history by delving into boxed archival records, contained in \'sturdy dark cardboard and tied with dingy beige ribbons.\' Yet, as in How Paris Became Paris, DeJean turns her astute eye not just to the story of two individual families but to the broader historical context of the time. In this way, reading The Queen’s Embroiderer is a bit like listening to a fascinating, erudite lecture or examining an elaborate piece of needlework.
Henry Louis Gates Jr.
RaveBookPageA series of 100 questions with short answers, the book is a freewheeling exploration of black history. Gates takes on questions such as ‘Who was the first black saint?’ as well as ‘Who was the first black person to see the baby Jesus?’ and ‘What happened to Argentina’s black population?’ An essay about the first black fighter pilot is followed by a question about slave ownership. Topics range from sports to civil rights and the slave trade, the Civil War, piracy and even the Salem witch trials. Gates is a historian, but he is also a consummate teacher. And one of the charms of the volume is that the essays appear in no particular order, making it ideal for dipping into at will or keeping on a bedside table to pick up before bed.
RaveBookPage...a stupendous biography ... Chernow’s biography is replete with fascinating details and insightful political analysis, a combination that brings Grant and his time to life ... While Chernow’s biography may be hefty, it is also uncommonly compelling and timely. Perhaps a Broadway adaptation wouldn’t be such a bad idea. . . . In the meantime, put Grant on your must-read list.