MixedBookPageWith its long timespan and its focus on cultural change, Mrs. Everything is a departure for Weiner, a founding godmother of fun, fluffy, women-centric popular fiction ... Mrs. Everything’s flawed but approachable female characters, well-examined friendships and romantic relationships and often-joyful sex scenes make this vintage Weiner ... some details and secondary characters are skated over, and some sections feel rushed. Still, this is a warm, readable novel about figuring out what it means for a woman to be true to herself.
PositiveBookPageAs Gottlieb’s patients proceed (often painfully) through their sessions, so does Gottlieb with her new therapist, Wendell. And we get to listen in through this unusual combination of memoir, self-help guide and therapy primer ... warm, approachable and funny—a pleasure to read ... As we watch Gottlieb and her patients learn to tell the rest of their own stories and move beyond their pain, we find some surprising insights and even a bit of wisdom.
PositiveBookPageThe author of two novels, Fishman lets his narrative move novelistically back and forth in time through key moments like his family’s emigration ... Fishman’s writing is brisk and vivid, and despite generations’ worth of trauma the family suffered, from pervasive anti-Semitism to the brutalities of World War II, his memoir is often funny ... where this book departs from other memoirs: Most chapters end with detailed recipes, adding a lovely, homey dimension.
PositiveBookPage\"... lively, immersive ... Robb neatly uses her own and others’ dream experiences to introduce current research, including how dreams help us learn and remember, recover from trauma and stay mentally healthy ... Robb offers a range of suggestions for better attention to dreams, from keeping a dream journal to starting a dream group.\
PositiveBookpageThe phrase \'celebrity chemist\' sounds like an oxymoron, but at the turn of the 20th century, Dr. Harvey Washington Wiley was just that, a crusading chemist who fought for safe food and accurate food labeling. In The Poison Squad, Deborah Blum, director of MIT’s Knight Science Journalism Program, tells Wiley’s story, as well as the larger story of what happened to our food supply in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. ... The Poison Squad offers a well-researched portrait of Wiley, rather unappealing food facts and an era of rapid American growth, with a government scrambling to catch up.
Bart Van Es
PositiveBookPageThe narration of the war years has a novelistic feel and takes on the viewpoint of Lien as a child. This method works well to convey the trauma Lien felt after losing her parents ... The book also makes wonderful use of Lien’s childhood poesy book (a kind of autograph book) and family photos and mementos. Van Es sets scenes well, contrasting the Netherlands of the 21st century—with its liberal outlook and high-tech industries—with the far more rural and traditional Netherlands of the 1940s ... though Lien isn’t named as a co-author, her own voice and the story of her survival, not just of the war but also of the decades afterward, come through clearly.
PositiveBookpageRough Beauty, opens on a beautiful March morning, when Auvinen, out delivering the mail on her rural Colorado route, notices the deep blue of the sky, the signs of early spring and smoke from a fire—a fire that turns out to be her own house burning...Auvinen can only watch as firefighters work to contain the fire, which destroys everything she owns ... Auvinen then drops back to detail her difficult adolescence: an abusive dad, an impassive mom, a peripatetic childhood. But she dispatches with her youth quickly, focusing instead on the years that followed the devastating fire and describing life at the edge of the wilderness.
RaveBookPageThe book’s complicated scientific explanations have the potential to be tedious (at least to nonengineers like me), but Winchester’s prose is engaging, describing concepts like the role of precision time-keeping in the development of GPS, and the mind-boggling set of factors that allow a jet engine to power an enormous airplane without the engine overheating and melting. A late chapter gets a little philosophical, weighing the gains and losses that precision has brought us as Winchester delves into the history of the Seiko Watch Company in Japan, where craft and precision work side by side. But what remains with me are the stories from Winchester’s life, as well as those of the men (yes, almost all men) who measured, tinkered and persevered to build, for better or worse, our ultraprecision-driven world.
PositiveBookPageThe book retraces Fairchild’s journeys and includes enough cultural and political history to situate the reader in early 20th-century America, though Stone does not looking too closely at the ethics of Fairchild’s work, which sometimes involved stealing plants and seeds ... Despite occasionally awkward phrasing, The Food Explorer does a wonderful job bringing Fairchild’s story to life and giving this American original some overdue recognition.