PositiveThe Wall Street Journal\"...a colorful new history of America’s pursuit of crystalline cold ... The resulting work touches on the complex, often counterintuitive science of ice, but Ms. Brady’s real focus is on the human beings who worked out how to harvest, preserve and manufacture it; plunged it into cocktails; invented new sports on its surface; or used it in medicine ... Ms. Brady’s eye for such hidden connections is sharp, and her curiosity is infectious...These subjects, intriguing as they are, are skated over lightly—the scenes, accordingly, whizz by, sometimes merging into a bit of a blur ... Here’s hoping some of the American invention and crystalline insight chronicled in this book will play a role in lowering temperatures both literal and metaphorical.\
PositiveThe Wall Street Journal... part high-speed tour of Poe’s tumultuous career and part cold-case investigation of his premature and enigmatic end ... A Mystery of Mysteries vigorously pursues the various causes of death that have been suggested over many years of speculation ... Mr. Dawidziak’s approach has its shortcomings. He assembles a grand array of scholars, commentators, forensic scientists and Poe-obsessives, who are called in to offer expertise or simply opinion, and while this method has the benefit of introducing a panel of experts, the effect calls to mind a television documentary. The more we hear from this panel, the further the writer’s sensibility seems to recede.
PositiveWall Street Journal\'Go Ask Alice\' soon became a cultural phenomenon of such enduring power and popularity that millions of readers have sped through its pages, many testifying to its influence over their lives...But where did this diary come from?...That’s the mystery—or one of the mysteries—that Rick Emerson attempts to unravel in Unmask Alice: LSD, Satanic Panic, and the Imposter Behind the World’s Most Notorious Diaries...The trail Mr. Emerson, a longtime talk-radio host and producer, followed via documents and interviews led him deep into the life of a woman named Beatrice Sparks, a struggling writer from Provo, Utah, credited as \'author\' on the copyright application for \'Go Ask Alice\'...Beatrice Sparks \'discovered\' and \'edited\' a half-dozen more such journals before her death at 95 in 2012...Her biographer makes her into something of a villain whose presence seems almost oppressive in these pages...That’s not just because Mr. Emerson is scrupulous in nailing down the details of her dissemblings, her contradictory stories about her sources and her past, or her flat-out lies; it’s also because at moments Unmasking Alice turns from an investigation into an enduring publishing mystery into a trial more overheated than if the Queen of Hearts were presiding...It’s to the author’s credit that the trip, in the end, remains worth taking.