‘Home By Now’ Paints a Tempting Picture of Remote Living

Over the last couple of years, the fear of catching a deadly disease has brought about a long-overdue shift to remote working for many jobs, and along with that has come a migration away from many big cities. If all you need to communicate with your colleagues is a decent internet signal, why pay forContinue reading “‘Home By Now’ Paints a Tempting Picture of Remote Living”

‘Waves’ Combines History, Grief

It’s true that cancer’s a bit of a shortcut to tragedy, as swift and unrelenting as it often is. If AJ Dungo’s In Waves were a graphic novel, I’d probably assume this was yet another The Fault In Our Stars wannabe. But this is a graphic memoir, not a graphic novel, and I would haveContinue reading “‘Waves’ Combines History, Grief”

‘Exploding Teeth’ Nothing Short of En(gross)ing

The Wall Street Journal‘s book reviewer called The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth and Other Medical Curiosities from the History of Medicine “a delightful romp,” according to the blurb on the back of the book. While I definitely enjoyed this compendium of bizarre medical cases from a time before germs were a thing anyone knewContinue reading “‘Exploding Teeth’ Nothing Short of En(gross)ing”

Sharp Memory Cuts in ‘Grass’

“War is hard on women,” says a character near the end of Pat Barker’s The Silence of the Girls, ruminating on the costs the main character has endured the whole novel and will yet endure. The line ran through my head again and again as I read Keum Suk Gendry-Kim’s Grass, a graphic novel thatContinue reading “Sharp Memory Cuts in ‘Grass’”

‘Venomous’ is Science Writing at its Sharpest

I’m from a farming family and I’m from the Western U.S., which means I’ve had more than one run-in with rattlesnakes. Along with ticks, they are the reason for always wearing calf-high boots, even in the summer. Growing up, the family policy was simply to shoot on sight and rid the farm of that kindContinue reading “‘Venomous’ is Science Writing at its Sharpest”

‘Say Nothing’ Speaks Volumes of Irish Troubles

This week has brought an unwanted opportunity to think about the conflicts that have stretched through my not-very-long life. Most of the headlines and footage have been about violence and destruction in the Middle East. Which is not unearned, but it’s also easy to assume that all of the violence has been centered in thatContinue reading “‘Say Nothing’ Speaks Volumes of Irish Troubles”

‘Spy’ Too Compelling to Put Down

Every good spy story has coded messages, secret info drops, tense crossings of international lines, sordid love affairs, stakes of life or death and the threat of world war, and a few good turncoats. Ben McIntire’s The Spy and the Traitor has that and more—and perhaps most notably, is nonfiction. Oleg Gordievsky is a goodContinue reading “‘Spy’ Too Compelling to Put Down”

‘Last Stone’ an Uncritical Story of Iffy Policing

A lot of the books that end up on my TBR come from other reviews, which isn’t ideal for reviewing purposes but usually by the time I get around to reading them I’ve forgotten what the book is about, let alone what a reviewer said about it. That’s the case with The Last Stone byContinue reading “‘Last Stone’ an Uncritical Story of Iffy Policing”

‘Voyages’ a Journey of Women at Sea

I love unusual histories and I love puns, so right out of the gate, Siân Evans’ Maiden Voyages appealed to me—and that’s besides the lush romance of early twentieth-century ocean travel. (You’re telling me the Edwardian glamor of the ship is not why Titanic became a blockbuster?) Much like a voyage or vacation, the beginningContinue reading “‘Voyages’ a Journey of Women at Sea”

Restraint Helps ‘Killers’ Avoid Exploitation

There are a few key ingredients to many a good thriller: domestic intrigue, large sums of money, poison, explosions, conspiracies, a sympathetic victim at the center, and a dedicated investigator determined to get to the bottom of it all. And a good twist or two. Can’t forget the twists. David Grann’s Killers of the Flower MoonContinue reading “Restraint Helps ‘Killers’ Avoid Exploitation”