Past and Future of the Pandemic

Apollo's Arrow, by Nicholas A. Christakis (Bookshop.org) It seemed to me that the novel coronavirus was a threat that was both wholly new and deeply ancient. Yale sociologist, public health educator, and former hospice physician Nicholas A. Christakis's Apollo's Arrow covers the coronavirus pandemic, drawing comparisons to previous plagues and pandemics from history and mythology,... Continue Reading →

New Essay Collections: The National Road & A Woman, A Plan, An Outline of a Man

Two new essay collections out this month, both with weird, different looks at aspects of Americana. First, Tom Zoellner's The National Road: Dispatches From a Changing America, which "attempts to paint a picture of 'American place' in this uncertain era of political toxin and economic rearrangement. These are observations collected from thirty years of traveling... Continue Reading →

Two Books of Reportage Around ISIS

All Lara's Wars, by Wojciech Jagielski, translated from Polish by Antonia Lloyd-Jones (Bookshop.org) I sent them to Omar myself... But my thinking was that it might finally put them off war -- they'd see what it can do to a man, how badly it can destroy him. Then they wouldn't imagine it was just heroism,... Continue Reading →

A Little of Why We Love Dolly

She Come By It Natural collects author Sarah Smarsh's four long-form essays about Dolly Parton and the beloved singer's connections to feminism through her roots in rural poverty in Tennessee (it's better than I'm setting it up, but that's the basic premise). These essays were the result of a Freshgrass Foundation journalism fellowship Smarsh won,... Continue Reading →

Spooky Scary Nonfiction for Halloween and Frighteningly Good Reads: The Frighteners and Damnation Island

It's Halloween month! What spooky scary nonfiction might you be reading? I mean yes -- real life is scary enough, especially this year, but perhaps you're distracting from the everyday horror and existential angst with some nonfiction about less-present scariness? Just me? The wonderful Molly at Silver Button Books is again hosting Frighteningly Good Reads,... Continue Reading →

Nonfiction November Is Coming!

Hey you! Are you tired of bad news? Then have I got some wondrous news for you -- it's almost time for Nonfiction November! Yes, just like the Grinch couldn't stop Christmas from coming, the tire fire that is 2020 can't stop Nonfiction November. Throughout the month of November, Katie @ Doing Dewey, Julie @... Continue Reading →

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