Two Histories: A Parisian Scandal and the Time-Old Tale of Women and Power

I love history that digs into something that was absolutely massive during its day and now is essentially unknown and forgotten. It always makes me wonder what the same things will be from our era. Sarah Horowitz's The Red Widow: The Scandal that Shook Paris and the Woman Behind it All (September 6, Sourcebooks) does... Continue Reading →

Science Minis: Snarky Analysis of a Pandemic Year + A Humorous History of Sex

As much as I love reading pop science, for some reason I find these books the hardest to write and discuss. Is it because I'm afraid of summarizing them poorly or inaccurately? I have no idea. Minis it is! In Virus: Vaccinations, the CDC, and the Hijacking of America's Response to the Pandemic, journalist Nina... Continue Reading →

“The Undercurrents” of Berlin

British-American art history writer Kirsty Bell relocated from New York to Berlin, where she and her German husband later bought an apartment on the Tempelhofer Ufer along the Landwehr Canal to raise their two sons. The significance of this location is impressive: "The building has stood on the banks of the canal since 1869, its... Continue Reading →

The Second Half of Robert Crawford’s Definitive T.S. Eliot Biography

The long-awaited conclusion of biographer Robert Crawford's biography of T.S. Eliot, Eliot After "The Waste Land", is finally here. Crawford waited until the letters between Eliot (referred to as Tom throughout) and his longtime muse and one-that-got-away, Emily Hale, were unsealed in 2020. Hale donated the correspondence to the Princeton University Library, against Eliot's wishes... Continue Reading →

Two on Women and Drinking

On the Rocks: Straight Talk about Women and Drinking, by Susan D. Stewart American women are swimming in a sea of alcohol, and we are letting them drown. When I read this book a couple years ago, what I'd really been looking for in it was a book specifically about why alcohol has been so... Continue Reading →

Sinclair McKay’s Biography of Berlin

Berlin: Life and Death in the City at the Center of the World, by Sinclair McKayUsed or new @SecondSale.com Throughout the twentieth century, Berlin stood at the centre of a convulsing world. It alternately seduced and haunted the international imagination. The essence of the city seemed to be its sharp duality: the radiant boulevards, the... Continue Reading →

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