Nonfiction November Week 5: New to My TBR

This is it: already the final week of Nonfiction November! Did you find lots of new recommendations for your reading list? Tell me about them! Week 5: (Nov. 25 to 30) – New to My TBR - Rennie (that's me!) @ What’s Nonfiction (that's here!): It’s been a month full of amazing nonfiction books! Which ones... Continue Reading →

Two New Histories of Rivalries and Revisionism, From Cold War Berlin and Lenin’s Soviet Union

The Zookeepers' War: An Incredible True Story from the Cold War, by J.W. Mohnhaupt, translated from German by Shelley Frisch (Amazon / Book Depository) published November 12, 2019  The English translation of J.W. Mohnhaupt's German bestseller The Zookeepers' War opens with scenes from (West) Berlin's Zoological Garden as the Second World War reached Berlin's doorstep. It follows... Continue Reading →

4 New Release Mini-Reviews

Fall publishing season is in full swing and so many new books are out this month. Let's do some mini-reviews of a few October new releases, shall we? Vanity Fair's Women on Women, edited by Radhika Jones with David Friend, October 29 This book is full of women who are not like anybody else --... Continue Reading →

Slice-of-Life Stories From A Random Day

Book review: One Day, by Gene Weingarten (Amazon / Book Depository) Select an ordinary day at random, report it deeply, then tell it like it happened -- from midnight to midnight, the most basic, irreducible unit of human experience. Ideally, the more you'd learn, the more firmly you'd establish that in life, there's no such... Continue Reading →

A Tragicomic Memoir of a Dysfunctional Family

Book review: The Splendid Things We Planned, by Blake Bailey (Amazon / Book Depository) Award-winning biographer Blake Bailey took on a different kind of challenging biographical subject in The Splendid Things We Planned -- his own dysfunctional family. The central point of his memoir, around which everything in this story revolves, is his older brother, Scott. Scott... Continue Reading →

One Parisian Street in Profile

Book review: The Only Street in Paris, by Elaine Sciolino (Amazon / Book Depository) Former New York Times Paris Bureau Chief Elaine Sciolino's The Only Street in Paris is a travelogue memoir meets micro-history and sociocultural study of the Parisian street where she and her family made their home for a time. There's a lot going... Continue Reading →

Snapshots of the Summer of 1927

Book review: One Summer: America, 1927, by Bill Bryson (Amazon / Book Depository) Babe Ruth hit 60 home runs. The Federal Reserve made the mistake that precipitated the stock market crash. Al Capone enjoyed his last summer of eminence. The Jazz Singer was filmed. Television was created. Radio came of age. Sacco and Vanzetti were... Continue Reading →

Oral Histories from “The Last of the Soviets” #WITMonth

Book review: Secondhand Time, by Svetlana Alexievich (Amazon / Book Depository) In writing, I’m piecing together the history of “domestic,” “interior” socialism. As it existed in a person’s soul. I’ve always been drawn to this miniature expanse: one person, the individual. It’s where everything really happens. 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature winner Svetlana Alexievich's Secondhand Time is... Continue Reading →

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