Mini Reviews: Russian Totalitarianism, the Appalachian Trail, Cults

Quite the mixed bag today, eh? Although I try to avoid hard reading goals or challenges, I do set myself a soft challenge of reading at least one big book of Russian history every year. It's one of my favorite genres anyway and there are so many that it's a good way to make sure... Continue Reading →

Debunking Medical Myth and “Viral BS”

Dr. Seema Yasmin is an MD, epidemiologist, and former disease detective with the Centers for Disease Control (cool job alert) who works in health journalism, doing what NHS doctor Ben Goldacre has implored other doctors and scientists to do: "translating" dense medical studies and scientific data so that the general public can more easily understand... Continue Reading →

10 More New Nonfiction Titles Coming in 2021

I've got a roundup of new nonfiction that's especially heavy on mysteries, medicine, and magic. Onward! The Disappearing Act: The Impossible Case of MH370, by Florence de Changy -- Le Monde journalist de Changy investigates the "Kafkaesque" March 2014 disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. I watched an episode of Drain the Oceans about this... Continue Reading →

New Looks at Europe Post-Communism

Book review: Café Europa Revisited: How to Survive Post-Communism, by Slavenka Drakulic What a weird day to be writing about a book on democracy in Europe, as it teeters precariously in the United States. But I think Americans would do well to consider democratic processes and totalitarian histories in Europe, because it's abundantly clear that... Continue Reading →

The Data on Drinking

Drink?: The New Science of Alcohol and Health, by David Nutt David Nutt is an English neuropsychopharmacologist, meaning he studies drugs that affect the brain. Of which alcohol is a big, bad one. He was fired, or asked to resign, from his position as a government drug advisor for saying on primetime radio "that alcohol... Continue Reading →

Two Looks At American Cuisine

As I mentioned in Nonfiction November, one of my favorite reading categories -- food history and foodoirs -- has been one of my least-read genres this year, and I ended up abandoning most of the titles I picked up. Nevertheless, I did read a few good ones, especially looking at American cuisine. Let's discuss! The... Continue Reading →

The Macabre History of Human Skin Books

Standing in front of a display case at the Mütter Museum at The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, medical librarian Megan Rosenbloom was captivated by a book allegedly bound in human skin. Her curiosity about how and why such objects exist, and whether most are real at all, led to the hands-on and historical investigations... Continue Reading →

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