10 Favorite New Nonfiction Releases of 2020, So Far

Not to sound like a cliched ancient person, but even given the surreal circumstances, this year is positively flying by, isn't it? I can't even fathom that we've already made it halfway. And yet we have! These are my favorite new releases of the nonfiction published between January and June 2020. What's been your favorite... Continue Reading →

Putin’s Rise to Power and the Creation of a KGB-Run State

Putin's People: How the KGB Took Back Russia and Then Took on the West, by Catherine Belton You in the West, you think you’re playing chess with us. But you’re never going to win, because we’re not following any rules. Vladimir Putin seemingly came out of the shadows to run Russia and he's managed to... Continue Reading →

Two Narrative Nonfiction Mini-Reviews

I love narrative nonfiction, and in discussing this genre, two titles that inevitably come up as outstanding examples of nonfiction perfectly crafted into a narrative structure are Five Days at Memorial and In the Kingdom of Ice. Let's talk about them! Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink  Physician and... Continue Reading →

In the Dictators’ Kitchens

How to Feed a Dictator, by Witold Szabłowski, translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones (Amazon / Book Depository) Polish journalist Witold Szabłowski saw a movie about army cooks that featured Branko Trbovic, the personal cook to Marshal Josip Broz Tito, "the absolute ruler of Yugoslavia" and describes it as being a lightbulb moment: "I started wondering what... Continue Reading →

Running in the Family

Book review: Hidden Valley Road, by Robert Kolker (Amazon / Book Depository) The symptoms muffle nothing and amplify everything. They're deafening, overpowering for the subject and frightening for those who love them -- impossible for anyone close to them to process intellectually. For a family, schizophrenia is, primarily, a felt experience, as if the foundation... Continue Reading →

The Dirty Deeds of Deutsche Bank

Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction, by David Enrich (Amazon / Book Depository) This is the story of Deutsche Bank’s rise and fall. It is about the men who transformed a sleepy German lender into what was, for a time, the largest bank in the world, but who also... Continue Reading →

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