Poison, Prohibition, and the Beginnings of Forensic Medicine

Book review: The Poisoner's Handbook, by Deborah Blum (Amazon / Book Depository) The Poisoner's Handbook came up in Nonfiction November last year, when Silver Button Books mentioned it as an exceptional example of nonfiction that reads like fiction. I was surprised, as I wouldn't guess a book involving chemistry in any form would be so readable,... Continue Reading →

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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 →

Inside Looks at the Women of ISIS

Book review: Guest House for Young Widows, by Azadeh Moaveni (Amazon / Book Depository) She looked at the girls in the shadows of the backseat, as they drove past grain silos whose towering outlines were visible in the dark. How little they knew what awaited them. They would soon find out that the caliphate ruled... Continue Reading →

12 More Upcoming Nonfiction Titles in 2019

One last installment of 2019's upcoming nonfiction new releases: We've got cult insiders, lesser known Cold War tales, undercover in asylums, retracing Napoleon's Russian retreat, jackasses, life and death in colonial Sydney, women profiling women, and a genre-bending look at domestic abuse, and some new nonfiction in translation, among others. The Berlin Mission: The American... Continue Reading →

Three Looks at Female Desire in ‘Three Women’

Book review: Three Women, by Lisa Taddeo (Amazon / Book Depository) Journalist Lisa Taddeo crisscrossed the country interviewing women about desire for eight years, eventually selecting three for deep-diving in Three Women. She moved to two of their towns in order to examine desire and the innermost details of their sex lives from their perspectives.... Continue Reading →

On the Road, Around the World with René Redzepi

Book review: Hungry, by Jeff Gordinier (Amazon / Book Depository) Jeff Gordinier, food editor at Esquire and New York Times contributor, was at something of a personal turning point as his marriage dissolved. In a depressing-sounding state, he accepted an invitation from world-renowned Danish chef René Redzepi to accompany him on his ambitious culinary travels. Redzepi is the mind... Continue Reading →

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