Memoirs of Family and Leaving the Soviet Union

There are few things I love more than a good memoir of Russia. Recently I've read two, both around emigration to the US and the lingering ties to family and country that remain. The park looked well kept, even cheerful, as darkness settled over the tress. Here, history inundated every square centimeter of ground --... Continue Reading →

Spooky Scary Nonfiction for Halloween and Frighteningly Good Reads: The Frighteners and Damnation Island

It's Halloween month! What spooky scary nonfiction might you be reading? I mean yes -- real life is scary enough, especially this year, but perhaps you're distracting from the everyday horror and existential angst with some nonfiction about less-present scariness? Just me? The wonderful Molly at Silver Button Books is again hosting Frighteningly Good Reads,... Continue Reading →

Zadie Smith Reflects on the Pandemic

Book review: Intimations, by Zadie Smith I'm not sure how I feel about the inevitable barrage of lockdown/pandemic essays. I've managed to successfully avoid them anywhere I've seen them in online reading, but one of the first books of personal essays written during and about the lockdown comes to us from Zadie Smith, which presented... Continue Reading →

Three New Foodoirs

I only finished two of these, but I'm going to tell you about all three anyway. First up is a new release that's a read-in-one-sitting deal, in case you want a quick but fairly intense and even gritty read: Phyllis Grant's Everything is Under Control. Grant was a dancer training at Julliard, living in New... Continue Reading →

Pre-2019 Favorites

If new nonfiction this year was a little lackluster, I did feel more enthusiastic about the backlist titles I read throughout the year. It was one of these that was my absolute favorite and the best book I read this year: Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe, by Kapka Kassabova - Kassabova returned... Continue Reading →

Ruth Reichl On Her Gourmet Days

Book review: Save Me the Plums, by Ruth Reichl (Amazon / Book Depository) Chef and restaurant critic Ruth Reichl was surprised to find herself being offered the position of editor-in-chief at the storied Gourmet magazine, tastemakers in the foodie world. She felt like an unlikely candidate for a number of reasons, including that as a... Continue Reading →

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