The “Haunting Melodies” of Liz Phair’s Life

Book review: Horror Stories, by Liz Phair (Amazon / Book Depository) We can be monsters, we human beings, in the most offhand and cavalier ways. I don't much like celebrity memoirs unless they're about escaping Scientology or Tina Fey's. The writing can drag and I don't care about behind-the-scenes stories, so I'd planned to skip... Continue Reading →

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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 →

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 →

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