What Pianos Mean to Siberia, And More

Book review: The Lost Pianos of Siberia, by Sophy Roberts (Amazon) There is no dramatic curtain-raiser to the edge of Siberia, no meaningful brink to a specific place, just thick weather hanging over an abstract idea. It is a modern economic miracle, with natural oil and gas reserves driving powerful shifts in the geopolitics of... Continue Reading →

Investigating Donald Trump, and Why It’s Failed

Book review: True Crimes and Misdemeanors, by Jeffrey Toobin That was the whole case right there, stripped to its essentials. Trump didn't care about the people of Ukraine, who were fighting for their lives. (Nor, it was clear, did he care about American laws, norms, or national security interests.) All Trump cared about was the... Continue Reading →

Masha Gessen On Our Autocracy

Book review: Surviving Autocracy, by Masha Gessen (Amazon / Book Depository) Journalist and author Masha Gessen lived through the changes of the Soviet Union, including Putin's ascendancy and increasing control over the state media. Gessen’s reported and written extensively about totalitarianism and the relationship of Putin's Russia with the west. In Surviving Autocracy, Gessen turns this... 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 →

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