More Funny Tales From the Quirky Life of John Hodgman

Book review: Medallion Status, by John Hodgman (Amazon / Book Depository) Comedian, author and podcaster John Hodgman's second memoir-in-essay collection, Medallion Status, is ostensibly built around his obsession with the loyalty program of the airline he calls "Beloved Airlines," and the travels, specifically for acting jobs, he's had in connection with earning those miles. It's... Continue Reading →

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A Chef and Historian Traces His Roots In African American Culinary History

Book review: The Cooking Gene, by Michael W. Twitty (Amazon / Book Depository) The Old South is a place where people use food to tell themselves who they are, to tell others who they are, and to tell stories about where they've been. Chef, historian, and Afroculinaria blogger Michael W. Twitty has another fascinating day job:... Continue Reading →

A Sociologist Explores “The Science of Fear”

Book review: Scream: Chilling Adventures in the Science of Fear, by Margee Kerr (Amazon / Book Depository) Last year I'd read enough spooky nonfiction to make a list for October, but this year I didn't have enough appropriate titles to compile one (though you can also terrify yourself by just browsing the "true crime" tab). But the positively wonderful... Continue Reading →

Into the Underworlds

Book review: Underland, by Robert Macfarlane (Amazon / Book Depository) What happened here? The mouth of the chasm says nothing. The trees say nothing. Leaning over the edge of the sinkhole, I can see only darkness beneath me. British author Robert Macfarlane's Underland is a difficult book to describe or do justice to. It's more of a... Continue Reading →

One Parisian Street in Profile

Book review: The Only Street in Paris, by Elaine Sciolino (Amazon / Book Depository) Former New York Times Paris Bureau Chief Elaine Sciolino's The Only Street in Paris is a travelogue memoir meets micro-history and sociocultural study of the Parisian street where she and her family made their home for a time. There's a lot going... Continue Reading →

High Strangeness and Lore from the Midwest

 Book review: Midwestern Strange, by B.J. Hollars (Amazon / Book Depository) Professor B.J. Hollars set out, after a challenge from his writing students, to investigate his region's tales of inexplicable monsters and events of "high strangeness," that is, "encounters that are improvable either as events or illusions." I've selected the Midwest as my testing ground... 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 →

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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