A Meditative Travelogue Across Russia In Napoleon’s Footsteps

Book review: Berezina, by Sylvain Tesson (Amazon / Book Depository) It's during a previous journey that the idea of a future one comes to mind. Imagination carries the traveler far from the trap where he's gotten stuck. While in the Negev desert, he'll dream of a Scottish glen; in a monsoon, of the Hoggar Mountains;... Continue Reading →

Walking the Paths of Russia’s Golden Age Writers

Book review: Mud and Stars, by Sara Wheeler (Amazon / Book Depository) Russia was the first foreign country I ever visited. I was eleven. I have been looking over my shoulder at it ever since. I think there are many who share that sentiment, and it makes this genre of memoirs of Russia or travelogues... Continue Reading →

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 →

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 →

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