Paul Kalanithi’s When Breath Becomes Air

I wanted to include When Breath Becomes Air in my medical nonfiction roundup, but this memoir takes a different path and deserves its own standalone post. (After this I'll return to non-medical topics next week, I promise!) I came across a coffee-stained copy (I hope it's coffee) in my neighborhood's Little Free Library while I... Continue Reading →

Medical Nonfiction for Lay Readers

There was a time I didn't want to read one word about bodies or medicine, but maybe because of developing chronic health issues myself, or again living in the US uninsured, but as I mentioned in my first Nonfiction November post, I've been drawn to medical-related nonfiction lately. Here are three targeted at lay readers... Continue Reading →

Past and Future of the Pandemic

Apollo's Arrow, by Nicholas A. Christakis (Bookshop.org) It seemed to me that the novel coronavirus was a threat that was both wholly new and deeply ancient. Yale sociologist, public health educator, and former hospice physician Nicholas A. Christakis's Apollo's Arrow covers the coronavirus pandemic, drawing comparisons to previous plagues and pandemics from history and mythology,... Continue Reading →

Two Books of Reportage Around ISIS

All Lara's Wars, by Wojciech Jagielski, translated from Polish by Antonia Lloyd-Jones (Bookshop.org) I sent them to Omar myself... But my thinking was that it might finally put them off war -- they'd see what it can do to a man, how badly it can destroy him. Then they wouldn't imagine it was just heroism,... Continue Reading →

A Little of Why We Love Dolly

She Come By It Natural collects author Sarah Smarsh's four long-form essays about Dolly Parton and the beloved singer's connections to feminism through her roots in rural poverty in Tennessee (it's better than I'm setting it up, but that's the basic premise). These essays were the result of a Freshgrass Foundation journalism fellowship Smarsh won,... 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 →

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