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 →

Lindy West’s Irreverent Take on Politics, Pop Culture, and Patriarchy

Book review: The Witches Are Coming, by Lindy West (Amazon / Book Depository) If there is magic in Trump's ability to conjure reality out of hot air and spittle, there is an equally powerful magic in the opposite: in speaking the truth, unvarnished, about what we see, what we remember, what has been done to... 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 Tragicomic Memoir of a Dysfunctional Family

Book review: The Splendid Things We Planned, by Blake Bailey (Amazon / Book Depository) Award-winning biographer Blake Bailey took on a different kind of challenging biographical subject in The Splendid Things We Planned -- his own dysfunctional family. The central point of his memoir, around which everything in this story revolves, is his older brother, Scott. Scott... Continue Reading →

The Wild, Wonderful World of Couchsurfing in Russia

Book review: Behind Putin's Curtain, by Stephan Orth (Amazon / Book Depository) Hamburg-based journalist Stephan Orth has written several books about his global couchsurfing adventures in unconventional locales. Orth brings a certain cheerful openness and humorous curiosity to his adventuring, and of the touristic method of couchsurfing, he mentions that it offers "the mutual gift... Continue Reading →

Investigating the Extreme of Psychopathy

Book review: The Psychopath Test, by Jon Ronson (Amazon / Book Depository) Journalist Jon Ronson's "journey through the madness industry" begins with a stressful situation in parallel with a mystery dropped in his lap: First, he's tapped to use his journalistic prowess to trace a book that's been sent to prominent academics around the world... Continue Reading →

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