Nonfiction From Chilly Places: White Fever, Black Square

Is it cold where you are? Egads, it's freezing in New York City right now. A good excuse to round up some of my long-overdue reviews of books I'd love to share but haven't managed to writing reviews for. That's been a pattern the last year plus. And when is the best time to read... 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 →

In the Dictators’ Kitchens

How to Feed a Dictator, by Witold Szabłowski, translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones (Amazon / Book Depository) Polish journalist Witold Szabłowski saw a movie about army cooks that featured Branko Trbovic, the personal cook to Marshal Josip Broz Tito, "the absolute ruler of Yugoslavia" and describes it as being a lightbulb moment: "I started wondering what... Continue Reading →

Be Very Afraid

Fear: Trump in the White House, by Bob Woodward (Amazon Book Depository) (I keep promising myself I'm not going to read any more of these Trump/White House books but I'm unable to resist, apparently.) Real power is fear.  That's the mantra seeded throughout veteran political reporter and one-half of Woodward and Bernstein Bob Woodward's diligently... Continue Reading →

The Mystery of a Clairvoyant and a Con

Book review: A Deal with the Devil, by Blake Ellis and Melanie Hicken (Amazon / Book Depository) We knew that many people thought of all psychics as frauds. We'd heard plenty of horror stories about people who lost thousands of dollars to storefront psychics or psychic hotlines. But we had never heard of a psychic scam... Continue Reading →

Catfishing ISIS

Book review: In the Skin of a Jihadist, by Anna Erelle (Amazon / Book Depository) When one worked on “societal” issues, it was out of passion. If only I could write about this topic in a new way, one that avoided treating individuals as part of a succession of similar cases. I wanted to investigate... Continue Reading →

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