Some Books to Make Sense of Putin’s War

It's been a dark few weeks in the world, hasn't it? Everything still feels surreal, and the news brings fresh horrors every day. I try to keep this blog solely book-related, but of course the world doesn't compartmentalize so neatly. It feels worthwhile right now to point people towards some books that can help to... Continue Reading →

Two New Looks at the Holocaust, Through a Photograph and “Memory Work”

Book review: The Ravine, by Wendy Lower & Those Who Forget, by Geraldine Schwarz In her new book The Ravine: A Family, a Photograph, a Holocaust Massacre Revealed, Wendy Lower, a historian with extensive work around the Holocaust, is put onto an intriguing research journey: Lower encountered an extremely rare photograph depicting the murder of... Continue Reading →

Disaster and After: A Chernobyl Deep Dive

Book review: Midnight in Chernobyl, by Adam Higginbotham (Amazon / Book Depository) Senior Lieutenant Alexander Logachev loved radiation the way other men loved their wives. So begins Adam Higginbotham's exhaustive account of the April 1986 Chernobyl disaster, recounting a blow-by-blow of the unfolding incident and the monumental effects of the aftermath, amidst the context of... Continue Reading →

Discovering The People Your Parents Were

Book review: My Dead Parents, by Anya Yurchyshyn (Amazon / Book Depository) As the title indicates, this memoir is a bluntly told examination of the lives of the author's dead parents, focused around her trying to understand them through the lens of discovered materials and interviews. Sentimentality and emotion figure in, but author Anya Yurchyshyn... Continue Reading →

Losing its Collective Mind

Book review: Almost Home by Filipp Velgach (Amazon / Book Depository) Almost Home is the memoir of Filipp Velgach, an American of Ukrainian heritage. He was recruited to translate in the Ukraine for a group of documentary filmmakers in 2013, at the time of major unrest and protests revolving around then-president Yanukovych and Ukraine's relationship... Continue Reading →

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