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 →

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A Forensic Ecologist on Life, Death, and Crime-Solving

Book review: The Nature of Life and Death, by Patricia Wiltshire (Amazon / Book Depository) Patricia Wiltshire is a botanist, forensic ecologist, and palynologist -- what she defines as "one who studies pollen and other palynomorphs." She works with the police in the United Kingdom, drawing on decades of experience and meticulous microscopic examinations to... Continue Reading →

For Love of the Library

Book review: A Library Miscellany, by Claire Cock-Starkey (Amazon / Book Depository) Without hesitation, I can say one of the things I love most is the library. The cover picture on this site is the Rose Reading Room at the New York Public Library, one of my favorite places to be. I've been attached to... Continue Reading →

A Braided History of Two Killers in 1952 London

Book review: Death in the Air, by Kate Winkler Dawson (Amazon / Book Depository) In 1952, two killers stalked postwar London. One was a serial killer: an average-looking, mostly unremarkable, middle-aged invoice clerk operating out of a grungy, now-notorious apartment building; the other was far more insidious and claimed many more victims: a suffocating, polluting smog that killed around 12,000 people.... Continue Reading →

Life at the Bottom of the Glass

Book review: Pour Me a Life, by A.A. Gill (Amazon / Book Depository) Surprised by how much I liked this! I picked it initially because earlier this year I read and loved Sarah Hepola's excellent memoir Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget, about drinking too much for too long, so I was open to... Continue Reading →

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