More than 700 book reviews

Tag Archive for ‘climate change’

A superb dystopian novel

The Parable of the Sower (Parable #1 of 2), by Octavia E. Butler @@@@@ (5 out of 5) 15-year-old Lauren Olamina is the daughter of a Baptist minister and the eldest of his five children. Both Reverend Olamina and his second wife, Lauren’s stepmother, are African-American, and both hold Ph.Ds. Lauren’s father reaches at a… Read More ›

The true story of a lost city in Central America

The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story, by Douglas Preston @@@@ (4 out of 5) In 2015, an expedition led by an American filmmaker ventured deep into the Honduran rain forest in search of a fabled ancient city known variously as The White City and The Lost City of the Monkey God…. Read More ›

A liberal icon finds fault with liberal politics

A review of Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?, by Thomas Frank @@@@ (4 out of 5) Blame for the widening gap between rich and poor and America is typically laid at the feet of the Republican Party, chiefly through the actions of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W…. Read More ›

How the Koch brothers are revolutionizing American politics

A review of Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right, by Jane Mayer @@@@@ (5 out of 5) The Koch brothers, Charles and David, get a lot of attention from political observers and, increasingly, from the public. No wonder. The fortune they possess together is greater than… Read More ›

My 5, well, make that 6, favorite books of 2015

This month I’m sharing longer lists of my “best” books in each of several categories (trade fiction, science fiction, mysteries & thrillers, and nonfiction). For now, though, in response to a request from Berkeleyside, where my reviews of books that involve the town often appear, I’ll list just the most outstanding among them all, in… Read More ›

Biography of a genius

A review of The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World, by Andrea Wulf @@@@@ (5 out of 5) He was the most famous man in the world, and more places around the world are named after him than anyone else. To many of the giants of his time — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,… Read More ›

Margaret Atwood’s classic dystopian fiction

A review of MaddAddam (MaddAddam Trilogy #3), by Margaret Atwood @@@@ (4 out of 5) Dystopian fiction can be unsettling to read. Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam Trilogy is doubly so. You might expect any trilogy to start at Point A (in the first book), traverse Point B (in the second), and come to a climax at… Read More ›

Dystopian fiction that breaks the mold

A review of The Water Knife, by Paolo Bacigalupi @@@@ (4 out of 5) Dystopian fiction too often aims to sketch out a possible future, allowing the reader to fill in the gaps on the canvas. The characters seem to exist merely to take predictable actions that cast a spotlight on just how bad things have gotten. The… Read More ›

How to run a values based business

A review of The B Corp Handbook: How to Use Business as a Force for Good, by Ryan Honeyman @@@@@ (5 out of 5) “We are in the midst of the evolution of capitalism from a century focused on maximizing shareholder value to one focused on maximizing long-term shared value.” Over the past three decades,… Read More ›

Margaret Atwood’s brilliant dystopian fiction

A review of Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam Trilogy #1), by Margaret Atwood @@@@ (4 out of 5) For several hundred years, since the advent of the Enlightenment, what is broadly called Western thought has been dominated by the idea of the perfectibility of man. Believing, somehow, against all available evidence, leading thinkers from Rousseau and… Read More ›