More than 850 book reviews

Tag Archive for ‘mal warwick’

Barbara Kingsolver writes about climate change

A review of Flight Behavior, by Barbara Kingsolver @@@@@ (5 out of 5) Here is Barbara Kingsolver, weaving together the themes of climate change, feminist coming-of-age, rural poverty, family relations, and love into a tautly organized, suspenseful, and compelling story. Because of the author’s unique qualifications — she lives on a farm in Appalachia, is… Read More ›

Cancer under the microscope, a story already told better

A review of The Cancer Chronicles: Unlocking Medicine’s Deepest Mystery, by George Johnson @@ (2 out of 5) If you’re looking for an introduction to the painful subject of cancer — its history, its origins, and the efforts of science to combat it — I suggest you read the authoritative and compelling book, The Emperor of… Read More ›

Corruption and mayhem in Dublin and Boston in a superior mystery novel

A review of Christine Falls, by Benjamin Black @@@@@ (5 out of 5) When a brilliant author turns his hand to genre fiction, the result is often disappointing at best. The writer’s motivation may have been simply to make a quick buck, and that inevitably shows. However, when every ounce of the writer’s talent is… Read More ›

My three favorite books about science

Now, for starters, please note that these favorite science books of mine are only those I’ve read and reviewed during the past three-and-one-half years since I started this blog. So, you won’t find The Origin of Species or any of the other classics here. With that understood, my three favorites, in no special order, are:… Read More ›

From the Summer of Love to the Jonestown massacre

  Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror, and Deliverance in the City of Love, by David Talbot @@@@@ (5 out of 5) It’s difficult to imagine any city in North America that has experienced such a short and intense period of tumult and terror as did San Francisco from the mid-60s to the early 1980s. The… Read More ›

The five best history books I’ve read recently

Of the several hundred books I’ve read and reviewed since I launched this blog in January 2010, many were works of history, my undergraduate major and a field that has continued to fascinate and engage me through the years. It seemed time to take stock of this reading and point to the five books I’ve… Read More ›

Who was really responsible for Hitler and World War II?

A review of Hell’s Cartel: IG Farben and the Making of Hitler’s War Machine, by Diarmuid Jeffreys @@@@ (4 out of 5) In 1965, just twenty years after the collapse of the Nazi regime, I visited Auschwitz. Even though that was nearly half a century ago, my memory of that shattering experience remains vivid: the… Read More ›

Narrowing global inequities: a reading list

As I’ve dug more deeply into the subject of global poverty in the course of writing The Business Solution to Poverty with Paul Polak, it has become increasingly clear to me that truly understanding how today’s glaring inequities have come about requires extensive knowledge in a wide array of topics, from Third World history to… Read More ›

Hired killers, the California Gold Rush, and lots of surprises

The Sisters Brothers, by Patrick DeWitt @@@@@ (5 out of 5) Here’s a Western that’s more Deadwood than Gunsmoke. It had to be: it was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and the panjandrums who manage that process aren’t known to show favor to run-of-the-mill genre writing. The Sisters brothers of the title are notorious… Read More ›

An outstanding thriller set amid the refugee crisis in Kenya and Somalia

A review of The Night Ranger (John Wells #7), by Alex Berenson @@@@@ (5 out of 5) The biggest difference between a superior thriller and one that’s just so-so lies in the degree to which the setting and circumstances are inherently interesting — and in the research the author has done to bring them to… Read More ›