“The Stars Are Fire” brings a lot to the table – historical veracity, complex female characterization, tragedy, romance and more – and packages it all in breezy prose that bears the reader aloft with feathery lightness...Anita Shreve’s narrative floats brightly and maintains its great heights even when plumbing the depths of tragic events.
“Killers of the Flower Moon” is one of the most propulsive, engrossing true-crime stories that I’ve ever had the opportunity to read...there’s a purplish hue that lays over the prose and points up the lurid nature of the narrative without ever succumbing to the urge to exploit.
How those spirits will coexist with the preservation of a People’s Republic that bears distinct resemblances to the empires of old is a major question for our times, for which this book supplies much food for thought, informing the wider debate while retaining its value as a closely observed picture of how some Chinese live today.
This book has all sorts of anecdotes about baseball and the 1960s. There are some interesting tales about what happened over those eventful ten years, as even a timeless game wasn't immune to what was happening outside of the foul lines. But the authors don't offer too much analysist. The resulting book feels a little too short.
“Phenomena” is a fascinating peek at worlds colliding, an engaging and enlightening look at the decades-long intersection of psychic powers and government bureaucracy. Anyone with interest in the idea of psychic phenomena and its history in this country will almost surely be swept up by this weird and compelling tale.
“Casey Stengel: Baseball’s Greatest Character” serves as both an exceptional introduction to one of baseball’s greats and a wonderful reminder of the game’s bygone era. Major League Baseball has seen a lot of characters come and go over the years – and will likely see more in the year to come – but it will never see another Casey Stengel.
The story of the “fat doctor” (as Ohler dubs him) is based on some diligent research. But it is buried beneath the breathless prose, like other interesting aspects of the book. Again and again, Ohler’s hyperbole stands in the way of sober understanding.
Carew’s funny, fascinating and unflinching tribute to her father is a portrait of a complex man: not just a war hero but a flawed husband; not just a Jedburgh but her incorrigible and much-missed dad.
From the massive rise of the decade’s early years to the cratering of its ending, “Dynastic, Bombastic, Fantastic” paints a picture of perhaps the most undercelebrated great team of the modern era...Turbow captures the deep weirdness of the era as it was refracted through the prism of baseball.
This is a look back at a baseball pennant-winner that came out of nowhere, had a great season, and disappeared just as quickly. This features a fan's enthusiasm for the subject by the author, but also carries a few biases in that direction that don't quite pass the smell test. However, Phillies fans will enjoy it.
The jump — a few precious moments of dizzying freedom and possibility — is the core metaphor in a novel of remarkable power, precision and compassion.
Roper’s biography, distinguished by the excellence of its writing and research, is the beginning of wisdom in all things Reformation, anti-Roman and, alas, proto-Hitlerite. Rarely has a church reformer presented such a dubious side.
Especially vivid is the portrayal of Anna Wolkoff...has a rare talent for isolating details that capture the feel and tempo of London’s past.
The Schooldays of Jesus, philosophically dense as it is, is parched, relentlessly adult fare – rather like eating endless bread and bean paste.
“Setting Free the Kites” is sharp and clever, charged with the love inherent to young friendship. Sweet and serious and goofy and sad, it will likely inspire memories of those friends who long ago changed you for the better.
Like all great epics, Sapiens demanded a sequel. Homo Deus, in which that likely apocalyptic future is imagined in spooling detail, is that book. It is a highly seductive scenario planner for the numerous ways in which we might overreach ourselves.
In a recent New Yorker essay, Saunders wrote that “literature is a form of fondness-for-life. It is love for life taking verbal form,” and this love suffuses Lincoln in the Bardo. This is a novel that’s so intimate and human, so profound, that it seems like an act of grace.
Vilcek artfully joins the chronicle of his scientific work and the dramatic events that punctuated his life under two totalitarian regimes, culminating in his flight to freedom. An inspiring page-turner.
"A sweeping and engaging historical romance, Angelina’s Secret has emotion, action, suspense, and above all, an epic and timeless love. Diane Merrill Wigginton delivers the key elements of an enjoyable historical romance. She draws readers in with vivid descriptions of settings and characters, creating the feeling of a period drama on film."
Superb. Just the thing for the literate fantasy lover and the student of comparative religion and mythology alike.