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Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
3.77
As a non-Christian Religious Studies prof who has read a number of “historical Jesus” books I am delighted that Zealot will lead people to read more s...more
Aug 03, 2013
Aug 03, 2013
 
Under the Overpass: A Journey of Faith on the Streets of America
4.09
Before “homelessness” was recognizable as an issue, Jack London and George Orwell experimented with poverty in their classic books “People of the Abys...more
Mar 16, 2013
Mar 16, 2013
 
The Cross in the Closet
3.94
Will gays—loving, suffering, blessing—show us how to be more Christian? In the tradition of undercover experiments like Nickel and Dimed, Black Like M...more
Nov 03, 2012
Nov 04, 2012
 
Jesus and the Disinherited
4.40
MLK traveled with this book in his bag; that may not be enough to recommend it, but it says much—King traveled light. Howard Thurman was a family frie...more
Mar 19, 2012
Mar 21, 2012
 
The Story of My Experiments With Truth
4.06
Orwell: “Saints should always be judged guilty until they are proven innocent.” Gandhi may be a saint, but he is one fussy holy man. His autobiography...more
Mar 09, 2010
Mar 05, 2012
 
The Chosen
4.01
Today I discussed this all-male book with a small group of all-male max security prisoners. They liked it, fascinated by the details of Jewish life an...more
Mar 27, 2013
Mar 28, 2013
 
The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey
4.02
“Old man like me don’t have no first blue sky or thunderstorm or kiss. Old man like me don’t laugh at the taste of a strawberry or smell his own stink...more
Jan 08, 2012
Nov 06, 2012
 
The People Of The Abyss
3.94
Before Jack London was the world famous adventure story writer—in his 20s and 30s—he had lived a dozen lives: child laborer, thief, sailor, failed Klo...more
Aug 2012
Aug 27, 2012
 
Ilustrado
3.38
My book club did not like this book, yet it won the Asian Man prize two years before it was published and there was talk of a Nobel nomination for thi...more
Jan 03, 2013
Jan 04, 2013
 
Into That Darkness: An Examination of Conscience
4.24
Gitta Sereny, who recently died, was a writer who did extensive interviews with former Nazi officials. This is her classic account of the Commandant o...more
Aug 06, 2012
Aug 27, 2012
 
Dancing Arabs
3.50
Sayed Kashua, an Arab writing in Hebrew, is like Ralph Ellison without the anger, Woody Allen without the arrogance, Sherman Alexie without the pride,...more
Sep 10, 2013
Nov 30, 2013
 
Wonder of Wonders: A Cultural History of Fiddler on the Roof
3.87
Where else will you find out that Mad Magazine’s parody of Fiddler had a suburban Tevye singing “POSSESSIONS!”? This is a mesmerizing history of Shalo...more
Feb 09, 2014
Feb 16, 2014
 
Hamas vs. Fatah: The Struggle For Palestine
3.07
I know Jon so I hesitate criticizing his work in this semi-public forum, so I’m devoted 3000 characters to be fair. First the good: I learned a lot fr...more
Nov 06, 2012
Nov 06, 2012
 
The Rise and Fall of the Bible: The Unexpected History of an Accidental Book
3.84
This is a delightful book that you should buy for both searchers and skeptical anti-religious types. Tim Beal’s topic is the invention, circulation an...more
May 04, 2013
May 05, 2013
 
Tastes of Paradise: A Social History of Spices, Stimulants, and Intoxicants
3.91
Spice and stimulants must flow: “the great voyages of exploration, the discovery of the New World, the beginning of the modern age, were all closely l...more
May 02, 2010
Apr 30, 2012
 
Gentlemen of the Road
3.40
I read Chabon’s satisfying adventure novel in one brisk sitting and with dictionary in hand, looking up a few archaic words each page. The chore of lo...more
Jun 22, 2012
Jul 07, 2012
 
The Whites of Their Eyes: The Tea Party's Revolution and the Battle over American History
3.75
Jill Lepore, a Harvard historian, writes excellent New Yorker articles on a range of subjects. I read this short book expecting a systematic takedown...more
Jul 25, 2013
Jul 25, 2013
 
Memed, My Hawk (İnce Memed, #1)
4.21
Translated from Turkish, this popular pulp serial was first published in 1955, published in English in 1961 and now brought back into print by NYRevie...more
Mar 11, 2012
Mar 11, 2012
 
Secular Sabotage: How Liberals Are Destroying Religion and Culture in America
2.94
Donohue is the head of the Catholic League which I assumed was the ADL for Catholics. They rightly mobilize against anti-Catholic bigotry and Donohue...more
Nov 29, 2013
Nov 30, 2013
 
The Killing of Robert F. Kennedy: An Investigation of Motive, Means, and Opportunity
3.09
I do not care about the Kennedy conspiracy theories, but students asked me about RFK’s assassin and thought I’d do some reading up on his motives. Sir...more
Nov 23, 2013
Nov 23, 2013
 
Experiments in Ethics
3.61
Experiments have shown that people are more helpful when they smell bread baking. How does this square with our belief in free will? in virtuous chara...more
Apr 15, 2012
Apr 29, 2012
 
Black Swan Green
3.96
One reviewer claimed this novel was England’s Catcher in the Rye; I think that’s too much, but it's a fine work by a master writer about adolescent hi...more
May 10, 2012
May 19, 2012
 
City of Thieves
4.25
“The arithmetic was brutal, but brutal arithmetic always worked in Russia’s favor.” I have spent many hours reading non-fiction books about totalitar...more
Mar 30, 2010
Mar 05, 2012
 
Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid
3.75
Jimmy Carter was demonized for writing this mild, sober book with a strong title; go figure. That’s how nervous alleged “pro-Israel” propagandists are...more
Sep 2010
Jul 24, 2011
 
Why the Jews Rejected Jesus: The Turning Point in Western History
3.40
A mix of the learned, the lucid and the ludicrous, Klinghoffer’s journalistic account of why Christianity didn’t attract first century (or 19th centur...more
Sep 23, 2012
Sep 23, 2012
 
Losing Moses on the Freeway: The 10 Commandments in America
3.90
War journalist Hedges is a humorless writer, a morose asserter of moral truths and, evident from this book, not at all a people person. Nevertheless,...more
May 18, 2012
May 19, 2012
 
The Yiddish Policemen's Union
3.67
One reviewer wrote that Chabon is “more or less incapable of writing a boring sentence." Chabon’s genius for freestyling wit is so on display in this...more
Apr 2012
Apr 30, 2012
 
Famine: A Short History
3.43
Reading about famine in a coffeehouse is always an exercise in gratitude—glad I’m not facing food insecurity. This was rec’d as the best history of fa...more
Feb 17, 2013
Feb 19, 2013
 
Marxism and Literary Criticism
3.83
What did Marx, Engels and Lenin think about art and literature? As if the secrets of the universe were hidden in their letters Marxist lit critics deb...more
Jan 10, 2013
Jan 11, 2013
 
40 Days and 40 Nights: Darwin, Intelligent Design, God, OxyContin, and Other Oddities on Trial in Pennsylvania
3.83
Dover, PA was the site of an extraordinary trial over the teaching of Intelligent Design—Creationism in scientific drag—in high school biology courses...more
Jun 27, 2012
Jul 07, 2012
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