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Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain
The author attempts to explain for the layman, but ends up using masses of neurological jargon and acronyms, about the role exercise plays in sharpeni ...more
Jun 30, 2011
Jul 27, 2011
Walking the Bible: A Journey by Land Through the Five Books of Moses
As the subtitle suggests, the author retraces the Pentateuch as best he can, Bible in hand and affable expert in tow. Mostly a disappointing book, I’m ...more
Apr 28, 2001
Dec 19, 2011
River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze
A volunteer for the Peace Corps, Hessler lived in Fuling, a little town in Sichuan province, on the delta of the Yangtze and Wu rivers, for two years ...more
Mar 30, 2013
Mar 30, 2013
Until I Say Good-Bye: My Year of Living with Joy
The author, a journalist in Florida and mother of three, was diagnosed with ALS at 44 years old. Deciding that she had about a year of health, more or ...more
Jun 24, 2013
Jul 19, 2013
Country Driving: A Journey Through China from Farm to Factory
The author, a journalist and old China hand, describes life on the road in a rural China that is rapidly developing, with new roads and factories bein ...more
Dec 15, 2011
Feb 16, 2012
The Good War: An Oral History of World War II
A collection of reminisces and insights on the war. It's mostly American, but there are German, Japanese and Russian voices as well. Even so, the year ...more
Jul 03, 2000
Dec 18, 2011
Hell's Angel: The Life and Times of Sonny Barger and the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club
The Angel story told by the longtime president of the Oakland chapter. Bold and informative stuff, one would think, right? Wrong. Barger seems to be n ...more
Oct 20, 2001
Dec 21, 2011
Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare
Greenblatt sketches out what is known about the life of Shakespeare, interspersing the meager details with background information about Elizabethan En ...more
Nov 17, 2006
Feb 26, 2012
Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything
In an instance of participatory journalism (don’t those always seem to lead to much-discussed books?), freelance writer Foer decides to enter the U.S. ...more
May 20, 2011
Jun 08, 2011
Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology
The author, a graduate of Yale and MIT, moved with his newlywed wife to an Amish-like community (that he calls “Minimites”) and lived for eighteen mon ...more
Sep 22, 2006
Feb 25, 2012
Good to Great and the Social Sectors: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great
A monograph to accompany Collins’ Good To Great (which I haven’t read). The underlying principle of this “missing chapter” is that we don't need to im ...more
Aug 17, 2009
May 12, 2012
Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character
The Nobel prize winning physicist, acclaimed drummer, artist, expert on Mayan astronomy, safecracker, prankster, etc, etc, tells “crazy adventures” of ...more
Dec 22, 1999
Dec 16, 2011
How We Decide
A look at the existing literature on behavioral science and the conclusions it makes about how we make decisions; specifically, the book argues that w ...more
May 12, 2013
Jun 28, 2013
The Hot House: Life Inside Leavenworth Prison
The author, a journalist, was granted unprecedented access into the Hot House, where interviewed many inmates, guards, employees and family members. T ...more
Jun 05, 2005
Feb 10, 2012
Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids
A how-to book on relieving stress from families, kids and parents alike. The key to Payne’s approach is simplifying, or filtering: less stuff, fewer t ...more
May 30, 2012
Jul 11, 2012
An Economist Gets Lunch: New Rules for Everyday Foodies
The author, a professor of economics, writes about everything food-related, from “how American food got bad” (answer: Prohibition, watered-down immigr ...more
Aug 20, 2012
Sep 22, 2012
Cork Boat
The author, a former speechwriter for a Congressman and Clinton, quits his job to build a boat made out of 165,000-plus corks held together by rubber ...more
Oct 13, 2004
Feb 05, 2012
A Flame of Pure Fire: Jack Dempsey and the Roaring '20s
This purports to be a study of the heavyweight who helped legitimize boxing by being a superb athlete and, outwardly at least, a gentleman. Dempsey wa ...more
May 27, 2002
Dec 22, 2011
What Language Is (And What it Isn't and What it Could Be)
A linguist explains for the layman, in easy, readable prose and affable wit, the professional view on languages: they are Ingrown, Disheveled, Intrica ...more
Mar 06, 2013
Mar 09, 2013
The Autobiography of an Execution
The author, a death-penalty defense lawyer in Texas, discusses some of his cases (with identifying details removed) and all their nail-biting, guilt-i ...more
Mar 05, 2011
Apr 12, 2011
Barrel Fever
A collection of short fiction pieces – parodies, flights of fancy bordering on the absurd, and the blackest of black-humor riffs on dysfunctional fami ...more
Sep 30, 2012
Nov 10, 2012
Black Hearts: One Platoon's Descent Into Madness in Iraq's Triangle of Death
The author, a reporter, chronicles the slow degradation of the First Platoon of the 101st Airborne (in a tragically apt quirk that would be too outlan ...more
Aug 20, 2011
Sep 04, 2011
Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists
The subtitle is rather misleading, as the "how" can basically be boiled down to "I started reading things other than the Bible," while the rest of the ...more
Sep 25, 2011
Nov 23, 2011
The First World War: A Complete History
This very long work is essentially a chronology of the war, from the rapid escalation of tension before August 1914 to the problems of armistice in 19 ...more
Sep 26, 1996
Nov 24, 2011
Beijing Confidential: A Tale of Comrades Lost and Found in the New Forbidden City
A sequel of sorts to her maddening, fascinating, invaluable memoir Red China Blues: My Long March From Mao to Now, this book chronicles Wong’s return ...more
Sep 24, 2013
Oct 19, 2013
Myths and Legends of India
This book told many tales from the Puranas, the Ramayana and mostly the Mahabarata. I remembered quite a few from my readings of the two latter, but m ...more
Feb 05, 1996
Aug 08, 2011
China Wakes: The Struggle for the Soul of a Rising Power
The authors, married Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalists, write about the emergence of capitalist China in the mid-1990s. Alternating au ...more
Nov 20, 2012
Jan 06, 2013
The Culture of Fear: Why Americans Are Afraid of the Wrong Things
The thesis of this thoroughly researched and lucidly written book is that the media trumpets scares that are not based in reality, created with ulteri ...more
Dec 05, 2013
Apr 05, 2015
An Indian Summer: a Personal Experience of India
Cameron, a journalist, returns to India after a lifetime as a foreign correspondent, now married to an Indian. He recalls his past there as well as In ...more
Jan 25, 1999
Dec 13, 2011
Burton: A Biography of Sir Richard Francis Burton
A fascinating, readable account of the jaw-droppingly talented man’s life. His ceaseless activity (he would produce 700 pages on a place he had stayed ...more
Sep 10, 1999
Dec 15, 2011
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