Category Archives: non-fiction

The Plots Against Hitler – Danny Orbach

You know the saying “The devil takes care of his own”? My deeply Catholic mother reminds me of that one a lot when I complain about the way God arranges things; there is, she says, another power at work in … Continue reading

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Anatomy of a Song – Marc Myers

I love this stuff. I love learning the background, the genesis for a work, be it a book or painting, tv episode or – obviously – a song. Websites like SongFacts are huge rabbit holes that I can and do … Continue reading

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History of Rock and Roll in Ten Songs – Greil Marcus – Henry Rollins

Ringo Starr isn’t in the R&R Hall of Fame as an individual? Who do I write to about that? The reason I bought this book is the narrator, Henry Rollins. I’m not a fan of punk music, so I didn’t … Continue reading

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Something in the Blood – David J. Skal, James Patrick Cronin

I was glad to receive this audiobook from the publisher on CD, because using the CD player in my car makes what is for me a long commute that much easier. This book in particular wasn’t much of a boon, … Continue reading

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Unlocking Worlds – Sally Allen

First of all, what a terrible advanced copy this was. The book is basically a list of books with brief synopses and discussions of each, and in a few cases the book title is entirely missing. Which has no relevance … Continue reading

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The Wicked Boy – Kate Summerscale

This book, this case of a boy killing his mother (or boys), is more proof that playing violent video games shapes young minds in ways that lead to violen – Sorry? Oh, it’s not 1995, but 1895? Oh. Right. This … Continue reading

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How To Be a Person in the World – Heather Havrilesky

“Who do I think I am, giving other people advice?” I thought. “I’m not qualified for this! I don’t have it all figured out. What the hell am I doing?” I was so glad to read that. Because it’s going … Continue reading

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American Heiress – Jeffrey Toobin

The stupid runs very deep in this story. Patricia Hearst was young and ignorant and self-centered; the revolutionaries were pretty much morons, or delusional at best; the FBI wasn’t any too sharp… The other notable characteristic of the people featured … Continue reading

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The Design of Everyday Things – Donald A. Norman – Peter Berkrot

The main question in my mind after listening to this audiobook is easily enough answered: How old IS this book, anyhow? In the introduction the author talks about how the book isn’t dated. Well, it was originally published in 1988. … Continue reading

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Olympic Collision: The Story of Mary Decker and Zola Budd – Kyle Keiderling

I loved the 1984 Summer Olympics. (Not as much, though, as the 1984 Winter Olympics, which were slightly life-altering. Torvill and Dean? Come on.) I was a kid; I loved the fact that my country did so well, discounting the … Continue reading

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