In “We Are the Weather,” Jonathan Safran Foer argues, essentially, that it is our moral imperative to adopt a vegan-before-six diet if we care at all about attempting to prevent the destruction of the human race through human-caused climate change. Although it’s a bit more complicated than that. Safran Foer begins by laying out the […]Read more "“We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast” by Jonathan Safran Foer"
“Iran” brings up a very specific image in the minds of most Westerners: Chadors, morality police, nuclear weapons, and other unsavory things. “Persia,” on the other hand, is redolent of some far-off, ancient Oriental exoticism. Mary Jane Walker’s contemporary account of her recent trek through Iran is thus a welcome corrective to both those images. […]Read more "#BookReview: “Iran: Make Love Not War” by Mary Jane Walker"
Happy Solstice, everyone! In celebration of this most balanced and auspicious day, I thought I’d share a sneak peek of “The City of Shadows,” book 3 in the Giaco & Luca series. Between returning to teaching after my medical leave, and working on stuff related to my other pen name, I’ve been much slower than […]Read more "Get a Sneak Peek of “The City of Shadows”! Plus this week’s selection of giveaways"
“Day of the Oprichnik” has been hailed as one of the classics of post-Soviet fiction, and for good reason. It’s a brilliant satire of Russian society past and present. It’s also deeply disturbing and difficult to read for that reason. But first, the title. Since Russian doesn’t have articles, the literal translation of the original […]Read more "#TranslationThursday: “Day of the Oprichnik” by Vladimir Sorokin, Translated by Jamey Gambrell"
A Parliament of Crows “A Parliament of Crows” is another installment in Alan M. Clark’s collection of “horror that happened” historical mystery/horror books. It tells the story, based on historical fact, of the three Mortlow sisters, who went on a killing spree that lasted decades. The story could have been lurid, and there are certainly […]Read more "“A Parliament of Crows” by Alan M. Clark #SouthernGothic #Mystery #HistoricalMystery"
In “The Dead Wander in the Desert,” we see the final, painful days of the Soviet Union, juxtaposed with the final, painful days of the Aral Sea, as a once-bountiful land dries up and turns to a poisonous, salt-filled desert. The characters in the book fight to preserve the sea, but in vain: the central […]Read more "#TranslationThursday: “The Dead Wander in the Desert” by Rollan Seisenbayev"
Hi Everyone! I’ve been busy–and exhausted and sore–from the beginning of the semester and returning to teaching, so I don’t have a lot of news to share right now. So I thought I’d do another reading roundup. A number of you wrote back to me the last time I asked for reading recommendations, and now […]Read more "What Are We All Reading?"