Reaching the Shore: A Story of Survival, Courage, and Endurance Bonnie Jane Hall What is the point of prison? That is one of the questions that this book asks, explicitly and implicitly, over and over again. Written by his mother, this is the story of Davin, who at 16 was tried as an adult, convicted […]
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Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov B.B. Kudryavtsev Without MV Lomonosov, there would probably no Russian literature as we currently know it. And in general, the intellectual landscape of Russian culture would probably be quite different. A fascinating figure, Lomonosov worked tirelessly throughout his life to usher in new ideas in subjects as varied as poetry and phlogiston. […]
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Russia’s Lomonosov: Chemist, Courtier, Physicist, Poet Boris N. Menshutkin Russian literature didn’t come into its own until partway through the 19th century. But already in the 18th century it was laying the ground for its later flourishing through the actions of people of genius, whose writing was groundbreaking for its time and whose lives were […]
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A Maverick Traveller Mary Jane Walker “A Maverick Traveller” is a straightforward, high-spirited account of the author’s adventures traveling around the world, as she does everything from sail across the Pacific in a Chinese junk to go mountain climbing in the Alps. In between, and perhaps even more fascinatingly, it chronicles her involvement in New […]
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Unbroken Laura Hillenbrand In “Unbroken,” Laura Hillenbrand returns to tell another story (after “Seabiscuit”) of someone who has been bloodied by adversity, but not broken by it. Louie Zamperini was one of the world’s hottest track stars, breaking record after record and running in the 1936 Olympics. Then WWII broke out, and he ended up […]
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Unlocking Lyme William Rawls, MD I am reviewing this book somewhat prematurely, since I haven’t actually tried out most of the things in it yet. However, each person’s reaction to treatment is so individual that my success or failure probably won’t mean much either way. What is more of interest to me about this book […]
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Going Scapegoat David A. Buchanan David Buchanan opens “Going Scapegoat” with a story about getting warned when setting off from a very secure American base on a very safe trip to downtown Riyadh “not to get scalped by no Injuns.” This story sets in motion his examination of scapegoating mechanisms in post-9/11 literary and cultural […]
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All Soldiers Run Away Andy Owen My review of “All Soldiers Run Away,” which was released today, is below. You can read my very interesting interview with Andy Owen about writing the book and about war, literature, and PTSD here and my review of his novel “East of Coker” here. Some soldiers are heroic. But […]
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Tolstoy: A Russian Life Rosamund Bartlett “Tolstoy: A Russian Life” is, fittingly, nearly as capacious and baggy a work as those of its subject. Delving into everything from Tolstoy’s ancestors to the fate of his children after his death to recipes of favorite desserts cooked by his wife, this biography meanders charmingly back and forth […]
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The Shattered Lens Jonathan Alpeyrie Jonathan Alpeyrie wanted to get that one great shot. Instead what he got was captivity. “The Shattered Lens” is the account of Alpeyrie’s capture by Syrian rebels and his almost three-month stint as their hostage. This is followed by his description of what his family went through trying to free […]
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