Book review: 'The Searcher,' by Tana French

"The Searcher," Tana French's eighth mystery, is set in the West of Ireland, and for the first 150 pages or so it's a compelling novel of rural Irish life as seen through the eyes of an American outsider. At first, the book hardly seems like a mystery at all _ sure, a young man is missing, but no


Blockchain Chicken Farm by Xiaowei Wang

In Blockchain Chicken Farm, technologist and writer Xiaowei Wang explores the political and social entanglements of technology in rural China. Her discoveries force her to challenge the standard idea that rural culture and people are backward, conservative and intolerant.  “Instead, s


Winston Churchill

Author: Richard Toye The book explores what elevated Winston Churchill to prominence and the shadows he continues to cast on British and American political culture.In his book, Winston Churchill: A Life in the News, Richard Toye makes the fundamental claim that “Churchill would surely have


The 99% Invisible City

Authors: Roman Mars and Kurt Kohlstedt The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design by Roman Mars and Kurt Kohlstedt is a fascinating collection of stories and descriptions that explain all sorts of things associated with city infrastructure.The 99% Invis


Poetry; An Introduction

Edited by Paul Hetherington and Cassandra Atherton Prose Poetry is the first book of its kind—an engaging and authoritative introduction to the history, development, and features of English-language prose poetry, an increasingly important and popular literary form that is still too lit


Mathematics in Ancient Egypt by Annette Imhausen

Mathematics in Ancient Egypt traces the development of Egyptian mathematics, from the end of the fourth millennium BC—and the earliest hints of writing and number notation—to the end of the pharaonic period in Greco-Roman times.  Drawing from mathematical texts, architectural dra


Playing the Race Card by Linda Williams

The black man suffering at the hands of whites, the white woman sexually threatened by the black man. Both images have long been burned into the American conscience through popular entertainment, and today they exert a powerful and disturbing influence on Americans’ understanding of race. So


The Man Who Ate Too Much by John Birdsall

This is a well-researched and written biography of James Beard, considered a leading authority on food.  Beard was born in Portland, Oregon and grew up in a progressive household. His mother was sophisticated and was well known in social circles.  The Man Who Ate Too Much is John Birds


War; How Conflict Shaped Us by Margaret MacMillan

How Conflict Shaped Us is a historical study of the effects of war on many societal levels.  The internationally renowned historian and bestselling author of Paris 1919, Margaret MacMillan, contemplates the existence of war: Why it occurs, and what it says about human nature. &ldq


Eleanor

Author: David Michaelis Prizewinning bestselling author David Michaelis presents a breakthrough portrait of Eleanor Roosevelt, America’s longest-serving First Lady, an avatar of democracy whose ever-expanding agency as diplomat, activist, and humanitarian made her one of the world’s m


The Daughters of Yalta

Situated in the political maelstrom that marked the transition to a postwar world, The Daughters of Yalta is a remarkable story of fathers and daughters whose relationships were tested and strengthened by the history they witnessed and the future they crafted together.The Yalta conference, a pivot


Early Chinese Mysticism by Livia Kohn

Did Chinese mysticism vanish after its first appearance in ancient Taoist philosophy, to surface only after a thousand years had passed, when the Chinese had adapted Buddhism to their own culture?  This first integrated survey of the mystical dimension of Taoism disputes the commonly accepte


Social History of Soviet Trade by Julie Hessler

In this sweeping study, Julie Hessler traces the invention and evolution of socialist trade, the progressive constriction of private trade, and the development of consumer habits from the 1917 revolution to Stalin’s death in 1953. The book places trade and consumption in the context of debil


The Place of Many Moods

Author: Dipti Khera In the long 18th century, artists from Udaipur, a city of lakes in northwestern India, specialized in depicting the vivid sensory ambience of its historic palaces, reservoirs, temples, bazaars, and durbars. As Mughal imperial authority weakened by the late 1600s and the Britis


Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World by Fareed Zakaria

CNN host and  author Fareed Zakaria helps readers to understand the nature of a post-pandemic world: The political, social, technological, and economic impacts that may take years to unfold. In the form of 10 straightforward “lessons,” covering topics from globalization and threa


Outside the Box

Author: Marc Levinson Globalization has profoundly shaped the world we live in, yet its rise was neither inevitable nor planned. It is also one of the most contentious issues of our time. While it may have made goods less expensive, it has also sent massive flows of money across borders and shake


Mad at the World by William Souder

The first full-length biography of the Nobel laureate to appear in a quarter century, Mad at the World illuminates what has made the work of John Steinbeck an enduring part of the literary canon: His capacity for empathy.Pulitzer Prize finalist William Souder “explores Steinbeck’s long


Society Against the State by Pierre Clastres

  In this seminal, founding work of political anthropology, Pierre Clastres takes on some of the most abiding and essential questions of human civilization: What is power? What is society? How, among all the possible modes of political organization, did we come to choose the monolithic State m



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