Category Archives: Book Reviews

Book Review:  This Is Your Mind on Plants by Michael Pollan

A few years ago, Michael Pollan published a fascinating major work called How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence. In it, the author takes a close look … Continue reading

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Book Review:  War on Peace by Ronan Farrow

This book explores the efforts of the United States to deal with troubled parts of the world in light of the author’s premise, which is that more and more in recent decades, presidents are sidelining diplomacy in favor of military … Continue reading

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Book Review: Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

Haruki Murakami is an internationally known best-selling author known for his works of magic realism, fantasy, and science fiction. The two previous books I have read by him, though, Men Without Women: Stories and the novel Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and … Continue reading

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Book Review: Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes

I made the mistake of watching the movie before reading this book. That was not a good idea. As a general principle, always read the book first. I find the movie a lightly entertaining romantic comedy set in a lovely … Continue reading

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Book Review: Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

For a long time I had avoided reading this book because of the tragic ending to the story of Chris McCandless. In brief, after he graduated from college, McCandless took off on the road and disappeared. He never contacted his … Continue reading

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Book Review: Homewaters: A Human and Natural History of Puget Sound by David B. Williams

I was born in a hospital in Seattle and raised in the Puget Sound area of the state of Washington. In my childhood and young manhood I have fished for salmon and rockfish, dug for clams and geoducks, and confronted … Continue reading

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Book Review: The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2020 Edited by John Joseph Adams and Diana Gabaldon

The Best American series, which in recent years has come to include separate volumes of science fiction and fantasy stories, has a distinctive method of selecting its stories. The series editor, who stays the same year after year, reads as … Continue reading

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Book Review: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

I might never have attempted to read War and Peace if it had not been for the enthusiasm of one of my nephews. I know him to be intelligent and discerning, and he told me that War and Peace was … Continue reading

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Book Review: Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore by Elizabeth Rush

This is an excellent book. It is one of those rare books that combine science, observations of nature, and memoir to create a unique, vital, and invigorating literary experience. Broadly, it concerns global warming and rising sea levels, but Rush … Continue reading

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Book Review: The Believer Book of Writers Talking to Writers Edited by Vendela Vida

I’m always on the lookout for books in which writers talk about writing. Not because I need tips or suggestions on how to do it; I think I have that figured out after all this time. My interest is more … Continue reading

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