Category Archives: Book Reviews

Book Review:  The Writer’s Crusade: Kurt Vonnegut and the Many Lives of Slaughterhouse-Five by Tom Roston

Let’s start with the title of this fascinating book, with its reference to the “many lives” of Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. This is an allusion to the multiple drafts that Vonnegut wrote over two decades before he was satisfied with … Continue reading

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Book Review:  River of the Gods: Genius, Courage, and Betrayal in the Search for the Source of the Nile by Candice Millard

River of the Gods is a powerful, well-written book about some fascinating historical characters on adventurous journeys. Although the central focus is the expedition of Richard Burton, John Hanning Speke, and Sidi Mubarak Bombay through East Africa from Zanzibar to … Continue reading

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Book Review: Brooklyn by Colm Toibin

My interest in the novel Brooklyn stems from seeing the movie a few years ago and considering it one of the best films of the year. I decided to re-watch the movie recently and I came up with the idea … Continue reading

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Book Review:  Rocket Men: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man’s First Journey to the Moon by Robert Kurson

I have read numerous books about NASA and the space program, and Rocket Men is one of the more interesting and illuminating ones. Before I read this, I was unaware of the extreme danger and urgency of Apollo 8. What … Continue reading

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Book Review:  Wild Horses of the Summer Sun: A Memoir of Iceland by Tory Bilski

I picked up this book at the library because it struck me as an unusual memoir and travel tale. It concerns a group of women who for over a decade journeyed to Iceland every year to get away from their … Continue reading

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Book Review:  The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder

I recently encountered an evaluation of the Pulitzer-Prize-winning novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey by a well-known author on a Facebook feed. The author compared it to the novels of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I could not agree or disagree … Continue reading

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Book Review:  Red Paint: The Ancestral Autobiography of a Coast Salish Punk by Sasha LaPointe

Red Paint is an intense, well-written, and touching autobiography by a Native American writer from the Pacific Northwest. As the biographical paragraph in the back of the book says, she is “a Coast Salish author from the Nooksack and Upper … Continue reading

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Book Review:  The Last Winter: The Scientists, Adventurers, Journeymen, and Mavericks Trying to Save the World by Porter Fox

I discovered this book after recently reading Fox’s travel memoir Northland: A 4,000-Mile Journey Along America’s Forgotten Border. Like Northland, The Last Winter is divided into several sections, each of which describes a journey the author makes to a far-flung … Continue reading

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Book Review:  First Person Singular: Stories by Haruki Murakami

I have read several of Murakami’s books, including the novels Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage and Kafka on the Shore and his short story collection Men Without Women. Murakami has a distinctively spare style, a sort of … Continue reading

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Book Review:  Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted by Suleika Jaouad

When Suleika Jaouad was only twenty-two years old, she was diagnosed with leukemia, and she was told that she had only a thirty-five percent chance of survival. It began with a maddening itch on her legs shortly after she moved … Continue reading

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