March 2012

March 31, 2012

The Quest to Know God: Hari Kunzru's Gods Without Men

CPU transistor counts since 1960. IQ test scores for African-American boys from single-parent families. An epidemiological analysis of the spread of a methamphetamine drug in Thailand. What do these things have in common? A Wall Street mathematician in Gods Without Men thinks he has found a slender thread that links them -- although what it means is beyond his grasp.

March 30, 2012

Deconstructing Wallis Simpson: Anne Sebba's That Woman

In Sebba's revealing portrait of the Southern woman who caused the abdication of King Edward VII and turned Britain upside down, the author dismantles the rosy image of a great love story, giving a much deeper and nuanced view of Wallis.

March 29, 2012

A New Search for Meaning: Jennifer DuBois' A Partial History of Lost Causes

In this debut novel, the lives of two characters are intertwined by their search for meaning. It is a beautifully told story that takes the reader from present-day Massachusetts to Cold War-era Russia, mesmerizing every step of the way.

March 28, 2012

Bringing Up Bebe: French Secrets to Relaxed Mothers and Civilized Kids

When author Pamela Druckerman relocated to Paris with her family, she noticed that French parents were relaxed, confident, and in charge, and French children, from the time they are babies, were calm, good sleepers, and even vegetable lovers. Intrigued, Druckerman set out to investigate what led to this society of chillaxed parents and well-behaved kids. The result? Her thoroughly enjoyable book.

March 27, 2012

A Hilarious Study of the Science of Death: Stiff, by Mary Roach

What happens to us after we die? Not in the context of an afterlife or lack thereof, but really, physically – what happens to our bodies? It’s this question that is at the core of Mary Roach’s book Stiff.

March 26, 2012

Staying Up All Night with Stephen King’s The Stand

Mayan prophecies, the decline in the honeybee population, rising temperatures at the Earth’s Core, melting icecaps. These are just a few of the things that can keep me awake in the middle of the night. And now, thanks to Stephen King’s The Stand, I can add the cold and flu season to the list.

March 25, 2012

Your Post-Hunger Games Dystopia: Welcome to Marie Lu's Legend

Welcome to Marie Lu's young adult debut, Legend, a story that takes us into the ruins of Los Angeles, its former beauty a distant memory.

March 24, 2012

Noah Hawley's The Good Father: Risking It All to Save a Child

Imagine your child was accused of a heinous crime. How far would you go to find out the truth and protect him? At what point would you start blaming yourself? Noah Hawley's latest psychological page-turner, The Good Father, examines this scenario and poses heartbreaking questions about parenting, love's limits, and good versus evil.

March 23, 2012

Courtside Culture Clash: Jim Yardley’s Brave Dragons

When Bob Weiss, a former NBA coach, was invited in 2008 to teach China’s worst professional basketball team how to play like Americans, he looked forward to a year spent abroad with his wife at a laid-back consultant position. What he actually got was a season spent as an on-and-off head coach, trying to lead a team that hadn’t seen a winning season in years, while navigating the mores and cultural idiosyncrasies of a nation on the rise.

March 22, 2012

Speed Chess with Bobby Fischer, by Frank Brady, author of Endgame

Endgame is acclaimed biographer Frank Brady's decades-in-the-making tracing of the ascent -- and confounding descent -- of enigmatic genius Bobby Fischer. Here, Brady recalls playing Speed Chess with Fischer.

March 21, 2012

Cheryl Strayed's Wild: A Transformation in 1,100 Miles on the Pacific Crest Trail

In Wild, Cheryl Strayed admits what the rest of us don't have the courage to: Life happens outside your own control. We meet the author as she is mid-hike on the Pacific Coast Trail (PCT), alone and lost, when one of her boots falls over the edge of a mountain. A dire situation, but not unlike what she has already experienced.

March 20, 2012

Nick Harkaway's Angelmaker: Steampunk, Spies, and a Doomsday Device

Slate recently compared Joe Spork, the protagonist of Nick Harkaway's ripping spy novel Angelmaker, to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy's Arthur Dent and Neverwhere's Richard Mayhew. Accurate comparisons, both.

March 19, 2012

To Be Latin American: 9 eBooks on the Latino Experience

Balancing a strong sense of heritage and modern culture, these captivating titles are worthwhile suggestions for today's Americanos and anyone interested in experiencing rich and diverse traditions.

March 18, 2012

Remembering Lois Lowry’s The Giver

I was nervous when I picked up Lois Lowry’s The Giver recently. I was worried that what had seemed profound and poetic as a child would become trite and lack depth as an adult. Luckily, the book, and my memory, did not disappoint.

March 17, 2012

17 Reads to Celebrate the Irish in All of Us

Once a year, we're all at least a little bit Irish ... So whether you're looking for Irish history, historical fiction, or just a great Irish setting, we have a wonderful book to recommend for you!