book review

Book Review: Scott Galloway’s “The Algebra of Happiness”

  We all know somebody who’s successful, in great shape, plays in a band, is close with their parents, volunteers at the ASPCA, and has a food blog. Assume you’re not that person.” –Scott Galloway, “The Algebra of Happiness.” Want to get a reader’s attention? Here’s. One. Way. But, if you overuse such techniques —...
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“American Dirt”: What it Means to Have Nothing

The Kindness — and Evil — of Strangers Coyote: “I don’t like leaving people behind. I don’t like people dying in the desert. So I choose people who won’t die. Migrant: “I have no intention of dying.” Coyote: “No one intends to die.” Migrant: “Yes, but I intend not to die.” –“American Dirt”; p. 281. What...
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Donna Tartt’s (and Carel Fabritius’) “The Goldfinch”: a Review

“Well, it’s not as if we’re running a hospital for sick children down here.” –James “Hobie” Hobart in “The Goldfinch.” Ahhh, but repair — spiritual repair — is exactly what is being practiced by the exceptionally kind, decent supporting character named “Hobie” in Donna Tartt’s sprawling “The Goldfinch.” It’s just that Hobie ministers to only...
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Book Review: “Educated,” by Tara Westover

Who’ll Play the Lead in the Movie? The most memorable excerpt from Tara Westover’s harrowing memoir of growing up, off-the-grid, in rural Idaho isn’t from the book. It appears in The New York Times’ book review: “Educated” is, among other things, a catalog of job-site horrors: fingers lost, legs gashed, bodies horribly burned. No pointy-headed bureaucrat could...
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In Dystopian “American War,” No Red Cross, But Red Crescent

Dependent on the Kindness of (Foreign) Strangers One of the more disturbing images in “American War,” Omar El Akkad’s debut novel about a dystopian U.S. 50 years hence, is the presence of the Red Crescent on American soil. Of course, to early 21st century Americans, it’s the Red Cross that gets dispatched to war zones abroad to...
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Book Review: “All The Light We Cannot See”

“The Air a Library and the Record of Every Life Lived” “Is it so hard to believe that great shuttles of souls might fly about, faded but audible if you listen closely enough?  They flow about the chimneys, ride the sidewalks, slip through your jacket and shirt and breastbone and lungs, and pass out through...
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