As my CBR handle suggests, I like coffee shops, both for the lattes and the atmosphere. So when I was in Chicago recently, I wanted to try out one of the trendy places as my touristy thing. At Intelligentsia Coffee, I saw this book for sale. I didn’t buy it then. I saw the same book a few days later, this time in paperback, for sale at a publisher exhibit. I didn’t buy it then. I did however, upon my return home, acquire said book from my local library. The Monk of Mokha is the true story of Mokhtar Alkhanshali, […]
As the US government shut down drags on, I figured it was time to learn more about the threat the Trump presidency poses to the day-to-day running of America. Turns out that, like basically every political story from anywhere in the world at the moment, it’s significantly worse than I thought. Michael Lewis books are almost their own specific little sub-genre now – relatively light and readable looks at deeply boring topics. The Fifth Risk has less of an overarching narrative than previous works like The Big Short or Moneyball. Instead, it’s three separate novella-sized looks at three opaque […]
As with so many other things, I’m reviewing a thing long after it got popular, and yet this time, at least, I’m managing to be at least a little bit on-trend, so go me?
The Complete and Essential Jack the Ripper by Paul Begg and John Bennett is split into three main parts; the first part deals with the victims, including those who are sometimes dismissed from Ripper canon; the second part deals with the different theories put forward over the years on the identity of Jack the Ripper; the third part deals with the “myth” of Jack – how popular culture has seized upon the eponymous murderer, sometimes in a less than tasteful manner. For me, this book was a good starting point in the history of Ripperology. It remained more or less […]
Orwell is a man of strong convictions. He believes so passionately in the fight against fascism that in 1936 he travels to Barcelona to fight in the revolution. Homage to Catalonia is a detailed account of the politics surrounding the revolution, a fervent defense of the working class and a witness of war from the trenches. “All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.” I will be honest and say that the politics interested me very little and I much prefered the first-hand accounts of the terror of war, of […]
I have watched some of his stand-up specials and I did find them hilarious but never would have sought out a memoir of his life but this book was recommended to me and I am glad I read it. I listened to the audio book instead of the written book and I highly recommend that format. His narration is very genuine, charismatic and engaging. I don’t think I would have enjoyed this this book if I read the words on a page. Although there are very funny parts of this book (macaroni and warm milk stands out) it is not a […]
I went into this expecting the corruption, murder, institutional racism, etc. against the Osage Indians to be very bad, and I still somehow managed to come out of this book mindboggled. This book should be taught in schools, and it is heinous that these terrible things happened, and just as heinous that so many people covered it up, and practically erased it from history. In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the US were the Osage. By sheer coincidence, after their tribe was displaced from their ancestral lands, they chose new, rocky, inhospitable lands that they believed white […]
New Jerusalem is a non-fiction book covering the history of a militant and apocalyptic breakaway Christian sect in the early Reformation. The Melchiorites, named after their founding preacher, were early Anabaptists. A radical offshoot of Lutheranism, the Anabaptists were viewed as heretics by mainstream Catholics and suffered significant persecution. The Melchiorites sought sanctuary in the Lutheran-friendly city of a Munster. A small group of influential men put out a call for the poor to come to Munster for rebaptism as Melchiorites. More appealingly, they also promised that all wealth would be shared equally amongst believers. The subsequent flood of new converts […]