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Not Your Grandpa’s Dinosaurs

November 23, 2007 admin 0

As a culture, we are fascinated by dinosaurs and, as a result, books on the topic are anything but scarce. Even so, Dinosaurs (Random House, 432 pages) by Thomas R. Holtz Jr. fits in a niche not as well padded out as some of the others because, while there are lots of dinosaur-related books for new readers and young children and many for adults, young adults have less of choice. And the needs of these […]

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Cracking the Code: How to Win Hearts, Change Minds, and Restore America’s Original Wisdom by Thom Hartmann

November 18, 2007 admin 0

Before he even gets going, syndicated radio host Thom Hartmann sets the tone in a note to readers that falls between the copyright information and the table of contents of Cracking the Code: How to Win Hearts, Change Minds, and Restore America’s Original Wisdom (Berrett-Koehler, November 2007). “This book is written in a new language,” says Hartmann. “Every word means precisely what it says.” Cracking the Code somehow manages to marry a good ol’ Dale […]

Review: Alone in the Kitchen With an Eggplant edited by Jenni Ferrari-Adler

November 14, 2007 admin 0

Today, in January Magazine’s non-fiction section, contributing editor Diane Leach reviews Alone in the Kitchen With an Eggplant edited by Jenni Ferrari-Adler. Says Leach: The adage of making silk purses from sow’s ears has lost its oomph for a generation of foodies raised on Fergus Henderson. Instead we might say a crispy pig ear salad cannot be got from the frozen foods section. So it is with Jenni Ferrari-Adler’s anthology, which borrows both concept and […]

Review: … and His Lovely Wife by Connie Schultz

November 6, 2007 admin 0

Today, in January Magazine’s biography section, contributing editor Mary Ward Menke reviews … and His Lovely Wife: A Memoir from the Woman Beside the Man. by Pulitzer Prize winner Connie Schultz. Says Ward Menke: Connie Schultz and Sherrod Brown, middle-aged and divorced with two children each, married in 2004. A year later, the Democratic Congressman from Ohio decided to give up his Congressional seat to run against Mike DeWine, a two-term Republican Senator, in a […]

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Bird Songs from Around the World by Les Beletsky

October 29, 2007 admin 0

Bird Songs from Around the World (Raincoast/Chronicle, 368 pages) is so much more than just a book, I almost don’t know where to begin. In the first place, it’s quite heavy for its size. This is only in part due the 368 color pages featuring glorious botanical paintings of birds. It’s also due the mechanical apparatus that is part of the binding of the book and that makes the sound possible. And what sound! The […]

Review: An Incomplete History of World War II by Edwin Kiester Jr.

October 23, 2007 admin 1

Today, in January Magazine’s non-fiction section, contributing editor Pedro Blas Gonzalez reviews An Incomplete History of World War II by Edwin Kiester Jr. Says Gonzalez: An Incomplete History of World War II does not pretend to be an exhaustive tract on the history of this devastating world conflict. Yet this may be the most enticing aspect of this work and what makes it so readable. The book is not a jargon-filled, hair-splitting, jaw-snapping academic text. […]

Review: Grave Matters by Mark Harris

October 15, 2007 admin 1

Today, in January Magazine’s non-fiction section, contributing editor Caroline Cummins reviews Grave Matters by Mark Harris. Says Cummins: Don’t dig the conventional funeral industry? As Mark Harris describes in his new book, Grave Matters, you don’t have to wind up six feet under. Harris, an environmental reporter, has assembled a collection of short profiles documenting the experiences of families who have chosen different paths to the grave. Like Carlson’s book, Grave Matters is a handbook […]

Review: Avoiding Cancer One Day at a Time by Lynne Eldridge and David Borgeson

September 27, 2007 admin 0

Today, in January Magazine’s non-fiction section, contributing editor Mary Ward Menke reviews Avoiding Cancer One Day at a Time by Lynne Eldridge and David Borgeson. Says Menke: If Avoiding Cancer One Day at a Time simply repeated facts based on research, readers would be overwhelmed and quickly lose interest. Fortunately, that’s not the case; the book includes charts, graphs, recipes (most of them sound surprisingly tasty) and “practical points” (suggestions) to enhance learning and show […]

Review: Loyal Comrades, Ruthless Killers by Slava Katamidze

September 17, 2007 admin 0

Contributing editor Pedro Blas Gonzales reviews the non-fiction work Loyal Comrades, Ruthless Killers by Slava Katamidze. Says Gonzales: Gathering and utilizing the intelligence delivered to the west by the many Soviet defectors through the years, the author is able to paint a picture that few myopic or disingenuous intellectuals can continue to evade or “deconstruct.” Simply stated, the Soviet Union’s mechanism of state terror was the premier manifestation of state-organized murder and terror of the […]

Review: Happier by Tal Ben-Shahar

August 10, 2007 admin 0

Today, in January Magazine’s non-fiction section, Cherie Thiessen reviews Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment by Tal Ben-Shahar. Says Thiessen: Tal Ben-Shahar is one of the most popular teachers at Harvard. He also teaches the most popular course there. It must make him feel, well — happy. “Grounded in the revolutionary ‘positive psychology’ movement,” boasts the promo on the attractively simple book cover, “Ben-Shahar ingeniously combines scientific studies, scholarly research, self-help […]