John Waters

The Tarnished Wisdom of a Filth Elder

Water’s new memoir starts out with a tongue-in-cheek scree at his notoriety and fame:

Suddenly the worst thing that can happen to a creative person has happened to me. I am accepted. How can I “struggle” when my onetime underground movies

Natalie Haynes

Haynes, a classics scholar who studied at Cambridge, compares and contrasts modern life with those of the Ancients (Greeks, Romans and some Egyptians). While we are often tempted to go with the lazy assumption that “nothing ever changes, people have all been essentially the same”,  Haynes points out …

What Saints, Spies and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success

Kevin Dutton

Dutton’s book on his research into psychopaths is a fast, easy read with little academic jargon to bog the reader down. Clearly aimed for the armchair lookie-loo (hello!), Dutton amused and horrifies readers with stories of his …

Iconic Moments from the Past In Color
Wolfang Wild & Jordan Lloyd

This wide-ranging collection of colorized photos gives a rare glimpse into the past. Photography has been around for a surprisingly long time. The first self-portrait was taken in 1839, almost 30 years before the American Civil War. There …

Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne

The Princess Bride meets Harvard Lampoon’s Bored of the Rings.

Popular fantasy authors Dawson and Hearne gleefully take a whack at every fairy tale trope in the (standard) book. After being informed by the pixie Staph that he is the The Chosen One, Worstely, …

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse

Mycroft Holmes had three major strikes against it – 1. written by a celebrity 2. co-written with a  professional writer and 3. a story in a major and wildly popular canon. However, after reading an excellent op-ed written by Abdul-Jabbar in the Washington Post, …

Dr. Tara Westover

Westover’s memoir of life in an isolated, paranoid Mormon household is gripping, grim and terribly sad. Her bipolar father believes the End Times are near and they spend countless hours prepping. He also distrusts the government, the schools, doctors, safety gear and seat belts. His family pays …

Jane Willan

The author the Sister Agatha mysteries, Reverend Jane Willan, does a wonderful job evoking the peaceful life of a rural Welsh Abbey. Of course, being a mystery, there is plenty of murder and mayhem. But like many of the best mystery authors, the whodunnit is second to the …

Phaidon

Brutalism, or Brutalist Architecture, is aptly named.  There is nothing soft, friendly, or accommodating about it. It is stark, harsh, hard, powerful and massive. Many Brutalist buildings have the strange ability to look simultaneously futuristic and highly dated.

A favorite of the Communist Bloc housing, fascist dictators like Mussolini …

This weighty tome, coming in at nearly 700 pages, is not nearly so daunting as it appears. Ninety percent of the book is large, gorgeous pictures with short descriptions of the (arguably) most notable pieces of furniture in the last 150 years. The book runs the gamut from: the mundane …

Dominic Bradbury with Photographs by Richard Powers

The seem to be an endless stream of collections featuring “the best…,” “the most iconic…” “this centuries most important…” buildings, furniture, artists and more. Bring ’em on, I say! They’re a fast, interesting way become familiar with various architectural, design and art vernaculars …

Tim Myers

Set in rural North Carolina, innkeeper Alex Winston struggles to keep his one-of-a-kind inn open. Despite being miles from the sea, his inn features a full-size replicate of the lighthouse at Cape Hatteras. The series is a pleasant, low-key look at life in a beautiful, small town – …

Lorraine Bartlett

Author Lorraine (or LL) Bartlett writes the thoroughly enjoyable Booktown mystery series, a definite must-read for cozy fans. However, she has a  lesser-known series that is, in many ways, more compelling.

Bartlett’s Jeff Resnick series follows a former insurance adjuster, now part-time bartender. After a nearly fatal mugging, …