I Married AdventureOsa Johnson

Osa and Martin Johnson were once household names. In the 1920s and 30s they brought the wilds of Africa, Micronesia and Borneo to the big screen in little towns. Both were originally from small towns in Kansas. While Martin dreamed of seeing the world and photographing it, Osa …

Call of the MallPaco Underhill

What is wrong with the mall? Well, everything, according to consumer behavior specialist Underhill. And, he adds, the rise and fall of the mall has been almost entirely avoidable. Going through a standard mall visit, Underhill points out the numerous ways malls fail to satisfy the consumer. From …

Snobbery- The American VersionJoseph Epstein

Snobbery often entails taking a petty, superficial, or irrelevant distinction and, so to say, running with it.

Epstein’s study of snobbery should be considered a guilty pleasure, replete with snarky little personal stories. His main premise is snobbery is a strangely unique phenomenon created by Americans. Our democracy …

Sex, Lies and HandwritingMichelle Dresbold

A self-proclaimed “top expert” of handwriting analysis (graphology), Dresbold gives quite a wild ride. After a few pages of self-congratulatory introduction, she gets down to business and covers a wealth of hidden information found in handwriting. While some does seem a hair far-fetched (you can see the weapon …

The Island of the Colorblind Oliver Sacks

Neurologist Oliver Sacks is probably best known for his book The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. With a focus on rare neurological diseases and maladies, Sacks was deeply interested to hear about the Island of Pingelap. Nearly 10% of the population is achromatopic – …

Mindless Eating Dr. Brian Wansink

From the title, you’d never guess this book is a laugh riot. After reading an interview in Salon the Dr. Wansink, I had to read the book. Wansink and his lab study why humans overeat. Packed with great anecdotes, Wansink gives a behind-the-scenes look of his research. …

Beyond Mammoth CaveJames Borden and Roger Brucker

I picked up this book earlier in the fall when we were vacationing at Mammoth Cave. Tag-teaming in an occasionally confusing way, Borden and Brucker tell of their various exploits exploring and mapping Mammoth Cave and the ensuing connection to Roppel Cave, making Mammoth Cave …

The City of Falling AngelsJohn Berendt

In Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, the reader has a strong feeling of time. The story covers years and you can clearly feel Capote’s desire to tell the story to the end, but at the same time strongly fearing and wishing for a conclusion. In Berendt’s books, …

leaving-the-saintsMartha Beck

I’m not sure really what to classify this book as. After deciding to have a Downs Syndrome baby, Beck describes her decision to leave grad school and Harvard to return to her hometown of Provo Utah and her Mormon family. Through a winding path she describes the friendliness …