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Welcome! The ultimate luxury for me is curling up with a good book and a warm blanket. The next best thing is reviewing books and sharing them with others.

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9 10, 2012

Review: We’re with Nobody by Alan Huffman & Michael Rejebian

By | October 9th, 2012|Categories: Nonfiction, Politics & Government|Tags: |7 Comments

Rating:

Reviewed by Jill Elizabeth

Quick disclaimer: I worked in public policy and was government-relations (i.e., lobbying)-adjacent for a number of years. I have a lot of opinions and biases from those years, based on personal experience, which inevitably color anything I read on politics/political life.

The authors of We’re with Nobody, Alan Huffman and Michael Rejebian, are opposition (“oppo”) researchers. They are, in short, the guys who dig up the dirt. They roam about the country following up on rumors and suppositions and allegations, trying to figure out what’s wrong with the guy their client is running against – and, usually, also what’s wrong with their client. In the cynical field of politics, these guys are the ultimate cynics. They accept nothing without facts and will go to extraordinary lengths and undertake serious personal risks to track those facts down –

28 08, 2012

Review: The Bond by Wayne Pacelle

By | August 28th, 2012|Categories: Animals, Nonfiction, Politics & Government|Tags: , , |4 Comments

Rating:

Reviewed by Caitlin O’Malley 

I was thrilled at the opportunity to read The Bond based on its author alone: Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). Since assuming his role at the helm of one of the most respected animal welfare organizations in the world, Pacelle has transformed the Humane Society into one of the most visible agitators for animal welfare in every arena of America. I admire him for bringing mainstream attention to issues such as animal welfare on factory farms, an area once reserved for more “radical” organizations like PETA, as well as more “traditional” issues like the protection of animal companions and wild animals.

During Pacelle’s short time at the helm, he has moved the HSUS from a mild-mannered charity to an aggressive action group on behalf of our animal neighbors. Pacelle

7 06, 2012

Review: American Emperor by David O. Stewart

By | June 7th, 2012|Categories: Biographies, Historical, Nonfiction, Politics & Government|Tags: , , |1 Comment

Rating:

Reviewed by F. Scott

Aaron Burr is most famous for killing Alexander Hamilton in a duel in 1804, but in David Stewart’s American Emperor, the focus is his grand design to liberate the Spanish colonies and former colonies in North America, from Florida to the Louisiana territories to Mexico, and put himself on the throne of it all.

Stewart, an accomplished writer and constitutional lawyer himself, gives us a pretty thorough portrait of Burr the lawyer, dreamer, lady charmer, debtor, liar, and (probably) traitor, but also the loving father and doting grandfather. All this in 300 pages and from so much original source material is quite a feat.

I discern three main sections in the book: (1) review of Burr’s early career (he was Jefferson’s vice president and nearly won the top job in the Election of 1800) and the duel with

9 05, 2012

Review: Escape from Camp 14 by Blaine Harden

By | May 9th, 2012|Categories: Biographies, Historical, Nonfiction, Politics & Government, Social Sciences|Tags: , , , |6 Comments

Rating:

Reviewed by Alyssa Katanic

“Wow!” “Intense!” Blaine Harden’s Escape from Camp 14 is definitely both, and expertly written. Harden is an experienced journalist who has written for the Washington Post, The New York Times, and has worked as a reporter for PBS Front Line (among many other excellent credentials). He doesn’t leave journalism behind as he develops the story of Shin In Geun, the only known person to have been born in and escaped from North Korea’s toughest political labor camp.

As so many average Americans, I have to admit that I am very “my little corner of the world” focused – but I am nosey! Thus, I love the opportunity to take a look at other cultures via well written books. Sometimes these stories can offer us pictures that are hard to look at, and that makes them all the more

4 04, 2012

Giveaway: Escape from Camp 14 by Blaine Harden

By | April 4th, 2012|Categories: Giveaways, Historical, Memoirs, Nonfiction, Politics & Government|Tags: , , , |25 Comments

Rating:

Enter to win a copy of Escape from Camp 14 by Blaine Harden!

About the book

Escape from Camp 14 tells the unbelievable true story of Shin Dong-hyuk, the only known person born in a North Korean no-exit camp to have escaped and survived. In a starred review, Library Journal describes it as “a book that all adults should read,” Foreign Policy named it one of the 21 books that will matter in 2012, and BBC Radio 4 selected it for their prestigious Book of the Week series.

Although the world pays little attention, North Korea’s political prison camps, which hold between 150,000 and 200,000 prisoners and are clearly visible in satellite photographs, have existed twice as long as Stalin’s Soviet gulags and twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps. Shin, who was bred by guards to be a slave and