The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Rebecca Skloot)

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks has a lot in common with Killers of the Flower Moon.  Both are fascinating pieces of on-the-ground journalism about events that happened decades ago;  both Grann and Skloot worked extensively with living family members of the people involved, and helped solved mysteries the family members never had answers to.  … Continue reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Rebecca Skloot)

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Killers of the Flower Moon (David Grann)

This was one of those books that as soon as I heard about it, I knew I absolutely had to read it.  Why?  First, because it sounded like a great detective story.  But also because little-known stories of vicious racism from the American past are often illuminating – in this case, revealing how an entire … Continue reading Killers of the Flower Moon (David Grann)

In Search of the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker (Jerome Jackson)

Ivory billed woodpecker said:  “Dear me! They’re cutting down my family tree; Where can I live, I’d like to know, If men will spoil the forest so?”  - Elizabeth Gordon I have always loved birds.  I have many childhood memories of basically memorizing field guides, then sitting at the big window looking out on my … Continue reading In Search of the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker (Jerome Jackson)

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood (Trevor Noah)

I had never heard of Trevor Noah until he took over The Daily Show from Jon Stewart.  (I’m not well-versed in the comedy world, so he was probably way better known than I realized.)  I don’t watch much TV, but I did watch some of his standup comedy on YouTube.  He’s funny, of course.  But … Continue reading Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood (Trevor Noah)

Koh-i-Noor: The History of the World’s Most Infamous Diamond (William Dalrymple and Anita Anand)

I almost bought this book in England last summer, but it only came in hardcover and my suitcase was getting too fat as it was.  Turns out my local library had it for free.  Which makes this the first time I’ve checked out a book from the gemology section. If you didn’t already know, the … Continue reading Koh-i-Noor: The History of the World’s Most Infamous Diamond (William Dalrymple and Anita Anand)