Review: THE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL by Chris Adrian

Mercy Ward

by Elizabeth Hand for Washington Post Book World (Dec. 29, 2006)

“Many novelists set themselves the task of confronting the world’s ills in their fiction. Fewer attempt to actually cure them, as Chris Adrian does in his second novel, The Children’s Hospital, a sprawling and impassioned morality tale in which a catastrophe of biblical scale wipes out nearly all life, human and otherwise, on Earth. Adrian has an impressive CV for a young writer: The author of a critically acclaimed debut novel, Gob’s Grief, and short fiction that has appeared in the New Yorker and the Paris Review, he’s also a pediatrician now studying at Harvard Divinity School. All of these experiences bear fruit in The Children’s Hospital, though that fruit may be a specialized taste, more durian or rambutan than apple or plum.”

Read full review at Powells.com 

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Published in: on December 31, 2006 at 11:56 am  Leave a Comment  

Review: DYNASTIES by David S. Landes

Heir Pressure

by Niall Fergusson for The New Republic Online (Dec. 28, 2006)

“”Happy families are all alike,” Tolstoy famously announces in the opening sentence of his great novel; “every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” David Landes’s new book is about eleven families, all of whom would have been comparably — and boringly — happy if money were the key to happiness. Fortunately for Landes’s readers, the relationship between wealth and contentment is fascinatingly non-linear. You need a certain amount of money to escape from the miseries of want, no doubt; but beyond that point, each additional thousand dollars does not yield a proportionate increase in happiness. Quite the contrary. Great wealth can lead to great unhappiness, sowing discord between parents and children, husbands and wives, siblings. It turns out that every rich family is also unhappy in its own way.”

Read full review at Powells.com 

Published in: on December 31, 2006 at 8:49 am  Leave a Comment  

Read It Online: REFLECTIONS ON WAR AND DEATH by Sigmund Freud

from Google Book Search

Moffat, Yard and Company/72 pages/1918

Read full text or download pdf of book here 

Published in: on December 31, 2006 at 6:46 am  Leave a Comment  

Review: WHAT PAUL MEANT by Gary Willis

The Resurrection of Paul

by Harvey Cox for Washington Post Book World (Dec. 24, 2006)

“Poor St. Paul. He is not in particularly good odor nowadays. A deluge of recent books and films has swept Jesus back into the public eye, but the apostle to the gentiles, whose Epistles fill nearly as many pages in the New Testament as the Gospels, languishes under a cloud of contempt.”

Read full review here 

Published in: on December 30, 2006 at 2:41 pm  Leave a Comment  

Review: MOSCOW 1941 by Rodric Braithwaite

The Hinge of Fate

by Andrey Slivka for Washington Post Book World (Dec. 24, 2006)

“What was existence like in Stalin’s Moscow at the most fraught moment in the Soviet Union’s weird history, when the German army was miles away from overrunning the city, with possibly genocidal results?”

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Published in: on December 30, 2006 at 9:35 am  Leave a Comment  

Review: THE GREAT ESCAPE by Kati Marton

Out of Hungary

by Geoffrey Wheatcroft for Washington Post Book World (Dec. 2 , 2006)

“In his wonderful book Danube, a discursive, literary and historical journey downstream, the Italian writer Claudio Magris rightly called Budapest the most beautiful city on the whole river. Its story has also been fascinating and deeply troubled: While fin de si?cle Vienna has become something of a standby for cultural commentators, Budapest had just as vivid a tale to tell.”

Read full review here 

Published in: on December 30, 2006 at 8:32 am  Leave a Comment  

Read It Online: INEQUALITY REEXAMINED by Amartya Sen

from Google Book Search

Oxford University Press/205 pages/1995

Preview the book here

Published in: on December 30, 2006 at 6:39 am  Leave a Comment  

Review: COTTON SONG by Tom Bailey

Angel

by Kim McLarin for Washington Post Book World (Dec. 2 , 2006)

“The smart writer looking for a novel idea could do worse than a good old-fashioned Black Angel tale. Whether in novels ( The Stand, The Secret Life of Bees) or films ( Ghost, The Legend of Bagger Vance), such stories are ever-popular: A white hero or heroine in physical, emotional and/or spiritual trouble is taught important lessons about life and love by a black character who exists solely to do so. Bonus points if the black savior possesses not just supernatural wisdom but actual magical powers ( The Green Mile). Double bonus points if the person saved is a child ( Bees, Clara’s Heart).”

Read full review here 

Published in: on December 29, 2006 at 2:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

Review: A DEAD LANGUAGE by Peter Rushforth

Boys To Men

by Elizabeth Hand for Washington Post Book World (Dec. 24, 2006)

”  “To die in an instant, without premonition, among close friends, walking through wonderful countryside towards a fine lunch, is probably as good an end as anyone could hope for.”

So wrote Colin Rendall in the Guardian obituary for his friend the novelist Peter Rushforth, who died last year at the age of 60 after suffering a heart attack while hiking on the Yorkshire moors.”

Read full review here 

Published in: on December 29, 2006 at 2:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

Review: WOODWARD AND BERNSTEIN by Alicia Shepard

Personal History

by Samuel G. Freedman for Washington Post Book World (Dec. 24, 2006)

“During a handful of days in April 1976, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein went from being esteemed and honored investigative journalists to something we would now call a brand. Their first book — All the President’s Men, the saga of the two young Metro reporters’ Watergate sleuthing for The Washington Post — topped the paperback bestseller list.”

 Read full review here

Published in: on December 29, 2006 at 2:22 pm  Leave a Comment