When Robert Preston's Hot Zone was published in 1994, it was an immediate best-seller. Written in the style of a thriller, Preston describes what happens when an unknown virus breaks out at a monkey house in Reston, Virginia. While it reads like fiction, the events actually happened. Nearly five hundred monkeys at a Reston research … Continue reading Book Review: The Hot Zone by Richard Preston
In a book that reads like a thriller, Neal Bascomb explains how Norwegian commandos effectively prevented Nazi Germany from getting their hands on an atomic bomb. A small group of Norwegians, trained in Britian, returned to their homeland to sabotage Vemork, the plant that was supplying Germany with heavy water. Germans needed heavy water, or Deuterium, … Continue reading Book Review: Sabotage by Neal Bascomb.
David Finkel takes a dark topic, soldiers returning from duty with PSTD and other injuries, and turns it into something starkly beautiful. The book is filled with haunting stories. For instance, James Doster makes a fateful decision. Doster gives Adam Schumann his chance to Skype his family because he feels Schumann needs the time more … Continue reading Book Review: Thank you For Your Service by David Finkel
Terri Lynn was popular--she was a cheerleader and a Mauna Loa, a popular girls' group. She sat by the tiger--her school had a statue of a tiger where the popular kids gathered. Stoners and nerds weren't allowed anywhere near it. Despite this, Terri Lynn is deeply unhappy. She contents almost every day with something she … Continue reading Book Review: The Dark Side of Innocence
Kate Moore carefully documents many of the of dial workers' stories who worked in Orange, NJ and Ottawa, IL. In doing so, she preserves an important part of women's history, industrial history, and American history. Lured by the glamour and high pay, these girls enjoyed their jobs until, one by one, they began getting sick. … Continue reading Book Review: The Radium Girls by Kate Moore.
Sy Montgomery a naturalist who writes for children and adults alike explores the minds of invertebrates in The Soul of an Octopus. Montgomery writes that Octopuses are highly intelligent and curious creatures, even if their minds are wired differently. Montgomery discovers that octopuses, like dogs and other mammals, often have the desire to play. Octopus display emotion … Continue reading Book Review: The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery.
This memoir, which is in four parts, is Dani Shapiro's most intimate memoir to date. Shapiro who has always considered herself her father's daughter is devastated to learn that he is not her biological father.Despite clues along the way, nothing clicks until she takes a DNA test. She expected to find that she is 100% … Continue reading Book Review: Inheritance by Dani Shapiro
On April 9, 1940, the Nazis invaded Denmark. Unlike surrounding occupied countries, Denmark rescued ninety percent of its Jewish population. In October 1943, fishermen ferried seven thousands Danish Jews to safety in Sweden. Deborah Hopkinson tells this story and many others in this thrilling work of non-fiction. Most of the people that figure prominently in … Continue reading Courage and Defiance by Deborah Hopkinson
Business podcaster and journalist, Guy Raz, offers insights on how many innovative companies got started in How I Built This. Raz summarizes key takeaways from his podcast where he interviews founders. Even though no two stories are alike, there are some similarities. In his estimation, entrepreneurs are open to the call. Some businesses were a … Continue reading How I Built This by Guy Raz
Spineless by Juli Berwald Spineless is a fascinating memoir about a woman obsessed with jellyfish. Berwald became enamored with the marine life after taking a course in Israel. Once she explored the Red Sea coral, Berwald was hooked. After having children, though, Berwald felt sidelined by her options. Though she faced many obstacles, Berwald's slippery … Continue reading Spineless: the Science of Jellyfish by Juli Berwald