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Book Review: The Trial of Prisoner 043 by Terry Jastrow

A popular bit of humor about Trump’s presidency is that George W. Bush is thrilled he’ll no longer be the worst president in U.S. history. Bush, in fact, was ranked the worst of our presidents by 61 percent of historians responding to a 2008 informal poll, in significant part because of the 2003 invasion of […]

Book Review: Samaritans by Jonathan Lynn

Political satire has changed over the last 10 to 20 years thanks to programs like The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. Shows such as these go beyond amusing entertainment. They’ve become sources of news and information, vehicles that actually increase political knowledge. Jonathan […]

Book Review: The Autobiography of Satan: Authorized Edition by William A. Glasser

The attention of many, if not most people, who see the title The Autobiography of Satan: Authorized Edition will be drawn to the word Satan. Actually, the key words are authorized autobiography. Autobiography is crucial because countless stories have been written or told about Satan’s life, motives and deeds. And while it would seem that […]

Book Review: Human Acts by Han Kang

Translated literature offers an opportunity rarely seen in American literature. We know America, we grew up here, we reflect — if not create — its culture. Books from other countries allow us to go someplace that is, by definition, alien. They can immerse us in the country’s culture and let us see life from a […]

Book Review: Slade House by David Mitchell

Immortality — and its consequences — have been on author David Mitchell’s mind. His 2014 novel, The Bone Clocks, involved two groups of immortals, the Horologists and the Anchorites, who battle over the proper way to remain immortal, through reincarnation or by “decanting” human souls. The next year brought Slade House, a stand alone work […]

Favorite novels of 2014

I read more fiction than nonfiction this year so discussion of my favorite books is going to be limited to novels. In putting the list together I discovered something interesting: three of the five are about war. Not only that, they don’t share conflicts. One is set in World War I, another in World War […]