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May 30, 2015
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I Can’t Hear Myself Think

In “Republic of Noise: The Loss of Solitude in Schools and Culture,” Diana Senechal argues that the omnipresence of computers, tablets and smartphones hampers our ability to commune not just with one another, but with ourselves.

Posted on May 25, 2012 READ MORE


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A Beast Bent on Grace

In Jack Gilbert’s poetry, the mythic anguish of Orpheus in the underworld suddenly seems fused with something very much like the room in which you sit.

Posted on May 17, 2012 READ MORE



Photo by Scott Beale

Lights, Camera, Activism

In “Hollywood Left and Right,” Steven J. Ross details the public lives of 10 Hollywood notables who made significant marks on American political history, and posits that it is the Hollywood conservatives who have had a lasting effect on the country.

“Hollywood Left and Right: How Movie Stars Shaped American Politics”
A book by Steven J. Ross

Posted on May 10, 2012 READ MORE



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Today’s Gulags

North Korea’s most notorious political prison camp is Total Control Camp 14, into which Shin Dong-hyuk was born, narrowly survived and eventually fled. Former Washington Post reporter Blaine Harden recounts his story in “Escape From Camp 14.”

Posted on May 2, 2012 READ MORE



An Understated and Gently Profound Voice

Anne Tyler writes about ordinary, if eccentric, characters and their lives: marriage, sibling rivalry, resentments and losses. Her latest novel, “The Beginner’s Goodbye,” is filled with those moments of recognition that make reading such a pleasure.

Posted on Apr 27, 2012 READ MORE



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Not Only Slavery, but AIDS Too

Craig Timberg and Daniel Halperin suggest in their new book, “Tinderbox,” that colonialists’ aggressive trade practices opened new travel routes in central Africa that helped spread a disease rooted in a dense forest to the world beyond.

Posted on Apr 19, 2012 READ MORE



Slouching Toward Washington

Mark Edward Taylor’s “Branding Obamessiah: The Rise of an American Idol” lays out the six sacred branding strategies—taken from the world of advertising—used to turn a mere mortal from Chicago into the image of an American savior.

Posted on Apr 12, 2012 READ MORE



Why Is the Measure of Love Loss?

“When my mother was angry with me, which was often,” writes Jeanette Winterson in her new memoir “Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?,” “she said, ‘The devil led us to the wrong crib.’ ”

Posted on Mar 29, 2012 READ MORE



Would You Like Sugar and Fat With That?

Tracie McMillan, author of “The American Way of Eating,” goes undercover in grocery stores, restaurants and the country’s agricultural fields to find out why it’s so hard for us to eat healthy food.

Posted on Mar 22, 2012 READ MORE



Decade of the Living Dead

“Zombie Banks: How Broken Banks and Debtor Nations Are Crippling the Global Economy” is a grisly and horrifying true story of bloodsucking, flesh-eating, life-destroying fiends.

Posted on Mar 15, 2012 READ MORE


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