Posted on

Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead

Whitehead adds another genre to an ever-diversifying portfolio with his first crime novel, and it’s a corker … Whitehead delivers a portrait of Harlem in the early ’60s, culminating with the Harlem Riot of 1964, that is brushed with lovingly etched detail and features a wonderful panoply of characters who spring to full-bodied life, blending joy, humor, and tragedy. A triumph on every level. Read more

(We earn a small commission if you click above and buy the book at Bookshop.org)

Posted on

‘We Wrote in Symbols’ is a groundbreaking collection of Arab women writing about love and lust

Given stubborn Western stereotypes about repressed Middle Eastern attitudes toward sexuality, many English-speaking readers may be unaware of the strong tradition of Arabic writing on love and the erotic stretching back several millennia. Perhaps even less known are the significant contributions of women to this genre, from enslaved girls in Islamic courts, who composed poetry both ribald and refined, to contemporary writers penning provocative fiction in the Arab world and its diaspora. Read more

(We earn a small commission if you click above and buy the book at Bookshop.org)

Posted on

American Madness: The Story of the Phantom Patriot and How Conspiracy Theories Hijacked American Consciousness by Tea Krulos

Richard McCaslin and his story in American Madness is enthralling from beginning to end. It is also very infuriating, and at times, quite sad. Krulos is an expert weaver of interesting tales. He writes in excruciating detail on how one person can be taken in by conspiracy theories and how they define and destroy a life. Read more

(We earn a small commission if you click above and buy the book at Bookshop.org)

Posted on

Inseparable by Simone de Beauvoir

This bildungsroman from philosopher de Beauvoir (1908–1986), written in 1956 and only recently published in France, runs on verve, wit, and pathos mediated through the lens of an enigmatic friendship … The trailblazing feminist writes bracingly of the complexity of female friendships. Beauvoir’s mastery of fiction further demonstrates her bravura. Read more

(We earn a small commission if you click above and buy the book at Bookshop.org)

Posted on

How to Talk to a Science Denier

“Climate change is a hoax—and so is coronavirus.” “Vaccines are bad for you.” These days, many of our fellow citizens reject scientific expertise and prefer ideology to facts. They are not merely uninformed—they are misinformed. They cite cherry-picked evidence, rely on fake experts, and believe conspiracy theories. How can we convince such people otherwise? How can we get them to change their minds and accept the facts when they don’t believe in facts? In this book, Lee McIntyre shows that anyone can fight back against science deniers, and argues that it’s important to do so. Science denial can kill. Read more

(We earn a small commission if you click above and buy the book at Bookshop.org)

Posted on

Velvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

It’s hard to describe how much fun this novel is—Moreno-Garcia, whose Mexican Gothic (2020) gripped readers last year, proves to be just as good at noir as she is at horror. The novel features memorable characters, taut pacing, an intricate plot, and antiheroes you can’t help but root for. A noir masterpiece. Read more

(We earn a small commission if you click above and buy the book at Bookshop.org)

Posted on

The Noosphere Gazette: On Peter B. Kaufman’s “The New Enlightenment and the Fight to Free Knowledge”

Peter B. Kaufman’s rigorous and eloquent new book, The New Enlightenment and the Fight to Free Knowledge, traces the history of this dream of open access to knowledge. It “begins with torture and ends with a vision of another violent civil war. There’s some gun violence, some beheadings, tanks rolling over people, something for everyone.” A recurring problem is the concentration of power. “Archive,” as Kaufman points out, derives from “rule” or “govern,” in the “archon,” the seat of power. Governance and trading require knowledge, so in that sense all economies have been information economies, with all the associated pitfalls. Thus, release of closely guarded information into the public commons is a source of mortal danger to those in power. Read more

(We earn a small commission if you click above and buy the book at Bookshop.org)