Posts tagged with nonfiction

Oct 10 2023

Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann


The first third of David Grann's 2017 nonfiction book Killers of the Flower Moon is structured like a mystery novel, and—trust me on this—readers are best off knowing as little about the "plot" as possible. I was unfortunately already familiar with the fates of most of the people involved, and it made for the kind of claustrophobic, creepifying reading experience that lingers...

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Sep 25 2023

Weekly Book Giveaway: Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann


This week's Book Giveaway is David Grann's Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, a National Book Award Finalist and the inspiration for the upcoming movie of the same name. Obviously, this isn't the "fun" kind of Wordcandy, but I am very much looking forward to the idea that this movie adaptation might inspire more widespread awareness of the ongoing issues faced by...

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Aug 23 2023

It's a kind of red-orange color


The Financial Times just posted an article by fashion historian Hilary Davidson, author of the upcoming book Jane Austen's Wardrobe. According to both the article and Davidson's book's official description, "Jane Austen has all too often been accused of dowdiness in her appearance." To which I say... she has? I mean, inasmuch as...

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Jul 5 2023

Even without all the murder stuff, she could do better


The full trailer is out for Killers of the Flower Moon, the upcoming film directed by Martin Scorsese and based on David Grann’s best-selling book. Here's hoping Leonardo DiCaprio can summon previously undiscovered depths of charm, because...

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Jun 12 2023

Edible Economics, by Ha-Joon Chang


Ha-Joon Chang's Edible Economics: A Hungry Economist Explains the World starts off strong. Chang is a well-regarded economist, his prose is simultaneously engaging and easy to follow, and I like the cover art concept (National flags! But made of food!) Unfortunately, the end result is slightly underwhelming—a tasty but thrown-together snack, rather than a well-balanced meal...

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Jun 12 2023

Weekly Book Giveaway: Edible Economics, by Ha-Joon Chang


WE LIVE (but the world is a weird place right now, so things will probably continue to be sporadic). Our current Book Giveaway is Ha-Joon Chang's Edible Economics: A Hungry Economist Explains the World, installment #8,943 in our ongoing series, “Nonfiction Books Julia has Picked Up at Random”. A full review will follow shortly...

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Jan 5 2023

Waaay behind the scenes


As a staunch anti-monarchist (throw 'em all out; make them ALL sell their sob stories to Oprah), I am not the target audience for Harry Windsor's new memoir. I am, however, always in the market for obscure literary gossip, so I richly enjoyed this article on...

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Dec 22 2022

Aspirational self-gifting


We're just a few short days away from one of my favorite times of year: the time when I get to be shamelessly self-indulgent with the various Amazon gift cards my nearest and dearest always give me for the holidays. The first item on my to-be-purchased list is Emillie Farris's..

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Dec 21 2022

Dry January supplies


If you know anyone who's planning to participate in Dry January—or you're just looking for a festive New Year's Eve libation that won't leave you starting off 2023 with a hangover and regrets—I enthusiastically recommend picking up a copy of Julia Bainbridge's book Good Drinks: Alcohol-Free Recipes for When You're Not Drinking for Whatever Reason...

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Dec 6 2022

Holiday Gift Idea 2: Depressing Nonfiction


If you have someone on your gift list who likes to while away the winter with a cup of tea and some gloomy nonfiction (livin' the dream!), I have two equally depressing-yet-engrossing picks. As a fan of Russ Jones's #TheWeekinTory threads on Twitter, I was aware of the various scandals besetting the U.K.'s Tory Party, but...

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Nov 21 2019

Holiday Gift Pick #7


Gift Idea #7: The 1619 Project

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved people being brought to the United States from Africa. In August, The New York Times Magazine devoted an entire issue to the subject, featuring essays, photos, poetry, and fiction. It immediately sold out, but copies can be found on sale online...

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Nov 12 2019

Blowout, by Rachel Maddow


Reading Rachel Maddow's Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth is like listening to an exceptionally long monologue for her MSNBC show. Her voice is genial, her subject important, and her arguments carefully researched and informative—but her laid-back, rangy, coolest-professor-on-campus style undermines the urgency of her subject...

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Nov 12 2019

Weekly Book Giveaway: Blowout, by Rachel Maddow


This week's Book Giveaway is Rachel Maddow's latest book, Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth. (Nothing but good times ahead!) A full review will follow shortly, and this review will run through 11/17/19...

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Oct 21 2019

Bloody Business, by H.P. Jeffers


I purchased my copy of H. Paul Jeffers's Bloody Business: An Anecdotal History of Scotland Yard solely because of its Edward Gorey-illustrated cover art. True Crime is not my preferred style of nonfiction, but I started flipping through the book one evening and found myself unexpectedly absorbed—for a small island, Britain has seen a lot of famous evildoing...

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Oct 21 2019

Weekly Book Giveaway: Bloody Business, by H.P. Jeffers


Our current Book Giveaway is H.P. Jeffers's 1992 book Bloody Business: An Anecdotal History of Scotland Yard. (Is this the first true crime book we've reviewed here in 10+ years of blogging? Possibly.) A full review will follow shortly, and this giveaway will run through 11/09/19...

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Sep 19 2019



There's a great article in The Atlantic about raising your children to become avid readers. The whole things is worth reading (and I enthusiastically second the tip about seeding your house with books, particularly if you have very young children...

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Aug 7 2019

If it works, it works


This is probably the most interesting article I've seen about Marie Kondo's work: an essay in Business Insider about using the KonMari method to get rid of credit card debt. The author takes Kondo's tidying-up tips and applies them to her financial life, and the whole thing...

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Jun 17 2019

Edible Schoolyard: A Universal Idea, by Alice Waters


In 1995, celebrated chef Alice Waters joined forces with the principal of a public middle school in Berkeley to found The Edible Schoolyard, an on-site organic garden that allowed students a chance to explore food as a scientific and social experience. This process was documented by Waters in Edible Schoolyard: A Universal Idea. Ignore that lofty subtitle...

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Jun 17 2019

Weekly Book Giveaway: Edible Schoolyard: A Universal Idea, by Alice Waters


Our latest Book Giveway is Alice Waters's Edible Schoolyard, which, should you be in need of one, would make an awesome coffee table book. A full review will follow shortly, and this giveaway will run through 7/5/19...

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May 23 2019

The Queen 2.0


I'm so pleased to see this has been expanded (although the original article was not exactly a quick read): according to The New York Times, Josh Levin has fleshed out his article...

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May 8 2019

A little adjustment


HAH: according the Huffington Post, Tony Schwartz (the man who ghost-wrote Donald Trump's The Art of the Deal) recently suggested that Random House either take the book out of print...

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Apr 30 2019

Solid suggestions from a guy who knows


There's a great tip buried in this New York Times interview with James Holzhauer, the dude who has been busily cleaning up on Jeopardy! during the past few weeks...

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Mar 26 2019

Truth in advertising


LitHub recently posted an excerpt from Margaret Leslie Davis's recently published book The Lost Gutenberg: The Astounding Story of One Book's Five-Hundred-Year Odyssey. I've read several complaints that this title is misleading...

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Feb 19 2019

The Water Will Come, by Jeff Goodell


It has been more than six months since my last review of a gloomy nonfiction book about water, so I'm clearly way overdue. Today's pick is The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World, the latest effort from Rolling Stone contributing editor Jeff Goodell...

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Jan 29 2019

An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace, by Tamar Adler


As longtime readers know, while Wordcandy usually sticks to reviewing fiction, I make the occasional exception for nonfiction titles about stuff I consider to be of general interest—usually books about food, money, or the environment. Tamar Adler's An Everlasting Meal is touches on all three of those subjects, so it jumped to the top of my-to-be-read pile...

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Jan 17 2019

Shimmy shimmy shimmy


LitHub recently featured a snippet of writing and several illustrations from Lulu Hunt Peters’s Diet and Health: with The Key to the Calories, a best-selling exercise book from the early part of the 20th century...

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Jan 3 2019

Original sources


This is fascinating, from The Guardian: "Spanish academic gets €1.5m EU grant to rescue 'women's writing'." Apparently, the European Research Council has given Carme Font, an English literature professor at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, a €1.5m grant to...

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Oct 30 2018

Carbs and environmental disasters!


I was interested in this crowd-sourced list of the 100 "Must-Read" nonfiction books of the year. Their subjects are limited (and please note that the list includes several titles that haven't been released in the US yet), but I found at least three books I really want to read...

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Oct 25 2018

Even more required reading


I've said it before and I'll say it again: every resident of the American West should read Cadillac Desert. This article (part of a series tellingly titled "PARCHED") in...

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Aug 20 2018

Girl Waits With Gun, by Amy Stewart


I usually avoid novels about historical figures, because I'm constantly wondering how much of the story is real and how much is invented. But as far as I can discover, there is very little known about Constance Kopp, the heroine of Amy Stewart's novel Girl Waits With Gun, so the author was able to let her imagination run wild—something she does with wit, style, and charm...

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