Posts tagged with nonfiction

Apr 18 2017

Fascinating (but also grim)


I'm finally reading up on the new movie The Lost City of Z. I had a vague (and 100% incorrect) idea that it had something to do with zombies, but it turns out it is based on David Grann's 2009 nonfiction book of the same name. Grann's book focuses on the story of British explorer Percy Fawcett, who made numerous attempts to find a lost indigenous city in Brazil's Mato Grosso region...

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Mar 23 2017



According to The Wall Street Journal, Richard Hickock—one of the two Kansas murderers made famous by Truman Capote’s true-crime story In Cold Blood—wrote his own book with a Kansas journalist, which was never published...

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Mar 23 2017

Bring hankies


Oprah Winfrey is starring in a HBO adaptation of the 2010 nonfiction bestseller The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. (Oprah will be playing Lacks's daughter. Lacks herself died when she was only 31.) Lacks's story...

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Mar 9 2017

Good deal


According to Entertainment Weekly, Barack and Michelle Obama have both signed deals to publish books with Crown Publishing Group. Crown has already published books by both Obamas: the former President’s 1995 memoir...

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Mar 7 2017

Life in the virtual woods


I... really don't know how I feel about this. A video game based on Henry David Thoreau's Walden? It's not that I'm opposed to a game that aims to "reinforce our connection to the natural world and to challenge our hurried culture" or "achieve work-life balance", but doesn't doing that via a $20 video game...

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Mar 1 2017



This is great news: according to NPR, Lego has just announced their "Women of NASA" set, which will include Katherine Johnson, the NASA mathematician whose story was featured in Margot Lee Shetterly's book Hidden Figures...

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Feb 6 2017

Unfamiliar Fishes, by Sarah Vowell


Reading Sarah Vowell's 2011 book Unfamiliar Fishes is like skimming through a 230-page-long magazine article. It's a witty, easily digestible take on a fascinating element of American history—but I would have preferred less wit and more dry facts...

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Feb 6 2017

Weekly Book Giveaway: Unfamiliar Fishes, by Sarah Vowell


In times of politically-induced stress, I frequently find it soothing to read about the politically-induced stress of Olden Times. (Sometimes I need to be reminded that humanity is cockroach-level resilient.) So this week's Book Giveaway is Sarah Vowell's 2011 book Unfamiliar Fishes, about the American annexation of Hawaii in 1898...

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Jan 31 2017



I've been seeing a number of people linking to this 2015 Washington Post article about Anne Frank and her family being denied entry as refugees into the U.S. in 1941. It's a long (and terribly depressing) read, but...

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Jan 31 2017

Maybe there are CliffsNotes?


According to Quartz, Hannah Arendt's The Origins of Totalitarianism is now sold out on Amazon. I've read The Origins of Totalitarianism, and all I can say is: if people are buying it in hopes of a quick, comprehensible explanation of Trump's rise to power...

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Dec 8 2016

Holiday Gift Pick #4


Gift Idea #4: Jason Porath's Rejected Princesses: Tales of History's Boldest Heroines, Hellions, and Heretics

Porath is a former professional animator, and his website Rejected Princesses is a fascinating, informative, and frequently genuinely moving read. This book tie-in features...

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Nov 30 2016

Getting creative


Quartz recently published a fascinating article about Mei Fong, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter whose book, One Child: The Story of China’s Most Radical Experiment, has been unable to find a Chinese-language publisher...

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Aug 25 2016

Clash of the Titans


Heh: Lainey Gossip informs me that Sean Penn and Mel Gibson are going to star in a movie adaptation of The Professor and the Madman, Simon Winchester’s book about the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary...

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Aug 2 2016



Well, this worked out nicely: after recently reading and reviewing Jane Mayer's Dark Money, I've been wondering what the Koch brothers have been up to during this most tumultuous of election cycles, and Gawker was kind enough to...

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Aug 1 2016

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, by Mindy Kaling


In 2011, actress and comedian Mindy Kaling released a collection of essays called Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns). Her book is 242 pages of the easiest reading on the planet: short, witty, ridiculously charming essays on everything from Kaling's weird affection for diet plans to her career goals to her ideal level of fame...

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Aug 1 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, by Mindy Kaling


This week's Book Giveaway is Mindy Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, a collection of comedic essays about everything from Kaling's childhood to her unique path to stardom (which apparently involved writing and starring in a play based on Matt Damon and Ben Affleck's friendship)...

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Jul 18 2016

Dark Money, by Jane Mayer


On August 30, 2010, Janet Mayer published an article in the New Yorker called 'Covert Operations', an in-depth look at the political influence of Charles and David Koch, two American billionaire brothers who have devoted over a hundred million dollars to promoting libertarian causes. Over the next few years Mayer deepened and expanded her research on the subject, transforming her article into...

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Jul 18 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: Dark Money, by Jane Mayer


This week's Book Giveaway is Jane Mayer's Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right, which I read and enjoyed during my recent vacation. (There's nothing to beguile away a three-hour-long ferry ride like reading about the political fixations of creepy billionaires, in my opinion.) A full review will follow shortly...

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Jul 6 2016



Vulture has the trailer up for Imperium, the upcoming film featuring Daniel Radcliffe playing a young FBI agent who goes undercover to infiltrate a white supremacist group. Imperium is inspired by the real-life experience of Michael German, a former undercover FBI agent who...

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Jun 30 2016

No sympathy


In a twist that will shock absolutely no one, Gerald Foos, the subject of Gay Talese's upcoming nonfiction book about a hotel owner who claims to have spent decades spying on his guests having sex, is possibly a liar, as well as a bonafide Grade-A creeper...

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Jun 29 2016



I was interested in—although not 100% convinced by—Suki Kim's essay "The Reluctant Memoirist" in New Republic. Kim is the author of Without You, There Is No Us: My Time With the Sons of North Korea’s Elite, a nonfiction account of Kim's time spent teaching ESL at an evangelical university in Pyongyang. While Kim viewed her work as investigative journalism, her publisher...

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Jun 21 2016

My mom will watch this (but she'll cover her eyes a lot)


Slate tells me that Sarah Polley is adapting Margaret Atwood's 1996 novel Alias Grace into a six-hour-long miniseries for Netflix. The novel is a fictionalized account of the life of Grace Marks, a Canadian housemaid who was convicted of murder in 1843...

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Jun 14 2016

I would have pushed him down a well.


I normally avoid movies that scream OSCAR BAIT!!! this loudly, but I'm mildly intrigued by the new film Genius, about the relationship between notoriously verbose writer Thomas Wolfe and his long-suffering editor Maxwell Perkins. The trailer looks...

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Jun 9 2016

Murderously adorable


Man, Jonathan Franzen really doesn't like cats. According to this article in New Republic, Franzen thinks the time has come for cat genocide: “The bird community’s position is, we need to get rid of the feral cats, and that means cats must die.” He's also a big fan of the upcoming book Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer...

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May 10 2016

Salacious! (But not really.)


THR recently posted a juicy excerpt from Canadian filmmaker Barry Avrich's recently-released book Moguls, Monsters and Madmen: An Uncensored Life in Show Business. It's well-worth checking out, particularly if you enjoy behind-the-scenes gossip...

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Feb 23 2016

I'm sure he really needs the money.


According to Page Six, former Sony CEO Tommy Mottola is accused of running off with a $150,000 advance for a book he never actually wrote, according to a lawsuit filed by Hachette Book Group yesterday...

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Jan 26 2016



I recently picked up a copy of Jane Mayer's nonfiction book Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right. I love books about financial scandals, and this one is even juicier when you take into account the contents of this New York Times article, which...

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Jan 5 2016

Joy, sparked


There's been a lot of discussion about Spark Joy, the companion book to Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. We reviewed Kondo's first book last year, and while we enjoyed reading it, the best organizational/tidying-up advice I've ever encountered...

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Dec 22 2015



I'm totally in love with this Random Illustrated Facts Instagram, featuring artwork by children's illustrator Mike Lowery. (I already knew that thing about the national animal of Scotland being the unicorn, though, and it has always upset me. I mean, if...

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Nov 18 2015

Big stuff worth sweating


The Telegraph recently posted a totally creepifying story about self-help author Kristine Carlson, who has endured years of stalking after...

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