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Neal Stephenson Reamde

Neal Stephenson writes another big black book.

Neal Stephenson’s new novel is a departure from the epic science-fiction sagas with which he transformed the genre in the 1990s and 2000s. Like some of his previous books, Reamde (William Morrow,   More
Wednesday, September 21, 2011 MATT BUCKINGHAM

Jason Felch and Ralph Frammolino Chasing Aphrodite

In 1984, the J. Paul Getty Trust in Los Angeles sold all its stock in Getty Oil and diversified its investment portfolio, almost tripling its original endowment to $2 billion. This made the J. Paul    More
Wednesday, July 27, 2011 MATT BUCKINGHAM

Robert C. Donnelly Dark Rose

A soft-boiled history of vice rackets and crooked cops in the City of Bridges.

Robert C. Donnelly’s history of organized crime and political corruption in Portland in the 1950s could have been as riveting as a James Ellroy   More
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 MATT BUCKINGHAM

Thor Hanson Feathers

A Washington naturalist pens a book as light as his subject.

Conservation biologist Thor Hanson has crafted an ambitious work of natural history in Feathers (Basic Books, 336 pages, $25.99). “Ambitious” is often book reviewer shorthand for “an overly lo   More
Wednesday, June 8, 2011 MATT BUCKINGHAM

David Goldfield America Aflame

Counting the costs of America’s “new birth of freedom.”

As new books commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War assail readers like a latter-day Pickett’s Charge, at least one volume deserves to break Union lines as the rebels at Gettysburg    More
Wednesday, May 11, 2011 MATT BUCKINGHAM

Karen Abbott American Rose

Every Gypsy Rose Lee has her thorns.

You are not going to believe this, but not everything you see in Gypsy (the musical or the movie) is strictly true. Thank the goddess of burlesque we have no less a luminary than Karen Abbott (she o the best-selling Sin   More
Wednesday, February 2, 2011 MATT BUCKINGHAM

Robert Whitaker Anatomy Of An Epidemic

Yes, Tom Cruise is a loon, but he may be right about psychiatry.

Science writer Robert Whitaker’s new book about psychiatric drugs is so depressing, readers may want to reach for a Prozac. They’d be better off ordering a dry martini. Whitaker’s t ...   More
Wednesday, August 18, 2010 MATT BUCKINGHAM

Dana Haynes Crashers

The next terrorist mastermind will be Dilbert.

When the next 9/11-style terrorist attack strikes the U.S., the plot may include bringing down commercial airliners, but it won’t be led by Osama bin Laden. Instead, the attack will be mastermin ...   More
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 MATT BUCKINGHAM

Craig Welch Shell Games

A Seattle reporter hooks readers with tales of seafood smugglers in Puget Sound.

When they turn out the lights on the last newspaper in America, this is what readers will have lost: the spare, exhilarating prose of old-school newspapermen like Craig Welch. In Shell Games (William ...   More
Wednesday, April 28, 2010 MATT BUCKINGHAM

R. Gregory Nokes Massacred For Gold

Anatomy of a (120-year-old) mass murder.

So many history books are written essentially the same way. First, the author immerses himself in research. Then, based on a preponderance of the evidence, he crafts a seamless, chronological narrativ ...   More
Wednesday, October 14, 2009 MATT BUCKINGHAM
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