It tells you something when a book about killer smog and a serial killer in post-war London qualifies as a welcome diversion from these tense and perilous days we now inhabit.
This novel imagines the lives of the prisoners of Auschwitz, two especially, Lale and Gita, and demonstrates that sacrificial and romantic love can exist at the the center of death. Actually, the verb should be must, not can. In spite of the Auschwitz directive, that brutality is to be the essential quality of this universe, Lale and Gita must defy that brutality. Their humanity directs them to do so. In choosing to love, they help themselves and others to survive.
Tara Westover has a Ph.D. in History from Cambridge – and was a visiting fellow at Harvard.
Her memoir looks back at her humble start, born to survivalists, with a father who is always preparing for the end of the world and does not believe in anything tied to “big government.” Tara and her siblings do not have birth certificates, are not sent to school and are not allowed to seek out help from the “medical establishment.” They are left to read and learn on their own – and to work with their father in his junk yard.
Taubman, a noted Russian expert, is emeritus Professor of Political Science at Amherst College, and Pulitzer Prize winner for an earlier biography of Nikita Khrushchev.
Frankenstein, published in 1818, was written by a 19-year-old woman who created a story and a creature that has endured for 200 years and looks likely to endure for much longer. Her creation has become a myth we continue to apply to our lives in a myriad of ways – how many creatures assembled through corruption and hubris have stumbled forth into our time?
This frank book is a plea to think seriously about what is important to us as we age, to understand our life-options, and to face our mortality. No solution handbook for solving the intractable problems inherent in bodily decline, this is a book-long conversation with this brilliant physician/writer, who believes that life isn’t curable.
There is no way to review Fear without making someone angry. Donald Trump is the most divisive public figure of my lifetime (65). Nixon does not come close. I have yet to read a middle-ground perspective on him or the two years of his Presidency.
An Appreciation of Moby Dick on the 157th Anniversary of its Publication
Ahab is the soul of Moby Dick, but the physical and symbolic reality of the whale gives us the core ideas of the book. No other novel in American literature presents us with a more complex, poetic, and convincing portrait of a species or of an individual creature. The White Whale is the object of desire, the ferocious grail of Ahab’s quest.
Tommy Orange is author of There There recently published and now on the bestseller list. He is a recent graduate of the MFA program at The Institute of American Indian Arts. He is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma.