Category Archives: Book Reviews

Woodrow Wilson

Some historians rate Woodrow Wilson as a near-great president, which always made me curious because he is most remembered for his idealistic League of Nations proposal, which his own country shunned.  So my curiosity led me to Wilson, a highly rated biography by A. Scott Berg. The truth is Woodrow Wilson lived a life of

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Voices From the Past

I can rarely resist a book, especially a book about history.  Recently I found an interesting little volume — The Civil War: Voices of Hope, Sacrifice, and Courage, edited by Gordon Leidner.  It lists over 220 quotes from soldiers and civilians on both sides, as well as texts and excerpts from some of the war’s

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What Is It Like To Be a Veteran?

If you’ve ever wondered how some veterans live, have I found a book for you. Matthew Casteel parked cars for a living at the Veterans Affairs hospital valet service in Asheville, North Carolina for seven years.  He came into contact with veterans from the World War II era through Afghanistan.  In doing so, he realized

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Gulliver’s Travels

Continuing with my investigation of classic stories I’ve heard about all of my life and have become curious about the originals, I’ve recently finished reading Gulliver’s Travels.  Every pop-culture version of this work I have ever seen describes Gulliver among the Lulliputians.  But this adventure is only one part of four.  Gulliver also travels to

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Wild Animals and Cities

We invented cities thousands of years ago, but they have become the focal points of our civilization in only the past 150 or so years.  As cities get larger and more complex, how do the animals that normally live in those areas adapt?  We’re just getting to the point where animals have had a chance

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If You Think I’m Strange…

We have never completely understood the human brain.  In some ways, we’re actually frightened by the strange behaviors we’ve seen around us.  Yet out of strange behavior can come remarkable gifts, like extraordinary insight and creativity. Science journalist Helen Thomson has written a book to explore the brain’s unusual characteristics.  Entitled Unthinkable: An Extraordinary Journey

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