Book Reviews

Read & Written By The Book Nook Patrons

Recent Reviews

journeyofthemind

Philosophical Book Club: “Journey of the Mind: How Thinking Emerged from Chaos” by Ogi Ogas, Sai Gaddam

Two neuroscientists reveal why consciousness exists and how it works by examining eighteen increasingly intelligent minds, from microbes to humankind—and beyond. Why do you exist? How did atoms and molecules transform into sentient creatures that experience longing, regret, compassion, and even marvel at their own existence? What does it truly mean to have a mind—to […]

Browse Reviews

savagecity

May 4 Book Club: “Savage City” by Donald Levin

Detroit. 1932. The fates of four people converge during a violent week of labor unrest in the bleakest year of the Great Depression. Detective Clarence Brown is one of a handful of Black officers in the Detroit Police Department, navigating a thicket of lies and racism to find the killer of a young Black man. […]

anomaly

April 6, 2022 Book Club: “The Anomaly” by Hervé Le Tellier

A New York Times bestseller and a “Best Thriller of the Year” Winner of the Goncourt Prize and now an international phenomenon, this dizzying, whip-smart novel blends crime, fantasy, sci-fi, and thriller as it plumbs the mysteries surrounding a Paris-New York flight. Who would we be if we had made different choices? Told that secret, left that […]

apeirogon

“Apeirogon” by Colum McCann

Review by Marc Murr “End the Occupation.” “End the Preoccupation.”   At last, award-winning author Colum McCann blasts through the American media blackout Wall with this revealing masterpiece about the tragedy of the illegal Israeli Occupation of Palestine. It is “Occupation, humiliation, murder, torture.” Like the two birds depicted on its cover, this nonfiction account […]

nickelboy-1

“Nickel Boys” by Colson Whitehead

Reviewed by Adrienne Murr “The Nickel Boys” is, in short, an outstanding investigation into the role of race and racial prejudice in the lives of young boys during the 1960s. We follow the story of Elwood Curtis, a black teenager in Tallahassee. With his sights set on attending college courses in his best suit, a […]

thingsfallapart

“Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe

By Marc Murr This classic novel of African literature is the first in a trilogy that traces the colonization of Africa. Wrapped in rich mythology and delivered in a terse style, it unfolds in three levels of conflict.  The universality of its appeal, however, is in the third, or macro, level – the individual versus […]

personalitybrokers

“The Personality Brokers” by Merve Emre

The Personality Brokers delves into the fascinating, yet strange, history of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality test.  MBTI, by far the most popular personality test in the world, is used by Fortune 500 companies, universities, hospitals, churches, and the military.  Through a series of innocuous questions which are geared to capture individual preferences, it […]

virgilwander

“Virgil Wander” by Leif Enger

Virgil Wander, the titular narrator of the novel, lives in the quaint, rustic, town of Greenstone, Minnesota on the shores of Lake Superior.  By day, he serves as the city clerk, but by night, he is the proprietor of the Empress, a fledgling movie theater that specializes in projecting its exclusive and illegal film collection. […]

russianfive

“The Russian Five” by Keith Gave

The Russian Five, written by Detroit sports journalist Keith Gave, recounts the story of the Detroit Red Wings of the 1980s and the early- to mid-90s. The team was stuck in a long losing streak.  It had not won the championship since 1955.  The morale of the players and fans was abysmal – so bad they […]

onearth

“On Earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous” by Ocean Vuong

Book Review by Marc Murr Ostensibly, this poetic novel is written as a letter from the author to his mother.  In reality, I think the author has written a letter to himself.  Thus, in a more complicated way, On Earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous is of that literary genre that explores the theme of initiation.  […]

theoverstory

“The Overstory” by Richard Powers

Book Review by Carol Biedrzycki of The Overstory by Richard Powers   The Overstory is a wild ride.  It is written in rich prose.  I frequently found myself backtracking to make sure I got the point.  I’m also not ashamed to admit I learned a few new words like coeval and ursine. The Overstory is […]

myexlife

“My Ex-Life” by Stephen McCauley

In Stephen McCauley’s brilliant novel, “My Ex-Life”, David Hedges’ life has hit “a season of aggrieved discontent.” He helps San Francisco rich kids get into the colleges of their (parents’) choice – the legitimate way: essays, scoring high on entrance tests, and community service. Having to convince kids to care and parents to have realistic […]

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