beyondwords

“Beyond Words” by Carl Safina

Review by Andrew Kuharevicz Beyond Words (nonfiction) is about those ideas and thought processes that take place without speech, i.e. without words. This is the notion of “mind reading” in cognitive science, and it is applied to the animal world. We’re not talking about psychic abilities and science fiction, but rather, how we can tell […]

fivecaratsoul

“Five-Carat Soul” by James McBride

Fiction writers create worlds with words – time, setting, mood, characters, meaning – hopefully delivered with an emotional impression.   James McBride proved himself a deft creator of worlds with the National Book Award-winning novel The Good Lord Bird.  The challenge with short stories is creating multiple meaningful worlds in just a few pages each.  With […]

“Asymmetry” by Lisa Halliday

Listed as one of New York Times top 10 books of 2018, Asymmetry is a literary phenomenon that satisfies on multiple levels.  On the basic level, the novel offers two engaging, purposely unrelated stories, exquisitely written.  At the next higher level, there are delicately subtle “blink-and-you-will-miss-it” threads that tie the sections together. Still higher, the novel explores […]

“Red Notice” by Bill Browder

Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice is an enthralling memoir by Bill Browder that reads like an espionage thriller. Bill Browder comes from a leftist family.  His grandfather, Earl Browder, runs for President on the American Communist Party ticket in 1936 and 1940.  He appears on […]

“Crazy Rich Asians” by Kevin Kwan

Crazy Rich Asians is the Cinderella story of Rachel Chu, a 28-year-old economics professor at New York University, who has been happily dating Nick Young, a 32-year-old History professor at NYU, for the past two years. Nick tells Rachel that his childhood best friend is getting married over the summer, he plans on flying back […]

“Lilac Girls” by Martha Hall Kelly

LILAC GIRLS, Martha Hall Kelly Review by Carol J. Biedrzycki Lilac Girls is the story of strong women whose lives were driven by World War II.  Two are real life historic figures.  Caroline Ferriday was a generous American humanitarian who worked tirelessly to help those being oppressed in Europe during the war.  Herta Oberheuser was […]

“The Trick” by Emanuel Bergmann

The Trick employs dual story lines.  The first is about Max Cohn, a 10-year-old boy growing up in Los Angeles, who momentarily wishes his father would go away when he is asked to clean the bunny cage instead of going to the movies.  A few weeks later, his parents announce they are getting divorced, and […]