The Dreamt Land: Chasing Water and Dust Across California by Mark Arax

Review by Brian Tanguay On the coast of California where I live drought has been a constant feature of the past twenty years. Enough rain some years made us forget,…

We Are What We Eat: A Slow Food Manifesto by Alice Waters with Bob Carrau and Cristina Mueller

Review by George Yatchisin In Charles Laughton’s fantastic 1955 fairy tale noir Night of the Hunter, Robert Mitchum’s curdled preacher is infamous for having “love” and “hate” tattooed across the…

We Are Pilgrims: Journeys In Search of Ourselves by Victoria Preston

Review by Linda Lappin As Bruce Chatwin relates in Songlines, our remote ancestors revered features of their landscape:  mountain, rock, river, tree, cave, imbuing them with spiritual meaning and celebrating them in…

Shakespeare in a Divided America: What His Plays Tell Us About Our Past and Future by James Shapiro

Review by David Starkey The introduction to James Shapiro’s Shakespeare in a Divided America: What His Plays Tell Us About Our Past and Future recounts the Public Theater’s 2017 staging…

The Death of the Artist: How Creators are Struggling to Survive in the Age of Billionaires and Big Tech by William Deresiewicz

Review by Brian Tanguay For artists are these the best of times or the worst of times? Has technology toppled many of the barriers that once prevented aspiring musicians, filmmakers,…

Stealing Home: Los Angeles, the Dodgers, and the Lives Caught Between by Eric Nusbaum

Review by George Yatchisin If there were any justice, the names Palo Verde, La Loma, and Bishop would be as well-remembered a baseball triumvirate as Tinker, Evers, and Chance. But…

The Devil You Know: A Black Power Manifesto By Charles M. Blow

Review by Brian Tanguay In Georgia in 2020 two US senate seats flipped from red to blue, and in the presidential contest the reliably Republican state chose Joe Biden over…

A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class in Writing, Reading, and Life by George Saunders

Review by Brian Tanguay Before George Saunders turned his attention to literature he studied engineering at the Colorado School of Mines. Engineers are fascinated by the way things work. In…

Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future by Elizabeth Kolbert

Review by Walter Cummins Has climate change reached a tipping point? Is it too late, or do we still have an opportunity to redeem the planet? Some optimists, citing previous…

The Tyranny of Merit: What’s Become of the Common Good? by Michael J. Sandel

Review by Brian Tanguay The belief that markets and merit are the only way to organize society has become an article of faith in American society and culture. Over the…