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Killing the Buddha by Peter Manseau & Jeff Sharlet

I often find it is interesting and instructive to study an issue by looking at the grey areas; the borderline between out right rejection and actual belief. I especially find this to be the case when discussing belief in God. Doubt is often the stimulus for faith. I enjoy reading books, fiction and non, that deal with faith, divinity, or ... Read More »

More Than Just a Pretty Book

Earth from Above, a photo book with fantastic shots of manmade and natural phenomena by Yann Arthus-Bertrand is a tour-de-force of images of how we live and how our lives impact the world around us. With informed commentary that explains the photos in environmental and social terms, this tome is more than just a pretty book. The challenges facing our ... Read More »

Monster of God

This book falls into the general category of "Smart People Books," a subset of non-fiction in which a Smart Person sets out to explore all the various aspects of some particular phenomenon; large predators, in this case. Read More »

The French-American Relationship

From the publisher of Champs-Élysées audiomagazine comes a brand-new product ideal for anyone wondering what the French think of the United States or why the Iraq war contributed to a spate of anti-Frenchism. This bilingual audiobook comprises three interviews with prominent French intellectuals about the relationship between France and the United States. Although the audio is in French, there is ... Read More »

Desert Island Experiment

It wasn't a desert island, and it was only for a few months, but I have, in fact, packed books for a trip to an island where I wasn't certain to be able to find any other reading material. Read More »

Inside The Invisible Primary

This is a time before the race really starts cooking, before normal people even think about tuning in, and where those ambitious enough to run for president pander to crowds at pancake breakfasts and make speeches in living rooms to crowds of thirty or less. It happens all across New Hampshire and Iowa in a time author Walter Shapiro calls the "Invisible Primary". Read More »

The Bookseller of Kabul

To find a book today that is interesting, topical, and readable is a rare feat. The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad is just such a gem. After 9/11, and with the ongoing War on Terrorism, so much of the focus is on far away countries with unfamiliar cultures and unfathomable lives. Attempts to learn more about these issues can ... Read More »

Life on the Mississippi – Mark Twain

It winds its way, serpentine, through song and story, history and culture. 4,300 crooked and bent miles, a watery artery that cuts through the heart of a continent – directly into American life. “Too thick to drink, too thin to plow” is how Mark Twain describes the Mississipi River. I’m not sure why the Mississippi seems to capture something in ... Read More »

Seeking Robinson Crusoe

We've been reading novels for so long we forget there had to be a first one, and a leading candidate for this role is Defoe's "Robinson Crusoe"... Read More »

10 Signs You’ve Been Stripping Too Long

Chuck Palahniuk, author of “Fight Club,” has just come out with “Fugitives and Refugees: A Walk in Portland, Oregon,” a loving ode to his home town, Portland, Oregon, which, among other things, has the highest concentration of nude dancing clubs in the nation (with the possible exception of Anchorage, Alaska). “Sign #1: At the store, you lean over and pick ... Read More »