Here we are, well into the campaign for the 2016 presidential primaries, complete with televised debates, Twitter feuds and weekly sendups on “Saturday Night Live.” And who knew we had Theodore Roosevelt to thank for all this?
It’s hard to write about Shame and Wonder, albeit for good reason. David Searcy’s collection of 21 essays are unlike anything I’ve read before, though they feel achingly familiar. The subject matter is the stuff of everyday life, or an era just passed: comic strips, the prizes in cereal boxes, the craft of folding a perfect paper airplane. But woven through each essay is a haunting quality, humor and loss uncomfortably conjoined on the page.
Robert Lowell was considered by many to be the English-speaking world’s pre-eminent poet after the Second World War. In 1946, when he was barely 30 years old, he received the Pulitzer Prize for his second poetry collection, Lord Weary’s Castle. He received a second Pulitzer for The Dolphin in 1973, and many other awards followed until his death in 1977.
In The Dawning Moon of the Mind: Unlocking the Pyramid Texts, Susan Brind Morrow offers a new translation of the ancient Pyramid Texts that finds poetry, science and thought itself bursting from every line.
Within a few months of the stunning July 4, 1976, Israeli raid on the airport at Entebbe, Uganda, to free hostages taken by pro-Palestinian terrorists who had hijacked a commercial airliner, three books had been written about the operation. That was just the beginning, as more books followed, along with multiple movies and documentaries. So, other than to commemorate the upcoming 40th anniversary of the raid, why do we need another book? In Saul David's view, the story "had not yet been properly told"—and he set out to fix that. With Operation Thunderbolt, he has succeeded.
In this captivating companion to the sensational book and 1991 movie Not Without My Daughter, it is the daughter’s turn to tell her tale. Now grown, educated and fiercely independent, Mahtob Mahmoody recounts her harrowing escape with her mother from a tyrannical and abusive father in war-torn Iran.
Using the wildly diverse 4,300-mile South American mountain chain as a backdrop, filmmaker and writer Kim MacQuarrie revisits the triumphs and depredations of such varied figures in the region as Charles Darwin, Che Guevara, drug cartel chief Pablo Escobar, Machu Picchu “discoverer” Hiram Bingham and the ever-mythic Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
“His name was Salvador and he arrived with bloody feet.” From the opening sentence of Jonathan Franklin’s 438 Days: An Extraordinary True Story of Survival at Sea, this riveting adventure has us in its grip, spellbound and eager to know more about the mysterious Salvador Alvarenga.
Roger Angell, now 94, has had an extraordinary life. A longtime fiction editor of The New Yorker and one of the best-ever writers on baseball, he is the only writer elected to both the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Baseball Hall of Fame. His wonderful new collection, This Old Man: All in Pieces, is, he says, a grab bag, a portrait of his brain at this point in his life. The title piece, a moving and personal account of aging, received the 2014 prize for best essay from the American Society of Magazine Editors.
Jack London lived during America’s first Gilded Age from the late 1800s through the early 1900s. Readers of his very popular books (he was the first U.S. author to make more than a million dollars) were entertained by stories about dogs and wolves and gold miners and ships and cannibals. At the same time, London was educating the public about serious societal problems that required fundamental reform.