Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

Wow! Jahren manages to make soil sexy so imagine what she can do with trees! You’ll never look at a tree again without seeing the biological miracle it is. Full of humor and insights into the excitement scientists feel about their chosen fields and the challenges facing women (still) in research. At one point she […]


Breakthrough by Jack Andraka

Breakthrough by Jack Andraka

After seeing it on the shelf in the Loft and on display at nearly every bookstore I went into, I finally broke down and read this book. Boy, I’m glad I did! Breakthrough is really two stories. One is the story of how Jack, a science whiz and probable genius, develops a cheap and effective […]


Dinner with Edward by Isabel Vincent

Dinner with Edward by Isabel Vincent

Charming, touching, short memoir of two lost individuals who connect. Edward, in his 90’s, has recently lost his most beloved wife. Isabel is in a falling-apart marriage. As a favor to her friend, Edward’s daughter, Isabel agrees to go to dinner at Edward’s to try to reignite his will to live. In the course of […]


Instant Mom by Nia Vardalos

Instant Mom by Nia Vardalos

You may or may not know the name Nia Vardalos. She was the breakout star of the surprise hit, My Big Fat Greek Wedding. And even if you do recognize the name and the face, what you probably don’t know about Vardalos is that she and her husband, Ian Gomez, struggled for years and years […]


On the Move: A Life by Oliver Sacks

On the Move: A Life by Oliver Sacks

On the Move is a fitting title for the final memoir of neurologist and author Oliver Sacks, who passed away in August 2015, just months after its release. On the Move is a lively and occasionally melancholy recounting of Dr. Sacks’ life. Growing up the youngest of four sons born to Jewish doctors in England, […]


Girl Walks Into a Bar by Rachel Dratch

Girl Walks Into a Bar by Rachel Dratch

You may remember Rachel Dratch from her years on Saturday Night Live as she brought a host of wacky characters to life, including her most memorable, Debbie Downer. Or… you may not even know who she is. Unlike her SNL counterparts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, Dratch’s career did not quite skyrocket once she’d left […]


Yes Please by Amy Poehler

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

I love autobiographies by funny women. And as much as I love reading them, I enjoy listening to them even more. There’s just something about hearing one of your favorite comediannes tell you about her life in her own words, in her own voice. Amy Poehler’s Yes Please was a fun listen. What makes the […]


King of the World by David Remnick

King of the World by David Remnick

Remnick opens the story on February 25, 1964, when Muhammad Ali was twenty-two and about to face the fierce heavyweight champion Sonny Liston: “for the first and last time in his life, [Ali] was afraid.” It’s a shrewd distillation of a historic moment. Not many expected Ali to win–just as not many expected him to […]


“Most Blessed of Patriarchs” by Annette Gordon-Reed and Peter S. Onuf.

“Most Blessed of Patriarchs” by Annette Gordon-Reed and Peter S. Onuf.

When I was growing up my politically centrist parents sometimes called me Jefferson. They idolized him as a broad-minded small-government hero and wanted me to do likewise. So I did, having no idea what that meant. Decades later I’m less a fan of his politics–for the moment I’m in the corner of his rival, Alexander […]


A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

Paris’s literary scene in the 1920s was partly an American phenomenon with such luminaries as Ezra Pound, Ford Madox Ford, and Gertrude Stein at the center.  On the periphery were writers a generation younger, such as Hemingway and Scott Fitzgerald.  In this posthumously-published memoir, re-edited and introduced by Hemingway’s grandson, the twentysomething Hem is honing […]