Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women by Geraldine Brooks

Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women by Geraldine Brooks

Even though this book was originally published in the 1990’s, it still offers a fascinating glimpse into the lives of Muslim women in such countries as Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Brooks interviewed both fundamentalist and feminist women throughout the Islamic world to find out what life is like behind the veil. She examined […]


Word by Word by Kory Stemper

Word by Word by Kory Stemper

Among the many different senses (i.e., meanings) of the word “wit,” in the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary 11th edition there are a couple that apply perfectly to this author. “Clever or apt humor; a witty utterance or exchange.” It’s a synonym for humor, irony, sarcasm, satire, and repartee. Stemper’s very readable, sometimes laugh-out-loud exposition on how […]


It Takes a School by Jonathan Starr (2017)

It Takes a School by Jonathan Starr (2017)

In 2008, a brash American hedge fund manager decides to make his mark in providing great education to the best students in Somaliland, an autonomous state within Somalia. Despite nearly getting his school closed and himself deported through his ignorance of the culture, he does triumph in the end through his students. who win scholarships […]


The Divine Dance: the Trinity and Your Transformation

The Divine Dance: the Trinity and Your Transformation

In tackling the mystery of the Trinity, Franciscan Richard Rohr goes to the most foundational yet elusive of Christian doctrines and explores it in ways that connect it powerfully to just-as-foundational and equally hard to articulate human experiences. Rohr animates the dry, lifeless words of (much of) theology with passion and creates a sense of […]


A Thousand Days in Venice: An Unexpected Romance by Marlena De Blasi

A Thousand Days in Venice: An Unexpected Romance by Marlena De Blasi

Writer/chef Marlena De Blasi tells the incredible and captivating story of her late-in-life romance with and marriage to a Venetian bank manager, Fernando, who fell in love with her the moment he saw her in the Piazza San Marco. Although he didn’t have the courage to speak to her, a year later when she returns […]


The River of Doubt : Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey by Candice Millard

The River of Doubt : Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey by Candice Millard

This reads like a gripping adventure novel but it’s actually a non-fiction account of Theodore Roosevelt’s 1914 journey down the River of Doubt, a tributary of the Amazon in Brazil. This exciting tale had me glued to my seat as Teddy, his son Kermit, and the rest of the members of the expedition fought their […]



How Cycling Can Save the World by Peter Walker

How Cycling Can Save the World by Peter Walker

A terrific international review of  cities becoming more cycling friendly; this book may have changed my life. There were several key insights for me: 1) Requiring helmets significantly reduces usage of bikes; people are robbed of the terrific health benefits of biking if usage is reduced; and helmet may or may not help most folks […]


Killers of the Flower Moon: the Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI

Killers of the Flower Moon: the Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI

Grann brings to life a period of American history about which I knew nothing: the 1920s oil boom in Osage County, Oklahoma and the murders of wealthy Osage Indians. The book reads almost like a suspense novel as Grann tells the story of how prejudice and greed on the part of whites led them to […]