Category Archives: Reviews

Previews: The Economist Magazine – Sept 24, 2022

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An energy crisis and geopolitics are creating a new-look Gulf

It will be richer, more powerful—and more volatile

Vladimir Putin vows to send more invaders. The West should arm Ukraine faster

It has a window of opportunity to push Russian forces back

Cover Previews: World Archaeology – Sept 2022

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The World Archaeology October 2022 issue explores the secrets of Japan’s stone circles, the lost prehistoric cities of Bolivia, women’s everyday lives in the Ice Age, an idyllic alpine region that saw fierce fighting during the First World War, and much more.

The stone circles of Japan are enigmatic monuments. These structures were created by Jomon hunter-gatherers, mostly from roughly 2500-300 BC, and can be associated with burials, seasonal ceremonies, and solar alignments. Such preoccupations are far from being restricted to Jomon Japan, with study of these circles proving influential when it came to early 20th-century attempts to understand Stonehenge. In our cover feature, we take a detailed look at some of the Jomon stone circles, examining both the monuments themselves, and wider activity in the period.

Research Preview: Nature Magazine – Sept 22, 2022

Volume 609 Issue 7928


A gentle lick or nibble makes this brain circuit buzz

Scientists identify a neuronal pathway in rats that drives ‘social grooming’, a behaviour that helps to hold animal communities together.

Warming Arctic brings jet-stream waviness and extreme weather

As high-level winds shift, heat and heavy rain can persist.

A diamond sensor shines at ‘seeing’ voltages

Crystalline device could be used to visualize voltages with high resolution, speed and stability.

A chocoholic’s best friends are the birds and the bats

The trees that provide the raw material for chocolate have a higher yield when the groves are accessible to certain species.

How did the sea cow cross the Pacific? At a ponderous paddle

A family tree of sea cows suggests that the dugong traversed an ocean to reach its present habitat.

Builder drones

Ground-based robots have potential for helping in the construction industry, but they are limited by their height. In this week’s issue, Mirko Kovac, Robert Stuart-Smith and their colleagues introduce highly manoeuvrable aerial robots that can perform additive 3D construction tasks. Inspired by natural builders such as wasps and bees, the researchers created BuilDrones (as shown on the cover) that can work in an autonomous team to perform 3D printing tasks using foam- or cement-based materials. They also created ScanDrones to assess the quality of the structures

 being built. The team hopes that this approach of ‘aerial additive manufacturing’ could help to build structures in difficult to access areas.

Preview: The Atlantic Magazine – October 2022

The Atlantic October 2022 Issue:

Ukraine defiant: George Packer, Anne Applebaum, and Franklin Foer on democracy’s front lines. Plus the myopia generation, the Benin bronzes’ contested return, Ian McEwan’s anti-memoir, cursive’s demise, redshirting boys, John Roberts v. the Voting Rights Act, the GOP’s extremist history, and more.

Six months into Ukraine’s defiant stand against Russia’s invasion, The Atlantic is publishing a special cover package devoted to life in the country and the state of the war, with new, on-the-ground reporting by staff writers George Packer, Anne Applebaum, and Franklin Foer. Packer, Applebaum, and Foer are three of the most influential and established voices on the perils of war, authoritarian threats to democracy, and Ukrainian and Russian politics.

Plant-Based Meat: Why It Hasn’t Gone Mainstream

As people’s eating habits change and environmental concerns grow, plant-based protein used as a meat substitute has gained popularity. However, some barriers are preventing it from becoming truly mainstream. Watch what needs to be done to truly realize a future with less meat.

Books: Literary Review Of Canada – October 2022

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The Bear and the Beaver – Eight games, one goal – Robert Lewis

Sentence Structure – Views from the inside – Amy Reiswig

Me, My Shelf, and I – An account of empty boxes – Mark Kingwell

An Uncertain Royal Path – Three Windsor women and the future of the monarchy – Patricia Treble

The last Queen of Canada? – What comes next for Canada and the Crown – John Fraser

Reviews: ‘The Book Report’ Best Reading For Fall 2022

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RIVERHEAD

When Abdulrazak Gurnah won the Nobel Prize in literature last year, most Americans had never read anything by this fascinating author.

Born in 1948 in Tanzania, Gurnah fled to England after the 1964 uprising in Zanzibar. Over the years, he’s written 10 critically-acclaimed novels.

The latest, “Afterlives” (Riverhead), offers an intimate look at village life in East Africa during the period of German colonialism at the start of the 20th century. This is a book that reclaims forgotten history and honors lost people in a way that’s heartbreaking and revelatory.

Read an excerpt

“Afterlives” by Abdulrazak Gurnah (Riverhead), in Hardcover, Large Print Trade Paperback, eBook and Audio formats, available via AmazonBarnes & Noble and Indiebound


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KNOPF

Maggie O’Farrell’s novel “Hamnet,” about the death of William Shakespeare’s only son, was one of the best books of 2020.

Now O’Farrell is back with “The Marriage Portrait” (Knopf), a terrific historical thriller that drops us into the panicked mind of a teenage girl who knows her husband is plotting to kill her.

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The girl is Lucrezia de’ Medici, immortalized by Robert Browning’s poem, “My Last Duchess.” History tells us she died in 1561 before she could celebrate her first anniversary, but O’Farrell will have you guessing ’til the very last page.

Read an excerpt

“The Marriage Portrait” by Maggie O’Farrell (Knopf), in Hardcover, Large Print Trade Paperback, eBook and Audio formats, available September 27 via AmazonBarnes & Noble and Indiebound

maggieofarrell.com


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LITTLE, BROWN & CO.

What if Americans elected a narcissistic psychopath to the White House?

Some people might say we’ve already seen what that would be like. But James Patterson’s breathless new thriller, “Blowback” (Little, Brown), takes that scenario to the brink of World War III.

Written with Brendan DuBois, “Blowback” imagines a president determined to defeat America’s enemies once and for all.

A pair of secret agents are honored to help the president’s plan – until they realize he’s about to destroy the country.

Read an excerpt

“Blowback” by James Patterson and Brendan DuBois (Little, Brown and Company), in Hardcover, Large Print Trade Paperback, eBook and Audio formats, available via AmazonBarnes & Noble and Indiebound

jamespatterson.com

brendandubois.com


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FARRAR, STRAUS AND GIROUX

Mary Rodgers, who died in 2014, lived her life in the melodies of American musical theater. She was Richard Rodgers’ daughter, composer Adam Guettel’s mother, and Stephen Sondheim’s friend – and she was an accomplished composer and author herself.

Now, all these wonderful stories take center stage in “Shy: The Alarmingly Outspoken Memoirs of Mary Rodgers” (‎Farrar, Straus and Giroux), written with New York Times theater critic Jesse Green.

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Through painful relationships and happy ones, disappointments and successes, Rodgers is never anything but candid, forgiving and witty. So, take a seat and let the curtain rise.

Read an excerpt

“Shy: The Alarmingly Outspoken Memoirs of Mary Rodgers” by Mary Rodgers and Jesse Green (‎Farrar, Straus and Giroux), in Hardcover, eBook and Audio formats, available via AmazonBarnes & Noble and Indiebound

Follow @JesseKGreen on Twitter

Views: American Heritage Magazine – September 2022

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Antietam, America’s Bloodiest Day

In September 1862 the South hoped to end the war by invading Maryland just before the mid-term elections. But its hopes were dashed after the bloodiest day in American history. By Justin Martin

Johnstown: “Run For Your Lives!”

In the hills above Johnstown, the old South Fork dam had failed. Down the Little Conemaugh came the torrent, sweeping away everything in its path. By David McCullough

Remembering David McCullough

He became the dean of American historians after learning his craft working for five years on the staff of American Heritage. By Edwin S. Grosvenor

Carving Up the Americas

By artfully illustrating the boundaries of colonial powers, mapmakers in the 1700s helped define what our New World would become. By Neal AsburyJean-Pierre Isbouts

Covers: The New Criterion Magazine – October 2022

The New Criterion

October 2022

Affirmative action & the law a symposium


The American affirmative-action regime  by Frank Resartus
An agenda for Congress  by Gail Heriot
The Voting Rights Act after six decades  by James Piereson
Facially neutral, racially biased  by Wen Fa & John Yoo
Democracy & the Supreme Court  by Glenn Harlan Reynolds

New poems  by William Logan, Jessica Hornik & Peter Vertacnik