Tag Archives: Book Reviews

Views: ‘Inside The Dream Palace’ – The Chelsea Hotel In New York City

CBS Sunday Morning – Since opening its doors in 1884, New York City’s Chelsea Hotel has welcomed artists, writers and cutting-edge thinkers who shaped America’s cultural landscape. Today, the storied landmark is being developed into a luxury boutique hotel.

Correspondent Alina Cho talks with residents, and with “Inside the Dream Palace” author Sherill Tippins, about the Chelsea’s unique history; and with developer Sean MacPherson about his determination to approach the Hotel Chelsea’s restoration with reverence.

Reviews: Best Business Books 2022 – The Times

The Sunday Times book of the year

Butler to the World: How Britain Became the Servant of Tycoons, Tax Dodgers, Kleptocrats and Criminals by Oliver Bullough

Britain, according to this damning book, is a land of dirty money. It has become the country of choice for dictators wanting to hide their cash, and oligarchs wishing to launder their reputations. Yet instead of waging war on this illicit finance, we’re helping it to propagate. Our national debasement is a sordid story, but Oliver Bullough canters through it with wit and such a colourful set of case studies that it is at least a little easier to stomach. His account begins with the Suez crisis in 1956, which Bullough pinpoints as the moment when Britain’s imperial power crumbled and the nation searched for a new role in the world. The job we chose? Playing Jeeves to kleptocrats. Since the Brexit vote there has been a lengthy debate about what kind of country Britain should strive to be; Bullough argues convincingly that we haven’t spent enough time scrutinising what it has already become. Ros Urwin
Profile, £20
Buy a copy of Butler to the World here

Megathreats: The Ten Trends that Imperil Our Future, and How to Survive Them by Nouriel Roubini

Nouriel Roubini is not known as “Dr Doom” for nothing, and this book from the economist who predicted the 2008 financial crisis is a bleak look at some of the horrible threats facing our survival on Earth, from economic collapse to a new cold war and the rise of artificial intelligence. But it is also an important wake-up call to how fragile modern civilisation is. Roubini lucidly lays out the challenges we face. Maybe save reading this until after the festive period. TK
John Murray, £20
Buy a copy of Megathreats here

A Pipeline Runs Through It: The Story of Oil from Ancient Times to the First World War by Keith Fisher

In this epic, deeply researched history of oil, Keith Fisher, who spent 15 years on the book, takes us from the Byzantine era to the US oil boom of the 19th century and the rise of barons such as John D Rockfeller, and ends with the First World War. He unsparingly shows what a great but terrible industry oil exploration has been. No one comes out well, but the brutality involved in clearing indigenous communities to open up areas for exploitation are harrowing, especially the cruelty from what would become Royal Dutch Shell. TK
Allen Lane, £35
Buy a copy of A Pipeline Runs Through It here

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Books: The New York Times Book Review – Nov 27, 2022

Illustration by Eleanor Taylor

New York Times Book Review – November 27, 2022:

A Life of Shirley Hazzard, Sublime Chronicler of Affairs of the Heart

A new biography by Brigitta Olubas is the first to examine the life of the Australian novelist celebrated for her refined poetic fiction and acute moral vision.

Big ‘Pippin’: The Harmony and Dissonance of an American Classic

Elysa Gardner’s “Magic to Do” goes backstage at Bob Fosse and Stephen Schwartz’s 1972 musical about a lost prince.

Read Your Way Through Mexico City

Juan Villoro, who spent over two decades perfecting one book about Mexico City, recommends reading on the city he loves. “Mexico is too complex,” a visitor said. “It needs to be read.”

Previews: Times Literary Supplement – Nov 25, 2022

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The November 25, 2022 @TheTLS , features Olivia Laing on Kathy Acker; @emilytwrites on self-help and philosophy; @MElizabethLowry on Henry James’s golden age stories; @TobyLichtig on The Doctor; @MirandaFrance1 on Mariana Enriquez; @henryhitchings on slow journalism – and more.

Reviews: 2022 National Book Award Winner & Finalists For Fiction

“The Rabbit Hutch” by Tess Gunty book cover, featuring a hot pink background with a cutout showing an illustration of a woman inside.

Winner: “The Rabbit Hutch” by Tess Gunty

Set during an oppressively hot week in July, this contemporary coming-of-age novel is about four teens who have aged out of the foster care system and are living together in a once-bustling industrial city in Indiana. As one of the teens tries to escape the people and systems that have harmed her, this novel shines as a story about community and loneliness, cumulating with a devastating act of violence. “The Rabbit Hutch” is Tess Gunty’s debut novel and she was one of three authors nominated this year for their first published book.

Fiction Finalists

“The Birdcatcher” by Gayl Jones

Called “a study in Black women’s creative expression,” “The Birdcatcher” is told from the perspective of writer Amanda Wordlaw whose best friend is being repeatedly institutionalized for trying to kill her husband. Jones was first discovered and edited by Toni Morrison and her last novel, “Palmares,” was a 2022 Pulitzer Prize finalist.

“The Haunting of Hajji Hotak and Other Stories” by Jamil Jan Kochai

This collection of short stories explores heritage, home, and the ghosts of war, with elements of horror, magical realism, and more woven throughout the anthology. With unforgettable Afghan characters, these stories range from the connection between a young man’s video game and his father’s real memories of war to a doctor couple that decides to stay in their home even as violence grows and their son disappears.

“All This Could Be Different” by Sarah Thankam Mathews

Sneha is a queer Indian woman who has just graduated from college into a recession and moved to Milwaukee to start an entry-level corporate job that offers the financial security she needs, opening more doors than ever before. But as challenges rise and her world begins to spin out of control, Sneha throws herself into a new relationship while her friend tries to find a radical solution to their problems.

“The Town of Babylon” by Alejandro Varela

In the wake of his husband’s infidelity, Andrés returns to his hometown and decides to go to his 20-year high school reunion, rekindling old friendships and reuniting with an old love. As he cares for his aging parents, navigates his old neighborhood, and revisits old friends, Andrés must face old wounds, systems, and people who shaped his life in many different ways.

Preview: London Review Of Books – Dec 1, 2022

Adam Shatz · 'You think our country's so innocent?': Polarised States of  America · LRB 1 December 2022

London Review of Books (LRB) – December 1, 2022:

‘You think our country’s so innocent?’

Adam Shatz on the US Midterms

‘This is what Biden and his advisers are counting on: a grinding and volatile battle with a weakened Trump and his increasingly unhinged movement in 2024.’

World Cup Misgivings

David Goldblatt

There is no way to offset the fact that a gigantic dose of hydrocarbon wealth is being used to stage an immensely carbon-intensive spectacle, in a place that is already getting hotter faster than almost anywhere else on the planet. In the narrowing window of opportunity that remains, can we justify burning this much of our carbon budget on international football?

Regicide Rocks

Clare Jackson

Act of Oblivion, the title of Robert Harris’s novel, refers to the Act of Free and General Pardon, Indemnity and Oblivion, introduced to the Convention Parliament in May 1660 and given royal assent on 29 August.

Books: Literary Review Of Canada – December 2022

December 2022 | Literary Review of Canada

Literary Review of Canada – December 2022:

Books: The New York Times Book Review – Nov 20, 2022

New York Times Book Review – November 20, 2022:

A New Biography of George Balanchine, Ballet’s Colossus

“Mr. B,” by Jennifer Homans, explores the life of the Russian-born choreographer, as well as the beauty and pains of his art.

What Books Does Haruki Murakami Find Disappointing? His Own.

“The books I try not to pick up, and don’t want to read, are ones I wrote myself and published in the past,” says the Japanese writer, whose new book is “Novelist as a Vocation.” “Though it does make me want to do better with my next work.”

How We’ve Come to Genuflect to the ‘Free Market’

Jacob Soll’s ambitious history takes us from Cicero to Milton Friedman, but is hobbled by questionable assertions.

Culinary Reviews: ‘The Big Texas Cookbook’ (2022)

“CBS Saturday Morning” co-host Jeff Glor takes a trip to Texas to try recipes featured within “The Big Texas Cookbook.”

The editors of Texas Monthly celebrate the ever-evolving culinary landscape of the Lone Star State in this stunning cookbook, featuring more than 100 recipes, gorgeous color photos, and insightful essays.

The Big Texas Cookbook

When it comes to food, Texas may be best known for its beloved barbecue and tacos. But at more than 29 million people, the state is one of the most culturally diverse in America—and so is its culinary scene. From the kolaches introduced by Czechs settlers to the Hill Country in the 1800s to the Viet-Cajun crawfish that Vietnamese immigrants blessed Houston with in the early 2000s, the tastes on offer here are as vast and varied as the 268,596 square miles of earth they spring from.

In The Big Texas Cookbook, the editors of the award-winning magazine Texas Monthly have gathered an expansive collection of recipes that reflects the state’s food traditions, eclectically grouped by how Texans like to start and end the day (Rise and Shine, There Stands the Glass), how they revere their native-born ingredients (Made in Texas), and how they love the people, places, and rituals that surround their favorite meals (On Holiday, Home Plates). Getting their very own chapters—no surprise—are the behemoths mentioned above, barbecue and Tex-Mex (Smoke Signals, Con Todo). With recipes for über-regional specialties like venison parisa, home cooking favorites like King Ranch casserole, and contemporary riffs like a remarkable Lao beef chili, The Big Texas Cookbook pays homage to the cooks who long ago shaped the state’s food culture and the ones who are building on those traditions in surprising and delightful ways.

Packed with atmospheric photos, illustrations, and essays, The Big Texas Cookbook is a vivid culinary portrait of the land, its people, and its past, present, and future.

Read a Sample

Culture: The New Review Magazine – Nov 20, 2022

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The New Review November 20, 2022 issue: Carey Mulligan and @zoeinthecities speak to @carmitstead about She Said, The winners of our graphic short story prize 2022, @Aiannucci Q&A by @michaelhogan, On my radar: @Talldarkfriend And our critics on the week’s arts highlights.