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God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything
An atheist manifesto, GOD IS NOT GREAT contains content that ranges from thought-provoking essays to vitriolic diatribes against both the existence of an all-powerful God and the current and historical …
Tchaikovsky (Life and Works (Naxos))
Even from the earliest age, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, like so many other musically precocious world-class composers, displayed an emotional insecurity that was to develop into a string of personal crises, …
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
I'm having a difficult time deciding whether John Berendt set out to make mock of Savannah from the get-go or whether he was trying to write a sincere travelogue/murder story about a city that just happens …
Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who
Dava Sobel, like Simon Winchester or Canada's Pierre Berton, has clearly mastered the art of writing history in a form that is not only informative but, perhaps more important, is also compelling …
The Devil In The White City: Murder, Magic,
As Chicago entered the final decade of the 19th century, it was a black city with a black heart, a figurative and literal pig sty run by a civil administration rife with graft and dominated by the stink …
The Man Who Mapped the Arctic: The Intrepid Life
It takes considerable flair and panache to write history in a way that makes it read like a novel and not very many authors have that ability. Canada's Pierre Berton has it! Dava Sobel and Simon Winchester …
Cro-Magnon: How the Ice Age Gave Birth to the
"Cro-Magnon" may be categorized as a brief history of human pre-history, at least that portion of the world's pre-history that was peopled by what anthropologists call "modern" …
A Brief History of Infinity: The Quest to Think the Unthinkable
Perhaps I should state what I think should have been made a little more obvious. Clegg's "A Brief History of Infinity" is not a mathematics book. It is definitely a history book. In fact, …
Pierre Berton: Why We Act Like Canadians
In a series of open letters to an American friend named Sam, (or to be more precise, "Uncle Sam" as a metaphorical representation of all of our friends south of our Canadian border), Pierre …
reviewed The Great Influenza. June 09, 2010
The Great Influenza
Barry's "The Great Influenza" is the story of the influenza pandemic of 1918, the worst pandemic in history. With upper estimates of the global death toll topping an astonishing 100 million …
A Crack in the Edge of the World: America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906
In a fashion similar to his thematic approach in "Krakatoa", Simon Winchester has chosen a specific natural disaster - the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake - as the centerpiece for a multi-course …
The Sex Lives of Cannibals
At the advanced age of 26, author Troost was struggling with the angst of an as yet undefined career path that seemed on a fast track to nowhere. So when his lovely wife, Sylvia, was given the opportunity …
reviewed Seacoasts of Canada. April 17, 2010
Seacoasts of Canada
"Canada boasts the longest coastline in the world. If it were straightened out it could wound around the equator three and a half times and there would still be a bit left over." - a fitting …
London (A Short History)
If the biography of a city whose history spans two thousand years is compressed to the short written span of only 150 pages, it is of necessity less than comprehensive. Like the late evening news, whose …
reviewed Discovering Lascaux. March 23, 2010
Discovering Lascaux
During a recent trip to southern France, I was privileged to enjoy a tour of Lascaux II, the replica of the original grotto whose dazzling white walls of calcite were decorated by Cro-Magnon man with …
reviewed One Fourteenth of an Elephant. February 04, 2010
One Fourteenth of an Elephant
But "One Fourteenth of an Elephant" is also a blistering condemnation of man's brutality to his fellow man even in the context of a war that encompassed the globe. When Singapore fell to the …
reviewed Your Visit to Versailles. January 19, 2010
"Visit Versailles" is an absolutely stunning photographic essay; it's a concise description in text of a world class living museum that will take any visitor's breath away with its splendor; …
reviewed The Man Who Loved China: The Fantasti.... January 18, 2010
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In "The Man Who Loved China", Simon Winchester tells us the beguiling and utterly fascinating story of Joseph Needham - a lifelong learner, a libidinous lover, a licentious libertine, a pro-active …
reviewed Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Life and Wor.... January 14, 2010
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Informative, educational, entertaining, breathtaking, moving and (fill in your favourite superlative here!) What an absolutely brilliant use of the audio book medium to combine a book and music into a …
reviewed The Life and Works of Beethoven (Naxo.... January 09, 2010
The Life and Works of Beethoven (Naxos Audio)
Informative, educational, entertaining, breathtaking, moving and (fill in your favourite superlative here!) What an absolutely brilliant use of the audio book medium to combine a book and music into a …
reviewed Fatal Passage: The True Story of John.... January 09, 2010
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When one thinks of Arctic travel, the names that probably come to your mind first are Scott, Peary, Shackleton, Amundsen, Henry Hudson, Davis and, of course, Sir John Franklin.       …
reviewed Papillon (P.S.). January 06, 2010
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Henri Charrière, born in France in 1906, was not a gentleman. In 1931, following a shadowy career in the Paris underworld spent in the company of safecrackers, thieves and prostitutes, he was convicted …
reviewed Empress Elisabeth of Austria 1837-189.... December 30, 2009
Empress Elisabeth of Austria 1837-1898 (The Fate of a Woman Under the Yoke of the Imperial Court, Austria Imperial Edition (Portrait of a Life))
Despite her modest role in the history of Austro-Hungarian politics, Empress Elisabeth (known as "Sisi") was a legend even in her own time. Renewed interest in the twentieth century has elevated …
reviewed Liszt (Life and Works (Naxos)). December 21, 2009
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   Jeremy Siepmann and Naxos Records have created a truly winning recipe with their "Life and Works" series. The combination of an audio book with music is an extraordinarily powerful …
reviewed Outposts: Journeys to the Surviving R.... December 20, 2009
Outposts: Journeys to the Surviving Relics of the British Empire
   In the early years of his career as a journalist, Simon Winchester hatched the rather ambitious idea of touring the globe to visit the far-flung remains of the rapidly dwindling and little …
reviewed Haydn (Life and Works (Naxos)). December 18, 2009
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Educational, uplifting and immensely entertaining!       Jeremy Siepmann and Naxos Records have created a truly winning recipe with their "Life and Works" series. The combination …
reviewed The Map That Changed the World: Willi.... December 17, 2009
The Map That Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology (P.S.)
   "The Map That Changed the World" is the biographical story of William Smith, the father of the modern science of geology and the creator of the world's first geological map of Great …
reviewed Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of S.... December 16, 2009
Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley and Livingstone
History, of course, can be endlessly fascinating. But one need not canvas very many bored students of history to find that it can also be endlessly dreary and soporific.       The …
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