Book Review: Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think, by Hans Rosling

The title of this book says it all. This is a fact based look at the world, and the facts show that, on the whole, the world is improving in most key areas, including education, income and life expectancy. Written by a gifted storyteller and accomplished scientist, Factfulness is a powerful antidote to people’s tendency to think that the sky is perpetually falling. Continue reading

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Book Review: Rules of Civility, by Amor Towles

Rules of Civility is a beautifully written novel set in post-depression New York City. It tells the story of Kate, a wise and well-read working girl, who suddenly finds herself maneuvering through the sparkling upper echelons of high society. This is a coming of age tale for people in their twenties, as it explores aspirations, relationships and finding a place in life that makes you mentally and morally ok with yourself. Continue reading

15 Fabulous Gifts for the Book Lovers on Your Christmas List

Finding gifts for book lovers is easier than ever. There are a ton of products on the market – clever, beautiful, practical, whimsical – something for everyone. I have tried giving people books as gifts, but that has met with mixed results. For example, when Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson was published several years ago, I bought it for my husband for Christmas. My husband has a business degree, used to make a living as a techie and is a voracious nonfiction reader. I thought that gift was a slam dunk! But when he opened it I could tell he didn’t like it. Turns out he hated Steve Jobs. Ugh! Continue reading

Five Interesting Things I Learned Because I Read “Things Fall Apart”

“Things Fall Apart”, by Chinua Achebe, was on the syllabus for my daughters’ (yes, plural) world literature class. As I like to do sometimes, I read it with them. First published in 1958, it tells the story Okonkwo, a respected warrior, and his village in Nigeria as they both struggle to adapt to colonization. I’m not going to review it because I feel silly reviewing classics. I’ll just say I’m glad I read it and I encourage you to read it, too. It’s a short book and written in simple, but meaningful, language. It doesn’t require a big time investment and you’re likely to learn some interesting things. Continue reading