“American Fire: Love, Arson and Life in a Vanishing Land”, by Monica Hesse

Sad, strange events are brought to life in Monica Hesse’s “American Fire”. Hesse takes what would probably be just an average true crime story and elevates it to something more by providing social, economic and historic context. The result is a very interesting and sometimes sympathetic look at a crime wave that shook a small Virginia community. Continue reading


“The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story” by Douglas Preston

“The Lost City of the Monkey God” is a fascinating mash-up of archaeology, cutting edge technology, treasure hunting, history, Central American politics and epidemiology. Author Douglas Preston, who also writes about archaeology for National Geographic, covers some complex topics in a manner that’s easy to understand and also very interesting. Continue reading

“Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines and Habits of Billionaires, Icons and World-Class Performers”, by Tim Ferriss

Tim Ferriss has a highly successful podcast in which he interviews people who are tops at what they do and tries to uncover some of the secrets of their success. He’s good at this because he seems to be genuinely curious about his guests and he likes to apply some of their methods to his own life in an ongoing effort to improve himself. Continue reading