Category Archives: Nonfiction

Bill Bryson’s latest — summertime and the living is, well, something

The prolific Bill Bryson has another book out called One Summer: America, 1927 (Random House Audio, 2013). Bryson performs the reading of the book itself, which, as I have mentioned in previous posts, I usually don’t like. It’s especially embarrassing … Continue reading

Posted in History, Nonfiction | Leave a comment

Now you see it . . . Oliver Sacks’ Hallucinations (and everybody’s)

For me, as perhaps for many people, the idea of hallucination has always been terrifying. It always seemed to signal that one had lost control, had stepped off some cliff and fallen, irretrievably, into the abyss of insanity. That had … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction | Leave a comment

Happy trails — Bill Bryson takes a hike

I first encountered Bill Bryson in his book A Short History of Nearly Everything (the print version), which I thought was magnificent. Bryson has a way of delivering facts with humor, authority and an almost childlike wonder. He also has … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction | Leave a comment

The Swerve: deviating from oblivion

It occurs to me that I don’t often give enough credit to the voice talent of the books I review. After all, this is a site that reviews audiobooks, and while I’m not sure that a narrator’s performance can actually … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction | Leave a comment

No argument here . . .

I remember once, a few years ago, being accused by someone of being “opinionated.” At least it sounded like an accusation at the time. And while I didn’t say so then, I wondered later why that was intended and, I … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction | Leave a comment

Dawkins Debunks Design — Duh!

I don’t need convincing on evolution, just like I don’t need convincing on gravity, the existence of atoms and the narcissism of Paris Hilton. But I like Richard Dawkins, so I read his books, listen to his debates and lectures … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction | Leave a comment

Keefer Madness: Keith Richards’ Life

First, the good news. Life, Keith Richards’ autobiography, (Hachette Audio, 2010, with James Fox, read by Johnny Depp, Joe Hurley and featuring Keith Richards – I’ll have more to say about this lineup later) is a very entertaining, if long, … Continue reading

Posted in Biography, Nonfiction | Leave a comment

Idiot America: Can You Say “Redundant”

To listeners on my end of the spectrum, Charles P. Pierce’s argument in Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free (read by Bronson Pinchot, Blackstone Audio, 2011) won’t come as much of a surprise. … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction | Leave a comment

Bill Bryson, Safe At Home

For a book so modestly titled, the range of subject matter and erudition in At Home:  A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson, who also narrates the book (Random House Audio, 2010) is almost overwhelmingly ambitious. I hardly … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction | Leave a comment

Cleopatra Reconsidered

Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety . . . “Her” is Cleopatra, of course, in Shakespeare’s famous assessment. I went back to Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra after listening to Cleopatra: A Life, by … Continue reading

Posted in Biography, Nonfiction | Leave a comment