Book review: Shelf Life: Chronicles of a Cairo Bookseller — Nadia Wassef

In 2002, Nadia Wassef, along with four business partners, one of them her sister, opened Diwan Bookstore in Cairo, Egypt, the flagship store of what was to become, and is, a successful chain of bookstores and the leading seller of English and Arabic books in Egypt.

Book review: Harlem Shuffle — by Colson Whitehead

This is the Harlem of the 1960s, crucible of the Civil Rights Movement.

Book review: Bewilderment — by Richard Powers

When astrobiologist Theo Byrne loses his wife, the center of his universe, he is left, seemingly without the proper tools in his arsenal, to single-parent Robin, the child named after his mother’s favorite bird.

Book review: Bewilderment — by Richard Powers

(W. W. Norton & Company)When astrobiologist Theo Byrne loses his wife, the center of his universe, he is left, seemingly without the proper tools in his arsenal, to single-parent Robin, the child named after his mother’s favorite bird. Robin is “sensitive … (read more)

Book review: Graceland, At Last — by Margaret Renkl

(Milkweed Editions)Hopeful, tender, honest and vulnerable — the essays written by Margaret Renkl (Late Migrations) and published in her op-ed column in the New York Times — that is what they are and more. I love her substance and style. It’s personal with … (read more)

Book review: Poet Warrior — by Joy Harjo

(W. W. Norton & Company)In Joy Harjo’s second memoir, the poet, author, musician, playwright, and first Native American to serve as the U.S. poet laureate, reveals, in illuminating detail, the many and varied influences and confluences that came to guide … (read more)

Book review: The Guide — by Peter Heller

(Knopf Publishing Group)If you read “The River” by Peter Heller, you will have a good idea of just what kind of literary territory you are venturing into — polished prose, erudite literary references, realistic characterizations, and high outdoor adventur … (read more)

Book review: Damnation Spring — by Ash Davidson

(Scribner)Be prepared to fall hard, fast and deep for the people who inhabit this debut novel by Ash Davidson as they navigate changing livelihoods, a changing climate, and changing families. Rich Gundersen, his wife Colleen, and their son Chub, make thei … (read more)

Book review: Dark Waters — by Katherine Arden

(G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers)In this hair-raising novel by Vermont author and Middlebury College alum, Brian, Ollie and Coco, still banded closely together for safety, make a chilling discovery about the “incident” last October when their s … (read more)

Book review: Once There Were Wolves — by Charlotte McConaghy

(Flatiron Books)Inti Flynn, biologist — impulsive, idealistic yet deeply knowledgeable and passionate about reintroducing wolves as a way of rewilding environments and thus combating climate change — cannot bear the possibility of their decimation as a sp … (read more)

Book review: This Is Your Mind On Plants — by Michael Pollan

(Penguin Press)In his distinctive journalistic form, Michael Pollan, food writer and garden sage, takes a closer look at three plant “drugs” humans use to alter our consciousness: opium, caffeine, and mescaline. Given the focused scope of this book, I was … (read more)

Book review: Mona at Sea — by Elizabeth Gonzalez James

(Santa Fe Writer’s Project)Mona — also known as Sad Millennial, infamous star of a viral video captured as her much-deserved job vanished before her eyes in the economic crash of 2008 — knows how to work hard, strives for perfection in everything she does … (read more)

Book review: The Startup Wife — by Tahmima Anam

(Scribner Book Company)Asha, daughter of Bengali immigrants, is a coder, and a brilliant coder at that. She is developing an algorithm that will attempt to endow AI, artificial intelligence, with empathy. When she reunites with her high school crush, Cyru … (read more)

Book review: Fox and I: An uncommon friendship — by Catherine Raven

(Spiegel & Grau)For someone like Catherine Raven — natural history teacher, former national park ranger, and self-professed loner — consorting with a fox, or appearing to anthropomorphize a wild animal, is costly at best, and uncool at worst. So when a st … (read more)

Book review: Seven Days in June — by Tia Williams

(Grand Central Publishing)It would clearly give away too much, but imagine for a second if this book title was “Seven Steamy Days in June” and you would have a very good idea of how this is going to go. Geneviève, pronounced John-vee-EV, now Eva, and Shan … (read more)