Category Archives: Non fiction

A short book about painting by Andrew Marr (Quadrille)

“What is painting for?” THE painter Patrick Heron said it takes 20 times longer to explain his paintings than a cursory glance can reveal. Words just don’t do it. At heart this is where Marr is taking us in this … Continue reading

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Vodka politics by Mark Lawrence Schrad (Oxford Uiversity Press)

“Nikita Khrushchev was an oddly disarming fellow: five foot three and nearly as wide, with a face that seemed to be made from putty”. THE big argument in this lush, brutal academic history of Russia is how vodka has fashioned … Continue reading

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The Third Plate by Dan Barber (Abacus)

“A corn cob, dried and slightly shriveled, arrived in the mail not long after we opened Blue Hill at Stone Barns. Along with the cob was a check for $1,000” THE best place to read this book would be on … Continue reading

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Homo Deus by Yoav Noah Harari ( (Penguin)

“At the dawn of the third millennium, humanity wakes up, stretching its limbs and rubbing its eyes. Remnants of some awful nightmare are still drifting across its mind.” HOWEVER awful events might have been through history, it is over. It … Continue reading

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On writing by Stephen King (Pocket)

“This is a short book because most books about writing are filled with bullshit.” BEFORE you are tempted to take out your feather plume and dip it in the black ink, before you type in the password on your computer, … Continue reading

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1491 by Charles C. Mann (Knopf)

“The plane took in weather that was surprisingly cool for central Boliva and flew east, toward the Brazilian border.” THE symbolism of the plane is that we now take for granted what people less than 100 years ago would never … Continue reading

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The American plague by Molly Caldwell Crosby (Berkley)

“The rain came in west Africa. A massive wind blew in from the Atlantic coast bringing the deluge of water known as the south-west monsoon.” IT is fitting that there is quote early on here from Edgar Allan Poe. Before … Continue reading

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