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John Darnielle, Wolf in White Van

Finish or die trying.


Books
When a guy writes a love song that ends, “I hope you die, I hope we both die,” and shoots a music video with blood dripping from a bullet wound in his temple, you know his first novel isn’   More
 
Wednesday, October 1, 2014 MATT BUCKINGHAM

Sharon Kay Penman, A King’s Ransom

The Lionheart in winter.


Books
He spoke no English, sired no legitimate heir, and spent only six months of his 10-year reign on English soil, just long enough to levy taxes to pay for his military adventures in France and the   More
 
Wednesday, March 5, 2014 MATT BUCKINGHAM

A. Scott Berg, Wilson

Wilson: the last openly racist U.S. president.


Books
Woodrow Wilson’s rise to president of the U.S. was as meteoric and improbable as Barack Obama’s a century later. Within a decade of becoming president of Princeton University, Wilson “left   More
 
Wednesday, October 2, 2013 MATT BUCKINGHAM

Judyth Vary Baker, Me & Lee

Love means never having to say you shot the president.


Books
As the 50th anniversary of the John F. Kennedy assassination nears, in 2013, two out of three Americans still believe Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone in murdering the president. Judyth Vary    More
 
Wednesday, November 7, 2012 MATT BUCKINGHAM

Robin Sloan, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore

Don’t be evil?


Books
Author Robin Sloan’s paean to books—both digital and on paper—is filled with elements so plausible readers will want to Google them to see whether they’re real. And that’s fitting, bec   More
 
Wednesday, October 31, 2012 MATT BUCKINGHAM

Caleb Scharf, Gravity’s Engines

A Columbia astronomer blows bubbles.


Books
From what sounds like static, astronomers can discern an image of the entire universe. Explaining how they pull off this trick is the job of writers like Caleb Scharf, director of astrobiology a   More
 
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 MATT BUCKINGHAM

Jess Walter, Beautiful Ruins

Love letters to Cleo.


Books
In 1962, 20th Century Fox made a movie that almost bankrupted the studio and changed Hollywood forever. The epic Cleopatra was shot on location in Italy and Egypt at a cost of more than $40 mill   More
 
Wednesday, June 27, 2012 MATT BUCKINGHAM

Robert A. Caro, The Passage of Power

What the hell is history for?


Books
Fed up as aides debated whether he should mention civil rights in his first speech to Congress after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson once asked, “What the hell’s the presi   More
 
Wednesday, May 2, 2012 MATT BUCKINGHAM

Vernor Vinge The Children Of The Sky

A Hugo Award-winning novelist goes to the dogs.


Books
Almost two decades have elapsed since Vernor Vinge won the Hugo Award for his epic 1992 space opera, A Fire Upon the Deep. Now he returns to Tines World with a sequel, The Children of the Sky (Tor, 4   More
 
Wednesday, October 12, 2011 MATT BUCKINGHAM

Neal Stephenson Reamde

Neal Stephenson writes another big black book.


Books
Neal Stephenson’s new novel is a departure from the epic science-fiction sagas with which he transformed the genre in the 1990s and 2000s. Like some of his previous books, Reamde (William Morrow,   More
 
Wednesday, September 21, 2011 MATT BUCKINGHAM
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