Book Log

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Colleen Gordon
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Books I Read in 2020

January, 2020
Trick Mirror, Reflections on Self Delusions Jia Tolentino
    Very honest essays on currently relevant topics written with a depth of insight and language that makes them spellbinding.
Biased, Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think and Do
Jennifer L. Eberhardt, PhD
    Must read. Stanford University psychology professor explores the widespread implicit bias we still share.
The Case Against Impeaching Trump Alan Dershowitz
    Cogent discussion by renowned law professor.
Celestial Bodies Jokha al-Harthi, translated (Arabic) by Marilyn Booth
    Well done. Strong Omani women in difficult places. Man Booker International Prize winner, 2019.
February, 2020
Alienated America: Why Some Places Thrive While Others Collapse Timothy P Carney
    Makes the case that "localized erosion of civil society" is a fundamental problem in our country today; and that the best fix is a return to regular attendance at a house of worship. Let's all start/keep going to Church!
Sing to It Amy Hempel
    Superior story telling!
Dept. of Speculation Jenny Offill
    Happy, sad, hopeful, real page turner!
The Conservative Sensibility George F. Will
    Excellent review and analysis.
March, 2020
Grand Union Zadie Smith
    Good stories. Quite a variety.
Weather Jenny Offill
    Wonderful way to tell a story.
Apeirogon Colun McCann
    Brilliant masterwork! Israeli Palestinian conflict up close and personal. End the Occupation!
Raising Humans in a Digital World Diana Graber
    Important read for parents and youth. Emphasizes the positive ways we can use our digital tools. See Cyber Civics and Cyberwise.
Midnight in Chernobyl, The Untold Story of the World's Greatest Nuclear Disaster Adam Higginbotham
    Well done. Very thorough, detailed picture of a terrifying event and its continuing aftermath.
The O'Henry Prize Stories 2019 ed Laura Furman
    Twenty fine stories.
April, 2020
Last of Her Name Jessica Khoury
    Imaginative YA sci-fi thriller staring a charming princess heroine.
Call Me Zebra Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi
    Very well done. Trying to find a mental path to life and love through major immigrant/exile angst.
We Cast a Shadow Maurice Carlos Ruffin
    Good read. Humorous but serious look at race.
The Ten Loves of Nishino Hiromi Kawakami, translated (Japanese) by Allison Markin Powell
    Pleasant read. A story told in stories.
May, 2020
Postcolonial Love Poem Natalia Diaz
    Strong words, sung from a Native American heart and soul.
The Best American Short Stories 2017 ed. Meg Wolitzer
    Twenty fine stories.
The Nakano Thrift Shop Hiromi Kawakami, translated (Japanese) by Allison Markin Powell
    Sweet. Sensitive.
Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self Danielle Evans
    Colorful coming of age survival stories.
Jume, 2020
The Best American Short Stories 2019 eds Anthony Doerr, Heidi Pitlor
    Nice collection.
Strange Weather in Tokyo Hiromi Kawakami, translated (Japanese) by Allison Markin Powell
Resurrection of the Wild, Meditations on Ohio's Natural Landscape Deborah Fleming
    Full of good, detailed Ohio area history. Let's protect our beautiful natural gift.
Aviation Weather Manual, A Pilot's Guide to Accurate Preflight Weather Risk Assessment Delia Colvin July, 2020
Milkman Anna Burns
    Very well done. Unique, memorable way to see and feel a troubled Northern Ireland. 2018 Man Booker Prize winner.
The Night Watchman Louise Erdrich
    Fine piece of historical fiction. A few determined Turtle Mountain Chippewa successfully defeat a disgraceful government Termination Program designed to displace them and steal their land.
An American plague : the true and terrifying story of the yellow fever epidemic of 1793 Jim Murphy
    Very well written and referenced with lots of good primary sources.
No Ordinary Time, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II
Doris Kearns Goodwin
    Pulitzer Prize winning masterwork! Up close and personal look based on a wealth of primary sources.
August, 2020
I Am Malala, The Girl Who Stood Up For Education And Was Shot By The Taliban
Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb
    Inside look at Taliban terror in Pakistan and young hero Malala's narrow escape from death. Well done.
Girl, Woman, Other Bernadine Evaristo
    2019 Man Booker Prize winner. "Astonishing, moving, controversial, original."
Delay, Don't Deny Gin Stephens
    Intermittent fasting explanation and inspiration.
No Bones Anna Burns
    Strong debut novel. Amelia struggles to survive, growing up during the terrible Irish Troubles.
September, 2020
The Far Field Madhuri Vijay
    A rather powerful and intelligent debut novel.
The United States of Socialism: Who's Behind It, Why It's Evil, How to Stop It Dinesh D'Souza
    Informative, cogent, inspirational. Let's turn back the dangerous rising socialist tide in our country.
Must I Go Yiyun Li
    Well done. Yes, we all must go.
The Westing Game Ellen Raskin
    Challenging, fun who-done-what-exactly mystery story. Newbery Medal winner.
Political Tribes, Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations Amy Chua
    A must-read. Has the growth of identity politics helped make America a super-group of often aggressive, terminally intolerant sub-groups? We need to re-discover and/or re-invent an American common ground.
Homecoming Yaa Gyasi
    Impressive debut novel. Essential elements of our history told in a series of poignant, insightful portraits of members of several generations of descendants of two sisters.
Blackout - How Black America Can Make Its Second Escape From The Democratic Plantation
Candace Owens
    Intelligently, cogently argued. Black Americans are rightly refusing to identify with the victimhood encouraged by Democrats, instead becoming independent victors, in charge of their own destiny. See the BLEXIT Foundation
October, 2020
Creating Innovators, The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World (2012) Tony Wagner
    All too often, our schools have slowed or blocked the progress of our young innovators. Wagner reviews the field, discusses the different paths taken by several successful young innovators and presents some guidelines.
The Global Achievement Gap Tony Wagner
    2008 with update added in 2014. Subtitled: Why even our best schools don't teach the new survival skills our children need - and what we can do about it. Let's motivate our students with more play, passion and purpose to learn critical thinking and problem solving. collaboration across networks and leading by influence, agility and adaptability, initiative and entrepreneurialism, effective oral and written communication, accessing and analyzing information, and curiosity and imagination.
Faithful and Virtuous Night Louise Glück
    Enchanting, mysterious, lambent, poetry by our new (2020) Nobel laureate in literature.
A Prayer for Travelers Ruchika Tomar
    Totally awesome, irresistible page turner, with indelible after effects! PEN/Hemingway Debut Novel award winner, 2020.
November, 2020
Two Fables Roald Dahl
    Two tasty little fairy tales.
Switch Bitch Roald Dahl
    Fun romp with surprise twists.
The Mirror and the Light Hilary Mantel
    This third in Mantel's brilliant, masterful trilogy of Thomas Cromwell sets a new gold standard for historical fiction!
Parade Hiromi Kawakami
    Very sweet, magical little memento.
The Silence Don DeLillo
    Mysterious DeLillo dystopia will leave you wondering. Could it be?
Gambling With Armageddon, Nuclear Roulette from Hiroshima to the Cuban Missal Crisis
Martin J. Sherwin
    Excellent, very detailed and thoroughly referenced analysis. "The real lesson of the Cuban missal crisis - the lesson that is consistently resisted because it marginalizes the value of nuclear weapons - is that nuclear armaments create the perils they are deployed to prevent, but are of little use in resolving them. Avoiding nuclear war depends on the judgment of the national leaders who control nuclear arsenals, which is to say that it is contingent on the world's dwindling reservoir of good luck."
December, 2020
Manazuru Hiromi Kawakami, translated (Japanese) by Michael Emmerich
    Wonderful, sensitive, thoughtful story of love, loss, family, life.
Record of a Night Too Brief Hiromi Kawakami, translated (Japanese) by Lucy North
    Three imaginative, dreamy, sometimes creepy fantasies.
A Lover's Discourse Xiaolu Guo
    Fictional memoir of a cross-cultural love relationship.
Live Free or Die Sean Hannity
    Good review of President Trump's administration. Very well annotated with an extensive bibliography.
Shuggie Bain Douglas Stuart
    Powerfully gut-wrenching, heart-breaking, irresistible page-turner. Brilliant first (autobiographical) novel. Well-deserved 2020 Booker Prize winner.
Miss Benson's Beetle Rachel Joyce
    Wild, wonderful, uplifting adventure with a profoundly moving finale.
This Mournable Life Tsitsi Dangarembga
    Zimbabwean culture creates real challenges for women trying to advance, especially one, Tambudzai, with underlying psychological difficulties. Well told.
The Giver Lois Lowry
    Classic tale. Escape from a colorless world without feeling or love.
House on the Marshland Louise Glück
    Thoughtful images, delicious presented.

Greg Gordon MD, CFII