One of my coworkers gave me this compact 1,000-year history of Russia for Christmas. It’s been a joy to read. The book starts with Russia’s beginning as “Rus,” a collection of disparate tribes centered in Novgorod. It follows the country as they begin to form a centralized state and establish government. This is a fascinating…Read More
From left to right: 1) Living in the galleries, per usual. 2) Tools of the trade. 3) Coordinating coffee cups and books. 4) Thanksgiving treats. 5) Ballet season. 6) The only thing I love more than looking at art is watching other people look at art.
This week I took a break from reading about death (whoops, uh-oh, what’s wrong with me?) to check out The Gilded Years by my girl Karin Tanabe. The historical fiction novel is based on the true story of Anita Hemmings, the first African American woman to graduate from Vassar. What makes it a story? No one…Read More
You can spot the flaws in humanity with a brief scan of the daily paper. Bombings, deceits, murders, lies, we have some pretty fatal tendencies. But if there was any doubt about our interest in the grotesque, Geoffrey Abbott’s Execution dispels it. The book covers the history of 70 different modes of execution, organized in alphabetical sections. As…Read More
I’ve been slacking a little on my reading as I get more involved in my reporting for the Bay State Banner. But this recommendation is worth the wait. I Am an Executioner by Rajesh Parameswaran is a meticulously crafted book. The piece is organized into a collection of 9 short stories mainly centered on the themes of…Read More
When I was reading The Romanov Sisters there was a lot of talk about medicating with arsenic injections. I knew a little about the drug but I was curious about the use of it in nineteenth century medicine. That led to John Parascandola’s book King of Poisons: A History of Arsenic. The book is a fascinating nonfiction…Read More