Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven J. Levitt

April 11, 2014

Summary (from the publisher): Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? How much do parents really matter? These may not sound like typical questions for an economist to ask. But Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He studies the riddles of […]


There Are No Children Here by Alex Kotlowitz

March 17, 2014

Sumary (from Wikipedia): There are No Children Here follows the lives of two young brothers, Lafeyette and Pharoah Rivers, who live in the Henry Horner Homes, one of Chicago’s subsidized housing projects in the inner city. Lafeyette and Pharoah, aged 11 and 9 years at the start of the book in 1987, live with their […]


Wheat Belly by William Davis

March 14, 2014

Summary (from the publisher): Every day, over 200 million Americans consume food products made of wheat. As a result, over 100 million of them experience some form of adverse health effect, ranging from minor rashes and high blood sugar to the unattractive stomach bulges that preventive cardiologist William Davis calls “wheat bellies.” According to Davis, […]


Kill You Twice by Chelsea Cain

March 9, 2014

Plot summary (from the publisher): Nothing makes Portland detective Archie Sheridan happier than knowing that Beauty Killer Gretchen Lowell is locked away in a psych ward. Archie can finally heal from the near-fatal physical and emotional wounds she’s inflicted on him and start moving on with his life. Or can he? His latest case, involving […]


A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton

February 27, 2014

Plot summary (from the publisher): A tough-talking former cop, private investigator Kinsey Millhone has set up a modest detective agency in a quiet corner of Santa Teresa, California. A twice-divorced loner with few personal possessions and fewer personal attachments, she’s got a soft spot for underdogs and lost causes. Eight years ago, Nikki Fife was […]


Lamb by Bonnie Nadzam

February 21, 2014

Plot summary (from the publisher): Lamb traces the self-discovery of David Lamb, a narcissistic middle aged man with a tendency toward dishonesty, in the weeks following the disintegration of his marriage and the death of his father. Hoping to regain some faith in his own goodness, he turns his attention to Tommie, an awkward and […]


And When She Was Good by Laura Lippman

February 17, 2014

Plot summary (from the publisher): Perennial New York Times and nationally bestselling author and acclaimed multiple–prize winner Laura Lippman delivers a brilliant novel about a woman with a secret life who is forced to make desperate choices to save her son and herself. When Hector Lewis told his daughter that she had a nothing face, […]


Death in Venice by Thomas Mann

February 2, 2014

Plot summary (from the publisher): Celebrated novella of a middle-aged German writer’s tormented passion for a Polish youth met on holiday in Venice, and its tragic consequences. Powerful evocation of the mysterious forces of death and disintegration in the midst of existence, and the isolation of the artist in 20th-century life. Warning: Spoilers below! Liked: […]


The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

January 14, 2014

Summary (from the publisher): In The Power of Habit, award-winning New York Times business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. With penetrating intelligence and an ability to distill vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives, Duhigg brings to […]


Rocks of Ages by Stephen Jay Gould

January 10, 2014

Summary (from the publisher): Writing with bracing intelligence and clarity, internationally renowned evolutionist and bestselling author Stephen Jay Gould sheds new light on a dilemma that has plagued thinking people since the Renaissance: the rift between science and religion. Instead of choosing them, Gould asks, why not opt for a golden mean that accords dignity […]