Link Exchange with Bruce's Booklist
Update List & Comments
Music and Art
Palace of Treason by Jason Matthews.
The Diver's Clothes Lie Empty
by Vendela Vida.
The Wright Brothers
by David McCullough.
Berenson A Life in the Picture Trade
by Rachel Cohen.
Humanistic Judaism by Sherwin T. Wine.
Jabotinsky: A Life by Hillel Halkin.
Ben Gurion, Father of Modern Israel by Anita Shapira.
Find Me by Laura Van Den Berg.
Living The Secular Life by Phil Zuckerman.
The Birth of the Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution by Jonathan Eig.
This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids by Dannielle Owens-Reid and Kristin Russo.
Rainbow in the Cloud: Wisdom and Spirit of Maya Angelou.
Inside Madeline by Paula Bomer.
The Quotable Musician From Bach To Tupac by Sheila E. Anderson.
The Leonard Bernstein Letters edited by Nigel Simeone.
Daughter of the King Growing Up in Gangland by Sandra Lansky and William Stadiem.
Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues by MartinJ Blaser MD.
Visible City by Tovah Mirvis.
A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthough Ideas by Warren Berger.
The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison.
The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman..
Scent of Butterflies by Dora Levy Mossanen.
Alena by Rachel Pastan.
Stranger in My Own Country: A Jewish Family in Modern Germary. by Yascha Mounnk.
The Rise of Abraham Cahan by Seth Lipsky.
by Mark Haskell Smith.
The Silver Star
by Jeanette Walls.
The Great Dissent: How Oliver Wendell Holmes Changed his Mind
and changed the history of Free Speech in America..
by Thomas Healy.
The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells. by Andrew Sean Greer.
Treacherous Paradise by Henning Mankell
All That Is by Phillip Salter.
The Great Agnostic
Robert Ingersoll and American Freethought by Susan Jacoby.
The Hour of Peril by Daniel Stashhower.
Ghost Man by Roger Hobbs.
Power Systems by Noam Chomsky.
Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan.
Winter of the World Book Two of the Century Trilogy by Ken Follett.
In Praise of Messy Lives by Katie Roiphe.
Chasing Venus The Race To Measure the Heavens By Andrea Wulf.
Free Will By Sam Harris.
The Orphan Master by Jean Zimmerman.
Unorthodox:The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots by Deborah Feldman.
When General Grant Expelled the Jews by Jonathan D. Sarna.
Bringing up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman.
The Inquisitor by Mark Allen Smith.
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain.
Bad Boy of Music by George Antheil.
Hedy's Folly: The Life and Breakthrough Inventions of the Most Beautiful Woman in the World by Richard Rhodes.
Mudbound by Hillary Jordan.
Jews On Broadway An Historical survey of Performers, Playwrights, Composers, Lyricists, and Producers. By Stewart Lane.
When She Woke by Hillary Jordan.
The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta.
Player One by Ernest Cline.
Sarah's Key by Tatiana De Rosnay.
La Seduction by by Elaine Sciolino.
The Greater Journey Americans in Paris by David McCullough.
The Forgotten Founding Father:Noah Webster's Obsessions and the Creation of an American Culture by Joshua Kendall.
Palace of Treason by Jason Matthews. Simon
and Schuster 2015. Dominika, the main character of the author's
highly acclaimed novel, "Red Sparrow," is working as a double agent for
the CIA. As a graduate of "Sparrow" School,
she is accomplished in using sex and complex martial arts as tools of
espionage. Fully implanted in the Russian Intelligence agency, the SVR,
Dominika is attempting to foil Iranian Nuclear weapon development. She
is romantically involved with a CIA agent, Nate, and works covertly to
execute their plan. Intrigue and rivalry are rife within the
SVR. Zyuganov, a sadistic SVR torturer, envisions his rise to the top ranks
of the SVR- where Dominika's status is a stumbling block. She
singlehandedly makes espionage coups ( aided by CIA information) which
put her in the limelight of the agency, diminishing Zyuganov's prospects
of eventually rising to the top ranks. Meanwhile, the SVR is
aware of an unknown American mole ( Dominika) who Zyuganov suspects and attempts to
uncover. Major intrigue ensues- Zyuganov's pursuit of Dominika
as she steals Russian state secrets. This is a highly intense, vivid suspense novel,
laced with sex and violence. Highly recommended to readers of suspense
novels. The author's first book, "Red Sparrow" was reviewed as a
"first-rate novel as noteworthy for its superior style as for its
gripping depiction of a secretive world" by the
Washington Post critic Art Taylor The
author is a retired officer from the CIA's Operations Directorate and
engaged in covert national security intelligence, with a specialization
in denied-areas. Interviews and more author info on his Simon
and Schuster web site.
- Ghost Man by Roger Hobbs. Random House :2013. Jack Delton( he no longer uses this alias) is an esoteric member of an armed robbery team: the Ghostman, a fixer upper/cleanup person of shifting invisible identities whose capabilities are integral to a carrying out a successful crime. He/she has constant a change of voice, age, facial features, location, and other markers which enable the Ghost Man to disappear easily. "Jack" is hired by Marcus, a "Jug Marker", ( an individual who orchestrates robberies) to "cleanup" an unsuccessful botched casino robbery involving Federal money which will explode within a short time. Although Jack was not a part of the robbery, he needs to find both the surviving gunman in the robbery and the missing Federal money. One of Marcus' rivals, Harry, also seeks the money, and is trying to locate Jack, whose life is constantly endangered by Harry's violent henchmen. The reader is led into the (fictional?) "behind the scenes" working of high-level armed robbery. This is a sterling debut crime thriller, replete with on-the-edge storytelling. The author graduated from Reed College in 2011. This novel will be published in 16 languages. His web site is www.rogerhobbs.com
- The Orphan Master by Jean Zimmerman. Penguin Group : 2012. Blandine Van Couvering is concerned about the disappearance of orphans in the Dutch Colony of New Amsterdam. Blandine, a successful young trader, is an orphan who grew up under the care of Aet Visser, the orphan master. There is a rumor that orphan children have been abducted by a cannibal demon, the witika. Blandine is an atheist, a feminist, and very suspicious about the disappearance of the orphans. Englishman Edward Drummond is secretly in New Amsterdam to report the whereabouts of the regicides of the English King, Charles I. He becomes attracted to Blandine, and together they attempt to solve the disappearance and murders of the missing orphans. Their lives become increasingly endangered during this time of the looming English invasion. New Amsterdam is a thrilling historical setting for this chilling crime novel. Highly recommended to the general mystery readership. The author's non-fiction books are Love, Fiercely: A Gilden Age Romance, and The Women of the House: How a Colonial She-Merchant built a Mansion, A Fortune, and a Dynasty.
Her web site is jeanzimmerman.com
- The Inquisitor by Mark Allen Smith.Henry Holt and Company New York: 2012.
The Inquisitor, a.k.a "Geiger," is a professional torturer who is contracted by governmental and
"commercial" clients. He uses a sober, rational approach with his victims, who he never kills- although their post-interrogation state is not his concern. A new "commercial" case involving a stolen artwork, goes awry. The interrogatee victim is a kidnapped child, which is against the Inquisitor's modus operandi. Geiger's life becomes endangered and he eventually must hide from his "competitors" who contracted him for the case. This is a creepy, sinuous, and chilling debut. Suspense readers will be awed by the intense complexity of this novel, including Geiger's psychological undercurrents. The author has worked for many years in the movies and TV as a screenwriter, investigative producer, and on documentary films.
- The Third Rail by Michael Harvey. Random House New York: 2010.
Two women are shot by a sniper in Chicago Transit train incidents. On the same day, a church is targeted by a chemical attack.
Private investigator Michael Kelly, a former cop, is present at the scene of one of the murders.
Kelly investigates the case with a hardened tenacity, aided by the Chicago Police and an assistant.
The FBI is also monitoring the case, overshadowing his investigation. Kelly's leads bring him on sinuous chase,
an ex-cop looming as a possible suspect. The murders open a Pandora's box hinting towards another related crime. This book is a masterful page turner, and the tense unraveling of the crimes keep the reader constantly questioning about potential perps. The author has written The Chicago Way and The Fifth Floor. He is also a documentary producer and a journalist, winning multiple Emmy Awards, two Primetime Emmy Awards, and an Academy Award Nomination. His web site is www.michaelharveybooks.com
- Crime Stories by Ferdinand Von Schirach.
Alfred A. Knopf New York:2011. Translated by Carol Brown Janeway. A fascinating array of contemporary
German crime stories. The author, a criminal defense lawyer,
spins a motley web of characters into his unsettling tales: immigrants, prominent citizens, and ordinary middle class criminals set the stage for a piercing psychological voyage into the lives of the accused. Former clients of the author, include Gunter Schabowski, the former East German spy Norbert Juretzko, and underworld figures.
- The Inner Circle by Mari Jungstedt. Translation from Swedish by Tina Nunnally. St. Martin's Minotaur, New York: 2008. An international group of young archaeology students excavate a thousand year old Viking harbor on the historic island of Gotland, Sweden.
One of the students is brutally murdered in a ritual fashion. The bodyless heads of recently slaughtered dead horses are also discovered on the island. Inspector Anders Knutas investigates the possible link between the dead horses and the murder. He painstakingly uncovers clues pointing to a serial killer. This is a riveting, dark mystery, cast against the tempo of Scandinavian life on the island. The author has worked as a radio and television journalist. This is her third Inspector Anders mystery set on the island of Gotland.
- Unspoken by Mari Jungstedt. Translated from Swedish by Tiina Nunnally. St. Martin's Minotaur New York: 2007. An alcoholic, ex-newspaper photographer has been found murdered shortly after winning a grand prize at the racetrack. Foul play is suspected by his former drinking companions. A parallel story emerges of a young teenage girl who lives with her alcoholic mother and works at a local racing stable. The two threads are brought together as Detective Anders Knutas tries to pin a suspect for the murder. A thrilling denouement ensues in which an unsuspected perp is finally brought to light. The author has worked as a radio and television journalist. This is her second book in the Detective Anders series based in Gotland, an island off the coast of Sweden.
- The Good Thief's Guide To Amsterdam by Chris Ewan. St. Martin's Minotaur New York: 2008.
Charlie Howard is a novelist who writes a suspense series about a burglar named Faulks. To supplement his income, Charlie surreptitiously takes on the same line of work as his fictional alter ego. During a visit to Amsterdam, he is mysteriously approached by an American about stealing two important monkey figurines which match the one the prospective client already owns. After stealing the two figurines, Charlie finds himself investigated by the Amsterdam Police for the murder of the American. Other thieves are also searching for the three monkey figurines: a dangerous situation ensues, and Charlie must elude both the police and the thieves on his tail while attempting to solve the mystery of the American's now missing figurine. The story wraps up by the novel's main characters revealing the perp. The author won the Long Barn First Novel Competition in the UK.
- Go With Me by Castle Freeman Jr. Steerforth Press Hanover, N.H.:2008. Lillian, an outspoken outsider in a small Vermont town, is harassed by a local criminal, Blackway. She seeks recourse with the Sheriff, who can't arrest Blackway without evidence, and instead advises her to find help at the local town mill. Two mill workers, Nate the Great, a laconic strongman, and Lester, a retired logger, join Lillian to confront Blackway. A slow building story climaxes into a hair raising conclusion. The author is the award-winning author of two previous novels, a story collection, and a collection of essays. He is a regular essayist for The Old Farmer's Alamanc