Book Buzz: The Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

The Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton Escapism seems to be in order these days, and sometimes a twisty mystery is just the ticket for engrossing distraction. Stuart Turton’s inventive 2018 whodunnit, The Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, is more like a who-what-when-where-how-dunnit. It’s been billed as … Read more

Book Buzz: The Dutch House

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett Bel Canto, the exquisite novel about an opera singer and a dozen guests held hostage at a South American embassy, came out in 2001 and left such a positive impression in my memory that every time I see a new Ann Patchett title I check it out from the … Read more

Book Buzz: What It’s Like to Be a Bird

What It’s Like to Be a Bird: From Flying to Nesting, Eating to Singing: What Birds are Doing, and Why by David Allen Sibley One of the things I’ve enjoyed about being home so much during Washington’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy directive is setting up bird feeders and spending time birdwatching. Resulting questions about bird … Read more

Book Buzz: Seveneves

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson For a brief moment on Sat., May 30, the world’s attention soared beyond the earth, following the launch of the SpaceX Crew Dragon on its first manned mission. There were high-fives and cheers, and a feeling of excitement and possibility. Then came breaking news from Minneapolis, New York, Seattle, and elsewhere, … Read more

Book Buzz: Understanding Structural Racism

As the shock wave created by the video of George Floyd’s murder continues to reverberate, people—especially white people—are asking “What can I do? How can I be an ally?” and one part of the answer is always “educate yourself about structural racism.” To that end, these title suggestions will help get you started thinking about … Read more

Book Buzz: The Truffle Underground

The Truffle Underground: A Tale of Mystery, Mayhem, and Manipulation in the Shadowy Market of the World’s Most Expensive Fungus by Ryan McMahon Jacobs Authors and publishers have learned that if you add a lengthy, intriguing subtitle to your book, you increase the chances of someone picking it up. Investigative journalist Ryan Jacobs put this … Read more

Book Buzz: Greenwood

Greenwood by Michael Christie Like the rings of a mighty tree, Michael Christie’s recent novel Greenwood spans generations, telling the story of a family whose lives are inextricably connected with trees and who are often at odds with each other—among them a lumber tycoon father, his eco-activist daughter, and her carpenter son. It’s 2038, and Jacinda “Jake” … Read more

Book Buzz: Pandemic Fiction

Playing the board game Pandemic recently, it was oddly comforting to have a role in eradicating the virus and fighting the good fight with our team of scientists, researchers and first responders. Thinking about the experience, I realized I’ve been feeling the impulse to read some pandemic fiction, even though that subject matter isn’t my … Read more

Book Buzz: The Ghost Map

The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic—and How it Changed Science, Cities and the Modern World With reports of COVID-19 dominating the news cycle and the worldwide run on face masks and antibacterial hand sanitizer, reading a book about a deadly cholera epidemic in London might not be the kind of escapist … Read more

Book Buzz: Highway of Tears

Highway of Tears: A True Story of Racism, Indifference and the Pursuit of Justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls by Jessica McDiarmid Ramona Wilson, a bright, bubbly teenager from Smithers, B.C., was last seen alive the evening of June 11, 1994. As teenagers are wont to do, Ramona told her mother she’d … Read more