Category Archives: books

Review of Jack E. Davis’s “The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea” in the Dallas Morning News

So last Sunday my review of Jack E. Davis’s The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea appeared in the Dallas Morning News, and can be found here. It’s a terrific book about the Gulf of Mexico, on the shores … Continue reading

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O Gulag, My Gulag: On Daniel Beer’s “The House of the Dead: Siberian Exile Under the Tsars”

So I’m a sucker for Russian literature, and while I was recently reading a biography of Leo Tolstoy written by his daughter—Alexandra Tolstoy’s The Life of My Father (1953)—I had to set it down when I heard about this just-out … Continue reading

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The Goodwill Genius: On Discovering Vladimir Nabokov’s “Bend Sinister”

So back in December my editor at the Dallas Morning News asked me (and other contributing writers) to pen a brief essay about a book I’d been given as a gift some time in my life, and I actually wrote … Continue reading

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On Adventures Gone Wrong: Stephane Gerson’s “Disaster Falls” and Jason Kersten’s “Journal of the Dead”

So I stumbled upon a book that touches close to home for me, as a naturalist who drags his young daughter with him to various outdoor locales seething with both beauty and danger, filled with the confidence and aplomb that … Continue reading

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“The Altered States of Stuffed Animals” in The Superstition Review

So I have an essay titled “The Altered States of Stuffed Animals” published in the latest issue of The Superstition Review, which can be located here. I have a fondness for TSR, as they have published some of my work … Continue reading

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On T.J. Stiles’s “Custer’s Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America”: a Pulitzer That Deserves It

So I’ve been a fan of both (the celebrated myth of) George Armstrong Custer and the excellent historian/biographer T.J. Stiles for many years, and when these two worlds collided, it’s not surprising that I read Custer’s Trials: A Life on … Continue reading

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On Sonia Shah’s “Pandemic” and Antarctica’s Looming Meltdown: Drowning in a Sea Full of Germs

So a few years back I often wrote about Climate Change and its slo-mo catastrophe, especially when it seemed that we had the chance to alter our Titanic-like course toward that (melting) iceberg, but of late I’ve been more reticent, … Continue reading

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On Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” and J.J. Abrams’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” Or a Journey from the Sublime to the Ridiculous

So over the holidays I was holed up on a mountainside in Colorado reading Leo Tolstoy’s epic War and Peace (1869), which, at 1224 pages, is an undertaking. I felt compelled to read it as quickly as possible, lest the … Continue reading

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Metro v. Retro Jon Krakauer: On the “Everest” Film and Jon Krakauer’s “Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town”

So last weekend I happened to see the new film Everest, which recapitulates many of the events in Jon Krakauer’s bestseller Into Thin Air (1997), about the disastrous year when 11 climbers died on Mount Everest, circa 1996—which has since … Continue reading

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The Rise of Internet Fiction: Blending Reality and Fiction—Not Just Ghosts in the Machine

So when the internet first became accessible to a wide range of people, it wasn’t just corporations and commercial institutions that flooded the World Wide Web with their websites, advertising products and making their information publicly available. One of the … Continue reading

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