When I think about nonfiction reads for the summer, I always return to books that are both a lot of fun to read and that don’t take a lot of brainpower to parse through. The authors with books on this list are definitely smart, but they’ve also found a way to make their topics — everything from the birth of forensic toxicology to the history of a favorite summer toy — easily digestible even after a margarita or two.
Today I have a guest post over Jenn’s Bookshelves as part of her Murder, Monsters, & Mayhem celebration this October. For the post, I picked three different nonfiction books I think well-represent murder, monsters, and mayhem… depending on what you’re in the mood for reading.
Unrelated, I also had my first new post up on Book Riot last week in which I confess to my habit of turning classic literature into a daytime soap opera.
My last books article before I left Madison was a a combo interview and review with Erin Celello, a Madison-area author who just published her debut novel, Miracle Beach.
On the whole, Miracle Beach is a pretty good book. It’s told from three points of view — Macy, Magda, and Jack — and I was impressed with how well Celello was able to differentiate between them. I also liked that each of them was flawed, and Celello wasn’t afraid to make them behave badly when the situation warranted. Grief can make people do awful things, and the book accepts (maybe even embraces) that fact.
Businesses that rely on sharing goods are part of a new business culture, The Mesh, which author Lisa Gansky explores in her book The Mesh: Why the Future of Business is Sharing. I can’t remember how I ended up with this book for review, but I pulled it off the shelf a couple weeks ago because I was feeling like reading something different.
Mesh businesses rely on a principle of sharing, that it makes sense to share items that are high-cost but that are used infrequently (cars, power tools, expensive jewelry, that sort of thing). The book profiles a number of businesses that are taking advantage of this phenomenon.
Today my first “professional” book review was posted online — The Postmistress by Sarah Blake. In addition to getting to review the book, I also got to interview Sarah while she was in Denver on her book tour, so some of her thoughts on writing the book are part of that story.
I have to admit, I was a little bit intimidated working on this story because doing a mainstream review is a different style than what I write on the blog. I didn’t get to use the word “awesome” as much, and I felt like I had to pull back my personal opinions on the book a bit to talk about it in more general terms.
What happens to a small press when they need to start producing ebooks?
That’s always been one of my questions as I read stories about the impact of ebooks on booksellers and consumers, and I finally got a chance to get a perspective on that issue when I interviewed Krista Coulson, the electronic publishing manager for the University of Wisconsin Press, for the books column I write for a local newspaper.