WYSO

Books - Non-Fiction

Karl Rove was the man who engineered the election victories of George W. Bush. It was Rove who worked behind the scenes to get his candidate elected Governor of Texas and then to two terms as the President of the United States. This man lives and breathes politics.

The Rolling Stones are a legendary rock and roll band. After 50 years they are still touring, making albums, and playing their many hit songs. A few years ago the Stones guitarist Keith Richards published a well received memoir. There was one former Rolling Stone who didn't get mentioned very much in Keith's book, a guy named Brian Jones.

Rita Gabis had fond memories of her Lithuanian grandfather. She knew that he had come to America as an adult and that he had lived in Lithuania during World War II. After he died she began to want to know more about his life. In particular, she was interested in what he had done during the war. Her grandfather had been a policeman and he had maintained his police duties during the German occupation of Lithuania.

Has our society got you down? Is our culture depressing you? Have you been unlucky in love? Are you tired of feeling like somebody's punching bag? I have just the book for you. The eminently quotable Cheryl Strayed has put together a self-help book called "Brave Enough." You might know Strayed as the writer who brought us the mega-memoir "Wild." She has a terse, pithy, and succulent mode of expression.

Perhaps you spurn the "self-help" category? I know that I do. Don't ignore this book. This is an inspiring collection of Cheryl's most resonant quotes. Here's an example:

Harold Holzer has dedicated much of his life to the study of one of our greatest presidents. Abraham Lincoln. Holzer has written many books about Lincoln and his recent book "Lincoln and the Power of the Press - the War for Public Opinion" was the one that finally delivered the ultimate honor for a Lincoln scholar. Holzer won the Lincoln Prize for it. 

Holzer writes exceptional books and he's an absolute delight to interview. I'm sure you'll understand what I mean as you listen to this one.

Chris Woodyard is the grand dame of "Haunted Ohio." Woodyard's dedication and devotion to unearthing the spookiest stories and superstitions have kept readers horrified,entertained and enthralled  for decades. For her latest collection Woodyard has excavated reams of creepy material from periodicals of the Victorian era. The Victorians could seem a bit obsessive about death.

These articles range from strange to bizarre, from chilling to mildly disturbing. Her passion for this  work shines through in her books  and in this interview.

Anna Badkhen is one of my favorite writers. Her latest book is one of my favorite books of the year. My interview with Anna is one of my favorite interviews this year. I cannot wait for her next. Here's my review of her current book which ran in the Cox Ohio newspapers:

Baseball is a sport that is obsessed with statistics. Baseball statisticians measure and quantify almost every possible aspect of how the game is played. But there are some things that cannot be measured with numbers.  In "Intangiball - the Subtle Things That Win Baseball Games" Lonnie Wheeler explores these mysterious aspects of the game and studies certain players of the past and present who seem to have possessed these unmeasurable attributes which have allowed them to excel beyond any statistician's quantifiable predictions of how the sport can be played.

Americans of a certain age might recall that the psychedelic drug LSD was once the subject of some extremely negative press coverage. During the late 1960's the press was filled with horror stories about LSD. Supposedly LSD usage could lead to insanity or even worse. But that was then. Public opinion and the media coverage of LSD has shifted and changed over the years. 

The first atomic bomb was dropped on the city of Hiroshima in Japan in 1945. Shortly thereafter another bomb was detonated over the Japanese city of Nagasaki. Our war with Japan ended shortly thereafter.

Much has been written about what happened at Hiroshima. Much less has been said about Nagasaki. Susan Southard conducted extensive interviews with some residents of Nagasaki who survived that nuclear blast.

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