Category: Contemporary Nonfiction

  • Looking for Mayberry? Try Roanoke Island

    I’m catching up on a few books that slipped through the cracks last year when the newspaper I’d been writing freelance reviews for no longer was able to pay for such things. It’s sad what’s happening to regional newspapers as they are bought by distant enterprises that strip them of staff and resources; it’s a […]

  • A lot of stories to tell, with help

    Are you a fan of the funny man, Steve Martin? If so, Bob Moyer has the book for you. Reviewed by Robert P. Moyer NUMBER ONE IS WALKING. By Steve Martin. Drawings by Harry Bliss. Celadon Books. 256 pages. $30. One of the funniest men on the planet, Steve Martin has made 40 movies ( […]

  • A tale of redemption

    This is a book worth reading that has been too long overlooked. Reviewed by Linda C. Brinson I ONCE WAS LOST: A TRUE STORY. Paperback. By Fred Moore. 265 pages. Price varies.  Fred Moore knew he was a golden boy. He grew up in East Winston, the predominantly black side of Winston-Salem, in a middle-class […]

  • Playing for keeps

    Yeah, we know Vladimir Putin is a bad guy. But do we know all the ways he is bad? Paul O’Connor takes a look at a book that lays out some things you probably didn’t know. Very interesting things.   Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor   FREEZING ORDER: A TRUE STORY OF RUSSIAN MONEY LAUNDERING, […]

  • The common folks vs. Boss Hog – a horror story

    Paul O’Connor reviews what he calls a nonfiction legal thriller – and warns that reading it might be hazardous to your appetite. Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor WASTELANDS: THE TRUE STORY OF FARM COUNTRY ON TRIAL. By Corban Addison.  Knopf. 464 pages, hardcover. $30. Also available from Random House Audio. Read by Rob Shapiro. 16 hours […]

  • Popular history that deserves the adjective

    Paul O’Connor starts the New Year off right with a review of a work of popular history that he says is as gripping as any fictional account. Maybe more…   Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor   PRISONERS OF THE CASTLE: An Epic Story of Survival and Escape from Colditz, the Nazis’ Fortress Prison. By Ben […]

  • Saying the right things, doing the wrong

    Paul O’Connor takes a look at a sobering, thought-provoking book about a highly  influential global management and consulting company. Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor WHEN MCKINSEY COMES TO TOWN: THE HIDDEN INFLUENCE OF THE WORLD’S MOST POWERFUL CONSULTING FIRM. By Walt Bogdanich and Michael Forsythe. Doubleday. 386 pages. $29.75. Also available as an audiobook from […]

  • An unlikely success story and the sorry state of college football

    Paul O’Connor, a fine journalist himself, doesn’t tell us in this review, but I happen to know that he went to a little college in the Midwest, one at South Bend, Ind., that has quite a football tradition of its own. My only connection with the University of Michigan is that my high school (no […]

  • All that glitters…

    Paul O’Connor reviews a disturbing true-crime story that shines a light on the dark side of some usually well respected institutions. Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor BAD CITY: PERIL AND POWER IN THE CITY. By Paul Pringle. Celadon Books. Hardcover. 304 pages. $29.99, hardcover. Also available from Macmillan Audio, read by Robert Petkoff. 9 hours, […]

  • On the brink, as seen by one who’s been there

    Wondering why there’s a war in Ukraine? This book might shed some light – on that, and on what else might be over “the edge.” Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor LESSONS FROM THE EDGE: A MEMOIR. By Marie Jovanovitch. Harper Audio. 17 hours, 11 minutes. $37. Also available in hardback. Mariner Books. 416 pages. $30. […]