Category: Contemporary Nonfiction

  • 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. […]

  • A frightening, enlightening look at the world of El Chapo

    Paul O’Connor, my esteemed colleague from our years with the Winston-Salem Journal’s editorial pages, occasionally still writes a book review for this blog. I’m always happy and enlightened when that happens. Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor EL CHAPO: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE WORLD’S MOST INFAMOUS DRUG LORD. By Noah Hurowitz. Atria Books. 333 pages. […]

  • A powerful look at how “we” got here

    Bob Moyer reviews a book about black performers in America – and a great deal more. Reviewed by Robert P. Moyer A LITTLE DEVIL IN AMERICA: Notes in Praise of Black Performance. By Hanif Abdurraqib. Random House. 300 pages. $27. This book is much greater than the sum of its pages. Hanif Abdurraqib has created […]