Category Archives: Contemporary Nonfiction

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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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. … Continue reading

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A house filled with tears

Rob Moyer loves detective fiction, it’s true. But from time to time, his interest in human nature – including its darker sides – takes him into the serious nonfiction realm, and particularly into the horrors of the Holocaust. Reviewed by … Continue reading

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Here’s the buzz

My husband, Lloyd Brinson, was a science teacher for many years, and he’s also become a pretty accomplished gardener. He already knew a good bit about the importance of pollinators – he raises eyebrows in our neighborhood by carefully mowing … Continue reading

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A different perspective

Paul O’Connor, a veteran journalist, offers a review of a book that he says isn’t easy to read – but worth the effort. Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor CASTE: THE ORIGIN OF OUR DISCONTENTS. By Isabel Wilkerson. Random House. 388 … Continue reading

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How could he?

Bob Moyer reviews a book that’s both mystery and thriller, as are many of the ones he reads, but this is a nonfiction book of history. Reviewed by Robert P. Moyer MENGELE: Unmasking the Angel of Death. By David G. … Continue reading

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Unraveling the girl she was

Reviewed by Robert P. Moyer A GIRL’S STORY. By Annie Ernaux. Seven Stories Press. 160 pages. $18.95 Shame and humiliation. She spent two nights with a man, then fixated on him, in 1958, earning the name “whore around the edges” from … Continue reading

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Striking out

What’s wrong with Major League Baseball? Paul O’Connor, a longtime fan, takes a look at two books published decades ago that warn us about the problems facing the sport now – and no, it’s not all about the pandemic. Reviewed … Continue reading

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Out of ‘faded shadows’

Bob Moyer reviews a memoir that’s also the story of piecing together a very personal puzzle. Reviewed by Robert P. Moyer WHEN TIME STOPPED: A Memoir of My Father’s War and What Remains. By Ariana Neumann. Scribner. 321 pages. $28. … Continue reading

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