Thumbs up for Nine Hills to Nambonkaha by Sarah Erdman. Travel.

I picked this up as research for a story and within a few pages realized it was not what I needed. But by that time, I’d been hooked by Erdman’s writing. There are so many ways that a white woman’s memoir of her Peace Corps work in an African village could have been irritating or obnoxious.… >> Read more

Thumbs up for City of Gold: Dubai and the Dream of Capitalism by Jim Krane. History/travel.

Astonishingly good. I would wish that all countries had books this riveting written about them, but I don’t think it’s possible; most places just won’t make your jaw drop this often. If this were a story about oil, I wouldn’t find it very interesting. But oil came late and comparatively little.… >> Read more

Thumbs up for Clueless In Tokyo: An Explorer’s Sketchbook Of Weird And Wonderful Things In Japan by Betty Reynolds. Travel.

With all these bright fun illustrations, this looks like a kids’ book. It’s not, being a little too honest about all of the things sold in vending machines. It does however seem to be a great book to read before visiting Japan, so, having enjoyed it once, I am keeping it around to re-read when I’m rich and can actually afford to go to Japan.… >> Read more