7 Best-Reviewed Books in June 2018
- June 29, 2018
We came, we read, we gushed. Here’s a recap of the titles that left us especially warm and swoony this past month.
- How to Write an Autobiographical Novel: Essays by Alexander Chee (Mariner Books). Reviewed by Gretchen Lida. “Despite its many subjects, How to Write an Autobiographical Novel is above all a book on writing. As I read, I underlined, highlighted, and snapped photos of quotes. While I sometimes do this with other books, it felt as though I couldn’t pick up Chee’s collection without a pen at the ready. It’s as if it were written for those who know the struggle of writing as the world watches, as well as the struggle of writing when no one else cares.”
- Alone Time: Four Seasons, Four Cities, and the Pleasures of Solitude by Stephanie Rosenbloom (Viking). Reviewed by Susan Storer Clark. “In her introduction, Rosenbloom quotes Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in his famous book, Flow: ‘Only witches and shamans feel comfortable spending time by themselves.’ Still, going solo can be deeply rewarding, and Alone Time shows a masterful way to do it.”
- The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations by John McCain and Mark Salter (Simon & Schuster). Reviewed by Jennifer Bort Yacovissi. “McCain fully owns both his failures and his successes, makes no excuses, and begs no forgiveness. He uses this book to record his version of crucial events of the last 20 or so years, but also, as he says, ‘I want to talk to my fellow Americans a little more if I may.’ It’s worth considering what he has to say. He may side-step some issues, and no one writes a memoir to make themselves look bad, but it’s hard to argue that he is not sincerely considering what’s in the best interests of Americans as citizens of the world.”
- Rome Resurgent: War and Empire in the Age of Justinian by Peter Heather (Oxford University Press). Reviewed by Bob Duffy. “Rome Resurgent is singularly rich in detail, as well as in informed insight into a period balanced on the cusp of the empire’s transformation from Roman to Byzantine. And just beyond the frame of this saga lies the shattering emergence of Muslim hegemony in the Middle East and the African Mediterranean.”
- When the Center Held: Gerald Ford and the Rescue of the American Presidency by Donald Rumsfeld (Free Press). Reviewed by Talmage Boston. “Because of their friendship, Rumsfeld makes clear from the outset that his view of Ford is not impartial, and his book is not intended to be an objective biography. Rather, it is his attempt to ‘give a sense of what it was like to be there, during one of our nation’s most tempestuous times, at Gerald Ford’s side.’ Despite that caveat, the book is a fine work of presidential history, as evidenced by the dust-jacket endorsements from Pulitzer winner Jon Meacham and Pulitzer finalist Jean Edward Smith.”
- RFK: His Words for Our Times, edited by Edwin O. Guthman and C. Richard Allen (William Morrow). Reviewed by James A. Percoco. “Editor Edwin O. Guthman has done a yeoman’s service here in providing readers with the critical mass of Bobby Kenney’s words. After a stirring introduction by Rick Allen, readers encounter the reflections of a variety of notable personalities, some of whom were included in the 1993 edition. The luminaries include Presidents Obama and Clinton, the singer Bono, the Most Reverend Desmond Tutu, Marian Wright Edelman, Elie Wiesel, William Manchester, and Julián Castro, among others.”
- Patient Care: Death and Life in the Emergency Room by Paul Seward, MD (Catapult). Reviewed by Philip K. Jason. “Whether describing the obstinacy of patients, the brave faces worn by worried relatives, the technical aspects of repairing injured bodies, or the elation of helping potential catastrophes end well, Paul Seward fills his attractively written narrative with authoritative detail, strong emotion, and a precise sense of place.”
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