July 13, 2005 If you want to learn a lot about how American justice operates at the lower level of courts, pick up Steven Bogira's Courtroom 302, his fascinating and sobering account of a year spent watching the proceedings in one courtroom in Chicago.
July 13, 2005 Author Francine du Plessix Gray traces the remarkable trajectory of her mother and stepfather's lives, from Russia to New York City.
July 13, 2005 Author Adam Hochschild works with a clear cast of villains and heroes in this history of the abolitionist movement in Britain.
July 13, 2005 Author David Thomson concentrates his attention on a handful of key players, turning the lives of notable figures from Louis B. Mayer to Stephen Spielberg into deeply intuitive parables of success or disappointment.
July 13, 2005 Author Stephanie Elizondo Griest frees herself from a dull "and then I went here" chronological approach and makes each chapter in this memoir, in effect, its own short story.
July 13, 2005 According ot our reviewer, Alan Greenblatt, this book avoids "historical hindsight." Even when Ellis sums up an important battle in a paragraph, he doesn't stint in explaining its importance to the tides of war.
July 13, 2005 Political writer Alan Greenblatt says author Christopher de Bellaigue is a perceptive portraitist who glides easily between present-time narrative and a compelling account of the Islamic revolution and Iran-Iraq war's continuing costs.
July 6, 2005 This is a universal staff pick at The Alabama Booksmith. There are 22 essays in typical Sedaris style – hilarious, wonderful, poignant and moving. He has the necessary chapter on the rooster – David's brother. The store has hosted the author four times and every time he mentions the Rooster, the crowd goes wild.
July 6, 2005 Set in America's gilded age at the end of the 1800s, this book details the soured friendship between Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick. From their competition over collecting art to various steel strikes, the book depicts history without ever reading like a dry textbook.
July 6, 2005 The Chronicle of Higher Education named this the best book about college sports ever written. The author describes his season on the road with fans of the University of Alabama football team, including one fan who missed his daughter's wedding because it was scheduled during the Tennesee game.
June 29, 2005 Everybody knows about the role of King George III in the Revolutionary War, and about the illness that made him seem crazy. But what we didn't know about was his domestic side, and the six daughters he doted on. Fraser's book is an absorbing biography.
June 29, 2005 This is a loving look at a summer spot that's been cherished by generations of East Coast families, written by a Vineyard veteran, says NPR book editor Karen Grigsby Bates.
June 16, 2005 Author Susan Casey travels to the Farallon Islands to meet great white sharks and the biologists who study them.