Book Review: The Boston Irish by Thomas H. O’Connor


Author: Thomas H. O’Connor Title: The Boston Irish Publication Info: 9780316626613 ISBN: Back Bay Books (1997) Previously Read by the Same Author: Eminent Bostonians Summary/Review: Subtitled “A Political History” this is the Dean of Boston History’s story of the rise of Irish from subjugated minority to political power in Boston.  While there is a lot…

Book Reviews: The Dead Republic by Roddy Doyle


Author: Roddy Doyle Title: The Dead Republic Publication Info: New York : Viking, c2010. ISBN: 9780670021772 By the same author: Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha A Star Called Henry The Woman Who Walked into Doors The Commitments The Snapper The Van Oh, Play That Thing Paula Spencer The Deportees: and Other Stories Summary/Review: Doyle completes…

Book Review: I’jaam by Sinan Antoon


Author: Sinan Antoon Title: I’jaam : an Iraqi rhapsody Publication Info: San Francisco : City Lights, c2007. ISBN: 9780872864573 Summary/Review: This short book is set in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and purports to be the memoir of a student who ends up as a political prisoner.  The conceit of the novel is that the i’jaam –…

Book Review: The Gardner Heist by Ulrish Boser


Author: Ulrich Boser Title: The Gardner Heist: The True Story of the World’s Largest Unsolved Art Theft Publication Info: Smithsonian (2009) ISBN: 0061451835 Summary/Review: For the 20th anniversary of the theft of 13 priceless art works from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, I read this book detailing the heist. The first chapter gives…

Book Review: The Happiest Toddler on the Block by Harvey Karp, M.D.


Author: Harvey Karp, M.D. Title: The Happiest Toddler on the Block Publication Info: New York, N.Y. : Bantam Books, 2008. ISBN: 9780553805215 Summary/Review: Karp’s follow-up to The Happiest Baby on the Block offers very practical advice to parents for dealing with the toddler years of 1 to 4 years old.  I think it’s an even…

Book Review: The Protest Singer by Alec Wilkinson


Author: Alec Wilkinson Title: The Protest Singer : an intimate portrait of Pete Seeger Publication Info:  New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2009. ISBN: 9780307269959 Summary/Review: This is a short and easy read that summarizes Seeger’s life & career succinctly but still captures why he’s in important.  Seeger himself who never wants much attention focused…

Book Review: A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry


Author: Rohinton Mistry Title: A Fine Balance Publication Info: Books on Tape, Inc. (2001) ISBN: 0736684425 Summary/Review: This novel – epic in length – tells the story of four people in Mumbai, India who come together during The Emergency of the mid-1970’s.  They are: Dina Dalal – a young widow who takes up clothing manufacture…

Book Review: Faith and Fear in Flushing by Greg Prince


Author: Greg Prince Title: Faith and Fear in Flushing Publication Info: Skyhorse Publishing (2009) ISBN: 1602396817 Summary/Review: Greg Prince, one of the co-authors of the Mets blog Faith and Fear in Flushing – the most intelligent and literate Mets blog there is – writes about his 40 years as the guy everyone knows as the…

Book Review: All the Shah’s Men by Stephen Kinzer


Author: Stephen Kinzer Title: All the Shah’s Men Publication Info: [San Clemente, Calif.] : Tantor Media, 2003. ISBN: 9781400151066 Summary/Review: A gripping history of the first covert operation by the CIA to overthrow the popularly elected government of another nation in 1953.  That nation is Iran and the deposed leader is Mohammad Mosaddeq, the Iranian…

Book Reviews: Company of Liars by Karen Maitland


Author: Karen Maitland Title: Company of Liars Publication Info: Delacorte Press (2008) ISBN: 978-0385341691 Summary/Review: Set in Medieval England just as the deadly pestilence is landing on the shores of that island nation, Company of Liars follows the travels of a group of nine who band together for safety as the first hope to find…