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Before Fire, There Was Wood in Roland Ennos’s ‘Age of Wood’

Lee Polevoi

At the same time, wood—in its “original” state as trees—has been adversely affected by global climate change and other environmental factors. This has led to wildfires of unprecedented fury and reach, including the megagires in Australia in 2009 that generated an inferno of hellish proportions, eventually covering more than 100 million acres. What comes across most vividly in this panoramic study of wood is Roland Ennos’s love of the subject.

A Manuscript Containing Disturbing Content Is the Focus of New Sci-Fi Thriller

Christopher Laine

It’s better this way. Put the manuscript down, walk away. You’ll stay happy and stupid, a well-fed moron who doesn’t want to know. The only way you’re going to get to stay safe is if you just don’t know. Don’t dawdle. Go on. Walk away. Go back. Get back on the grid. There’s a good little Chumley. Trust me. You don’t want to know. The batshit accountant told me that, that I didn’t want to know, and you know he was right. I didn’t want to know. I wish I’d listened to him when I had the chance. But no, I had to know for myself, to find out, and that didn’t work out so swell for me. So, learn from my mistake. Take it on the lam.

New Thriller ‘Center Stage’ Spotlights Political Scandals and Corruption

Wayne Avrashow

Tyler Sloan arrived after most of the mourners had already been seated, and a standing-room-only crowd had formed. With his arrival unnoticed, he quietly observed his father, Mike, being escorted to his seat. He moved closer to locate a position where he could hold a clear view of the service. With his plainclothes security aide following close behind, Sloan walked past the numerous Nevada and Washington public officials sitting stiffly on folding chairs. As he proceeded, a synchronized nudging of elbows and whispers mounted in his direction.

 

New Book Reminisces About Jazz Legend Louis Armstrong’s Big Band Years

James Fozard

Armstrong’s dual career as a jazz player and vocalist continued through the remainder of his life. He sang with other jazz legends, such as Ella Fitzgerald and in cameo music roles in movies. He continued performing with his group and core members, Barney Bigard, Jack Teagarden, and Earl Hines into the 1950s. Armstrong was also immensely popular in Europe, often referred to as America’s Jazz Ambassador. He is said to have considered himself a “performer of music.”

Welcome to the Wonderful, Wacky World of Wes Anderson

Christopher Karr

Still, one is hard-pressed to think of a filmmaker who’s as absolutely singular as Wes Anderson, and even harder-pressed to think of a fanbase best described as completists. I’m not sure that a casual Wes Anderson fan exists. Once you twirl into his world, it’s easy to get lost there—drunk on his outlandish, affected aesthetics, dazzled by his constricted idiosyncrasy, baffled by his reinvention of what cinematic language can look like.

Exploring the Crime of Fire in Chloe Hooper’s ‘The Arsonist’

Lee Polevoi

The Arsonist, a true crime account of Black Saturday, is divided into three sections: “The Detectives,” “The Lawyers,” and “The Courtroom.” Within this structure, Hooper methodically details the efforts of the Victorian Arson Squad to investigate the horrific blaze -- in particular, one fire that broke out in a forestry plantation near the town of Churchill. Investigators quickly determined the fire was deliberately set in this remote location in Australia’s coal country.

Why Was Someone Like Donald Trump Even Elected?

Spencer Critchley

On Election Night 2008, at an Obama campaign party, I had cried tears of joy. It wasn’t just because my side had won. It was because I believed the whole country had won, no matter how they had voted, because of the inspiring values Obama stood for and — as his campaign staff knew well — lived by. I cried in 2016 too, for very different reasons. But across the street, the Arizona Republicans were holding their election night party. From there, I heard a rising roar of exultation.

 

Mikhail Gorbachev Warns Us About What Is at Stake

Adam Gravano

Much of Gorbachev's discussion hinges on East-West relations, particularly between Russia and the United States. This is logical, as certain interests of pre-Soviet Russia were taken up by the Soviet Union, and, post-Soviet collapse, these same interests were transferred to the nascent Russian Federation (and carried on to the present).While there is a brief chapter covering both China and India, with a brief discussion of Malaysia included, the discussion borders on the facile.

Bob Woodward Turns His Mighty Pen on Trump and the Presidency

James Fozard

During the course of advising Trump, all three found their recommendations denied or contradicted in later public statements or tweets. The intelligence agencies were widely and publicly assailed by Trump, most famously in his comments about his private meeting with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, in which he seemed to publicly accept Putin’s denial of election interference and his distrust of his own intelligence services. 

Joseph Pilates’ Lasting Legacy in the World of Fitness

John Howard Steel

Some people, dancers mostly, knew him as a savior—the person who kept them dancing, or stopped their back pain, or put a zip in their step, or some other career enhancing or enabling therapy. He helped professional golfers eliminate pain in their swing; he helped hairdressers and barbers work pain-free all day with their arms raised. He improved singers’ breath control. As the person who worked his obscure magic to solve a physical problem that ofttimes doctors, chiropractors, or massage therapists couldn’t, he was a medicine man.

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