If — decades after November 22, 1963 — somebody found a gun-oil-impregnated coat in a rooftop shed in the building next to the one from which Lee Harvey Oswald shot President Kennedy, and if he told somebody, and if that person tried to track the story but ended up dead… That’s the setup for this improbable but hard-to-put-down novel.
Stephen Hunter presents a JFK assassination theory that’s clever and internally consistent once you accept the premises. If he doesn’t provide his conspirators with a really convincing motive, well, that flaw is easy to ignore in all the excitement.
Erik Brynjolfsson and Ansrew McAfee
First the machine replaced farmers, then factory workers, and now software is eating office jobs, too. This is a short, well-documented book about the changes in work wrought by the computerization of everything. It’s not a Luddite manifesto — in fact, I think the authors’ conclusions are too optimistic, given the data they present — but it is a cold-blooded look at the future of work. If all labor is utterly devalued and the only humans who can make a living are superstars of entertainment, sport, art, or business, what will become of the average person?
Faythe Levine and Sam Macon
This companion book to the movie of the same name consists of interviews with sign painters along with portraits and photos of their works and workshops. Once commonplace, sign painting is now part of the movement towards the local and handmade. The interviewees are from diverse backgrounds and their stories, opinions, and samples of their work are fascinating. It’s nice to read about people succeeding at their chosen work on their own terms despite the relative obscurity of their craft.
S. Thomas Russell
Charles Hayden, captain of HMS Themis suffers some surprising — even shocking, for the genre — reverses in this sequel to “A Battle Won“.
“You” is novel about a fictional game company. While Grossman pokes fun at the conventions of computer games, he respects them. Like his first novel, this is a good read.
This is a narrative history of Rome from it’s mythical beginnings to the end of the Republic. It’s a good, solid overview. For me it clarified relationship between Rome and Greece while explaining the presence of the Greek sites that can be seen today in Sicily and southern Italy.