10 Must-Read Oliver Sacks Books and Literary Works

Before anything else, Oliver Sacks was a neurologist and historian of science. However, he was likewise very important as a writer in the field of neurology. Arguably, there is hardly any writer in history that has captured and explained the drama of humans which is triggered by illness and neurological problems as much as Sacks.

Born Oliver Wolf Sacks on July 9, 1933, the neurologist has gained fame mostly for writing about the histories of his patients and various events, and the unusual experiences he has had as well as his own disorders. He published a good number of books and literary materials in his lifetime, most of which will always remain relevant not only to medics and people having some issues but also to everyone living.

Must-Read Oliver Sacks Books and Literary Works

Oliver Sacks
Oliver Sacks Books (Image Source)

1. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales (1985)

This book often regarded as one of the most outstanding and extraordinary books written in the 20th century, narrates and x-rays the case histories of patients who have been faced with neurological disorders. It tells the tales of people who have lost their memories and could not remember their past.

The book which collects 24 essays serves as a basis for the opera of the same name.

2. Musicophilia: Tales of Music and The Brain (2007)

In this work, Oliver Sacks makes a bold explanation of the function music plays in the human brain and also shades more light on how it affects the human mind and condition. It tells different stories of different people who have been affected by one form of neurological problem or the other, as well as how they got drawn to music. Music became like an antidote to the mind through the various storylines from the book.

One interesting thing about this book is how people get to develop a love for music as a result of a certain condition. For example, Sacks presents the case of a man, who at the age of 42 decided under a great urge that he wanted to become a pianist after he was struck by lightning.

3. An Anthropologist on Mars: Seven Paradoxical Tales (1995)

This is probably one of the most important Oliver Sacks books that everyone should read. In a way, it builds on the themes of The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, although there is more depth in the work this time around.

Readers are presented paradoxical stories of 7 patients battling with the neurological imbalance and how it has changed something about them in the creative sense. There was a surgeon who suffers from Tourette’s syndrome but finds succor when he operates and an artist who lost his sense of color after a car accident but is creative with black and white.

4. Hallucinations (2012)

In this biographical work, what Oliver Sacks does is to bring to bear the fact that hallucination is not only suffered by people who are seen as insane. He explains that it is a sensory problem. Sacks makes use of his own personal experience and that of his patients to highlight what Hallucinations tells people about the organization and structure of the human brain, and goes further to explain how it affects all cultures.

5. On the Move: A Life (2015)

This book is rather a presentation of the writer’s life story. It tells how Dr. Sacks started his journey as a young neurologist in the 1960s US, struggling with drug addiction and how he found his way. It talks of the writer’s love affairs, guilt, and the bond he shares with his brother and friends in the field of science and writing.

6. Gratitude (2015)

Sacks had battled recurring cancer in the past and this work which is among his most important writings is a celebration of all he has achieved as well as the gratitude for his life. He revealed that although he has feared about the future and his battle with cancer, he was more grateful for his life than he was afraid.

7. The Mind’s Eye (2010)

This book just like Musicophilia took a different dimension by exploring the different ways through which human being experience the visual world via faces/places, language, words, and the world. It also brings the stories of different people with the ability to visualize but were courageous, and resilient enough to fight it. Another important thing with this work is that Sacks brought in himself and tells about his battle with eye cancer as well as how he has been unable to recognize faces.

8. Awakenings (1973)

Between 1915 and 1926, Encephalitis lethargica which is a form of sleeping sickness became an epidemic. The disease affects the brain and causes some victims to be in a statue-like state without the ability to move or talk. In Awakenings, Sacks tells the story of some of these victims as well as the effort that has been put into helping victims.

9. Uncle of Tungsten (2001)

The book explores the story of Dr. Sack’s early childhood and how he was raised in England during the wars. He tells the story of how a science-oriented family made him fall in love with chemistry, and his days at the boarding school although not a pleasant one but it later helped in shaping his life. It also presents his personal adventures and the history of science makes this book a masterpiece.

See Also:

10. A Leg to Stand On (1984)

This book took a rather different and personal dimension as Dr. Sacks is the patient here after having a terrible encounter with a bull on an isolated mountain in Norway and suffers a severe injury on the leg. It tells of the experiences of his slow recovery.

7 Best Joan Didion Books You Need To Read Before You Die

Known for her extensive observations of different American subcultures, and her explicit writing on issues surrounding the disintegration of American morals and cultural chaos, award-winning journalist and writer Joan Didion has left an indelible mark on literary journalism as she is revered for her unique ability to capture American life. Her work has received extensive recognition over the years, including the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 2015, the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from the National Book Foundation in 2007, and the National Medal of Arts from the United States government, among many others.

The Sacramento, California native, who graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 1956, began her career with Vogue after having won the “Prix de Paris” essay contest sponsored by the magazine in her senior year. She started off as a promotional copywriter before moving up to become an associate feature editor.

While still with Vogue, Joan Didion wrote her first novel titled Run, River (1963) with the help of her future husband, John Gregory Dunne, who was writing for Time magazine at the time. A few years later, Didion published her first non-fiction work, kicking off what can only be described as a brilliant writing career.

Here is our selection of the seven best writings by Didion that we believe everyone should read at least once in their lifetime.

7 Best Joan Didion Books

Joan Didion
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1. Slouching Towards Bethlehem (1968)

Slouching Towards Bethlehem is the first non-fiction book written by Joan Didion. It features a collection of essays about the writer’s experiences in California during the 1960s. Some of these experiences include meeting a 5-year-old girl whose mother always gave LSD and a neglected young boy who nearly sets his house on fire.

2. The Year of Magical Thinking (2005)

Described as a classic book about mourning and one of the most intimate looks into the life of Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking is a memoir that recounts the year following the death of the writer’s husband, John Gregory Dunne. The book received rave reviews and won the 2005 National Book Award for Nonfiction. It was further a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize for Biography/Autobiography and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

3. The White Album (1979)

The White Album is another collection of essays by Didion that is also based around the events in California. It specifically centers around the history and politics of the state in the late ’60s and early ’70s. Most of the essays that appeared in the book had previously been published in magazines like Life, Esquire, The Saturday Evening Post, The New York Times, and The New York Review of Books.

4. Play It as It Lays (1970)

Undoubtedly one of the most popular works of fiction, Didion’s Play It as It Lays paints a ruthlessly true picture of American life in the late 1960s. Such was the impact of the book that it was adapted into a movie of the same name two years after it was published. Time magazine has also since included the novel among the 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005.

5. South and West (2017)

Fans of Joan Didion know that the writer has all her life kept in notebooks of observations, overheard dialogue, interviews, drafts of essays and articles. To put together this non-fiction book, she opens her notebook to recount a road trip that she and her husband, John Gregory Dunne, took through the Southeastern United States; Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama in the 1970s.

Read Also:  Brian Mockenhaupt List of Books, Works, Study Guides, Essays

6. Blue Nights (2011)

Another book similar to The Year of Magical Thinking where Didion mourns the loss of a family member, Blue Nights gives an account of the death of the writer’s daughter, Quintana Roo Dunne. She further explores her feelings on parenthood and aging using a conventional narrative path.

7. After Henry (1992)

After Henry, which was named in honor of her late friend and former editor, Henry Robbins, is a compilation of essays she wrote after his death that appeared in various publications. The book delves into various aspects of American life in the 1980s, from the racial battlefields of New York’s criminal courts to interpretations of the stories of Nancy Reagan and Patty Hearst.

5 Jon Krakauer Books That Everyone Should Read

Jon Krakauer is an extraordinary writer and a skilled mountaineer. He is known to have authored several best-selling books which are surprisingly non-fiction. He writes on an array of topics of interest and has contributed articles in several renowned magazines.

Biography 

Jon Krakauer was born in Brookline. Massachusetts on the 12th of April 1954. His parents Lewis Joseph and Caroline Ann Krakauer raised him alongside his four siblings in Corvallis Oregon.

Jon’s father introduced him to mountain climbing when he was quite young and he took a liking to the sports. He attended High School in Corvallis graduating in 1972. He further attended Massachusett’s Hampshire College where he bagged his Environmental Studies degree in 1977.

Jon continued to enjoy mountain climbing even through high school and college. Upon graduation, he decided to spend time alone and away from civilization. He spent three weeks by himself in a wilderness at Stikine Icecap, Alaska. He has ventured on several dangerous mountain climbing ventures and has been lucky to come out alive and unscathed. His mountaineering activities has seen him climb a new route on “Devils Thumb,” climbing Cerro Torre, and Mount Everest, amongst others. Jon shares some of his mountain climbing experiences in his books.

His journey in writing started with him freelancing and working as a journalist with “Outside.” He took to writing full time in 1983 and has written choice articles and books on varying topics as they interest him.

Jon met and fell in love with Linda Mariam Moore who was once a climber herself. The duo got married in 1980 and settled in Seattle, Washington. They later relocated to Boulder Colorado after his book Into Thin Air was released.

While most of his books are non-fiction, they still make an interesting read especially due to the insightful exploration of his topics. Krakauer is undoubtedly a good writer.

Jon Krakauer Books Everyone Should Read

Jon Krakauer
Jon Krakauer (Image Source)

1. INTO THE WILD (1996)

The book is a documentation of the traveling of a young rich man (Christopher McCandless). Upon his graduation in 1990, Christopher donated all the money in his account ($24,000) to charity, changed his name to Alexander Supertramp. He then began his sojourn through American West. He died of starvation and his body was found in 1992 around Lake Wentitika. The book has been adapted into a movie with the same title released in 2007. It is an interesting read.

2. INTO THIN AIR (1996)

The book explores what has been considered one of the deadliest mountaineering experience of all time. Jon expanded on his Mount Everest climbing experience which he wrote about in an article for “Outside” in 1996. It highlights the ordeal people face while climbing mountains. ‘Time Magazine’ named it the “Book of the Year” and it was nominated for a Pulitzer non-fiction prize in 1998. The book also reached the top of the non-fiction New York bestseller list. Into Thin Air is one of Jon’s most popular writings due to the event it covered and the controversies that followed his recount. The book has also been adapted into a movie.

3. MISSOULA: RAPE AND THE JUSTICE SYSTEM IN A COLLEGE TOWN (2015)

Jon explores a very interesting and sensitive topic in this book. The book chronicles the experiences of different rape victims, especially how colleges and the criminal justice system handled their cases. Jon was motivated to write this book after a friend revealed to him that she was raped.

The writer also sheds lights on the reason rape victims feel reluctant to report their assailants. He has received some praise and criticism for this work but Jon seems undeterred and continues to voice his truths. There is a lot to learn from this book.

4. UNDER THE BANNER OF HEAVEN (2003)

The book explores the extremes inherent in religious beliefs. With particular research on fundamentalist faith, Mormonism and Latter Day Saints religion. Religious leaders have come out to respond and defend the church. Jon, on the other hand, believes church leaders have been untruthful about the Mormon pasts instead saints are placated with half-truths, omissions, and denials. The book offers fresh insight into religious fanatism and is one to look out for.

See Also:

5. WHERE MEN WIN GLORY: THE ODYSSEY OF PAT TILLMAN (2009)

This book takes its cues, inferences, and content from the letters and journals of Pat Tillman a United States Army Ranger and NFL professional football player. Jon exposes in the book the cover-up behind his death. He was killed by friendly fire by another U.S. Soldier. The book can also be described as a historical narrative on the civil wars in Afghanistan.

Jon is no doubt one of the very intelligent writers and journalist of his time. He has written on different varying topics over the course of his career.

Buzz Bissinger List of Books, Works, Study Guides & Essays

On the list of the distinguished American writers to have won multiple literary awards, including the Pulitzer Prize and the Livingston Award, is a journalist and author Harry Gerard Bissinger III, better known as Buzz Bissinger. He is the writer of The New York Times number one bestseller, Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream.

A native of New York City, Bissinger was born in 1954. His journey to the top of the journalism world began as a student at the University of Pennsylvania where he was a sports and opinion editor for The Daily Pennsylvanian. He later moved on to write for the Ledger-Star in Norfolk, Virginia, The St. Paul Pioneer Press, and later The Philadelphia Inquirer, where he famously wrote a six-part series on corruption in the Philadelphia court system and won the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting in 1987.

In 1988, Buzz Bissinger left the Inquirer and moved to Odessa, Texas to write about the impact of high school football on small-town life. This turned out to be the critically acclaimed, Friday Night Lights book. In the early ’90s, Buzz worked for The Chicago Tribune as an investigative journalist before becoming a contributing editor at Vanity Fair magazine. His articles have since gone ahead to appear in The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, and The Daily Beast, among others.

In 1986-87, he was a recipient of a Nieman fellowship from Harvard University. He received an honorary degree in humane letters from Drexel University in 2013 and then became a fellow at the Kelly Writers House at the University of Pennsylvania in 2014.

Below is a list of some of the more notable books, articles, essays, and other works that Buzz Bissinger has written.

Notable Works By Buzz Bissinger

Buzz Bissinger
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1. Friday Night Lights (1990)

Friday Night Lights is a non-fiction book that follows the 1988 season of the Panthers football team of Permian High School in Odessa, Texas. The book, which as mentioned above was a New York Times bestseller, inspired the short-lived television series Against the Grain (1993), starring a young Ben Affleck, the film Friday Night Lights (2004) starring Billy Bob Thornton, and another television series of the same name that lasted from 2006 to 2011.

The book sold about two million copies and is listed among the 100 best books ever written on sports by Sports Illustrated, placing fourth on the list. Sports broadcasting network ESPN further named it the best book on sports of the past quarter-century.

2. A Prayer for the City (1998)

After having been granted unprecedented access by then-Mayor Edward G. Rendell, who later became the Governor of Pennsylvania, Buzz Bissinger was able to give the public an insight into the urban political scene of Philadelphia. The book garnered critical acclaim nationwide as The New York Review of Books called it “an extraordinary book” while The New York Times Book Review named it a Notable Book of the Year. It was further hailed as a classic on politics and urban America.

3. Three Nights in August (2005)

Through the keen eyes of legendary St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, Buzz captures the beauty, essence, and strategy of baseball as he chronicles the series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs in August 2003. The book, which has been called one of the finest analyses of baseball in the past decade, spent four-and-a-half months on the New York Times Bestseller List.

4. Shooting Stars (2009)

Co-authored with basketball superstar LeBron James, Shooting Stars is an autobiographical book that tells the story of James’ early high school success; how he and his best friends were able to forge a strong bond through their love for basketball as they went ahead to win a national championship in their senior year of high school.

5. Father’s Day (2012)

Father’s Day: A Journey Into the Mind and Heart of My Extraordinary Son is a memoir by Buzz Bissinger about his twin sons Gerry and Zach who were born three minutes apart but are however in different worlds. While Gerry has been able to live a normal life, Zach is autistic having been born with brain damage. Buzz details his relationship with his autistic son who he says despite his challenges has an astonishing memory, a knack for navigation, and a reflexive honesty.

See Also: 7 Best Joan Didion Books You Need To Read Before You Die

6. Call Me Caitlyn (2015)

“Call Me Caitlyn” is an article that appears as the cover story of Vanity Fair’s July 2015 issue. The 11,000-word article details the transition of Olympian and television personality Bruce Jenner to Caitlyn Jenner. To write the story, Bissinger was given exclusive access to Jenner both before and after her cosmetic surgery.

7. Gone with the Wind (2007)

In this article, Buzz Bissinger writes about American Thoroughbred racehorse Barbaro, who decisively won the 2006 Kentucky Derby Winner before shattering his leg two weeks later. The story which has been optioned by Universal Pictures was written for vanity fair, however, it has gone ahead to appear in The New York Times and Sports Illustrated.

10 David Foster Books Every “The End Of The Tour” Fan Should Have

If you are a fan of the famous 2015 American drama-film titled The End of the Tour which narrates the epic tale of the 5-day long interview between the popular writer and novelist David Foster Wallace and David Lipsky; then it doesn’t just stop there because there is more to the life and fantastic stories written by the renown novelist that should be on your bookshelf in your private library.

David Foster Wallace was a famous writer whose works covered both fiction and nonfiction. He was also a professor of English and Creative Writing. Born in 1962, he began writing and publishing his works since the 1980s and has since then covered almost everything including short stories, novels, essays, and nonfiction. Before his death in 2008, he had already had two novels with the third, The Pale King published after his death in 2011 as well as three short story collections and other works.

David Foster Books

David Foster
David Foster Books (Image Source)

1. Infinite Jest (2005)

This book was first published and released in 1996 and is often regarded as one of the greatest works of the twentieth century. It is a mind-blowing comedy that x-rays the pursuit of happiness in American society; exploring crucial questions on entertainment and how it dominates the lives of people. It is one of those novels that simply tells the abilities of a novel. It would make an interesting read to readers and especially the fans of The End of The Tour movie.

2. A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments (2005)

This is a collection of essays written on different topics ranging from sports, TV, Illinois state fair, David Lynch films, and postmodern literary theory. It will be an amazing read for readers and fans alike as it brings curiosity, hilariousness, and strong verbal expression.

3. Brief Interviews with Hideous Men (1999)

This is a short story collection that shows the writer’s ability to use his wit and seduction to travel into the minds and places that are hardly ventured and to bring to understanding the way women are being portrayed mentally. It also sheds light on some hilarious portraits of how men fear women. It is very thought-provoking and the fans will love this one dearly as it brings bizarre and the banal together.

4. Consider the Lobster and Other Essays (2005)

This compilation of essays borders on adult video stars, politics, and annual Main Lobster festival, among others. It provides answers to questions on these outlined areas. It covers big red son, certainly, the end of something or other, consider the lobster and host, just but to mention a few.

5. Oblivion (2004)

Oblivion presents a tale from 3 different story backgrounds. First, The Soul is not Smirthy, is a tale of father and how his son daydreams via someone else’ terrible situation; secondly, The Suffering Channel, is a tale of politics which shows the drama behind an artist who is trying to create a tiny sculpture in an impossible way, and the third story, Oblivion, is a tale of a man who thinks that he is having a hallucination about his snoring. The work of fiction is filled with humor and hilarity.

6. The Pale King (2011)

Although the novel was not completed before David Foster’s death, it deals with what life holds and means; and how the society respects work. This novel depicts a fresh idea of heroism and appreciation for one amazing writer of our time. It was later published three years after the tragic death of the writer.

7. The Broom of the System (1987)

This novel was first published when the renowned writer and novelist was 24. It ushered in an era of fresh and extraordinary talent. The novel combined humor, intelligence, and hilarity together. It is highly entertaining and amazing, coming from the stables of one the greatest and youngest minds at that time.

8. Both Flesh and Not: Essays (2012)

This book is the first collection of 15 of David Foster’s seminal essays, compiled and published in book format. The book exposes the ever curious mind of the writer which spans across his 20-year writing career. It is yet another work that was published after the death of Wallace.

9. This is Water: Some thoughts, delivered on a significant occasion, about living a compassionate life (2005)

This book is a product of the writer’s one and only public talk and presentation delivered in an address in 2005 at Kenyon College. The book presents the writer’s mind on how attention is golden, asking some vital questions on compassion and daily living.

See Also:

10. Girl with Curious Hair (1989)

This novel yet presents the writer as one of the best and talented young writers in America. The novel attempts to make a comparison between two opposite world by laying them together side by side; nihilism and republicanism.

5 Roxane Gay Books That Everyone Should Read

Roxane Gay is a Haitian American Professor, writer, and editor. She has authored several award-winning and best-selling books. Her books include “Ayiti,” “An Untamed State,” “Bad Feminist,” and Difficult Women,” to mention a few. She also co-wrote the award-winning series “World of Wakanda” for Marvel. She is presently working on different television and film projects.

Roxane Gay Biography

The renowned writer was born in Omaha, Nebraska, the United States on the 15th of October 1974. Roxane attended high school at Philips Exeter Academy before proceeding to Yale University to pursue her degree. Unfortunately for her, she dropped out of the university in her junior year to focus on her then relationship in Arizona but things didn’t pan out as she expected. Her college education was completed at Vermont. Roxane went ahead to the University of Nebraska- Lincoln to earn her Master’s degree in Creative Writing.

Roxane further proceeded to study for her Ph.D. at Michigan Technological University with an emphasis on “Rhetoric and Technical Communication” graduating in 2010.

Her teaching career began officially after her Ph.D. and her first appointment as an assistant professor of English was at Eastern Illinois University. Besides her teaching commitments, she started “Tiny Hardcore Press” and also contributed as an editor with “Bluestem Magazine.” She left for Purdue University in 2014 and worked as an associate professor of creative writing in their MFA program until 2018. She currently serves as a visiting professor at Yale University, a position she began in 2018.

She is openly bisexual and is presently in a relationship with Debbie Millman.

Roxane is the proud author of different thought evoking essay collection, short stories, and novel. She has been praised for her simple but unsimplistic approach to writing. While she has been called a feminist by most, Roxanne remains unapologetic in her stance on women issues. She isn’t afraid to explore complex issues in her writings.

Roxane Gay Books That Everyone Should Read

Roxane Gay
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1. “BAD FEMINIST” (2014)

This collection of the essay was published in 2014 and quickly gained public approval. The essays explore political and cultural issues. It also explores her personal experiences and pop culture. In the essay, she explores what it means to be feminist and loving things that are at odds with the feminist ideology. Speaking in an interview with Time Magazine, Roxane explains how her role as a feminist influences her writings. She showcases what it’s like being a woman and opines that the essays aren’t about feminism alone but empathy and humanity.

This collection of essay is an interesting read and has received a series of positive reviews praising her for fearless, intelligent and witty voice on different issues.

2. “AN UNTAMED STATE” (2014)

The book received lots of positive reviews on publication. In the novel, Roxane explores themes of sexual violence, race, privilege, immigrant experience and family. The novel has been referred to as a fairy tale due to the beginning ‘Once upon a time, in a far-off land…’ Some critics have opined that the main character (Mireille) crafted the story this way to make her painful experience bearable.

For the novel ‘Untamed State’, Roxane got nominated for ‘Award for Outstanding Literary Work in Fiction by NAACP Image.

3. “HUNGER: A MEMOIR OF (MY) BODY” (2017)

In the memoir, Roxane discusses her personal experiences, especially with her weight and body image. She shares her childhood experience of sexual violence and how she gained weight to protect herself from men. And also her effort to build a positive relationship with food. Roxane says of the book that it explores what it feels like to live in a world ‘Super Morbidly Obese’. She shares what it feels like to receive constant public vocal protests about her body not conforming to cater to the gaze of men.

Hunger is a gripping memoir and Roxane’s experiences can be described as an archetype for most people dealing with their body image and size. The book is definitely a must read.

4. “Difficult Women” (2017)

The book is a collection of short stories highlighting the journey and experiences of different women with lives different from the societal ideal of a normal life. The different stories follow different characters and their traumatic experiences. These women might be viewed as difficult because they push against the societal status quo of a perfect woman. It’s a book to enjoy.

See Also: David Denby Books and Biography: All You Need To Know

5. “AYITI” (2011)

The book has been described as a perfect blend of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. The book shows Roxane’s dexterity as a writer and the story seem to evolve out of another. The story has been described as a history of the Haitian Diaspora very rich in insight and details. Roxane with this story targets different stereotypes about Haitians and Haitian Americans and dispels them.

David Denby Books and Biography: All You Need To Know

David Denby is one of the well-known writers and movie critics in America. He gained widespread popularity for his 1996 book Great Books which talks about the philosophy, literature, music, high culture, and works of art that are very well valued in the western world and its core curriculum at the Columbia University where he graduated.

He is known for his amazing way with words and how he pens them down, he is arguably one of the best writers of his generation. Beyond being a writer, he is also a journalist who is highly regarded as a film critic for The New Yorker magazine.

David Denby Biography

He was born as David Denby in 1943, in New York City, New York, to his parents whose names and information are not yet available to the media. We do not know if he is an only child or has other siblings, but we do know that he spent his childhood days in New York with his family members. He is a citizen of the US and is of the White ethnicity.

Unfortunately, there is no information regarding the school he attended both as a child and as a teenager, but it is known that Denby was a student of Columbia University- a private research institution situated at Upper Manhattan, New York City. He got his bachelor of arts degree in communications from the university upon his graduation in 1965. He later went further to obtain his master’s degree from the school’s journalism institution.

David Denby’s writing career started as a movie critic while he was still a student, he became a professional film critic in the 1970s as a strong supporter of the movie critic Pauline Kael which a group of people referred to as ‘the Paulettes.’ He later wrote for the New York magazine and The Atlantic Monthly as a movie critic, where he reviews new movies and gives an analyzed opinion on them.

In 1973, he published his first article under The New Yorker where he got a job to work as a writer, he went further to serve as a movie critic with the publication house in the early months of 1998 where he gives weekly reviews on movies. During the early months of 2015, Denby resigned from his position as a movie critic in the New Yorker and continued to work there as a staff writer.

In 1981, the writer got married to Cathleen Schine who is also a writer (novelist) but the pair divorced in 2000. Denby later found love in the arms of Susan Rieger whom he later married in 2004. Rieger is likewise a writer who is popular for her 2014 novel The Divorce Papers.

Books Of David Denby- All You Need To Know

David Denby
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David Denby has written quite a number of popular non-fiction books including the following:

1) The Great Books

This book was written in 1996. It is about Denby’s return to his alma mater, Columbia University, to revisit some of the great books of western canon as a middle-aged adult, 30 years after first reading them as a young undergraduate.

2) American Sucker

Here, David Denby writes about misfortunes. His marriage was ending after 18 years and he escaped into the exuberance of the tech boom, he got greedy, and without knowing much about investments he gets caught up in the dot.com bubble of the early 2000s and loses a bunch of money and the house he truly loves is about to be lost.

3) Snark: It’s Mean, It’s Personal, and Ruining Our Conversation

It is about those who say negative things about another person. Here he traces the history of snark through the ages, starting from the ancient city of Athens to the recent age of the internet, where it has become the norm for many media, celebrity, and political website.

4) Do the Movies Have a Future?

David Denby here talked about the evolution of the movie Money Machine, its stars, and their lives in the contract era. He provided some great perspective on the need for good film criticism beyond mere reviews.

See Also: 5 Roxane Gay Books That Everyone Should Read

5) Lit Up: One Reporter. Three Schools. Twenty-Four Books That Can Change Lives:

This is about American teenagers, caught up in social media, television, movies, band games and who don’t take reading seriously. With this work, what David Denby does is to go back to high schools to see what books can do for them. He tries to see if books can change their lives, considering how much teenagers have been drawn away to things like social media, movies, and games.

Top 5 George Packer Books That Everyone Should Read

George Packer has made a name for himself not just as a journalist, but also a non-fiction book writer with his expertise on the subject of U.S. foreign policy. The American journalist, who graduated from Yale college in 1992, is known for his writings that appear on publications like The New Yorker, Boston Review, The Nation, World Affairs, Harper’s, and The New York Times, among many others. The 2001-2002 Guggenheim Fellow has also taught writing at Harvard, Columbia, and Bennington.

Some of Packer’s most popular works include his coverage of the Iraq war, the mass killings and other atrocities committed in Sierra Leone, civil unrest in the Ivory Coast, and the global counterinsurgency. His articles and books have received rave reviews and earned him a number of awards, including the Overseas Press Club awards.

Top 5 George Packer Books

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1. The Unwinding (2013)

Fully titled “The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America,” the book is non-fiction that follows and discusses important forces in American history with the use of biographies of individual Americans. Some of the issues in which George Packer looks at include the influence of money on politics, the subprime mortgage crisis, and the decline of American manufacturing. He uses the biographies and profiles of five different kinds of people; entrepreneur and venture capitalist Peter Thiel, a North Carolinian biodiesel entrepreneur, a Washington lobbyist and Congressional staffer, a factory worker turned community organizer from Youngstown, Ohio, and Tampa, Florida distressed real estate agents.

The Unwinding was well received by critics. It went on to win the 2013 National Book Award for Nonfiction and was a finalist for the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award.

2. The Assassins’ Gate: America in Iraq (2005)

As the title suggests, this non-fiction book takes a look at the 2003 invasion of Iraq by a United States-led coalition, and the aftermath of war. Packer gives a vivid description of the poorly planned occupation of Iraq as officials in the George W. Bush administration cherry-picked intelligence to support their positions and were unable to respond to military issues such as insufficient troops, armor, and supplies, among other things. It further discusses the rationales behind it; the war on terror and Saddam Hussein’s supposed ties to al-Qaeda.

The Assassins’ Gate: America in Iraq received rave reviews from critics and was a finalist for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize. It further went on to be named one of the ten best books of 2005 by the New York Times and won the New York Public Library’s Helen Bernstein Book Award and an Overseas Press Club book award.

3. The Village of Waiting (1988)

Described as a frank, vivid, and moving account of contemporary life in West Africa, The Village of Waiting is the very first non-fiction book written by George Packer about his experience in Togo as a member of the Peace Corps in 1982-1983. Packer was based in the village of Lavie where he was an English language teacher. He wrote about his encounters with different kinds of people; chiefs, peasants, market women, charlatans, children, and many others. He also shared his opinion (criticism) of Togolese President Gnassingbe Eyadema.

4. Blood of the Liberals (2000)

In this non-fiction book, George Packer intimately examines the meaning of politics in America by exploring the legacy and future of American liberalism. He does so by taking a look at the three generational histories of his own family’s political affiliations, which has different strains of liberalism; from his maternal grandfather’s Protestant southern populism to his father’s Jewish academic humanism. The book won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award.

Read Also: 10 David Foster Books Every “The End Of The Tour” Fan Should Have

5. Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century (2019)

Following the release of this book, Walter Isaacson of The New York Times Book Review wrote that if there was any book to read and comprehend America’s foreign policy and its failed pursuit of ideals over the past 50 years, this would be it.

Drawn from Holbrooke’s diaries and papers, George Packer writes this non-fiction book to bring to light the work of American diplomat Richard Holbrooke, who is most famous for being the brains behind America’s greatest diplomatic achievement in the post-Cold War era – the Dayton Accords which resulted in the ending of the Balkan wars.

Top 10 Products, Tools and Gadgets for Everyday Cooking

While cooking might be a delight for many, it can also be an undeniable chore for others. However, with certain products, tools, and gadgets, cooking has never been easier. At this moment, there are items on the market that have made everyday cooking stressfree, and even fun for some; they achieve this by reducing the mess that cooking brings, by cutting the time spent in the kitchen in half and all around making the whole process one to look forward to. Curious about these items? Here are some listed below.

Top 10 Products, Tools and Gadgets for Everyday Cooking

1. Air Fryer

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The traditional frying method of cooking food in oil and fat has been a go-to method for a number of cooks who look to have the characteristic crispness and texture in their food. However, many have complained about the usual hand burns that come along with pulling your food out of a frying pan.

This, among other things, are the reasons why air fryer has been a must-have gadget for your everyday cooking. With the product, all you have to do is put your food in the fryer basket, set the temp and the timer, and your food will come out crispy and delicious as usual. It has a cool-touch handle that eliminates burns and as well as an auto-shutoff feature that will help prevent overcooking.

2. Breakfast Sandwich Maker

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It is important to have an absolutely delicious and nourishing breakfast since the meal is the most important one of the day. With the breakfast sandwich maker, you will eliminate having to go stand in queue or wait to be served at a restaurant as you can make warm bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches with minimal effort in as little as five minutes.

3. Salad Spinner

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This basket-like tool that comes with a soft, non-slip knob and a non-slip ring with a wide base is used in washing and removing excess water from your vegetables whenever you are looking to make salads. Each tool can hold up to 6.22 quarts of veggies, making it ideal for use per meal.

4. High-Powered Blender

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A high powered blender, rather than a normal one that would need to be shaken and have more water added to what is being made, has proven to be a huge help in the kitchen for everyday cooking. It can be used to make the perfect sauces, soups, smoothies, milkshakes, and much more in a matter of seconds with very little effort.

5. Avocado Slicer

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A three-in-one avocado slicer is a great tool that can be used to split, pit, and slice avocados safely and effectively.

6. Spiralizer

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Many people who love eating vegetables seem to have a problem with it when it comes to chopping it up. This is where the spiralizer comes in as it gives a fast, easy, and fun way to add veggies to your diet. With this tool in your kitchen, you will able to turn anything from onions to carrots, zucchini, and cucumbers to pasta looking meals.

Note that there are different kinds of spiralizers in the market. To be able to enjoy the best out of the tool, we will be recommending the seven blade spiralizer which is one of the better functioning and stronger spiralizers in the market.

7. Electric Can Opener

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This tool is a must-have for everyday cooking as most condiments used to prepare meals, such as sardines, tuna, etc, come in cans. This device will allow you to have time to concentrate on other things as it opens all kinds of cans quickly and effortlessly.

8. Stand Mixer

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A stand mixer is a very handy gadget for everyday use in the kitchen. You can use it to whip up egg whites or cream effortlessly, and also easily whip up batters and doughs in just a few minutes to bake your favorite pastries. It goes without saying that having one on the counter top in the kitchen also adds to the ambiance.

9. Foldable Cutting Boards

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The foldable cutting board is one of the better innovations for someone who tends to prepare meals that require lots of chopping. Thanks to the foldability, you can easily put your food ingredients into the pot without any piece falling off as would be the case with the regular chopping board. The board also comes with a handle that makes it easy to hold and maneuver around the kitchen.

Read Also: Top 5 Matthew Tobin Aderson Books You Need To Read

10. Handheld Citrus Juicer/Squeezer

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With a handheld citrus juicer, juicing lemons and limes will no longer be a hassle as it stops seeds from falling into your food and ensures that you get the very last drop of juice from the fruit. All you need to do to use this tool is to slice the lemon in half and trim off the end of the fruit before putting it in the juicer.

Top 5 William T. Vollmann Books You Should Read

The writings of William T Vollmann are mostly large, but they always keep readers asking for more. Described as the last great writer of the twentieth century and first great writer of the twenty-first century, Vollmann is one of those writers that many believe must have already won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

The writer was born DescriptionWilliam Tanner Vollmann on July 28, 1959, in Los Angeles California. When he was 9 years old, he was left to care for his younger sister who was six. Unfortunately, she fell into a pond and drowned and he has always felt very much responsible for her death, something that would come to influence his writing. He got his education from Deep Springs College and then he went to Cornell University where he studied comparative literature.

He started as a professional writer in 1987 and has since then published over 20 novels as well as some works of nonfiction.

William T Vollmann Books

1. Europe Central

This is one of the most popular works of Vollmann which has been rightly described as a masterpiece. It tells a story of the authoritarian cultures of Germany and the USSR, having its setting in the twentieth century. It emphasizes on the morality of people during wartime, making use of characters from history and fictional ones, centering on a German who joined the SS in order to expose their crime.

According to Vollmann, heavy research was embarked upon before writing the book. It won the National Book Award for Fiction in 2005.

2. The Rainbow Stories

The Rainbow Stories was first published in 1989 and has since then, remained one of the most loved works of Vollmann. It is a collection of short stories about the diverse American culture. The work is praised for how it is able to capture the stories of people who are often not represented including the skinheads, prostitutes, fetishists, and religious assassins among others.

The Rainbow Stories is presented in a great writing style and the stories are set in different places such as ancient Babylon, India, and San Francisco.

3. You Bright and Risen Angels

In his writings, William T Vollmann has always reflected on issues such as violence, war, and human compassion, things that are well reflected in this work. It tells the story of a battle raging between insects who are seeking to dominate the world and Inventors of electricity. On one hand, there is a man, Bug, who has joined forces with insects to wage war against them and on another, there is Wayne who has sworn to kill the praying mantis working at a bar in Oregon. It is set in the jungles of South America.

The book has received so much praise because of the intelligence with which it was written as well as the creativity in coming up with the story. You Bright and Risen Angels is a winner of the 988 Whiting Writers’ Award.

4. Rising Up and Rising Down Some Thoughts on Violence, Freedom and Urgent Means

Rising Up and Rising Down is a non-fiction work that centers on violence as well as its justification and consequences. It is a seven-volume essay collection that also includes his work of reporting from places like Iraq, Somalia, and Cambodia, among other places that have suffered the consequences of war through the years.

It embodies historical analysis, charts, facts, anecdote, case studies, and other things to buttress the need for violence as well the consequences and its results so as to allow the reader to come to his own conclusion on whether war is really needed. This has led to what is referred to as his Moral Calculus which is the decision-making system for one to decide if war is really necessary.

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5. Into the Forbidden Zone: A Trip through Hell and High Water in Post-earthquake Japan

Into the Forbidden Zone is a very adventurous work that Vollmann began shortly after the devastating earthquake in Japan. He moved to Japan only a few days after the tragic event to see things for himself and record all he could about the contamination caused radiation by the nuclear power plant.

In the highly regarded essays that he published, he got his materials first hand from people that were affected directly by it including the plagued villages. This work will always stand him out not only as one of the best writers America will ever see but probably one of the most compassionate and humane.