Barrie Olmstead

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PREMIUM

Fat Chance: Diet Mania, Greed, and the Infamous Fen-Phen Swindle

The rotating cast of unscrupulous lawyers may exhaust readers’ patience; as the author notes early on, there are no heroes in this book. Still, it’s an absorbing tale that’s sure to hold the interest of those interested in books on corporate crime.
PREMIUM

The Officer’s Daughter: A Memoir of Family and Forgiveness

A powerful meditation on the long aftermath of violent crime that will engage a variety of readers.

Between Two Kingdoms

The author’s book title is a nod to Susan Sontag’s Illness as Metaphor, in which she asserts that there is a “kingdom of the well” and a “kingdom of the sick.” Jaouad does a beautiful job of writing from this place of “dual citizenship,” where she finds pain but also joy, kinship, and possibility.

PREMIUM

Love Is an Ex-Country

Readers interested in the queer Arab American experience may be better served by Samra Habib’s We Have Always Been Here. Recommended for fans of the author’s previous work.
PREMIUM

Consent

Springora widens her scope to indict not only Matzneff, but the French cultural elite that so readily enables and excuses his behavior. A fierce account from a woman hoping to wrest her story back. Recommended reading.
PREMIUM

American Daughter

In this sharp, heartrending work, Plymale reconciles with the truth of her mother’s life, finding forgiveness, hope, and even pride. Her testimony, while painful to read, is vital.

Best Biographies and Memoirs of 2020

PREMIUM

Blood, Powder, and Residue: How Crime Labs Translate Evidence into Proof

Highly recommended for true crime collections; fans of books and documentaries with an emphasis on forensics such as Making a Murderer and The Staircase will especially enjoy.

PREMIUM

Matrimony, Inc.: From Personal Ads to Swiping Right, a Story of America Looking for Love

An amusing history that charts the progression of the personals, and which makes “swiping right” seem less newfangled than it is.
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