• 123

    Empathy is a matter of more than words and stories

    The Inkblots: Hermann Rorschach, His Iconic Test, and the Power of Seeing by Damion Searls, Crown Publishers, US $28.00, Pp 416, February 2017, ISBN 978-0804136549

    In spite of decades of controversies, the Rorschach personality test today is admissible in court, reimbursed by medical insurance companies, and administered around the world in job evaluation, custody battles, and psychiatric clinics. Test supporters argue that the ten Rorschach inkblots are marvelously sensitive and accurate tool for showing how the mind works and detecting …

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  • 123

    History is more thrilling than a spy novel

     The Man with the Poison Gun: A Cold War Spy Story by Serhii Plokhy, Basic Books, US $28.99,  Pp 384, December 2016, ISBN 978-0465035908

    KGB assassin Bogdan Stashinsky’s defection to West German in the fall of 1961, forced KGB to change its modus operandi abroad and led to the end of the career of Aleksandr Shelepin, one of the most ambitious and dangerous Soviet leaders. In The Man with the Poison Gun, Serhii Plokhy says that Stashinsky’s escape to …

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  • 123

    The humble and humane persona of Ronald Reagan

    The President Will See You Now: My Stories and Lessons from Ronald Reagan’s Final Years by  Peggy Grande, Hachette Books,  US $28.00,  Pp 262,  February 2017, ISBN 978-0316396455

     Many Conservative and Republican Americans believe that President Reagan and his legacy represent the best of America. Although a lot has been written on his political and economic legacies, his personal life remains largely ignored. In The President Will See You Now, his executive secretary Peggy Grande tells us about the …

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  • 1234

    Therapeutic powers of music

    Instrumental: A Memoir of Madness, Medication, and Music by James Rhodes, Bloomsbury USA, US $27.00, Pp 304, February 2017, ISBN 978-1632866967

    Internationally acclaimed pianist James Rhodes’s passion for music held him through a life of abuse and turmoil. Rhodes survived his demons by encountering with musical miracles, sometimes discovering Bach adagio while in a psych ward and, sometimes, listening to Rachmaninov on a loop as a traumatized teenager. The music inspired him to overcome physical and sexual abuse as a …

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  • 123

    The dark corners of our history

    Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge by Erica Armstrong Dunbar, Atria Books, US $26.00, Pp 272, February 2017, ISBN 978-1501126390

    As the spring rain drenched the streets of Philadelphia, the capital of the new nation, in 1796, young black slave woman Ona Judge received devastating news: She was to leave Philadelphia, a city that had become her home. She was to travel back to her birthplace of Virginia and be bequeathed to her owner’s …

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  • ANEWSTRATEGY

    Selling yourself and your innovative ideas

         Reach: A New Strategy to Help You Step Outside Your Comfort Zone, Rise to the Challenge      and  Build  Confidence  by  Andy Molinsky,  Avery,  US$27.00,  Pp 288,  January 2017,  ISBN 978-0399574023

    Neil Kennedy had a Facebook-like website before Facebook even existed that could have potentially revolutionized the Internet. But Neil was shy and inexperienced, and the idea of walking into a room to pitch his product — and himself – to a group of high-octane investors was overwhelming. In the end, …

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  • 111

    Life from a hospital basement in Kiel to the sound stages of Los Angeles

    I’ll Be Damned: How My Young and Restless Life Led Me to America’s #1 Daytime Drama by Eric Braeden, Dey Street Books, US $26.99, Pp 288, February 2017, ISBN 978-0062476111

     Eric Braeden’s fans have welcomed him as the star of television’s number one daytime iconic show, “The Young and the Restless” since February 2, 1980. The show has won him a Daytime Emmy for his role as the complex self-made billionaire Victor Newman. He has also starred in other shows …

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  • BENEATH

    Five best novels

    The Ice Beneath Her: A Novel by Camilla Grebe, Elizabeth Clark Wessel (Translator), Ballantine Books, US $27.00, Pp 368, December 2016, ISBN 978-0425284322

         Perfect Little World: A Novel by Kevin Wilson, Ecco, US $26.99, Pp 352, January 2017,     ISBN 978-0062450326

    Eleventh Grave in Moonlight: A Novel (Charley Davidson Series) by Darynda Jones, St. Martin’s Press, US $26.99, Pp 320, January 2017, ISBN 978-1250078216

         Where I Can See You by Larry D. Sweazy, Seventh Street Books, US $15.99, Pp 255,     January …

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  • AAA

    Understanding modern asymmetric war

    Cassandra in Oz: Counterinsurgency and Future War (Transforming War) by Conrad C. Crane, Naval Institute Press, US $39.95, Pp 320, September 2016, ISBN 978-1682470077

    Conrad C. Crane has been recording reflections about the course of the long war launched after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. These are based on many remarkable experiences: being the recorder for the 2002 Army after-action review on Operations Enduring Freedom and Noble Eagle, developing prewar Army plans to reconstruct Iraq, serving as lead author for the …

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  • 111

    Understanding world’s fastest growing religion

    Islamic Civilization in Thirty Lives: The First 1,000 Years by Chase F. Robinson, University of California Press, US $29.95, Pp 272, November 2016, ISBN 978-0520292987

    Islam was born in seventh-century west Arabia when Mohammad claimed to be a prophet sent by Allah. Islam spread to vast territories within the next few centuries and continues to prosper in the twenty-first century. There are now about 1.6 billion Muslims, the large majority living outside the Middle East, especially in South Asia and …

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