BOOKS

Book Review Roundup: Schizophrenia, Prizefighters and 'Obama's Wars'

09/28/2010 12:55 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Bob Woodward's "Obama's Wars"
The Los Angeles Times:

"What Woodward's signature brand of exhaustive reporting and access to sources -- including Obama -- and timely documents provide are the voices and detailed anecdotes that put flesh on the people in the White House -- right down to the name-calling and back-biting."

Sandra Yuen MacKay's "My Schizophrenic Life: The Road to Recovery from Mental Illness"
Seattle Pi

"Anyone interested in mental illness, particularly schizophrenia, can learn from My Schizophrenic Life. Its value is in its candid look into what is going on in the mind of the sufferer."

Paul Sullivan's "Clutch" and Sian Beilock's "Choke"
The Wall Street Journal

"Both Mr. Sullivan and Ms. Beilock insist on the importance of facing the truth about one's abilities and yet not paralyzing oneself through analysis. In some cases, choking is just a question of not being good enough. Here what is needed is more practice and discipline. But one has to forgo one's pride to admit as much."

Susan Hill's "The Small Hand"
The Guardian

"Perhaps most unexpected is the feeling of contemporary resonance that the reader is left with. Hill has spoken in interviews about her dark fascination with recent cases of child murder and, without giving anything away, there's more than a hint of James Bulger and other latterday nightmares in the final revelation."

Hardy Green's "The Company Town: The Industrial Edens and Satanic Mills that Shaped the American Economy"
USA Today

Green understands the negative connotations but feels comfortable presenting the contradictory thesis of company towns as a sort of democratic experience, given a U.S. "tradition of social experimentation. If the Pilgrims could construct their ideal City on a Hill, so too could American businessmen create their own communities."

Jay Tunney's "The Prizefighter and the Playwright: Gene Tunney and Bernard Shaw"
The New York Times

This friendship, the subject of a new book, "The Prizefighter and the Playwright: Gene Tunney and Bernard Shaw," by Tunney's 74-year-old son, Jay, is not a secret, exactly. Shaw and Tunney were proud of their connection and took no pains to hide it. Contemporary sportswriters, who disapproved of Tunney's bookishness, sometimes made fun of him for associating with such a pointy-head.

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