07/05/2011 01:40 pm ET Updated Sep 04, 2011

Book Review Roundup: Short Stories And Scientology Secrets

"The Red Market: On the Trail of the World's Organ Brokers, Bone Thieves, Blood Farmers and Child Traffickers" by Scott Carney

Seattle PI

The book's shortcomings are minor compared to Carney's unflinching, on-the-ground look at the way we value flesh — ours and others.

"Ladies and Gentlemen: Stories" by Adam Ross

San Francisco Chronicle

There is much to admire about Ross as a writer. He crafts smooth sentences and can make you laugh out loud without ever undermining or selling out the poignancy of his stories...These irresistible stories will sweep you away, and of course that should be the goal of any true storyteller.

"Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West" by Dorothy Wickenden

The book raises an interesting question: What makes a story history rather than family history? Why should we bother about someone else's family, commonplace people who lived long ago? Wickenden's book also answers that question, offering a nice primer on how to write the history of ordinary life. Though the origins of the book are homely, Nothing Daunted deserves an audience beyond the folks gathered around the potato salad at the author's family reunion.

"Inside Scientology" by Janet Reitman

Los Angeles Times

Reitman's book, which grew out of an article the Rolling Stone contributing editor wrote for the magazine in 2006, is a well-researched and compelling read, especially for those who start with little knowledge about Scientology, Hubbard or his successor, David Miscavige. While it lacks blockbuster revelations, it mostly delivers on Reitman's promise of an "objective modern history" of the church.

"A World on Fire: Britain’s Crucial Role in the American Civil War" by Amanda Foreman

The New York Times

The extraordinary cast portrayed in “A World on Fire,” by Amanda Foreman — who is also the author of “Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire” — extends from men who fled England to escape poverty to aristocratic Union officers like Major John Fitzroy de Courcy, later Lord Kingsale, a veteran of the Crimea, not to mention Colonel Sir Percy Wyndham, a soldier of fortune whose knighthood was actually Italian.

"The Interrogator: An Education" by Glenn Carle


Its contradiction of Suskind’s report aside, The Interrogator is most telling in its account of how Carle’s superiors at the CIA reacted to his conclusions: by ignoring them.