book reviews

Reviews of other people’s books

Book Review: The Toxic Meritocracy of Video Games – First Person Scholar

Today I’ve had a book review I wrote of Christopher A. Paul’s The Toxic Meritocracy of Video Games posted on First Person Scholar. Here’s a sample: My difficulties with conceptualizing a non-meritocratic review, perhaps, illustrate just how hard-wired meritocratic norms are—especially in academia—which demonstrates that this book makes a very good point about thinking more …

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Book Review: Hit Me

Danielle Gomes and Jay Bonansinga. Hit Me: Fighting the Las Vegas Mob by the Numbers. Guilford, Connecticut: Globe Pequot Press, 2013. 301 pages. One of the most-asked questions for people who study Las Vegas history is “How did the mob get kicked out of the casino industry?” This book tells you a major part of …

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Book Review: Riding Rockets

Mike Mullane. Riding Rockets: The Outrageous Tales of a Space Shuttle Astronaut. New York, Scribner, 2006. 368 pages. This is a book everyone who has any kind of interest in the history–and future–of manned space flight should read. For that matter, anyone who doesn’t have an interest in manned space flight should read it, too, …

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Book Review: The Dog Stars

Peter Heller. The Dog Stars: A Novel. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2012. 336 pages. You know post-apocalyptic fiction has come a long way when it goes from sci-fi and horror to literary fiction. The Dog Stars is, without a doubt, the most introspective piece of post-apocalyptic writing I’ve read yet. There’s not much plot–it’s mostly the …

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Book Review: The Fat Years

Chan Koonchung. Michael S. Duke, translator. The Fat Years. New York: Nan A. Talese, 2012. 336 pages. This novel, written by a veteran Chinese journalist/writer, gives Westerners a glimpse of sorts into Chinese social psychology. Lots of people in the U.S. are fretting about the rise of China, and the possibility that the 21st century …

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Book Review: Positive Intelligence

Shirzad Chamine. Positive Intelligence: Why Only 20% of Teams and Individuals Achieve Their True Potential. Austin, Texas: Greenleaf Books, 2012. 227 pages. Positive Intelligence falls into an interesting intersection between self-help books and business strategy books. That’s certainly no accident; for most people, work is one the primary ways they express themselves. And, as we all …

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Book Review: The Nelson-Wolgast Fight and the San Francisco Boxing Scene, 1900-1914

Arne K. Lang.  The Nelson-Wolgast Fight and the San Francisco Boxing Scene, 1900-1914. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland and Company, 2012. 187 pages. Boxing today is nothing like it was a century ago. On one hand, it was a nearly-outlaw sport–many states had restrictions against professional fights or outright bans on public bouts, while others tolerated them. …

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