The Devil’s Highway

“In the desert, we are all illegal aliens” This is the story of a group of twenty six men who set out to cross the Mexican-US border in May 2001. Twelve reached the other side.  They people left their families and their villages, took loans and paid large sums to smugglers (called coyotes), to getContinue reading “The Devil’s Highway”

Putin’s People

Twenty years ago, in a frantic bid to prevent Russia from falling back in the hands of the communists, a handful of men pushed Putin into power and now deeply regret their choices. Those who were trying to create a free market economy in Russia either underestimated the KGB or had been working for themContinue reading “Putin’s People”

The Code Breaker

Never has a science conference sounded so fun and dramatic! This is an accessible and fast-paced biography of Jennifer Doudna, the 2020 Nobel laureate in chemistry, and the army of scientists who uncovered the many steps to make gene editing possible. At its heart, The Code Breaker celebrates how life-changing scientific discoveries come from allContinue reading “The Code Breaker”

Empire of Pain

A wonderful tale of a chilling saga that tracks the multi-generational story of the Sackler family, starting with three brothers, Arthur, Raymond and Mortimer, who founded and acquired a group of businesses including Purdue Pharma, the company that created and sells OxyContin – basically, oxycodone – a close relative to heroin. The Sacklers are largelyContinue reading “Empire of Pain”

Exposure

This book sounds the alarm about what’s in our water and our blood, no matter where we are in the world.  Earl Tennent, a West Virginia farmer, realises that his land his rotting, his cattle dying and his family is getting sick because the company that produced Teflon, which makes our cooking utensils non-stick, isContinue reading “Exposure”

Pandemic

Shah weaves personal experiences with intense research that reads like a storybook. She takes us all the way from the early cholera epidemics of the 1800s (with far-too-vivid descriptions of shit-lined streets of New York City!) to the wet markets of China and explains exactly how new viruses evolve that otherwise never would if itContinue reading “Pandemic”

Beginners

This book merges the science of why learning over a lifetime can keep you nimble and happy with a first hand report of the author‘s adventures as a serial beginner. Vanderbilt writes of his escapades in a conversational, dry, self-effacing manner that is laugh-out-loud funny. Behold sentences like – “I careened through this line withContinue reading “Beginners”