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The Doomsday Machine: A Chevron Ross Book Review

I can’t imagine a more horrifying story than the true one Daniel Ellsberg unveils in The Doomsday Machine. In this well-documented history of nuclear weapons and American policies governing their use, the author demonstrates that the danger they pose is far greater than most people realize. Ellsberg reaches backward in…
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February 3, 2023
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Searching for Caleb: A Chevron Ross Book Review

Maybe it’s just a coincidence that Searching for Caleb takes place in the mid-1970s. It was a directionless time in America. President Nixon was forced out of office. The Vietnam War ended in disaster. The nation was politically and ethically disillusioned. Morale was at its lowest point since the Kennedy…
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January 27, 2023
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The Measure: A Chevron Ross Book Review

Author Nikki Erlick has given herself a tough assignment: creating a world in which people can open a box and find out how long they are going to live. The implications are staggering. How do you carry on with your life with the clock of doom ticking in your head?…
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January 20, 2023
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The Haunting of Hill House: A Chevron Ross Book Review

I finally broke down and bought this 1959 novel because I’ve heard so much about it over the years. The Haunting of Hill House contains the requisite features of any ghost story: musty rooms, disorienting angles, a cold spot, disembodied voices, and terrifying noises. What makes it special is the way…
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January 13, 2023
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Alice Adams: A Chevron Ross Book Review

This Pulitzer Prize winner from 1921 reads almost like a Jane Austen novel, except for its mildly feminist theme. Alice is the daughter of Virgil Adams, a man of middling means with no hope of rising above his post at the firm where he has always worked. His wife nags…
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January 6, 2023
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The Weather in Berlin: A Chevron Ross Book Review

Plot-wise, The Weather in Berlin is basic: a movie director, famous for a film he made many years ago, gets a chance to repeat his success. The complications are minimal. The characters are of secondary importance. So what makes this book worthy of a four-star rating? The answer lies in…
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December 30, 2022
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The Selected Works of T. S. Spivet: A Chevron Ross Book Review

Stories about precocious children always remind me of J. D. Salinger’s Glass family; brilliant, but victims of their own intellect. “Too smart for their own good,” T. S. Spivet’s father might say. The crotchety rancher doesn’t seem to know what to make of his twelve-year-old son and his obsession with…
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December 23, 2022
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The Magus: A Chevron Ross Book Review

Why bother reviewing a book written more than fifty years ago? Because (1) I’d never heard of it until recently; (2) I suspect many others haven’t either; and (3) an author who can lure you through a story running almost six hundred pages across minefields of mythical characters and untranslated…
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December 16, 2022
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We: A Chevron Ross Book Review

If you’ve read George Orwell’s 1984,you’ll quickly recognize its origin in Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We. Both books depict totalitarian societies in which individual liberty takes a backseat to the welfare of the state – obvious references to Stalinist Russia. Zamyatin’s narrator, D-503, is chief engineer for the Integrator, a spaceship built…
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December 9, 2022
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McTeague: A Chevron Ross Book Review

This 1899 novel can be described best as a saga of greed and murder. McTeague is a large, slow-witted man who has escaped a mine worker’s life by learning dentistry from a traveling charlatan. Setting up his practice in San Francisco, he goes quietly about his business until a drinking…
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December 2, 2022