Book Reviews

When Victims Become Killers

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"When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism, and the Genocide in Rwanda" by Mahmood Mamdani
Reviewed by Mark Bellis

It's just an academic wankfest giving a lengthy history of the political development

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National Geographic Field Guide: Digital Photography

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"National Geographic Field Guide: Digital Photography" by Rob Sheppard
Reviewed by Carol L. Bracken

The crucial element in the presentation of a powerful image is not the

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Down Here

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"Down Here" by Andrew Vachss

Review by Tracy Satterlee

As a child, Burke was bounced from one abusive foster home to another until he finally landed on the streets. There he found his "family"--a collection of drifters, grifters, and fellow victims of abuse. Many years later, Burke and his family of choice make their living running scams and occasionally working as guns for hire, and Burke especially favors hunting down those who abuse children.

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Salem Falls

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"Salem Falls" by Jodi Picoult
Reviewed by Donna Raskin

Salem Falls. Get it? Witches. Oh sure, it's a New England town, so the name isn't that out of the ordinary, but when an author picks a name like Salem you've got to figure witchcraft is going to come into play at some point in the novel.

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African Ice

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African Ice by Jeff Buick
Reviewed by Steve Chaput

Despite the 350-plus pages, this international thriller is a pretty quick read.  Ranging from New York City to the Congo, with side trips to London, Cairo and Amsterdam, the cast of characters seems to be constantly on the move.  While I can’t vouch for the authenticity of the writer’s description of each place, he certainly makes them seem real.

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Urban Gothic

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"Urban Gothic" by Brian Keene
Reviewed by Tracy Satterlee

Four teens find themselves stranded in the hood in Philly, and before you can say "spam in a cabin," they've run into a house where not even the gangbangers dare to go.  The house is a trap; subterranean cannibal mutants live there, and they're oh so hungry for some tender teen flesh.

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God Lives in St Petersburg

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"God Lives In St. Petersburg and Other Stories" by Tom Bissell 
Reviewed by Andrea Speed

These stories have a loose theme, in that all in some way involve the Central Asian republics of Russia ( Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, et al.), although one story takes place in war-torn Afghanistan during the initial fall of the Taliban, and another takes place in America, after a character has returned from a teaching stint in Kyrgyzstan. But there's something more unifying than simply the locations used.

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He's Just Not That Into You

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“He’s Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys” by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo
Reviewed by Ariana Singer

Someone very wise (and slightly cynical) once said, “There are none so blind as those who will not see.” And that’s pretty much the target audience for this extremely helpful (and painful) self-help book, which has a simple yet devastating message to all those ladies out there who think  there’s a chance in hell with the guy of their dreams: give it up.

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Pandemic: Facing AIDS

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"Pandemic: Facing AIDS" by Kofi Annan, Nadine Gordimer, Rory Kennedy, Nan Richardson and Jeffrey Sachs
Reviewed by Wendi Wilkerson

In 1990 Nicholas Nixon caused an uproar with his photography exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. This was the first time a photographer had dared to exhibit work chronicling the AIDS epidemic, using dignified portraits marking different stages of the illness. He received opposition from the political world because he brought AIDS out into the open.

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