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Hieroglyph: Stories and Blueprints for a Better Future
Neal Stephenson
Ukraine: Zbig's Grand Chessboard & How the West Was Checkmated
Natylie Baldwin, Kermit D. Larson
The Girl on the Train: A Novel
Paula Hawkins
Our Souls at Night: A novel
Kent Haruf
Above the Waterfall
Ron Rash
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
Stephen King
Designs on Film: A Century of Hollywood Art Direction
Cathy Whitlock
The Homicide Report: Understanding Murder in America
Jill Leovy
Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania
Erik Larson
The Gods of Mars
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Rubicon - Lawrence Alexander This is bound to be a major, major political thriller. Alexander looks at an American Reichstag Fire, a plot by the Republican crazies to assassinate key political figures just prior to the 2008 election in order to provide a pretext for postponing the election (permanently) and ensure their continuance in power. If it weren’t so credible, given the crowd in the White House, it would make a pretty good fairy tale. Alexander makes no bones of what he thinks of the neo-con crowd. He addresses the moves to set up alternative intelligence sourcing as a way to justify just about anything. He shows them killing anyone who learns too much. He does all this in a very convincing way. While also showing a democratic presidential candidate who is of less than presidential timbre, and discontent on the part of his hero, California Senator Bobby Hart (in a nod to the real senator Hart?) with the presidency being dominated by two families. The steps along the way are engaging and seem reasonable. This guy clearly knows something about Washington. There is a core notion of comparison between the USA of today and Rome when Caesar crossed the Rubicon. That move ensured that Rome would become an empire, and no longer a democracy, that it would be a state ruled by an emperor. The USA, having acquired an empire of sorts, is now about to cross that Rubicon also, scaring the populace enough that they would willingly give up all their political liberties. Scary stuff, fast-paced, believable enough. A must read.

When I read this, it was not yet in its final form. There are disputes between the author and editor, and what I read may not be the final version, but I doubt that the core of the story will change.