Non-fiction Reading Group -February 5

There is a non-fiction reading group that meets monthly (mostly) on the first Monday of each month. For February 5th we have chosen “Rogues: True Stories of Grifters, Killers, Rebels and Crooks” by Patrick Radden Keefe. 

From the prize-winning, New York Times bestselling author of “Say Nothing” and “Empire of Pain”, twelve enthralling stories of skullduggery and intrigue by one of the most decorated journalists of our time.

Patrick Radden Keefe has garnered prizes ranging from the National Magazine Award to the Orwell Prize to the National Book Critics Circle Award for his meticulously reported, hypnotically engaging work on the many ways people behave badly. Rogues brings together a dozen of his most celebrated articles from The New Yorker. As Keefe says in his preface, “They reflect on some of my abiding preoccupations: crime and corruption, secrets and lies, the permeable membrane separating licit and illicit worlds, the bonds of family, the power of denial.”

Keefe brilliantly explores the intricacies of forging $150,000 vintage wines, examines whether a whistleblower who dared to expose money laundering at a Swiss bank is a hero or a fabulist, spends time in Vietnam with Anthony Bourdain, chronicles the quest to bring down a cheerful international black market arms merchant, and profiles a passionate death penalty attorney who represents the “worst of the worst,” among other bravura works of literary journalism.

In the past, the group has read a wide variety of non-fiction titles, ranging from science (Brief answers to the Big Questions by Steven Hawking), the natural world (What It’s Like to Be a Bird by David Allen Sibley, An Elephant in my Kitchen by Francoise Malby-Anthony), memoirs (Educated by Tara Westover, Becoming by Michelle Obama), and social issues (Caste, the Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson, and This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate by Naomi Klein).

If you are interested in joining the group, contact craigmonroe@comcast.net and we will add you to the distribution list for voting and the Zoom link for the meeting.  All are welcome. 

Those involved in the group are sent a list of books with descriptions for consideration in future discussions.  We have multiple votes that can be used all for one book or spread out among several.  The book with the highest number of votes is chosen.