What book critics are talking about the week of Dec. 16, 2008.

BIG BOY RULES: America’s Mercenaries Fighting in Iraq
By Steve Fainaru / Da Capo Press
“[I]t is Fainaru’s access to the absurdity of the boots-on-the-ground world of the private security grunt that puts ‘Big Boy Rules’ on the must-have list.... Fainaru’s skill lies in unwrapping the folly of the war on a personal level that is both enlightening and chilling.”
– MARK BRUNSWICK, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune

By Patrick Taylor / Forge Books
“This Irish country Christmas is certainly a romanticized version of reality, but this time of year, it’s a folly that’s excusable, if not welcome.”
– ALLECIA VERMILLION, The Chicago Sun-Times

A PASSION FOR NATURE: The Life of John Muir By Donald Worster / Oxford University Press
“ ‘A Passion for Nature’ ... is an engagingly written, adroitly balanced appraisal that places its subject within the emerging environmental consciousness of the late 19th century. Drawing on ... letters and journals, Worster ... composes a complete and completely appealing picture of a more complicated man than we thought we knew.”– DAN CRYER, The Boston Globe

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