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Best Books of February: Nonfiction

NarconomicsSure, you got into the drug business for the usual reasons: the freedom that comes with being your own boss, unshackled from the task chair, desk, and the 9-to-5 regime. But as Tom Wainwright's Narconomics: How to Run a Drug Cartel demonstrates, the lessons of the virtuous circle are catching up with a vicious industry. In her review for the Best Books of February, our Seira Wilson writes:  

We already know how internet shopping has changed the way people buy and sell goods, but in the course of his research Wainwright learned that all manner of illegal drugs are increasingly being bought and sold online, too ... Wainwright's fresh look at a decades-old problem shows not only how the narcotics industry is run, but also how the "war on drugs" could be more effective if law enforcement started thinking about the drug business as just another corporate jungle.

Here are more Nonfiction picks for February. See the full list on


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Walking the Nile by Levison Wood
A briskly paced blend of gripping adventure tale and a portrait of modern Africa, full of objective hazards including crocodiles, minefields, and secret police. But why? Even Wood has trouble answering that question, but "ultimately, it came down to one thing. The Nile was there, and I wanted to walk it."

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Children of Paradise: The Struggle for the Soul of Iran by Laura Secor
The widely published journalist (The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Foreign Affairs, The New Republic, among others) describes an Iran rarely seen on the evening news, a diverse country of artists, clerics, and activists shaping the country in unexpected ways.

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Sex in the Sea: : Our Intimate Connection with Kinky Crustaceans, Sex-Changing Fish, Romantic Lobsters and Other Salty Erotica of the Deep by Marah J. Hardt
Those neighbors you had in the 1970s, the ones with the hot tub? They ain't got nothing on sea slugs.

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The Black Calhouns: From Civil War to Civil Rights with One African American Family by Gail Lumet Buckley
Sara Nelson writes: "While Buckley's book is a fascinating history, it is no textbook; it's also the very personal story of several generations of her own family ... Buckley's tales are fascinating and her straightforward style winning. This is not just an important book. It's also an enthralling one."

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