Friends don't let friends eat rhino horn. Ben Davies exposes the illicit endangered-species trade in his splendidly sad Black Market (Mandala, $29.95), replete with incriminating pix of grinning poachers. ... When heads of state walk home from the cinema without security guards, assassinations can happen. In Blood on the Snow (Cornell, $29.95), Jan Bondeson -- armed with a brand-new theory involving an Iranian arms deal -- reexamines the 1986 murder of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme. ... All news is good news in Rangoon because Burmese newspapers are censored to the hilt, as Emma Larkin learned while sojourning in that paranoid land which foreign writers and reporters are forbidden to enter. She waxes warmly wistful in Finding George Orwell in Burma (Penguin, $22.95). ... Shoot the curl, armchair style. Lifelong surfer Steve Hawk offers astounding images -- from Ocean Beach to Easter Island to Tsunami Central -- in Waves (Chronicle, $29.95). ... It beats Cliffs Notes. The Rough Guide to Shakespeare (Rough Guides, $23.95) includes the works, reviews, film-adaptation tips, and much more, thanks to Andrew Dickson. ... Got a yen for pork-blood-intestine stew infused with vinegar? It's called dinuguan, you can order it in Manila, and it's one of 1,400 yummies defined in Daniel Blum's Pocket Dictionary of Ethnic Foods (Wordcraft, $9.95).
Culture Spy - April 20, 9:52 AM
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