Everybody and their dog is a book reviewer these days. I review the books I read because it helps me to understand and remember what I read.
Read a few of my reviews. If you like the kind of books I like, you’ll have a collection of good books to put on your list.
A book review is an opinion but I try to give reasons for my opinions so you can judge if I’m being fair. I usually don’t review books I didn’t like, because life is too short. So even when I’m critical of a book, if it’s on this list, it’s worthy of your attention.
If you appreciate Chinese culture and the wrenching changes it endured in the twentieth century, this book has more meaning and significance. At face value, the story is about a country doctor working in the army who has an arranged marriage … Continue reading
Like many people, I have a morbid fascination with Donald Trump and I watch his bizarre machinations like a gawker at a highway wreck. Wolff’s book promised an inside scoop and was widely reviewed in the media so I gave … Continue reading
Rules of Civility is perfection in world-building, the art of constructing a believable and engrossing fictional world for the characters to inhabit. Nineteen-thirties Manhattan is long gone but Towles brings it back to glittering life and that is the main … Continue reading
You must be a fan of fine writing to persevere with Smile, Roddy Doyle’s latest, because no genuine drama is apparent, except for the closing scene, which is deus ex machina hogwash. Actually, not even that. At least that classic ending … Continue reading
I never paid too much attention to the details of Darwinian theory before I read this book. I assumed, as many do, that the basic ideas are sound. The offspring of any animal vary in traits (blue vs brown eyes, … Continue reading
From what I understand of French philosopher Gilles Deleuze, this book about his work, The Clamor of Being, is not helpful. It seems to deliberately obfuscate rather than clarify Deleuze’s thinking, though that could just be the au courant style … Continue reading
This is a very British tale by a very British author, an acquired taste, I believe. You must appreciate understatement and dry wit to find it engaging, and you also must be able to bulldoze past a mind-numbing batch of … Continue reading
Is Ebonics a language? It was popularized as a distinct language spoken by some American African-Americans in the 1980’s and 90’s, yet another note in the culture war symphony. It’s interesting, and ironically humorous that linguist John McWhorter refers to … Continue reading
I usually have good luck with Man-Booker Prize-winners, but not this time. The Vegetarian is a story of a woman who goes insane. At the current time, medical science does not, for the most part, understand insanity, its causes or cures. … Continue reading
This monster book is actually an easy read because the concepts are not difficult. It is a history of the scientific revolution, which took place in Europe in the decades around 1600. The so-called revolution was a change in world-view … Continue reading