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.
I don’t normally do movie reviews on this site, but this film was related to a question I had about a particular genre of writing, the horror genre. I rented Get Out, (2017), nominally a horror film. Normally I wouldn’t, … Continue reading
Fifteen international world-travelers attend a gala party in the presidential palace of a South American country to hear a famous American opera singer perform. The palace is stormed by armed terrorists who hold the party-goers hostage while they negotiate with … Continue reading
The first-person Invisible Man is an unnamed young black man in the 1950s who recounts his journey from the fog of unknowing to self-awareness. The story is framed in opening and closing scenes by the mature narrator, who lives in an … Continue reading
This short novel is written by the former Moscow correspondent of the Economist newspaper, which is how I learned of it. It wants to be Gorky Park, but isn’t. Protagonist Nick is a U.K. lawyer working real estate deals in … Continue reading
This novel about America after the Vietnam War must have seemed more profound and insightful in the late 70’s. Now it seems worn and clichéd. Converse, a hard-bitten foreign reporter in Saigon buys three keys of heroin and attempts to … Continue reading
Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s short (222 page) book on astrophysics is attractive in a 4.5 x 7.5- inch format (hardbound). Just looking at it you get the impression it would be easy and fun to read. If you have some science … Continue reading
This little time-burner involves a young college grad in San Francisco who gets a job at an all-night bookstore that seems to have more books and shelves than New York’s Strand. Certain preferred and important customers use the store like lending … Continue reading
Charles Bukowski is a name that often comes up in conversations among and about writers, so I decided to sample him. Ham on Rye is his quasi-autobiographical tale of a young man in Los Angeles, from abusive childhood to alienated … Continue reading
I read this book because I thought it might help me create better characters in my novels. As an author, I struggle to create characters who don’t sound and act just like me. I’ve often chosen females as my first-person … Continue reading
I read Madame Bovary in high school, in French, which is to say, I didn’t read it. What I did was spend many hours with a French-to-English dictionary. I was eager to read it as an adult, this time in … Continue reading