Author Archives: John Walters

Book Review: Chaplin: His Life and Art by David Robinson; Part 1: The Early Years

One of my favorite films of all time is Richard Attenborough’s Chaplin starring Robert Downey, Jr. Another is Modern Times by Charlie Chaplin. We’ll get to Modern Times in another review, because I haven’t got to the part of the … Continue reading

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Books Make Great Gifts

After Thanksgiving has come and gone, people commence a search for holiday gifts for family members, relatives, friends, acquaintances, in-laws, outlaws, colleagues, and sometimes total strangers. If you’re looking for fun, sophisticated, lively, intense, flamboyant, and otherwise variegated literary fare, … Continue reading

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Book Review: Moving Mars by Greg Bear

This is another classic science fiction novel that I didn’t get around to reading until the pandemic. Spoiler alert: It’s a good one. Often I synopsize the books I am reviewing, but I don’t know if I will be able … Continue reading

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Book Review: Blue Highways: A Journey into America by William Least Heat-Moon

This book is considered a classic in travel writing, particularly in the sub-genre of road memoirs. I’m surprised that I never read it before. It takes place in 1978, although it was not published until 1982. After a heartbreaking separation … Continue reading

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Book Review: More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon

I find it surprising that I have never read this novel until now. It was first published in 1953, the year I was born, and in the following year it won the International Fantasy Award for best novel. I’ve had … Continue reading

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On Rereading Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder

I read this book just over two years ago; you can read the review on this website. What got me thinking about the book again was finding out that it had been made into a film starring Frances McDormand. My … Continue reading

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Book Review: The Best of Michael Swanwick

I’m going to begin with a bit of name-dropping here; it’s unintentional but inevitable if I want to explain to you how I came to hear about this book. I was chatting with Michael Swanwick (there it is) at a … Continue reading

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Book review: Footsteps: Adventures of a Romantic Biographer by Richard Holmes

I approached this book with high expectations. A writer traveling through fascinating locales in Europe in the footsteps of literary legends: what could go wrong? Well, a number of things, in fact. Ultimately, I found this book difficult to finish. … Continue reading

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Classic Science Fiction Novels to Read During the Pandemic: Nova by Samuel R. Delany

I can’t remember for sure, but I think that I only read Nova once several decades ago before rereading it recently. It attests to the power and vividness of the prose that so many parts were burned into my memory … Continue reading

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Book Review: Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness by Edward Abbey

As Desert Solitaire opens, Edward Abbey has just arrived at Arches National Monument in Utah for an isolated six month stint as a park ranger. He worked as a seasonal ranger in the 1950s, although the book was not published … Continue reading

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