Category Archives: Book Reviews

Book Review: A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life by George Saunders

This is a fun book to read. Award-winning writer George Saunders has spent decades teaching Russian short stories in his writing classes, and in this volume he chooses several of his favorite stories and expounds upon them at length. In … Continue reading

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On Rereading The Very Best of Fantasy and Science Fiction Edited by Gordon Van Gelder

Sometimes at odd moments I enjoy looking over the books on my shelves. I don’t have a large collection; there’s probably not more than two or three hundred books in it, but those books hold many precious reading memories. I … Continue reading

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Book Review: River-Horse: The Logbook of a Boat Across America by William Least Heat-Moon

I last met William Least Heat-Moon in the memoir Blue Highways, an account of his journey around the continental United States alone in a small camper van. In River-Horse, he undertakes a boat journey along America’s rivers and lakes from … Continue reading

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Book Review: The Year’s Best Science Fiction Volume 1 Edited by Jonathan Strahan

Even though a lot of the fiction I write, particularly short fiction, is science fiction or fantasy (or sometimes a blend of the two), I don’t read a lot of genre fiction. My reading goes all over the place – … Continue reading

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Book Review: The Typewriter Is Holy: The Complete Uncensored History of the Beat Generation by Bill Morgan

I have to confess to limited exposure to the group of writers that Bill Morgan refers to in this book as the Beat Generation. Whenever I heard the term, I always supposed that it depicted a national or international movement … Continue reading

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Book Review: Mad at the World: A Life of John Steinbeck by William Sounder

Before I start this review, I have to get something off my chest, because it rankles every time I see it. I can’t understand why the author of this biography titled it “A” life of John Steinbeck instead of “The” … Continue reading

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Book Review: Collected Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges; Part 2: Later Writings

Now we come to the heart of Jorge Luis Borges’s work. As he matured as a writer, certain themes and subjects began to emerge. One of these is the concept of the double. Numerous stories deal with two seemingly separate … Continue reading

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Book Review: Collected Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges, translated by Andrew Hurley; Part One: The Early Works

I recently gave a copy of Collected Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges to a young writer as a Christmas present. This is not the same as presenting someone with a more or less standard or normal science fiction or fantasy … Continue reading

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Book Review: The Writer’s Library: The Authors You Love on the Books That Changed Their Lives by Nancy Pearl and Jeff Schwager

From the descriptive material announcing this book, I thought it would be different than it is. I imagined each author elaborating on one book that changed their life. I supposed I would read in-depth evaluations of particular books that would … Continue reading

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Book Review: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

The Name of the Rose is a long, complex novel that is not easy to get into. At least it wasn’t for me. First of all, it sat on my shelf for years after I bought it at a library … Continue reading

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