Category Archives: Book Reviews

Rereading On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

In these days of lockdown, with the library and physical bookstores inaccessible and even books delivered by post under suspicion, I find myself groping for reading material, as I relate in my recent post “How to Find Books During a … Continue reading

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Book Review: The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company by William Dalrymple

Until I left my birthplace and took to the road in earnest, seeking adventure and my voice as a writer, I had no idea that the Indian Subcontinent would become so important to me. I hitchhiked up and down the … Continue reading

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Book Review: The Best American Short Stories 2019 Edited by Anthony Doerr and Heidi Pitlor

The short story is a particular type of art form. I love reading great short stories, but it’s notoriously difficult to find them. Even the stories in the various best of the year volumes don’t always match my tastes. I … Continue reading

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Book Review: Bird Cloud: A Memoir by Annie Proulx

I have been living in rented apartments and houses for several years now, ever since I left Greece to return to the States. In Greece we had owned our own home; here, I struggle every month to pay the rent … Continue reading

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Book Review: The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson

I first came across the name of Bill Bryson in a volume of interviews called A Sense of Place: Great Travel Writers Talk About Their Craft, Lives, and Inspiration by Michael Shapiro. While reading this book, I made a list … Continue reading

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Book Review: The Best Science Fiction of the Year Volume 4 Edited by Neil Clarke

This is the third Best of the Year volume in the science fiction and fantasy field that I have read this year, and… I wouldn’t say that I am becoming jaded, but I am learning that not all that is … Continue reading

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Book Review: American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race by Douglas Brinkley

This is a fascinating book about America’s efforts to conquer space during the Cold War. However, it is not a comprehensive history of the space program. Instead, it focuses on John F. Kennedy’s fixation on space exploration and eventually on … Continue reading

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Book Review: The Future of Humanity: Terraforming Mars, Interstellar Travel, Immortality, and Our Destiny Beyond Earth by Michio Kaku

I won’t pretend to understand even a small amount of the physics behind the principles and theories presented in this book, but to my relief it’s not necessary to be good at physics to derive great enjoyment and edification from … Continue reading

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Book Review: The Armageddon Rag by George R.R. Martin

Although set in the 1980s, this book is actually about the 1960s. I lived the sixties in the early seventies, but I recognized all the cultural buttons Martin pushes, the references obscure and famous, and the sense of loss of … Continue reading

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Book Review: Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know by Malcolm Gladwell

Years ago I read Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers and found it fascinating. It’s a study on how people achieve extraordinary success, and the main conclusion, as I remember, is that the key is not superlative intelligence or talent, but rather … Continue reading

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