More than 700 book reviews

FAQs & Commentaries rss

Frequently Asked Questions

48 excellent mystery and thriller series(2)

February 9, 2017

Two years ago I posted a list of my 36 favorite mystery and thriller series. What follows is an updated version of that list. I’ve made several changes in my Top 10 list. I’ve also added 12 titles—and demoted a few to a new category of “Not-so-great series.” Unless you’re a devoted fan of the… Read More ›

The 10 best books of 2016

I can hardly turn around without finding somebody’s list of the best books of the year. So, why shouldn’t I write one up, too? I doubt that many literary critics have reviewed more books this year than I have. So, here goes . . . Following are the ten books, both fiction and nonfiction, that… Read More ›

What? Literary critics I agree with?

I never thought I’d say this, but here it comes. I have discovered that there is, indeed, some overlap between my choices in reading and those of some of the country’s top literary critics. On December 16, the New York Times published lists of the ten top books of the year as chosen by each… Read More ›

The 5 best books of 2016

I’d already written up my list of the 10 best books of the year when the editors of Berkeleyside asked me to supply them with a list of my five top picks. (I’ll post the longer list next week.) Picking just five is a tough assignment, to put it mildly. But here goes, gritting my… Read More ›

65 good new books I’ve read in 2016

I suppose sixty-five seems like a lot of books to most people, but it’s far from all the books I’ve read in 2016. Listed here are only those that I rated @@@@ or @@@@@ (4 or 5 out of 5). Keep in mind that I’m very selective in choosing books (emphasis on very), and I… Read More ›

17 books that illuminate the World War II era

If you’ve been reading my reviews for very long, you’re aware that the World War II era holds special fascination for me. This might have something to do with the fact that I was born then — in fact, about six months before the USA entered the war. Or maybe it’s just because it all… Read More ›

29 good books about business history

Having spent more than half of my life in business, engaged in founding or leading a number of small companies, it’s only natural that I should read a good deal about economic history and the history of business. Here, I’ve listed 29 of the best books about the history of business that I’ve read and… Read More ›

27 biographies worth reading

One of the very best ways to gain insight into history and the ways of the world around us is to read biographies. Which explains why I read them so frequently. Over the more than six years since I began writing this blog, I’ve read dozens. Here I’m listing 27 that stand out in my… Read More ›

10 Awful Truths about Book Publishing

Some years ago my friend and publisher Steven Piersanti, founder and president of San Francisco’s Berrett-Koehler Publishers, wrote an article entitled “10 Awful Truths about Book Publishing.” He has updated the piece from time to time with the latest data. Here’s the most recent version, dated September 26, 2016. By Steven Piersanti 1.  The number… Read More ›

Vacation time!

Hi! Please don’t be surprised if you see no new posts from me during the first two weeks of September. I’ll be out of the country and will have limited access to the Internet, if any at all. But I’ll be back in mid-month. Keep on reading! Cheers, mal