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75 readable and revealing historical novels(2)

August 1, 2017

Though I read a great deal of historical fiction, I gravitate toward certain topics, as you can see in the list below of the 75 historical novels I’ve, read, enjoyed, and reviewed over the past seven years. My favorite subjects are European history, including many historical spy novels; World War II; American history, especially political… Read More ›

My new book: a fresh look at dystopian novels

After the inauguration of Donald Trump as President of the US, The Handmaid’s Tale, 1984, and Brave New World returned to the bestseller lists. The reemergence of these classic dystopian novels prompted me to take a closer look at the genre. In the months that followed, I refreshed my memory of the three classics and other… Read More ›

34 great biographies I’ve reviewed

Roger Ailes. Catherine the Great. William Armstrong Custer. Steve Jobs. Malcolm X. These are among the men and women featured in the 34 biographies I’ve listed below. I’ve reviewed each of these books online and awarded them four or five out of five stars. The books are listed in alphabetical order by the subject’s last… Read More ›

Five “good” technologies that endanger us

By Jeevan Sivasubramaniam My friend Jeevan Sivasubramaniam—Managing Director, Editorial, at Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.—has written a short article that meshes very well with my recent review of The Driver in the Driverless Car by Vivek Wadhwa and Alex Salkever. With his permission, I’m reproducing it here.  Vivek Wadhwa’s latest book discusses how technology is not always… Read More ›

My 1000th post: revisiting my 10 most-read book reviews

Seven and a half years after I launched this blog, I’ve reached a milestone: this is my 1000th post. Nearly 900 of those posts are book reviews. I’m listing here the 10 most popular over the past three years. Four of the 10 books reviewed are mysteries and thrillers, two are trade novels, and four are works of… Read More ›

Just how many books are there, really?

In a guest post here on October 4, 2016 (“10 awful truths about book publishing”), publisher Steven Piersanti remarked on the huge numbers of books being published today. Here’s what he wrote: According to the latest Bowker Report (September 7, 2016), more than 700,000 books were self-published in the U.S. in 2015, which is an… Read More ›

A brief look at 15 important dystopian novels

Dystopian fiction figures prominently in the work of some of the world’s best science fiction writers. With Donald Trump in the White House, and an increasingly fearful public contemplating the possibility of the disastrous consequences that might ensue, The Handmaid’s Tale has been haunting the bestseller lists for months, and other dystopian novels have selling… Read More ›

24 compelling dystopian novels

Dystopian novels figure prominently in the work of some of the world’s best science fiction writers. With Donald Trump in the White House, and an increasingly fearful public contemplating the possibility of disastrous consequences from his erratic behavior, dystopian novels such as 1984 and The Handmaid’s Tale have crept back onto the bestseller lists. Lately… Read More ›

My 10 favorite espionage novels

Over the past seven years, I’ve read and reviewed 60 espionage novels. My ten favorites are listed below. Though my preliminary list included multiple titles by three authors (Alex Berenson, Charles Cumming, and Ross Thomas), I’ve limited myself to a single title from every writer. I gave every one of these ten titles a score… Read More ›

My 15 favorite detective novels

The 15 detective novels listed below may not be the 15 “best” detective novels, even by my uniquely idiosyncratic criteria. I’d read a lot of work in the genre even before I began writing these reviews in January 2010—and there are tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of detective novels I’ve never read. This list consists… Read More ›