More than 700 book reviews

Tag Archive for ‘climate change’

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 ›

A terrifying vision of the future in an award-winning young adult novel

Feed, by M. T. Anderson @@@@@ (5 out of 5) M. T. Anderson’s award-winning novel, Feed, is one of the scariest books I’ve read in many years (and it was written for teenagers!). Yet the terror it evokes emerges only slowly, as Anderson reveals, chapter by chapter, additional details that demonstrate the hopelessness of the… Read More ›

Dystopian fiction: 14 standalone novels

Note: I posted this commentary in error on April 3, 2017. It’s incomplete. I’ll repost at a later date once I’ve completed it. 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… Read More ›

Will robots run amok?

Thinking Machines: The Quest for Artificial Intelligence and Where It’s Taking Us Next, by Luke Dormehl @@@@@ (5 out of 5) Driverless cars, for sure. But pilotless airplanes? Machines that will replace doctors and corporate managers? And robots that can out-think the most brilliant human? The popular term “robots“—first used in a Czech science fiction… Read More ›

American foreign policy in a “nonpolar” world

A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order, by Richard A. Haass @@@@ (4 out of 5) It would be difficult to identify anyone other than Henry Kissinger who represents the tradition of America’s bipartisan foreign policy more fully than Richard A. Haass. Haass is the longtime president of… Read More ›

A superb dystopian novel

The Parable of the Sower (Parable #1 of 2), by Octavia E. Butler @@@@@ (5 out of 5) 15-year-old Lauren Olamina is the daughter of a Baptist minister and the eldest of his five children. Both Reverend Olamina and his second wife, Lauren’s stepmother, are African-American, and both hold Ph.Ds. Lauren’s father reaches at a… Read More ›

The true story of a lost city in Central America

The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story, by Douglas Preston @@@@ (4 out of 5) In 2015, an expedition led by an American filmmaker ventured deep into the Honduran rain forest in search of a fabled ancient city known variously as The White City and The Lost City of the Monkey God…. Read More ›

A liberal icon finds fault with liberal politics

A review of Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?, by Thomas Frank @@@@ (4 out of 5) Blame for the widening gap between rich and poor and America is typically laid at the feet of the Republican Party, chiefly through the actions of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W…. Read More ›

How the Koch brothers are revolutionizing American politics

A review of Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right, by Jane Mayer @@@@@ (5 out of 5) The Koch brothers, Charles and David, get a lot of attention from political observers and, increasingly, from the public. No wonder. The fortune they possess together is greater than… Read More ›

My 5, well, make that 6, favorite books of 2015

This month I’m sharing longer lists of my “best” books in each of several categories (trade fiction, science fiction, mysteries & thrillers, and nonfiction). For now, though, in response to a request from Berkeleyside, where my reviews of books that involve the town often appear, I’ll list just the most outstanding among them all, in… Read More ›