Golden State by Ben H. Winters (Book Review)

GOLDEN STATE By Ben H. Winters Mulholland Books, Issued in 2019 336 Pages ISBN-13:  978-0316505413 $28.00 Hardcover Also available as an e-book I first became an admirer of Ben H. Winters when I read his 2011 novel Bedbugs.  He has a gift for finding horror in the human condition, and using the physical setting as metaphor. Golden State does not disappoint.  Mr. Winters’ latest dystopian fiction is set in the future, in a place resembling Los Angeles.  Small lies — even efforts at creativity — are treated as felonies, and the population must live with the consequences of being “honest” at all … Continue reading Golden State by Ben H. Winters (Book Review)

Two’s a Crowd (Book #1 in Pug Pals Series) Review

Two’s a Crowd Written and illustrated by Flora Ahn Scholastic Press $9.99 (USD) Hardcover (No Dust Jacket) © 2018 Pugs are wonderful dogs.  However, most have attitudes.  They’re stubborn, and when they don’t get what they want they sulk. Flora Ahn knows this.  If my dear Puggie acquaintances were able to cross their arms, they would resemble one of the drawings inside the front cover of this book. Two’s a Crowd is the first and so far only book in this new series, and I plan on reading all of them eventually. Care should be used to avoid giving away too … Continue reading Two’s a Crowd (Book #1 in Pug Pals Series) Review

Dog Man by Dav Pilkey (Review)

Dog Man Text and Illustrations By Dav Pilkey Color by José Garibaldi Children’s Book (Graphic Novel) 231 Pages, Hardcover © 2016 ISBN-13: 978-0-545-58160-8 $9.99 USD Presently, there are four books in the heroic Dog Man series by Dav Pilkey.  I’ve read only the first, and here’s a review to get the rest of you at least mildly acquainted. In case the author’s name sounds familiar, he’s the heroic creator of Captain Underpants.  If you have to ask who Captain Underpants is, visit the Children’s Room at your local library at once and tell the librarian it’s “urgent.”  I guarantee you’ll be enlightened before … Continue reading Dog Man by Dav Pilkey (Review)

Room by Emma Donoghue (Review)

Room By Emma Donoghue Mass Market Paperback ISBN: 978-0316268356 © 2010 $7.99 USD Also Available in Trade Paper and E-Book Editions Some highly educated people claim that literature isn’t published anymore.  My father used to say that. Room, the 2010 novel by Emma Donoghue, is one of the exceptions to that rule. You might recall a California kidnap victim named Jaycee Lee Dugard, who was missing for eighteen years before being freed in 2009.  She had two children by then, both fathered by her kidnapper. There is no indication that Room is based on that crime.  The novel must have taken more than … Continue reading Room by Emma Donoghue (Review)

War on Peace by Ronan Farrow (Review)

War on Peace:  The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence By Ronan Farrow Published by W. W. Norton & Company © 2018 392 Pages, Including Source Notes & Index ISBN: 978-0-393-65210-9 $27.95 USD Most of us are poorly informed, especially where foreign policy is concerned.  When we follow that topic, we often fall back on lightweight, centre-right or far-right sources.  Real journalism tends to go over our heads, and even when it doesn’t it seems tedious. War on Peace:  The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence is real journalism which is not tedious.  That may … Continue reading War on Peace by Ronan Farrow (Review)

This Book Isn’t Getting The Love it Deserves

In May of last year, Dave Hill Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, Dave Hill’s memoir and humorous essay collection, was published in hardcover by Penguin Random House. I wrote a positive review on this blogsite, and Dave (with whom I’m acquainted only on social media, not in person) went on the recommended author tour. One year later, there’s no paperback edition and no date for an upcoming paperback release.  Although everything I hear about the book is positive, it looks as if word isn’t reaching enough readers. If you appreciate serious/humorous/perceptive/metaphorical/touching life analysis, you can’t miss Dave Hill Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.  If you … Continue reading This Book Isn’t Getting The Love it Deserves

The Day They Came to Arrest the Book (Review)

The Day They Came to Arrest the Book By Hentoff, Nat Copyright 1982 Young Adult Fiction Published by Laurel Leaf Books $6.99 Paperback ISBN: 0-440-91814-6 (Cover Image Unavailable) I was saddened to read about the passing of Nat Hentoff, the former Village Voice columnist who was noted for being controversial with everyone, including the liberals who usually agreed with him. I knew Mr. Hentoff had written one novel because I’d seen a paperback copy of it.  It was a jazz-themed mystery.  I didn’t know he had written other fiction, though. The Day They Came to Arrest the Book is a Young Adult modern … Continue reading The Day They Came to Arrest the Book (Review)

Man In The Dark By Paul Auster (Book Review)

Man In The Dark Author: Paul Auster Publisher: Picador USA $16.00 Paperback Copyright 2008 ISBN: 978-0312428518 180 Pages If you like the idea of reading a short novel and gaining insight into the human condition by the time you’ve finished reading, Paul Auster’s Man In The Dark is recommended. Central character August Brill’s family has suffered terrible losses. Mr. Brill is a book critic, and an excellent storyteller.  His creativity vents personal horror, and encourages a bond with his adult granddaughter. I won’t say anything else about the characters or the story.  Just read it and make your own observations. Continue reading Man In The Dark By Paul Auster (Book Review)

A Book Review, But Not By Me

Undisclosed Files Of The Police: Cases From The Archives Of The NYPD From 1931 To The Present By Bernard J. Whalen,  Philip Messing and Robert Mladnich Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal 320 Pages $40.00 ISBN-13: 978-0316391238 I’ll include a link to a book review on The New York Times site, posted today.  I haven’t read the book in question, but it sounds fascinating. So, Johnnie Cochran once prosecuted Lenny Bruce? Continue reading A Book Review, But Not By Me

Attica, 1971

I don’t know how many of you are old enough to remember the riot at Attica Prison in New York State. Adam Gopnik at The New Yorker has reviewed two books (one new, the other published five years ago) on the topic, and offers perspective on an issue which stirs up each person’s emotions differently.  Please consider reading this fairly long piece, and try to keep an open mind. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/08/29/learning-from-the-slaughter-in-attica Continue reading Attica, 1971