Category: 'Book Reviews'


Old Man’s War

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

AJM encouraged me to read some science fiction that was written a bit more recently. After all, just because I started reading science fiction in the 1970s and stopped reading science fiction in the 1970s, doesn’t mean I should restrict myself to reading science fiction from the 1970s. He suggested Old Man’s War for two […]

The Ghost Brigades

Monday, February 28th, 2011

The Ghost Brigades opens with a rock. I didn’t find this the most promising of starts. If just finishing Old Man’s War hadn’t left me with the desire to explore more of John Scalzi’s universe, I would have been tempted to stop after the first page. Luckily, the importance of rocks pans out quickly so […]

The Last Colony

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

The saga continues. And we’re back to first person narrative and the voice of John Perry. Yay! I think John Scalzi finally gets the balance between dialog and description right. (Except between pages 199-203.) The Last Colony is a very satisfying tying up of story lines and themes. Quotes and Notes 2011-03-02. Added after reading […]

With Respect to the Japanese

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

With Respect to the Japanese was published in 1984 as the Japanese economic juggernaut loomed over the US. At that time, Americans eyed Japan with the twin emotions of fear and wonder. What’s happened to American companies? Why don’t we have anything like Sony or Toyota? (This was before Apple, Amazon, and Google.) This is […]

Deceived with Kindness

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

I can’t but think that Angelica Garnett is a bit of a whiner. Maybe it’s the result of her growing up during the birth of Freudian psychoanalysis but her entire memoir seems focused on blaming her parents. Her mother, Vanessa Bell, smothered her with kindness. “When she was alive, I had seen her only as […]

At Her Majesty’s Request

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

Although the title sounds reminiscent of a James Bond thriller, At Her Majesty’s Request is actually a biography of an African princess who became a ward of sorts of Queen Victoria in the 1850s. Her christened name is Sarah Forbes Bonita. As a child, she is captured by another African nation who murders who family […]

Three Came Home

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

War stories that interest me have nothing to do with battle. Combat heroics are not something I’ve ever identified with despite being the images of war I grew up with, the images from TV and movies, books, and listening to my dad’s stories. With the exception of Anne Frank, who I first learned of when […]

Fuzzy Nation

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

I enjoyed John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War series. So, when I heard he had a new book out, I suggested that AJM buy it for me for my birthday as a “Homer buys Marge a bowling ball” type gift. Something we both can enjoy. We went all out to support John Scalzi and local business […]


Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

I snapped up an old Everyman’s Library copy of Charlotte Bronte’s Shirley at Recycled Reads for $2. Although worn and covered with library stamps, the little volume is sturdy. Physically, they are wonderful books, just the right size for the hand and well bound. Most of Shirley is written in a voice that sounds like […]

Balzac and The Little Chinese Seamstress

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

Enchanted by the movie, I searched for a used copy of the book for about half a year. In my impatience, I finally bought the paperback edition new from Amazon. When it arrived, I read it in a night. After all my anticipation, I felt a little let down. The book is slight. In fact, […]

The surface and beneath the surface