5 days ago

Mystery and thriller series starters can be misleading

So, what can you tell about mystery and thriller series from their series starters—the first books published in the sequence? Sometimes a whole lot. And sometimes not much at all, as it turns out. Mystery and thriller fans love book series. By following the exploits of a leading character or a team of investigators, we […]

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a few months ago

The year 2020 in review

This is for the record. You may not be the least bit interested, but I am. So, read on or not. In this post I’ll sum up what I’ve learned about the performance of this site in the past calendar year. And I must say I found a few surprises as I pondered the year […]

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a few months ago

What do Americans read the most?

When you read, what floats your boat? If you said “mystery and thrillers,” “history,” or “biographies and memoirs,” you’re in good company. According to the best data I can locate online, those three categories are at the top of the list of all genres in popularity among American readers. To prove the point, here from […]

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a few months ago

Seven common misconceptions about World War II

For many years, I’ve been reading a great deal about World War II, both fiction and nonfiction. And that reading is reflected in the reviews I’ve collected at 5 top nonfiction books about World War II and The 10 best novels about World War II, both of which include dozens of runners-up. But in the […]

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last year

The 10 most consequential events of World War II

The virtue of history is that it affords us perspective—not just the distance that the passage of time occasions but the ability to grasp the importance of events that may have been only dimly understood at the time. What might seem of paramount importance to contemporaries may fade into obscurity as the years go by. […]

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last year

Literary critics say these are the best books of 2019

If you’re a bibliophile, you may visit the website of Lit Hub or read one of its newsletters. I do. I get my fix of literary comment and criticism on a daily basis from Lit Hub. And I rushed to click through to The Ultimate Best Books of 2019 List by Emily Temple (Lit Hub, December 11, […]

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a couple of years ago

Which authors make the most money?

We all know some writers make it, and some don’t. In fact, most people who are gripped with the obsession to write a book never make a dime from it, if they can even get it into print. (Even self-publishing isn’t all that easy for the technologically challenged, as it turns out.) But what’s not […]

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a couple of years ago

The most popular posts on this blog over the past 12 months

Back in the nineteenth century an Italian engineer and economist named Vilfredo Pareto advanced the hypothesis that in any circumstances, about 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. This thesis is known as the Pareto Principle or the 80/20 Rule. As a rule of thumb, the theory works, but only in a […]

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