a couple of months ago

The delightful Groucho Marx Mysteries

During the years 1998 to 2005, the popular cultural historian and author Ron Goulart (1933-) published a series of six Groucho Marx Mysteries featuring the legendary comedian in an unfamiliar role as a crime investigator. They’re set in the period immediately before the United States entered World War II—the heyday of the big Hollywood studios. […]

Continue Reading...
6 months ago

Pandemic got you down? Read these books!

Stuck at home and running out of things to do? Getting depressed as the case counts rise? Why not pick up a good book and lose yourself for a few hours or a day in another reality? Here are fifteen books representing a wide range of subjects that are great to read during the pandemic. […]

Continue Reading...
7 months ago

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. […]

Continue Reading...
7 months ago

The 40 best books of the decade

Let’s recognize something at the outset. Neither I, nor anyone, not even the New York Times Book Review, could possibly identify the “best” books of any decade, let alone the last one. During the period 2010 through 2019, an estimated total of some 30 million books were published. Now, I read a lot—a total of […]

Continue Reading...
8 months ago

Joseph Kanon’s spy thrillers are superb

Joseph Kanon served as editor in chief of the publishing houses Houghton Mifflin and E. P. Dutton in New York. He began his writing career in 1995 at age 49. Kanon’s first novel, Los Alamos (1997), became a bestseller and received the Edgar Award for Best First Novel in 1998. He has written eight superb espionage thrillers to date. Los Alamos (1997) “It is the spring […]

Continue Reading...
9 months ago

Nonfiction books reviewed in 2020

American Heritage History of World War II by Steven E. Ambrose and C. L. Sulzberger—The best short history of World War II The Invention of Yesterday: A 50,000-Year History of Human Culture, Conflict, and Connection by Tamim Ansary—Understanding human history as an extraterrestrial might view it Pelosi by Molly Ball—A critical but admiring biography of Nancy […]

Continue Reading...
9 months ago

Mysteries and thrillers reviewed in 2020

Victim 2117 (Department Q #8) by Jussi Adler-Olson—The latest Department Q police procedural takes on terrorists The Decent Inn of Death (John Madden #6) by Rennie Airth—Retired Scotland Yard detectives face off with a suspected war criminal The Long and Faraway Gone by Lou Berney—A prize-winning novel of suspense probes the impact of trauma A […]

Continue Reading...
9 months ago

Trade fiction reviewed here in 2020

Things Fall Apart (Africa Trilogy #1) by Chinua Achebe—The classic African novel about colonization Last Man in Tower by Aravind Adiga—A compelling portrait of Indian society today The Traitor by V. S. Alexander—Dramatizing anti-Nazi resistance in Germany during World War II The Alteration by Kingsley Amis—Alternate history by a celebrated mainstream author The Corridors of […]

Continue Reading...
9 months ago

FAQs and commentaries posted in 2019

Literary critics say these are the best books of 2019 The 15 best books of 2019 One dozen First Contact novels reviewed Six new science fiction authors worth reading now Your gateway to my reviews of my favorite novelists Guidelines for authors, agents, and publishers who want me to review a book The decade’s top […]

Continue Reading...
1 2 3 16