Category Archives: Book Reviews

Paradime: A Novel

What we fear will happen does happen. Then unexpected complications set in. And we end up in a place we never could have imagined. Continue reading

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The World According to Star Wars

Why does Star Wars speak to billions? Studio heads hated it. The actors thought it ridiculous. George Lucas feared catastrophe. Yet it became a spectacular success that appealed on many levels. Continue reading

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The Prisoner of Hell Gate: A Novel [Review II]

Don’t read this book if you live alone in a remote cabin. Don’t read it if you whistle in the dark to settle your nerves. Its creepiness will unsettle you but good. Continue reading

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The Importance of Being Little: What Preschoolers Really Need from Grownups

Here is my review of Erika Christakis’ “The Importance of Being Little: What Preschoolers Really Need from Grownups” at the New York Journal of Books: “What she describes is the end of childhood as we once knew it.” Early learning … Continue reading

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Memoirs of a Hypnotist: 100 Days

Here is my review of Marcos Lutyens’ “Memoirs of a Hypnotist: 100 Days” at the New York Journal of Books: “An art installation that challenges [and shows] that preconceptions are the enemy of new ideas.” Some books surprise the reader … Continue reading

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How About Never—Is Never Good for You?: My Life in Cartoons

“If you want to win The New Yorker cartoon caption contest, read this book. Read it, too, for a behind-the-scenes peek at the enterprise that makes us smile.” Continue reading

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Intelligence in the Flesh: Why Your Mind Needs Your Body Much More Than It Thinks

The “association of intelligence with thinking and reasoning isn’t fact; it is a cultural belief,” says Professor Guy Claxton at the University of Winchester. Free of jargon, he illuminates for readers what specialists in neuroscience and philosophy have understood for decades: that the physical body constitutes the core of our intelligence. Continue reading

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Black Chalk

Here is my review of Christopher J. Yates’ “Black Chalk” at the New York Journal of Books: “So many years suppressing a secret . . . In the end, the mechanism of the Game proved irrelevant.” Which also goes for … Continue reading

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Charles Bukowski on Writing

Here is my review of “Charles Bukowski on Writing” at the New York Journal of Books: “It helps for readers to have a taste for the quirky, the offbeat, and the unusual.” Some books are categories unto themselves. This edited … Continue reading

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The Red Collar

The setting is 1919, after the War, in a forgotten French town. A sweltering heat wave has made everyone lethargic yet prickly. A mangy dog with a torn ear barks incessantly outside an abandoned barrack that now houses a single prisoner of war. Who is he? To whom does the dog belong? Why does it bark incessantly, then inexplicably stop, as if telepathic, whenever the prisoner is being questioned, only to resume its existential howling afterward? Continue reading

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The Loneliness Cure: Six Strategies for Finding Real Connections in Your Life

In a world of endless tech gadgets that promise to “connect” us in ever more efficient ways, people today are paradoxically feeling more isolated than ever. In the midst of plenty we feel disconnected from family, friends, and coworkers. We are, in short, lonely in a crowd.
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The Memory Painter

Protagonists Bryan and Linz descend from the 1980 inventors of a dangerous yet lucrative drug that awakens those who take it to their past lives. It’s a drug worth killing for, and sweeping deaths ensue in these pages. Continue reading

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The Private Life: Our Everyday Self in an Age of Intrusion

In a world of constant distraction, how does one focus and, ultimately, master one’s own mind? How does attention—or the inability to attend and concentrate on what we think is important—shape identity and sculpt the self? Continue reading

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All Fall Down: A Novel

In All Fall Down, Jennifer Weiner’s 11th novel now in its paperback release, we meet Allison W., a successful, over-educated suburbanite who seemingly has it all—husband, career, treasured daughter, big house—everything she thought she wanted. Continue reading

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The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction

Richard Cytowic’s review of Michael Crawford’s “The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction” Continue reading

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