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Category Archives: Book Reviews

Reactions to Detroit: 138 Square Miles by Julia Rayes Taubman

30-May-17

Detroit: 138 Square Miles by Julia Reyes Taubman My rating: 4 of 5 stars A big book that makes a big impression. On the downside, much of the photography feels of a lazy, snapshot sort, and many of the images feel like they could be from anywhere (in the Midwest, at least). Placing the text […]

Reactions to Sugarland: A Jazz Age Mystery by Martha Conway

23-Oct-16

Sugarland: A Jazz Age Mystery by Martha Conway My rating: 5 of 5 stars Quite an enjoyable novel – full of believable period detail without being overbearing about it. Generally a dark story about difficult characters in troubled times, but never so grim that it becomes oppressive. Main themes are of sisterhood and race, explored […]

Reactions to The Archer Files: The Complete Short Stories of Lew Archer, Private Investigator by Ross Macdonald (ed. Tom Nolan)

12-Aug-16

The Archer Files: The Complete Short Stories of Lew Archer, Private Investigator, Including Newly Discovered Case Notes by Ross Macdonald My rating: 4 of 5 stars This collection of short stories was my first encounter with Macdonald, and I’m looking forward to digging into the novels. I don’t mean to damn with faint praise by […]

Reactions to Light Strings: Impressions of the Guitar by Ralph Gibson and Andy Summers

02-Jul-16

Light Strings: Impressions of the Guitar by Ralph Gibson My rating: 2 of 5 stars Inessential. There’s no doubting the collaborators’ passion for the guitar, and I’m impressed by Andy Summers’ knowledge of the musical and technological history of the instrument. But a large proportion of the photographs are uninteresting – the sort of “art” […]

Reactions to The Art of American Whiskey by Noah Rothbaum

25-Jun-16

The Art of American Whiskey: A Visual History of the Nation’s Most Storied Spirit, Through 100 Iconic Labels by Noah Rothbaum Charming and well-made book suitable for a gift or the smallest room in the house. The many whiskey labels are tons of fun, especially the older ones (though a little more context on individual […]

Reactions to The Time of Contempt (The Witcher) by Andrzej Sapkowski

07-Feb-16

The Time of Contempt by Andrzej Sapkowski My rating: 2 of 5 stars The machine behind The Witcher books seems to have trouble sequencing them and integrating them under a single umbrella – The Time of Contempt was once numbered as 3, after the short story collection titled The Last Wish and a first novel […]