(July 2014 Update. I am running about 6-8 months behind on writing book reviews. I’ll catch up eventually!)
I read & review all kinds of books. Over the last few years I have not reviewed as many titles , but starting in 2010, I will be making it a point to write more formal reviews. Actually if you check the Reading/Writing links above (2010, 2009, 2008 , 2007, 2006 , 2005 ) , you will see a chronological listing of all the things I’ve read and watched, and a summary of my faves appears in this Highly Recommended Fiction Books list. See also Writers who have Changed Me. I try to write 1-3 sentences reviews of everything on the Reading/Writing Lists – sometimes longer. In these short reviews, you may notice that I don’t say very much, but pay attention to my highly recommended or recommended label.
Have a ebook title for me to review? If you think I might be interested in reviewing an ebook title, feel free to contact me at idiotprogrammer at fastmailbox.net . Here are genres/subjects which interest me: short stories, experimental fiction, satire, creative commons fiction, music, Texas fiction, works in translation (especially Asia and Eastern Europe). I generally review only indie titles and am not particularly interested in well-known literary writers. Also, I rarely review things over 500 pages; also, I don’t care when a book has been published; the main reason I review something is if I feel it is overlooked and underappreciated. In other words, I would be more likely to review a book written in 1989 which has never received a full review than a 2011 book written by Phillip Roth (for example).
Here are some book review and ebook review sites I recommend at the moment: Complete Review (Translated fiction with links to other reviews) , Literary License ( new novels), Chamberfour.com (group literary review blog), Books Blog (Guardian group blog), Quarterly Conversation (extended book review essays), Black Sheep Dances (longer reviews of translated fiction), Mumpsimus (eclectic reviews of books and movies with a slight preference for speculative stuff) and Mary Whipple’s Seeing the World Through Books. Whipple writes expansive essays about all kinds of world fiction, and her list of fave novels can’t be beat. Ebook-specific review sites: Indie Ebook Hall of Fame (roundup of critically-received new ebooks, lots of genre stuff). I could recommend lots of literary blogs which review books semi-often, but let’s stick to book reviews. For the listings here, the (L) means that it’s a long in-depth review. If the review is in bold, then it means I highly recommend it.
- Offshore by Penelope Fitzgerald
- Tie-Fast Country, by Robert Flynn.(L)
- Jade: The Outlaw, by Robert Flynn (L)
- The Failure by James Greer
- Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein
- Brothers by Yu Hua
- The Dead Zone by Stephen King
- Gambler’s Nephew by Jack Matthews (L)
- Complete Works and Other Stories by August Monterroso (L).
- Solomon Scandals by David Rothman. (L)
- Puddnhead Wilson by Mark Twain
- Nasty Book by Barry Yourgrau
- A Man Jumps Out of an Airplane by Barry Yourgrau (L)
Nonfiction/Hard to Classify
- Earth: The Operator’s Manual by Richard Alley.
- Case Against Homework by Sara Bennett and Nancy Kalish.
- Small Key Opens Big Doors (50 Years of Amazing Peace Corps Stories) Edited by Jay Chen.
- Christgau’s Consumer Guide: Albums of the ’90s (and his other collections of album reviews) by Robert Christgau.
- 1001 Albums You must hear before you die by Robert Dimery
- With One Eye Open by Polly Frost
- Best Book for Middle Schoolers John T. Gillespie
- Making Sense of Algebra: Developing Students’ Mathematical Habits of Mind by E. Paul Goldenberg and others.
- Adventures in the Screen Trade by William Goldman
- Big Book of Hell by Matt Groening
- Mind Performance Hacks by Ron Hale-Evans.
- What Philosophy Can Tell You about Your Dog. By Steven D. Hales.
- The Frugal Book Promoter by Carolyn Howard-Johnson
- Hitler’s Last Secretary: A Firsthand Account of Life with Hitler . By Traudl Junge.
- Rock Snob’s Dictionary by David Kamp and Steven Daly
- There’s a Hair in My Dirt by Gary Larson.
- Teach Like a Champion by .Doug Lemov .
- Lies My Teacher Told Me by James Loewen
- 99 Ways to Tell a Story by Matt Madden
- Arthur & Edith, Mike & Gloria. by Donna McCrohan
- 1000 Recordings You Must Hear before you Die by Tom Moon
- Feed Your Pet Right by Marion Nestle (L)
- Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools. By Diane Ravitch.
- Houston Dining Index by Mike Riccetti (L)
- Contracts: The Essential Business Desk Reference by Richard Stim
- Invent Your Own Computer Games with Python by Al Sweigart
- Cooler, Smarter: Practical Steps for Low-Carbon Living by the Union of Concerned Scientists
- How to Price Ebooks for the Kindle by Stephen Windwalker. (L)
(See also: Highly Recommended Fiction Books list).