A Cry for Self-Help

As a mystery combined with a satire on newage human-potential groups, Jaqueline Girdner’s A Cry for Self-Help is occasionally amusing. But there are too many nearly indistinguishable characters, far too many stereotypes, and almost no plot. Don’t bother reading it.

Dennis Lehane

Do you want to meet Dennis Lehane, the well-known author of eight novels, including Mystic River (made into a 2003 movie directed by Clint Eastwood) and Gone Baby Gone (made into an soon-to-be-released movie directed by Ben Affleck)? Aside from… Read More ›

Cold Moon

Just finished reading Jeffery Deaver’s Cold Moon. Like the rest of his Lincoln Rhyme series, this novel is full of surprise turns. At many points, just when you’re finally sure that you understand what’s going on, there’s some new twist… Read More ›

Hackers and Painters

You should definitely read Paul Graham’s highly opinionated book, the one with the unlikely title of Hackers and Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age. But the first thing you have to know, if you’re not a computer geek, is… Read More ›

S is for Silence

Let’s see. This must be the 19th book in Sue Grafton’s alphabet series. So it must be also be the 19th that I’ve read, since of course I’ve read them all in order — mostly because they’ve been published that… Read More ›

McCall Smith in Germany

In several previous posts, I have written about the first five novels in Alexander McCall Smith’s Botswana series, featuring Precious Ramotswe, as well as the first novel in his Edinburgh series, featuring Isabel Dalhousie. Now I’ve read all three in… Read More ›

McCall Smith in Botswana

In a much earlier post, I discussed Alexander McCall Smith’s No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, the first in a series of mystery novels taking place in Botswana. In the intervening months I have subsequently read the next four in the… Read More ›

Jasper Fforde

I have recently read Jasper Fforde’s first three Thursday Next novels: The Eyre Affair (2002), Lost in a Good Book (2003), and The Well of Lost Plots (Feb. 2004). Where do I begin in describing this offbeat series? One reader… Read More ›

School Days

I just finished listening to Robert Parker’s School Days on audiobook. This must be the 75th novel in the Spenser series…no, wait, let me look it up…ah, it only feels like the 75th, it’s actually the 34th. So, with that… Read More ›