Category Archives: Book Reviews

One man and his cat: True story of busker and the ginger tom called Bob who got his life back on track

A heartwarming cat story that I can’t resist sharing: One man and his cat: True story of busker and the ginger tom called Bob who got his life back on track

Posted in Book Reviews, Popular Culture, Society | Tagged

Pic of the day: The world’s smallest dictionary

The smallest English dictionary in the world has been discovered by West Country book shop owner Graham York.  Although only 1×3/4 inch the tiny book’s 384 pages contain thousands of words, and even comes with a lens in its case … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews, Visual Arts | Tagged , , ,

My definition of ‘literary novel’

Literary novel: a book which 200 (sometimes 2 dozen) people read and end up not liking, and which is forever after worthless on the secondhand market. [Exceptions to this rule constitute approximately 0.00001% of literary novels.]

Posted in Book Reviews, Writing | Tagged , , , , ,

The world’s greatest thriller writer, Deon Meyer, talks about South Africa, series detectives and ‘7 Days’

South African thriller writer Deon Meyer on storytelling, credibility and how crime fiction relates to society I mostly follow the dictum “conflict is the mother of suspense”, so I’ll be looking at as many sources of conflict for the protagonists … Continue reading

Posted in Authors, Book Reviews, Writing | Tagged , , , , , ,

Book Review: ‘Comeback: A Parker Novel’ by Richard Stark (pseudonym of Donald E. Westlake)

‘Comeback: A Parker Novel’ by Richard Stark (pseudonym of Donald E. Westlake), Mysterious Press, 1997 This was my first foray into the acclaimed heist novels of Richard Stark (Donald E. Westlake) and his series character ‘Parker’. Comeback is a classic … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Book Recommendation: If you like ‘Rogue Male’ you should also read ‘Watcher in the Shadows’

If you’ve read and enjoyed this book: You should seek out and read this one: Geoffrey Household was a very variable writer but, in my opinion, Watcher in the Shadows is every bit as good as, or perhaps even better … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews | Tagged , , ,

Book Review: ‘Death Walks in Eastrepps’ by Francis Beeding

‘Death Walks in Eastrepps’ by Francis Beeding (pseudonym for Hilary St. George Saunders and John Palmer) This classic British crime thriller has multiple ingredients: a double identity, an illicit love affair, extortion, a soaring count of gory murders, and an extended … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews | Tagged , , , , , ,

Anti-Catholic bigot and vampire author Anne Rice returns to her pornography-writing past

Anne Rice Returns to Porn by Mark Judge How sad.  How sad and how terribly dull. Anne Rice has returned to the porn business.  The erstwhile Catholic [now anti-Catholic] and author of the first second-wave vampire novels in the 1970s … Continue reading

Posted in Authors, Book Reviews | Tagged , , , ,

Roger Olson reviews Kenton Sparks’ ‘Sacred Word, Broken Word: Biblical Authority and the Dark Side of Scripture’

Well worth reading (and then getting the book itself!):  Review of Sacred Word, Broken Word: Biblical Authority and the Dark Side of Scripture by Kenton L. Sparks (Eerdmans, 2012) Olson concludes: I strongly recommend Sparks’ book to everyone, but especially to those who … Continue reading

Posted in Biblical Studies, Book Reviews | Tagged , , ,

Book Review: ‘Man on a Short Leash’ by Oliver Jacks

‘Man on a Short Leash’ by Oliver Jacks, Hodder And Stoughton, 1974 ‘Oliver Jacks’ was a pseudonym used for several novels by British thriller writer Kenneth Royce, who has sadly fallen into near obscurity.  Going by the quality of this … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews | Tagged , , , , ,

Book Review: ‘The Invisible Boarder’ by Mildred Davis

‘The Invisible Boarder’ by Mildred Davis, Random House, 1974 The Invisible Boarder by Mildred Davis, an American writer, was published in 1974 but harks back to the Fifties in style or even earlier.  The plot is very simple but none … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews | Tagged , , , ,

Book Review: ‘The Bornless Keeper’ by P. B. Yuill

‘The Bornless Keeper’ by P. B. Yuill, Walker & Company, 1975 The Bornless Keeper by P. B. Yuill is a novel I was keen to check out, so recently bought the U.S. hardcover first edition in a nice dustjacket from an online bookseller. … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews | Tagged , , , , , ,

Edward Feser reviews another very bad book: Lawrence M. Krauss’ ‘A Universe From Nothing’

Not Understanding Nothing: A review of Lawrence M. Krauss’ A Universe from Nothing by Edward Feser Excerpt: For Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas, for example, things in the world can change only if there is something that changes or actualizes everything … Continue reading

Posted in Atheism, Book Reviews, Philosophy, Sciences | Tagged

American mystery writer Mildred Davis: A bibliography

A uselful annotated bibliography of Mildred Davis’ mystery output can be found here.

Posted in Authors, Bibliographies, Book Reviews | Tagged , , , , , ,

Suggested introductory reading in Catholic theology for evangelical Protestants

Introductions to Catholic theology for curious Evangelical college students

Posted in Bibliographies, Book Reviews, Christian Churches, Theology | Tagged ,

Quote of the day: Mary Beard on the purpose of book-reviewing and the job of book-reviewers

‘If reviewing doesn’t act as a gate-keeper of sorts, the success of a book will come down only to the size of its publicity budget and the enthusiasm of its publishers’ tweets.’ ~ Mary Beard (professor in classics at Cambridge)

Posted in Book Reviews, Quote of the Day | Tagged , ,

If you like well-written, intelligent and suspenseful thrillers, read Deon Meyer’s ‘Blood Safari’

If you like reading thrillers, and are looking for a well-written one that won’t insult your intelligence, that isn’t padded out to five hundred or six hundred pages (as many are), and that will give you interesting insights into a … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews | Tagged , , , , ,

If you like good detective fiction, read Fred Vargas

I’ve been enjoying the novels of French mystery writer Fred Vargas, in particular these three: They are excellent and I particularly like Wash This Blood Clean From My Hand, which is partly set in Quebec. If you like crime fiction … Continue reading

Posted in Authors, Book Reviews | Tagged ,

Review: ‘The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society’ by Brad S. Gregory

The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society by Brad S. Gregory, Harvard University Press, reviewed by Harold James There could not be a more propitious moment for a book on greed and the historical roots of capitalism.  Brad Gregory … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews, History | Tagged , ,

N. T. Wright disagrees with Pope Benedict (and the secular minimalist Maurice Casey); interesting thoughts ensue

What Benedict Doesn’t Get About Jesus by N. T. Wright

Posted in Authors, Biblical Studies, Book Reviews | Tagged , , , , , ,

Alexander Lucie-Smith asks: Is the Catholic writer Hilaire Belloc best forgotten?

Is Belloc best forgotten?  The Catholic writer is nowadays neglected, but much of his writing is florid, dull and unreadable, says Alexander Lucie-Smith. Belloc . . . wrote far too many books, most of which were hurried productions, indeed not … Continue reading

Posted in Authors, Book Reviews | Tagged ,

Mega-plagiarist Quentin Rowan / Q. R. Markham makes self-serving excuses over withdrawn ‘Assassin of Secrets’

Confessions of a Plagiarist (though it should really be entitled ‘Excuses of a Plagiarist’) I guess I was pretty sick. There we have it in a nutshell: he didn’t steal all those passages, his pathology did.  Addiction made him do it.  Poor Quentin … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews | Tagged , , , , , ,

Q. R. Markham’s ‘Assassin of Secrets’ spy thriller, plagiarized from 17 other books, now soaring in value

The original retail price of Assassin of Secrets before it was withdrawn by publisher Mulholland Books/Little, Brown was US$ 14.99. Prices realised on eBay for copies of the book over the last few days: November 12: $ 51.00 (6 bids) November 13: … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

‘Assassin of Secrets’ author/compiler Q. R. Markham describes how he plagiarized from seventeen other books

‘[My sources for Assassin of Secrets] have all been found I believe.  All the books mentioned by the great spy novelists Charles McCarry (Second Sight, Tears of Autumn, The Last Supper, Old Boys, Christopher’s Ghosts, The Secret Lovers), John Gardner (License … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

‘Assassin of Secrets’ author/compiler Q. R. Markham (real name Quentin Rowan): worst plagiarist in history?

Read the gory details here: Q.R. Markham, Plagiarist Assassin of Secrets Highway Robbery: The Mask of Knowing in Assassin of Secrets Press Release from Mulholland Books re: Q R Markham’s Assassin of Secrets ‘Mulholland Books, an imprint of Little, Brown … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , ,