Category: Non fiction reviews

A review of The Quiet by Paul Wilson

The Quiet is an easy to read book which steers clear of too much dogma and focuses instead on helping readers achieve their own sense of calm. It is written in simple plain language on nice matt recycled paper, with attractive turquoise diagrams.

A review of Virginia Woolf by Julia Briggs

This book dwells necessarily on the Bloomsbury group, a subject of so many books that saturation impairs the urgency of its interest, but she surmounts this as much as possible by an emphasis on Woolf. She has written a model of what good literary criticism should be. This is an excellent book to add to the collection of any reader who requires a useful and intriguing book on a fascinating but often elusive writer.

A review of The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins

Dawkins is such a clear thinking scientist that he manages, through analogy, metaphor, logical argument, and example to make his points with the kind of clarity that religious theologians rarely reach. This book is a joy to read, and never gets dry or terse. Instead Dawkins’ good humour and sense of humanistic pleasure in science and discovery are constantly evident.

A review of The Paris Review Interviews, volume 1

Overall, Gourevitch’s hope that these interviews will stand “if not as definitive portraits of each artist, then as a significant contribution to such an ultimate portrait, with the added fascination that they are in large measure self-portraits” has been, on my reading, largely fulfilled.

A review of On Opera by Bernard Williams

This book will contribute something to your knowledge of opera but it will not be easy to read. The awkwardness of Williams’s English makes the book unpleasant. It baffles me that a man who obviously had such a love for music could have written so unmusically.

A review of A Writer’s San Francisco by Eric Maisel

In fact, I haven’t enjoyed a book on writing this much since encountering Stephen King’s On Writing some years ago. When I got to the end of A Writer’s San Francisco, I actually felt compelled to go back to the beginning and reread it immediately, such is its charm and inspirational qualities.

A review of The Freelance Writer’s Bible by David Trottier

Trottier helps his readers get over the initial hurdle of writing—into that place of feeling safe as a writer. If you have already written your first article or short story and have a few clips, this book may be more basic than you need, but if you are still trying to find your way into your own voice or the way to approach writing from the more creative side, this is a strong book.

A review of The Early Works of Dr. Seuss Volume 1

At £14.99, this book is cheap at the price, and an excellent introduction to Geisel’s work. It is a commendable mix of the silly, the sinister and the political, drawn from a wide variety of sources across advertising, newspapers and magazines. The relatively low production values, however, will mean that it will have limited appeal to the very people most likely to buy it or be given it: comic collectors.

A review of Joyce’s Voices by Hugh Kenner

Any reader could multiply critical strictures, but this short book is in the Joycean’s path, may not be avoided, is constantly entertaining, and in many ways as enlightening as the more considered pronouncements of more conservative critics. Reviewed by Bob…