Chaucer’s People by Liza Picard (Historical/Literary Nonfiction, American Edition 2019). Liza Picard has written a series of books on various aspects of English history. For her latest, published in England in 2017, with its American edition now out, she uses Geoffrey Chaucer’s best known work as a springboard into an entertaining and informative account of what […]Read more "BOOK REVIEW: Chaucer’s People"
The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold (History/Investigative Journalism, 2019). There have been countless books, TV and radio shows, movies and stage plays related to the mass-murderer known as Jack the Ripper. Well-known social historian Hallie Rubenhold takes an intelligent, well-researched and breathtakingly original look at these […]Read more "BOOK REVIEW: The Five"
Rewrite by Gregory Benford (SF/Time Travel Novel, 2018). A much-honored and old-school SF writer, Gregory Benford built a considerable reputation for works of a “hard science” nature. As such, some readers and critics were doubtless surprised when, in the 1970s, he produced Timescape. In general, time travel books are considered prime examples of the less-than-realistic sort of […]Read more "BOOK REVIEW: Rewrite"
Severance by Ling Ma (Contemporary SF Novel, 2018). This modern-day apocalypse opens in a slightly alternate version of the year 2011. While only fleetingly mentioned, this is the time of the bank bailouts and the Occupy Wall Street movement. Those protests fizzled out in this alternate history at least as quickly as in our reality. […]Read more "BOOK REVIEW: Severance"
The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel by Alyssa Palombo (Historical Fantasy Novel, October 2018). This involving novel takes “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” Washington Irving’s classic short story of love, jealousy and the supernatural, and simultaneously expands and re-imagines it with Katrina as the central character. As in the original, Katrina becomes the unwitting focal point […]Read more "BOOK REVIEW: The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel"
The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee by David Treuer (Native American History, 2019). This book is Treuer’s response to the shortsighted and ultimately dead-wrong notion that the horrific 1890 massacre (or “battle”) of Wounded Knee was somehow the last word on the subject of the Native Americans. Back then, centuries of disease, war and dispossession had indeed […]Read more "BOOK REVIEW: The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee"
Temper by Nicky Drayden (Fantasy Novel, 2018). Drayden’s second novel, like its predecessor, offers elements of multiple genres (including SF and horror), but overall it’s mostly a fantasy. The setting is the southern tip of an alternative Africa. Here magic of a sort is a commonplace and a pair of Gods (one allegedly all-good, the other […]Read more "BOOK REVIEW: Temper"