Paul’s Book Reviews: Essays, Nonfiction, Thrillers, Science Fiction

“The future always looks good in the golden land, because no one remembers the past.”

— Joan Didion, Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Essays

Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Essays by Joan Didion

I was at Sacramento State during the years Didion wrote the essays in “Slouching Towards Bethlehem.” By 1970, when I started grad school, her book […]

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Paul’s Book Reviews: Mysteries, Thrillers, Young Adult Sci-Fi

“Out of the blue and into the black is what they called going into a tunnel. Each one was a black echo. Nothing but death in there. But, still, they went.”

—Michael Connelly, The Black Echo

The Black Echo (Harry Bosch #1) by Michael Connelly

In an earlier review, I commented on the differences […]

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Paul’s Book Reviews: Thrillers, Mysteries, Spies, Florida Noir

“I said nothing. I’m good at saying nothing. I don’t like talking. I could go the rest of my life without saying another word, if I had to.”

—Lee Child, The Affair

Raylan Givens 3-Book Collection: Pronto, Riding the Rap, Fire in the Hole (Raylan Givens #1-3) by Elmore Leonard

Rayland Givins was a […]

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Paul’s Book Reviews: Fiction, Thrillers, Mysteries, Space Opera, Duds

“One thing was certain: Rose had been wrong about the world becoming small again. Or at least it would not be the same small world it had been. Too much had changed. And amid those shifts and realignments, Anna had slipped through a crack and escaped.” — Jennifer Egan, Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer […]

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Paul’s Book Reviews: My Top Ten for 2017

This is collection of reviews previously posted on Paul’s Thing: these are the books, old and new, that I most enjoyed reading this year. I’m about to embark on Philip Pullman’s “The Book of Dust,” a potential contender, but doubt I’ll finish it before the end of the year (also, I’m sometimes disappointed with long-delayed […]

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Paul’s Book Reviews: Historical Fiction, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Thrillers, Classics

“I can hear the cries of the Costers upon Wall Street, below; and the calling of the Hour; and lately, now the Day darkens, a Dialogue between two waiting Chair-Men, upon the Chances of a Horse they favour to run at Flushing, named Royal Roger. Merriment, and bawdy Jests on the Subject of this Name.” […]

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Paul’s Book Reviews: Mysteries, Thrillers, Fantasy, (Bad) Science Fiction

“I spend the months following my grandfather’s death cycling through a purgatory of beige waiting rooms and anonymous offices, analyzed and interviewed, talked about just out of earshot, nodding when spoken to, repeating myself, the object of a thousand pitying glances and knitted brows. My parents treated me like a breakable heirloom, afraid to fight […]

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