“Project 74”: A Treat For Fans of Red Rain

Project 74 coverIn my review of Red Rain, four years ago, I wrote that “There are, in my experience, only a few authors whose work makes me say, after only a sample, ‘I must read the rest of this!’ … but based on that first sample of Red Rain Aubrey Hansen is another. And once I had the book in my hands and started reading it, I had to keep going until I finished.”

With her second entry into the series she is calling “the Unaccepted,” a prequel novelette titled “Project 74,” much the same thing happened. Despite the disinclination I mentioned in my earlier review to reread Red Rain, and having never had any desire to read more about the characters or world of “the United,” after she sent me a copy (in exchange for an honest review, I hereby note and disclose) and I started reading, I could not set it down or look away without coming back to it no more than two minutes later to keep reading. Continue reading

Best Books: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

cover of The Annotated AliceThe next work on my list of books everyone should read is Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Today’s post is a quasi-review explaining why I think it belongs on that list, in particular with reference to the two standard criteria, what Chaucer called “sentence” and “solace,” or “edification” and “entertainment.” Continue reading

Best Books: Foundation

The next work on my list of books everyone should read is Foundation by Isaac Asimov.

As you may recall, the two criteria I use in evaluating whether a (fiction) book belongs on my list—whether everyone ought to read it, rather than (say) only “die-hard fans” of the genre—are its ability to “teach and delight.” To use Chaucer’s terms, whether it contains “sentence and solace.” To make the list, a book should be very enjoyable to read purely as a story. But it should also be “weighty,” helping a careful—or, better yet, even a casual—reader to grapple with the enduring issues of the time and of all time. Continue reading

A review of “recent” books

Last August, I wrote a “review of ‘recent’ books,” briefly talking about four books I’d read earlier that year. In today’s post I’d like to write about several more “recent” (to me) books. Continue reading