“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: Milne poetry

When We Were Very Young coverThe next work in my list of books everyone ought to read is “either When We Were Very Young or Now We Are Six,” two books of verse, by A. A. Milne. 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