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Book Reviews And Authors I Like

Updated on September 13, 2014

Book reviews and authors I like

I've just seen a list of the top 100 selling authors of the last decade and not many of the writers I like were on it. I was surprised as I don't read weird stuff -- mainly crime fiction and thrillers -- so I decided to start blogging on the writers and authors that I do enjoy. Hopefully that'll help reach hands across the wilderness :)

I also blog on books and authors at Book Reviews, Authors I Like. Blog includes my views on several book-related topics such as UK Public Libraries and TV coverage of reading and books.

book and author reviews
book and author reviews

Too Many Books

Not enough bookshelves?

"That child always has his nose in a book." True, once upon a time, though I long ago graduated from Biggles. (I still remember him, Ginger and Algy doing dashing deeds in the war and then, as peacetime police, spotting reefer fields in Cornwall - spoilsports.) I've also realised that there are several activities that are vastly improved with a good book; bubble baths, television, lazing, pre-bedtime relaxing, travel. That's not to deny that there are activites where mixing with reading is a bad idea, as girlfriends and fellow footballers will testify. Vehemently. Painfully.

So then, I read voraciously and must feed the maw with ever new supplies. How do I find new books, new authors? Book reviews in newspapers tend to be over-literary and incestuous as "critics" praise each other's efforts. Book reviews on sellers' sites are a mixed bag, often surprisingly badly written: if you can't write a few grammatically-correct sentences, what does that say for the written work you're talking about?

If only there were sites where I could read reviews of books and authors written by people like me ... If only I could reach out and find such people ... If only I got off my backside (not literally as I sit down to type) and put out a few such reviews myself, and then I might get feedback, comments, recommendations!

So I started my blog: Paul On Books: Book And Author Reviews for book reviews and comments on book-related topics. Then I found this place and was hooked, so I'm expanding! I'm not a professional writer and I don't get paid for reviewing - so you'll only get enthusiastic, honest critiques.

I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.

Anna Quindlen

The end of paper books?

Kindle Fire HDX 7", HDX Display, Wi-Fi, 16 GB - Includes Special Offers (Previous Generation - 3rd)
Kindle Fire HDX 7", HDX Display, Wi-Fi, 16 GB - Includes Special Offers (Previous Generation - 3rd)

Legible even in bright sunlight, lightweight, long battery life, almost any book available for it - read wherever you are and don't need to lump heavy books around.


Paper v Electrons

Read Cory Doctorow on why he gives his work away online - some interesting thoughts on the subject from a web-clever author.


How will readers like the Kindle affect future novels?

It'll be good: just through encouraging more people to read

It'll be good: just through encouraging more people to read

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    • tlc1210 lm 5 years ago

      For kids today, I think it's good. They want everything electronic. I bought my daughter one for her 8th birthday because she loves to read. I borrowed it for a book I had to have at that moment. I enjoyed being able to adjust text size, but there is something about turning the pages that you don't get with a kindle.

    • Indigo Janson 6 years ago from UK

      There are so many free or very cheap books available for the Kindle and some have surprised me. Maybe my expectations were low but I've read some excellent books that cost nothing, and will certainly pay next time to read more from those authors. So I think it's good because it will give a wider range of authors a chance to reach their audience, rather than publishing houses sticking to established talents.

    • Sherry Venegas 6 years ago from La Verne, CA

      If Amazon continues to offer free downloads, I imagine it would be a good way to read for many people.

    • MobyD 6 years ago

      I've had a Nook since Sept. '10 and have been reading much more since I got it. I've been reading authors new to me also. The e-ink is much easier on the eyes than a computer screen. I may occasionally buy books, even hardcover ones, especially if I can get autographs in them as I did with Sarah Vowell's latest this week. But I expect most of my reading will be on the Nook.

    • ToTheBrimm LM 6 years ago

      Maybe someone will make a program like Pandoras, but for books.

    • AwesomeAuthor 6 years ago

      I think Kindle will be the book of the future. Especially when the schools pick up the idea for it's a book you can easily carry. A lot of paper books are hard to carry to and from school. It's, for some students, back breaking.

    • sorana lm 6 years ago

      Children these days do a lot of eLearning (I'm not sure if this word exists but you know what I mean). Whatever encourages learning and reading is a great tool. I have a friend who is an English teacher and she loves eReading (new word? :)).

    • Krafick 6 years ago

      I'll stick to paper but the Kindle does have a future. People who will use it will do it a bit like those who zap on 1000 TV channels or browse on the Internet: read a chapter here, not necessarily in the beginning, jump to another or maybe where their favourite character is present, or to another book. Novelists targeting this market will have to write shorter stories with maybe alternative plots and endings and also include pictures, a glossary, etc.

    • aerome 6 years ago

      Although I'd never read a book on a similar device, I'm sure it will open up the world of literature to more people. Especially young people ;-)

    It'll be bad: new readers will stick to books and authors they already know

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      • julieannbrady 3 years ago

        Well, I was thinking how it would affect the printing industry since that is where I worked and now the ex has his company supplying the printing industry. Already newspaper publishing has suffered ... I think the wave of the future will be less paper based publications.

      • JeanJohnson LM 6 years ago

        I'm not a fan of Kindle. I prefer the smell and feel of a real book in my hands. I like not worrying about a digital item that may drop or get wet and dirty. A book doesn't need a battery, it's just paper! Why change it?

      • Allan R. Wallace 6 years ago from Wherever Human Rights Reign

        This side of the argument looked lonely so I'll mention one potentially bad aspect of some eReaders. With the push of a button an offending piece of information might be deleted; not just from distributor files, but from everyone's files that downloaded it. Recalling a book is electronic book burning.

        If you value a book that is or may become controversial; make a copy or buy a print edition. If it's one of my books, ignore copyright: make copies and share them.

        As to the question asked; a novel's emergence is no longer solely determined by agents and publishers. Readers will find and elevate what they desire. Indie authors have new choices and responsibilities.

      Now Showing

      Book reviews to be added

      Robert Crais and Norwegian sensation Jo Nesbo are now on my blog, together with a bunch of other authors that I've enjoyed. Good writers, one and all..

      Ross Thomas

      A little old-fashioned in style but beautifully elegant prose and well-crafted novels on themes of spies, corruption and crime. Ross Thomas' books can be read over and over, discovering subtle wit anew.

      Ross Thomas: Missionary Stew

      Missionary Stew
      Missionary Stew

      Set against a framework of politicians jockeying for position in a future race for the presidency, ranging from murders in a Florida condo to Latin revolution, this is a typical Ross Thomas novel.


      John Connolly

      John Connolly writes stylishly savage crime fiction. He has an other-worldly nature to his work, exploring that theme as readily as he explores the great forests of Maine and the twisted minds of man.

      The White Road: A Charlie Parker Thriller
      The White Road: A Charlie Parker Thriller

      Great Connolly, death and despair, retribution delivered


      Stieg Larsson

      Stieg Larsson produced three novels before his untimely death and they became one of the great publishing sensations. The Millennium Trilogy has been selling in vast numbers since it hit the shelves. They're bleak, uncomfortable and riveting reading.

      Carl Hiaasen

      Journalist and novelist Carl Hiassen writes funny, wryly charming books about the crooks and politicians (not always the same thing) who prey on his beloved Florida. Clever, very well plotted, I do like Hiaasen.

      Star Island
      Star Island

      Hiaasen's latest: turning his beady eye on celebrity cuklture


      Your Comments - Anything book-related

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        • OhMe profile image

          Nancy Tate Hellams 2 years ago from Pendleton, SC

          I love to read and have had to go almost totally to reading on my Kindle where I can adjust the font size. I do miss holding a good book. Enjoyed reading this article.

        • Paul Ward profile image

          Paul 4 years ago from Liverpool, England

          @breadfish: I wasn't a huge Grisham fan at first but his later books are excellent.

        • profile image

          breadfish 5 years ago

          Great lens!!! I'm new to Squidworld, but how I am enjoying myself.. at times you think that people have stopped enjoying the creativity afforded them. As far as books, love John Grisham and Nancey drew, the Hardy Boys and Sherlock Holmes were my favorites as a child. Thanks Paul

        • artbyrodriguez profile image

          Beverly Rodriguez 5 years ago from Albany New York

          Thanks for checking out my book review.

          I followed your advise and made changes.

          After reading your reviews, I see I have a lot to learn.

          Liked your lens on Ross Thomas. I will have to check out his books.

        • profile image

          JenniferV 5 years ago

          I love the quote by Anna Quindlen! I enjoy reading very much and want my children to know how much fun a good book can be. I also have trouble finding a 'go to place' for book recommendations.

        • indigoj profile image

          Indigo Janson 6 years ago from UK

          I think top 100 lists are a good place to start for someone wondering what to read, but should only be a starting point or a chance to try something new. I've read ultra-popular bestsellers that earn blanket praise and have found I didn't care for them personally, I've also found rare gems in both self-published modern works and less-popular classics that have been rescued by Project Gutenberg and similar projects. There are some very fine books on these "top..." lists but, with so many books available for next to nothing, this represents only the tiniest glimpse of what is out there.

        • JeanJohnson LM profile image

          JeanJohnson LM 6 years ago

          I agree with you that most top 100 lists are missing some of my favorites. Sometimes it's more fun to dig and discover an author that's not as well known.

          I've been enjoying your book lenses, thanks

        • lemonsqueezy lm profile image

          lemonsqueezy lm 6 years ago

          Love you Anna Quindlen quote. Fabulous!

        • hsschulte profile image

          hsschulte 6 years ago

          I can't get over my innate need to hoard and hold a real books. :) I enjoyed your blog.

        • lollyj lm profile image

          Laurel Johnson 6 years ago from Washington KS

          I also "always had my nose in a book" as a child. Nowadays I mostly read unknown writers for pleasure and reviews. I've discovered some real gems among those unknowns, which is a part of the pleasure reading brings. Good lens. lensrolled to my writing-related lenses.

        • Paul Ward profile image

          Paul 6 years ago from Liverpool, England

          @tangerinetea: I haven't managed to see the Swedish films yet - they're definitely on the list. I suspect i'll be giving Hollywood versions a miss. I can't see any US studio daring to cover the necessary material from the books.

        • sorana lm profile image

          sorana lm 6 years ago

          Great idea Paul. I'm looking forward to read your set of Book Reviews lenses.

        • tangerinetea profile image

          tangerinetea 6 years ago

          mmmm stieg larsson. totally love his work to bits! have you seen the film versions? Loved the original Swedish ones, but I'm on the fence about Hollywood doing a remake. I somehow doubt they'll stay true to the original stories.

        • Krafick profile image

          Krafick 6 years ago

          Nice lens, Paul. I'm a book lover too and I'll stick to paper.

        • Paul Ward profile image

          Paul 6 years ago from Liverpool, England

          @MacPharlain: I have a vague memory of Jack Aubrey abnd a ship's doctor -- must have read one years ago. I'll add him to the list. Thanks.

        • MacPharlain profile image

          MacPharlain 6 years ago

          Have you read any of Patrick O'Brian's books? They're the most enjoying and challenging books I've ever read.

        • TonyPayne profile image

          Tony Payne 6 years ago from Southampton, UK

          Nice idea for a lens. I don't get much time for reading these days, but used to read a lot growing up.

        • Paul Ward profile image

          Paul 6 years ago from Liverpool, England

          Loved The Stand and Misery: not so keen on others. Haven't read any of his for a while. Like I say "too many books ..." If I win the lottery I'll buy a library and live there.

        • Yourshowman LM profile image

          Yourshowman LM 6 years ago

          I Like Stephen King In Particular.