EppsNet Archive: Book Reviews

EppsNet Book Reviews: Middlemarch by George Eliot

George Eliot is a transgender author whose work was previously unfamiliar to this reviewer. Ha, kidding! It’s hard to think of new things to say about old books, but if you appreciate the novel as an art form, or you think you might appreciate the novel as an art form if you gave it a chance, you should read Middlemarch.… Read more →

EppsNet Book Reviews: Death on the Installment Plan by Louis-Ferdinand Céline

Death on the Installment Plan is a fictionalized coming-of-age story based on Céline’s youth in pre-World War I France. Absent are heroism, transcendence, love and the possibility of love. Instead, there is a lot of human action that comes to nothing. Death is not ennobling. That said, hopelessness has never been described with more wit, energy and imagination or more… Read more →

What Happened?

According to this review by Piers Morgan, Hillary has narrowed down the list of people and entities responsible for her 2016 election defeat to James Comey, Vladimir Putin, Julian Assange, Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders and his supporters, Mitch McConnell, the mainstream media, the New York Times, Matt Lauer, Fox News, Jill Stein, men, women, white people, black people, Joe Biden,… Read more →

EppsNet Book Reviews: The Sleepwalkers by Hermann Broch

The Sleepwalkers is one of the most remarkable books I’ve ever read, very close to the edge of what can be accomplished with the written word. I had never heard of either the book or the author — neither seems to have any following here in the States — but Amazon for some reason started recommending me post-WWI Austrian modernists.… Read more →

EppsNet Book Reviews: Mindset by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.

Carol Dweck’s research is part of a tradition in psychology that shows the power of people’s beliefs. These may be beliefs that we’re aware of or unaware of but they strongly affect what we want and whether we succeed in getting it. This tradition also shows how changing people’s beliefs can have profound effects. Dweck’s insight into fixed mindset (bad)… Read more →

EppsNet Book Reviews: Humans of New York: Stories

I can’t say enough good things about this book. If you’re not one of the 16 million people following the Humans of New York Facebook page, take a look there to see what the concept is all about. This book would make a great gift for anyone on your holiday gift list who knows how to read. If you’re on… Read more →

EppsNet Book Reviews: Hotel World by Ali Smith

Happy is what you realize you are a fraction of a second before it’s too late. Hotel World takes place in and around a hotel in London, hence the title, but Hotel World is also a metaphor for life: people check in and people check out. It’s about remembering to live, remembering that you won’t live forever . . .… Read more →

EppsNet Book Reviews: The Godfather by Mario Puzo

Kudos to Francis Ford Coppola for making one of the most renowned films of all time out of this pedestrian soap opera. Rating: Read more →

EppsNet Book Reviews: Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates

Richard Yates poses the question of how much reality people can stand, and the answer he comes up with is “not very much.” Alternatives to facing reality head-on are explored in Revolutionary Road: avoidance, denial, alcoholism, insanity and death. Some excerpts: “You want to play house you got to have a job. You want to play very nice house, very… Read more →

EppsNet Book Reviews: My Antonia by Willa Cather

Woulda, coulda, shoulda . . . Rating: Read more →

EppsNet Book Reviews: The Known World by Edward P. Jones

I bought this book and read it because it won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. See, it says so right there on the cover: “Winner of the Pulitzer Prize.” Did you know there was a time in our country’s history when black people were bought and sold as property, sometimes by other black people? And did you also know that… Read more →

EppsNet Book Reviews: The Big Short by Michael Lewis

I worked in the information technology department of a mortgage bank in the run-up to the 2007 implosion of the subprime mortgage market . . . Given that it was fairly evident at the time that complicated financial instruments were being dreamed up for the sole purpose of lending money to people who could never repay it, it’s remarkable that very… Read more →

EppsNet Book Reviews: The Black Echo by Michael Connelly

“Did you ever hear what J. Edgar Hoover said about justice?” she asked. “He probably said a lot, but I don’t recall any of it offhand.” “He said that justice is incidental to law and order.” — Michael Connelly, The Black Echo I love detective fiction — especially L.A. detective fiction — but like every other kind of niche fiction, it’s… Read more →

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky

The author, a Russian, displays great heart and insight in this philosophical novel, but at 900+ pages, he needs to learn how to get to the point. I look forward to his next project, perhaps with a better editor. Read more →

The Big Short

What is amazing is not just that people are greedy and prone to engage in ethically questionable activities; the big lesson is how people can reach unimaginable positions of power and essentially be (a) incompetent, and (b) not willing to do even the most mundane and trivial parts of their job. — Jeffrey Pfeffer, reviewing The Big Short: Inside the… Read more →

HW’s Book Reviews: Go the Fuck to Sleep

If you think saying “fuck” to a toddler is the funniest thing ever, and evidently a lot of people do judging from the rave reviews on Facebook, then you’ll love this book. SPOILER ALERT: The joke is that infants don’t have the same sleep patterns as grownups — ha ha — which is breaking news to this hapless unfit shithead… Read more →

EppsNet Book Reviews: The Odyssey by Homer

The author displays a lively imagination. The cast of characters includes both gods and mortals, and the story builds to a thrilling climax. I can’t wait to see what this promising young writer comes up with next. Read more →

Lightning’s Book Reviews: Don’t Know Much About History

Hi everybody! It’s me, Lightning! My owner’s son has this book for his AP U.S. History class. You should read it! The title — Don’t Know Much About History — makes you think of the famous song by Sam Cooke, so right away you want to know more about it! History is fascinating! For example, did you know that the… Read more →

HW ‘s Book Reviews: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

Gayest. Crime Story. Ever. Read more →

EppsNet Book Review: Dig Your Job

Full disclosure: I got a free advance copy of this book because I know the author, G.L. Hoffman. The books I’ve read on business and career advice fall into three main categories: Academic theory (Quoting Dogbert) A bunch of obvious advice packaged with quotes from famous dead people A person who’s actually done something talks about what worked for them… Read more →

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