Category Archives: Book Reviews

Banned Books Week: Sept30-Oct6

Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week (Photo credit: Alameda County Library)

This week is Banned Books Week. 30 years ago the American Library Association began an awareness of books that reached restricted or banned status in libraries across the country. Read the rest of this entry

Book Review: Science Fiction : A Historic Anthology

Cover of "Science Fiction: A Historical A...

Cover via Amazon

Science Fiction: A Historical Anthology by Eric S. Rabkin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

By far, the best collection on the market before the millennials appeared on the shelves. If you are looking for a good starter reader begin here and then move into either Bradbury, Heinlein, or Asimov next. They are all in the anthology with good core example pieces to read. This was the core text of my SciFi lit class at Marshall. Really opened me view up beyond the 1990s pulp SciFi that I had been reading.

SciFi should be read for both its short stories and novels. Too many people today get caught in the prolonged epics generated by publishing houses and miss all of the great works being published in the magazines of the day.

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Book Review: The Hobbit

The Hobbit: Or There and Back AgainThe Hobbit: Or There and Back Again by J.R.R. Tolkien
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I first read this novel in March of 1991. I had to do a book report about a novel I had never read. On a whim, I asked the Librarian, at the County Branch near our house, what was good and she asked me what I liked. I responded with, “Dinosaurs and Dragons.” It was a forgone conclusion. I consumed this book repeatedly, reading it through at least half a dozen times in the ten years following. However, I have not read any of the LOTR cycle since the first movie was shown. Twenty years later, The Hobbit is still one of my favorites and I plan to share it with my daughter for the first time very soon. Hence, I am beginning to look for a new copy that I can read and give to her one day.

This is what I know and why I will buy this addition. Anyone looking to read Tolkien should purchase the Ring books and/or Middle Earth writings in individual trade paperback or hardback form, if at all possible. The Omnibus editions, produced during the movie PR blitz of the LOTR, are so large that the binding does not hold up well over time or multiple readings. Additionally, the dust jackets and book cover illustrations of the larger editions look wonderful on the shelf.

I first purchased copies a mass market paperback anniversary edition box set in 1994. I have never been happy with it. Even though the box looks nice, the font size is small and difficult for lengthy reads. In addition, it is missing some of the illustrations that are found in the larger print copies. What copies of the trade paperbacks and hardback editions I have collected have all been used. I truly enjoy reading an older personally annotated copy. Its like reading the book with an unknown friend.

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