Recent Reviews

You can receive new reviews by email or follow my reviews via Twitter, Facebook, or RSS.

28 January 2016 (876 words)
A Writer at War (Antony Beevor, Luba Vinogradova)
Vasily Grossman with the Red Army 1941-1945
27 January 2016 (444)
K2 and Patricia (Hans Olav Lahlum)
The Human Flies; Satellite People
26 January 2016 (678)
*The Fractal Geometry of Nature (Benoit B. Mandelbrot)
- a casebook and a manifesto
25 January 2016 (1016)
The Gluten Lie (Alan Levinovitz)
And Other Myths about What you Eat
11 January 2016 (506)
Measuring the World (Daniel Kehlmann)
- a comic historical novel about Gauss and von Humboldt
22 December 2015 (547)
Korea: The Impossible Country (Daniel Tudor)
- aspects of South Korean culture and society
17 December 2015 (946)
*The Box (Marc Levinson)
How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger
14 December 2015 (2037)
The Cambridge Companion to Children's Literature (Grenby, Immel)
The Oxford Companion to Children's Literature (Daniel Hahn)
The Routledge Companion to Children's Literature (David Rudd)
1 December 2015 (1127)
Trusting What You're Told (Paul L. Harris)
How Children Learn from Others
12 November 2015 (1139)
Poor Numbers (Morten Jerven)
How We are Misled by African Development Statistics and What to do About It
5 November 2015 (481)
**The Illicit Happiness of Other People (Manu Joseph)
- meaning and madness in a middle class Madras family
4 November 2015 (1969)
*On Stalin's Team (Sheila Fitzpatrick)
The Years of Living Dangerously in Soviet Politics
29 October 2015 (412)
Winter Journeys (Georges Perec)
- an inventive Oulipian medley
12 October 2015 (1550)
Inequality: What Can Be Done? (Anthony B. Atkinson)
- a pragmatic analysis with practical suggestions
28 September 2015 (1325)
**The Case of Comrade Tulayev (Victor Serge)
- the outstanding novel of Stalin's purges
17 September 2015 (436)
Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking (Daniel C. Dennett)
- meaning, evolution, consciousness, and free will
17 September 2015 (1210)
A History of German (Joseph Salmons)
What the Past Reveals About Today's Language
7 September 2015 (907)
*An Unnatural History of Emerging Infections (Barrett, Armelagos)
- subsistence, settlement, and social organisation
14 August 2015 (665)
City Cycling (John Pucher, Ralph Buehler)
- cycling as everyday urban transport, worldwide
13 August 2015 (701)
Writing and Literacy in Chinese, Korean and Japanese (Taylor, Taylor)
- their scripts and how they are learned and used
30 July 2015 (279)
No One Writes Back (Jang Eun-Jin)
- around Korea with a blind guide-dog
13 July 2015 (1141)
**Geometry Revealed (Marcel Berger)
A Jacob's Ladder to Modern Higher Geometry
30 June 2015 (747)
Tundra-Taiga Biology (R.M.M. Crawford)
Human, Plant, and Animal Survival in the Arctic
29 June 2015 (644)
GDP: A Brief But Affectionate History (Diane Coyle)
- changing definitions and applications
22 June 2015 (368)
Descent (Dovid Bergelson)
- a modernist shtetl novel
4 June 2015 (400)
Gamma (Julian Havil)
Exploring Euler's Constant
1 June 2015 (698)
Trans-Saharan Africa in World History (Ralph A. Austen)
- Maghreb, Sudan and Sahara; Islam, empires and trade
20 May 2015 (746)
Dinosaurs: A Concise Natural History (Fastovsky, Weishampel)
- an accessible overview of dinosaur systematics + biology
11 May 2015 (763)
The University of Oxford (G.R. Evans)
A New History
11 May 2015 (364)
Lud-in-the-Mist (Hope Mirrlees)
- a striking fantasy novel from 1926
31 March 2015 (424)
Stonedial (George Konrád)
- a multi-faceted novel wound around modern Hungarian history
26 March 2015 (691)
The Prism of Grammar (Tom Roeper)
How Child Language Illuminates Humanism
17 March 2015 (267)
In Red (Magdalena Tulli)
- love, commerce and war in an imaginary Polish town
9 March 2015 (1335)
A History of the Peoples of Siberia (James Forsyth)
Russia's North Asian Colony 1581-1990
Siberia: A History of the People (Janet M. Hartley)
- settlers and soldiers; exiles and explorers
9 March 2015 (835)
*Once Upon a Time (Marina Warner)
A Short History of Fairy Tale
26 February 2015 (887)
The Formation of Islam (Jonathan Berkey)
Religion and Society in the Near East, 600-1800
18 February 2015 (485)
The Red Room: Stories of Trauma in Contemporary Korea (Fulton, Fulton)
- stories by Pak Wan-so, O Chong-hui and Im Ch'or-u
2 February 2015 (391)
Emil and the Detectives (Erich Kästner)
- children bring a thief to justice in Berlin in 1929
20 January 2015 (373)
Anna Edes (Dezso Kosztolanyi)
- a tragicomic indictment of bourgeois morality
12 January 2015 (753)
Count Like An Egyptian (David Reimer)
A Hands-On Introduction to Ancient Mathematics
23 December 2014 (245)
*Train to Pakistan (Khushwant Singh)
- one of the classic novels of Partition
22 December 2014 (205)
*Balinese Gamelan Music (Michael Tenzer)
- accessible ethnomusicology

Full chronological listing (long)