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I read widely and in most genres but romance and westerns. Here you'll find my reviews since 2007, with a few reviews of previously read books as well.


In 2012, I completed an "authors of the world" challenge, reading a book for every country (and a few other entities) by someone who'd lived there for at least two years. I expect to tag these books by challenge and country in the near future. I'm still refining my list by adding books that better meet my challenge criteria.

Bill Bryson's African Diary - Bill Bryson Sadly, this begs the question, "So what?" Michael Dorris, faced with the same offer/task, did a beautiful job in Rooms in the House of Stone: The "Thistle" Series of Essays, which managed to be small, brief, but filled with useful observations and understated but sincere sentiment. Bryson's account comes off more like notes about a little junket. It gives very little sense of Africa, perhaps because it tells rather than shows. As other reviewers have noted, the humor seems insulting at times. Poor Bill has to fly in a small plane. How about the people who don't even get to walk because they're in refugee camps? He could have gotten away with this if there was more to connect the reader to the Africans he interacts with, but there's little of that, and not that much about what CARE does, either. It reminds me of de Botton's A Week at the Airport: A Heathrow Diary, another sponsored gig that is info-light and seems constrained by the necessity of praising one's benefactor.