Category Archives: Book Reviews

And Now, Another One…

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What have I done, to deserve all these invitations to review preposterous and sleazy romance novels?

Today I’ve been invited to review “a sensual and supernatural journey” featuring a torrid romance between a “dragon king” who is, inevitably, “darkly handsome,” and a “beautiful and mysterious woman”–they’re all mysterious, in more ways than one–with the loopy name of “Arianrhod Deatherage.” Says the perky publicist, who obviously has an abysmally low opinion of my literary taste, “Happily-Ever-After Meets Modern Empowerment in a Steamy New Paranormal Romance.” Lemmeouttahere.

I wonder what effect it has on the brain, to consume vast quantities of books like this. What does their very existence say about our culture?

Nothing good!

Violet Crepuscular come back, all is forgiven.

‘Another Red-Hot Sex Book for Me not to Review’ (2015)

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I don’t know what publicists must think of me. They’re always inviting me to review books that might give you a disease if you handled them. Here’s one from three years ago.

I bring it up again because its formula seems to foreshadow the #MeToo movement, delivering a weird mixed message of unbridled sexual acting-out with the most severe consequences if anyone complains. Talk about a divided heart!

Pornography has been with us for thousands of years, but it doesn’t come in a plain brown wrapper anymore.

My ‘Bell Mountain’ Interview

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It was eight years ago, but I think this is still the best interview I’ve had–largely due to the thoughtful questions asked by Chalcedon’s Andrea Schwartz. Here’s the audio for the whole thing, about 23 minutes long. I apologize, in advance, for my slow way of talking. As for my voice, it’s ideally suited for mime.

At the time, I had three Bell Mountain books in print, with No. 4, The Last Banquet, ready to go to press. Here in 2018, I’m waiting for No. 11, The Temptation, to come out, and writing No. 12, His Mercy Endureth Forever. 

How many more to come?

As many as God gives me to write.

I Am So Sick(!) of Buxom Wenches…

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I’ve just received my copy of Visions of Light and Shadow by our esteemed colleague, Allison Reid (we know her here as “Weavingword”), Book No. 3 of her Wind Rider Chronicles. I’m looking forward to reading it as soon as I catch up on some other assignments. I know it’ll be good–in fact, a good book to read in bed.

One of the things I love about her books is that Allison has female protagonists who don’t conform to fantasy cliches, but instead are kind of normal people, albeit interesting ones,  who happen to be caught up in extraordinary events. This helps me to believe in the story as I’m reading it.

The fantasy genre–these books are fantasy novels–is smothered in cliches. For an art form that leans so heavily on the imagination, these toweringly unimaginative touches constitute literary crimes. The genre is notably poverty-stricken in its cast of female characters.

I can’t decide which female fantasy cliche I detest the most–The Invincible Female Warrior or The Buxom Tavern Wench. Their presence in so many fantasy novels is almost mandatory. From the moment each is introduced, you know exactly, down the most minute detail, what she is going to say or do in any situation–because you’ve already seen it hundreds of times before. They tend to form tag-teams with the male cliches, like The Thief With A Heart Of Gold or The Brawling Lusty Barbarian Warrior Who Can Drink Any Norse God Under The Freakin’ Table. These are not the only trite and overdone characters in fantasy, not by a long shot–The Know-It-All Fantastically Handsome Elf springs to mind–but it’s a rare story which doesn’t stifle the reader’s imagination with these.

Anyway, Allison’s books are all available in paperback now; and if you enjoy fantasy but hate cliches, try ’em, you’ll like ’em.

More Left-Wing Pseudo-Christianity

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Back in 2006 I reviewed socialist Jim Wallis’ The Call to Conversion. It’s as revolting now as it was then.

Wallis was much more prominent in 2006 than he is now. Back then, he still clung, however feebly, to Biblical sexual morality. But after he took the plunge for “gay marriage,” that made him just another liberal with no distinguishing marks; so his stock as an oracle has gone down.

This little book of his is a spectacular example of the leftids’ use of straw men in an argument. Wallis has a black belt in the martial art of knocking down opinions that no one actually holds.

False prophets abound. This is one of them.

Thomas Sowell vs. ‘Intellectuals’

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In 2010 Thomas Sowell blasted The Smartest People in the World with his book, Intellectuals and Society, delving deep into the question of just how stupid these people are. I reviewed the book for Chalcedon.

As you will have seen from my review (if you’ve read it), Dr. Sowell didn’t devote any effort to discovering why intellectuals have such asinine beliefs. I would have liked to have asked him why he didn’t get into that, but he wasn’t available at the time. I admire Dr. Sowell and I would love to have interviewed him.

The question not having been addressed by the author, it remained for the reviewer to do his best with it.


‘A Rejected Invitation’ (2014)

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If I actually read all the books I am invited to review, my brain would turn into foam and come out of my ears. Like, for instance:

Who decided “changing our genders” would be a good thing? Who decided that we needed that in our culture? Who decided God’s created order wasn’t good enough?

I can’t think of anything more terrifying that a utopia created by sinners.

Thy will be done, O Lord our God.

Laughter, the Best Medicine

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Laughter is good medicine. That’s why God gave it to us.

After reporting some of the nooze today, I felt the need to flush my mind–with a good cigar and a Blandings Castle story by P.G. Wodehouse, in a collection called Lord Emsworth Acts for the Best.

These are among the funniest stories ever written, and Wodehouse wrote them for 62 years. The cast of characters at Blandings features the absent-minded Lord Emsworth, master of the castle and all-around fumbler, his tyrannical sister, Connie, his ninnie of a son, Freddie, the monumental butler, Beach, and a multitude of guest stars, each one daffier than the other. Just getting through the day is challenge enough for these people.

Wodehouse, also famous for his Jeeves & Wooster stories, is unique in that there’s hardly a single paragraph that doesn’t pack at least one laugh line. Lord Emsworth, for instance, hates to dress up: his favorite suit makes him look “like a minor employee with a firm of shady detectives.” The earl’s wandering mind, if you want to call it a mind, can’t keep hold of the thread of any conversation.

But it’s futile to try to describe such a heaped treasury of laughter.

There’s also a BBC TV series, Blandings, which quite faithfully presents a dozen of these stories in all their glorious inanity. Catch it if you can!

Thanks to the title story, which at one place made me laugh aloud, causing the cigar to fall out of my mouth and onto my lap–quick and decisive action averted a disaster–my mind has been flushed and I’m ready to go back to work typing up chapters of my current Bell Mountain book, His Mercy Endureth Forever.

Thank you, Lord, for P.G. Wodehouse and his preposterous comedies.

‘Book Review: “Kurby the Climate Change Clam”‘ (2016)

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For those who missed it, first time around, and for all of you who are new to this blog, here’s my review of Kurby the Climate Change Clam.

If you missed any part of Book Review: Kurby the Climate Change Clam, or wish to read it again. well, all right, here it is, don’t let me stop you.


‘Now They’re Sliming “A Christmas Carol”,’ (2015)

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Incredibly, our culture has deteriorated even further since I posted this three years ago.

Did we ever actually need a “transgender” version of A Christmas Carol?

Where is this all going to stop?

Remember, Lord–these things are done without our consent, against our will, and over our objections.

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