Category Archives: Book Reviews

These are books I have read that I review for the benefit of others who don’t enjoy reading as much as I do. Perhaps this section will assist you in selecting your next book. I hope so. I read EVERY word on EVERY page of the books I review. If I don’t particularly care for a book, I don’t review the book publicly, unless I make a unique exception. I read around a hundred book a year. Most of my reviews are here and on Amazon.

Bill reviews pre-publication manuscripts, and early release books for a variety of publishers and authors in the U.S. and abroad, literary PR firms and at the request of certain authors. He performs this service gratis, without any compensation whatsoever (he knows….he’s really stupid). Notable authors whose work Bill has reviewed include William P. (Paul) Young, Donald Miller, George Barna, Samantha Power, Parker Palmer, George Akerlof and Robert Shiller, John Wasik, Roger Lowenstein, Taylor Branch, Brian McLaren, Tony Jones, Jim Palmer, David Kinnaman, Irshad Manji, Eboo Patel, Mark Scandrette, and Erwin McManus. Bill has a policy of not publishing reviews of books he reads that he doesn’t particularly care for and is uncomfortable recommending to others ( “Literature is like ice cream….there’s a whole bunch of flavors and I have my own tastes that differ from others…some people adore chocolate while others prefer pecan nut”).

Landscapes of Promise – The Oregon Story – 1800-1940 by William G. Robbins

An epic narrative of the Oregon Story from 1800-1940. Essential reading for those interested in the history of Oregon. William G. Robbins (retired - Emeritus Distinguished Professor of History - Oregon State University) is a gifted researcher, writer and historian par excellence. An absolute essential volume for those interested in the American West and the … Continue Reading ››

The Immortal Irishman – The Irish Revolutionary Who Became An American Hero – by Timothy Egan – A Book Review by Bill Dahl

This is the sixth book I have read by Timothy Egan in the past three weeks. Up until this book, I was unable to identify a favorite. Enter -  The Immortal Irishman - now my favorite work of Mr. Egan.
The Immortal Irishman
From … Continue Reading ››

A Book Review of Timothy Egan’s – Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis

It's terribly difficult after finishing the 6th in a series of Timothy Egan's books to declare a favorite. Yet,   Egan's  Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis - is -well - it broke my heart. The life and times of … Continue Reading ››

Astoria – John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson’s Lost Pacific Empire – A Story of Wealth, Ambition and Survival by Peter Stark – A Book Review by Bill Dahl

Riveting. Incomparable suffering. Courage. Stamina. Determination. Another in a superb series of the history of the Pacific Northwest. A terribly important tale that played a seminal role in the discoveries and exploration of this geographic region - and the lust for wealth that propelled those engaged in this … Continue Reading ››

The Good Rain: Across Time & Terrain in the Pacific Northwest – A Book Review by Bill Dahl

Having  lived in the Pacific Northwest the vast majority of my life, reading this book I realized just how ignorant I am about its history. Timothy Egan takes you on a grand tour of the region, using characters you have likely never heard of. That's just one element of Egan's magical gift. Continue Reading ››

The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl – A Book Review by Bill Dahl

You can taste the gritty dirt in your mouth - and - I caught myself rubbing my eyes - as Timothy Egan spun this true tale of the history of the Dust Bowl. Couldn't put it down...a page burner. Burns your soul too. Buy it! Read it! Grab a … Continue Reading ››