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”).
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 formative years of Oregon. Fascinating reading. My book has highlighted passages like a two year old scribbling in the margins with your first colored pencil.
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.
From the days of Irish potato famine, to incarceration on the other side of the Earth in Tasmania, his daring escape from the island prison and relocation to New York City, to leading the Irish Brigade in the Civil War, his appointment as Governor of the Montana Territory, and the circumstances of his suspicious demise – this volume is a panoramic portrayal of the courageous Irish journey – and a man who led them throughout every twist and turn of his amazing life. Egan’s mastery is on full display in this work. It is simply spellbinding.
This dramatic story simply begs to be replicated on cinema – perhaps – a mini-series vs. a two hour long film – the latter simply would not do justice with the life journey of Thomas Francis Meagher and/or the history of the Irish. I am thinking a multiple season mini-series akin to the recent “Hell on Wheels” production (2011-2016 – AMC) that chronicled the construction of the transcontinental railroad in the U.S.
Luscious history – PERIOD. Spectacular storytelling. Unequivocally unique. Honestly, words fail to express my deep appreciation for this epic contribution to history. The book also provides insights into the enduring attitudes that inhabit the current dialog regarding immigration in the U.S. – and how those attitudes have roots in the distant past of the American story.
The life and times of “fanatical” (self described) artists like Edward Curtis are rarely full of fulfilling, float you on air happiness. Yet, his life had many interactions and endorsements by the day’s rich and famous (Teddy Roosevelt and J. Pierpont Morgan to name two).
A man who attempted to capture the remnants of an ever encroaching genocide of the remaining inhabitants of the western tribes of Native Americans is a noble story. And noble is the way Egan tells it. Yet, it leaves you (the trajectory of Curtis’s life) unfulfilled…as the life stories of so many artists do.
How Egan finds these tales and has the uncanny ability to weave story in and around the real-life characters he portrays – is – well – a mysterious literary talent that I’m unsure if even he could describe it adequately. The book, story, prose, research and Egan’s writing just make you salivate for the next page.
This is an unequivocal FIVE STAR work (which I don’t attribute to most literature I read). It is a treasure – just as the life of Edward Curtis and his enduring work was/is. I am really glad I read this book. You will be too.
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 endeavor.
The research here is fantastic. The writing is accessible for all audiences. Frankly, this story is shocking – in far too many ways to recount here. Simply a splendid story that I HIGHLY recommend.
The human drama – the sheer determination to survive when confronted with unimaginable hardship – is a seminal contribution of this work.
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.
I have read 5 Egan books in the last ten days – have one on the shelf and another in my cart on-line. That’ll mean I’ve read ALL of Egan’s books in two weeks. I read approximately 100 books a year. I have for decades. I have NEVER read consecutive volumes of one author’s books – one after another – until I ran into Egan.
Reading Egan is an adventure – a particularly satisfying and unique one. I have few favorite authors. Egan is now in my top 3. PERIOD. His work is just than damn good…better than good…it’s hard to put into words my appreciation for this man’s literary talent. A MASTER storyteller.
LOVED this book. BUY IT! – – – NOW!
Warning: After you read The Good Rain – you’ll be hooked on Timothy Egan…trust me…