It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single reader in possession of a good review, must be in want of a book. With apologies to Jane Austen, I must disagree. Reviews are sometimes useful -- you'll find two immensely useful ones below, in fact -- but they're not necessarily the reason to pick up a book. I'm drawn to a new novel or collection of essays at least as much by a favorable review as by a friend's recommendation, an author name I recognize, even a handsome cover design. A quick read of a volume's first page usually tells me whether I'll enjoy the whole thing more reliably than some stranger's opinion does. Still, reviews are fun to read on their own merits -- sometimes more fun... More >>>