Pumpjack Book Reviews

When not writing, we are usually reading. And sharing our perspective on those books. Check out our About page to find out how to suggest a book for review consideration or to provide one of your own. #bookreview

Book Review: Two works by Arthur Machen

The Great God Pan is focused on an occult world existing in the shadows of this world, hidden and mysterious but also some how more real. 

The story opens with a young woman willingly participating in questionable medical experiment performed by a surgeon intent on helping humankind experience the mystical realm directly. He has, apparently, found the structure in the brain that prevents easy access to the spiritual realm (what he calls, “seeing the god Pan”), though curiously, he offers no insights as to why nature may have seen fit to prevent the veil from being lifted. 

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Book Review: Enemies of Promise by Cyril Connolly

“There is but one crime, to escape from our talent.” Cyril Connolly (1903 – 1974) was a British reviewer, critic and writer of distinction. Connolly’s Unquiet Grave — a despondent meditation on creativity, and existence, in a world challenged by the destruction of World War II — is one of my favorite books. I finally got around to ordering Enemies of Promise, first published in 1938 and designed to solve the problem of how to write an enduring book — by his count, one that stands for at least a decade.

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Book Review: So Much Blue by Percival Everett

So Much Blue by Percival Everett tells Kevin Pace’s story, an artist of some renown, living in a semi-rural area, with a wife and two children. Kevin’s story has three arcs: one in the present, one in Paris a decade or so ago, and one in Nicaragua, about thirty years in the past. 

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Book Review: Internal Time by Till Roenneberg

Internal Time: Chronotypes, Social Jet Lag, and Why You're So Tired by Till Roennenberg, an  esteemed researcher on the science of sleep, profiles 24 (irony intended) insights into our internal clocks, how they are aligned to external factors (like the daily cycles of light and dark) and what it means for us as individuals and as a society when they are out of synch. After reading this book, I’ve never more appreciated a good night’s sleep.

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Book Review: Black and Blue by Jeff Pegues

I began to read Black and Blue: Inside the Divide Between Police and Black America by Jeff Pegues on the day the decision to acquit the police officer who killed Philando Castile was announced, a decision that stunned most of America. Shortly after I finished the book and as I was considering this review, Officer Miosotis Familia was fatally shot as she sat inside her squad car on a street in the Bronx. These events were a tragic real-time framing for my reading.

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