About Capsule Reviews
My high school English teacher, Marjorie Bruce, loved the New York Times Book Review. She maintained that good book reviews serve two purposes: introducing us to books we’ll want to read, and allowing us to explore books we may never read.
I tend to seek out reviews for the first purpose—finding new books to read. As a result, I focus on the beginning and end, and often I skip the summary and analysis in between.
Think of my capsule reviews as a stripped-down version of the longer, more traditional model, containing just a quick introduction and bottom-line evaluation. I try to write enough so you can tell whether you want to read the book, then leave you to discover it on your own.
Between books, I’ll also write capsule reviews of movies, TV, and music.
Art by Hank Virgona. For more about Hank and his paintings, see my recent newsletter, "I Want to Be Like Hank."