BOOK REVIEWS are too long. You don’t need 800 words to make an initial decision, and you don’t need to hear about just one book. If I recommend a single book and you don’t like it, that’s a missed opportunity for both of us. If I recommend four and you like one of them, and read it, we both win.
So I’m changing my system of book reviews to make them shorter and quicker to read, and to give you more books to choose from. Starting this week the book reviews will be short and sweet. Each will only take thirty seconds to read, I promise.
“30-Second Book Reviews” will be its own evergreen blog post, and will bounce to the top of Part-Time Parisian every time I add new books. Older reviews will be pushed down the list, but will still be there for new subscribers. Want more info? You can click the book cover to go directly to the book’s page on Amazon.
I don’t focus on new books, as long-term readers know. There are too many good ones that have been out there for years, and ebooks never go out of print. The crop this week includes an important new book by Steven Brill on why America seems to be foundering (Tailspin), a striking (and I do mean striking) Irish novel from the sixties (Brown Lord of the Mountain), one of the most important books on American race relations in recent memory, which held my attention into the early hours (Between the World and Me), and the evergreen Michener (Centennial), dated but never out of date. Centennial even has an introduction by Steve Berry, author of the Cotton Malone thrillers, which told me more about Michener’s life than I ever knew. I hope you enjoy them. Two novels, two non-fiction.
If you would like to recommend a book for review, tell me about it (firstname.lastname@example.org). It can be a new book, an old book, or even one you’ve written yourself. Don’t be shy, and don’t send the book — I buy all books that I review, no exceptions. Just send a solid query. The only limitations are that there must be a Kindle edition and that it be a well-written book of general interest.
PROGRESS REPORT on Finding Pegasus
My most recent novel, Finding Pegasus, is doing well. It normally takes three or four months for a new novel to find its legs, but after only a month Pegasus is already selling almost as well as Treasure of Saint-Lazare and its sequel, Last Stop: Paris. I mean, once you survive an attempt to bomb your sailboat on Biscayne Bay, how can it not be a gripping story? Especially when you get to go to Paris next? With the love of your life?
The audio book, narrated beautifully by Adam Barr, has been on sale for a couple of weeks and is already showing signs that it will be the best seller of all three audio books. (“Narrated” really doesn’t do justice to Adam’s performance. You have to hear it to believe it. It’s a work of art. You can listen to a sample at this page.)
Altogether, my novels have sold almost 10,000 copies, which pleases (not to mention astonishes) me. I can’t recall a day when they weren’t ranked among the top 1-2% of the 2,000,000-plus English-language books offered on Amazon.
Thank you for your support, without which it wouldn’t have happened.
THE NEXT BOOK
Jan and I leave next week for a three-week road trip that’s half research and half vacation. We had to postpone our Paris visit this year for several reasons, one of them the launch of Finding Pegasus and another our involvement with the League of Women Voters (they take men, too). We have a very important state election in Florida this November, with many amendments to the state constitution on the ballot, and the League has a Speakers Bureau that sends presenters to civic clubs, retirement homes, and other places where voters congregate to educate them on the League’s position on the amendments. Both of us are very involved in that.
The League of Women Voters is a stridently non-partisan organization that never endorses a candidate or a party but takes very firm positions on important issues of all sorts, up to the point of litigation. Jan is a director of the county chapter, chairman of its communications efforts, and a hard-working leader of the get-out-the-vote program. (Earlier this week we went to a showing of the outstanding and fascinating film “The Post” at one of the well-known retirement homes in the Sarasota area where she had earlier gone to register voters. They asked her to introduce the film because she was a reporter at The Washington Post at about the time the movie was set, the era of the Pentagon Papers. She did a very nice job of it. And they’ve asked me to come back next month and talk about the constitutional amendments.)
Week after next we’ll be in the Catskills of New York State (“Dirty Dancing” country and home to Woodstock), where I plan to set part of the next book. Then we’ll spend a week on Cape Cod (pure vacation) before going to NYC for several research days. The working title of the new book is Washington Square. It will, of course, feature Paris, Eddie, and Aurélie. I hope you’ll take the trip with me.
I’ll post some pictures of places that might become settings in the book.
MY WISH LIST – MORE SUBSCRIPTIONS
One thing I need to do in preparation for future books is increase the size of my mailing list. It’s now in the hundreds, but needs to be in the thousands. If you know someone who might be interested, please forward this email to them and ask them to subscribe. We don’t spam and they (and you) can unsubscribe at any time. I use a highly respected email service called Convertkit to manage the list and send emails like this, and they handle unsubscribe requests without my ever seeing them. Your friends can sign up by going to the blog, PartTimeParisian.com, or to my book site, JohnPearceBooks.com.Unsubscribe | PO Box 51004, Sarasota, FL 34232