Top Ten Favorite Reviews

Cleo’s twist on today’s Top Ten Tuesday is right up my alley.  I’ve been reviewing books for a while now, and sometimes it’s nice to reflect on what I’ve written about books in the past.

Here’s ten of my favorite book reviews, some old and some newer (for simplicity’s sake, not including podcast episodes or movie reviews, only written book reviews):

1.  Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad – This is long overdue for another reading (plus a reading of Chinua Achebe’s criticism of the book).  That said, I still like my theory about Kurtz being Marlowe’s alter-ego!

2. Amerika by Franz Kafka – Kafka is tricky to review; in spite of that, I think here I hit upon all the important points.

3. The Sorrows of Young Werther by Goethe – Should I apologize for this??? I took WAY too much delight in this scathing review of a book by Goethe (of all people).  I don’t often write negative reviews, but when I do… whew!

4. Magellania by Jules Verne – Objectively this isn’t much of a review, but due to its personal connection, it’s a kind of favorite of mine.  And I hope it encourages more people to read this obscure book!

5. South by Ernest Shackleton – I’m happy with the content of this review, but also that I took the trouble to include some relevant pictures.  🙂

6. CEO, China by Kerry Brown – Didn’t intend for it to be a three-part series, but it ballooned into that.  I learned a TON in this book and enjoyed documenting it in those reviews!

7. The Accusation: Forbidden Stories from Inside North Korea by Bandi – This book was so depressing, yet so important.  I was glad to help raise awareness even a little with the review.

8. Lord of the Flies by William Golding – Felt like I was able to put all my thoughts in this one.

9. Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin – It was so much fun hosting this readalong, and it made me happy to see how many participants really enjoyed it!  Through the wonderful reviews and discussions that were shared, I feel like my experience with the novel was far richer than if I’d read it by myself (like I usually do). 

10.  A Prince of Our Disorder: The Life of T. E. Lawrence by John E. Mack – In a way, this review encompassed all of my reading and thoughts about T. E. Lawrence.  This was probably the best biography I’ve ever read, which is unusual in itself, so I was motivated to go all-out for the review.

Published by


  1. Catherine Avatar

    I think this is such a cool way to look back on the books that you've read, and the reviews that you love! I have only read one of the books on your list here, so I will have to check the others out!


  2. Brian Joseph Avatar
    Brian Joseph

    This is a very interesting list of books. The concept is a great one and it has gotten me at least thinking of what my favorite posts are. I checked out your reviews of Magellania. The book sounds fascinating.


  3. Marian H Avatar
    Marian H

    Thanks, Catherine! Some of them are kind of obscure, but most of them I enjoyed. 🙂


  4. Marian H Avatar
    Marian H

    I'd love to see your list at some point!


  5. R. T. Avatar
    R. T.

    I feel like such a slacker … I’ve read only two of the books: Conrad and Golding. I’m impressed by your eclecticism….


  6. Marian H Avatar
    Marian H

    I like to think if a book is obscure, I could be discovering a long-forgotten gem. Unfortunately, that only happens about 1/4 the time. 😉


  7. Cleo Avatar

    Well, I finally finished reading all your reviews!! They were all great but I particularly enjoyed Amerika, The Sorrows of Young Werther, Heart of Darkness, Lord of the Flies, South and A Prince of Our Disorder. Wow, that's almost all of them, lol! I really need to read Kafka at some point; I've only read one of his short stories. That's high praise for Lawrence's biography; I don't think I'd want a psychiatrist writing my biography but it seemed to work. In any case, I had lots of fun reading all your reviews!


  8. Marian H Avatar
    Marian H

    Thanks, Cleo, that means a lot! 🙂 I would definitely recommend Amerika – having read all of Kafka's fiction now, I still rank that as my favorite of the novels.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: