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Jason Pettus Book Reviews

jasonpettus@bookwyrm.social

Joined 2 weeks, 4 days ago

Former professional book reviewer and owner of a small press, now a freelance editor for self-publishing authors. I review 100 to 150 books a year, usually over at Goodreads, but I've recently joined the Fediverse so thought I'd try it out here at BookWyrm for a while too. My main Mastodon account, where I share both this stuff and creative writing, photography, memes, snotty humor and more: @jasonpettus@mastodon.cloud

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Jason Pettus Book Reviews's books

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2022 Reading Goal

3% complete! Jason Pettus Book Reviews has read 3 of 100 books.

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Breaking the Age Code (2023, HarperCollins Publishers, William Morrow) 1 star

Yale professor and leading expert on the psychology of successful aging, Dr. Becca Levy, draws …

Literally one line of useful information, padded out to 300 pages

1 star

2022 reads, #55. I complain here often about the 21st-century trend of releasing nonfiction books that contain only a blog article's worth of information, but has padded that article out to 300 pages so that greedy corporate publishers can charge us $28.99 for the "privilege" of reading that blog article. But Becca Levy's worthless Breaking the Age Code takes the cake when it comes to this, a 300-page book retailing for $28.99 that literally (and I'm not exaggerating here) presents us with exactly one line of useful information in the entire book, that information being, "If you think young, you'll feel young!" That already feels spurious to me, especially with her continual insistence that when anything bad physically happens to an old person, it's exclusively because they willed it with their mind to happen, and that all their problems would magically go away if they would simply envision themselves as …

Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing (2022, Flatiron Books) No rating

In an extraordinary story that only he could tell, Matthew Perry takes readers onto the …

Textbook confirmation of every horrible thing you've ever suspected about celebrities

No rating

2022 reads, #54. So, the latest tell-all celebrity trainwreck memoir is here, this time from Friends star Matthew Perry, who turns out to have spent by his reckoning approximately seven million dollars over the years on rehab facilities and their associated private plane rides to and fro, to feed an uncontrollable liquor and opioid addiction that by all rights should've killed him several years ago (or at least according to the horrific tale that begins the book, in which his colon literally explodes, he goes into a coma for three days, and his family is told that he has an only 2% chance of surviving). The good news here is that it's clear Perry wrote this himself, versus the usual celebrity route of handing off a box of dictaphone tapes to some anonymous ghostwriter schmuck in Echo Park; but unfortunately the way you can tell this is that Perry's prose …

Leviathan Falls (2021) 5 stars

The Laconian Empire has fallen, setting the thirteen hundred solar systems free from the rule …

And thus does the formerly amazing "The Expanse" end not with a bang but with a whimper

No rating

2022 reads, #2. DID NOT FINISH. And so do my four years with "The Expanse" series of science-fiction novels end; as the saying goes, not with a bang but with a whimper. And that's because I was legitimately thrilled and excited when reading the first three volumes of this nine-book series and discovering one of the more complex and fascinating genre universes and alt-history storylines I've ever seen; set 300 years in the future when humanity has finally colonized the entire solar system, it creates a whole new series of mashup cultures for each planet and moon that interact and play with each other in these interesting, delightful ways, all of it made even more complicated by the first-ever discovery of proof of alien life, which sets all of these established cultures on even greater paths of conflict and change. Not for nothing did the initial work on this mythos …

The Last Man 5 stars

The Last Man is an apocalyptic, dystopian science fiction novel by Mary Shelley, first published …

Candid look at the Early Romantics, hidden inside a sci-fi thriller

5 stars

It's firmly autumn here in Chicago, so it was time recently to put away my beach-and-airport Lee Child and Elin Hilderbrand and whatnot, and instead turn to a series of very large and intellectually interesting tomes I'll be slowly getting through all the way until next spring and the return of warm weather. Coming later this winter will be my first-ever read of Gone With the Wind, a re-read of Neal Stephenson's Anathem, a binge-read of the entire seven-book "Narnia" series in a row, and my first attempt at Gene Wolfe's 950-page The Book of the New Sun; but first for these cold-weather long-form reads, it's the 150,000-word (i.e. Harry Potter-sized) 1826 forgotten "post-apocalyptic" "classic" The Last Man, by Frankenstein creator Mary Shelley, long overshadowed by her more famous book but now getting more and more of a serious 21st-century look again, when we take both …

The Last Man 5 stars

The Last Man is an apocalyptic, dystopian science fiction novel by Mary Shelley, first published …

Candid look at the Early Romantics, hidden inside a sci-fi thriller

5 stars

It's firmly autumn here in Chicago, so it was time recently to put away my beach-and-airport Lee Child and Elin Hilderbrand and whatnot, and instead turn to a series of very large and intellectually interesting tomes I'll be slowly getting through all the way until next spring and the return of warm weather. Coming later this winter will be my first-ever read of Gone With the Wind, a re-read of Neal Stephenson's Anathem, a binge-read of the entire seven-book "Narnia" series in a row, and my first attempt at Gene Wolfe's 950-page The Book of the New Sun; but first for these cold-weather long-form reads, it's the 150,000-word (i.e. Harry Potter-sized) 1826 forgotten "post-apocalyptic" "classic" The Last Man, by Frankenstein creator Mary Shelley, long overshadowed by her more famous book but now getting more and more of a serious 21st-century look again, when we take both …