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book reviews

Personal book reviews by Anne Ku and friends

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  • year = copyright
  • hb = hardback
  • pb = paperback
  • number = pages

Writing book reviews
a how-to article

New York Times Book Reviews

New York Review of Books

BookPage book reviews

London Review of Books

Book Wire

The Economist book reviews

Reviews of energy and finance related books - a project that I started in 2000.

It takes roughly one hour to get anywhere in London, which gives me plenty of time to read.  As I dislike waiting, especially at airports, paperbacks come in quite handy. These are called "personal book reviews" because they are more of a review and reflection than a critique.

I began writing personal book reviews to remember what I read and share the important points with others. At first it was an exercise in writing. Eventually it became a good way to get good books and provide a service for new authors. After editing my first book in 2003, I understand why book reviews are essential for publicity and sale of a new book, particularly for new authors.

If you have a book you'd like to get reviewed, please contact me. Please describe the book, which category it belongs to (fiction, nonfiction, self-help, romance, etc), yourself, why you wrote the book, and what kinds of readers you hope to reach.

I will only write and publish a book review on this website if it is worth my readers' time. In many cases, a book not worth reviewing or in danger of damaging a first author's future, I would prefer to give you personal feedback instead. In general, I have a backlog of requests for book reviews but I welcome e-mail solicitations all the same. My reviews usually creep up to the top ten in google rankings after a short period.

Although I like to read all kinds of books, at the moment I am looking for ones on Buddhism, music composition & performance, piano teaching, writing, cooking, humour, travel, self-help, and literary fiction particularly based on a person's own life story. I am particularly interested in fiction based on historical figures or periods to do with music.

updated 7 March 2009

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Feedback from readers at READERS WRITE.





Risk and flexibility in electricity: introduction to the fundamentals and techniques, edited by Anne Ku, 250 pages, hardcover ISBN:1904339115

On Internet,
e-commerce, technology, colour, etc

New rules for the new economy
by Kevin Kelly

B2B Exchanges
1999 hb 254 pages

Being Digital
1995 pb 249 pages

The Complete Idiot's Guide to e-Commerce
2000 pb 364 pages

Designing Web Usability
2000 pb 420 pages

Striking it
1999 pb 250 pages

Web Navigation: Designing the User Experience
1998 pb 255 pages

Psychology of the Internet
1999 pb 264 pages

The Cluetrain Manifesto: the end of business as usual
by Levine et al
pb 188 pages

Colour Logic for Web Site Design
1998 e-book

The Complete Colour Reference Manual
1997 e-book

On decision analysis, economics, energy, finance, marketing, other business books

Information Rules
1999 hb 352

Smart Choices
1999 hb

The Revenge of Brand X
by Rob Frankel

New Rules for the New Economy
Kevin Kelly
1998 pb 179 pages

Energy Decisions and the Environment: A Guide to the Use of Multicriteria Methods
by Benjamin F. HOBBS, Peter MEIER

House of Cards: confessions of an Enron executive
by Lynn Brewer,
2002, e-book 309 pages

Stepping up: women's guide to career development
by Nadine Kazerounian, hb 325 pages


On psychology, relationships

Change Thrivers: Your Resource Guide for Making Change Work
by Afsaneh Noori,
pb 152 pages

Beat Your Depression
by CJ Green
e-book 106 pages

The Twelve Universal Laws of Success
by Herbert Harris
pb 195 pages

Making right turns in your relationship: how couples work together to create change, enhance intimacy and strengthen communication
by Myron D. Lewis, MSW
pb 216 pages

Family Secrets:
What you don't know can hurt you

1995 pb 297

Many Lives, Many Masters
1988 pb 220 pages

Transforming Depression: Healing the Soul Through Creativity
1996, pb 263 pages

Happy to be single: the pleasures of independence
by Liz Hodgkinson
1993 pb 176 pages

What You Feel, You Can Heal
by John Gray
1984, 1994 pb 218 pages





On health, nutrition, other self-help books

Why You Don't Need Meat
1986 pb 240 pages

Let Go of Clutter
by Harriet Schechter

NLP The New Technology of Achievement
1996 pb 354 pages

Life strategies: stop making excuses!
by Dr Phillip C. McGraw

Get Everything Done and Still Have Time to Play
by Mark Forster

When things fall apart: heart advice for difficult times
by Pema Chodron, pb 147 pages

Your money or your life: transforming your relationship with money and achieving financial independence,
by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin, pb 364 pages

The Art of Happiness
by HH Dalai Lama &
Howard C. Cutler
pb 269 pages


for pleasure, on holiday!

A Man of His Village
by Tanyo Ravicz,
pb 186 pages

Cloud Atlas
by David Mitchell
pb 544 pages

The Great Fire
by Shirley Hazzard
pb 320 pages

The Pilot's Wife
by Anita Shreve,
1998 pb 304

Liar's Poker
by Michael Lewis, 249 pages

La Cucina
by Lily Prior

Strange fits of passion
by Anita Shreve
pb 336 pages

Fortune's Rocks
by Anita Shreve
pb 453 pages

Tulip Fever
by Deborah Moggach
pb 259 pages

by J.M.Coetzee
pb 220 pages

My South African colleague slapped this thin paperback on my desk before I even got a chance to sit down.  He said,"I just finished this book.  It's fantastic.  Gripping.  You have to read it."

On travel

The Lost Continent: travels in small town America
by Bill Bryson
pb 293 pages

The girl's guide to traveling solo
by Deanna G. Wolff
pb 160 pages



True stories

The return of the prodigal daughter
by Lucy Boutaleb
e-book 236 pages

JonBenet Ramsey
by Steve Thomas
hb, 356 pages


On music

Keyboard Interpretation from the 14th to the 19th Century: an introduction
by Howard Ferguson
pb 215 pages

All risks musical
by Alice McVeigh
pb 96 pages

by Anne Rice
pb 367 pages

The Piano Shop on the Left Bank
by T.E. Carhart, 242 pages

Grace Notes
by Bernard MacLaverty,
277 pages

An Equal Music
by Vikram Seth
pb 486 pages

I had actually read this book in early March 2000.  It took me into another world, one I am very familiar with.  It inspired me to compose a short piano solo piece MAKING MAGIC, for truly music flows out spontaneously with a certain mood.