C. M. MAYO
Author of Metaphysical Odyssey into the Mexican Revolution, etc.

EXPLORERS . MEXICOPHILES . WRITERS
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Literary Travel Writing + Book Reviews + Misc. Articles + Interviews

Member, National Book Critics Circle
(In case you were wondering: My Book Review Policy)

Book Reviews on the Blogs

Truly good books, books that tell a story that needs to be told, and well, are rarer than one might think, so when I find one, I am delighted to share the news: look for my annual "Top 10 Books Read" on my blog, Madam Mayo.


Annual Top 10 Books Read Lists
(Madam Mayo Blog)

Top 10+ for 2016
#1: Super Natural by Whitley Strieber and Jeffrey J. Kripal


Top 10+ for 2015
#1: Dreamland by Sam Quinones

Top 10 for 2014
#1: Finding George Orwell in Burma by Emma Larkin


Top 10 for 2013
#1: Memories, Dreams, Reflections by Carl Jung


Top 10 for 2012
#1: Born Under an Assumed Name by Sara Mansfield Taber


Top 10 for 2011
#1: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Read the War and Peace blog

Top 10 for 2010
#1: Finding Iris Chang by Paula Kamen

Top 10 for 2009
#1: Villa Air-Bel by Rosemary Sullivan


Top 10 for 2008
#1 The Far-Traveler by Nancy Marie Brown


Top 10 for 2007
#1: The Earth Knows My Name by Patricia Klindienst


Top 10 for 2006
#1 A Portrait of a Lady by Henry James


Mexico's Second Empire / French Intervention (Maximilian - Carlota Blog)

Find them all on the sidebar here.

Among the many book reviews:

Thomas M. Settles's John Bankhead Magruder: A Military Reappraisal;

Margarita López Cano's Ópera en la Puebla Imperial;

Konrad Ratz's Tras las huellas de un desconocido: nuevos datos y aspectos de Maximiliano de Habsburgo, and

José Luis Blasio's Maximiliano íntimo.







Professional Affiliations include:



Texas Institute of Letters
Women Writing the West

Selected Book Reviews On-line

New! "Reading Mexico: Recommendations for a Book Club of Extra-Curious & Adventurous English-Language Readers."


Bitter Waters: The Struggles of the Pecos River
By Patrick Dearen
University of Oklahoma Press, 2016
Literal Magazine, May 2017

Reading Mexico: Recommendations for a Book Club of Extra-Curious & Adventurous English-Language Readers
Madam Mayo blog, November 21, 2016

In Plain Sight: Felix A. Sommerfeld, Spymaster in Mexico, 1908-1914
By Heribert von Felitzsch
Henselstone Verlag, 2012
Literal Magazine, October 2016

The Comanche Empire
By Pekka Hämäläinen
Yale University, 2008
Marfa Mondays Blog,
August 1, 2016


The Super Natural: A New Vision of the Unexplained
By Whitley Strieber and Jeffrey J. Kripal
Penguin Tarcher 2015
Literal Magazine, June 2016

Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic
By Sam Quinones
Literal Magazine, October 2015

Nut Country:
Right-Wing Dallas and the Birth of the Southern Strategy
By Edward H. Miller
Washington Independent Review of Books, October 1, 2015

The Pecan:
A History of America's Native Nut

By James McWilliams
Madam Mayo blog, July 6, 2015

So Good They Can't Ignore You:
Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love

By Cal Newport
Madam Mayo blog, June 1, 2015

Lone Star Nation: How Texas Will Transform America
By Richard Parker
Madam Mayo blog, February 25, 2015

A Slow Trot Home
By Lisa G. Sharp
Madam Mayo blog, October 13, 2014

Making a New World:
Founding Capitalism in the Bajío and Spanish North America
By John Tutino
and
Mexico and the Mexicans in the Making of the United States
Edited by John Tutino
Literal Magazine 34, 2013

Our Lost Border:
Essays on Life Amid the Narco-Violence

By Sarah Cortez and Sergio Troncoso
Literal Magazine 33, 2013

Desert America:
Boom and Bust in the New Old West

By Rubén Martínez,
Washington Independent Review of Books, February 18, 2013

Comentarios para la presentación del libro Los viajes de Maximiliano en México (1864-1867) por Konrad Ratz y Amparo Gómez Tepexicuapan, Castillo de Chapultepec, 12 de febrero, 2013

From This Wicked Patch of Dust
and

Crossing Borders: Personal Essays

by Sergio Troncoso,
Literal Magazine, Spring 2012

The Prison Angel
by Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan,
Wilson Quarterly, winter 2006

The Stars Above Veracruz: Stories
by Barry Gifford,
Los Angeles Times, January 22, 2006

Octavio Paz: A Meditation

by Ilan Stavans,
Hyde Park Review of Books, Spring 2002

True Tales From Another Mexico

by Sam Quinones,
Wilson Quarterly, Spring 2001

Life in Mexico

by Frances Calderón de la Barca,
Tin House, Fall 2000

God and Mr. Gómez
by Jack Smith,
Journal of the West, October 1998


The Mexican Revolution and Metaphysical History
Apropos of my book, Metaphysical Odyssey Into the Mexican Revolution: Francisco I. Madero and His Secret Book, Spiritist Manual, several books on the Mexican Revolution and/or metaphysics, are reviewed / discussed on my blog, Madam Mayo, and also listed on the Resources for Researchers page for my book. A few of the books include:

...Memorias de Rafael L. Hernández;

..W.B. Yeats' The Trembling of the Veil;
.
..
Dr Krumm-Heller's Fur Freiheit und Recht;
.
..
William Curry Holden's Teresita;
.
..
Léon Denis' Después de la Muerte;
.
..
Henry Ridgely Evans' Hours with Ghosts or Nineteenth Century Witchcraft;
and more.



 

   


Long ago I had the notion that I would spend comfy stretches of my weeks reviewing books for newspapers and magazines. It wasn't so comfy, so I changed my mind about that. Below you will find some book reviews I've done for the Los Angeles Times, Tin House, Wilson Quarterly, and others. In recent years my book reviews have become ever more brief (yea, blog posts) and consistently celebratory; brief because I prefer to put my writing effort into my own books, and celebratory because, as an author myself, I know how much work goes into writing a book (a heap more than most readers can even guess), and I know, too, how criticism can sting. But trust me: if I don't like a book or, for whatever reason, I don't think it deserves jump-up-and-down praise, I won't review it. Yes, some books deserve a drubbing (and God bless you all at the National Book Critics Circle). But, like I said, I'm busy writing my own books. Truly good books, books that tell a story that needs to be told, and well, are rarer than one might think, so when I find one, I am delighted to share the news: look for my annual "Top 10 Books Read" on my blog, Madam Mayo.

Top 10 2009 #1: Villa Air-Bel by Rosemary Sullivan
Top 10 2008 #1 The Far-Traveler by Nancy Marie Brown
Top 10 2007 #1: The Earth Knows My Name by Patricia Klindienst
Top 10 2006 #1 A Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

The Prison Angel by Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan, Wilson Quarterly, winter 2006

The Stars Above Veracruz: Stories by Barry Gifford, Los Angeles Times, January 22, 2006

Octavio Paz: A Meditation by Ilan Stavans, Hyde Park Review of Books, Spring 2002

True Tales From Another Mexico by Sam Quinones, Wilson Quarterly, Spring 2001

Life in Mexico by Frances Calderón de la Barca, Tin House, Fall 2000

God and Mr. Gómez by Jack Smith, Journal of the West, October 1998