Welcome to Book Review Central!
The main focus of this site is to call attention to noteworthy books by Florida authors, particularly those working in SW Florida. From time to time, I post writer profiles, information about book events, writers’ conferences, workshops, and related happenings in the area.
Another major interest is reviews of books on Jewish themes and concerns. However, as you will see, there are many, many general interest titles reviewed here as well. Yet another special interest is the contemporary literature of the American South
Postings and pages on this site (unless otherwise noted) are my intellectual property, (c) Philip K. Jason, and may not be republished without explicit permission.
A BIT OF BIO
I began my college teaching career in 1966 in the Georgetown University English Department, where I taught for seven years.
From 1973 until the end of 2001, I taught English and Creative Writing at the UNITED STATES NAVAL ACADEMY in Annapolis, MD. Since my retirement, I’ve been exploring new directions in my writing while leading private workshops, consulting, and writing about new books and book-related events.
I began a nonacademic book reviewing career with my “Book Beat” column, which ran in the now-defunct Naples Sun Times from July 2006 into June 2008. A few months later, I began writing about books for the bi-monthly Fort Myers Magazine. I continue to publish there from time to time.
In July of 2009 I started reviewing for Florida Weekly, primarily in the Naples edition, but also in the editions for Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, Punta Gorda/Port Charlotte, Venice, Key West, and Palm Beach. In July, 2019 my “Florida Writers” column concluded its 10th year, though it is now appears twice-a-month rather than weekly. This is my primary home as a book columnist. It may be that my most recent review, published in the March 25-26 2020 editions, is my last as Florida Weekly is fighting for economic survival. Over the years I’ve published over 400 reviews in Florida Weekly.
In 2010, I began contributing book reviews and author interviews to the magazine Jewish Book World (now replaced by the impressive Jewish Book Council website). I have now published over 80 reviews for JBC, as well 5 interviews. That same year, I started contributing to the exciting blog Southern Literary Review. In November 2011, I became the publisher and executive editor of SLR. See the link to my SLR pieces on the sidebar.
I did thirteen reviews for citybookreview.com, the online inventory of reviews that feeds San Francisco Book Review and Sacramento BookReview, before being dismissed.
My reviews also appear as an ongoing column in three monthly Jewish newspapers in Southwest Florida: Federation Star (Jewish Federation of Greater Naples), L’Chayim (Jewish Federation of Lee and Charlotte Counties), and The Jewish News (Jewish Federation of Sarasota/Manatee). Some contributions are originals for these newspapers; others are reprints of reviews published elsewhere.
Since 2012, I have contributed over 60 reviews to the worldly and wise Washington Independent Review of Books. Some of my best work is there, no doubt inspired by the quality submissions of other contributors.
I enjoy membership in the Naples Press Club, and in past years served as its Vice President for Administration.
I am a devoted fan of netgalley.com.