Nature photography, political rants, and Martyman laughs from the ten-time award-winning author of "Cool Creatures, Hot Planet," "Endangered Edens," and "Time Is Irreverent."

Posts in category Book Reviews

The dramatic turnaround of a depressing day

The dramatic turnaround of a depressing day

My books have always received great reviews from both amateur and professional reviewers. Cool Creatures, Hot Planet has received 88% 4 to 5-star reviews, Endangered Edens has received 94% 4 or 5-star reviews, and my latest, Time Is Irreverent is currently at 79% 4 to 5-star reviews. Because Time Is Irreverent is a controversial satire, I […]

The first major review of Time Is Irreverent

The first major review of Time Is Irreverent

The normal process for books is to submit them to major reviewers months before publication, so that their comments can appear on the release date. Because Time Is Irreverent satirically skewers today’s Republicans and predicts their future course, I couldn’t follow the normal process and risk that it become dated before its release. Not that […]

Marty Essen wins National Indie Excellence Award for Nature

Marty Essen wins National Indie Excellence Award for Nature

My first book, Cool Creatures, Hot Planet, won six national awards. So naturally, I entered my new book, Endangered Edens, in some contests as well. Because Cool Creatures, Hot Planet won awards so easily, I was a bit cocky, thinking Endangered Edens would do the same thing. When the results of the first two contests […]

No, you can’t be a Republican and still be concerned about the environment

No, you can’t be a Republican and still be concerned about the environment

Oh, my! I read every review my books get, and on Amazon my latest, Endangered Edens, is doing great. Until recently it had a rating so high, it was almost unbelievable. Of the 40 reviews, 37 were 5-star, and none were lower than 4-star. Then some right wingers found my book. For some reason the right wingers […]

Warning: Do not drink liquids in public while reading this book!

Warning: Do not drink liquids in public while reading this book!

If you like to laugh (and who doesn’t?), you need to read Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson. I downloaded the book to my Kindle shortly before leaving on a college speaking and book signing tour. I knew nothing about the book, other than the reviews I saw on Amazon. Oh, my, God! Let’s […]

Jenny Lawson Breaks the Rules . . . and is Hilarious

Jenny Lawson Breaks the Rules . . . and is Hilarious

I don’t normally write about books until I finish them, but if you like to laugh (and who doesn’t?), you need to read “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” by Jenny Lawson. I downloaded the book onto my Kindle shortly before I left on my college speaking tour. I knew nothing about the book, other than […]

Wickedly funny. Rick Gualtieri continues to impress.

Wickedly funny. Rick Gualtieri continues to impress.

I’m generally not a fan of series books, as the ones I’ve read tended to run out of steam quickly. Not so with Rick Gualtieri’s Bill the Vampire series. Sure, some volumes are better than others, but all held my interest; all made me laugh. As an author myself, I’m impressed not only by the […]

Endangered Edens Review (Mr. Mommy Booknerd’s Book Reviews)

Endangered Edens Review (Mr. Mommy Booknerd’s Book Reviews)

Mrs. Mommy Booknerd’s Book Reviews posted a really nice review of my book, Endangered Edens. To read the review click here.  

Endangered Edens Review (Booksjia blog)

Endangered Edens Review (Booksjia blog)

Here’s nice review of Endangered Edens from the Booksjia blog. To read the review, click here.

Endangered Edens Review (Foreword Reviews)

Endangered Edens Review (Foreword Reviews)

Foreword Reviews is an influential magazine, read primarily by librarians and other industry professionals. The latest issue featured this really nice review of my book. In the print version of the magazine, they featured a special two-page “Spotlight” on environmental books, with one of my photos as the banner across the top of the two […]

Endangered Edens Review (Faithcounts)

Endangered Edens Review (Faithcounts)

Thanks to Janet of the blog Faithcounts for reviewing my new book! To read the review,  click here.    

Non-celebrity authors must work harder to be successful

Non-celebrity authors must work harder to be successful

I know a lot of authors. Many are very talented writers, whose books never sell like they should. It hardly seems fair when far less talented, celebrity authors (generally politicians, actors, and TV talk show hosts) are practically guaranteed instant best-sellers for whatever they “write.” Welcome to life! I do think many non-celebrity authors could […]

What was funny in 1979 isn’t necessarily funny in 2015

What was funny in 1979 isn’t necessarily funny in 2015

I love comedy writing. Many years ago I bought a Douglas Adams fiction book and couldn’t get into it enough to finish. Then, recently, I read Adams’ nonfiction book, Last Chance to See, and absolutely loved it. It had been a long time since a writer made me laugh so hard. In fact, Last Chance to […]

Great review from Midwest Book Review!

Great review from Midwest Book Review!

Even though my new book is distributed by a top national distributor, few books ever become successful without author help. Consequently, I have been working hard acquiring both individual and national reviews. Today my first national review came in—and it’s a good one! Midwest Book Review specializes in the all-important library market and receives over […]

The Wild Ride and Who Shouldn’t Buy My Book

The Wild Ride and Who Shouldn’t Buy My Book

When Cool Creatures, Hot Planet: Exploring the Seven Continents was published, in 2007, I had no idea that my wild ride was just beginning. Not only did the book win six national awards, but I was also able to turn it into a live stage show, called Around the World in 90 Minutes, which I […]

This book will make you care about something you never thought you’d care about.

This book will make you care about something you never thought you’d care about.

Many years ago, when I was researching my first book, Cool Creatures, Hot Planet, I read Sy Montgomery’s Journey of the Pink Dolphins. I loved that book but hadn’t gotten around to reading another one of her books until now. When I first started reading The Soul of an Octopus I couldn’t put it down. […]

The official Endangered Edens book trailer

The official Endangered Edens book trailer

Please watch and share the trailer for my new book! Oh, and be sure turn up the volume on your speakers to hear Callie MaRae’s beautiful vocals:  

The entire Last Chance to See “trilogy” is excellent

The entire Last Chance to See “trilogy” is excellent

Over a period of two months, I read the original Last Chance to See book, read the Last Chance to See follow-up book, and then watched the Last Chance to See DVD. Much of what I said in my previous review of Last Chance to See, by Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine, applies to this review […]

A New Generation Needs to Read This

A New Generation Needs to Read This

I was thrilled to see the classic Never Cry Wolf finally become available on Kindle. Writing a detailed review of a book that was published in 1963, however, is not the best use of one’s time. What could I say that hasn’t been said before? So instead of a review, I offer a few observations: […]

Wolf-haters will hate this book!

Wolf-haters will hate this book!

I love books that make the world a better place for their existence, and Nick Jans definitely accomplished that with A Wolf Called Romeo. His fascinating story of Romeo, the gregarious black wolf, and all the human characters—both good and bad—make this book a fast read. You just have to know how everything turns out. […]

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