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Life After Life
“There is a fine line between living and dying,” a character observes in Kate Atkinson’s new novel. And it does certainly seem to be the case here, in ...more
Mar 06, 2013
Dec 12, 2012
What is most striking to me about this memoir of the tsunami which hit Sri Lanka December 26, 2004 is the clarity with which Deraniyagala shares her s ...more
Mar 16, 2014
Feb 05, 2014
The Go-Between
Hartley has taken my breath away with the sweep of his story and the majesty of his writing. This book was published when he was fifty-eight, in 1953, ...more
not set
Apr 06, 2010
The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher
Mantel, eerily observant and wickedly funny, is a strange combination of self-conscious fear and lashing wit. Faced with her precision, I am reduced t ...more
Oct 21, 2014
Oct 17, 2014
The Paying Guests
This is my first Sarah Waters and I was surprised to find it darker and creepier than her mainstream popularity led me to expect. I must have been add ...more
Sep 27, 2014
Sep 28, 2014
The Children Act
In calm, clear, patient English McEwan presents a particularly agonizing example of the stunning success and haunting failure of a juridical system, i ...more
Nov 03, 2014
Oct 31, 2014
A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal
How amused and flattered the infamous British traitor Kim Philby would be to discover he is again the subject of fascinated scrutiny in his home count ...more
Apr 29, 2014
Mar 21, 2014
Author Smith says NW is about language, and I agree. Language is central to our understanding of the characters, and language defines their lives in ...more
Sep 20, 2012
Sep 16, 2012
No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State
Snowden and Greenwald were afraid the information they’d risked everything to expose would be ignored or shrugged off by the public, so inured are we ...more
Nov 07, 2014
Nov 06, 2014
Me Before You
I was never the ideal reader for this book. I did not intentionally shun it, but I never gravitated towards it. My operating theory is that voracious ...more
Feb 05, 2014
Feb 03, 2014
How It All Began
Oh, I dearly loved this book about an event which spawned a series of follow-on events, some of which could be termed momentous, in the context of a l ...more
Mar 31, 2013
Mar 25, 2013
In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette
To tell the truth, polar exploring never held much fascination for me. The only thing that makes me think it might be magical is that so many explorer ...more
Sep 03, 2014
Aug 18, 2014
The Secret Place (Dublin Murder Squad, #5)
Until I’d navigated the shoals of Irish teen speak in Skippy Dies by Paul Murray, I might have been dismissive of the enormous skill it takes to recre ...more
Sep 22, 2014
May 26, 2014
Cinnamon and Gunpowder
Eli Brown’s infectious romp of a novel has a thoroughly modern sensibility dressed in the garb of yore. It is the early 1800’s and Owen Wedgwood is ch ...more
Jun 02, 2013
Mar 23, 2013
The Time Traveler's Guide to Elizabethan England
We all know why Elizabethan England fascinates us and Ian Mortimer is a wonderful guide. His sense of humor and level of detail bridges any gaps in un ...more
Jul 10, 2013
Jun 13, 2013
The Dream of the Celt
I don’t recall ever reading anything by Nobel Prize winner Vargas Llosa before, so I can’t compare this historical novel and thinly-disguised biograph ...more
Sep 05, 2014
Aug 25, 2014
A Month in the Country
It hardly seems possible this was first written in 1978. It has the feel of a much older book, for Carr has entered the past and settled in there as t ...more
Sep 07, 2012
Jun 28, 2011
Just One Evil Act (Inspector Lynley, #18)
George has been writing this series featuring Inspector Lynley and Detective Sergeant Havers since 1988, and this is her eighteenth novel in the serie ...more
Mar 06, 2014
Feb 18, 2014
Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II
NPR environmental and animal journalist Vicki Croke’s new book about the British elephant mahout and teak man James “Billy” Williams in Burma in the i ...more
Sep 27, 2014
Jul 25, 2014
The Sense of an Ending
This Booker-prize winner is a slim thing. It reflects the history, the thoughts, and the imaginings of a perfectly ordinary man who passes quickly in ...more
Oct 06, 2013
Oct 07, 2013
The Woodcutter
This ripping great genre-smashing yarn is set 300 miles northwest of London in the mountainous Cumbrian region of England. Bordered on the north by Sc ...more
Apr 04, 2011
Apr 01, 2011
Hanging Hill
I had never read anything by Mo Hayder before, though I had seen the name. I had always thought the author was a man. Hayder is a mystery writer who e ...more
Aug 31, 2012
Aug 31, 2012
The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World's Most Wanted Man
Radio and TV coverage of the Snowden leaks were spotty. This book helped to fill in the details, background, and what happened since Snowden showed up ...more
Oct 26, 2014
Oct 23, 2014
Good Bait
I have a lot of time for John Harvey. I can’t figure out why he is not more widely read here in the U.S. He writes police procedurals, but with a deep ...more
Feb 26, 2013
Feb 26, 2013
Saints of the Shadow Bible (Inspector Rebus, #19)
Rankin neatly dovetails two series (those featuring Inspector Rebus of the Edinburgh Police and Malcolm Fox of the Complaints), and in this latest nov ...more
Jan 30, 2014
Jan 19, 2014
Ladder of Angels
When I was reading the Afterword of John Harvey’s latest book, Good Bait, I saw a reference to Ladder of Angels, which Harvey called one of the greate ...more
Apr 03, 2013
Feb 26, 2013
Mistress Of Nothing
At first I was a little taken aback that this book was not written in the voice of Lady Duff Gordon, on whose letters this novel was based. I thought ...more
not set
Jun 11, 2011
Raising Steam
"It is hard to understand nothing, but the multiverse is full of it."

Were I a resident of Discworld, I am not entirely sure I wouldn’t be classified a
Sep 05, 2014
Aug 05, 2014
Nobody Walks
This looks like the beginning of a delicious new spy/crime/mystery series by the veteran literary thriller writer and CWA Dagger Award winner, Mick He ...more
Dec 2014
Nov 17, 2014
Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London's Ottolenghi
This is a beautiful cookbook with spectacular ideas. Stuffed onions? It makes you want to try everything the same day you see it. I tried a few...didn ...more
Apr 14, 2014
Apr 04, 2014
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