REVIEWED: Penhale Wood

Penhale Wood by Julia Thomas (Mystery Novel, 2017). This new mystery is about a cold case and has a pronounced focus on the motivations, psychologies and obsessions of its characters (even the relatively minor ones). It will definitely appeal to readers who like a multi-layered narrative with subplots, some only tenuously connected to the case itself. […]

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REVIEWED: Grant

Grant by Ron Chernow (Historical Biography, 2017). Chernow, an award-winning biographer, tackles another key figure in American history in this, his latest book. He produces a richly detailed and forthright account of the man known to us as US Grant. With obvious sympathy and appreciation of his subject’s often underrated abilities, Chernow nonetheless doesn’t shy away […]

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REVIEWED: The Floating World

The Floating World by C. Morgan Babst (Contemporary Novel, 2017). This novel focuses on an multi-racial family struggling to deal with Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. The disaster exaggerates and forces them to confront underlying tensions and issues none of them are eager to admit to, let alone confront. Tess, the mother, is a wealthy white […]

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REVIEWED: What Unites Us

What Unites Us by Dan Rather and Elliot Kirschner (Political Essay Collection, 2017). This 274 page volume contains 15 essays by the veteran newsman (with the assistance of his longtime producer) on various aspects of today’s America. It also contains many interesting remembrances from Rather’s personal and career past that in some way relate to each […]

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REVIEWED: A HISS BEFORE DYING

A Hiss Before Dying by Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown (Cat Detective Novel, 2017). Yes, our favorite feline co-author and her human helper are at it again. The title is, of course, a playful pun on a classic hardboiled mystery novel (shame on you for two weeks, if you can’t puzzle out which one). […]

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