Monthly Archive: August 2016

Aug 30 2016

The Just City by Jo Walton

I love so much how my experiences with Jo Walton’s books just get better and better. I spent the climactic scene of The Just City with one hand clutched to my breast, knowing something terrible was coming and feeling a kind of horror and relief when it finally did — horror because it truly was …

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Aug 19 2016

We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

So much of this book is an exercise in narrative tension: you know something terrible is coming, and you know the general shape of it, but you’re waiting for the details to… I don’t know, ram it home? At one point — in what was, to me, one of the more compelling passages in the …

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Aug 12 2016

Moscow in Movement by Samuel A. Greene

Moscow in Movement examines how citizens and state power interact in post-Soviet Russia. Samuel A. Greene, director of the Russia Institute at King’s College London, looks at the lived experiences of Russians and considers several case studies carefully to show how individual Russians, elements of Russian society, and representatives of the Russian state form their …

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Aug 10 2016

Tooth And Claw by Jo Walton

Deeply satisfying. Those were literally the two words that came to me as I turned off my Kindle, sighing with happiness at the end of the book before snuggling down to sleep. Which is, of course, the feeling I always have at the end of any well-resolved marriage plot, even if things do end a …

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Aug 08 2016

The Handsome Man’s De Luxe Cafe by Alexander McCall Smith

Two plots carry the action forward in The Handsome Man’s De Luxe CafĂ©, the fifteenth in Alexander McCall Smith’s series about Botswana’s first detective agency run by women. In slight contrast to its immediate predecessor, The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon, the two plots are not both cases taken on by the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective …

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Aug 06 2016

Maskerade by Terry Pratchett

Now this is how a Discworld story should be. After the uninteresting Interesting Times, Terry Pratchett came right back with the much stronger Maskerade. The Lancre witches take center stage, and stage is just right because most of the novel takes place in and around Ankh-Morpork’s opera house. Well, two of the witches do, which …

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Aug 06 2016

Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton

Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton is … strange. It’s a sentimental Victorian novel: the main plot turns on a lawsuit brought to settle the estate of a country squire. Subplots mostly involve finding suitable marriage partners for the younger generation, or that generation making efforts to hide their pre-marital arrangements from the older generation. …

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Aug 02 2016

Interesting Times by Terry Pratchett

What’s good about Interesting Times, given that I don’t like its protagonist, Rincewind the hapless wizard? Cohen the Barbarian is back, ancient and sprightly and deadly as ever. Several other aged barbarian heroes join him for one last great caper. With this Silver Horde (of seven) is the Teacher, who has given up on the …

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