Brooklyn, NY | Member Since 2003
I don't understand anyone who isn't fascinated by magic - the act of your own brain deceiving you, the secret societies, code of conduct, storied lore, socially awkward young men - basically, it's everything I love in one place. And the fact that I have no business and am not welcome in magic's backrooms only makes it more alluring. In Fooling Houdini, Alex Stone does for magic what Susan Orlean did for orchids, Stefan Fatsis did for Scrabble and David Sedaris did for department store Santas.
Like Ready Player One before it, this novel for grown-ups (presumably) reads like YA. This is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone for the Open Source coterie, with Google standing in for Hogwart's. A fun and enjoyable audiobook.
Caitlin Moran will join your roster of Fantasy Brunch League - earning a seat at the table between Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Maria Bamford, Tig Notarto et al. A smart, funny read, Moran's chapter about abortion sneaks in, Trojan Horse style, to deliver a powerful punch.
A collection of stories that take place among the soldiers and families of Fort Hood Army base in Texas, this book takes us into a world many of us will never know. The stories manage to escape being heavy handed; the power of this collection is the gut punch that comes when you realize that millions of Americans are living this reality while we float through our days, untouched by war.
This was my first Kurt Wallander novel - and it seems I have started with the last book in the series. I'm usually fanatical about reading series in order, so this is a strange experience for me - watching a robust, beloved character draw the curtains on his story without having the benefit of being there when the curtain went up.
This story reads incredibly quickly and compellingly, but there is also a feeling of "Kurt Wallander, this is your life!" [Presumably] old character resurface. Old cases are referenced. In addition to untangling a knot of espionage, Wallander must also face his own aging and the mortality of those around him, which he does with an austerity of sentimentality that still manages to be powerful.
So, this may be Mankell's last Wallander, but it won't be my last.
As a fan of foreign detective stories, how could I pass up one set on the edges of the Black Forrest? Although this is the first Bodenstein & Kirchhoff translated into English, it's actually the 4th book in the series, and you can tell these characters have history together.
I find the Wallander series exceptionally rich - in this volume we experience a different perspective on Wallander through his daughter in the days before she joins the police force.
A great audiobook for fans of A Visit from the Goon Squad. Well performed, this would make a great listen for a summer holiday in Italy.
A rather ho-hum modern novel: sexy hero always knows the right thing to say, but is emotionally damaged and trying to become a better man blah blah blah. Check this one out for the advertising industry setting, which is painfully hilarious. As a fellow communications professional, we all suspect the work we do is a farce, but we take comfort in thinking, "At least we're not like those advertising pricks." This is a novel about those advertising pricks.
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