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Island of a Thousand Mirrors: A Novel
Island of a Thousand Mirrors: A Novel
by Nayomi Munaweera
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $14.86
63 used & new from $4.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Well-Told and Heartbreaking, August 2, 2015
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Nayomi Munaweera's Island of a Thousand Mirrors is a heartbreaking story of the Sri Lankan civil war and ethnic conflicts and how they affect two families. The narration shifts between two young women as they mature, each unknown to the other, but whose paths are inextricably linked. Munaweera writes very well. Her characters and their stories are empathetic and readable. I really enjoyed this novel--it sheds light on a conflict that I was only marginally aware of. Well done!


The Way Inn: A Novel
The Way Inn: A Novel
by Will Wiles
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.91
65 used & new from $0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Very Funny, but then Takes a Wrong Turn, July 28, 2015
This review is from: The Way Inn: A Novel (Paperback)
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The Way Inn starts off very strong--it is a sharply told satire focusing on the absurdities of business travel and conferences. Very funny, very spot on. Along the way, however, the narrative veers off into some sort of Matrix-y tale that does not make a whole lot of sense. I still enjoyed reading this novel, but I just wish Wiles had managed to develop the storyline following the business travel satire without the unrealistic developments later on in the novel.


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24 used & new from $79.96

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Sound, July 24, 2015
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Great sound on these headphones--much better quality than those tiny headphones you get with your cell phone. They also come with a convenient tote bag for travel. These have improved my listening quality immensely.


The Hawley Book of the Dead: A Novel
The Hawley Book of the Dead: A Novel
by Chrysler Szarlan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.71
59 used & new from $0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Middling Fantasy Novel, July 22, 2015
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I found The Hawley Book of the Dead to be a middling tale of magic and witches--it pales when compared to other, better examples of the genre such as Lev Grossman's Magician series, and even Harry Potter. As a fantasy romance, it certainly is fine, probably better than fine, especially if you are in search of a romantic novel. Szarlan layers on several mysteries, but frankly, I did not find the resolution all that satisfying. I do not want to spoil anything, but I thought the ending was rushed a bit.


Mr. Bones: Twenty Stories
Mr. Bones: Twenty Stories
by Paul Theroux
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $12.50
91 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Well-written, Well Done, Just Lacking Something, July 21, 2015
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Paul Theroux' s Mr. Bones is a collection of dark, and sometimes disturbing, stories. Although I can appreciate Theroux's talent and artistry, the characters and stories were at times repulsive and lacked a resonance that enabled me to get past my squeamishness about these characters. Sometimes dark and disturbing can really work--these stories just didn't do it for me.


The Good Girl (English Edition)
The Good Girl (English Edition)
by Mary Kubica
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.11
94 used & new from $6.66

2.0 out of 5 stars The Mediocre Novel, July 21, 2015
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The Good Girl -- I cannot help but wonder if the title were chosen so that potential readers would associate it with Gone Girl. Who knows? One thing I do know is that this novel is a middling thriller about a missing girl. Mia is a twenty-something, estranged from her wealthy family, who suddenly disappears. The novel shifts back and forth in time and shifts perspective as well between three of the characters--Mia's mother, Mia's kidnapper and the detective trying to solve Mia's disappearance. The end result of the kidnapping, which I won't give away here, is revealed very early on in the novel, which left me wondering: why am I reading this novel? At the end, there is an unanticipated twist--so unanticipated as to be a little useless. Skip this one and read The Girl on the Train, or Gone Girl, if you are looking for a good psychological thriller. This one is neither good nor thrilling.


Maybe in Another Life: A Novel
Maybe in Another Life: A Novel
by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.40
28 used & new from $7.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing Special, July 20, 2015
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Maybe in another life, I would have really loved this novel--but really, I think I have read too many of these romances at this point in my reading career. This novel is certainly a breezy, quick read, with an interesting, Closing Doors-type parallel universe plot, but personally, I like something a little more challenging or interesting. The novel itself is well-written and well-constructed. The pacing is excellent--this is certainly a fast moving page turner and, if that is what you are looking for, honestly, stop reading this review and just hit "Buy Now", you won't regret it. If, however, you want to toss something a little more challenging into your beach bag, keep looking.


The Book of Strange New Things: A Novel
The Book of Strange New Things: A Novel
by Michel Faber
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $13.86
111 used & new from $1.56

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Stuff, February 8, 2015
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The Book of Strange New Things is great stuff. Michel Faber is a talented writer--in lesser hands this ambitious novel could have been a disaster. Faber is able to take what on the surface is an outlandish (or at least very science-fiction-y) premise and to make it emotionally resonant and powerful. As the novel opens, Peter, a Church of England minister, and his wife Bea are driving to the airport. As the story unfolds, it becomes clear that Peter is going to another planet--Oasis--and is going there to minister to the natives. Bea is to remain in England. In the novel, Faber focuses on the human relationships and the normal, everyday things Peter experiences. The implausible things--the travel to the other planet, the Oasan natives who learn to speak English--that is not where the richness of this novel lies. The strength in The Book of Strange New Things is in the human emotion and relationships. This is a wonderful, ambitious novel that is nonetheless very accessible and a terrific read. Enjoy!


Man V. Nature: Stories
Man V. Nature: Stories
by Diane Cook
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $14.92
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too Much Oddness, January 11, 2015
This review is from: Man V. Nature: Stories (Hardcover)
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There was too much oddness in these stories and they just did not work for me. While Cook is clearly a talented author, the stories, many of which are parables, of a fashion, about how monstrous the human race can be, struck me as a lesser version of T.C. Boyle's earlier stories. Many just did not work for me and I found myself pining for Boyle's more effective story telling.


The Children Act
The Children Act
by Ian McEwan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $14.45
165 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrifically Written and Very Enjoyable, January 11, 2015
This review is from: The Children Act (Hardcover)
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The Children Act is a terrifically written, thought provoking novel about British judge, Fiona Maye, who deals both with her crumbling marriage and the difficult decisions she must make as a family court judge. Her choices, both past and present, haunt her, yet she is able to continue to move forward. Ultimately, this slim novel is about the power of human choices and the distinction between those that are irrevocable and those that are not. McEwan is a master--there is not a word wasted in this novel and it is just so intelligently written. Highly recommended. Enjoy!


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