June 12, 2018

46 dystopian novels reviewed here

Dystopian novels figure prominently in the work of some of the world’s best science fiction writers. When Donald Trump entered the White House, and a fearful public began to contemplate the possibility of disastrous consequences from his erratic and authoritarian behavior, dystopian novels such as 1984 and The Handmaid’s Tale surged back onto the bestseller lists. In […]

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June 7, 2018

The nonfiction books I’ve reviewed here in 2018

If you check out this site with any regularity, you’re aware that the majority of the books I review are novels of one sort or another. However, a week has rarely gone by without my reading and reviewing at least one nonfiction book as well. To date in 2018, I’ve posted reviews for 21 of […]

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May 31, 2018

7 good books about North Korea

Amazon lists more than 7,000 books about North Korea. That number is probably exaggerated, since many of those books are likely to have no meaningful relation to that country. Even so, a lot has been written about the country. In recent years, I’ve read what I believe to be seven of the most revealing books […]

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May 24, 2018

7 insightful books that explain what caused the Great Recession

A decade after the onset of the Great Recession, economists, financiers, historians, and politicians still debate its causes. It’s widely agreed that the recession was triggered by the massive Wall Street crash of 2008 and that it constituted the greatest threat to the stability of the world economy since the 1930s. However, a number of […]

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May 17, 2018

5 thrilling science fiction novels by Paolo Bacigalupi

Colorado-based author Paolo Bacigalupi has been writing science fiction novels since 2009. Together with the many short stories he has produced, his writing has earned him a torrent of nominations and a slew of awards. Among them are both the Hugo and Nebula, the two most prestigious awards in science fiction and fantasy. And one of his […]

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May 10, 2018

The outstanding Harry Hole thrillers from Jo Nesbo

Over the past twenty years, the Norwegian novelist and musician Jo Nesbø has been writing a series of crime thrillers featuring homicide detective Inspector Harry Hole of the Oslo police. More than 30 million copies of these novels have been sold worldwide, translated into over 40 languages. Harry is one of the most engaging protagonists in […]

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April 26, 2018

Charles Cumming’s first-rate spy thrillers

From 2001 to 2016, the British espionage author Charles Cumming published eight first-rate spy thrillers. They’re all described below, with links to my reviews. A Spy by Nature (2001)—A worthy spy story that foretells more good reading to come In Charles Cumming’s first novel, the author tells a version of his own story as a recruit to the Secret […]

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April 12, 2018

36 great popular novels reviewed

This list of 36 great popular novels excludes several major categories I’ve written about elsewhere. If you’re interested in those, go to 83 readable and revealing historical novels, 53 excellent mystery and thriller series, or 45 great sci-fi novels reviewed (plus a list of 41 all-time classics). However, I have included a number of titles […]

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April 5, 2018

19 outstanding detective series from around the world

As I followed private investigator Vish Puri and his team through the streets of Jaipur in Tarquin Hall’s The Case of the Missing Servant (reviewed at Vish Puri is either India’s #1 private investigator or #2), it suddenly occurred to me that a fair amount of what I’ve learned about life and culture in other […]

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