Category Archives: Literary or Genre Fiction

The Kennedy Imperative (Book One of a Trilogy: Berlin, 1961), by Leon Berger

Author Leon Berger’s “The Kennedy Imperative” throws the reader right into Cold War Berlin, where fledgling agent Phillip Marsden is given what seems to be a simple mission–to accompany Major Hank Leland to an international conference in East Berlin. East-West … Continue reading

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American Tabloid, by James Ellroy

Kemper Boyd—suave FBI Agent infiltrating car theft rings. His best friend, Ward Littel, also an FBI agent, but a bored one stuck in Chicago. Pete Bondurant: a six-foot-five fixer for various underworld figures, including getting drugs for Howard Hughes. Howard … Continue reading

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The Ghosts of Nagasaki, by Daniel Clausen (2012)

So, so, so many books have exactly the same plots, just with different characters. There are brave, heroic men to smite bad guys; there are brainy women, doctors who use their brains to solve crimes. There are usually multiple killings, … Continue reading

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Woman Walks Into a Bar, by Rowan Coleman (2013)

(nb: I received an Advance Review Copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss) “Woman Walks Into a Bar” tells the story of a woman who has not had an easy life, but she’s found a sort of comfortable … Continue reading

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Beyond the Pale, by Elana Dykewomon (ebook 2013)

Old World and New: A Breathtaking Story of Hardship and Love (nb: I received an Advance Review Copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley) “My aunt sat at the kitchen table, sewing again. She watched the needle piercing … Continue reading

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What I Came to Tell You, by Tommy Hays (2013)

(nb: I received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley) Picture Perfect: Loss, Love, and The Art of Healing “What I Came to Tell You” shows a family imploding in grief, and how they find redemption in learning they … Continue reading

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Top Down, by Jim Lehrer (2013)

(nb: I received an Advance Review Copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss) I made one huge mistake with Jim Lehrer’s new book, “Top Down.” I started reading it with the idea that I’d get through a few … Continue reading

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(Love of) The Last Tycoon, by F. Scott Fitzgerald (this ed. 1995, orig. 1940)

Reading F. Scott Fitzgerald’s penultimate novel, “Tender is the Night,” saddened me, because it showed a once-great man struggling—and failing—to write a novel worthy of his prodigious talent and storied past. Reading “The Last Tycoon” saddens me, because he found … Continue reading

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Tampa, by Alissa Nutting (2013)

If you have a fourteen-year-old son, you just might want to home-school him after reading Alissa Nutting’s chilling novel, “Tampa.” For it is upon fourteen-year-old boys that Celeste Price preys, and she’s quite good at it. Celeste is a middle-school … Continue reading

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Jenny Rat, by Martin Simons (2013)

Redeeming Each Other (nb: I received a review copy of this title from the publisher via NetGalley) Last summer, I had an abscess. It kept swelling and hurting until I finally went to the doctor. He had to cut into … Continue reading

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