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Archive for 'Fiction'

The Weddings

The Weddings (2019) Alexander Chee (Inheritance collection) Let me be clear: this is not a romance. Jack Cho never quite expected gay marriage to become legal, so he’s not quite sure how to navigate them–especially with a relatively new boyfriend. Now that he was going to weddings, he had become aware there was an etiquette […]

The Investigation

The Investigation (1959/1974) Stanislaw Lem translated by Adele Milch This is a good book, however, it’s not what I was expecting or wanting when I started reading, so I didn’t like it. Let me explain. It’s supposed to be a British detective story (written in 1959, so it was modern when it was written, but […]

Rules for Virgins

Rules for Virgins (2011) Amy Tan This is a short story by Amy Tan, set in Shanghai in 1912. Violet is a new courtesan and Magic Gourd is the older courtesan who is to both train Violet and prepare for for the life she has chosen. The story is comprised entirely of the advice that […]

The Crazy Old Lady in the Attic

The Crazy Old Lady in the Attic (2011) Kathleen Valentine Mattie’s grandmother has died. As Mattie and her husband pack up the brownstone in Boston to sell, Mattie begins to discover that all was not right in the world in which she grew up. This was an interesting short story. It’s labelled as horror, but […]

Bangkok 8

Bangkok 8 (2003) John Burdett Yeah, this is a reread, but it’s on sale on Amazon as an eBook for $1.99. I couldn’t resist. Here’s my first review, which tells you a tiny bit about the story: The nice thing about eBooks is it’s easier to mark passages that tickle my fancy. So this […]

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2008) Stieg Larsson translated by Reg Keeland Yes, yes, yes. I know I’m late to the game. But I had a large backlog of books to read through first. I started reading this soon after I broke my ankle. Since it was very difficult for me to carry things […]

The Painter of Battles

The Painter of Battles (2009) Arturo Perez-Reverte translated by Margret Sayers Peden Andres Faluques was a renowned war photographer, but after he retired, he decided to again take up painting, which he’d given up in his youth for photography, because although he was a proficient painter, he wasn’t a great painter. But he was a […]

The Shape of Mercy

The Shape of Mercy (2008) Susan Meissner I received The Shape of Mercy to review, and when I read the first couple chapters I had a sinking feeling–I don’t typically like books about young women finding themselves. But I knew I’d be getting a sub story about a young Puritan girl who was a victim […]

The Last Witchfinder

The Last Witchfinder (2006) James Morrow I picked up The Last Witchfinder when I came across a four for the price of three book sale. It looked interesting, and was set in the late 1600s early 1700s, so it’s a time period I find interesting, so I picked it up. Jennet Stearne’s father is a […]

Bloody Jack

Bloody Jack (2002) L.A. Meyer After Mary Faber loses her family to the plague, she becomes one of the many orphans roaming the streets of London, part of a gang that keeps her safe. And with that she’s mostly comfortable and happy until the leader of her gang is killed. After that she decides that […]

Purity of the Blood

Purity of the Blood (1997) Arturo Perez-Reverte translated by Margaret Sayers Peden Purity of the Blood is the second Captain Alatriste book. Inigo continues the story of Captain Alatriste, who remains in Madrid, still talking of returning to war, but still looking after Inigo, and still taking commissions to make ends meet. This time he […]

The Red Tent

The Red Tent (1997) Anita Diamant A co-worker who also loves to read loaned me this book. She said she enjoyed it, and thought I might as well. Of course my problem was that my “to read” list is pretty much ridiculous, so I had to force myself to put aside some of the lighter […]

Master and Commander

Master and Commander (1970) Patrick O’Brian This book ended up taking me several months to read. I started it sometime during the winter, would read a couple of pages or chapters, then I’d pick up another book and forget about this one for awhile. That doesn’t mean I didn’t like it. I did. However, it’s […]


Zorro (2005) Isabel Allende translated by Margaret Sayers Peden As I’ve mentioned before, I love swashbuckling adventures, and as swashbuckling adventurers go, Zorro is one of my favorites. Last summer, when “The Legend of Zorro” was out, I saw this book, but assumed it was related to the movie, and didn’t pick it up. My […]

Abandoned Books

More on books I’ve started to read, and just couldn’t get into. Typically, if I abandon a book, it’s within the first fifty or so pages. Again, feel free to tell me if I should continue on, because the book gets better. There are several books that I’ve had a hard time getting into, but […]

Captain Alatriste

Captain Alatriste (1996) Arturo Perez-Reverte translated by Margaret Sayers Peden My mistake came in reading this after reading Steven Brust. Following one swashbuckling adventure with another is bound to lead to comparisons, and as there are few whose writing I love more than Steven Brust, anything else is going to come across as weak by […]

The Nautical Chart

The Nautical Chart (2000) Arturo Perez-Reverte Translated by Margaret Sayers Peden It took me awhile to get into The Nautical Chart. The other books I have read by Arturo Perez-Reverte have drawn me in immediately, but not so for this book. I started reading the book back in December, but kept picking up other books […]

The Queen of the South

The Queen of the South (2002) Arturo Perez-Reverte translated by Andrew Hurley If you’d like to know the power of Arturo Perez-Reverte’s writing, pick up this book, read a few pages, then put the book down and try to forget the story. A couple of months ago I picked up a book, thought it looked […]


Cryptonomicon (2000) Neal Stephenson It’s been awhile since I’d read Cryptonomicon, although it came out more recently than I remembered. For some reason I thought it came out in 1997. Memory is funny like that. It is a hard book to categorize. It’s part history, part fiction, part mystery, and very technical. As I read […]

The Mark of Zorro

The Mark of Zorro (1919) Johnston McCulley I had a Zorro book as a kid. I have no idea where it came from–I’m sure my mom didn’t buy it for me. It may have been left at the house by the previous occupants, like the James Bond books I eventually read and loved. It was […]

Lion of Ireland

Lion of Ireland (1981) Morgan Llywelyn Lion of Ireland recounts the story of Brian Boru, one of the greatest kings of Ireland. He sought to unite all the small kingdoms and dispose of the petty rivalries that allowed the Norsemen to repeatedly plunder Irish cities. This was an interesting book–I love historical novels and fantasies, […]