Review: Thick as Thieves

March 28, 2012 · Posted in 12 Books · Comments Off on Review: Thick as Thieves 

Thick as Thieves
Thick as Thieves by Peter Spiegelman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As quickly as I finished my last book (quick because it was a simple YA novel), I finished this one just as quickly because it really gripped me. Sure, it's the sort of story you've heard a bit before, or seen in the movies (The Italian Job, Ocean's whatever, The Town), but Peter Spiegelman ups the ante by making his novel smarter than all those ones combined (I imagine it will be made into a movie soon too). Spiegelman's Wall Street background no doubt helps with this, but he really puts a lot of work into the other details of the job as well. Plus, there are plenty of memorable characters: Carr, Declan, Valerie, etc. In the end, as Carr wonders who he can trust, you find yourself uncertain of who he can trust as well, which makes the payoff ultimately very satisfying. Riveting.

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Review: A History of the World in 6 Glasses

March 9, 2012 · Posted in 12 Books · Comments Off on Review: A History of the World in 6 Glasses 

A History of the World in 6 Glasses
A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I cruised through this one fairly quickly. I felt like Standage could have written individual books about each drink he talked about, but I was grateful that he didn't. There were times when I thought he just kind of let his thoughts trail off at the end of the chapter, but then I got excited as he started up on a new drink. Very interesting and obviously well researched.

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Review: The Sisters Brothers

March 9, 2012 · Posted in 12 Books · Comments Off on Review: The Sisters Brothers 

The Sisters Brothers
The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Is the Western novel on its way back? Maybe. This one is a pretty interesting one. Maybe not quite up to True Grit standards, but certainly one that revives the genre.

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Review: Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything

January 3, 2012 · Posted in 12 Books · Comments Off on Review: Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything 

Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything
Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This could have been a snoozer, but Joshua Foer actually takes an interesting historical look at memory, doesn't delve into too much silliness about Google replacing our memory, and even makes memory competitions sound more interesting than they deserve to be. Fun read for non-fiction.

Review: The Leopard

January 3, 2012 · Posted in 12 Books · Comments Off on Review: The Leopard 

The Leopard
The Leopard by Jo Nesbø
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Another fine thriller by Nesbo. Poor Harry Hole is probably wishing he would stop writing about him by now, and this one definitely takes him to his limit and beyond.

Review: The Night Eternal

January 3, 2012 · Posted in 12 Books · Comments Off on Review: The Night Eternal 

The Night Eternal
The Night Eternal by Guillermo del Toro
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A fitting end to this series. Sure, it was kind of predictable to see where it was going, but I thought it was pretty well executed, all in all.

Review: The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True

November 16, 2011 · Posted in 12 Books · Comments Off on Review: The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True 

The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True
The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True by Richard Dawkins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It amuses me that this book reads as if Richard Dawkins has given up talking to his foes as adults, and instead decided to talk to them as children. And somehow, it totally works and is probably far more effective than any of his recent books.

Review: Sapphique

February 21, 2011 · Posted in 12 Books · Comments Off on Review: Sapphique 

Sapphique (Incarceron, #2)Sapphique by Catherine Fisher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Finally a sequel that lives up to the original. Sapphique takes us back into the worlds of Incarceron and the Realm, to find out what happens to our friends Finn and Claudia, Keiro and Attia. Poor Attia gets neglected a bit near the end, but the other characters all find some sense of closure, at least. Lots of magical fantasy went in to this book, and it was a lot of fun finding out how it ended.

The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness and Obsession

February 14, 2011 · Posted in 12 Books · Comments Off on The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness and Obsession 

The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness and ObsessionThe Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness and Obsession by David Grann
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I really enjoyed David Grann's The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon, so when I heard he had a new book out, I went and found it at the library. This one features several interesting stories, some of which I am fairly certain I had read before in magazine form. Did I mention they are mostly pieces he wrote for the New Yorker?
So, that was the only disappointing part. The stories aren't really tied together in any particular way, but they are all intriguing in their own way, and I enjoyed reading them. If you're in to long form journalism, this is right up your alley.

How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe

January 24, 2011 · Posted in 12 Books · Comments Off on How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe 

How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional UniverseHow to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This one seemed a bit scattershot at times, but I suppose it's hard to write a good story about time travel without things getting a little scattered. But of course, a good sci-fi story isn't about the gadgets and the time travel, it's about the characters and the story, and that is where this book manages to get it done just well enough. And of course, the fun spin on time travel doesn't hurt.

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