Xenocide review

I can separate the work of an artist and her/his art, so I don’t let Orson Scott Card’s homophobic comments bother me too much. Yet reading this book for a second time reveals the conversation uncle that he is; writing passages about chastity, marriage, passing on genes. And all his female characters are overly emotional: […]

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The Gardener and the Carpenter review

‘The Gardener and the Carpenter’ should have been a long blogpost. I’m reminded why I dislike most non-fiction so much: every essay is being dragged out to 250 pages because then it can be sold as a full book. I’d be happy to buy these books for the same price if they’re shorter — but […]

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Into the Woods review

Detective and mystery thrillers are often captivating to read, but the stories themselves are never memorable: who did what to who and how did it end? A few months later I’ve forgotten it all — and in this respect ‘Into the Woods’ by Tana French is no different — yet beside the story itself, there’s […]

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Guns, Germs and Steel review

Here’s a hugely impressive book, and I feel smarter and more understanding after reading it. Diamond writes a beautiful message: all societies are inventive, but the environments and starting materials, conditions are not the same. And most of it is based on the narrative of Yali’s question, an elegant and honest search that shows the […]

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Shoe Dog review

I expected a business book but this is so much more. And it’s surprising, right away from the first page. Phil Knight writes well, and it’s obvious a lot of time has been put into the story of Blue Ribbon and Nike. There are the narratives of financing the company, the legal cases, and the […]

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The Day of the Locust Review

Here’s one of those classic books which I start reading slowly, letting in all its beautiful prose. But as the book fails to accelerate, my reading of it does, anxious to get this act on, eager to get it done. And so, as with other classics, the second half doesn’t get the patience the first […]

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Stateless in Shanghai review

‘Stateless in Shanghai’ is a very detailed description of a mundane life in extraordinary times. And I’m glad Liliane Willens doesn’t try to add any grandness to the story, as the situation doesn’t need it. Willens describes her growing up in Shanghai’s International Settlement in the 1930s & 40s, as a child in a wealthy […]

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Don’t Pay for Your MBA review

This book is based on the genius idea that you can assemble your own MBA, low-price and high quality, and it offers practical tips to pick courses and what to do with it, for instance, how to explain to a future employer the difference between your self-assembled MBA and a traditional MBA. This core is […]

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I am Pilgrim review

The book merges clever plot lines around dozens of characters, but even though the characters are full of details, their stories rarely run deep. The main example is Pilgrim himself, who Hayes has tried to make one-half testosterone-filled-super-spy, on the other hand a deeply sensitive person, a cocktail that never feels believable. It’s still a […]

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Bel Canto review

What makes a good book? If you derive pleasure out of reading it — or if you look back on it afterwards with pleasure? Bel Canto does the latter, but not the former, so I’m very mixed on this one. The words and sentences are as beautiful as I’ve ever read, and Patchett continues to find […]

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