The One Minute Sales Person review

The book is a bit full of typical American self-help advice, and some of its exaggerated ‘pump-yourself-up’ self believes don’t land — but despite this, I still rate it five out of five. I read it about 6 years ago and I bought it again in China to read it again now. Key points for […]

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The Devotion of Suspect X review

The murder and perpetrators are clear, and so this would look like an anticlimactic read. And yet it’s extremely tense and incredibly fast — so fast that it feels more like a short story. This is also helped by the format: experimental storylines are usually reserved for short stories, and this is almost a ‘whodunit’ […]

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Island of the Blue Dolphins review

I picked up this book because it ranks so high on young adult fiction lists, and because so many now-adults from English-speaking countries look back on this book so romantically. I am not from an English-speaking country, and the books that shaped my youth are different. But I really wanted to read this one, even […]

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China CEO II review

This is why I don’t read non-fiction anymore. Big words like “talent” and “ambition” and “culture” are thrown around — but those words are such strong bullshit indicators because they’re neither an actual goal nor an actual strategy. Yes, there is some concrete advice in here, but in two hundred-plus pages it doesn’t get beyond […]

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The Outsider review

“A person did what a person could, whether it was setting up gravestones or trying to convince twenty-first-century men and women that there were monsters in the world, and their greatest advantage was the unwillingness of rational people to believe.” Did you ever feel an author wrote a whole book just to one sentence? Libra […]

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Doe maar gewoon review

Short, concise, funny — and on-point as long as you remind yourself this was written 23 years ago; yet the foundation still stands. Honesty is more important than kindness. A quarrel that has not been solved is not really over. Dutch like direct communication and a student can contradict his or her teacher. And to a […]

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Death on the Nile review

I was reading ‘Journey Under the Midnight Sun’ and in praise, Keigo Higashino was compared to Agatha Christie. Then that same week, Christie was referred to in a news article about the Orient Express, and then that same week I found this book in a second-hand bookstore. Three strikes of coincidence, enough for me to […]

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Legacy of Blood review

I’ve read some Pulizer prize winners, books from Fitzgerald, Capote, Neruda, DeLillo, Burnett, Bradbury, and Calvino and Patchett. 800 pages of Moby Dick. And then there’s this, and yet it’s such a relief reading this after all of that. Skulls and mummies in dungeons and forests. It’s the bratwurst in your hands after eating veal […]

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Journey Under the Midnight Sun review

A smoke-filled neo-noir thriller that takes place in Japan during the advent of computers and Japan’s economic boom. What’s hugely impressive is the many storylines that slowly merge and unravel. It’s the passing time too, across more than two decades and several places, yet going back and forth all the time. The atmosphere is so […]

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The Old Man and the Sea review

“Now is no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with that there is” It’s such a simple story — a man trying to catch fish — written without much fanfare. Few adverbs and I doubt there is a single metaphor in this book. But how we […]

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