Category Archives: Fiction

Human Acts

In May 1980, students and workers in Guangju, South Korea, rose up in protest against the government, and the government responded with violence that lasted for days. Hundreds of people died, and many more were arrested.  I knew nothing about these … Continue reading

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Fly By Night

Mosca Mye’s mother died in childbirth, leaving her with her father, the meticulously minded scholar, Quillam Mye. Although Quillam “felt a brief calm at the idea of turning his daughter into a freak by teaching her letters,” he couldn’t help himself. … Continue reading

Posted in Children's / YA Lit, Fiction | 3 Comments

High Dive

It’s 1984, and 19-year-old Freya is working at the hotel her father manages in Brighton, wondering about her future. Her father, Moose, is hoping that the planned visit from Margaret Thatcher and her cabinet will bring him a promotion. And … Continue reading

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When I picked up this novel by Natsuo Kirino (translated from the Japanese by Stephen Snyder), I thought it was a feminist revenge fantasy—a group of women banding together to fight back against the men who hurt them. Although I … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries/Crime | 7 Comments

Multiple Choice

This book by Chilean author Alejandro Zambra and translated by Megan McDowell is written in the form of a standardized test. There’s a section where you have to choose the word that doesn’t relate in any way to the heading or … Continue reading

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The Man in the High Castle

At the beginning of this year, I was completely hooked on the Amazon series The Man in the High Castle, based on the novel by Philip K. Dick. I’d never read the novel, so I decided that it would be a … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 6 Comments


As I’ve noodled around with my brackets for the Tournament of Books, based partly on my own reading and partly on conversations I’ve seen about the books, I’ve almost always ended up with Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi up against The Underground Railroad by … Continue reading

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The Poisoned Chocolates Case

Roger Sheringham is feeling rather smug. He has achieved his goal: he has formed a Crimes Circle. This is a group of intelligent people who are interested in crime (a lawyer, a few brilliant writers, Roger himself, and Mr. Ambrose … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries/Crime | 4 Comments

The Mothers

We pray. Not without ceasing, as Paul instructs, but often enough. On Sundays and Wednesdays, we gather in the prayer room and slip off jackets, leave shoes at the door and walk around in stocking feet, sliding a little like … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction | 11 Comments


Dick Francis has been one of my favorite mystery authors for nearly thirty years. He’s most famous for the mysteries that take place in the racing world, like Break In and Bolt or Whip Hand and Come to Grief (all … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries/Crime | 4 Comments