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Tonstant Weader Reviews

Opinionated Book Reviews.

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Five Stars

Palm Springs Noir by Barbara Demarco-Barrett

Palm Springs Noir is the most recent of the Akashic Noir series. Set in the legendary resort city about a hundred miles from Los Angeles. In any resort area, there is always an innate tension between those who visit and... Continue Reading →

Falling by T.J. Newman

Falling should come with a warning, do not start before bedtime. Seriously, the first sentence has a shoe falling into a woman's lap with the foot still in it. From there, the book never lets up other than briefly giving... Continue Reading →

Ethel Rosenberg by Anne Sebba

Ethel Rosenberg is a biography about the woman executed for treason by the U.S. government in 1953. For many people, when they think of her, they see Meryl Streep sitting at Roy Cohn's bedside as he lay dying of AIDS.... Continue Reading →

Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau

Mary Jane is a delightful coming-of-age story about a fourteen-year-old girl from a rigid and sheltered home who enters a completely different world when she gets a summer job as a nanny for a neighboring couple, the Cones, who are... Continue Reading →

The Last Watch by J. S. Dewes

In The Last Watch, J. S. Dewes imagines a universe that is not infinite. It has an end. The end is called the Divide and beyond the Divide there is nothing. It is a void so absolute that the word... Continue Reading →

The (Other) You by Joyce Carol Oates

The (Other) You is an anthology of short stories by the incomparable Joyce Carol Oates. There are fifteen stories in this book and not one disappoints, though a few left me feeling devastated. In some ways, this book is the... Continue Reading →

Speculative Los Angeles by Denise Hamilton

Speculative Los Angeles seems like the start of another fabulous Akashic series. I hope it is. Akashic publishes a series of noir anthologies focused on different cities around the world. Speculative Los Angeles is a similar anthology focused on speculative... Continue Reading →

My Brilliant Life by Ae-Ran Kim

My Brilliant Life is the story of Areum who is approaching his sixteenth and likely his last birthday. Born with progeria, the disease that causes a child to age rapidly, Areum wants to give his parents a final gift, the story... Continue Reading →

Tales from the Hinterland by Melissa Albert

Tales from the Hinterland is a perfect companion to The Hazel Wood  and The Night Country, two books about the adventures of Alice and her friend Atticus Finch as she explores the world of her grandmother, the author of Tales... Continue Reading →

American Women’s Suffrage ed. by Susan Ware

American Women's Suffrage is the newest edition in the Library of America's incredible collection of American literature and historical writings. In this collection, advocates and opponents of women's suffrage from 1776 to 1965 are heard once again. It's an extensive... Continue Reading →

Belgrade Noir ed. by Milorad Ivanovic

Belgrade Noir is an excellent installment in the Akashic Noir series of traveling anthologies. This one takes us to Belgrade with a reporter editor who did an excellent job of choosing stories. Serbia, like the rest of the Balkan nations,... Continue Reading →

We Keep the Dead Close by Becky Cooper

We Keep the Dead Close is a true crime book that brings a refreshingly introspective voice. Becky Cooper first hears about the murder of Jane Britton from a snippet of campus lore. The story fascinates her and the more she learns... Continue Reading →

Earthlings by Sayaka Murata

Earthlings is Natsuki's story from childhood to adulthood. She and her cousin bond over summer vacation at her grandparents. They both have mothers who deprive them of love and security. Yuu's mother threatens him with abandonment. Natsuki's mother is verbally abusive... Continue Reading →

The Forgotten Kingdom by Signe Pike

The Forgotten Kingdom is the second in a trilogy that takes us back to right before Arthur, telling us the story of Merlin's sister whose existence is suggested by a 13th-century poem of him in dialogue with his sister. Signe... Continue Reading →

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars begins on a happy day in Kira Navárez's life. She and her fellow pre-colonization expedition are wrapping things up after studying a planet to verify it is safe for colonization. They're ready to... Continue Reading →

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