Tonstant Weader Reviews

Opinionated Book Reviews.



Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead

Harlem Shuffle is the story of Ray Carney, whose father was an infamous criminal, but who has graduated college and thanks to a lucky "inheritance" bought a furniture business and respectability. Not quite enough respectability for his in-laws, but he's... Continue Reading →

Beautiful Country by Qian Julie Wang

Beautiful Country is a memoir of a woman whose parents overstayed their visa making the three of them undocumented immigrants, a family living in fear of deportation back to China. She begins her story as a child in China, her... Continue Reading →

The Plotters by Un-Su Kim

Un-Su Kim's The Plotters focuses on contract killer Reseng, who grew up in the Doghouse, a library run by Old Raccoon, who functions more or less as a booking agent for contract killers. It Kim's South Korea, contract killers seem to be... Continue Reading →

Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton

Lavinia is a social creature and Lulu is not, at least not at the beginning of Social Creature, a psychological thriller in the tradition of "The Talented Mr. Ripley" with a touch of "Single White Female." Louise is approaching thirty and stretched... Continue Reading →

The Plant Messiah by Carlos Magdalena

Carlos Magdalena is a botanist working at Kew Gardens whose success in propagating and saving near-extinct plants earned him the sobriquet The Plant Messiah. It is a fitting nickname as he has a messianic determination to capture the seeds and cuttings... Continue Reading →

The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian

Cassie, The Flight Attendant in Chris Bohjalian's new book, drinks too much. On a Dubai flight, she picks up Alex Sokolov, goes to dinner, has fun sex, and drinks and drinks. She wakes up the next morning, not remembering much, which... Continue Reading →

Two Girls Down by Louisa Luna

Two Girls Down is a compelling mystery that grabbed me from the first page and never let go. Single mother Jamie Brandt is taking her girls to a birthday party, stops at a store to run in and pick up a... Continue Reading →

A Gambler’s Anatomy by Jonathan Lethem

If I did not add one more book to my list of books I want to borrow from the library, I think I could get through it in two years or so if I really try. Nonetheless, I am always eager to... Continue Reading →

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

When I see Colson Whitehead has a new book, I know it will be excellent and likely one of the year's best. The Underground Railroad met my high expectations and then some. I confess, he had me worried for a bit. It... Continue Reading →

Disclaimer by Renée Knight

Disclaimer by Renée Knight could have been named Disclosure, Dishonest, Distasteful or Disappointing. Of course, if it had been named Disclosure it might have happened that at least one of these disappointing characters might have said something honest to the... Continue Reading →

Johannes Cabal the Necromancer by Jonathan L. Howard

Johannes Cabal the Necromancer is the first of a series of supernatural adventures written by Jonathan L. Howard. It is also a mordant buffet of sarcastic wit, of biting badinage and persiflage. Johannes Cabal is the smartest man in the room and... Continue Reading →

In the Kingdom of Ice by Hampton Sides

I have a deep, abiding fascination for Antarctic and Arctic exploration, for those people who challenge the ice and persevere. In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette by Hampton Sides is an excellent... Continue Reading →

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