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Paul’s Book Reviews

“There’s the imperative to keep secrets, and the imperative to have them known. How do you know that you’re a person, distinct from other people? By keeping certain things to yourself.” —Jonathan Franzen, Purity     Purity Jonathan Franzen

People I follow on social media no longer like Jonathan Franzen. He must have said […]

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Paul’s Book Reviews

“The witch hunt stands as a cobwebbed, crowd-sourced cautionary tale, a reminder that—as a minister at odds with the crisis noted—extreme right can blunder into extreme wrong.” — Stacy Schiff, The Witches: Salem, 1692

Devotion: An Epic Story of Heroism, Friendship, and Sacrifice Adam Makos

I thought Devotion an excellent book: a true story, […]

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Paul’s Book Reviews

Empty. That was how it felt. Salander had hardly slept for a week and she had probably also had too little to drink and eat, and now her head ached and her eyes were bloodshot and her hands shook and what she wanted above all was to sweep all of her equipment to the floor. […]

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Paul’s Book Reviews: Science Fiction, Fiction, Cop Stories, an Iffy Spy Novel

There were stories in sweat.

The sweat of a woman bent double in an onion field, working fourteen hours under the hot sun, was different from the sweat of a man as he approached a checkpoint in Mexico, praying to La Santa Muerte that the federales weren’t on the payroll of the enemies he was […]

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Paul’s Book Reviews

“I hesitated for just a moment. Some part of me wanted to see the creature, after having heard it for so many days. Was it the remnants of the scientist in me, trying to regroup, trying to apply logic when all that mattered was survival? If so, it was a very small part. I ran.” […]

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Paul’s Book Reviews: Fiction, Science Fiction, Historical Fiction, Memoir, Mystery

“Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue, dear man. In an imperfect world, I fear it’s the best we can manage.” — A Delicate Truth, John le Carré

A Delicate Truth John le Carré

John le Carré is in his 80s and still writing spy thrillers that are as contemporary and up […]

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Paul’s Book Reviews: Fiction, Short Stories, Science Fiction, Memoir, Young Adult

“Nothing is more important mostly than a funeral,” Violet said as they ate a noon lunch of soup and sandwiches. “The whole point of a person’s life—or the lack of a point if it’s more or less rounded—can’t help popping out at a funeral.” She wedged the last triangular bite of wheat bread, cucumber, mayonnaise, […]

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Paul’s Book Reviews: Fiction, Nonfiction, Fantasy, SF

I went outside and smoked a cigarette, looking this way and that, the very picture of an American idler in Mexico, right down to the grass-green golfing trousers. They had looked all right on the old man from Dallas but they made me feel like a clown. They were hot and sticky, too, made of […]

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