Paul’s Book Reviews: Fiction, Thrillers, Mysteries, Space Opera, Duds

“One thing was certain: Rose had been wrong about the world becoming small again. Or at least it would not be the same small world it had been. Too much had changed. And amid those shifts and realignments, Anna had slipped through a crack and escaped.” — Jennifer Egan, Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer […]

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Paul’s Book Reviews: My Top Ten for 2017

This is collection of reviews previously posted on Paul’s Thing: these are the books, old and new, that I most enjoyed reading this year. I’m about to embark on Philip Pullman’s “The Book of Dust,” a potential contender, but doubt I’ll finish it before the end of the year (also, I’m sometimes disappointed with long-delayed […]

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Paul’s Book Reviews: Fiction, Thrillers, Sci-Fi, & a Memoir

“It wasn’t for trash, my bookshelves would be mostly empty.” —Paul Woodford, unpublished memoir

The Great Passage by Shion Miura

Clearly, I’ve been reading too many mysteries and thrillers, where every new object or action introduced into the story comes back later in some significant way. In real life … and Japanese novels … […]

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Paul’s Book Reviews

“like many families, everyone wandered around like children in a funhouse—they could hardly see one another around the corners, and what they could see was completely distorted.”

– James Hannaham, “Delicious Foods”   Delicious Foods James Hannaham

Seems like everyone wants to talk about the most interesting character in the book: Scotty, the personified […]

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Paul’s Book Reviews: Memoir, Essays, Fiction

“Rivers perhaps are the only physical features of the world that are at their best from the air. Mountain ranges, no longer seen in profile, dwarf to anthills; seas lose their horizons; lakes have no longer depth but look like bright pennies on the earth’s surface; forests become a thin impermanent film, a moss on […]

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Paul’s Book Reviews

“People tend to think of military science as strategy and weapons—fighting, bombing, advancing. All that I leave to the memoir writers and historians. I’m interested in the parts no one makes movies about—not the killing but the keeping alive.” — Mary Roach, Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War

Grunt: The Curious Science of […]

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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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