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© 2004-2016 Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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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Paul’s Book Reviews

“I look at my yesterdays for months past, and find them as good a lot of yesterdays as anybody might want. I sit there in the firelight and see them all. The hours that made them were good, and so were the moments that made the hours. I have had responsibilities and work, dangers and […]

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Paul’s Book Reviews: Horror/Fantasy, Nonfiction, Science Fiction

“People are masks, with masks under those masks, and masks under those, and down you go.” — David Mitchell, Slade House

Slade House David Mitchell

Slade House is a companion (not exactly a sequel) to Mitchell’s previous novel The Bone Clocks, but it is a more compact and to-the-point story, as readable as anything […]

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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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