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November 2015
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Paul’s Book Reviews

“And so it went, sand piling up to the heavens and homes sinking toward hell.” — Hugh Howey, Sand Omnibus

Sand Omnibus Hugh Howey

I looked at the different ways readers categorized this book, and one label I didn’t see was Young Adult. That surprises me. Sand has many of the elements of YA […]


Paul’s Book Reviews: Science Fiction, Young Adult, Ethnic Fiction

“That Fan did not see any of this is not so ironic, for all along her journey we’ve observed more of her than she’ll ever know. She moves on, she pushes forward, this her guileless calling, and we have to remind ourselves that it’s perhaps more laudable simply to keep heading out into the world […]


Paul’s Book Reviews: Science Fiction, Nonfiction, Young Adult, Mystery

She is about to add, “I have scars, inside me,” but she stops herself. What is a scar, Oh Toby? That would be the next question. Then she’d have to explain what a scar is. A scar is like writing on your body. It tells about something that once happened to you, such as a […]


Paul’s Book Reviews: History, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Young Adult

The Museum of Funeral Customs is on the edge of Oak Ridge Cemetery, a five-minute walk from the tomb. Supposedly the fellow who swoops over to greet me is the museum director, but he speaks in the hushed low voice of a funeral director. He warns me about “the sensitive nature of our exhibits.”

Please. […]


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, […]


Paul’s Book Reviews

“I told Agustus the broad outline of my miracle: diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer when I was thirteen. (I didn’t tell him that the diagnosis came three months after I got my first period. Like: Congratulations! You’re a woman. Now die.) It was, we were told, incurable.” — The Fault in Our Stars, John […]


Paul’s Book Reviews

Already you can feel the autumn. You know there will not be many more days like these; so let us stand, the horseboys of Wolf Hall swarming around us, Wiltshire and the western counties stretching into a haze of blue; let us stand, the king’s hand on his shoulder, Henry’s face earnest as he talks […]


Paul’s Book Reviews: Science Fiction, Fiction, Mystery, Anthology

“Francie and Neeley went down into the cellar each evening and emptied the dumbwaiter shelves of the day’s accumulated trash. They owned this privilege because Francie’s mother was the janitress. They looted the shelves of paper, rags and deposit bottles. Paper wasn’t worth much. They got only a penny for ten pounds. Rags brought two […]