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Books

Diary of a Murderer

Kim Young-ha is an acclaimed writer in Korea. His works have been translated into English and other languages. Diary of a Murderer is a collection of four short stories ranging from suspenseful thrillers to ruminative explorations of human nature. The book opens with a thrilling titular story about a seventy-year old man, Kim Byeongsu, who […]

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Pachinko

“History has failed us, but no matter” is the opening line of Min Jin Lee’s novel Pachinko. This sweeping, historical, and immersive family saga delves deeply into the experiences of Korean immigrants in Japan between 1910 and 1989. The story begins in a small fishing village in Yeongdo, Korea. There, we are introduced to fishermen, […]

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Mouthful of Birds

Samanta Schweblin’s collection of twenty short stories, Mouthful of Birds, weaves between the realm of the real and the strange, exploring the deepest abyss of human psyche. These grotesque and surreal stories serve as a representation of the reality we live in. They question societal structures, norms, attitudes, and expectations. They examine how a person […]

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Among the Shadows

In Bruce Robert Coffin’s Among the Shadows, Portland, Maine’s gritty and dark atmosphere plays a starring role alongside an emotionally conflicted detective sergeant as he investigates the murders of multiple retired Portland police officers. Coffin’s debut novel is written with the type of confidence found in the best examples of police procedural fiction.   The story follows Detective Sergeant John Byron as […]

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Books

Spinning Silver

Set in Lithvas, a fictional country in Eastern Europe, Naomi Novik’s Spinning Silver follows the story of a moneylender’s daughter as she strives to survive in medieval England. Living in abject poverty, Miryem decides to take over her father’s failing moneylending business. She is quite successful at it that soon she attracts the attention of […]

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Short Review: I’m Just Happy to be Here

The creator of the Renegade Mothering blog, Janelle Hanchett, explores motherhood, addiction, and mental illness in her moving memoir, I’m Just Happy to be Here. When she was 21, Janelle Hanchett found herself pregnant. Newly married, Hanchett soon began to struggle with depression and substance abuse issues. Hanchett’s writing is raw and honest—motherhood is not […]

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Books

M Reviews: Above Suspicion

Above Suspicion, Helen MacInnes’s 1941 spy novel, tells the story of Richard Myles, an Oxford professor, and his wife Frances, who have been asked by an old friend to carry out a secret mission during their annual European holiday. Their job is to locate an English agent and find out whether or not he has […]

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Books

America Is Not the Heart

The modern-day Filipino-American experience is intimately explored in Elaine Castillo’s debut novel America Is Not the Heart.

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Books Reflections

Let’s Start a Conversation: Women in Literature

In 2011, Nava Atlas wrote a blog post, Based Upon the Book: An Interview with Charlotte Bronte, where she “interviewed” Charlotte Bronte. In order to accomplish this literary feat, Atlas utilized Charlotte Bronte’s letters and essays to posit her own questions. The most interesting aspect of Atlas’ post was learning about the difficulties the Bronte […]

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Books

One Hundred Years of Solitude

Set in the fictional town of Macondo, Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ One Hundred Years of Solitude chronicles the lives of five generations of the Buendia family.

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Books

Butler’s Speculative Fiction sounds scarily familiar…

In Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower, she explores a collapsed society due to climate change, corporate greed, and wealth inequality.

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Books Reflections

Cozy Craze with the Queen of Mystery

As a form of fun, my husband and I went on a book-buying splurge. Since it’s almost May, which marks Mystery Month, we bought some books by Agatha Christie that we found most interesting, most of which involved Hercule Poirot. And Then There Were None Crooked House The Murder of Roger Ackroyd Peril at End […]