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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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The Dry

When I feel like reading an atmospheric and gritty crime fiction novel, my mind takes me to the cold and snowy landscape that is Scandinavian or Nordic noir. Jane Harper’s gripping debut novel, The Dry, shows that the heat of the Australian outback is as good place as any for a good mystery story. Set […]

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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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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 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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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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The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

Set in a small town called King’s Abbott, the ever-so witty and peculiar Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, is asked to investigate the murder of a wealthy man, Roger Ackroyd.

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Oldies But Goodies: Learning The Gumshoe Game With Some Classics

According to an article in The Telegraph, there is greater interest in crime fiction today than with any other fiction genre. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle may have popularized crime/detective fiction, but in 1841 Edgar Allan Poe penned the first detective story with The Murders in the Rue Morgue. Ever since, crime fiction has continued to […]

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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 […]

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Portrait of an Iconoclast

In Jasmin Darznik’s Song of a Captive Bird, she explores the life of Forugh Farrokzhad, one of the great Iranian poets of the 20th century.