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David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants

Gladwell doesn’t exactly follow the sermon he set out to give. If anything, the wider message of the book remains elusive.


The Luminaries

The Luminaries, while an undeniable achievement in many ways, feels a bit too safe and tidy, at least to me. But this is only my truth. Obviously, don’t take it as your own.


Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better

Thompson is right: The Internet is making us smarter. Books about it, possibly less so.


The Lowland

With The Lowland, Lahiri gives us a provoking and affecting meditation on family and loss, the idealism of youth and how it can be volatile, manipulated and ultimately crushed.


Doctor Sleep: A Novel

Doctor Sleep may lack the raw brutality that made The Shining so intensely, powerfully affecting but it’s still a tremendous return to form after a string of disappointments.


The Waking Dark

Ultimately, I liked The Waking Dark. While it didn’t live up to its great initial premise, there’s enough good stuff here to recommend the book.


The Signature of All Things: A Novel

Gilbert has established herself as a straight-up storyteller who dares us into adventures of worldly discovery, and this novel stands as a winning next act.


Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin

The pleasures in “Book of Ages” are real if sometimes mild. Among them is the sound a writer-historian makes when doing an elegant write-around.


The Last First Day: A Novel

One of the great gifts of this book is the simple, meditative quality of its narrative.


The Signature of All Things: A Novel

"The Signature of All Things" is successful on many fronts, if not all. That's all right — the most interesting writers, just like scientists, learn by experimentation.


The Lowland

Lahiri shies from tackling the necessary tangles and messes of a novel. It is that clinical short-story writer's genius, a sort of die-hard cleanliness and thoroughness, that dooms this novel.


Red Hill: A Novel

Red Hill is an absolutely terrifying horror story and yet, it is also a heartfelt love story, one that adds a sense of hope to the bleakest of situations.


Bound by Night

I’m sure there’s an audience for it, and honestly, because of how much I got into other Ione books, I’m surprised and disappointed that it isn’t me.


Levels of Life

A quirky but ultimately powerful meditation on things that uplift us — literally, as in hot air balloons, and emotionally, as in love — and things that bring us crashing to earth: to wit, that great leveler, the death of a loved one.


Like Dreamers

The story’s most significant sections help us grasp how the settlers have driven the nation’s agenda for the past four decades.


The Panopticon: A Novel

Through her anti-hero, Ms. Fagan manages to shed light on these children and condemn the social system designed to help them in this stark, thought-provoking novel.


The Girl You Left Behind

In spite of the superficial weaknesses of the entire story, The Girl You Left Behind is a compelling exploration of love and the depths to which people will descend to protect that love.


Tampa

Tampa is like the proverbial train wreck. It does not bear watching and yet one’s eyes remain glued to the carnage like a junkie waiting for his next fix.


Night Film: A Novel

It is a novel that attracts and repels in equal measure but will continue to haunt readers no matter on what one ultimately believes about the story.


More Than This

No longer a coming-of-age story, it is a philosophical treat buried under suspense and action that allows for greater crossover appeal, making More Than This a story which truly will be a unique experience for every reader and upon every re-read.