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The Children Act

McEwan may disdain belief in the supernatural, but the powers he claims on behalf of literature must also be taken on faith.


De Potter's Grand Tour

Much of “De Potter’s Grand Tour” relies on an informational mode of telling that sounds like nonfiction, cheerfully descriptive and bristling with graphic details, if at the same time disengaged. Too often the effect is to keep the characters at arm’s length, as though we’re viewing them across a barrier of velvet ropes — as though we’re on a tour.


Mr. Tall: A Novella and Stories

This is different temporal and emotional terrain than “Jim the Boy,” and it’s a treat to watch a writer as talented as Earley explore it, rising tides, skunk apes and all.


Agent Storm: My Life Inside al Qaeda and the CIA

The result is a valuable window on both sides in a lethal underground war.


Station Eleven: A novel

If “Station Eleven” reveals little insight into the effects of extreme terror and misery on humanity, it offers comfort and hope to those who believe, or want to believe, that doomsday can be survived, that in spite of everything people will remain good at heart, and that when they start building a new world they will want what was best about the old.


Acceptance

With Area X, VanderMeer has created an immersive and wonderfully realized world; I wouldn’t be surprised if he revisits it. If so, I’ll happily sign up for the next expedition.


War and Gold: A Five-Hundred-Year History of Empires, Adventures, and Debt

Kwarteng has written an engaging but radically incomplete history of money. Gold bugs will embrace it. I sincerely hope the Fed does not.


The Bone Clocks: A Novel

The Bone Clocks wants to come across as the next life will be better than the previous one. I say let’s try to get this one right before we worry about the next one. Tick tock goes .


The Bone Clocks: A Novel

The Bone Clocks is very ambitious and has enough goodies to be a very good book and worth reading, but not the best David Mitchell


A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing
Slate : In Search of Transparency (September 11, 2014)

Allowed to exist in the fullness of this ambiguous proximity to love, even abjection can be a form of beauty. There is no sublimation, no transformation of it or its horrors, just a recognition that it exists, in the thick of things, arm in arm with love, with joy, and all the rest.


The Empathy Exams
Slate : The Flinch (April 08, 2014)

Jamison’s writing is often formally inventive, but never appears to be pursuing formal invention for its own sake; it’s always a case, rather, of the material demanding some radical style of treatment, like a condition with no obvious cure.


The Fame Lunches
Slate : All That Glitters (September 11, 2014)

The essays are so smart and delightful that it almost doesn’t matter whether they align with the world as we know it.


Station Eleven: A novel

The resulting sense of disappointment lingers long after the details of the novel fade into memory.


Five Days Left

It is a novel that everyone should experience.


The Marco Effect: A Department Q Novel

Another fabulous one from Jussi Adler-Olsen!


The Angel of Losses

In terms of subject and style this won't be a book that fits every reader's tastes - but what book ever does? It's likely too the kind of book that needs to be approached in a frame of mind.