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Contemporary literature

Book review: <i>U.S.!</i> by Chris Bachelder


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If this was a guy at a concert, it would be that over-earnest guy handing out flyers in the sun who you feel sorry for, even though he's a bit of a dick. But then look! He has a fun girlfriend, so it's OK.

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Book review: <i>And The Soft Wind Blows</i> by Lance Umenhofer


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Sometimes, just sometimes, you open up a book and start reading, and you're utterly hooked because you just have absolutely no idea where the story will go. In And The Soft Wind Blows, everything is where it's supposed to be, but there's an unpredictability over-riding everything. And it's the business.

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Book review: <i>Jasmine</i> by Noboru Tsujihara


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Jasmine is an epic tale set between two very different countries. Spanning generations, filled with intrigue, tragedy, and the intricate delicacy of the art of drinking tea.

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Book review: <i>God's Boat</i> by Kaori Ekuni


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This is a tale of true love and heartbreak, of fantasy and reality. A glorious narrative told by two different people; Yoko, a dreamer waiting for her true love to catch up to her, and Soko, her daughter and confidant. But Soko can't be expected to live Yoko's dream forever.

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Book review: <i>Another Broken Wizard</i> by Colin Dodds


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The second-wave rite-of-passage story (ie late twenties as opposed to late teens) has been done a lot lately. But if you want a solid example of the genre, go with Another Broken Wizard. Dodds has done an outstanding job painting a poignant, utterly unselfconscious depiction of growing up.

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Book review: <i>Letters in Cardboard Boxes</i> by Abby Slovin


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Letters in Cardboard Boxes is a very realistic, well developed character study, that deals with fairly full and complex family dynamic issues in a sensitive and undramatic way, and is really given extra dimension by virtue of it's web-based publication.

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Book review: <i>Love Me</i> by Garrison Keillor


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If this was... Wine, it would be that Cab Merlot I so freakin' elegantly analogise in paragraph three.

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Book review: <i>The Beijing Of Possibilities</i> by Jonathan Tel


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With almost text-book precision, Jonathan Tel captures the essence of the perfect short story in this loosely woven collection of heartbreaks, secrets, humanities and mundanities, backdropped by the mysterious Beijing.

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Book review: <i>The Troublesome Offspring Of Cardinal Guzman</i> by Louis de Berniéres


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Mildly disappointing, but only compared to the insanely high standards I have come to expect from Mr de Berniéres and his extreme awesomeness as an author.

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Book review: <i>Lolita</i> by Vladimir Nabokov


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If this was about a pubescent boy instead of a pubescent girl, it would confirm everything a certain sort of person likes to pretend lurks primarily within the purview of the homosexual mindset. But it isn't, so deal with it, heteros.

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Book review: <i>Divine Secrets Of The Ya Ya Sisterhood</i> by Rebecca Wells


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Divine Secrets Of The Ya Ya Sisterhood is a book that every daughter should read - an explosion of friendships, lies, honesty, despair, raw emotion, and the complex relationships between generations of women.

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Book review: <i>The Dice Man - A Novel</i> by Luke Rhinehart


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Instead of killing himself, Luke Rhinehart decides to give up his life in a different way - to the roll of a dice. The Dice Man challenges the notions of psychiatry, psychology, and how people live their lives.

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Book review: <i>Little Altars Everywhere</i> by Rebecca Wells



The Walker family from Thornton, Louisiana, is like any other family—full of love, life, joy, heart-ache, and dirty secrets.

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Book review: <i>The Reader</i> by Bernhard Schlink


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In a generation struggling to come to grips with what the generation before them has done, The Reader is the story of love, betrayal, war, and reading aloud.

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Book review: <i>Rant: An Oral History of Buster Casey</i> by Chuck Palahniuk


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If this was a car, it would be going cheap—a DeLorean someone died in. Pay cash, clean it yourself.

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Book review: <i>The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time</i> by Mark Haddon



When autistic fifteen year old Christopher John Francis Boone discovers his neighbour’s dog, Wellington, dead on the lawn with a gardening fork sticking in his side, he decides to investigate.

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Book review: <i>Invisible Monsters</i> by Chuck Palahniuk


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In a world where beauty opens every door, can a person be brave enough to be everything they don’t want to be?

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Book review: <i>From Stockport With Love</i> by David Bowker



If this was a gadget from Q’s laboratory, it would be a flame-throwing bassinet.

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Book review: <i>When The Emperor Was Divine</i> by Julie Otsuka



It’s 1942, and overnight, Americans of Japanese decent are turned from citizens to enemy aliens. This is a circumstance that will change their lives, not just for the duration of the war, but forever.

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Book review: <i>Everything Is Illuminated</i> by Jonathan Safran Foer



If this was made into a film starring Elijah Wood, it probably wouldn’t work very well, because it’s far too good a book. Oh wait, whoops.

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