Brief Reviews

Finished another couple of books over the weekend. I seem to be in this mode of picking books that I know I can read quickly. There’s something satisfying about that for me right now. Perhaps because work is getting so crazy. I’m never done it seems. We’re starting to plan for the holidays—I have to start picking the one hundred books which we feature starting around Thanksgiving this week! So I keep grabbing these books that don’t take too long to read, hoping for a satisfying read nonetheless. Can one find deepness in a quick read novel?

  • The Curse of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz– The second in this new series finds the Spellmans as dysfunctional as ever. There’s some nice character development as well as some hilarious escapades. This is just a fun series.
  • The Kept Man by Jami Attenberg– Jarvis Miller’s famous painter husband has been in a coma for six years. Jarvis seems to be in one herself, not quite growing or changing. While parts of the plot seem a bit forced, the descriptions of Jarvis’s longing for her husband seem so genuine.
  • The Eye of Jade by Dian Wei Liang– Set in present day Beijing, this first in a new detective series features Mei Wang, a modern, independent woman. She owns her own apartment and car and runs her own business, complete with a male secretary. Asked to find a Han dynasty jade of great value, she searches high and low through the city, delving into China’s history as well as her own family’s dark past. The mystery itself seemed only as a screen to write about the horrors of the cultural revolution. I liked the scenes of the back alleys, hutongs and noodle bars best.
  • The Farther Shore by Matthew Eck– A small unit of American soldiers is separated from their command in a nameless city. Left to fend for themselves, the narrator Joshua Stantz recounts their wanderings, depicting the hopelessness of a city torn apart by war. The author’s own experiences give the story authenticity, making the slim novel feel like an epic.

1 thought on “Brief Reviews

  1. Jeff Spencer

    I enjoy your reviews. THE FARTHER SHORE looks very interesting. May I suggest a novel? P.C. Fergusson’s COUNT ALL THIS ( is a very interesting foray on a San Francisco Bay Area woman’s plunge from quotidian normalcy to a dark passage through disease and her son’s madness. Fergusson is a very adept writer. She is serializing it on her blog, as well.


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