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18 july 2014

Olive's Ocean, a 2004 Newbery Honor novel by Kevin Henkes, takes familiar motifs and blends them in offbeat, astringent, satisfying ways.     read more

17 july 2014

Alone in the Crowd, by Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza, is a tightly-constructed little Krimi on existential themes. It's an homme-traqué plot with a Doppelgänger theme, and a variation on ideas by Poe. It also recalls Borges, and perhaps most of all Dürrenmatt's Richter und sein Henker, like Alone in the Crowd the tale of an aging police inspector shadowed by a fixated enemy.     read more

16 july 2014

Nicholas Wade's Troublesome Inheritance isn't worth the trouble. But it has attracted all kinds of attention, from rapture to scorn, and it doesn't seem right to dismiss such a book with a handwave. So I'll wave a couple here as Wade's book passes into the rearview mirror of popular sensation.     read more

13 july 2014

Ruth Sawyer's Roller Skates is a children's novel at once both very familiar and surprisingly fresh; deliberately old-fashioned yet acceptably hip, adjusting for its period and genre. One can see why the Newbery jury liked it so much back in 1937.     read more