Books

Few conditions feel more dystopian than toiling away at a dead-end job. But imagine performing menial chores in a massive, vacant research facility so remote that a helicopter is required to get there. Plus, outdoor conditions are so fierce that anyone who steps outside is likely to develop a mysterious “snow sickness.” This is the
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The crossword and the classic murder mystery are two types of puzzle that exploded in popularity following World War I. Both relying on clues, they have been inextricably bound for over a century. While a cryptic crossword clue must comprise two elements – a definition of the answer and a piece of wordplay that suggests
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Despite filling feeders and growing native plants, I continue to be disappointed by the birds that frequent our yard. So much of the same old, same old: cardinals, sparrows, chickadees. I do especially love chickadees—but where are the goldfinches, if not the bluebirds? Joan E. Strassmann’s Slow Birding: The Art and Science of Enjoying the
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There’s many an Aussie author who has travailed the dusty trails, inhospitable terrain and forgotten towns of the Outback in recent years – Garry Disher, Jane Harper and Chris Hammer, for example. The latter returns to the country’s rural landscape for Dead Man’s Creek, the follow up to Opal Country and Hammer’s second book to
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The people of Raddith are used to living with magic. The country bustles with business, bureaucracy and other hallmarks of humanity, but around its edges are whispers of curses—dangerous magic spawned from intense negative emotion. Kellen, an unraveller with the rare ability to undo these curses, and Nettle, his stoic companion with a hidden past,
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In her second novel in verse, National Book Award finalist Amber McBride blurs the lines between fantasy and reality. Eighteen-year-old Whimsy has been hospitalized for the 11th time in 10 years. Although her grandmother taught the young conjurer that “Fairy Tales are real, / magic is real,” she also offered a warning: “Careful, Whimsy, /
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Welcome to our first new books column of 2023, where we bring you the latest from the rising star of British crime fiction, Janice Hallett. Yes, The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels is coming soon and in its pages the Antichrist returns. Not literally, mind. The Devil’s child sits alongside a new serial killer
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If the viewer count for Robert Waldinger’s TED Talk “What Makes a Good Life” is any indication, a lot of us (43 million and counting) are interested in finding out how to live meaningful and happy lives. In The Good Life: Lessons From the World’s Longest Scientific Study of Happiness, Waldinger and co-author Mark Schulz
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John Fullerton’s powerful 1996 debut The Monkey House was set in war-torn Sarajevo and was right in the moment. A handful of engaging spy thrillers followed before the author paused his novels to focus on journalism, although it’s also worth noting that he has freelanced for British intelligence. Now retired from the field, he is
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In many religious traditions, paradise names an otherworldly realm overflowing with lush greenery, luscious fruits, honeyed scents and cascading waterfalls. In others, paradise can be attained in this world, even in the midst of the clattering cacophony surrounding us. Bestselling travel writer Pico Iyer shares his own search for paradise in The Half Known Life,
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In an email sent to victims on Tuesday, the office of the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York said that Filippo Bernardini, the Italian citizen who was arrested last year on suspicion of stealing unpublished books, is expected to plead guilty to wire fraud on Friday. For years, Bernardini used his insider
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We first met Bobbie and Jemma of the York Ladies’ Detective Agency in Smoke and Cracked Mirrors in April 2022, and now the historical crime fiction whirlwind that is Karen Charlton is treating us to book two in the series. Britain is embroiled in World War II, and in the Roman city of York nefarious
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“Finn was in a horrible mood. Grandpa wanted to talk about it. Finn did not.” So begins author-illustrator Cori Doerrfeld’s picture book that captures what we truly need when we’re not ready to talk about what is happening underneath the surface.  When we first see Finn, the child is little more than a lump, sitting
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As The Winter Bird opens, author Kate Banks cleverly invites young readers to put their inference skills to work as she describes the change in seasons. “It was the time of year when the sun went to bed early,” she writes. “The big brown bear lumbered off to its winter den. . . . And
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The year 2023 is upon us. With the economy in the doldrums, war in Europe and plenty of uncertainty ahead, if you’re a crime fiction lover at least there will be plenty of opportunity to immerse yourself in a good mystery. Plenty of good books are on the way in this genre, and quite a
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Shubeik lubeik translates from the Arabic to “your wish is my command,” an iconic fairy-tale phrase that’s also the title of a brilliantly original graphic novel from Egyptian comics creator Deena Mohamed. Her richly detailed drawings imbue contemporary Cairo—and its all-too-familiar atmosphere of bureaucracy, rigid laws and class-based bias—with the magic of wishes, dragons, flying
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If you’ve ever set foot in an occult shop with genuine interest in its offerings, you’ve probably experienced the wooziness of information overload: What is all this stuff, and where do I start? There is no shortage of books on spellwork, tarot, astrology, witchcraft, Wicca, herbalism and more, but we all know it’s hard to
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In So Much Snow, author Kristen Schroeder and illustrator Sarah Jacoby take readers through the days of the week by exploring the joys of a big winter snowfall in the woods.  “On Monday, it starts to snow,” the book opens as a tiny mouse watches huge three snowflakes fall to the grass. “How high will
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As is the tradition here on Crime Fiction Lover, each year our reviewers discuss their five favourite crime novels. Likewise, we all talk about what a difficult task choosing them presents, although this year I found it fairly easy. Some books get their hooks into you, enthralling you when you’re reading and seeping into your
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Bradley Graeme and Celine Bangura used to be best friends. Then Brad joined the popular football crowd, leaving Celine to lean into nerd culture and her TikTok account. Though Celine has no shortage of self-confidence, she’s always resented Brad for choosing popularity over loyalty. Their friendship fallout feels especially painful since Celine and Brad are
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Since I read several dozen crime thrillers each year, friends always ask for recommendations. Tempting though it is to reach for the latest shiny object, I keep going back to a few books that really made an impression, like the five below. And, while assembling a list of the ‘five best’ is a pretty doable
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Last year, Rachel Riley was the most popular girl at East Middle School in Madison, Wisconsin. This year, she’s persona non grata with the entire eighth grade class—except for Anna Hunt.  Anna, the new kid in town, is an aspiring journalist who loves listening to podcasts, reading and emailing her grandmother, Babcia, who lives in
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It’s almost the new year, and if you’ve been waffling about whether you want a wall calendar in 2023, or which calendar it should be, let this post be your guide. Not only do these calendars help you keep track of important dates, they also are a fun piece of art/entertainment that changes every month.
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