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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Ransom Riggs)

I was intrigued by Ransom Riggs’ novel Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children right from the start. I think it was the cover that did it. And the unusually long title. And maybe even the font. As soon as I started reading, I was hooked. It’s…

Purge (Sofi Oksanen)

I picked up Purge at the Academic Bookstore (Akateeminen Kirjakauppa) in Helsinki, Finland. This wasn’t the first time I’d heard of Sofi Oksanen’s book — I’d also had it recommended to me by the clerk in Stockholm’s English Bookshop less than a week earlier. Both times, the recommendation…

The Night Circus (Erin Morgenstern)

I was attracted to this book from the first time I saw its cover. I know it’s a big literary faux pas to judge a book by its cover like that, but I couldn’t help myself. It just drew my attention, and as soon as…

Troll: A Love Story (Johanna Sinisalo)

Johanna Sinisalo’s novel Troll: A Love Story was not what I expected. An interesting blend of magical realism and fantasy, this tale of interspecies love (I’m borrowing the term “interspecies” from Meg LeMay here) was both compelling and disturbing. Not disturbing because of the interspecies relationship,…

The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared (Jonas Jonasson)

A clerk in The English Bookshop in Stockholm’s Gamla Stan recommended this book to me, and I’m sure glad she did. It was a fun, quick read. The basic premise of the story is that a centenarian climbs out of his window at the old…

The Faster I Walk the Smaller I Am (Kjersti A. Skomsvold)

Kjersti A. Skomsvold’s The Faster I Walk the Smaller I Am was an enjoyable (if a bit depressing) read. The characters were interesting enough, especially the rather unusual main character, and since our protagonist’s perspective is relatively limited (she seems perhaps somewhat different, mentally) it…

The Facts of Winter (Paul La Farge)

The Facts of Winter is one of the best books I’ve recently read. Written by Paul La Farge (pretending to translate poems by fictional French poet Paul Poissel), it’s a collection of extremely short chapters that are supposed to be poems describing dreams. Well, they certainly…

Slaughterhouse-Five (Kurt Vonnegut)

Kurt Vonnegut’s classic novel of time-unhinged, Slaughterhouse-Five, is one of my favorite novels. Not only is it fun to read, but it’s also thought-provoking and interesting. Protagonist Billy Pilgrim is entertainingly dispassionate about his mundane American life, and his conviction that the Tralfamadorians have got…

Olive Kitteridge (Elizabeth Strout)

A friend lent me Olive Kitteridge in anticipation of our (at the time) upcoming trip to Maine, since Elizabeth Strout is a Mainer and this collection of short stories gives the reader a taste of the landscape and culture in this unique state. And while I’m…

Flight (Sherman Alexie)

Okay, so technically Sherman Alexie’s 2007 novel Flight isn’t exactly a young adult novel. However, I think it reads like one, and would be really good for young adults, so I’m classifying it as such. Inspired by Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five, this quick read is a new…