Beyond Bond: Espionage In Other Countries

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James Bond is not the only non-American spy out engaging in derring-do. Other countries have their intelligence agents. These are some of the more recent entries for those who like to engage in armchair espionage. The Gentleman From Japan is the latest in the Inspector O series by James Church. While these books tend to be more mysteries than spy […]

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They Lived and Laughed and Sometimes Left: Cancer Stories

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Cancer is no joke. Fighting it isn't, either, especially if you're young. However, there are some moments of humor, if you're with the right people and looking for them. These are books about people who developed cancer at a young age and lessons learned. It's Okay to Laugh (Crying is Cool, Too) by Nora McInery Purmort is […]

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Chi-Town Comics Spill the Beans

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A lot of funny people have passed through Chicago; some have stayed and some have moved to the other coasts. However, this post is about comedians who were born in Chicago and vicinity, most of whom also grew up and cut their comic teeth here. This is a collection of their autobiographical material. Bob Newhart was […]

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How We Make The Funny

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The Daily Show was a little nothing of a property when it debuted in the mid-90s. With the leadership of Jon Stewart, however, it became a cultural touchstone and the place where millions got their news. The Daily Show (the Book) by Chris Smith is an oral history of the high times and raucous humor of this staple […]

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Your Bellevue Reading List

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David Oshinsky has written a lucid history of the storied Bellevue Hospital, naturally titled Bellevue. It also deals with the history of medicine and New York City, which Bellevue is intrinsically part of. From its days as the infirmary of a poorhouse to Hurricane Sandy (the only time in Bellevue's history that it closed its doors), […]

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Lyric Dystopias

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I picked up The Weaver by Emmi Itaranta, and it reminded me of other dystopic books, like Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. However, in these books, the protagonist generally has to realize that things were or could be different. All of these protagonists are young, and while written for adults, these books are good choices for anyone longing for […]

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Uppity Women, Unite!

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Feeling stunted by your job? Underpaid and overworked? Ever want to tell your boss what you really think? These books are for you. While women tend to be the protagonists (pink-collar jobs, anyone?), these are good reads, especially if you think you have too much education and experience to put up with what you put up […]

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Magic, and Snarky With It: British Urban Fantasy

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Urban fantasy is a huge subgenre that can be hard to whittle down. However, there does seem to be a sub-subgenre, that of English writers writing English characters with a distinctly humorous touch. Most of the time, these writers focus on London as the center of the universe (and it was, for a few hundred years), but […]

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Indian Mysteries: What to Read After Her Nightly Embrace

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Adi Tantimedh creates a memorable character in Ravi Singh, a Hindu religious studies dropout and disgraced teacher in London when he is recruited to Golden Sentinels, a top-of-the-line detective agency. They handle stuff so secret for such prominent clients, it never makes the news. Her Nightly Embrace is a fast read, with several short mysteries instead of one […]

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