Love, Marriage, Parenthood, Death

Shakespeare says that a sad tale's best for winter, but I say spring brings tales of hope and growth. These four books are about loss, yes, but also about how we pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off. If you're looking for a book that makes you both laugh and cry, try one of these. Abby […]

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Three Merry Mysteries

Like mysteries with comic banter, likeable characters, and a strong sense of place? We've got three new entries in long-running series for you. Strange Tide by Christopher Fowler is meant as a stand-alone inside the Bryant & May series.  Detective Bryant is suffering from what appears to be senile dementia, leaving straight man May and the rest […]

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Enter the Detecting Lady: Victorian Mysteries

When I went looking for readalikes for Kaite Welsh's The Wages of Sin, I was pleasantly surprised by the number of books I discovered. It seems that the past few years have seen the starts of several mystery series set in the Victorian era and featuring intrepid heroines. Here then, are some of them: The Wages […]

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3 Short Story Collections by Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood with laptop on porch

If you're watching The Handmaid's Tale miniseries or reading The Handmaid's Tale, there's plenty more of Margaret Atwood to enjoy. Her short stories are wonderful snippets of thought, with the same intelligence, humor and vinegar that permeate her novels. Mostly set in the here and now, but sometimes veering off into fantasy and science fiction, Atwood's short stories […]

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Down These Mean Streets…African American Detectives

Most mystery readers are familiar with Walter Moseley and his Easy Rawlins mysteries, set in bygone Los Angeles. However, there are other African American mysteries, set mostly in modern Los Angeles, that deserve your attention. Here are a few. IQ by Joe Ide follows a young man named Isaiah Quintabe (I.Q.) who, like Easy Rawlins, does favors for […]

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Heart-Warming Tales of Asperger’s

Those with Asperger's Syndrome have unique challenges and gifts, but it's only recently that the greater world has been paying attention. For those curious about what it's like to relate to someone with Asperger's, there are plenty of nonfiction titles; but some of them can get a little dry, so one can also get a good idea […]

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New British Police Procedurals

If you're fond of Ian Rankin and his John Rebus novels, there's a bucket-load of new British police procedurals out there. Some of the authors are well-known, but I've tried to focus on ones the crowds may have missed. Garden of Lamentations by Deborah Crombie is the latest in the Gemma James and Duncan Kincaid mysteries, […]

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Oh, the Early Humanity! What to Read If You Like Jared Diamond

Jared Diamond has written several books about early humans and civilizations, including the highly-praised-and-awarded The Third Chimpanzee, Guns, Germs, and Steel, and The World Until Yesterday. Yet the origin of the human species remains mysterious and controversial. Why did we develop language? How did we make it out of Africa? Why agriculture? The following books […]

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What to Read If You Like James Herriot

James Herriot published his first stories based on his experiences as a veterinarian in rural Yorkshire 45 years ago in All Creatures Great and Small. This was turned into a long-running series by the BBC. Both the book and the television series are much beloved, so here are a few titles that can give you your fix, albeit more […]

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Recent Historical Mysteries: Medieval To Modern

Winter seems to be the time to crank out mysteries, and if you're up for a little armchair travel (the past is a different country, after all), then I have some suggestions for you. Going in chronological order, we first have The Proud Sinner by Priscilla Royal. Set in the late 13th century, we find Prioress Eleanor […]

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