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Entries from Jun 2012

Jane Palmer: The Watcher

21 Jun 2012 · No Comments

The Watcher is a little slippery. If I described the bones of its plot or its characters (which include a planet threatened with destruction from an energy-being, time travel, sea monsters, and a conveniently bulletproof resident of Earth) it would sound either like a pulp-era space opera, or a consciously zany send-up of same (perhaps [...]

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Tags: p-author · science fiction · w-title

Tobias Moskowitz and L. Jon Wertheim: Scorecasting: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports Are Played and Games Are Won

07 Jun 2012 · 1 Comment

Ye gods, someone wrote a sports book for me.
Except it’s not, quite, because a lot of it is not specifically about baseball. But there was more than enough baseball to keep me engaged throughout. Moskowitz and Wertheim apply scientific rigor to analyzing why perplexing issues like why teams and managers consistently make suboptimal decisions, [...]

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Tags: baseball · m-author · s-title · w-author

Jess Walter: The Financial Lives of the Poets

07 Jun 2012 · No Comments

After the first couple of chapters I thought I knew what I was in for (and was onboard) — a well-executed, but fairly standard, dark-humored, mildly-delusional-early-21st-century-guy’s-life-in-freefall story along the lines of David Gates or Donald Antrim, but less incisive and less boundary-pushing. You know, the sort of book where complaining about a hard-to-swallow [...]

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Tags: f-title · w-author

Kevin Wilson: The Family Fang

02 Jun 2012 · No Comments

There were a lot of things I really liked about The Family Fang, which is mostly about Annie and Buster, the somewhat damaged children of Caleb and Camille Fang, a pair of notorious conceptual artists.
Somewhere in the middle I was struck by how Wilson’s characters reminded me of filmmaker Wes Anderson’s — I felt like [...]

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Tags: f-title · fiction · w-author

Victoria Connelly: A Weekend with Mr. Darcy

02 Jun 2012 · No Comments

Connelly has come up with a clever new tactic for reaching the surprisingly healthy market for Jane Austen-related fiction: instead of a working with Austen’s characters directly, or even in a Regency setting, she’s penned a modern day romance about Austen-obsessed characters. Connelly’s own love for Austen shines through, and there’s enough solid detail to [...]

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Tags: c-author · romance · w-title

Robert Jeschonek: Heaven Bent

02 Jun 2012 · No Comments

Heaven Bent was published as a weekly serial ebook, a format which intrigued, but ultimately disappointed me. Perhaps I’m being unfair and it was tightly plotted from the get-go. But it felt like it could actually have been written week-by-week, with many plot threads introduced and then discarded, ill-supported twists late in the game, and [...]

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Tags: fantasy · h-title · j-author · science fiction