Never Coming Back is the American debut of British author Tim Weaver. Weaver’s protagonist, David Raker, is a missing persons investigator with a sorted past. What kind of sorted past, you ask? I would love to tell you, but I don’t know. While this is Weaver’s first American novel, there are three other David Raker books…

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I was initially drawn to Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother because of an inside joke that I have long shared with my sister. For years, we have joked about our “strict Asian upbringing,” referring to our mother’s high academic expectations. Perfect grades were not an option, they were a requirement. At the time, my mother’s methods…

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A good book, Marcus, is not judged by its last words but by the cumulative effect of all the words that have preceded them. About half a second after finishing your book, after reading the very last word, the reader should be overwhelmed by a particular feeling. For a moment he should think only of…

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Ferdinand Von Schirach’s The Collini Case aspires to be a John Grisham-y-type legal thriller. Note my use of aspires. The novel is certainly a fast-paced drama, but it is missing the level of suspense that would make it a truly entertaining read. Caspar Leinen is a young defense attorney who has just landed his first murder trial. The…

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The Enchanted relates the story of a death row inmate and the details of prison life that he observes. The main players are unnamed and only referred to as “The Lady” and “The Priest.” This contributes to the hazy tone established early on by the narrator, which is ideal for someone with a perception blurred by…

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Detective Inspector Marnie Rome and her partner DS Noah Jake are conveniently at a women’s shelter when a resident attempts to murder her husband. Despite the plethora of witnesses, however, this case is not as clear-cut as it seems. Being a crime novel, Someone Else’s Skin takes readers through a variety of twists and turns, but the…

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This is not my type of book. I rarely read biographies and I don’t read books about American history. I’ve never been particularly interested in the genesis of the United States, thus I know embarrassingly little about our country. Prior to reading this book, I wasn’t even positive that James Madison was a president; therefore,…

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I never knew very much about Nelson Mandela; I mean, I never mixed him up with Morgan Freeman or anything, but my knowledge level was comparably dismal. Good Morning, Mr. Mandela brought me up to speed, although Zelda la Grange’s perspective is biased, to say the least. After working with Mandela for twenty years, la Grange addressed…

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After surviving a car crash together, eighteen-year-old Sarah and her best friend Jennifer are grasping for control of their world. The girls compose a list of things that they should never do in order to keep them safe from any additional harm. The list contains such warnings as “Never be stranded,” “Never act impulsively in…

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My experience with JoJo Moyes has been pretty mixed. I absolutely loved Me Before You. Admittedly, it was total chick lit, but her character development really draws in the reader and forces an emotional investment in the outcome. Moyes’ followup, The Girl You Left Behind, was lackluster at best. The characters were stale and the plot just…

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