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A great, layered mystery that leaves you guessing until the end. Set in Stockholm in 1793, the city itself is a great landscape and the culture of the time comes alive in an essential way. A great lead detective character and an unlikely sidekick try to sort out a gory and ghastly murder. Fun, intelligent and historically interesting. Pick this up! ~ Reviewed by Chris Morrow
This is the fantastic culmination of the four book epic quartet, The Cemetery of Forgotten Books. I think Ruiz Zafon is my favorite living author. These books are magical - really everything you could want in a novel: unforgettable characters, a deep sense of place, a driving, complex narrative, intrigue and deep humanness. The Labyrinth of Spirits is a triumph of the imagination, of a master at the height of his powers. The reader is transported into a world with fog, swirling winds and occasional bright sunshine and emerges entertained, touched and exhausted as after an exhilarating, emotional dinner party. Simply superb. ~ Reviewed by Chris Morrow
Goodwin does it again! This is a fantastic book which combines history, storytelling and the revelation of the very human travails of some of our nation's best leaders. The book bounces between the lives of four presidents - Lincoln, the two Roosevelts, and Johnson - to illustrate the leadership qualities they possessed and the path that got them to that point in their lives. All of these men faced major obstacles, depression and turbulent times. But they all were able to summon their best selves at crucial moments in our nation's history. Eminently readable and interesting. ~ Reviewed by Chris Morrow
Wow. Blake is a master. So skilled at writing people in a genuine, subtle, raw, complex way. Guest Book is a generational journey that spans the 20th century, the American dungeon of racism, the second world war and the enduring antisemitism of WASP culture all interwoven with basic human emotions, desires and fears, making for an outstanding novel. Blake brings the story alive with a rich and weighted sense of place - the island being a main character - but also with the silence of generations, with what goes unsaid being more powerful than what gets voiced. This is the rare novel that makes me be thankful for my insomnia, as I got to spend many hours in the middle of the night with the Miltons and their world. It is a sort of coming of age story for the country, but one without an easy end - the journey continues. I recommend Guest Book to many people! ~ Reviewed by Chris Morrow
A beautifully written, character driven exploration of the black experience- both in the Americas and in Africa - through slavery and the founding of Liberia. The book begins with the story of the three main characters, one each from Jamaica, Virginia and Africa. All three are amazing and haunting people that make the reader curious and vested. They end up in Liberia - a country of freed slaves - and the complexity of the black experience is revealed in thoughtful, powerful ways. At core, this is a book about the ravages of slavery. But it transcends boundaries as only great fiction can. Highly recommended. ~ Reviewed by Chris Morrow