Firestarter Yukawa

This is a wonderful, character-driven story, translated from the Japanese. It reminds me a bit of film noir: The main character is an average guy, trying to get by in a life that hasn't given him many advantages, but then a beautiful and somewhat mysterious young woman rents one of the small rooms in the apartment building he manages, and strange and disturbing things start happening.


Eiichi Nakata

The Case of the Missing Moon Rocks

This is a hard book to summarize. It is a detective story about tracking down stolen moon rocks, but it is more than that, too. It looks at the lure of the moon rocks, the motivations of the people involved in selling them, and the surprising way in which the value of the rocks got set. It is also a character study of the detective who is perhaps a little obsessed with finding lost moon rocks, and a cautionary tale of what can happen if you try to take an opportunity that sounds a little bit too good to be true.


Joe Kloc

Breaking News

In my last post, I mentioned that I have started a publishing company focused on short ebooks. Since I post a short ebook recommendation once a week, and it is extremely unlikely that I will ever approach that frequency in publishing short ebooks, I intend to keep running Tungsten Hippo, with the small change that I’ve added disclosures to my recommendations now. All of this is old news, from the last blog post.

The Assassin and the Underworld: A Throne of Glass Novella

This is another installment in the action-packed and fun Throne of Glass novella series. It has all of the same elements of the earlier books: fast-paced plot, likable main characters, and witty dialogue. If you've read and liked the earlier installments, you'll almost certainly enjoy this one, too. If you're new to the series, The Assassin and the Pirate Lord is the first book, although The Assassin and the Desert is still my favorite.


Sarah J. Maas

Amelia Gentleman: The Complete Orwell Prize Articles

This is a collection of essays written 2011, primarily about vulnerable people in British society, and how they were getting by. For an American, it is interesting to read about how another country handles some of the problems that face all human societies. For anyone, the essays give insights into how policies impact the lives of everyday people.


This is the fourth installment in the Flash Gold series. If you've enjoyed the other installments, you'll enjoy this one, too. If you haven't tried the series yet, and think that a fast-paced, fun, smart-alecky steampunk action adventure sounds like a good read, you could start here (the story stands on its own), but do yourself a favor and start with Flash Gold, the first book in the series. Don't worry, you'll find yourself reading this installment before you know it.


Lindsay Buroker

Cafe Deux Mondes

Two women from very different backgrounds meet, become friends, and somehow decide to open a restaurant. This is a story about friendship, and how it can grow between people who don't seem to have much in common, and it is a story about the value of doing somewhat audacious things. At its heart, though, it is the story about two women you'll wish you could meet, and a restaurant you'll wish you could visit.


Catherine Browder

Desert Blues

This is the amazing story of the birth of a huge music festival in the deserts of Mali, the two men at the center of its creation, and what happens when radical Islam comes to Mali. If you've never heard Malian music, this book will probably make you want to listen to some. If you have, this book will probably make you appreciate it all the more. It may also make you rethink what one "ordinary" man can accomplish.


Joshua Hammer

Long Hidden

This is a fantastic collection of speculative fiction stories, all featuring characters that are often excluded from the stories we read. It is the sort of collection that you want to both devour and read slowly, because each story demands some time to settle before you go on to the next, and each new story pulls you into its world, which is completely believable and completely different from the world of the last story. I have picked a favorite story, but it was difficult, because the stories were all so good. If you like speculative fiction, you should not miss this collection.

Death Keeps His Court

This well-written and fast-paced book takes the reader through the reign of King Richard II, which was filled with intrigue and conflict. It showcases the strength of the short ebook history- it is long enough to leave you feeling like you really learned something about this period of history, but short enough to avoid bogging down in the deep details.


Anselm Audley

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