The Vanishing

This well-written book is part personal essay about dealing with a relative's Alzheimer's disease, part summary of recent research about how Alzheimer's patients experience the world, and part reporting on a new type of care home in the Netherlands. These parts combine to produce a thoughtful and thought-provoking examination of how we can best help Alzheimer's patients.


Anu Silfverberg

David Hackston (translator)

Murder in Ancient China: Two Judge Dee Mysteries

This short ebook consists of two short stories, both murder mysteries set in ancient China with Judge Dee as the protagonist. They are solid mystery stories, and the historical setting makes them even more enjoyable: they are like police procedurals in a police department whose rules you do not know. Overall, this was a fun and satisfying quick read.


Robert van Gulik

The Life in Papers of Sofie K

This fascinating story follows the life of a young Russian girl in the 1800s who has a love of mathematics. She persists despite society's obstacles and studies mathematics at a German university, before finally ending up as a professor in Sweden. It is based on the life of Sofia Kovalevskaya, and is organized around her papers. The writing is engaging and almost lyrical at times, and the story has fantastical elements, making this more of an exploration of the motivations and costs of circumventing society's obstacles than a simple fictionalized biographical sketch.


Octavia Cade

Buying eBooks for Your Kindle from Places Other Than Amazon

While I love my Kindle, I don’t love the fact that it steers me towards spending my entire book buying budget at Amazon. I am not an Amazon-basher, but I also do not think it would be healthy to let one retailer control the entire book selling market. That is why I post links to and Kobo in my book recommendations whenever possible.

Company Eight

I had never really thought about how we ended up with the professional fire departments we have today before I read this book. If you're like me in that regard, do yourself a favor and read this! It is a fascinating look at the period of time during which Boston switched from rough, rowdy volunteer fire companies to the modern professional system. It is a well-told story full of interesting characters, so it is a fun as well as educational read.


Matthew Pearl

Something I've Been Meaning to Tell You

The stories in this collection all feature women whose hopes and dreams are in some way thwarted by the circumstances of life. Given that, there is a melancholy feeling to the stories, but also a beauty, as Munro masterfully captures the spirit that allows her main characters to endure and even at times thrive.

Scales Beneath My Skin

This is a story of a young Hawaiian girl growing up and learning her family's secrets, but also of making peace with the past and the danger in refusing to do so. It is a beautifully told story with a strong sense of place, interesting characters, and a thread of Hawaiian mythology woven in.


Ka'ili Marie Britos

Gut Instinct

If you've ever wondered about celiac disease, the serious disease behind the current gluten free craze, this book is for you. But it is more than just an introduction to celiac disease and what life with this difficult condition is like. It is also a well-written and at times funny look at life at the boundaries of modern medical knowledge, and how to remain a happy person even when you cannot become a perfectly healthy patient.


Heather Abel

The Fort of Young Saplings

This story is a masterful blend of memoir, history, and a contemplation about how we interpret and understand history. The author's father was adopted into the Tlingit people when she was a child. Years later, she follows that tenuous link and ends up exploring the history of a battle that the European-centric historical narrative remembers as an epic defeat of the Tlingit and Tlingit remember quite differently.


Vanessa Veselka

Old Girls in Low Cotton

A bittersweet but funny story about a woman who sets out to start over after her husband is killed, but finds herself sharing a trailer with her mother-in-law instead. The characters are believable and ultimately likable, the sort you wish you could reach into the book and help sort through the mess they're making.


Helen Childress

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