MostlyFiction.com is an online book review site. We love to read and to share our opinions and discoveries of literary gems and top-notch genre novels.
From 1998 until 2011, we posted Â 2,799 reviews. Â Good books never go out of style, so please take time to peruse our website.
Looking for what is recently recently released in paperback?Â Or are you trying to find a book for your book club? Â These are books we’ve reviewed that have links to Â Reader’s Guides. And, finally, if you want to know authors with books coming out in 2012, check here.
“Thatâ€™s it. 1984 and 1Q84 are fundamentally the same in terms of how they work. If you donâ€™t believe in the world, and if there is no love in it, then everything is phony. No matter which world we are talking about, no matter what kind of world we are talking about, the line separating fact from hypothesis is practically invisible to the eye. It can only be seen with the inner eye, the eye of the mind.”
Review by Devon Shepherd Â (DEC 31, 2011)
Haruki Murakami doesnâ€™t lend himself to easy categorization. Though his prose is spare, almost styleless, itâ€™s more supple than muscular, and though his stories are often occupied with mundane domesticities, theyâ€™re also often founded in the surreal. Itâ€™s no surprise, then, that Murakamiâ€™s long-awaited latest, 1Q84, isnâ€™t easy to shelf â€“itâ€™s at home among either fantasy, thriller or hard-boiled noir â€“ but one thingâ€™s for sure: this book is grotesquely Murakami. That is, quiet domesticity punctuates adventures tenuously connected to reality, and yet for all its faults â€“ and some have argued there are many â€“ this is a book that haunts you long after youâ€™re done, a book that, like a jealous lover, wonâ€™t let you move on.
December 31, 2011
Â· Judi Clark Â· One Comment
Tags: 2012 PB Release, Knopf, Literary, Speculative (Beyond Reality) Â· Posted in: Contemporary, Literary, Noir, Speculative (Beyond Reality), World Literature
“When I was growing up, Sweden was still a country where people darned their socks.”
Review by Roger Brunyate Â (DEC 19, 2011)
I first read this 1997 novel (the sixth in Henning Mankell’s Inspector Wallander series) in 2004, and saw the television adaptation starring Kenneth Branagh last year. So the general outline was familiar; I even knew who the murderer was going to be. All the same, I read the book this time with just as much enjoyment as on the first occasion, and with even more appreciation of detail of its texture. Unlike most detective novels, this one is less about the eventual solution than the process of getting there. The review from the Rocky Mountain News quoted on the back of my edition has it exactly right: “a police procedural in which the main procedure is thought.”
“This is not a book about the great Austrian physicist, Ludwig Boltzmann, nor, despite its importance in my life, is it about Antarctica. It is more about time and chance and the images and dreams we bring with us from childhood which shape who we are and what we become. It is about science and atoms and starry nights and what we think we remember, though we have made it up.”
Review by Bill Brody Â (DEC 18, 2011)
Boltzmannâ€™s Tomb: Travels in Search of Science by Bill Green is at once a travelogue and joyous celebration of science. The author is a chemist who has done significant research in the dry lakes of Antarctica. Boltzmann was a brilliant physicist and teacher, a pioneer in the study of entropy. He was an early champion for the atomic model of matter in the 19th century, to the derision of many of his peers.Â Ironically, he committed suicide at almost the same time as Einstein was doing his pioneering work on brownian motion. Read the rest of this post »
“He wanted a new case. He needed a new case. He needed to see the look on the killer’s face when he knocked on the door and showed his badge, the embodiment of unexpected justice come calling after so many years.”
Review by Eleanor Bukowsky Â (DEC 17, 2011)
Harry Bosch is the real deal. Michael Connelly’s The Drop is another superb entry in this outstanding series about an L. A. cop who is cynical and battle-weary, yet still committed to doing his job. Harry has had his share of troubles over the years, but now that Maddie, his fifteen-year old daughter, is living with him, he has cleaned up his act. He no longer smokes and avoids overindulging in alcohol. Harry is determined to be there for his little girl as she grows into adulthood. Maddie, who is smart and observant, has announced that she plans to follow in her father’s footsteps. She already has the makings of a good detective; she notices small but significant details, handles a firearm like a pro, and can spot a liar by looking for “tells.” The scenes between Bosch and his precocious teenager sparkle with warmth, humor, and love.
December 17, 2011
Â· Judi Clark Â· No Comments
Tags: 2011 PB Release, 2012 - authors with books published this year, Michael Connelly, Sleuth Â· Posted in: 2011 Favorites, Award Winning Author, California, Job, Sleuths Series
“He nudged his chair close and studied the warm little hand. He smelled of sweat, peppermint, tobacco, old coffee. Despite his accent he wasn’t hard to understand – he talked so slowly and so carefully. She would have a long life, he said. She would have one child…Â You have special talents, he told her. People don’t realize.”Â
Review by Friederike Knabe Â DEC 15, 2011)
… stated the “tiny old man,” one of the many transient visitors to the Hardy farm in the small village of Willow Bend while reading eight-year-old Norma Joyce’s palm.
Canadian author, Elizabeth Hay, centers her superb, enchanting and deeply moving novel around Norma Joyce and sister Lucinda, her senior by nine years. Set against the beautifully evoked natural environments of Saskatchewan and Ontario, and spanning over more than thirty years, the author explores in sometimes subtle, sometimes defter, ways the sisters’ dissimilar characters. One is an “ugly duckling,” the other a beauty; one is rebellious and lazy, the other kind, efficient and unassuming… In a way, their characters mirror what are also suggested to be traditional features of inhabitants living with and in these two contrasting landscapes: on the one hand the farmers in Saskatchewan, patient and often fatalistic in their exposure to the vagaries of the weather and the hopes and destructions that those can bring, on the other the Ontarians, assumed to have a much easier life and, to top it off: they grow apples… A rare delicacy for the farmers out west. Hay wonderfully integrates the theme of the apple – the symbol of seduction as well as health! Read the rest of this post »
December 15, 2011
Â· Judi Clark Â· No Comments
Tags: 1930s, 2011 Favorites, Contemporary, sisters Â· Posted in: 2011 Favorites, Award Winning Author, Canada, Contemporary, Debut Novel, Giller Prize, Nature, Reading Guide
“Who is more of an outlaw than a saint?”
Review by Betsey Van HornÂ (NOV 30, 2011)
Like its predecessor, The Hummingbird’s Daughter, Urreaâ€™s sequel, Queen of America is a panoramic, picaresque, sprawling, sweeping novel that dazzles us with epic destiny, perilous twists, and high romance, set primarily in Industrial era America (and six years in the authorâ€™s undertaking). Based on Urreaâ€™s real ancestry, this historical fiction combines family folklore with magical realism and Western adventure at the turn of the twentieth century.
It starts where the first book left off, and can be read as a stand-alone, according to the marketing and product description. However, I stoutly recommend that readers read The Hummingbird’s Daughter first. The two stories are part of a heroic saga; you shouldnâ€™t cut off the head to apprehend the tale. You cannot capture the incipient magic and allure of Teresita without her roots in the first (and better) book. Urrea spent twenty years researching his family history, border unrest, guerrilla violence in the post-Civil War southwest, and revolution, so poignantly rendered in his first masterpiece.
November 30, 2011
Â· Judi Clark Â· No Comments
Tags: 1900s, Historical, Latin American Â· Posted in: California, italy, Job, Latin American, Magical Realism, Mexico, NE & New York, New Orleans, New York City, Real People Fiction, Texas, Time Period Fiction, United Kingdom, US Southwest, Washington, D.C., Wild West