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It’s hard to know what makes for a good novel until you read a few mediocre ones…

After a string of books that I put down halfway through, I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes novels good and what makes them mediocre. It’s actually a topic that comes up surprisingly little for me, because most of the books that I read are so self-evidently good that the question doesn’t need to be […]

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Three suspense novels that I’ve recently enjoyed (A Simple Plan, Silence of the Lambs, and Murder on the Orient Express)

You know, I don’t really care about plot. I mean, I write fairly plot-heavy stories, because that is the expectation in the speculative fiction world, but it often seems a bit pointless to me. It’s a whole lot of running here and running there and inserting enough foreshadowing to earn your surprising, yet inevitable, ending. […]

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Books to try reading when you’re in a bad mood (Coetzee, Hornby, Agatha Christie, and Ira Levin)

I’ve been in kind of a bad mood lately (one that, thankfully, seems to have at least temporarily abated), and it was that kind of mood where I both really wanted to read something—television really held no appeal for me—but was also disgusted by everything that I tried to read. I must’ve read the first […]

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The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, by Agatha Christie

So, I recently read Agatha Christie’s The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd. If you haven’t read it, you should really read it. It is pretty amazing. I was a little put off by the way that the narrator only has a personality that’s filled in with very broad strokes. I’m used to detective novels where the […]

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