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Thumbs up for: Family Man, Volume I by Dylan Meconis. Fantasy. Alabaster: Wolves by Caitlin R. Kiernan, illustrated by Steve Lieber. Fantasy. Monstress, Volume I: Awakening by Marjorie Liu, illustrated by Sana Takeda. Fantasy. Yes, Roya by C. Spike Trotman, illustrated by Emilee Denich. Erotica.

A batch review here. Family Man is the hardest to describe of the bunch: Um….Half-Jewish Theology student in 1768 Germany makes some bad thesis decisions (Spinoza, atheism) and…academia…and hot librarian…and werewolves, kinda.… >> Read more

Thumbs up for Outsider in Amsterdam and The Sergeant’s Cat and Other Stories by Janwillem van de Wetering. Mystery.

I’m not a mystery reader, generally, but there are three or four authors whose books I love. The books of Van de Wetering – globetrotting Dutchman, erstwhile Zen monk, and part-time member of the Amsterdam Police Force – made me exceptionally happy when I read them in my teens, and they continue to make me happy as I’m rereading them now.… >> Read more

Neither thumbs up nor thumbs down for Taras Bulba and Other Tales by Nikolai Gogol. Short stories.

“Taras Bulba” – an adventure novella about the father and two sons of a Cossack family – is a fun historical swashbuckler which does a fine job of evoking a time and place: the landscape, the culture, the individuals. This is, mind you, assuming you can overlook the rampant anti-Semitism and various other bigotries, which were so pervasive that even I – used to putting up with a lot of offensive stuff in old books – found it difficult to squint past.… >> Read more

Thumbs up for Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid. Romance.

I am terribly conflicted about this book. To be clear, I enjoyed it overall and will try other books by the author. Penny Reid writes what she bills as “smart romances,” and yes, she is both very smart and very funny – I bookmarked many pages that made me laugh out loud, mostly pertaining to the heroine Janie’s hilarious habit of running off at the mouth about trivial facts when stressed.… >> Read more

Thumbs up for Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work that Lasts, by Ryan Holiday. Business/Art.

This is one of those books that’s a brilliant condensation of wisdom pertaining to X thing (in this case, see the subtitle for the value of X). The use you get out of it will be proportional to how few books you’ve read on surrounding topics.… >> Read more