Click here to see Time Magazine's list of the 100 best novels of all time.

(3 of the books are reviewed here)





Stress Test

Timothy Geitner

An interesting account of the recent financial crisis through the eyes of one of the major actors in that event.  The book is a tome, but I would have to day that it is worth the time required to read it.  The author admits to being a poor presenter, but his writing is quite lucid.  (9/14)


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Jo Nesbě

The action moves from Australia to Thailand with a similar theme.  Norwegian detective Harry Hole is dispatched to a foreign country to help the local police solve a high profile murder involving a Norwegian citizen.  Hole has a serious drinking problem, and it appears that he has been put in this role because someone in the chain of command thinks.that he will be too drunk to solve the case.  Bad strategy.  (06/14)

The Cairo Affair

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Olen Steinhauer

If you like John Le Carre's writing but are tired of his anti-American views, this is the book for you.  First class character development and storytelling make this a real page turner. The action is primarily in Egypt, centered at the US embassy.  Where Le Carre' sees the US as venal,  Steinhauer has a more nuanced view of our foreign service.  Well worth reading this novel. 04/14)

The Bat

Jo Nesbě

A little reminiscent of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.  In this fast-paced book Harry Hole (pronounced holy), a police detective from Norway) is dispatched to Australia to assist in finding the criminal who murdered a young Norwegian woman in a small town near Sydney.  The author has a very good feel for Aussie culture and puts it to good use hear.  I am looking forward to reading the next book in the Harry Hole series. (03/14)

The Boys in the Boat

Daniel James Brown

In the middle of the last century rowing was a major sport in the U.S. and around the world.  Hitler planned to make the German rowing squad one of the prime examples of his country's superiority by winning at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.  The University of Washington rowing team foiled that plan by winning the Gold Medal.  The story of how a bunch of working class guys who needed rowing scholarships to get through school is inspiring.  Quite similar to Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken. (02/14)

Heads in Beds

Jacob Tomsky

The author spent twenty plus years in the hotel business, starting as a parking valet and working his way up the org chart.  There are some interesting tidbits about things work in a big hotel.  For example, if you book your stay through Expeia or Travelosity you can expect tp find yourself next to the elevator bank or the ice machine.  Also, the bell captain is the highest paid employee, often earninf more tha the general manager.  I didn't like Tomsky's instructing the reader how to avoid paying for movies or usage of the mini-bar.To my way of thinking, even though those items are a rip-off, stealing is stealing. (01/14)

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