Every Note Played
By Lisa Genova
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Mar 6th 2018.
Every Note Played by Lisa GenovaLisa Genova specializes in novels featuring protagonists with neurological disorders. She has previously published Still Alice, Left Neglected, Love, Anthony, andInside the O'Briens. In her latest work, Richard is a concert pianist and he has ALS, the best know form of motor neuron disease. He needs to be able to use his body for his work, but his body is gradually starting to fail, meaning that he has to give up the one activity that has given his life most meaning. He is also recently divorced from Karina, after he has had many affairs and has neglected her and their daughter Grace, who is a
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Self-Portrait with Boy
By Rachel Lyon
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Feb 27th 2018.
Set in rundown/hipster Brooklyn of the 1990s, Self-Portrait with Boy sets out a year in the life of artist Lu Rile. She lives in an illegal squat in DUMBO where the owner charges rent to artists who need large spaces for their work. While only 20 years ago, it is still a notable part of Brooklyn history when gentrification was getting going and property traders were buying and increasing rents. It was a time when trash didn't get collected so regularly, crack was on the streets, and places could become infested with rats. Interesting in its own right, it also provides a vivid backdrop to Lyon'
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Self-Portrait with Boy by Rachel Lyon

A Novel
By Molly McCloskey
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Feb 20th 2018.
Straying by Molly McCloskeyThis short novel reflects on the marriage of Alice to Eddie and her affair with Cauley, from the perspective of Alice as an older woman who has had a successful career and is just recovering from the death of her mother. She looks back on her sudden marriage after visiting Ireland from the USA, noting the intensity of her feelings, her restlessness as a young wife, and the self-destructiveness and excitement of her affair. The narrator shifts around in time, starting with the affair, going back to the marriage, coming to the present when Alice is living in Ireland again, taking a break from wo
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How to Stop Time
By Matt Haig
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Feb 6th 2018.
Matt Haig is an impressive writer. His novels The Dead Fathers Club and The Possession of Mr. Cave havebeen reviewed positively in Metapsychology, as was his more recent memoir Reasons to Stay Alive. He addresses big questions in approachable ways. In How to Stop Time, he raises the question of whether we would want to be able to live a lot longer -- up to 1000 years, and shows some of the difficulties this would bring. The narrator of his story, Tom Hazard, was born in 1581, and he still looks like he is in his early 40s. He is resistant to disease, having lived through the Great Plague
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How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

New York 2140
By Kim Stanley Robinson
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jan 30th 2018.
New York 2140 by Kim Stanley RobinsonRobinson's novel set a century or so in the future shows a New York City not very different from the existing one, except that lower Manhattan is underwater and people get around by water taxi or by sky-bridges between the superscrapers. Sealevel has risen 50 feet. But people still want to live in the city and property is at a premium. Most of the narrators live in the same large apartment block which houses over 2000 residents. The characters include two young boys who love searching for treasure. There are two "quants" who work in finance: at the start of the book they have been kidnapped an
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Lie to Me
By J.T. Ellison
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jan 9th 2018.
Sutton is married to Ethan. They are both writers, and love stories. They tell different stories of their relationship, in alternate sections. The story starts with Sutton disappearing, and Ethan at first believing she has left him, and then worrying something terrible has happened. We hear stories about how they met, their families, their friends, and their pasts, but not all the details agree, and we are left wondering what is true. But the main suspense is not in the story itself, but in the game the author J.T. Ellison plays with the readers. We wonder whether it will really be a completel
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Lie to Me by J.T. Ellison

Made for Love
A Novel
By Alisa Nutting
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Dec 26th 2017.
Made for Love by Alisa NuttingMade for Love starts well, with 35 year old woman Hazel returning to her father's place after leaving her husband, only to find that he has committed to living with a sex doll. It is a bizarre and uncomfortable scene, but very funny. Her father is so unabashed that she just has to accept the situation, especially since she has nowhere else to go. The story gets more conceptual as we find out more about Hazel's husband Brian, who founded and runs a massive tech corporation. Hazel has left him because she is scared of him: he wants her to have a chip implanted in her brain. As the story proceeds
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Odd Child Out
By Gilly Macmillan
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Dec 12th 2017.
Gilly Macmillan's Odd Child Out combines a detective story with two very earnest themes: dying children and racism towards immigrants. Detective Jim Clemo works in Bristol, a city in Southwest UK. He is given the case of a 15 year old boy, Noah, who is near death because he fell in a canal, and he already had a very serious illness. He was with his best friend Adbi, who is a Somali refugee, whose family moved to Bristol before he was born. The police want to know what happened but Abdi won't say. He refuses to speak. Through telling the story from the perspectives of most of the main character
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Odd Child Out by Gilly Macmillan

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