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Look Who’s Back

It’s quite a gamble to make your debut as a writer by making fun of Hitler. Especially in Germany. Yet that’s exactly what Timur Vermes did in 2012, when he published his absurdist story of Adolf Hitler being revived. Now it’s time for the English speaking world to discover this […]

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Empress of the Night: A Novel of Catherine the Great

“Nobody survives alone. Not here. Not at this court.” This is one of many lessons Catherine the Great learns during her years at court. In the sequel to The Winter Palace, Eva Stachniak returns to the extravagant life of the grand lady of Russia’s Golden Age. Where The Winter Palace […]

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The Tournament

It’s 1546 and a spectacular event is taking place in Constantinople: The great Sultan Suleiman is hosting a chess tournament to which every king of the known world is invited to send his champion. 13-year-old Princess Elisabeth is offered the chance to travel to this wonderful place, together with her […]

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Reached

It’s been a long wait for fans of Ally Condie’s Matched-trilogy: The ultimate chapter, Reached finally reveals the fates of protagonists Cassia, Ky and Xander. They have grown up in a utopian society where all lives are fully controlled by the government; where you live, which career you will pursue […]

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SeaBEAN

At first glance, Sarah Holding’s debut children’s novel SeaBEAN doesn’t look like a children’s book at all. The cover is a plain dark blue with some vague outlines in the background. Yet this is just an interesting trick – because on closer inspection, when you hold your hand against the cover, […]

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The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking

Over the last decades, the self-help industry has become booming business, filling numerous shelves in every local bookshop. For example, even those without special interest in this field could not have escaped the amount of success The Secret achieved in 2006. The law of attraction portrayed in this book, or simply […]

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Learn Love in a Week

I was sixteen when I first read Bridget Jones’s Diary. This genre was completely new to me, and I thought that was what life was like for ‘thirty-somethings’ (somewhat exaggerated of course, but I found the prospect of having all those ‘do I have the right partner/job/social life/waistline’ issues rather […]

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Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death

The hero in James Runcie’s Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death is a 32-year-old vicar who has made a fast career in the Anglican Church. As Canon, Sidney Chambers is responsible for a parish in Grantchester. He has plenty to do in his parish just after the war, when […]

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How to be a Victorian

Writing about any period in history is not without its challenges. To try and describe the sights and sounds that make an era, while staying aware of the historical distance between then and now is a balancing act. We should take care not to let our modern notions cloud our […]

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Hadrian and the Moonbiscuit

Wouldn’t it be great if some sort of space multivitamins existed which could transport you to anywhere in our solar system? In Andrew Kilgariff’s children’s novel Hadrian and the Moonbiscuit, the main character gets to do just that. One night, eleven year old Hadrian wakes up to find a nine […]