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Jane Griffiths
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The Syrian
I read this because she lives/has lived in Lebanon for many years and has written on the Middle East, so I thought a political thriller by someone like that might be interesting. How wrong I was. Clunky cliched writing, no sense of atmosphere or place, a lo...

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Margaret Drabble, 'The Dark Flood Rises'
I love Margaret Drabble anyway, and this was no exception, and also a new development. It is a novel, and it is also a meditation on ageing. It is about three women (all her books are, pretty much) and, by the end of it, two of them are dead - not a spoiler...

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Anthony Doerr, 'All The Light We Cannot See'
Here is my Goodreads review of this book, historical fiction which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2015. No spoilers. Very beautiful writing. I like historical fiction, and I liked the characters, but the character tropes - the blind girl, the good German, the pr...

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the only Jew in the village
Ben Coleman is Labour councillor for Fulham Broadway in the constituency of Chelsea and Fulham. A fellow ward councillor is Alan De'Ath, who is Labour parliamentary candidate for the Chelsea and Fulham constituency. More than 20 years ago Ben Coleman was sh...

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the only Jew in the village
Ben Coleman is Labour councillor for Fulham Broadway in the constituency of Chelsea and Fulham. A fellow ward councillor is Alan De'Ath, who is Labour parliamentary candidate for the Chelsea and Fulham constituency. More than 20 years ago Ben Coleman was sh...

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some counter-intuitive stuff by a modern historian. Enjoy.

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War, what is it good for?
Here  is my Goodreads review of 'War, What Is It Good For?' by Ian Morris.  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20160046-war-what-is-it-good-for It is an interesting and counter-intuitive piece of historical writing. Morris indicates that casual violence ha...

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Robert Harris, 'Imperium'
This is a cracker of a read, as Robert Harris always is. A political thriller, and a courtroom drama, and while there are crucifixions and other kinds of torture aplenty, Cicero (for it is he the hero) does not perpetrate or get involved in any of them. Anc...

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logic?
Now I am not a logician or a philosopher, but I know an argument that does not stand up when I see or hear it. I also know a person who is prepared to believe the impossible or the ludicrously improbable to suit their ideological purpose when I see one. The...

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I didn't think I could
Two years ago I was working in Strasbourg. France, for an international organisation, a job I found interesting, and was reasonably happy with my life. I wasn't especially looking to change things. We owned an apartment, and under the rules I was going to h...
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