The Strangest Books, Manuscripts and Other Literary Curiosities from History

Edward Brooke-Hitching

There are some really weird books in the world. Some, like the Voynich Manuscript and the Egyptian Book of the Dead are somewhat familiar. But these are only the tip of the iceberg. Brooke-Hitching examines categories of unique …

Caroline Cox

“Street” fashion, the organic creation of style influenced by location, culture, politics, religion, social unrest and availability of materials, has always influenced “high” fashion. And vice versa. Author Cox makes an excellent attempt to cataloging and describing some of these various “strains” of fashion that have developed over …

Richard Osman

Osman’s debut murder mystery is, in a word, adorable. The popular British tv presenter and comedian has written a sweet, funny, poignant and also truly excellent murder mystery. His elderly crime-solvers, four retirees at an exclusive retirement community, are fearless and brilliant. The two hapless police officers trying …

The Lonely Planet Guide to Home-Made Nations

Micro Nations

Micronations, sometimes also referred to as model countries and new country projects, are small, self-proclaimed entities that claim to be independent sovereign states but which are not acknowledged as such by any recognized sovereign state, or by any supranational organization. Wikipedia

Lionel Shriver

Shriver’s oh-so-plausible dystopian novel follows four generations of the Mandible family. From the incredibly wealthy great-grandfather to his granddaughter and great grandson ( barely scraping by), the family fortunes run the gamut of the economic ladder. But all are soon falling, and fast.

What makes this novel both …

All the Money in the WorldLaura Vanderkam

What people do with their money is a choice, and these choices reflect our priorities. If we sport diamond rings but claim we don’t have money for date night, we are essentially saying that jewelry it worth more time to us than spending time with our spouse. If

Lloyd Kahn

“Joyful” is the best word I can use to describe Kahn’s new collection of tiny homes. Each under 500 square feet is a gem. Many are handbuilt and lived in by the builders.  Others are from built by companies specializing in downsizing for the 21st century. The book …

Graeme KentGraeme Kent

Kent has managed to create one of the rarest of novels. Set in the Solomon Islands in the 1960s as colonial rule is disintegrating, many of the bright boys are given a European education in preparation to take over control of the country. These men vacillate between their …

Ann Cleeves

The first in her Shetland Island thrillers, Cleeves’ story is dark and gripping.  The isolation, small-town atmosphere and like of privacy on the tiny island add to the tense atmosphere and ominous air.  Suspicion over the death of two local girls bounces from one resident to the other, …

Following PollyKaren Bergreen

A perfect blend of mystery, chick-lit, tension and snark.  Bergreen’s heroine (of sorts) Alice acts like a real person.  She holds grudges, creates fantasies and often does nonsensical and stupid things. But they all make their own wacky, forgivable sense.  Out of work and looking to occupy herself, …

Carl Hiaasen

Hiaasen’s newest title, Star Island, is by far my favorite since Skinny Dip. Using the trite and oft-seen story of a starlet going off the rails, Hiaasen drags Cherry Pye, a mediocre singer filled with blind ambition, had her double Ann, into the psychotic world of …