The Mirror Shop by Nicholas Bundock

While I love a good suspenseful drama on TV, I’ve never really been one to pick up any type of mystery or thriller when looking for my next read. So when The Mirror Shop was presented to me as a “cozy mystery” I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I am happy to say that I was not disappointed.

In the grand scheme of things, this novel felt like a crumbling love story. Eva and Luke, together for nearly two decades, are introduced as a happy enough couple who are in a comfortable relationship. Arguably too comfortable, as they continue to live separately despite a monogamous relationship. Early on, we feel some tension in their relationship which doesn’t feel like it will amount to anything, but oh how it does! Not to mention the prologue opening with Luke confessing to a murder. Having that opening scene in mind kept my intrigue throughout the novel. Continue reading The Mirror Shop by Nicholas Bundock

Surviving PTSD and Moral Injury by Erik Krikke

When I started reading this book, I didn’t really know what to expect. I was interested in the topic because our world is full of so much war and so many people are involved with the efforts. Recently, I’ve read a few books set in World War II, a time from which we are quite disconnected though the stories are still so fresh for some people. So when I picked up Erik Krikke’s memoir and saw the title “Surviving PTSD and moral injury” I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. Continue reading Surviving PTSD and Moral Injury by Erik Krikke

Fifty Ways I Screwed Up My Life and How You Can Avoid This by Francois de Waal

Fifty Ways I Screwed Up My Life and How You Can Avoid This is unlike any self-help guide I’ve ever read.

Raw and honest, François de Waal attempts to lay everything out on the line to his readers. In my eyes, he tries to show that just like anyone else, he’s made mistakes in the way he’s dealt with the trials and tribulations of his life; that maybe he hasn’t always done the right things; that hindsight is 20/20.

Continue reading Fifty Ways I Screwed Up My Life and How You Can Avoid This by Francois de Waal

Stateless: One Man’s Struggle for an Identity by Gerard van Leeuwen

I’ve never really been a fan of biographies. I’ve just not been able to connect with the idea of an author setting out to tell the story of another.  Biography is essentially written with the help of extensive research, both primary or secondary: the former involving talking directly to the source or subject of the work, and the latter being through exploring different documents to piece together a story.

This is something that has drastically shifted since reading Kamal’s story as told by Gerard van Leeuwen.

Van Leeuwen tells us right off the bat in the prologue where he met Kamal, the subject of this biography. We learn straight away how he came to learning the complex, sometimes unbelievable, details of Kamal’s life from birth until their meeting.

Continue reading Stateless: One Man’s Struggle for an Identity by Gerard van Leeuwen

The Heirs by Susan Rieger

Susan Rieger’s The Heirs shares the story of an Upper West Side New York family – the Falkes’ – in the wake of Rupert’s, their patriarch, passing.

It follows the widow, Eleanor, and her five adult children as they work through a strange, Vera, suing their father’s estate, claiming him as the father of her own adult children.

This complicates the grieving of the Falkes family as the image of the husband and father that they seem to have held on a pedestal begins to crumble. Through the progression of the novel, we watch the characters question who Rupert was and whether or not he had had the capacity to lead a secret life.

At first I thought that there were far too many characters – Rupert, Eleanor, their five children and significant others, Susanna, Vera, Hugh (Vera’s son)… I think that’s all – and was expecting to be incredibly confused. However, Rieger’s writing absolutely captivated me. Continue reading The Heirs by Susan Rieger