The Woman in the Window: A.J.Finn

 

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A well-written book that goes through a few peaks and troughs.  An intelligent, but agoraphobic woman, is confined to her home and witnesses a crime.  The book starts amazingly, centered on the woman’s life – that is both intriguing and informative.  It dips mid-way when the crime gets committed, and the book becomes just another whodunit.  It picks up again, three-fourths of the way, when our narrator is shown to be unreliable.  But then dips again.  The ending was disappointing.  Neither satisfying not believable.  What worked for me particularly was the writing – very today and now.  Interestingly there were shades of ‘The Woman on the Train’ in the novel (It’s not just the title that is similar) – an incident only the narrator was witness to, poor credibility of the protagonist and so on.

Read.

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Post Truth: Lee McIntyre

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Does the truth not matter any longer?  Has the perception of reality become more important than the reality itself?  Post Truth examines these strange times when ‘fake news’ and ‘alternative facts’ are terms that are in use on a daily basis,  a major political party claims that climate change is a hoax, the President negates solid evidence to claim he is right, including on his inauguration attracting the largest number of people, and the media is so partisan that you don’t know who to believe anymore.  The book raises these important questions and offers a few solutions, the most important being calling out a lie when you see it.  The style of the book is academic (references, quotes from other books), that takes a bit of the joy out of the reading.

Read.

Dreams – Guide to the Soul: Steven Fox

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Dreams are a subject I have been fascinated for a long time.  What do the dreams mean?  Do they carry a message?  Can we interpret dreams meaningfully?  Steven Fox presents forty dream archetypes and their meanings.  Following Jung school of thought, he strongly believes that dreams are the channel through which out subconscious expresses itself.  Fox even uses the dreams for psychotherapy.  It is a very interesting book and easy to follow – psychotherapy made simple really.  The description of the archetypes gets repeated through the book, so you tend to remember a few.  Fox’s analysis though, when done at the intra-psychic level, can get complex.  So, the man and woman appearing in your dreams are parts of you and their copulating means that your emotions and actions are integrating!

Read, if you are into dreams.

Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Mark Adams.

 

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An intriguing title indeed.  Mark Adams follows the route Hiram Bingham took to Machu Picchu, when he ‘discovered’ it.  The book traces the journey of the both men, undertaken in very different times, the joys and challenges of their travels.  Written with wit and humor, the book is pleasant reading.  However, when Adams starts writing about his second trip, the book loses its thread and becomes unhinged.

Read, if you are interested in Machu Picchu , or are planning to visit.

The Great Alone: Kristin Hannah

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Pure, unadulterated drudgery.  One-dimensional characters, repetitive situations, plot flaws, it had everything.  The book starts with a cliché story, of an unhinged ex-soldier, taking it out on his wife and daughter.  Half-way though, the man gets banished, and you start hoping, only to be rewarded with another cliché story of young, forbidden love.  The only thing that worked in the book were Hannah’s descriptions of Alaska.

Don’t even think about it.