The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Reviews: ‘The Angora Files,’ ‘Balm,’ ‘The Spiral Notebook,’ ‘A Palace of Treason,’ ‘Magic America’

BookBitsFive book review links for your Sunday afternoon.

“The Angora Files,” by Adam Oster, reviewed by Michael Thal – “From start to finish, I had trouble putting The Agora Files aside. Adam Oster has a talent to keep pulses racing as Cy and Eve encounter life-threatening obstacles traveling between the Pacific and Atlantic coasts on foot. SP officers hunt them at every turn as well as citizen informants looking to score a huge bounty award. Drones and spies seem to be everywhere.”  Big Al’s Books and Pals


“Balm,” by Dolen Perkins-Valdez, reviewed by Arlene McKanic – “Perkins-Valdez, author of the acclaimed 2010 novel Wench, has a genius for placing the reader in the postwar welter of a city and the quieter but no less troubled farms of the South. The reader wants the best for these wounded characters, and whatever happiness they find in the end is hard won. Balm doesn’t just apply to Madge’s potions, but to the comfort that comes from human connection.”  Book Page


“The Spiral Notebook,” by Stephen and Joy Singular, reviewed by Ray Mark Rinaldi – “The information they collected [the Aurora movie theater shootings] upended their idea of what kind of book they should be writing. It led to ‘The Spiral Notebook,’ a 318-page exploration connecting the dots on how bloodthirsty video games, school bullying, unbridled use of prescription drugs and ineffective courts combine to create an impossible environment for today’s youth.”  The Denver Post


“A Palace of Treason,” by Jason Matthews – “A sexy Russian spy trained in the fine art of seduction and recruited as an American double agent helps set up a double-cross that could pit Russia against Iran in this blockbuster by former CIA operative Matthews…Although Matthews’ technique of using food as a running theme (complete with recipes) doesn’t always work, this is another must-read for fans of the spy genre.”  Kirkus Reviews


“Magic America,” by C. E. Medford, reviewed by Zoe Brooks – ” Magic America is a fascinating take on magic realism. Set in urban blue-collar America, it reminded me of the magic realism of Paul Magrs, which is set in a similar setting in an northern British city. The two writers show that magic realism can work in the portrayal of the white working class. The magic in the book comes without comment – that’s just the way it is in magic America. There’s a baby who inherits congenital tattoos from his biker father, and a fairy godmother with attitude appears when Hope needs her and sometimes when she doesn’t want her to. ”  Magic Realism


CoverDOCBook Bits is compiled by Malcolm R. Campbell, author of “Conjure Woman’s Cat,” a novella, and “Dream of Crows,” a short story.


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