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About the blogger:
Debra Hamel is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.


Books by Debra Hamel:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


paperback | Kindle | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


paperback | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)





Book-blog.com by Debra Hamel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



Book Notices | A Graveyard of Memories by Barry Eisler / The Charming Quirks of Others by Alexander McCall Smith

Barry Eisler, A Graveyard of Memories

  Amazon  

A Graveyard of Memories is a prequel to Barry Eisler's series featuring John Rain, a half-Japanese, half-American assassin. I've only read the first book in the series, some years ago, so I'm not familiar with the character's later development. But in this outing he's twenty years old and naive. He's bloodied his hands in Vietnam, so he's no stranger to killing, but we watch as he gets involved in a complex plot that forces him to translate the skills he honed in the jungle to an urban environment. Eisler spells out Rain's learning process as he goes. This may be a little heavy-handed, in that it's very noticeable that he's doing it, but I nonetheless do like being walked through Rain's thoughts and process. Somehow, Rain is both a vicious killer and a likable young man who's tender to a love interest, an unexpected combination, but it somehow works. One thing that I personally don't like is that the book is dotted with Japanese terminology. It's always explained, and I guess it serves to exoticize the setting, but mostly I find it an interruption, and I think a lot of it could be dispensed with. It's one thing to use a couple of terms that are repeated frequently enough that they can become part of the reader's vocabulary, but including too much unfamiliar terminology is alienating.

Alexander McCall Smith, The Charming Quirks of Others

  Amazon  

This is the seventh book in the Sunday Philosophy Club series, and things are going much as they always do for Isabel Dalhousie. Her life of calm near perfection, that is, is peppered with small annoyances and moral dilemmas—her own and others'—that she has to mull over. This time she's tasked with looking into the qualifications of a suite of candidates for the head mastership of a local boys' school. Of course, as usual, the book isn't really very much about that at all. The boys school plot just forms a scaffold on which to hang Isabel's reflections on guilt and trust and poetry and Scotland and so on. I still find Isabel kind of annoying (but I have more volumes of this series already on my Kindle, so I can't stop yet), and the ease with which she navigates motherhood while everyone around her jumps to take care of Charlie rankles. But no, I'm not bitter. Anyway, I love AMS, but this is not my favorite of his series.

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