All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr

Review by Thomas Peak and Susanne Gjønnes Set during the darkness of World War II, All the Light We Cannot See is a powerful and emotional novel. It follows a young boy and a girl caught up on each side of the whirlwind of Nazism and war. Werner, a poor orphan drafted into a special …

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Catching Thunder: The True Story of the World’s Longest Sea Chase, by Eskil Engdal & Kjetil Sæter

This true-life crime novel, ‘Catching Thunder: The Story of the World’s Longest Sea Chase’, is the dramatic account of Sea Shepherd’s 110-day long international pursuit of the pirate fishing vessel Thunder. Sea Shepherd is a group of activists committed to fighting illegal fishing led by the Swedish-American captain, Peter Hammarstedt. Their ship Bob Barker is …

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Italian Shoes: Henning Mankell

We find an aging man, living by himself on a Swedish island, where he has been in solitude since his retirement 12 years back. Once, he made a mistake he regrets so badly he has left everything to stay by himself with only a cat and a dog for company. His world is suddenly disrupted …

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Beyond Our Means: Why America Spends While the World Saves by Sheldon Garon

The key question Sheldon Garon, Professor of History and East Asian Studies at Princeton, tries to answer is why are some countries thriftier than others, and in particular, why is the US saving so little? Through a comparative historical analysis, Garon tracks thriftiness back in time in Western Europe, Asia and the US. The central …

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Mengele Zoo by Gert Nygårdshaug

Widely regarded to be the best Norwegian book ever written, and recipient of numerous literary awards, it is strange that Mengele Zoo has yet to be published in English. It is the first in a trilogy that continues with Himmelblomsttreets muligheter (The Sky Flower Tree’s Opportunities, 1995) and Afrodites basseng (Aphrodite’s Pool, 2004), both of …

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Dear Life: Alice Munro

Review by Thomas Peak and Susanne Gjonnes Why do we read?  To think, to experience and most of all to feel. Perhaps. Munroe’s final collection of short stories Dear Life achieves all of this in abundance.  With characteristic subtleness, a refined and homely style, the stories in this collection penetrate into the reader with a …

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The Bad Girl (Travesuras de la niña mala): Mario Vargas Llosa

Do you believe in endless, unconditional love? The answer to this question is likely to shape one’s opinion of The Bad Girl. Mario Vargas Llosa is a Peruvian Nobel Prize winner in literature. His most famous books include Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter and the War of the End of the World. He is an …

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