Very short reviews of books

A roundup of brief reviews of books I read in August. Looking back it was a good month. Depending on where your tastes lie, I’d recommend everything but The Butcher’s Boy. But if I had to pick one, it would be The Line Becomes a River, which is a good look at what happens along our southern border and would be enlightening no matter where your politics are on immigration. 

The Line Becomes A River: Francisco Cantú’s memoir of his years working as a border patrol agent and living along the Mexican border is an honest and timely book on immigration that doesn’t get bogged down with rhetoric and politics. (5/5 stars.)

The Third Hotel: After arriving in Cuba for a film festival, Clare spots her husband standing outside of a museum. The thing is, he most certainly died shortly before the trip. This is a haunting and surreal novel that explores the psychic toll of grief. (5/5 stars.) Read my full review. 

Silence: Two Jesuit priests in seventeenth-century Japan find their faith tested by hostile feudal lords in this classic from 1966. (5/5 stars.)

The Line That Held Us: While trespassing to poach a deer, Darl Moody accidentally kills the brother of a notoriously vicious man. What transpires is like a tale from an earlier time … a brutal frontier story of rash decisions, revenge and salvation. (5/5 stars.) Read my full review.

Darling Days book cover

Darling Days: iO Tillett Wright’s memoir of growing up in gritty New York with a temperamental mother prone to bad behavior.  (4/5 stars.)

Forty Autumns: A moving memoir of a German family that lived on both sides of the Berlin wall during the Cold War. (4/5 stars.)

Brother: A young man in urban Toronto laments for his dead brother in this study on sorrow and survival. (4/5 stars.)

Drink Beer, Think Beer: An approachable homage to independent brewers. (4/5 stars.) Read my full review.

The Last Colony: Book 3 of John Scalzi’s Old Man War series is the best to date and follows retired warriors John Perry and Jane Sagan as try to set up a colony on a new planet while dealing with politics and aliens. (4/5 stars.)

The Butcher’s Boy: An overrated and uninteresting story of a hitman on the run. (2/5 stars.)