Fiction/Science Fiction · Thriller/Horror · Young, New adult/College

Flesh & Bone – Jonathan Maberry

13147460| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Reeling from the tragic events of Dust & Decay, Benny Imura and his friends plunge deep into the zombie-infested wastelands of the great Rot & Ruin. Benny, Nix, Lilah and Chong journey through a fierce wilderness that was once America, searching for the jet they saw in the skies months ago. If that jet exists then humanity itself must have survived…somewhere. Finding it is their best hope for having a future and a life worth living.

But the Ruin is far more dangerous than any of them can imagine. They are hunted by fierce animals escaped from zoos and circuses. They must raid zombie-infested towns for food and medical supplies. They discover the very real truth in the old saying: In the Rot & Ruin…everything wants to kill you.

And what is happening to the zombies? Swarms of them are coming from the east, devouring everything in their paths. These zoms are different. Faster, smarter, infinitely more dangerous. Has the zombie plague mutated, or is there something far more sinister behind this new invasion of the living dead?

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My thoughts: I very much enjoyed this one as much as I enjoyed the first two books. But I do found this one to be a little of the same thing. It is still a great book and it is terrific written as usual. It fits well together with the other two books and there are some impressive characters to follow. However I feel that it has gotten a little bit stuck. There were several chapters where I legit was wondering “hasn’t I read this before? Haven’t we been here before already?

The third book picks up around where the second book ended. And you as a reader are thrown into this action filled story right from the start. There is a lot of running, fights, zombies, crazy humans, animals, secrets, misunderstandings and so on. Just as there is in the first and second book. It starting to feel somewhat used. It is the same only under different circumstances. Do you understand what I mean here? It was like I read the first and second book all over again, just with some different characters and with a little different outcome.

At the end of the book we are at a crossroad and how the plot will continue and its outcome is anyone’s (who have not read it of course 😛) guess so far. I do like that. The not knowing, it’s exciting. We have been introduced too some new characters and a new “world” where the rules are not the same anymore. I do hope the fourth book brings me some different situations and more characters to fall in love with. It really is a great series.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction · Thriller/Horror

HEX – Thomas Olde Heuvelt

31560400| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay ’til death. Whoever settles, never leaves.

Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a 17th century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Muzzled, she walks the streets and enters your homes at will. She stands next to your bed for nights on end. Everybody knows that her eyes may never be opened.

The elders of Black Spring have virtually quarantined the town by using high-tech surveillance to prevent their curse from spreading. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town’s teenagers decide to break their strict regulations and go viral with the haunting, but in so doing send the town spiraling into the dark, medieval practices of the past.

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My thoughts: Two nights in a row I have been dreaming about the wicked Witch of Black Spring. She have sneaked her way into the back of my mind and taken control in a way I have never experienced before. I’m not easily scared and specially not by books. And certainly not in a way where I actually wakes up, in the middle of the night with a racing hart and with a feeling that I don’t want to sleep anymore. I can feel discomfort and such but never really fear.  I wouldn’t call this one a scary horror either but it’s still an unpleasant book in the way that it was uncomfortable and mesmerizing at the same time.

Well written with an really interesting and suitable history and backstory. The details fit together nicely and in a way that it did not feel exaggerated or cheap. The original story takes place in a Dutch town but when the rights for the English version was sold it was decided to move the settings to a Hudson Valley and change the ending. That is two major difference between the original story compared to the translated one. According some forum threads I found, there is no big difference and has no great significance. Since I’m never gonna read the dutch version, it really doesn’t matter to me.

There is a lot of mixed feelings toward this book out there and my own are probably more on the good side than the average. I found the book complex and deeper than I first thought. A little obsessive with tits, breast and nipples but hey it is a guy who have written it after all. I liked the ending (even though I hate it) and I like how it makes you think. It compels you to seek deeper and read between the lines. A book which awakens feelings and questions and do need to be discussed because it is all in the way it is interpreted.

Fiction/Science Fiction · Mystery/Crime · Suspense · Thriller/Horror

The Child – Fiona Barton

35535454.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: When a paragraph in an evening newspaper reveals a decades-old tragedy, most readers barely give it a glance. But for three strangers it’s impossible to ignore.

For one woman, it’s a reminder of the worst thing that ever happened to her.

For another, it reveals the dangerous possibility that her darkest secret is about to be discovered.

And for the third, a journalist, it’s the first clue in a hunt to uncover the truth.

The Child’s story will be told.

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My thoughts: I have seen this book pop up a lot lately both on GoodReads and in the book clubs i’m following on Facebook. The synopsis did intrigue me so bought myself a copy. Didn’t know exactly what to expect and now i’m left with some mixed feelings.

In one way I did like the “mystery” and the history. Barton did however leave a lot of clues so I pretty much knew right from the start how everything was connected. She did throw me of there in the middle but in the end my suspicions was correct. That the book was predictable did not bother me in the end due to the really skilled way of writing it.

Other readers have reviewed it as a fast paced and an easy read. I however do not have the same feelings. There was nothing in this book that I would call fast paced and that made it pretty boring big parts of it. It is easy written yes, but it was not an easy read for me. I think due to the boring pace and the repetitive information from the different characters you get to follow made it that way for me. It doesn’t necessary have to mean that a book is boring if it is written that way, but in this one I found that it didn’t work.

In the end I do find the book likable. The story was intriguing even though predictable and it was somewhat of an easy read. It is a highly popular type of English crime right now and I do feel that it was no waste of time reading it.

Fiction/Science Fiction · Mystery/Crime · Suspense · Thriller/Horror

Mr Mercedes – Stephen King

18775247| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes.

In another part of town, months later, a retired cop named Bill Hodges is still haunted by the unsolved crime. When he gets a crazed letter from someone who self-identifies as the “perk” and threatens an even more diabolical attack, Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on preventing another tragedy.

Brady Hartsfield lives with his alcoholic mother in the house where he was born. He loved the feel of death under the wheels of the Mercedes, and he wants that rush again. Only Bill Hodges, with two new, unusual allies, can apprehend the killer before he strikes again. And they have no time to lose, because Brady’s next mission, if it succeeds, will kill or maim thousands.

Mr. Mercedes is a war between good and evil, from the master of suspense whose insight into the mind of this obsessed, insane killer is chilling and unforgettable.

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My thoughts: In this rich, high-suspense race against time, written by the King of horror himself, you will find the most unexpected heroes and the most expected and unpleasant evil. Is the book perfect? Oh no. Far from it. Did I go all fan-girl over it? Yepp, totally did!

As usual you find a book with deep characters, complex story and layer on layer of that deep chill, mind-blowing mystery not that many authors (I have read) manage to create. I’m somewhat hard to impress when it comes to the horror genre. And even tough I would categorize this one more of a crime mystery than horror, i’m totally impressed. I got what I came for.

As an avid reader in the crime mystery genre I do often feel i’m hard to surprise and story’s often are predictable to me. I don’t have a problem with predictability per say, if it is done well. And as usual I would not have to expect anything less than well from King. There is some real unexpected twists and a ending I really cant get mad over. I liked the cat and mouse play they had going on. The communication, the inspiration and the war. Who shall win in the end?

The only thing I did not like with the book however, is that some part of it, it was to slow. Specially in the ending where you pretty much goes around waiting for something to happen. I get that King probably wrote it that way to make it more realistic. But it kind of bored me a little. However, King saved it with the end.

There is two other books in the series about Bill Hodges and I certainly need to read those two. And there is a TV-series on this first book, en I certainly need to see that one to. Yeah, i’m totally star-struck by this book. That is how good it is.

Fiction/Science Fiction · Mystery/Crime · Suspense · Thriller/Horror

The Silent Corner – Dean Koontz

32148091| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis:  very much need to be dead. 

These are the chilling words left behind by a man who had everything to live for but took his own life. In the aftermath, his widow, Jane Hawk, does what all her grief, fear, and fury demands: find the truth, no matter what.
People of talent and accomplishment, people admired and happy and sound of mind, have been committing suicide in surprising numbers. When Jane seeks to learn why, she becomes the most-wanted fugitive in America. Her powerful enemies are protecting a secret so important so terrifying that they will exterminate anyone in their way.
But all their power and viciousness may not be enough to stop a woman as clever as they are cold-blooded, as relentless as they are ruthless and who is driven by a righteous rage they can never comprehend. Because it is born of love.

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My thoughts: Koontz is and will for always be, a horror author for me. He is the first author I read in the genre horror. Not Stephen King as so many others. No I read Koontz and have for the most time loved his books. But sometime it is refreshing to read something new from your favorite author. Because Koontz is one of my few male favorites that I still read to this day. I love his way of writing and his immense imagination. I was intrigued to try this one, the first book in his new (well it isn’t that new anymore :P) series, where a female is the lead protagonist in the fight against a corrupt government and crazy scientist men.

I really liked the idea. The idea of a modern way of brainwashing. Totally frightening of course but still interesting. A lonely, strong female hero on the verge to declare war on the USA government. A female character who is smart, strong and immensely intuitive. I like the bad guys and I like the way of the plots development and the writing style. Even though Koontz could have avoided the huge amount of chapters. They were ridicules. I like to read by chapter (as so many other readers) but some were so short that they didn’t even take up half a page and then the next chapter just kept on going where the first one ended. Did not understand the reason for it, and I did not like the small brake in my reading speed it created.

Even though I liked the book, I have a huge problem with it. Not the chapter thing, no. What I did not like is how slow it got. It started so good and I couldn’t stop reading. Then something happened and I lost interest. It started to slow down and drag. Not even in the end did it pick up enough for me to feel that strong connection that I did in the beginning. I would however love to see this plot with characters as a movie or an series since it did intrigued me. It is just the execution of it that bothers me.

Classic/Historical · Fiction/Science Fiction

And the mountains echoed – Khaled Hosseini

17345748| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: So, then. You want a story and I will tell you one…Afghanistan, 1952. Abdullah and his sister Pari live with their father and stepmother in the small village of Shadbagh. Their father, Saboor, is constantly in search of work and they struggle together through poverty and brutal winters. To Abdullah, Pari – as beautiful and sweet-natured as the fairy for which she was named – is everything. More like a parent than a brother, Abdullah will do anything for her, even trading his only pair of shoes for a feather for her treasured collection. Each night they sleep together in their cot, their heads touching, their limbs tangled. One day the siblings journey across the desert to Kabul with their father. Pari and Abdullah have no sense of the fate that awaits them there, for the event which unfolds will tear their lives apart; sometimes a finger must be cut to save the hand. Crossing generations and continents, moving from Kabul, to Paris, to San Francisco, to the Greek island of Tinos, with profound wisdom, depth, insight and compassion, Khaled Hosseini writes about the bonds that define us and shape our lives, the ways in which we help our loved ones in need, how the choices we make resonate through history and how we are often surprised by the people closest to us.

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My thoughts: I loved “A thousand splendid suns” and I don’t know, maybe I had expected something as strong as that. Or maybe I had expected a story that make you feel fulfilled when ending. Neither happen here in my opinion. I found the writing somewhat confusing and it was hard to keep track of all the characters. I had particularly trouble with every chapter change because you did not get to know which character you now following. Most of the characters are so remotely connected that it does not work at all and it was not until the end you started to understand who this person really is and what connection it has to the main character. It kept me sitting like this throughout 90% of the book.

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I have read some reviews and found that it is not only me who feel this way or perceived this books as a bunch of different characters telling me about their own life history. The red thread and “main” character, you hardly see and some of the connections is just so farfetched that it is weird. The story in the beginning is good and I do get the point with the book. I do however find it flat when you do not get to follow the “main” character more than like 20% of the book.

I did however like the ending. It was a nice end with its way of tying the last strings together, even though I did not find it great since I did not get that happy, finally, good for you feeling. I give the book a strong three star rating due to that Hosseini is a great writer and he do writes in a way that snares you to the story. Any other author, I would probably have DNF it.

Fiction/Science Fiction · Mystery/Crime · Thriller/Horror

Stalker – Lars Kepler

22554261| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: The police receive a video clip of a woman in a window and reason that someone must have been standing in the garden just outside her house to be able to film her. The next day the woman is found dead in her home, the vicious violence of the scene shocks even the most seasoned investigators. A few days later, another clip is sent anonymously to the police, but there’s no way of identifying the woman before she too falls victim to a brutal attack. When he finds her, the woman’s husband is so traumatized by the violent scene that, in a state of panic, he starts cleaning the house. He even washes the blood from his wife’s body and puts her to bed, as if nothing is the matter. He may have seen a vital clue but is in such an extreme state of shock, and seems to be suffering from short-term memory loss that the police cannot usefully question him. Criminal psychiatrist and hypnotist Erik Maria Bark is called in hypnotize the man in order to unlock his memories of the murder scene. But what Dr Bark uncovers in his sessions with the dead woman’s husband make him decide to lie to the police.

It becomes clear that the case cannot be solved without the help of Detective Joona Linna, the man who’s been missing for more than a year and has been presumed dead.

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My thoughts: Lars Kepler, the married duo who writes under that name, has done it again. With Stalker we yet again meet Joona Linna and all the loose threads from the earlier books are finally tied together. Even though the series is about Joona Linna, he has a lot smaller part in this book than usual. Here it is Erik Maria Bark who stands in the headlight and the character you get to follow the most. He is awesome and I have always liked him so it was great to get to know him even more.

I really like the stalker plot where as a woman, it even was a little frighting for me and with its graphic content, gave me the chills.  I found it somewhat of a paranoid thriller and I’m happy that I don’t live on the first floor (even though I curse those stairs everyday). And I Still checked my windows and doors a little extra, just in case. Not that I’m in any danger of being stalked, but it just felt better you know. Funny how books can have such  big impact on the everyday life. Anyway, I liked the plot and it is well written as always. I wouldn’t say that Stalker is my favorite in the series but it isn’t the worst either.

There is a lot of plot twists and one was really surprising and I did not see that coming. I should have and I kick myself for not doing that and it is great work by Kepler to fool me. I’m not easily fooled. Just saying! And this series is not a stand alone and you should read them in order, just to really understand some huge things that are not deeply explained.

A solid thriller with a solid and somewhat frightening plot and I give it four stars. Loses a star because it is a little too long. With almost 700 pages I felt somethings could have been edited out to make the flow more smoothly. And there is a lot of characters and even though I’m Swedish and doesn’t have a problem with the names, I still forgot sometime who was who.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction · Young, New adult/College

Red Rising – Pierce Brown

15839976.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: “I live for the dream that my children will be born free,” she says. “That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.”

“I live for you,” I say sadly.

Eo kisses my cheek. “Then you must live for more.”

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations.

Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies… even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

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My thoughts: I can honestly say that I have no idea how to review Red Rising. How am I supposed to put words on all my feelings of happiness, sadness, anger, frustration, hate, joy, love, and fear without it ending up a blubbering mess? This book have it all, good, bad and it is so, soo clever written that even though it landed on a three star rating from me, I can’t stop thinking about it.

At heart, the book has a very good and clever plot, even though it is a somewhat “milked” theme by now. But I really liked the whole “low, hard and poor life, fighting for the future of their children, corrupted governments, protagonist finds out the truth, kicks ass and fights for what’s right, tries to get to the top and stop the evil of this world” plot. And it works extra good in this book since the main protagonist, Darrow, is a good guy but he does so much bad and horrible things that you at the same time as you love him, you hate him to. And he is so real and authentic in a way I cant describe. He hates what he is forced to do and he struggles a lot with sorrow and feelings of missing. He is a young guy with a hard life who gets it even harder and you can actually see him grow as a person throughout the book.

But then there is other things. There is a big part of the book that was sooo boring. I mean, “start to think about something else while reading” boring. Even “start skimming to the good parts” boring. Almost DNF boring! And I can’t really tell you why either since it are a big part of the plot and the books story. But I felt it somewhat unrealistic (even though we are in the future and on Mars) and it was quite hard to wrap my mind around a lot of it. I think I understand the purpose, it is just the ways that perplexes me and the performance is tedious and uninteresting. The ending was great though and now I’m more open to continue the series, than I was earlier on in the book.

It certainly has taken my emotions and thoughts on a roller coaster but I’m happy that I finally read it. The last thing I want to say is that, If we ever going to move to Mars, build a new civilization and all that. This is how I see in my mind it will be. The rich people always wins and rides the backs of the poor. Things will never change. Yes. I’m that pessimistic!

Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction · Thriller/Horror

Brilliance – Marcus Sakey

23299555.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: In Wyoming, a little girl reads people’s darkest secrets by the way they fold their arms. In New York, a man sensing patterns in the stock market racks up $300 billion. In Chicago, a woman can go invisible by being where no one is looking. They’re called “brilliants,” and since 1980, one percent of people have been born this way. Nick Cooper is among them; a federal agent, Cooper has gifts rendering him exceptional at hunting terrorists. His latest target may be the most dangerous man alive, a brilliant drenched in blood and intent on provoking civil war. But to catch him, Cooper will have to violate everything he believes in – and betray his own kind.

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My thoughts: With its highly cliché content, generic story and with a complete lack of original ideas from the author, it is sad how this novel has been raised and praised in the bookish community. The original idea of it all is pretty cool and something I could love since I’m a total “superpower” buff. But this is just a lame version of x-men. Without the cool powers, the sexy suits and expensive toys. But still the corrupt governments, the terrorists, the two sides against each other and the family conflicts are the same story that we have been fed for like 20 years now.

It is even more sad how Sakey have focused more on the style of the book than the content itself. Written it “ready” for the movie business and it is almost like he wants to flip us off with a highly obscene gesture. I feel the book is written like a screenplay, ready for Hollywood, not the bookshelf’s. It feels like he did not care about the book itself but only hoped on the possibility to get an Hollywood movie contract to bring in the money and fame. There is no real character development and the male protagonist is a boring, apathetic, grey guy with no real emotions and the total lack of self-confidence to use his own head.

I actually gave this book a two star rating at first but now after I have had the time to sleep on it and really think about the book, I feel that it is not fair, and lower it to a one star rating. Why you may ask? Well it is as simple as that the book did not give me anything. It was highly predictable and nothing surprised me. It was not funny nor exciting. I did not like the characters, the plot or the way it was written. This will probably be a movie in the future ( oh wait, it is actually already in development according to IMDB) and I’m not that interested to even see it. So that’s that. Let’s move one shall we?

Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction

The name of the wind – Patrick Rothfuss

186074.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Told in Kvothe’s own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen.

The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature.

A high-action story written with a poet’s hand, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that will transport readers into the body and mind of a wizard.

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My thoughts: First I want to say that I’m not a reader who reads much fantasy, especially high/epic fantasy and was somewhat concerned that I would not like the book due to the genre it belonged, but I actually found it not as high as I had foreseen. I would say it is a more of a softer kind of fantasy in my opinion. Assassin’s apprentice by Robin Hobb, for an example, I see as a more heavier than this book. So I was quiet surprised. The second I want to comment is about the writing. O, MY, God what a great work of art this book is. The writing is so well done that it is almost like singing in my head. The flow is easy, wonderful and captivating. I have never read anything as smooth as this before in my life. It is truly a work of art and I do now understand now why it took Rothfuss so many years to write the book. And the third thing is, that I did not fall in love, as so many others have and that makes me really sad. Really, really sad!

I didn’t get all those fuzzy feelings that so many others have from this book and it drives me crazy that I can’t pinpoint exactly why. Because it is certainly not bad. Even far from it. But I had such trouble to stay connected with it. When I put the book down, I had trouble picking it up again. When I eventually did pick it up, I read page after page and had trouble putting it down. Do you see my dilemma here? It was like I loved the book while reading, but when I didn’t I was ready to start something else. Something different. Something new. It did not put it’s claws in me. And I do think the reason for it is because it was somewhat uneven in speed and plot. There were a lot of storytelling and happenings and I do see that them are vital to the story, but for me I think it bored me a little.

I’m however a little in love with the character Kvothe. Or almost all the characters really. Rothfuss has made a great job with building them to that high standard that they are. They all have their own quirks and you can actually feel them. Kvothe is an intelligent, quick-witted, sharp-tongued and clever character that, in this book, starts telling his story of how he became who he is for Devan, who is kind of a story collector. Kvothe tells the story about his child hood, his family and years on the road as an entertainer. He tells about his friends and how he came to be who he is. And there is a lot of characters in this story. But some stay with you a little extra than others. For like an example, Elodin who is hilarious or Ambrose, who is a HUGE dick by the way, and even though I hate him, I could not see the story without him. I was also not overly fond of Denna in the beginning. I found her shallow, cruel and kind of self-centered but she did grew on me later on, even though I cant say I love her now. I got to understand her better and find her a lot more complex than first thought. Then we have Bast. Oh I love him. And Devi. Okay, I loved most of the characters.

I did get the description that this book is “Like Harry Potter for adults.” Well…. NO. The only thing I would be able to compare to the Harry Potter series is that Kvothe studies at a “magic” school, but it is not a magic, magic school. Hard to explain. But this is so far from Harry Potter you can come, and in some ways actually better but in others, not. What I can say though is that the book is complex beyond anything I have ever read and I think it is one of those who everybody should read.