Author Archive: Gary Niebuhr

Gary Niebuhr is the author of Make Mine a Mystery (2003), Caught up in Crime (2009), and other readers' guides to mystery and detective fiction. He was a Booklist contributor from 2008-2014.

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Next Life Might Be Kinder

Next Life Might Be Kinder

Ever have that experience where you read a “new” author and exclaim, “Who is this guy and why hasn’t anybody told me about him?”  Howard Norman’s Next Life Might Be Kinder is that kind of book. I love the fact that this novel is summarized by the first line of the book: “After my wife, […]

Posted in: Book Groups
For the third time–Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter

For the third time–Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter

Those who read Book Group Buzz and memorize all the entries already know that Rebecca Vnuk (08/17/11) and MaryKate Perry (10/12/12) have already recommended Tom Franklin’s Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter (2010).  For some unknown reason, no BGB reviewer promulgated it last year but I am here for the current year. I am going to recommend […]

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Redeployment

Redeployment

Redeployment by Phil Klay is a collection of short stories that reveals the experiences of American soldiers who fought in the long Iraq conflict which started in 2003 and ended in 2011.  The stories reveal all aspects of military service from the boots on the ground action to coming home and everything in between.  Klay […]

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No One You Know

No One You Know

I disappeared into this book. While finishing No One You Know by Michelle Richmond before my monthly crime book discussion I had one of those episodes where all the white noise disappears and time stops except for your reading. I think the clue as to why this novel so appealed to me is that the […]

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Heart-Shaped Box

Heart-Shaped Box

This month’s library staff book discussed surprised me.  Our genre of the month was horror which does not seem on the surface to be my staff’s favorite type of literature to read.  We also do not see a lot of customers reading horror outside of the bestseller types like Stephen King. Speaking of Mr. King, […]

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Short Stories for Men

Short Stories for Men

I just read three different short story collections that would work for a book discussion or two plus could attract male authors with their subject matter. First off is one of my perennial favorite novelists, Thomas H. Cook. His short story collection Fatherhood and Other Stories (2013) contains 11 stories, most of which deal with […]

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The Tenderness of Wolves

The Tenderness of Wolves

The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney won the Costa Book of the Year Winner in 2006.  Trust me on this one:  there is not a character in this book who would not have wolfed down a big old cup of Costa coffee at any point in this novel. At the time I am writing […]

Let Him Go

Let Him Go

Sometimes setting can make a novel something special.  That is certainly true for Let Him Go by Larry Watson.  Watson was born in North Dakota and has used the west before in his works including the magnificent Montana 1948, one of my sure-bet book discussion titles. In this go-around, we are in the 1950s in […]

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Best American Short Stories 2013

Best American Short Stories 2013

The Best American Short Stories 2013, edited by Elizabeth Strout and Heidi Pitlor, rocks. That’s it. Sorry–I was trying to make more time to read short stories.  I do not know if it is an age factor or not, but in my dotage I find myself attracted to the short form as the long form […]

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Men We Reaped

Men We Reaped

Race may be one of the most difficult topics to confront in America.  Everyone has an opinion and no one has a solution.  We both obsess on it and ignore it every day in our interactions with each other.  We are all victims in some fashion or other. In Men We Reaped: a Memoir by […]

Posted in: Book Groups