Author Archive: Nick DiMartino

Nick DiMartino is a university bookseller in Seattle, WA. He was a Booklist contributor from 2007 to 2009 and is the author of Seattle Ghost Story (1998) as well as numerous plays.

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Farewell Blog

Farewell Blog

This will be my last blog on Book Group Buzz. After 126 blogs and a year and a half discussing book clubs, I want to thank everyone who responded or questioned or commented on my various reading group dilemmas and book-searches. I loved sharing my discoveries with you. My search for great new books will […]

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The Good Ones Are Always the Hardest

The Good Ones Are Always the Hardest

A half hour into our first discussion this month at the Seattle Gay and Lesbian Book Club, I could see I was in trouble. I like this book too much. So does everyone else. Those are not the ingredients for a healthy discussion. The good ones are always the hardest. I’ve just finished enjoying my […]

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Do Prostitutes Exist in Islamic Cairo?

Do Prostitutes Exist in Islamic Cairo?

A thirty-year-old Swiss author obsessed with finding prostitutes in Egypt goes on several uncomfortable searches through the sexually-repressed, Islamic city of Cairo in Florian Zeller’s short French novel, The Fascination of Evil, coming out in English translation next month from Pushkin Press. Martin Millet has been flown to Cairo to speak at a book fair, […]

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Challenging New Colombian Novel about Exiled Germans

Challenging New Colombian Novel about Exiled Germans

The Informers might be a little too much for a book club. It’s a new novel from Colombia by Juan Gabriel Vasquez coming out this August, and no one could say it was effortless reading. It takes a bit of work. The writing style is very elegant and complex, the sentences long, multiply-claused, Proustian affairs […]

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Go with Doctors Without Borders into War-Torn Afghanistan

Go with Doctors Without Borders into War-Torn Afghanistan

  In fifty years of reading, I don’t remember ever encountering a book quite like The Photographer. Which is why I’m choosing it as the June book club selection for the University Book Store in Seattle.   It’s an oversize, gorgeously-colored, imitation graphic memoir of twenty-nine-year-old French photographer Didier Lefevre’s three-month journey on foot in […]

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Why Am I Reading This? Why Can’t I Stop?

Why Am I Reading This? Why Can’t I Stop?

  I swore I’d never read another ghost story. Since 9/11, actually, I notice that I only read realistic fiction. Fantasy no longer interests me. And I certainly don’t have time to be reading novels that are nearly 500 pages long. I don’t have time to plow through 400 pages and then discover myself facing […]

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A Thrilling, Chilling New Novel from Finland

A Thrilling, Chilling New Novel from Finland

The problem with Elina Hirvonen’s When I Forgot is finding a place to stop. The narrative of this slender, lightning-fast Finnish novel, the most internationally successful debut novel in Finnish history, propels you along without the hint of a stopping point, one startling, violent or surprising scene feeding directly into another, or story within story […]

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Here Comes Faiza Guene — Got a Problem with That?

Here Comes Faiza Guene — Got a Problem with That?

  Her voice is intoxicating. It’s like no one else writing. She’s tough, honest, and angry as a bull in the ring – but though the odds are stacked against Faiza Guene’s twenty-five-year-old heroine, there’s never any question of Ahleme going down without a fight. Ever since her mother died and her family fled from […]

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“Try to Find the Thrill in Sound Judgment!”

“Try to Find the Thrill in Sound Judgment!”

  Some months the stress is worse than others. Some months are easy. I know exactly what book will be ideal for the University Book Store’s book club. Other months aren’t so easy. Like this month. For a while I thought I had it made – Andrea Askowitz’s My Miserable, Lonely, Lesbian Pregnancy seemed like […]

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How Far Will You Go to Feel Intense Emotion?

How Far Will You Go to Feel Intense Emotion?

  Zack Hara, the narrator of Todd Shimoda’s gorgeously-produced new novel, Oh!, can’t feel intense emotion. He’s left Los Angeles behind, and gone to live in Japan and teach English conversation. One of his students turns out to be a psychologist who studies the biology of personality, and Professor Imai begins giving Zack guidance in exchange […]

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