The Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
This book is so much fun! A story within a story, with a mystery in each. I was amazed at Horowitz’s ability to click the myriad interlocking pieces into place. He unwinds his tale with wit and humor and numerous nods to classic whodunits, all the while giving the reader real mysteries to unravel. (Now I’ve got to read Moriarity and House of Silk.)
Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero
A group of teen detectives are all grown up, and are all very damaged. They have to go back to the scene of their last big case to solve the mystery for good. This is so clever, scary, and hilarious–it’s zany and perfect, somehow exactly like reading a cartoon! It’s a mash-up of Scooby Doo and Lovecraft, and it’s just as ridiculous and entertaining as it sounds.
Birds Without Wings by Louis de Bernieres
Has some of the most beautiful chapters I have ever read. The book is about a village on the coast of Turkey in the dying days of the Ottoman empire; the village is idyllic, the Greek Christians and Turkish Muslims live in peace. The potter laments, after the Christians are all driven into exile, that the village is never again as happy or as lively. The epic carnage is heavily foreshadowed in the book; the players on the international stage are slaughtering each each other, and the troubles eventually reaches our sweet village on the coast. The book gives insight into the the history of the whole troubled region. Almost as good a book as de Berniere’s Corelli’s Mandolin.
Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz
A good read about “big data”! The author has access to Google searches — not the answers, just the text of the searches. And the amount of data is so huge, he can draw pretty precise conclusions. He uses a lot of novel and clever methods to tease information out of the data for insights into everything from economics to ethics and to race, sex, gender, and more.