All the Light We Cannot See; Anthony Doerr

Set during the end of WW2 a young blind Parisian girl is enduring the occupation on the coast in her great uncle’s house.  At the same time a teenaged orphaned German boy finds himself in an elite Nazi training camp.  Their paths cross in climax of this unique wonderful novel.  A great read if you are one of the few who haven’t read it yet.

PJH Rating: ****1/2

Redeployment; Phil Klay

A group of loosely connected short stories about American soldiers in the Iraq war told from different soldier’s viewpoints.  Some in Iraq, some at home after the war, and all rather detached about the conflict or at least the reasons why they are there.  Sad but interesting read.

PJH Rating: ****

Old School; Tobias Wolf

Set in an elite boarding school in the early 1960’s a student deals with being an outsider among the privileged boys in the school culminating in a horribly bad decision he makes at the very end of his tenure.  Interesting literary short novel with fictional visits to the school from Robert Frost and Ayn Rand – who was a complete bitch – great.  Powerful ending with a switch in perspective from the ex-Dean of the school

PJH rating: ****