“When We Cease to Understand the World” by Benjamin Labatut – The Burden of Discovery

“When We Cease to Understand the World” by Benjamin Labatut (Header image)

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Short Summary

Benjamin Labatut is quickly proving himself a unique author defying traditional classification, a notion he reinforced most recently when he published his third novel, When We Cease to Understand the World. In short, it’s a fictional examination following the lives of numerous real-life scientists and mathematicians, with an emphasis on the earth-shattering discoveries they’ve made and the repercussions those have had on the world, both beneficial and destructive.

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“Branches” by Adam Peter Johnson – Endless Chances

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Short Summary

Adam Peter Johnson is without question one of the more promising authors to have arrived on the scene recently, having published his first novel, Branches, in 2020 and received a fair share of acclaim for it. The story follows a man who discovers that not only is he in the wrong timeline, but there’s also a remedy for it. With the world around him headed for catastrophe and chaos, he takes the plunge, and begins a surreal trip of seemingly endless second chances.

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“Hotel” by Arthur Hailey – A Vacation Crisis

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Short Summary

Arthur Hailey has been able to pierce and expose various industries over the course of his illustrious career like few others could have hoped. In Hotel (a novel adapted into a television show as well as a movie) he takes us through five fateful days at New Orleans’ largest hotel as the lives of its guests, workers and managers intersect in unpredictable ways.

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“Yestertime” by Andrew Cunningham – The People Behind the Science

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Short Summary

Andrew Cunningham is the sort of author who enjoys leaving his own comfort zone, and with Yestertime he dives into the untold potential of the time travel genre. It follows the story of Ray Burton, a journalist who, by pure accident, discovers a box from a hundred years ago carrying a seemingly impossible message, prompting him to embark on an investigation bound to change his life forever.

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“The Judge’s List” by John Grisham – Two Decades of Condemnation

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Short Summary

John Grisham is a name needing no introduction for fans of legal thrillers, by numerous metrics being one of the most successful writers in the genre, an achievement he rightfully deserves. In The Judge’s List, the second book in The Whistler series, he blends his craft with murder mystery, sending investigator Lacy Stoltz on the trail of a serial killer, with her main suspect being a sitting judge.

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“Gravity’s Rainbow” by Thomas Pynchon – Meaning in a Cruel World

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Short Summary

Thomas Pynchon might not be a very prolific author, but his books have often had a powerful impact when they were published, with the most prominent of the lot arguably being his 1973 classic bestseller, Gravity’s Rainbow. It’s an unusual kaleidoscope of a novel, taking place against the backdrop of the Second World War, exploring through a large number of characters the madness and all-consuming paranoia it gave birth to.

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“These Silent Woods” by Kimi Cunningham Grant – No One Runs Forever

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Short Summary

Kimi Cunningham Grant has found her entry into the club of noteworthy thriller writers when she published her first novel, and with These Silent Woods she further cements her foothold in the genre. It tells the story of a father living in the mountains with his daughter in near-complete isolation, until one day an unfortunate series of events leads the demons of his past right to their doorstep.

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“The Apollo Murders” by Chris Hadfield – The Secret Moon Voyage

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Short Summary

Chris Hadfield arguably knows more about the topic of space than the vast majority of people alive, holding the notable distinction of having been the first Canadian to walk in the cosmic void. As an author, he put his unique life experience to good use on a number of occasions, and in The Apollo Murders he takes us on a riveting NASA mission aimed to disrupt a secret Soviet space station spying on the United States.

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“The Final Game” by Caimh McDonnell – The Greed Competition

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Short Summary

Caimh McDonnell has always had the talent of dealing with death from a humorous perspective, and in The Final Game, his latest standalone novel, he returns to form with a plot centred on a recently-deceased woman, Dorothy Graham. Though she is gone from this world, she devised a competition for her relatives to engage in to determine who the inheritance will belong to, as well as having preemptively hired a detective agency to solve the mystery of her own murder.

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“Cackle” by Rachel Harrison – The Witch of the Modern Era

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Short Summary

Rachel Harrison certainly hasn’t taken a long time to put her writing degree to use, with her second novel, Cackle, having already come out in October 2021. Presenting a new and modern twist on the witch story, it follows a young woman who moves into a small town upstate from Manhattan and finds herself drawn to Sophie, a young lady whose magnetism seems utterly unnatural.

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