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Book Reviews 07/2016

“The BFG” movie review: Spielberg weaves magic out of Dahl's book
There's a secret about children that Steven Spielberg, Melissa Mathison and Roald Dahl have always known — that no matter how innocent, kids are as capable of understanding darkness as adults, and sometimes even more so. It's not that it's some ...

Book Review: Investigating charities, and the differences they make
Nicholas Kristof and his wife, Sheryl WuDunn, have written an interesting book about charity and in “A Path Appears,” they lay out examples of effective charities, almost all of which centered on helping individuals rather than creating nonprofit ...

Book Review: Love Factually
I'm Connie Bennett, Director of Eugene Public Library, with a book review of "Love Factually” by Duana Welch. The subtitle tips you off right away: “Love Factually: 10 proven steps from I wish to I do.” It's not a book designed for the married or ...

Book Review: Tom & Lucky (And George & Cokey Flo)
Centered around the trial of New York mob boss Charles “Lucky” Luciano, the book tackles the perspectives of four major players in the case: Then-New York Attorney General Thomas Dewey, mob boss Lucky Luciano, defense attorney George Levy and the ...

Book Review (Part Two): Andy Stern Dips His Toe Into The 2020 Presidential Waters
Are good Middle Class jobs an endangered species? If so, is the solution to that for the taxpayers to send almost everyone $10,000/year tax free? As described yesterday in Part One Andy Stern's new Raising The Floor is the best of books, it is the ...

Book Review: Boy With A Knife
41G64nmgyGL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_ Activist, author and teacher Jean Trounstine is back to writing about prison issues with her latest, “Boy With A Knife.” Trounstine gives a detailed and extensively sourced critique of the criminal justice system by ...

Book review: 'The Lost Child' a brilliant, textured tale
What should satisfy readers of literature is the realization that “The Lost Child” is a nuanced and textured tale which is not easily summed up on a book jacket or even in a 400-word review. There is much more to “The Lost Child” than a reimagining of ...

Book review: Readers will devour gothic mystery 'June'
This one was the perfect book at the perfect time, a real page-turner for me. Masterfully handled dual timelines transition back and forth seamlessly. There is a bit of a gothic mystery, multiple love stories and heartbreak, blackmail, murder and even ...

Book review: Feeling at home in Amberly
Ariella Cohen of Deerfield has just produced her first novel. “Sweet Breath of Memory” weaves together the lives of a number of women of different ages. As the novel unfolds, both the characters and the reader learn about the gifts that storytelling ...

Book Review: 'Learn to crochet, love to crochet' by Anna Wilkinson
I found the book last week when I was going through the stacks of papers and books on my desk at the office, and I discovered that I had this book and had never reviewed it. I feel qualified to review it because it's for beginners. I know how to ...

Book review: 'Most Blessed of the Patriarchs" takes a hard look at Jefferson's life
Because the subject matter of this work is so broad, I would recommend it as the one book to read about Jefferson if you want an excellent summary and introduction to his life. Gordon-Reed, a professor at Harvard Law School, pretty much turned ...

Book review: 'Stick Cat' will delight beginning readers
Tom Watson, author of the Stick Dog series of beginning chapter books, has released a new title, “A Tail of Two Kitties.” Young readers will delight in the adventures of Stick Cat, who lives in an apartment 23 floors above the street with his owner, a ...

Book review: Look at history of genetics makes for half of a compelling book
That book combines a subject of universal interest (everyone who hasn't received a cancer diagnosis knows several who have) with material mostly new to typical readers. Is his follow-up, “The Gene: An Intimate History,” a recounting of thought and ...

BOOK REVIEW: 'Berzerkoids' by MP Johnson
This book is PUNK. From the title to the themes, passing through the style and tone, MP Johnson brings out punk culture in his collection, Berzerkoids. I've known MP online for a few years now, and my first exposure to his work was his book The After ...

Book Review: "Patient H.M."
Luke Dittrich's new book “Patient H.M.” offers a fascinating and disturbing look at Molaison's life. I can wholeheartedly recommend buying the book when it comes out, but in this review I'll focus on three especially interesting things that Dittrich ...

Book review: 'First Light' puts fun but predictable twist on classic fairy tales
Utah author Michele Paige Holmes offers her debut fantasy novel with a modern twist on classic fairy tales in "First Light." “FIRST LIGHT,” by Michele Paige Holmes, Mirror Press, $16.99, 494 pages (f). Blend classic fairy tales “Cinderella,” “Beauty ...

Book review: Epic novel spans four centuries
But the truth is, the characters — and the real people they represent — so often do not have the privilege of closure, torn from their families and homes without knowing what has become of those they love. #This book is available at the Bud Werner ...

Book review: Yes, even Richard Nixon had a soul
Maybe the best way to understand Nixon is to walk in his shoes, which Evan Thomas attempts to do in this book. It's a difficult task, trying to unmask a person's ultimate motivations. But Thomas succeeds in giving the reader a pretty good idea at the ...

Book review (Fiction): 'Another One Goes Tonight'
“Another One Goes Tonight,” the 16th installment in Peter Lovesey's series featuring British detective Peter Diamond, begins with what seems like a moment of light comedy. Two Bath policemen stop an elderly man riding a motorized tricycle without a ...

DOG GONE: A LOST PET'S EXTRAORDINARY JOURNEY AND THE FAMILY WHO BROUGHT HIM HOME
Absolutely. Anyone whose pet has gone missing, however briefly, suffers agonies of the imagination wondering whether it's injured, or frightened, or dead. In “Dog Gone,” Pauls Toutonghi relates the harrowing story of the Marshall family of McLean. On ...

Book review: "The Underdogs" delves into science, love, power of canine-human bond
This book takes a fascinating look at how 4 Paws 4 Ability was founded and how the organization helps children who have been rejected by every other service dog provider. The stories of these children are heartbreaking and as a mother, this book made ...

Book review: 'First Comes Love' another engaging hit from Emily Giffin
A pebble tossed into a pond, a butterfly fluttering its wings, images we all hear or think about frequently. Such is the effect of a young man's death on his family and friends in Emily Giffin's wonderful new novel, “First Comes Love.” She already has ...

Book review: In Jodi Paloni's linked stories, a desire for more
Frank O Smith is a Maine writer whose novel “Dream Singer” was named a Notable Book of the Year in Literary Fiction in 2014 by Shelf Unbound, an international review magazine. “Dream Singer” was also a finalist for the Bellwether Prize, created by ...

Book review: 'White Trash' delves widely, not so deeply, into US attitudes about class
The book is particularly good on the pre-Revolutionary and Civil War periods, but takes in Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton and Bill Clinton as well. Yet this wealth of material ultimately proves a snare, entangling author and reader alike. One wishes ...

Book review: Teens' lives thrown into turmoil after seer's apocalyptic claims
The story centers on Alba, a 17-year-old aspiring comic-book artist and pastry enthusiast. She is joined by best friends Grady, Tia, Caroline, Ed and Pete. They are your typical group of freshly graduated high school students, living in the present ...

Book review | 'LaRose' crams characters into unpredictable tale
Far from following a narrow course, her book overflows with characters and stories, crammed in whether they quite fit or not. Erdrich pays attention to LaRose and his two sets of parents, of course, examining the ways in which their roles and ...

Book review | 'Being a Beast': Tale of living in wild as animals employs insight, humor, shock value
In his intensely strange and terrifically vivid new book, ''Being a Beast: Adventures Across the Species Divide,'' English naturalist Charles Foster occasionally removes his clothes as well. He hopes to understand what it might feel like, out in the ...

“Islamic Exceptionalism” book review: Focus on Islam's unique influence
But his answer does not focus on conspiracy theories, lone wolves, or terrorist plots; instead, it centers on the intricate relationship between faith and the state in the Middle East. In his illuminating new book, “Islamic Exceptionalism” — I can ...

Book review: 'Miracle on Monhegan' reveals family's secrets in waggish, dark tones
The story's turning point takes place at Black Head (spelled in the book as two words), the island's rocky cliffs. There, after dropping a match into a mason jar of bullets, Hally reports that he saw an apparition of the Virgin Mary. This event ...

Book review: 'Loving Leah' is a journey through war-torn historical America
When Mormon Leah Donaldson gets a job as a governess to two children whose mother has died and father is away at war, she isn't ready for the love she feels for them, or the trouble that awaits her in the Civil War novel "Loving Leah." "LOVING LEAH ...

Book Review: 'And I Darken' by Kiersten White
The personal politicking in this book is what stood out the most to me. The question of which pieces of yourself you have to sacrifice to achieve a higher goal is something that comes up again and again. The push-pull of a rather contentious sibling ...

BOOK REVIEW: 'Every Freshman Has One' autobiography of Olivia de Havilland
This slim book is a light-hearted but also penetrating look at adjusting to French life, written more than half a century ago in the happy throes of a marriage that would end in divorce just before its silver wedding, although the couple remained close ...

Review: 'Bush,' a Biography as Scathing Indictment
The first sentence of his book: “Rarely in the history of the United States has the nation been so ill-served as during the presidency of George W. Bush.” The last: “Whether George W. Bush was the worst president in American history will be long ...

BOOK REVIEW: 'Far from a Soldier: How I Signed Up for the US Army to Save My Life and It Almost Killed Me' By ...
BOOK REVIEW: 'Far from a Soldier: How I Signed Up for the US Army to Save My Life and It Almost Killed Me' By ...

'The Fangirl Life' book review: A fandom addict's guide to real life
This book won't fix your life (just like the 30+ self-help articles I have yet to read because I don't want to shatter the illusion that Lifehack Magic isn't real), but it doesn't promise to. The Fangirl Life is a safe space, acknowledging and ...

Comic Book Review – The Flash #1
The Flash 1 cover A new storm brews over Central City and disproves the old adage about lightning never, well…you know. Just as Barry begins to feel overwhelmed fighting crime, a new speedster debuts—but just where did this amazing new friend come ...

BOOK REVIEW: 'A Country Road, a Tree' examines life of Samuel Beckett
Living in Paris in the 1930s Samuel Beckett was not yet the author of 20th-century classics such as “Waiting for Godot” and “Krapp's Last Tape.” He was assistant to James Joyce, whose wide learning he shared. But though he had published his novel ...

Our Shared Shelf June book review: “Persepolis 1 & 2”
Welcome back to my monthly coverage of Emma Watson's Our Shared Shelf book club! Last month's pick was “The Argonauts” by Maggie Nelson and this month Ms. Watson has chosen “Persepolis” by Marjane Satrapi. DISCLAIMER: Emma did not clarify, ...

Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book (review)
I've had the chance to play every installment of Gust's Atelier series that's been released in North America, and the one thing I've always looked forward to was seeing just how each new installment will evolve. The premise of the series is always the ...

One of America's finest essayists turns her gaze on literary fiction
(Hence, a book review such as this one falls into the purview of writing she testily accepts as a banal necessity of literary culture: Brief and reductive assessments of an isolated work, as though each book reviewed were “a wolf-child reared beyond ...

Book Review: Hannah Pittard goes for the throat with 'Listen to Me'
Hannah Pittard likes to write about the things no one likes talking about. She wrote about the end of youth in The Fates Will Find Their Way; she wrote about suicide and credit card debt in Reunion. In her newest novel, Listen to Me, Pittard examines ...

Book Review: 'Cards for Brianna' by Heather McManamy (with William Croyle)
Mostly, you know, it's bills, fliers for a new dentist in town, sometimes a magazine, and a reminder from your veterinarian. You got two requests for donations and a letter from an organization you belonged to, years ago… but look again. Maybe, as in ...

“WEIRD LOVE #13” (Comic Book Review)
Love is weird enough as it is, what with the feelings and the touching and the general anxiety of being that close to another sack of skin and meat, but it's even worse when it's cursed! Heralding the thirteenth issue of the WEIRD LOVE genre re-prints ...

US--Book Review-Bobby Kennedy
One of Bobby Kennedy's first assignments in Washington was to assist Sen. Joe McCarthy's investigation into communists in the U.S. government. Larry Tye's fascinating new book, "Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon," helps connect the dots in ...

Book Review: Transition from McCarthy aide to fierce liberal
While the biography includes many fascinating aspects of Bobby Kennedy's life, the book is most successful in tracing Kennedy's transition from a brash, patrician lawyer to a skilled liberal politician who overwhelmingly identified with those in the ...

'Black River Falls' book review: When your memories are gone, how much of you is left?
This theme of old versus new is prevalent throughout the entire book. When all of your memories, all of your experiences, are wiped away, who do you become? Are you no one, or are you someone else? Can you still claim your past name, your past life ...

Book Review: "Uber-Positive: Why Americans Love The Sharing Economy"
One of the most important developments today is the rise of the so-called “sharing economy”. As you might expect, the spectacular popularity of the new “sharing” companies has resulted in these companies attracting their share of detractors. Chief ...

Book Review: Directors Tell the Story is Beach Reading for Fun and Profit
This experience permeates every page of their book. Logically enough given the authors' credits, Directors Tell the Story focuses largely on television directing, but its most valuable lessons—on blocking and visual design, working with actors ...

BOOK REVIEW: 'Seconhand Time: The Last of the Soviets'
“Freedom had materialized out of thin air,” writes Nobel Laureate Svetlana Alexievich of the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. “Everyone was intoxicated by it, but no one had really been prepared . We'd be just like everyone else. We thought that this ...

8 Keys to Mental Health for Men Through Exercise (Book Review)
8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise isn't a weight loss book or a how-to exercise book. Dr. Hibbert explains, with research to back it up, why exercise is such an important piece of mental health care. Exercise is free, accessible, holds no stigma ...


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