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Showing posts from April, 2013

Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

You know that a book is going to be a wonderfully epic novel when the first line is: "The small boys came early to the hanging." The novel lived up to the tremendous first line because it was honestly 900 pages and then some of wonderful prose.The Pillars of the Earth was written by Ken Follett and came out in 1989. It takes place in the fictional town of Kingsbridge, England in the 12th century and the centerpiece of the novel - the thread that binds everyone in the tapestry together - is the building of the town's new cathedral. It takes place during an important period - the time between the sinking of a ship and the murder of the Archbishop, Thomas Becket (both of which play somewhat important roles in the novel). When we meet the town of Kingsbridge, Henry has already died and there is no clear heir. Maud (his daughter) and Stephen are fighting for the throne. Tom Builder, a master builder, is searching for work for his family of four (soon to be five) because the…

Sticks and Stones by Emily Bazelon

I am a tremendous fan of Emily Bazelon - I have been ever since I started listening to her on the Slate podcasts and reading her blog articles there as well. I also loved her interview with Steven Colbert, which is what convinced me to get her new book. My husband bought it for me as my birthday present, which made it even more special!I think that the idea for this book started in 2009 when Ms. Bazelon began writing articles on Slate about bullying and its impact on students. Social media seemed to amplify the impact of bullying on various groups and that piqued her concern and interest even more so. In this book, Bazelon attempts to define what bullying is, using three case studies, and attempts to provide some guidance to administrators and families in the hopes of reigning in bullying in the social media age. I think that a lot of people assumed that this book would be really a self help book in disguise and it really isn't - you would know that Bazelon is NOT the self help t…