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Showing posts from July, 2014

What Do You Buy the Children of the Terrorist That Tried to Kill Your Wife

How can we Americans, who sit and watch the news on our televisions or listen to it on NPR, even begin to comprehend what the limbs and blood and screams and other sounds are like in a terrorist explosion, unless we've actually lived it? In Israel, however, these sorts of conflicts and explosions are a matter of daily life that the occupants must endure. It is in tis sort of life that David Harris-Gershorn writes his first book - a memoir of sorts. He gives an interesting perspective on this daily life in Israel with its constant threats. While he's not a primary victim of a terrorist bombing, his wife was, making him a secondary victim of sorts. In 2002, Harris-Gershorn and his wife were living in Israel, studying and attending Hebrew university. Harris-Gershorn's wife was a student there. On one fateful date, she was sitting in the cafeteria when a bomb went off literally next to her while she and some of their friends were eating lunch. While eating pasta in the apartm…

My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff

I, like everyone else, read Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye in high school but haven't read it again since and when I moved to New Hampshire, I learned that there was the additional connection between Granite Staters and Salinger. He lived in Cornish as a near recluse in the State - maybe he knew what everyone else in NH knew - people here seem to respect a person's desire to keep to themselves as long as they're not causing any problems. So, when I heard a story on NPR about how Rakoff wrote a book about working for the literary agency that represented Salinger, my interest was piqued.This book takes place in 1996 and is best classified as a memoir; however it really feels like she could be talking about the female office workers in the Mad Men era. These are tastefully dressed women who live in Brooklyn and can barely make their rent, let alone purchase a deli sandwich. Most of Rakoff's friends are, like her, the underpaid assistants to the agents in the big l…

Euphoria by Lily King

When people hear the name of Margaret Mead,I don't think they necessarily think of the torrid, sexuality of her work and how big a splash it made because of it. It did make that splash though and this novel draws loosely on the 1933 expedition that Mead went on with her then husband and the man that would become her third husband. She then blended those facts into a story of her own creations. I really enjoyed reading this novel in major part because it was a well researched nod to Mead, a woman that the author clearly admired for the work that she engaged in. The love triangle that ensues and the ego competition add layers upon layers to an already lovely story. The tension is palpable from the get go when Nell Stone, the protagonist and author of a book that caused a splash is leaving an aggressive tribe with her Aussie husband (Fen) who is already jealous of Nell. The tribe that they are leaving lobs items at them as they leave, one of which Nell believes is a stillborn baby…

Wonder by RJ Palacio

Wow, I've nearly let this blog die and I'm so sorry for that. I'm restarting. I promise not to let it go so long again. And I'm starting with a book that I've heard so much about and have really wanted to read it. I've heard so much about Wonder. August (aka Augie) Pullman was born with a congenital facial deformity call Treacher-Collins Syndrome. As a result of this congenital deformity, Augie has been home schooled. The deformity has led to Augie having a number of operations and hospitalizations. However, at 10, his parents have decided that he should be enrolled in a somewhat prestigious prep school in New York City. Aside from his face, which is extremely distinct, Auggie is a normal kid, albeit a smart and perceptive one. His mental capacity is above average. This book examines his struggles to overcome his deformity, go to school and challenge people's perceptions about a person's outward appearance.Even though this book is classified as yo…