Book Reviews Stories 1 to 10 of 63  
4/8/2014
Book Reviews: Frog Music, The Mayo Clinic Guide to Stress-Free Living
Frog Music by Emma Donoghue Little, Brown, $27.00, 416 pages   Once, it was the most natural question in the world: why?  With a child’s usual curiosity, you asked it incessantly. Why are dogs black? Why’s the sun hot? Why do birds fly away?  Why? You drove your mother nuts.  But as you aged, answers came easier and “Why?” grew faint. You didn’t need to ask “why” so much, except, as in the ...
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3/25/2014
Book Reviews: Teaching the Cat to Sit, Kitty Genovese
Teaching the Cat to Sit: A Memoir by Michelle TheallGallery Books, $24.99, 288 pages Sometimes, you feel so adrift.Unmoored, unanchored, you feel as though you ride each wave alone, emotions and events washing over you until you can’t weather the storm any longer and you need an anchor. That’s when you reach for your family or your God.But what if both were denied to you?  In Teaching the Cat to Sit, Michelle Theall ...
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3/10/2014
Book Reviews: Writing God's Obituary, Pee Shy: A Memoir
Writing God’s Obituary: How a Good Methodist Became a Better Atheist by Anthony B. Pinn Prometheus Books,  $18.95, 241 pages   Your second home is a grand one.  It’s much bigger than the house you live in during the week. No, your second home has huge windows to let in the light, fine linens, and it’s usually filled with music. The furniture might be sparse, the chairs hard and the temperature uncomfortable, but there’s ...
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2/24/2014
Book Reviews: The Orphan Choir, The Marriage Act
The Orphan Choir by Sophie Hannah Picador, $25.00, 277 pages   Your neighbor loves heavy rock 'n' roll.  He has all the CDs of all the major metal bands. It’s impressive, really, the determination he used to find them, starting with the earliest and the heaviest. He listens to them every weekend. Over and over, loudly.  Which would be nice, except you hate heavy metal.  So, aside from buying a boxful of earplugs, what can ...
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2/10/2014
Book Reviews: Confessions of a Wild Child, Don't Be So Gay
Confessions of a Wild Child by Jackie Collins St. Martin’s Press, $26.99, 294 pages   Oh, the things you got away with when you were a teen!  Cutting classes and hanging out in the school parking lot. Sneaking out of the house when your parents thought you were asleep, parties when they weren’t home, “borrowing” their car, busting curfew—stupid stuff you hope your kids never do.  You got away with a lot. It’s ...
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1/27/2014
Book Reviews: Ham: Slices of a Life, Growing A Feast
Ham: Slices of a Life by Sam HarrisGallery Books, $26.00, 304 pages OK, pay attention.   Sometimes, that’s all you need—just someone to watch you, to hear what you’re saying or understand your feelings. A little attention can be a bad-mood squasher, a good-mood enhancer, or just validation.  Yes, a minute in the spotlight can do wonders. And as you’ll see in Ham: Slices of a Life by Sam Harris, hogging that spotlight ...
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1/13/2014
Book Reviews: The AIDS Generation, Reset
The AIDS Generation: Stories of Survival and Resilience by Perry N. HalkitisOxford University Press, $49.95, 249 pages Some of the best experiences you had last year were with your friends. When you think back about the highlights, you remember dancing together, eating together, late-night bull sessions, parties, travels and idle man-watching. Those shared experiences are the glue that forever hold your friendship together. Or maybe, like the men in The Aids Generation by ...
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12/30/2013
2013: A Year of Good Reading
Reading. Pfft. Who has time? Who can take hours and hours to actually read a book, especially if it’s not all that good? Why waste that kind of time?   You wonder that often, which is where I come in. It’s my job to find the good stuff for you and, for this calendar year, these are the books I loved best that you shouldn’t miss.  NON-FICTION  At the top of my list, ...
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12/30/2013
Book Reviews: You Can Tell Just By Looking, A Reader's Book of Days
A Reader’s Book of Days by Tom Nissley W.W. Norton, $24.95, 448 pages   Today is a good day to curl up with a book.  And that may be all you’ll do on this day, or today may be monumental in ways you’ll never forget. The thing is, you won’t know until it’s over and you’re ready for another day loaded with possibilities and books.  Did you ever wonder how your favorite author ...
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12/16/2013
Book Reviews: Taken by the Wind, The Dogs of Christmas
Taken by the Wind: A Jane Lawless Mystery by Ellen HartMinotaur Books, $25.99, 320 pages Your bag was packed.   There wasn’t much in it except for the necessities—your two favorite toys, a clean T-shirt, the stuffed animal you couldn’t sleep without and $2.31.  There wasn’t much there for actual survival, but you were a little kid running away from home—what did you know? At least, unlike in the new novel Taken ...
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