Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Big Girls Don't Cry: The Election that Changed Everything for American Women by Rebecca Traister

"Superb.... Big Girls Don't Cry is much more than an assemblage of these type of 'boys on the bus' campaign anecdotes. As anyone who's followed Traister's sharp and lively essays in Salon knows, her particular 'beat' is gender. What she does here is tease out the cultural narratives that came to wield so much power during the [2008 presidential] campaign and, finally, in the voting booth.... There's so much…to be learned and argued over in Big Girls Don't Cry…. Girls, these days, can not only run for president; they can also brilliantly analyze presidential campaigns, too."—Maureen Corrigan, NPR's Fresh Air

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

THE EXILE: AN OUTLANDER GRAPHIC NOVEL by Diana Gabaldon (Illustrated by Hoang Nguyen)

"Diana Gabaldon’s brilliant storytelling has captivated millions of readers in her bestselling and award-winning Outlander saga. Now, in her first-ever graphic novel, Gabaldon gives readers a fresh look at the events of the original Outlander: Jamie Fraser’s side of the story, gorgeously rendered by artist Hoang Nguyen." ~ Book Jacket

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Mullah's Storm by Thomas W. Young

"At the start of Young's well-crafted first novel, a transport plane carrying a high-value prisoner, a radical mullah, is forced down in the rugged Hindu Kush of Afghanistan. Maj. Michael Parson, the plane's co-pilot, and female Master Sergeant Gold, an interpreter who speaks Pashto, must brave a ferocious winter storm and reach a nearby Special Forces team with the mullah, but they wind up in the hands of Taliban insurgents. The SF team rescues Parson, but the Taliban escape, taking the mullah and the translator in opposite directions. The team must try to recapture the mullah, but Parson can't abandon Gold because "You love your comrades more than you hate your enemies." Young (The Speed of Heat: An Airlift Wing at War in Iraq and Afghanistan) draws on his own war experiences for verisimilitude, which, along with believable characters and an exciting plot, makes this one of the better thrillers to come out of the Afghan theater."

~ Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Freedom: A Novel by Jonathan Franzen

"Patty and Walter Berglund were the new pioneers of old St. Paul, the gentrifiers, the hands-on parents, the avant-garde of the Whole Foods generation. Patty was the ideal sort of neighbor, who could tell you where to recycle your batteries and how to get the local cops to actually do their job. She was an enviably perfect mother and the wife of Walter's dreams. Together with Walter (environmental lawyer, commuter cyclist, total family man) she was doing her small part to build a better world. But now, in the new millennium, the Berglunds have become a mystery. Why has their teenage son moved in with the aggressively Republican family next door? Why has Walter taken a job working with Big Coal? What exactly is Richard Katz rocker and Walter's college best friend and rival still doing in the picture? Most of all, what has happened to Patty? Why has the bright star of Barrier Street become a very different kind of neighbor an implacable Fury coming unhinged before the street's attentive eyes?

In his first novel since The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen has given us an epic of contemporary love and marriage. Freedom comically and tragically captures the temptations and burdens of liberty: the thrills of teenage lust, the shaken compromises of middle age, the wages of suburban sprawl, the heavy weight of empire. In charting the mistakes and joys of Freedom's characters as they struggle to learn how to live in an ever more confusing world, Franzen has produced an indelible and deeply moving portrait of our time."

Monday, September 13, 2010

Room: A Novel by Emma Donoghue

(*Note: This novel was already written by the time the Jaycee Dugard story broke).

"Five-year-old Jack and his Ma enjoy their long days together, playing games, watching TV, and reading favorite stories. Through Jack's narration, it slowly becomes apparent that their pleasant days are shrouded by a horrifying secret. Seven years ago, his 19-year-old Ma was abducted and has since been held captive-in one small room. To her abductor she is nothing more than a sex slave, with Jack as a result, yet she finds the courage to raise her child with constant love under these most abhorrent circumstances. He is a bright child-bright enough, in fact, to help his mother successfully carry out a plan of escape. Once they get to the outside world, the sense of relief is short lived, as Jack is suddenly faced with an entirely new worldview (with things he never imagined, like other people, buildings, and even family) while his mother attempts to deal with her own psychological trauma. Verdict Gripping, riveting, and close to the bone, this story grabs you and doesn't let go."

~ Susanne Wells, P.L. of Cincinnati & Hamilton Cty. Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.