Month: September 2013

Book 36 of 52: The Theory of Opposites by Allison Winn Scotch

Allison Winn Scotch is a familiar name to long time readers of the blog. I’ve reviewed or written about all four of her previous novels – whether here or somewhere else. I haven’t landed an assignment about The Theory of Opposites quite yet, but I hope I do soon, especially since she’s taking a slightly different path on the business end of this book. But let’s save that discussion to a later time. As for the book! It’s typical, excellent work. The Theory of Opposites is about Willa Chandler-Golden trying to get out of the thumb of inertia, which comes from both her famous philosopher father and a husband who has mapped out their lives together. When said husband chucks the map out the window (not giving away too much by saying in a less than wonderful way), Willia is forced to try something new, which involves not standing still, and writing a…

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Book 35 of 52: A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

A Visit from the Goon Squadby Jennifer Egan – well this is one book where I don’t think I can offer more to what’s already been said about it. It won the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Critic Circle Award, and was a book of the year in a slew of magazines and newspapers. But I’ll try, briefly: to me, this read as a book about aging. The story slides in time around a handful of characters who are loosely connected, and we see them at different stages of their lives. For most, the last time we see them, they are drawn in a state of melancholy and also living the consequences of previous actions, for good or for bad. No one we meet more than once seems to have lived up to his or her potential. The older adult versions of themselves are flat where the younger versions – no…

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Book 34 of 52: The Secret Rooms by Catherine Bailey

Half way through Catherine Bailey’s  The Secret Rooms: A True Story of a Haunted Castle, a Plotting Duchess, and aFamily Secret,  I emailed my editor at an inflight magazine and said “I AM OBSESSED WITH THIS BOOK YOU NEED TO LET ME REVIEW IT.” That might a slight exaggeration, but all caps were used in a portion of the email. She obliged, which is why I can’t write too much about the book here – I have to save it for the review, which will run in January, the same month the book is published in the U.S. It has already been published in the U.K. and was a smashing success. Bailey is a historian who started going through documents of the 9th Duke of Rutland because she was working on a book about the estate’s “Lost Generation” – the young men who worked there and died in WW I….

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