Telling the Truth About Content

Book Review

Book Review: The Gym Teacher from the Black Lagoon

April 24, 2015Colleen Tsironis 0

One of my fondest memories as a mom is sitting on the ground, with a boy in my lap, reading through an endless supply of board books.  Before they could speak, my kids would toddle over, book in hand, and just start backing up into my lap. There was always time for another story or six. Bedtime […]

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Book Review: The Girl on the Train

February 18, 2015Erin Cosyn 1

Sitting atop the New York Times bestseller list, with multiple starred reviews, I had to find out what all the fuss was about over Paula Hawkins’s debut The Girl on the Train. A psychological thriller compared to Gillian Flynn and Alfred Hitchcock, The Girl on the Train is not my usual reading fare (I rarely read mysteries and when I do I am routinely disappointed). Still, if The Girl on the Train was going to be the next Gone Girl, I was going to be in on the action.

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Book Review: What I Know For Sure

January 13, 2015Colleen Tsironis 1

What I Know For Sure, by Oprah Winfrey, is a must-listen. This is a book to enjoy today and revisit every few years. That’s my plan. Readers of O, The Oprah Magazine, will recognize the title—each issue ends with Oprah’s column, aptly named “What I Know For Sure.” I came to this book as a listener first. […]

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Book Review: brown girl dreaming

December 16, 2014Colleen Tsironis 0

I discovered brown girl dreaming right before the National Book Award was announced. Narrated by the author, brown girl dreaming is written in verse and the poems all fit together to tell Jacqueline’s story—what it was like growing up in South Carolina and New York City during the civil rights movement, and how crucial words and stories were to her as a girl.

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Gone Girl: Book, Movie, and Audiobook

November 11, 2014Colleen Tsironis 0

Yesterday I finished listening to Gone Girl. The unabridged, 19 hour and 19 minute audiobook was fantastic! For me, this was the very best way to experience this particular story. Even after reading the novel and seeing the movie, there were new details to discover as I listened.

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Book Review: Kill the Messenger

October 29, 2014Kevin Daney 0

The release of the new movie Kill the Messenger, a biopic based on the book of the same name by Nick Schou and detailing the life of journalist Gary Webb, has renewed interest in his life and the shocking piece Webb wrote in 1996 claiming that the CIA was involved in drug running. There are many things about Webb and his big scoop that are unclear and tenuous but if there is a thrilling and explosive story to make into a movie it is Webb’s.

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Double Feature Book Review: Shotgun Lovesongs & The Girls from Corona del Mar

May 14, 2014Erin Cosyn 0

I first listened to Nickolas Butler’s debut novel Shotgun Lovesongs when I received an advance listening copy in early January. Two months later, I picked up an advance copy of Rufi Thorpe’s debut The Girls from Corona del Mar at PLA. I was struck by the similar themes between the two books and re-read Shotgun Lovesongs to compare the two. Though starkly different styles and characters, both books explore the same central theme: what happens to our childhood friendships as we grow into adults? I enjoyed both books tremendously, and each has its own merits separate from the other, but my experience of both was enriched by the other, and they will always live in my mind as a sort of unexpected, long-distance friendship between people who have never met.

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Book Review: Radiance of Tomorrow by Ishmael Beah

April 22, 2014Erin Cosyn 0

Ishmael Beah first reached fame with the 2007 publication of his memoir A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, in which he recounted his time as a child soldier in Sierra Leone’s brutal civil war. Despite the success of that book, Beah wanted to address a question that he didn’t think anyone was asking: what happens after the war? What lives await people upon their return home? Beah now brings us his unique perspective and warmth for humanity in his debut novel Radiance of Tomorrow, in which we see the interwoven narratives of numerous characters attempting to return home after the war has ended. In it, Beah explores themes of home and place, of tradition and history, and power and powerlessness. Through the overlapping threads of different characters’ stories we see the struggles of returning to normalcy from both the victims and the former perpetrators of the nation’s violence as they now attempt to rebuild their lives as neighbors.

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