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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel

There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »


Customer Comments

Alisha C has commented on (40) products.

What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding: A Memoir by Kristin Newman
What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding: A Memoir

Alisha C, July 29, 2014

The synopsis promises “mastering the art of ‘vacationship’” and tales “that will have readers scrambling to renew their passports.” Unless you plan to travel in Newman’s footsteps and leave the country for the sole purpose of bedding men, I doubt you’ll rush out to renew your passport.

The book is intriguing, entertaining and humorous. It hits all the marks there, so it’s not a failure. Newman tells tales from the voice of a strong, independent woman and is really willing to try almost anything once. Newman didn’t choose the single, travelling life however. She merely traded it in in lieu of responsibility and societal norms of marrying and bearing children in your twenties and thirties, but she never stops hoping and wishing that she’ll end up there someday. She was searching for love and in the process had some fantastic experiences. Her travels stemmed from not having a perfect boyfriend to have children with and her need to escape the pressure to find that man/situation.
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The Gods of Second Chances by Dan Berne
The Gods of Second Chances

Alisha C, June 12, 2014

The novel is quiet, but very textured with emotions and themes. The characters will touch your soul and remind you that family life is never as easy as it could be, nor is it ever what it may seem. Berne’s characters are lively and likable. They make mistakes and rally through them. In the novel, Ray learns that family issues are rarely black and white and also learns the hard truth that there are two sides to every story, both of them standing with truth. Berne relates a family like no other but with familiarity to everyone.
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)

Priscilla: The Hidden Life of an Englishwoman in Wartime France by Nicholas Shakespeare
Priscilla: The Hidden Life of an Englishwoman in Wartime France

Alisha C, April 21, 2014

Priscilla, called extraordinary by many, left behind a legacy in a trunk of documents. Documents that record moments of love, lies, romance, friendship, and history. Shakespeare’s book takes us on his journey as he learns about her life: her lovers, her husbands, her friendships. The timeline can be difficult to follow as the organization is not linear but rather follows chunks of time that fluctuate between different periods of Priscilla’s life and the war. The Second World War is always in the background and the book is just as much a history of the events as it is a portrait of Priscilla.
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Hibernate (Ohio State Univ Prize in Short Fiction) by Elizabeth Eslami
Hibernate (Ohio State Univ Prize in Short Fiction)

Alisha C, April 21, 2014

Each of these stories need a bit of time to marinate after they are read. I tried to read two or even three in a single setting, but I found myself distracted by the story I had just read that it was too difficult to focus on a new story too quickly. Short stories should very much stand on their own and demand singular attention. Eslami has done a wonderful job of creating this emphasis, both in character and in the settings, of each of the stories that appear in this collection.
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Heading Out to Wonderful by Robert Goolrick
Heading Out to Wonderful

Alisha C, August 20, 2012

The novel is wonderfully descriptive and Brownsburg, it’s residents, and even a bit of Virginia come alive in ways that are not easily forgotten. The writing is rich, yet readable and speeds you through at an exciting pace. When you reach the end, you only wish you could go back and spend more time in the town and with the characters.
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