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Interviews | April 8, 2014

Shawn Donley: IMG Gabrielle Zevin: The Powells.com Interview



Gabrielle ZevinThe American Booksellers Association collects nominations from bookstores all over the country for favorite forthcoming titles. The Storied Life of... Continue »
  1. $17.47 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry

    Gabrielle Zevin 9781616203214

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Customer Comments

Carol Jackson has commented on (4) products.

The Little Way of Ruthie Leming: A Southern Girl, a Small Town, and the Secret of a Good Life by Rod Dreher
The Little Way of Ruthie Leming: A Southern Girl, a Small Town, and the Secret of a Good Life

Carol Jackson, June 7, 2013

The brother of Ruthie Leming wrote this book. It is, indeed, a book about a Southern girl and a small town. Not so much about the secret of a good life. I believe you can have a "good life" not living in a small southern town surrounded by family and with those you grew up. Being greatly loved by both parents. In a house built on family land. After being homecoming queen. Marrying your high school sweetheart that loves you utterly. And having hunting skills yet still being able to be "girly".

The family is full of flaming hysterics (except, apparently, Ruthie). The mother of Ruthie drives 120 mph to get to the hospital after Ruthie dies (of terminal cancer diagnosed over a year previously). The husband does CPR (!) on the poor woman after she dies and then screams at various people. The oldest daughter bangs her head, pounds her fists into the hospital wall and kicks a trash can. And as a final show "threw herself on the ground and wailed".

The brother is also a piece of work. He has "issues" with daddy, i.e. daddy doesn't understand me, daddy thinks he knows what is best for me, daddy doesn't approve of my career choices. Endlessly agonized and obsessed about. He finally finds peace with religion, but not before making the reader want to fly to Louisiana and slap him senseless with the admonition to "grow up, will you?!"

Oddly, for a book about Ruthie, you really don't learn much about her, other then people liked her, she was extraordinarily brave and brother had "issues" with her.

The author has talent but his self-focusing was tiring rather than reader-identifying. Next time, he should write a book about Ruthie.







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The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling
The Casual Vacancy

Carol Jackson, November 10, 2012

I wanted to like this book. Really. Ms. Rowling is excellent at characterization (how we came to know and love the characters in her Harry Potter series!) except for this book. Plodding plot. Superficial, unlikeable people. Tedious abbreviated verbalization of "lower class" speech. Read a review that it was "gritty". Yeah, so she threw in swear words, people behaving badly (sex, drugs, the usual) and killed off a few folks. Looking forward to the next book. Will have to be an improvement.
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A Song of Ice and Fire Boxed Set (A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows) by George R. R. Martin
A Song of Ice and Fire Boxed Set (A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows)

Carol Jackson, September 1, 2011

Have not watched the HBO series, but it doesn't matter. This series has riveted my entire family. The comparison with Lord of the Rings is fair but the real attraction is the characters. Larger than life, but humanized, even the "evil" ones. But, than again, these books make evil a slippery term. The description of dress, land, customs and even food make the setting so real. I literally got lost when I read, and absolutely loved doing so. Definitely my series of the year.
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Dune by Frank Herbert
Dune

Carol Jackson, January 30, 2010

I have read this book more or less every year since I was a teen, several decades back now. It's the nuances of the characters that never fail to delight me. The description of Arrakis (Dune) is incredibly detailed, one literally gets lost in the story and on the planet. Truly, one of the great masterpieces ever written.
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