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Original Essays | June 20, 2014

Lauren Owen: IMG The Other Vampire



It's a wild and thundery night. Inside a ramshackle old manor house, a beautiful young girl lies asleep in bed. At the window, a figure watches... Continue »

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Customer Comments

Cristal has commented on (15) products.

Constellations Men's Socks by Sock It to Me
Constellations Men's Socks

Cristal, July 4, 2014

These comfortable, fun socks are perfect for almost everything, especially sliding across hardwood floors. Either wearing the stars on my feet in my leisure time or wearing them secretly during a meeting, I love them!
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Looking for Alaska by John Green
Looking for Alaska

Cristal, July 2, 2014

Don't do what I did and read this book in one sitting. Okay, it's short and incredibly good, which makes it easy to bolt down. But then you are going to feel like an idiot for not savoring the pleasure, and you're going to be incredibly bleary the next day (if you finish it at 4 in the morning, like I did). This book deals with The Big Ones: suffering, loss, and grief, but it does so with such compassion and humor that the net impact is uplifting. Even the principal turns out to be a human being. There are no cardboard cut-out characters here. Be aware that the kids in this story do what kids actually do (smoke, drink, and have sex). If that bothers you, read it anyway. There are more important things in life than observing proprieties and pretending that bright kids aren't exploratory. You don't have to approve of these characters. It is enough to love them and learn from them.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)



Hard Choices by Hillary Rodham Clinton
Hard Choices

Cristal, July 2, 2014

This book is well written, insightful and a riveting good read. Those that claim its boring must have very short attention spans. Love her or hate her, this book provides some wonderful points on the making of history and yes, how hard decisions are made.
Ms. Clinton was Secretary of State during one of the most difficult periods in American history. Again, whether you agree with her decisions or not, getting an insiders look was fascination.
I particularly enjoyed the chapters on Afghanistan and the Middle East. As someone who has lived there and studied the Middle East as my major in college, I can tell you she is factual and knowledgeable about the area.
Conservatives do themselves a huge disservice in not reading this book with an objective eye. If you don't wish to contribute to her monetarly, then check the book out from the library. But don't be willfully ignorant. And stop posting fake reviews. That's morally and ethically wrongand if you are a ChristianYou are bearing false witness.
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Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King
Mr. Mercedes

Cristal, July 2, 2014

If you like aliens, cats that come back to life, or creepy clowns, this is not the book for you. If you love well-written King books, it is. If you enjoyed Shawshank, Stand By Me, and ect., this book will make you happy. 11/22/63 was good, but still used the supernatural to move the story, and here it's just people. I think King is at his best when he uses the characters that always feel real.

Enjoy a good story? Tired of the usual crap? Read this.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)



The Things They Carried/In the Lake of the Woods by Tim O'brien
The Things They Carried/In the Lake of the Woods

Cristal, July 1, 2014

Tim O'Brien's "The Things They Carried" is a book that transcends the genre of war fiction. Actually, it transcends the genre of fiction in general. Although labeled "a work of fiction" on the title page, the book really combines aspects of memoir, novel, and short story collection. I think you could use Audre Lorde's term "biomythography" to describe this book.
The first-person narrator of this book (named, like the author, Tim O'Brien) is a writer and combat veteran of the Vietnam War. The book actually deals with events before and after the war, in addition to depicting the war itself; the time span covers more than 30 years in the lives of O'Brien and his fellow soldiers.
"The Things They Carried" is an intensely "writerly" text. By that I mean that O'Brien and his characters often reflect directly on the activities of storytelling and writing. As a reader, I got the sense that I was being invited into the very process by which the book was created. This is an extraordinary technique, and O'Brien pulls it off brilliantly.
This being a war story, there are some truly disturbing, graphic, and violent scenes. But there are also scenes that are haunting, funny, surreal, or ironic. O'Brien depicts a memorable group of soldiers: the guilt-wracked Lieut. Cross; Kiowa, a Native American and devout, Bible-carrying Baptist; the sadistic but playful Azar; and more.
While this book is a complete and cohesive work of art, many of its component stories could stand alone as independent pieces of literature (in fact, I first encountered the title story in an anthology). But however you classify it, I consider "The Things They Carried" to be a profoundly moving masterpiece.
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