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Original Essays | August 20, 2014

Julie Schumacher: IMG Dear Professor Fitger



Saint Paul, August 2014 Dear Professor Fitger, I've been asked to say a few words about you for Powells.com. Having dreamed you up with a ball-point... Continue »
  1. $16.07 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    Dear Committee Members

    Julie Schumacher 9780385538138

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Customer Comments

Dawn O has commented on (7) products.

The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way by Amanda Ripley
The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way

Dawn O, November 5, 2013

This is a fascinating book about the reasons why the American education is failing our students. Three American exchange students enroll in schools overseas - Korea, Finland and Poland. The results are unsettling. I never knew that it's as difficult to be admitted to a teacher-training college in Finland as it is to get into a medical or law school here. Ripley uncovers other thought-provoking findings, including America's emphasis on sports programs over academics, and students' attitudes toward their own education.
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The Easter Parade. Richard Yates by Richard Yates
The Easter Parade. Richard Yates

Dawn O, October 25, 2013

This is a realistic, bracing novel by one of our most under-rated authors. Richard Yates tells us at the start that the two sisters he's writing about won't have happy lives. Exactly how their lives unfold is starkly and convincingly conveyed, and spans about four decades - including the "Mad Men" era, and the advertising industry. I finished this book wishing I could meet Yates, who doesn't tip his hand regarding his viewpoint; it's all so simply objective, and I still haven't decided how I feel about that. But it's a brilliantly drawn portrayal of two lives - female lives. Yates writes women so well; these characters will stay with me for a long time.
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Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
Revolutionary Road

Dawn O, October 3, 2013

I'd seen the movie, and maybe that's why I hadn't read this until now. In any case, the book was so powerful and perfectly written that now I want to read the other works by Ricard Yates, who, it seems to me, is vastly underrated and deserves a place in the canon right next to Fitzgerald. The characters here are compelling and unforgettable, and the pace is inexorable. Brilliant.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)



The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
The Talented Mr. Ripley

Dawn O, June 22, 2013

The main character, Tom Ripley, is one the best villains I've read in fiction. Patricia Highsmith created him in this novel, which is gripping and ends only too soon. The good news is that she wrote three more Ripley novels to follow this one. She is usually listed under "Mystery," and her work is unique in the sense of dread and suspense that underlies it. But she's probably better classified under "Literary," as a writer who creates highly credible characters that we seem to care about no matter what they do, as well as story engines that are impossible to put down.
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The Motel Life: A Novel (P.S.) by Willy Vlautin
The Motel Life: A Novel (P.S.)

Dawn O, May 28, 2013

This was the third Willy Vlautin novel I've read, though it was the first he published. I like his style - "Lean on Pete" was the one that drew me in. "The Motel Life" was so straightforwardly written and heartfelt; I'd say "simple" and it is, but there a depth underneath the simplicity that's anything but simple - more like an ache. I appreciate the way Vlautin never resorts to gimmicks or stylistic contrivances. There's an integrity and humility here that, ironically, brings the book to a higher level. Very moving. And there were even drawings at the head of every chapter - which were organic to the characters.
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