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Madam Pince has commented on (71) products.

The Terror Courts: Rough Justice at Guantanamo Bay by Jess Bravin
The Terror Courts: Rough Justice at Guantanamo Bay

Madam Pince, March 6, 2013

"The Terror Courts" exposes the reality behind the Bush administration's attempts to sanitize the abuse of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. From the usual suspects -- Rumsfeld, Cheney, Addington and GWB -- to the military prosecutors shocked by the administration's brazen power grabs, readers come away stunned by the unapologetic lawlessness of cabinet officials and awed at the courageous protests of JAGs and military lawyers refusing to rubber-stamp confessions elicited by torture. Whatever remaining credibility the Bush administration may claim in the "war on terror," Jess Bravin undermines with his meticulous research, much of which was gathered while he covered the commissions on site at Guatanamo.
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Does This Church Make Me Look Fat?: A Mennonite Finds Faith, Meets Mr. Right, and Solves Her Lady Problems by Rhoda Janzen
Does This Church Make Me Look Fat?: A Mennonite Finds Faith, Meets Mr. Right, and Solves Her Lady Problems

Madam Pince, January 14, 2013

In this disappointing sequel to Mennonite in a Little Black Dress, Rhoda Janzen moves past acknowledging the value of the faith she grew up in to embracing the Pentecostalism of her new boyfriend -- a man she dismissed as incompatible in her previous memoir. A bout with a particularly severe form of breast cancer drives her pursuit and acceptance of prayer, abstinence, tithing, Godly marriage and baptism by immersion, all of which are accomplished in the trite & predictable fashion of The 700 Club. Most of the friends featured in Little Black Dress have disappeared, and her career as an English professor at a Michigan college (conveniently Christian) is virtually ignored. Finally, although Janzen acknowledges several times that she and her boyfriend are incompatible on an intellectual level, she glosses this over to insist that their mutual religious beliefs form a strong platform for their God-centered marriage. That may be true, and I wish Ms. Janzen well, but following her journey in this second memoir is a jarring ride on a bumpy road.
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The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns by Margaret Dilloway
The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns

Madam Pince, January 2, 2013

Galilee Garner is a prickly, self-contained high school biology teacher who lives in the restricted, regimented world of a dialysis patient waiting for her second kidney transplant. The only excitement she allows herself is a patient devotion to rose breeding, where she hopes to debut her own specimen. It takes the arrival of her troubled teenaged niece, Riley, to shake her out of her cloistered world and realize that she might be better served by broadening her focus.

This book had a lot of personal meaning for me, as my boyfriend spent the last two years of his life on dialysis. I was quite familiar with the dietary and fluid restrictions, medications and processes of dialysis Gal details, authenticity that Ms. Dilloway credits to her late sister-in-law. She also captures well the "me first" attitude of most dialysis patients and its tendency to alienate even the closest friends & family members. Although my personal story is not that of Gal, I'm quite familiar with the road she walks, and it was gratifying to read a novel that reflected closely on my life.
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Swamplandia! (Vintage Contemporaries) by Karen Russell
Swamplandia! (Vintage Contemporaries)

Madam Pince, October 25, 2012

I expected so much more from this novel: magical realism, Southern gothic, the kitsch of Florida. Instead I found a story that started off powerfully, but straggled into a tired, ordinary tale that overstayed its welcome -- by the time Ava makes her trip into Hell, the reader is already there. I expected much better from the author of St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves.
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(3 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)

Dexter Is Delicious by Jeff Lindsay
Dexter Is Delicious

Madam Pince, September 4, 2011

After two awful entries in the Dexter series, Jeff Lindsay has regained his mojo for the fifth book, Dexter is Delicious, which introduces Florida's most ethical serial killer as a brand-new father. Enraptured by his daughter, Dexter resolves to put his Dark Passenger behind him, only to find that there are those in his life who actually demand its return. While two girls from an expensive private school go missing -- along with scores of undocumented workers -- someone from Dexter's past wriggles into his life, and our hero is anything but pleased. His sister, Deborah, is determined to save one of the kidnapped girls, and because she dislikes her new partner, drags her brother along on her investigation. What the two of them find is a gruesome underworld centered around a sinister nightclub, Fang, which caters not only to Miami's vampire wannabes, but a far darker group with decidedly different tastes. Lindsay is back in fine form, taking bizarre plot elements and weaving them together into a credible tale for the sole graduate of the Harry Code.
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(2 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)

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