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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

MindyBuchanan has commented on (28) products.

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
The 5th Wave

MindyBuchanan, February 21, 2014

Wow. I mean, that's pretty much all I can say about this book. I can't believe this book comes so highly recommended. My only assumption here is that because Mr. Yancey is a well published author, his agent and book editor saw fit to allow him to publish such cliched drivel. And I'm not even talking about the ridiculous alien plot-line, logic holes, or absolutely pointless back story vomit.

I know. I'm usually not so mean in reviews. And I hate to say terrible things about someone's hard work. I do, I swear.

But as a woman I feel I must say something about the absolutely awful representation of a female protag as presented in first person by Mr. Yancey. I am sorry for the women in Yancey's life, because he must think very little of them. His version of a young female is both boring and irritatingly cliched. It's like he took all the snippets that he knows about women from Glamour Magazine and tried to stuff her into an insanely boring shell. She's annoying. Simpering. Ridiculous. Illogical. Again, I feel sorry for the women in Yancey's life.

I usually have a rule about not reading authors who write MC's in first person when they are the opposite sex. Especially in YA literature. Because being a teen girl is hard. And unless you've been one, it is impossible (as Yancey clearly proves here) to write from an informed and meaningful perspective. And I do not mean to say this just for men attempting to write from a teen girl's perspective. I find the same to be exactly true of women who write from a teen male's first person perspective. However, and perhaps this is because it is easier to find on the shelves, I think this is done successfully more often.

I won't go into all of the other problems with this story, because by far the biggest fail in this is the author's attempt to portray a fleshed out and layered female protagonist. Plot, logic holes, repetitiveness, and pointless back story aside.
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When She Woke by Hillary Jordan
When She Woke

MindyBuchanan, October 2, 2011

It takes a special book to hook me into reading it in one sitting. Maybe it's the timeliness to the current political and faith debate, maybe it's my affinity for The Scarlet Letter, or maybe Hillary Jordan is just that damn good. Whatever the maybe, this book grabs you and drops you into a completely realized world that is both terrifying and familiar. If you like books like The Handmaid's Tale, or The Scarlet Letter, or even the more current and YA focused The Hunger Games, this book is sure to grab your interest. In fact while the prose is sometimes thick yet beautiful, the protagonist, Hannah is so sheltered that she almost reads as a YA character, despite her being 26 at the start of the novel.
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(0 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)



World Without Us by Alan Weisman
World Without Us

MindyBuchanan, July 15, 2010

This is a super interesting book - and a HUGE downer. Nevertheless, I have to give it five stars. There were times I just had to put the book down and read something a little less intense. I will admit that it's easy to get bogged down by Weisman's style. Though some of his thoughts are funny (in a scary way), there are times when the technical explanations are tough to get through. I would say this is both a good and bad book to read before bed. Good because, it doesn't take long to get tired of the technical, bad because it will seriously give you nightmares or ulcers. It remains, however, an important and interesting read.
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(2 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)



The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart (Borzoi Books)
The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart (Borzoi Books)

MindyBuchanan, April 19, 2010

I have to say that it has been a long time since I've read a book through in one sitting. Truthfully though, this isn't a super long book.

I'm having a hard time describing what I loved about it. Malzieu weaves a strange tale like a Tim Burton/Roald Dahl/Shel Silverstein mash up with a hint of Neil Gaiman. Its written like a read-out-loud storybook, but it's for grown ups. There is a lot of sexual innuendo and adult themes, yet it's whimsical like something from childhood.

So I guess, I just have to say I loved it, and that's that. I don't think it would be for everyone, but if you normally like an unusual tale, this is an excellent book.
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(3 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)



The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova
The Swan Thieves

MindyBuchanan, February 4, 2010

I honestly can't see why people would really complain about this book. True, in many ways, it is very unlike The Historian. However, I find that rather refreshing. How boring is it (at least for me) to have an author continue to churn out the exact same storyline over and over and over again (ahem, Dan Brown, Patricia Cornwell)? I admire that Kostova takes years between novels, carefully and artfully researching her subject matter.

She must have delved so deep into the world of art, she either began painting herself or is incredibly intuitive. Kostova writes with a bright understanding of the world of art and history. To me, her research is one of the things that give her fiction such a fantastic tone.

I don't want to give anything away, since this book is as much a mystery as it is a story of love, betrayal, art, mental illness, and the lengths at which we will go to understand them all. It is a slow boiling read that traps your imagination and leaves you wishing for more. Though I would say not so much that you'd want more to the character's stories (the ending was well paced), just more of Kostova's writing in general.

If you're looking for a replica of The Historian, you'll not find it here. However, if you're looking to be plainly set in a wonderful, if not mundane world, where character development slightly outweigh fast moving plot lines, look no further. It's certainly worth the time.
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(6 of 10 readers found this comment helpful)



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