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Rachel Coker has commented on (72) products.

Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan
Sweet Tooth

Rachel Coker, January 27, 2015

"Sweet Tooth" is a spy novel whose protagonist is a fiction-loving young woman. What's not to like? Ian McEwan gives us Serena Frome, the Cambridge-educated daughter of an Anglican bishop eager for a taste of independence and excitement in early 1970s England. When an older man recruits her for MI5, she finds herself living a London life that is by turns boring (endless typing in frigid offices) and thrilling (secret assignations). Serena falls in love with the novelist she's supposed to recruit for an operation code named Sweet Tooth, and the story takes off from there.
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Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty
Rosie Revere, Engineer

Rachel Coker, January 4, 2015

I don't often take the time to leave comments about children's books, but "Rosie Revere, Engineer" is something special. The rhymes are clever; the illustrations are fun. Best of all is the message of this delightful book: You only fail if you give up. This is something today's kids need to hear over and over. Throw in the fact that the book introduces kids to the idea of becoming engineers, and this is a real winner.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Station Eleven

Rachel Coker, December 24, 2014

Dystopian fiction has been a favorite of mine for 25 years. Post-apocalyptic dystopias pose special challenges to the author, who must reimagine civilization *and* come up with a plausible cause for the collapse of civilization as we knew it. Emily St. John Mandel navigates all of this with ease, never leaving the reader feeling too lost even as she flies backward and forward through time. "Station Eleven" is a gem. The post-pandemic world of the novel is so interesting and so real that I wish the book were longer!
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)

Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill
Dept. of Speculation

Rachel Coker, December 20, 2014

"Department of Speculation" plays with form in a way that is by turns fascinating and frustrating. The reader is left to fill in a lot of blanks as Jenny Ifill shows tiny shards of a woman's inner dialogue about growing older, married life and parenthood. There's very little in the way of traditional dialogue, character development or plot ... and yet, undeniably, there's a story. Ifill, author of the awesome children's book "Eleven Experiments That Failed," is experimenting here. What she produced isn't a straightforward novel and yet is definitely a success.
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(4 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)

Yes Please CD by Amy Poehler
Yes Please CD

Rachel Coker, December 18, 2014

This was an entertaining and occasionally insightful metaphor, with a somewhat odd mix of levity; musings on divorce, motherhood and feminism; and anecdotes from Poehler's life. The good parts are excellent; the weak parts are really, really weak. Five stars for her take on women in the workplace and the overpowering love moms feel for their kids. One star for the parts where she whines about writing. I highly recommend the audio book version of "Yes Please," which features many cool guest voices (Patrick Stewart! Kathleen Turner!) as well as Poehler herself.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)

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