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Original Essays | August 21, 2014

Richard Bausch: IMG Why Literature Can Save Us

Our title is, of course, a problem. "Why Literature Can Save Us." And of course the problem is one of definition: what those words mean. What is... Continue »
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    Before, During, After

    Richard Bausch 9780307266262


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Susmita has commented on (5) products.

Life Is a Wheel: Love, Death, Etc., and a Bike Ride Across America by Bruce Weber
Life Is a Wheel: Love, Death, Etc., and a Bike Ride Across America

Susmita, July 23, 2014

Part travelogue, part memoir, part bicycle-geek narrative, this book catalogues Weber's cross-country bike trip from Oregon to NYC. Weber's writing style is casual and engaging, making this a very easy and pleasant read. One interesting aspect is his description of how social media affected his trip, in comparison to a similar trip he took almost 20 years earlier. As a regular bicycle-commuter, I found myself feeling on the one hand that this would be such a great trip to take, and on the other hand wondering why anyone would take on such a challenge!
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(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)

The Testament of Mary by Colm Toibin
The Testament of Mary

Susmita, December 15, 2012

Haunting, lovely novella describing the events preceding the Crucifixion from Mary's perspective as a mother of a son, not as the mother of the Son of God.
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Lost in the City by Edward P Jones
Lost in the City

Susmita, April 12, 2010

There's been a renewed interest in Washington, DC, with the Obamas moving here last year. If you want to read about the real DC, and the people who actually live here, this is a terrific start. Edward P. Jones was born and raised in DC, and writes about the mostly African-American residents in a way that portrays the beauty and sorrow of even an "ordinary" life. Interestingly, Jones' second book of short stories (All Aunt Hagar's Children) was written as a companion to this book. In an interview with the Washington Post, Jones -- who is notoriously reclusive -- said that the sequence of stories in his second collection mirrored the sequence in the first, so that readers should really read the first story in Lost in the City, then the first story in All Aunt Hagar's children, etc.
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Homer and Langley by E. L. Doctorow
Homer and Langley

Susmita, November 24, 2009

Having never read E.L. Doctorow before, I didn't know what to expect. Fortunately, this is an excellent book. It's surprisingly funny, given that it is based on a true story about two aging brothers who become increasingly paranoid and claustrophobic as they live in their parents' Upper West Side mansion. Told from Homer's perspective, the book describes his brother Langley's efforts to care for him while shutting out the outside world more and more over the years. Entertaining, funny, and sad, all at the same time.
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Palace Council by Stephen L. Carter
Palace Council

Susmita, August 4, 2008

Do not, I repeat, do not begin this book if you have other pressing matters you must attend to. You will not be able to put this down! Stephen Carter has written the perfect smart summer read. His main character is a rising Harlem literary star in the 1950s who stumbles onto political intrigue that extends into the Watergate years. This book manages to be a real page-turner, without ever being trashy or sensationalistic.
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(4 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)

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