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Original Essays | September 30, 2014

Brian Doyle: IMG The Rude Burl of Our Masks



One day when I was 12 years old and setting off on my newspaper route after school my mom said will you stop at the doctor's and pick up something... Continue »

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Customer Comments

The Loopy Librarian has commented on (52) products.

The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman
The Dovekeepers

The Loopy Librarian, October 13, 2014

Sometimes the most difficult reads are the most rewarding. The Dovekeepers took me a long time to read. I put it down at several points and had to come back to it. The writing was lyrical and dense with information. The book was obviously well-researched and is based on historical events. The voices of the characters rang with authenticity and their strength was earned through many trials. I could feel the desperation, the unquenchable thirst (both literal and figurative). The emotions were sensual, primal, and often brutal. The sheer courage of these women, their ultimate humanity and resolve reward the reader. Also, the events depicted here are not well-known, but deserve to be told. Hoffman tells this story with beauty, mysticism and an unrelenting commitment to the truth. I was profoundly moved. This is story that will remain with me for a long time.
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The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld
The Enchanted

The Loopy Librarian, August 4, 2014

So much depth packed into less than 300 pages; a book unlike anything I’ve ever read. I was immediately enraptured by the narrator’s voice, visions and observations. The imagery is ripe for the imagination, and the reader quickly becomes consumed by the “enchanted” place. Chilling, gut-wrenching, gripping, and yet, somehow, inexplicably full of wonder. Both horrifying and hopeful. Poetic. Weaves a spell over the reader that transcends the story, the characters, and the death row setting to a place that is, well, enchanted.
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Amity & Sorrow by Peggy Riley
Amity & Sorrow

The Loopy Librarian, July 20, 2014

I’ll be haunted by this story for quite some time. The narration sets a tone of fear and despair. Immediately, the reader is thrown into the desperate, frantic situation of a mother on the run with her two daughters. The characters have been brainwashed and this fact is exhibited in their thoughts and actions making them very creepy and disturbing. Even so, Amity’s humanity and Sorrow’s anger show through as does the level of their mother’s desperation and ultimately, her hope. But, the horror never truly leaves, giving the reader an unsettling experience. Booklist gave it a starred review, and while this is outside my usual genre, I’d have to agree.
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The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult
The Storyteller

The Loopy Librarian, June 4, 2014

What would you pack if you were leaving home, never to return, and could carry only one suitcase? This is one of the many questions we pondered in our book club after reading The Storyteller. All of us loved this book and most, including me, couldn’t put it down. With such an innocuous title, I had no idea what to expect. I only new that the author was Jodi Picoult, so it was bound to ask deep questions regarding the gray areas of morality. The meticulously drawn characters are so memorable that they have persisted to live in my imaginings. The plot is suspenseful and heart-wrenching. The history is well-researched and shared in such a way that the horrors of the Holocaust come alive in a very personal way. We’ve all seen pictures and shuddered, but Picoult painted pictures with words that are indelibly stamped on my consciousness. The characters aren’t divided into neat little categories of good and evil, victim and perpetrator. What is forgivable? What is not? I began this book thinking that I knew the answer, but in the end, it wasn’t so simple. A remarkable book that will stay with me for a long time. I highly recommend the read, especially for fans of historical fiction.

Quotes:

“The words are a flood rushing out of me; just speaking them, I am drowning” (p.36).

“If history has a habit of repeating itself, doesn’t someone have to stay behind to shout out a warning” (p. 91)?

“Repeat the same action over and over again, and eventually it will feel right” (p.120).

“That’s why we read fiction, isn’t it? To remind us that whatever we suffer, we’re not the only ones” (p. 220)?

“If you had to pack your whole life into a suitcase-not just the practical things, like clothing, but the memories of the people you had lost and the girl you had once been �" what would you take” (p.270)?
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The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick
The Good Luck of Right Now

The Loopy Librarian, May 4, 2014

If you like quirky characters, this may be the book for you. The main character, Bartholomew, writes to Richard Gere. Another character fears alien abduction and attends grief counseling because his cat died. There’s also a bi-polar priest. Though the characters are flawed, or maybe because they are, they have fascinating insights on the world. They are carefully drawn, sympathetic and sometimes amusing. The story is hopeful and the narrator, Bartholomew, is a sheltered character who knows little of how to navigate in the world. However, Bartholomew, never stops trying. His growth and his willingness to “pretend” to be stronger than he is make him and his friends characters worth rooting for. This book isn’t for everyone as one of the characters has a bad habit of cursing incessantly. However, I highly recommend this book for people who like character-driven novels.

Quotes:

“I feel as though I am a fist opening, a flower blooming, a match ignited, a beautiful mane of hair loosened from a bun-that so many things previously impossible are now possible.”

“Her voice was…reluctant and damaged and beautiful and maybe like a bird with a broken wing singing unfettered all alone in the wilderness when she thinks no one is listening, if that makes any sense, which it probably doesn’t.”

“The universe hiccups, and we poor fools try to figure out why.”
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