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Powell's Q&A | September 3, 2014

Emily St. John Mandel: IMG Powell’s Q&A: Emily St. John Mandel



Describe your latest book. My new novel is called Station Eleven. It's about a traveling Shakespearean theatre company in a post-apocalyptic North... Continue »
  1. $17.47 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    Station Eleven

    Emily St. John Mandel 9780385353304

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Customer Comments

techeditor has commented on (121) products.

Six Years by Harlan Coben
Six Years

techeditor, September 19, 2014

SIX YEARS is Harlan Coben at his almost best. All the old features of his mystery-thrillers are here again--except one. But this is still the book that will make you want another Coben book as soon as you can get it.

It has been six years since Jake, a young college professor,has seen the love of his life, Natalie. When he reads an obituary of the man she supposedly married, he begins looking for her. This quest, to find an old girlfriend, involves mystery upon mystery upon mystery--trademark Harlan Coben and the reason we love his books.

But note: this whole thing is over a girlfriend who he knew for only a couple of months and who he hasn't seen in six years, which is more than enough time to get over it, more than enough time to even forget what she looks like.

Even so, if you just go with it and accept that Natalie was the love of Jake's life and worth all the bullets and beatings and close calls, you'll have fun with all the mysteries, trying to figure them out and learning that the solutions are far from what you expect.

The one old feature of Coben's books that this book is missing: the big surprise at the end.
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In the Lake of the Woods by Tim O'Brien
In the Lake of the Woods

techeditor, September 14, 2014

How could I not have read this book sooner? It’s been around since 1994. Maybe you, too, have been missing out on IN THE LAKE IN THE WOODS for 20 years. Read it now.

It’s about a politician and his memories and his need for love. It’s about keeping secrets, the effects of war, a missing wife, and some possible explanations. But it’s the way this story is told that makes this book unputdownable.

I won’t spoil the story. Read it. And read the footnotes.
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The Girl with a Clock for a Heart by Peter Swanson
The Girl with a Clock for a Heart

techeditor, September 11, 2014

This book has several mysteries, which are engaging, but it is not, as Dennis Lehane claims, a "thrill ride" or "sexy." Instead, it is irritating throughout.

Yes, the mysteries are "twisty," as the reader learns, through alternating present dilemmas and flashbacks, as George learns that his long-dead girlfriend is not dead after all. But why is she suddenly back in George's life? Poor George is confronted by that and all sorts of other unknowns.

But there are problems.

First problem: THE GIRL WITH A CLOCK FOR A HEART has an unnecessary prologue. Why is that prologue? Nothing is being set up. It makes for no suspense. It does nothing. It is part of the story and belongs with the rest of it.

Second problem: THE GIRL WITH A CLOCK FOR A HEART takes too long to get interesting.

Third problem: George, who is in his 30s now, is just as stupid as he was when he was 18 (as the reader sees in the flashbacks).

Fourth problem: the end. The story just stops. It makes the reader think she got a defective copy that is missing the last few pages.

I won this book through http://dreyslibrary.com.
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The Girl with a Clock for a Heart by Peter Swanson
The Girl with a Clock for a Heart

techeditor, September 11, 2014

This book has several mysteries, which are engaging, but it is not, as Dennis Lehane claims, a "thrill ride" or "sexy." Instead, it is irritating throughout.

Yes, the mysteries are "twisty," as the reader learns, through alternating present dilemmas and flashbacks, as George learns that his long-dead girlfriend is not dead after all. But why is she suddenly back in George's life? Poor George is confronted by that and all sorts of other unknowns.

But there are problems.

First problem: THE GIRL WITH A CLOCK FOR A HEART has an unnecessary prologue. Why is that prologue? Nothing is being set up. It makes for no suspense. It does nothing. It is part of the story and belongs with the rest of it.

Second problem: THE GIRL WITH A CLOCK FOR A HEART takes too long to get interesting.

Third problem: George, who is in his 30s now, is just as stupid as he was when he was 18 (as the reader sees in the flashbacks).

Fourth problem: the end. The story just stops. It makes the reader think she got a defective copy that is missing the last few pages.

I won this book through http://dreyslibrary.com.
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)



The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley, and the Unlikely Ascent of "Hallelujah" by Alan Light
The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley, and the Unlikely Ascent of

techeditor, September 7, 2014

If you really love the song "Hallelujah," you want to read this book. If you want to read the book for pleasure rather than just to be informed, sit near your computer or smart phone while you do so.

Most people probably discovered this song in the 21st century. Even if they know it was written by Leonard Cohen, they will probably be surprised to learn that he wrote it during the 1980s. And, no, he didn't just sit on it all these years. He really did include it on one of his albums at that time. But hardly anyone noticed it, and it was never released as a single.

In THE HOLY OR THE BROKEN, Alan Light covers "Hallelujah's" history since then and gives various artists' opinions about the meaning of the song and the reason it took so long to achieve the status it has today. This book can be fun to read, too; you can let it be interactive.

In relating the history of this song, Light covers the many artists who performed it over the years, especially Jeff Buckley. If you have a computer, you can search the particular name and "Hallelujah" and find a youtube.com video of that performance. So you can see and hear what Light talks about. I kept my iPhone next to me while I read the book so my reading and listening could be smooth, without much interruption.

THE HOLY OR THE BROKEN is not for everyone. It's great if you read the book interactively and if you enjoy this song so much that you won't get sick of hearing different people sing it over and over and over. If you are one of those people, then, in the end, you'll have a favorite. Mine's Justin Timberlake's version.

I won a copy of THE HOLY OR THE BROKEN as part of an Atria Books giveaway.
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