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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Time Traveler's Wife

            Written by Audrey Niffenegger, this novel is a combination of fantasy and romance, with a touch of late twentieth/early twenty-first century cultural history thrown into the mix. The reader is asked to believe in time travel as a result of a chromosomal mutation that causes main character Henry DeTamble to travel to different points in his life; the process is activated by stress, and Henry has no control over when it occurs. The other main character, Clare Abshire, the love of Henry’s life, first meets him at the age of six and then again at various points of her life until the age of twenty (to Henry’s twenty-eight) when both meet in their present, form a romantic relationship and marry.

We continue to follow their encounters at different points in time (Clare getting there the traditional way and Henry through time travel); experiencing their joys and their sorrows, companionship and loneliness, under these unusual circumstances. Although tragedy eventually ensues, we are left with a hopeful late-in-life encounter between the two, causing the reader to wonder what exactly the true nature of time is.             

Friday, January 11, 2013

Female Celebrity Biographies

 Who among us doesn’t appreciate vicariously living the lives of the rich and famous by reading their biographies? Here, for your enjoyment, are the stories of three talented women.

 Dearie: the Remarkable Life of Julia Child is authored by Bob Spitz, an award-winning journalist and non-fiction writer. This book, written on the centennial of Child’s birth year, contains more than 500 pages of detail on Julia’s beginnings, and continues with her career with the OSS during World War II; her romance with and marriage to Paul Child, a fellow OSS employee; their lives in post-World War II Paris where Julia received her training as a chef; and a return to America and her career as a public television icon. Through it all, the reader is able to view middle to late-twentieth century society and culture and how they affected women’s roles. Black and white photos are scattered throughout the book.

 Hello, Gorgeous: Becoming Barbra Streisand is written by William J. Mann, who was critically acclaimed for this work and who has authored other female movie star biographies. Here he presents the early years of Streisand’s career and her meteoric rise to the top, using as research the private papers of Jerome Robbins and Bob Fosse and interviews with several of her intimates from this time. Black and white photos are scattered throughout the book.

 Jackie After O: One Remarkable Year When Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Defied Expectations and Rediscovered Her Dreams, written by journalist and author Tina Cassidy, examines the year 1975 when Jackie began laying the foundation of her life after marriage to Onassis. It includes details on his death, Jackie’s troubled relationship with his daughter, her burgeoning career at Viking Press, and more.