Category Archives: Book Review

This Common Reader’s thoughts and opinions about books, magazine and newspaper articles, blog posts, and others’ commentary.

Time for the Summer Reading List

Warmer days are here and so is This Common Reader’s 2015 summer recommendations, featuring some of the talented James River Writers I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. Non-fiction: Consider spending time with the “historical adventure stories” of Dean King, co-founder … Continue reading

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Social Media and the Afterlife

In her second novel, Goodbye for Now, Laurie Frankel takes a classic theme of the human experience—we live, we love, then we die—to a new level by adding avatars of her characters’ dead loved ones. Sam, a software coding genius, … Continue reading

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Something for the New Year's Reading Diet

Author Howard Owen With the passing of Elmore Leonard in 2013, we were all reminded of his big rule on writing—try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip. Lucky for us, writer Howard Owen has mastered this … Continue reading

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Memorial Day, 2012

Memorial Day originated from the commemoration of the fallen American Civil War Union soldiers and has evolved into a US Federal holiday which pays tribute to all American soldiers who have died in our wars. This week let us remember … Continue reading

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Death Comes to Pemberley Brings Life to Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, published in 1813, is one of the most popular novels in English literature. And in defense of Ms. Austen’s good name, I would like to use my Andy Rooney voice and ask the question:  Have you … Continue reading

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What is the What in South Sudan?

Sorry if you’ve heard this from me before, but I am a HUGE David Eggers fan.  According to Wikipedia – that is where I stalk all my heroes – Mr. Eggers is author to several books, owner of the publishing … Continue reading

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The Art of Racing in The Rain and Ridin' with The King

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein teaches us that the past is finished, focus on what lies ahead.  Here’s what makes the story interesting: It is narrated by a dog. Enzo is named for the race … Continue reading

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Here's an adventure story to chase away the winter blues

Saving the family stories of our genealogy Guest blogger and author Nancy Pellicer Dyer writes about her family genealogy and how it inspired her to write her first novel The Minorcan Yoke. When I was thirteen, my teacher gave me … Continue reading

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Satire on Social Media

Satire: literary work holding up human vices and follies to ridicule or scorn. Kurt Vonnegut, David Sedaris, and Carl Hiaasen move over and make room on my bookshelf for my new favorite satirist Gary Shteyngart. Born in Leningrad and raised … Continue reading

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How did decorating the house for Christmas get started?

Did you ever wonder how the whole decorate the outside of the house with Christmas lights and yard ornaments got started?  Mystery solved.  In the book the Christmas House Georja Skinner tells the story of “how one man’s dream changed … Continue reading

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