Litstack Rec: Earn It! and Viva Frida

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Earn It! by Cinders McLeod This is the perfect gift for young readers on your list, because it’s never too soon to learn financial literacy. Knowing how money works, and having the skills to make informed decisions about personal money matters, is said to be a concept best started early. The financial wisdom runs that [….]

LitStack Recs: Speedbumps & The Human Division

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Speedbumps: Flooring It Through Hollywood, by Teri Garr Think of Teri Garr, the legendary actress turns 70 on December 11, and likely it’s as the outspoken girl next door, the slightly off-kilter girlfriend, wife, or mother—characters she played in Tootsie, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Young Frankenstein. Even when Garr is playing it [….]

LitStack Recs: The Marriage Plot & The Terror

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The Marriage Plot, by Jeffery Eugenides “Heartbreak is funny to everyone but the heartbroken.” That ironic reflection comes early on the Jeffrey Eugenides’ lively 2011 novel. The observation is made by Madeleine Hanna, one of three central characters, all students at Brown University. We meet them on the morning of graduation in 1982, liberal arts [….]

LitStack Recs: Thunderstruck & Other Stories & Seven Brief Lessons on Physics

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Thunderstruck & Other Stories, by Elizabeth McCracken With April declared National Poetry Month, May is now officially Short Story Month, dedicated to reading, sharing, applauding and promoting the short story. On Twitter, Knopf has launched the hashtag #shortreads with links to stories, events, appreciations and advice. Given my deep appreciation of short stories, it seemed [….]

LitStack Recs: Wonder Woman Unbound & Blue Highways

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Wonder Woman Unbound The Curious History of the World’s Most Famous Heroine Tim Hanley I’ve made this recommendation before, but with television’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returning for a third season recently, as well as the DC Comics television tie-in Gotham back for season two, lots of superhero movies on the horizon, and a Wednesday [….]

LitStack Recs: Elsewhere & Pet Sematary

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Elsewhere, A Memoir Richard Russo For lack of better word, Richard Russo says, he calls this book a memoir. Though in fact, that is the perfect word for this story of mother and son. The word memoir has its origins in the late 15th century French term for memorandum or record. In this context, the [….]

LitStack Recs: The Last Light of the Sun & This Boy’s Life

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The Last Light of the Sun Guy Gavriel Kay The recent news of author Guy Gavriel Kay being appointed to the Order of Canada (that country’s second highest civilian honor) made me revisit his canon of works – a very pleasant effort.  It was a shock, then, for me to realize that while I’ve spoken [….]

LitStack Recs: ‘The Films in My Life’ and ‘Peace Like a River’

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The Films in My Life, by Francois Truffaut The only thing I like better than watching a film, is writing about film written by filmmakers. There is a dearth of books that cover the director’s examination of his own work, but few directors step into the role of critic. Francois Truffaut (1932-1984), the iconic French [….]

LitStack Rec: Un-Natural Hermits

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The Hermit in the Garden: From Imperial Rome to Ornamental Gnome, by Gordon Campbell You may not know it, but those winsome garden gnomes decorating the neighbor’s (or your own) lawn, have a distinguished parentage. And in Gordon Campbell’s latest book, he draws a clear line of descent. In a fascinating history that blends religion, [….]