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Page Two

Culture Watch, '08

CultureWatch: 100 Essential Modern Poems by Women reveals that a number of the poets suffered from bitter conflicts with their parents or from their physical or emotional absence. Chinese Lessons is written in an artful and entertaining style; China's Government policies are not soft-pedaled. Heartbeat for Horses will speak to anybody who has ever loved horses, either in reality or in literature

CultureWatch: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a clear winner on the side of delightful; A Voyage Long and Strange is an interesting history of exploration and settlement of the Americas; The Monster of Florence readers will find it fascinating, frustrating and challenging

Jo Freeman reviews Battle for Seattle: The villains are abstractions: the US, the western world, trade policy — some of these abstractions have faces, but they don't have major parts

CultureWatch: The Other is based on connotations stirred by an ironically simple and brief quotation from Rimbaud, Je est un autre. The Man Who Loved China is a fascinating panoramic picture of China through the millennia. Stand The Storm is the brave tale of a family's rise from slavery. Settling is an engaging romance that will speak to those of us who have lived through a few heartbreaks and recoveries of our own

Jo Freeman's book review of 500 years of Chicana women’s history: Women are now fighting not only in the streets and on their jobs, but through the political system. You will enjoy reading how Chicanas went from protesters to politicians — in only 500 years

CultureWatch Reviews by Joan L. Cannon: Pulitzer winner The Brief Wondrous Life Of Oscar Wao is horrifying and often funny, gripping, sad and cathartic in the Aristotelian sense. Alice Hoffman's The Third Angel is literate, out-of-the-ordinary fiction. Robert Parker's Sea Change is a suspenseful story that carries one or two moral messages

CultureWatch: Ladies of Liberty by Cokie Roberts has quality gossip. Even at its meanest, it's well-articulated and pertinent. Patricia Cornwell's prose in The Front moves fast and furiously, like the noire novels of the ‘30’s. The First 30 Days and Just Who Will You Be? represent books review-worthy in the self-help category

CultureWatch: In After Dark, Haruki Murakami’s virtuosity draws you in even as it puzzles and dazzles. Jhumpa Lahiri's writing in Unaccustomed Earth has a resonance that is rare in so young an author: every layer of it is full of rich intention. The Alzheimer's Action Plan is rich in medical and practical advice; run, don't walk to your bookstore for a copy

CultureWatchIn The Thing About Life is That One Day You'll Be Dead the author's relationship to his father is full of love and laughter, but he reveals old wolf/young wolf competition; The Blue Star is more than evocative of the early days of World War II. It rings true in every way; The Life of the Skies links our desire to watch birds as from a time when apprehending the natural world was a matter of life and death

A Jo Freeman book review of Democracy Restored: A History of the Georgia State Capitol — It is "a conscious effort in historical memory making" which blends stories about politics and protest into a narrative about architecture and construction

CultureWatch: An Irish Country Village recalls Patrick Taylor’s firm grip on how to spin a wild Irish tale, full of very real (although often eccentric) folk, and the lively times in the life of the village of Ballybucklebo. Firefly Lane displays some good writing but its soap opera ways turns off our reviewer. Where Did I Leave My Glasses; The What, When, and Why of Normal Memory Loss demonstrates easy style and humor, along with the author's impressive research making this new book a must-have for anyone concerned about lapses of memo

CultureWatch — People of the Book: Our reviewer didn’t get out of her chair for a very long time, and when she did, she made the move with regret; Beginner's Greek is a comedy of manners; it’s a cynic’s delight; it’s a social satire; it’s a paean to love at first sight. And If a high-class, feel-good tale is your cup of tea, you will love World Without End


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