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Ivy Blog

06.01.20

Shirley's Corner Book Review June 1

Posted By: kylesolomon

These Women by Ivy Pochoda

More crime drama than thriller, more portrait of victim than perpetrator, this beautifully written story of six hard women and the serial killer who connects them is a slow boil. Well worth the meander, each chapter is a vivid character study told with grace and grit. Set in LA between 1999 and 2014, Pochoda gives voice to victims whose lost lives are not missed by the authorities charged to protect them. Sharp edges frame the timely story with nary a preaching finger in sight. And the satisfying ending kept me up into the wee hours.

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05.31.20

Shirley's Corner June 1st

Posted By: kylesolomon

Before tourism was taboo, I had my own closed border. Nothing to do with government restrictions, it was more a family understanding.  Germany killed my grandparents, damaged my parents, and scarred me. Reason enough to keep my distance. 

Maybe it’s my 70th birthday.  Maybe it’s Hillel’s rhetorical question “If not now, when?” I choose a bike and barge trip along the Moselle River with pre and post excursions in Munich and Berlin. I bike. Arthur barges.  All good.  All I have to do is break it to my 98-year-old mother.  I’m counting on Rose’s failing short-term memory disappearing my transgression as soon as I perpetrate it.

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05.24.20

Shirley's Corner May 25th

Posted By: kylesolomon

A Children’s Bible – Lydia Millet

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05.17.20

Shirley's Corner May 18th

Posted By: kylesolomon

Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips

Kamchatka Peninsula: if you can’t find it on a map, Disappearing Earth will show you why you should look harder.  This debut literary mystery covers twelve months in the life of a community affected to varying degrees by the kidnapping of two young sisters.  Each stand-alone story moves the plot forward in a compelling combination of the personal and the tragically epic.  Disparate characters converge as Phillips peels back layers of race, sexuality and small town politics in service of finding the girls.  The writing is excellent and the setting so visceral, you might be surprised not to find a Russian stamp on your passport should you wish to reminisce about your journey.

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05.10.20

Shirley's Corner May 11th

Posted By: kylesolomon

All Adults Here – Emma Straub

Once again the stars have aligned. Emma Straub has given us just what we need as we hunker down rationing toilet paper with our families: a heartwarming, multigenerational, entertaining story of flawed people trying to do better. Set in the Hudson Valley, this witty take on gender identity, abortion, bullying and extra-marital affairs is told with such charm and wisdom it feels the perfect blend of sunny inner tube float and white water navigation. Its optimism rings true. What a treat as we count down the sheets of that last roll.

Little Secrets – Jennifer Hillier

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by Dr. Radut