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  • Book review: ‘The Wonder’ depicts controversy of miracle girl in 17th century Ireland

    April 18th, 2018
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    Donoghue’s novel “The Wonder” is a work of fiction, but it was inspired by reports of similar “fasts.” In the middle 1800s in Ireland, it was reported that an 11-year-old girl had eaten nothing for four months.


    Book review: Logan memoir re-creates time, place, a family

    April 12th, 2018
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    Near the end of his book “Population 485,” Michael Perry writes, “ … I’ve got the sense to keep returning [to] this land, in this place, with these people …. ”


    Book review: Michael Perry’s ‘Population: 485: Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time’

    April 5th, 2018
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    Norwalk, 634; Ontario, 554; Wilton, 503; New Auburn, “Population: 485.” Besides similar populations, each of these communities has at least one thing in common: each has a volunteer fire department.


    Book review: Carol Ann Ross’ ‘The Days of Hairawn Muhly’ depicts 1930s–40s romance

    March 29th, 2018
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    My wife Arlis and I have been fortunate enough to take “spring break” trips the last several years. This year, our destination was Savannah, Ga., a place we had never been.


    Book review: ‘Evicted’ explores lives of eight Milwaukee families living in poverty

    March 22nd, 2018
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    According to “Evicted” author Matthew Desmond, studies of poverty tend to explain inequality in one of two ways: “structural forces”; i.e., massive transformations of the economy, or “individual deficiencies.”





  • Book review: ‘Magpie Murders’ whodunit focuses on crime writer

    March 15th, 2018
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    The Ontario Public Library book club has introduced me to another mystery writer: Anthony Horowitz.


    Book review: Classic murder mystery an exercise in deductive reasoning

    February 28th, 2018
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    In 2011, Agatha Christie was credited with being the most published author of all time by publisher Harper Collins.


    Book review: Eric Larson’s ‘Dead Wake’ depicts suspense, romance of Lusitania episode

    February 15th, 2018
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    “Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania” is a work of nonfiction. Often with a work of nonfiction, there is the accusation that some of it has been fictionalized.


    Book review: ‘America: (The Book): A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction’ offers humor, ‘alternative facts’

    February 1st, 2018
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    This book is very loosely based on a true story (history) using “alternative facts.” For example, Thomas Jefferson writes the foreword.


    Book review: ‘White Working Class’ addresses middle class feeling of desertion

    January 25th, 2018
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    By LARRY BALLWAHN | Wilton
    Joan William’s book “White Working Class” is a readable (134 clearly written pages) explanation of the current state of the real “middle class” in America.


    Book review: What to read can be a mystery

    January 3rd, 2018
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    Other than “The House on Pooh Corner,” the books I’ve reviewed are nonfiction. But for purely recreational reading, it’s hard to beat detective-type fiction.