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    The Prophet

    Hot diggity! How can you lose by reading a gritty whodunit about football, even if you're not a football fan? Here's the thing: You can't. Even if you can't tell a cornerback from a lineman. Because, see, I don't even know the difference between those two positions and I loved this book.

    What I ...

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    Beyond the Book

    America's Commercial Bail Bond Business

    In The Prophet Adam Austen is a licensed commercial bail bondsman. It is a profession unique to only two countries in the world, the United States and the Philippines (a former U.S. colony). Other countries use a variety of methods to ensure that defendants will show up for a court date. For ...

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    Dog Flowers

    In Dog Flowers, Danielle Geller tells us what is wrong with her family: heavy drinking, abandonment, grief. The intensity of her suffering breathes throughout the book. Dog Flowers is a private look into a troubled and chaotic world.

    Geller begins her memoir with heartache. Her mother, Laureen "...

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    Beyond the Book

    The Family Disease: The Effects of Substance Abuse on Children

    Danielle Geller's memoir Dog Flowers portrays how both of her parents struggled with substance abuse. Her mother, Tweety, drank heavily, stopped cold turkey and suffered seizures. Her father, Michael, had a long history of drug use, psychotic episodes and violence. National Surveys on Drug Use and ...

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    The Sea Gate

    In Jane Johnson's novel, The Sea Gate, set in England, readers are introduced to Becky, a young woman facing multiple crises in her life. Her mother, Genevieve, has just died from cancer. Becky herself has already had a double mastectomy and has just been told her latest scan is abnormal and she ...

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    Beyond the Book

    Parrot Trivia

    One of the characters in Jane Johnson's novel, The Sea Gate, is a foul-mouthed, multilingual African grey parrot (Psittacus Erithacus). Parrots are members of the Psittacidae family, which is comprised of over 300 species including lovebirds, cockatoos, macaws and budgerigars (aka 'budgies'). While ...

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    Stories from Suffragette City

    Our First Impressions readers were fascinated by the historical fiction from a range of authors presented in Stories from Suffragette City, edited by M.J. Rose and Fiona Davis, collectively awarding the book 4.7 out of 5 stars.

    What it's about:

    Thirteen talented and well-known authors ...

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    Beyond the Book

    Black Women in the Suffrage Movement

    A couple of the pieces in Stories from Suffragette City — most notably 'American Womanhood' by Dolen Perkins-Valdez — explore the often forgotten reality that Black and other non-white women were explicitly excluded from the movement for women's suffrage in America. In the late 19th/...

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    The Mystery of Mrs. Christie

    The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict, notable author of previous historical fiction such as The Other Einstein and Lady Clementine, earned an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars from our First Impressions reviewers.

    What the book is about:

    This cleverly structured, well-researched, ...

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    Beyond the Book

    Agatha Christie's First Marriage

    In The Mystery of Mrs. Christie, Marie Benedict explores mystery writer Agatha Christie's marriage to Archibald Christie through the lens of Agatha's mysterious temporary disappearance in 1926. Many different theories have been proposed as to the exact details regarding how and why the famous ...

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    To Be a Man

    While, as its title hints, To Be a Man by Nicole Krauss is concerned with masculinity, it renders a variety of characters — heroic and otherwise. Throughout the book, Krauss weaves present-time situations with emotional, ancestral echoes of destruction and deep, unburied grief. The past ...

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    Beyond the Book

    Megiddo

    In To Be a Man by Nicole Krauss, a character in the story 'End Days' is an archaeologist working at Tel Megiddo, the site of the ancient Palestinian city of Megiddo, which is situated near present-day Haifa, Israel. 'Tel' refers to the 'mound' on the site in which excavations have uncovered 26 ...

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