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Reviews: “The Big Turnoff” and “Her Fearful Symmetry”

September 11, 2009

Whew, the past few weeks have been busy! Not only has not much posting happened, but not even much reading has occurred. Here’s what I’ve gotten through:

The Big Turnoff cover

I really enjoyed The Big Turnoff by Ellen Currey-Wilson. Published a few years ago, the memoir follows the author’s adventures raising her son without television when she herself is a TV addict. She talks about the challenges (will her son fit in at school without knowing all the cool TV shows? How will she find time for herself without plopping her son down in front of Sesame Street?) and joys (playing with her child, being the her son’s friends’ favorite house to visit) of trying to raise a TV-free kid in the modern world while weaning herself off reruns of old sitcoms and classic movies. It was both comical and eye-opening; definitely a great read, with lots to think about without being preachy.

Her Fearful SymmetryMost recently, I finished the newest novel from Audrey Niffenegger, the author of the fantastic love story The Time Traveler’s Wife (just made into a movie, but go read the book…Niffenegger’s elaborate plot and careful details guarantee it’s better than its cinematic counterpart). Entitled Her Fearful Symmetry, it’s most broadly a ghost story. I will not reveal anything further about the plot. I will say that where The Time Traveler’s Wife was both emotionally and intellectually satisfying, for me Her Fearful Symmetry was delightful from an intellectual perspective but left me cold emotionally. It definitely has plenty of Audrey Niffenegger’s great writing. The book is released later this month, and I’ll be interested to hear what others think of it.
I’m currently working on Sandra Gulland’s trilogy about Josephine Bonaparte. It was lent to me by a friend of my mom’s, and so far, it’s done a good job of sucking me in!

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