A special summer issue of The New York Bookwoman was released this month and featured book reviews by many of our chapter members. Here’s what our president, Jane Kinney-Denning, had to say about this issue:
This is a special issue of The New York Bookwoman—an all book review edition, and also a wonderful resource for you if you are looking for what to read. WNBA members have been reading diligently all year and in this issue share some of their thoughts on what they’ve read. We hope you enjoy all of the reviews and if you are inspired to read for us in the coming year, let us know. Don’t forget to check out our list of brand new books available to members for review.
Below are a few excerpts from the newsletter. For the full reviews of all the books read, click here.
Truth in Advertising
By John Kenney
Reviewed by Emily La Iacona
Finbar Dolan is a 30-something advertising manager at a NYC-based agency. Over the few weeks covered in the book, Fin’s life of quiet desperation turns into actual desperation as work deadlines collide with unresolved issues from his past. Despite his jocular tone, Fin’s past includes a called-off wedding, an abusive household, and a dark family secret he’s never told. Kenney is adept at camouflaging Fin’s pain through deadpan sarcasm and “gotchas” where he imagines doing–or more like, saying–the right thing, only to dive away at the last second. He’ll recast his own conversations and evaluate lens angles or revise dialogue, creating a braver and more successful version of himself, or include a guilt-inducing voice-over to self-sabotage his better moments.
By Adam Braver
Tin House Books
Reviewed by Tresa Chambers
Misfit is a fictional tale about Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe. It’s a story based on the imagined goings on in Monroe’s mind during some of the real-life events that Monroe is famous for, including her role in the film, The Misfits. The facts of Ms. Monroe’s suicide following years of drug use and drinking have been well-documented. The details leading up to her death could be seen as the foundation for a story that offers new insight, but the attempt to show her struggle for identity, which is the author’s intent, falls short.
Reviewed by Sheila Lewis
The Elephant Keepers’ Children is an unnerving tale about Peter, the wise
14-year-old narrator, his extraordinary older sister Tilte, heroic older brother Hans, and their unusual upbringing in a rectory on Fino, a fictitious, idyllic Danish island.
When their pastor father and organist mother go missing, Peter, who refers to adults (and their secrets) as elephant keepers, and Tilte head off on a dangerous chase through Copenhagen all the way to the Great Synod, an international gathering of religious groups; a plot to blow it up is afoot. As a student of spiritual development, Peter’s investigations lead him to “the door,” a place beyond material reality, and to dubious triumph over evil.