Fat Girl Walking: Book Review and Interview

Fat Girl Walking: Book Review and Interview

Arts & Culture, Books, Uncategorized
By Laurie Fundukian   Brittany Gibbons is a woman who speaks her mind, and her mind is hilarious. She has decided to make people uncomfortable and change the societal mandate that fat women need to be hidden and put in their place. Agree with her or not, there is no denying that she is a terrific writer with a unique voice. She has built a career, relationship, and family, all while being fat, which I think she would like to not be her first identifier some day, but knows that day has not arrived just yet--but she's workin' on it. I had the pleasure of speaking with her about her book and life, and she is very funny, down to earth, and smart. When I asked her who her heroes…
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Book Review: Station Eleven

Book Review: Station Eleven

Arts & Culture, Books
  Book Review: Station Eleven Laurie Fundukian Emily St. John Mandel’s fourth novel, Station Eleven, begins with the ending of one person, and an ending of sorts for a whole society—an imaginary scenario, but not completely outside of the realm of possibility in the real world. The book is a tale of a post-apocalyptic world that manages to weave in Shakespeare into the plot—a major bonus. Onstage one night in a Toronto theater, while performing the title role in King Lear, 51-year-old Arthur Leander has a fatal heart attack. While this event is a shock to the theater world, a bigger shock is coming in the form of a major pandemic, the Georgia Flu, which has arrived via airplane from Eastern Europe and decimates Toronto (and the world) in days.…
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Book Review: The Girl on the Train

Book Review: The Girl on the Train

Arts & Culture, Books
Paula Hawkins has caused some buzz so far this year with her thriller/mystery The Girl on the Train, which is being touted as the British Gone Girl. The comparisons to Gone Girl are apt, mostly because of the use of three narrators (though GG only had two), all of whom present as unreliable witnesses to the story, which is always an interesting construction. The reader only gets the male perspective through the female lens, however, which is where this book differs from Gone Girl, and carves out its own path. But yes, a girl does get “gone” in this story as well, and there is some suspense for the reader to shiver about. The main female character is Rachel, a young women who will make readers’ lives seem charmed in…
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Book Review: Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

Book Review: Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

Arts & Culture, Books
  Cheryl Strayed hiked the Pacific Crest trail--starting in California, going through parts of Oregon, and ending in Washington State--when she was 26 years old. Before she took off on her trek, she’d had a traumatic early life with an abusive father and a loving, hippy mother. She dabbled in drugs and the wrong guys, but married a good guy when she was barely out of high school. Her mother died of cancer when Cheryl was 22, and it shook her to the core. She heartbreakingly reveals how very hard it was for her to lose her mother: “It had cut me short at the very height of my youthful arrogance. It had forced me to instantly grow up and forgive her every motherly fault at the same time that…
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Book Review: Land of the Blind by Jess Walter

Arts & Culture, Books
Review By: Laurie Fundukian Those who read my reviews know that I tend to become enamored with a writer, but perhaps don’t discover them upon their debut, as I’ve done with Gillian Flynn, and now with Jess Walter, whose popular Beautiful Ruins was reviewed here last year. So I tend to go backward into their bodies of work. Walter was a journalist, and his earlier work falls into the thriller and suspenseful crime genre. Needing some titles to download to my Kindle for a big trip this summer, I turned to one of his earlier novels, Land of the Blind. And I was not disappointed. The book starts in Spokane, Washington with Caroline Mabry, who is a detective working her turn on the night shift—a schedule given to detectives who…
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Book Review: The Light in the Ruins

Arts & Culture, Books
Many readers may be familiar with Chris Bohjalian’s novel Midwives, which was a popular “Oprah pick” back when she had the power to move millions of books off the shelves. Bohjalian’s powerful novel The Sandcastle Girls, about the Armenian Genocide, was reviewed in Thrive a year or so ago. So yes, Bohjalian is a favorite, and he holds that place deservingly. I was in the midst of The Light in the Ruins when news outlets were running commemorative stories to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day, and the book certainly enhanced my understanding of that time, since it is set during the war years, and in the post-war 1950s in Italy. The book gave me a glimpse into what families went through, from a different prospective. I’ve been to Normandy…
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