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Thursday, September 25,2014

Book reviews: Notes from Neil

Jazz, With an Egg on Top

by Neil Rajala
THURSDAY, SEPT. 25 — Here is what we're reading: 2 A.M. AT THE CAT'S PAJAMASMarie-Helene BertinoTwenty four hours (Christmas Eve Eve, to be exact) in the life of Madeleine Altimari; nine-year-old misanthrope, bully and aspiring jazz singer. Life's dealt her a difficult hand; she lo...
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Thursday, September 18,2014

Book reviews: Notes from Neil

Adventures in Science and Waffles

by Neil Rajala
THURSDAY, SEPT. 18 — The weather's decidedly cooler, the long-sleeved clothes have been unpacked, I've even spent a couple of evenings reading in front of the fireplace. You know what that means, don't you? The season for getting caught up on our piles of books is upon us! Here's what we're reading:
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Thursday, September 11,2014

Book reviews: Notes from Neil

Sneaky, Scary and Rock 'n' Roll

by Neil Rajala
THURSDAY, SEPT. 11 — We spent yesterday on the storm watch again. If you were in a situation to stay inside, listen to the rain and read a great book, things pretty much fell perfectly into place for you. Here's what we're reading:
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Thursday, September 4,2014

Book reviews: Notes from Neil

Getting Caught Up

by Neil Rajala
THURSDAY, SEPT. 4 — In the days when I was writing this newsletter from the Schuler store in downtown Grand Rapids, I used to include a weekly list of notable books that had just been released in paperback. I've heard from a few of you that you found that list useful, either to pick up a book you were interested in at a more affordable price, or because it made the title a more viable choice for your reading group. With that in mind, here are a dozen books on my "highly recommended" list that have seen a paperback release since I first wrote about them. Here's what we're reading:
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Thursday, August 28,2014

Book reviews: Notes from Neil

New York, New York (and elsewhere)

by Neil Rajala
THURSDAY, AUG. 28 — I received an array of questions from one of this newsletter's readers last week about the book review process itself - how I got started, what the process is, how much and when I read, etc. Answering them was a good reminder for me how much I enjoy this, both the writing about what I've read and the responses from you I'm privileged to read every week. I've said it before, but thank you again for staying in touch and letting me know what you think. I'm truly grateful, and this would be a lot less fun without you. Here's what we're reading:
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Thursday, August 21,2014

Book reviews: Notes from Neil

Was It Funny for You, Too?

by Neil Rajala
THURSDAY, AUG. 21 — An eclectic trio this week, a reminder that the world of literature is able to cover more of the vast array of human interests and concerns that any other artform. If it interests you, worries you, or entertains you, there's undoubtedly a book on the subject. Here's what we're reading:
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Thursday, August 7,2014

Book reviews: Notes from Neil

Ronald Reagan and Quentin Coldwater

by Neil Rajala
THURSDAY, AUG. 7 — It's a good week for books. One of my most-anticipated titles of the year arrived and was more than worth the wait. A new American history book is making media waves, for the wrong reasons. Here's what we're reading:
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Thursday, July 31,2014

Book reviews: Notes from Neil

Sharp Satire for a Cool Summer

by Neil Rajala
Thursday, July 31 — Mid-70s during the day, mid-50s at night. Honestly, I couldn't have ordered summer weather more to my liking than what we've seen so far. Reading a book in one of the local parks without melting is greatly preferable to seeking out air conditioning indoors. My apologies to those of you who like the temperatures and the humidity levels higher - maybe next year. Here's what we're reading:
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Thursday, July 24,2014

Book reviews: Notes from Neil

Music, Music, Music

by Neil Rajala
THURSDAY, July 24 — One thing I love about summer is the musical soundtrack. The concerts around town, driving around with my windows down listening to my favorite new CD. And with the right book, music can be just as satisfying to read about as it is to listen to. Here's what we're reading:
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Thursday, July 17,2014

Book reviews: Notes from Neil

Three for the Road

by Neil Rajala
Thursday, July 17 — A polar vortex in July? Reminded me of a typical Keweenaw Peninsula summer where I grew up. From what I hear, the more traditional West Michigan weather is on its way back, so those of you who love the heat and humidity combo get ready to play. Me, I'm going to be grateful for that brief taste of home. Here's what we're reading:
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