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Thursday, December 18,2014

Book reviews: Notes from Neil

In the (Saint) Nick of Time, Pt. 2

by Neil Rajala
Thursday, Dec. 18 — As promised, the final three genres, with my favorite three titles in each. A friend wrote after last week that my list didn't match hers because we didn't read many of the same books. To which I say "perfect!" Let's help each other discover great things to read. Here's what we're reading:
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Thursday, December 11,2014

Book reviews: Notes from Neil

In the (Saint) Nick of Time, Pt. 1

by Neil Rajala
Thursday, Dec. 11 — Happy Holidays, fellow readers! You know the end of the year is nearly upon us when I start in on my favorite reads roundup. I'm taking a slightly different approach this time, I've come up with seven categories of books I read the most, and picked my favorite three titles of 2014 in each. Not "the best" titles - that's way too subjective. Just the three in each genre that gave me the greatest pleasure to read and stayed with me the longest after I finished. Starting with four categories this week, I'll finish with three more next week. And as always, I cheated a bit by throwing in some deserving Honorable Mentions. Here's what we're reading:
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Thursday, October 30,2014

Book reviews: Notes from Neil

Holocaust, Hauntings and the Hall

by Neil Rajala
THURSDAY, OCT. 30 — I hope all of you have been to ArtPrize 2014. Being in the middle of it every day is what I miss most from my days in the former Schuler Books Downtown. It'll always remain a yearly "must see" for me, no matter where I roam. Here's what we're reading:
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Monday, October 20,2014

Book reviews: Notes from Neil

Journalists, and Other Thugs

by Neil Rajala
MONDAY, OCT. 20 — I've been spending a great deal of time around artists and other creatives these days, which has been a very pleasant experience. The common thread is always books; from painters to poets, people whose restless minds are always looking for the new and untried love to talk about the books that matter to them. Here's what we're reading:
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Thursday, October 9,2014

Book reviews: Notes from Neil

Two Kinds of Drama, with a Physics Chaser

by Neil Rajala
THURSDAY, OCT. 9 — Having always been fascinated by what the moon does, I found the recent blood moon spellbinding. The full moon of the night before was one of the brightest I've seen and, per my experiment on my back deck, was bright enough to read by. A celestial booklight, so to speak. Here's what we're reading:
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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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