Category Archives: Book Reviews

Laura Rider’s Masterpiece by Jane Hamilton

>Childless and mildly disatisfied after 12 years of marriage, Laura Rider tells her husband Charlie–a sexual Energizer bunny–no more sex; she’s had enough for a lifetime. Laura, who doesn’t fit in with the tennis-braceleted women in her small Midwestern town, begins to nurture her secret fantasy of writing a romance novel, despite having written nothing besides a monthly gardening email newsletter. Her affable husband strikes up a friendship with Laura’s idea of the ideal woman, Jenna Faroli, who has just moved to town with her husband, and here’s where things in this little novella start to get hairy. Is Laura just using the blossoming romance between handsome Charlie and intellectual Jenna as fodder for her novel, or is Laura actually propelling the affair forward? How far will a writer go for a good plot and interesting characters, and where do

writers get their ideas, anyway?

This quirky novel leaves you wondering.

A recent New Yorker article, Show or Tell, talks about creative writing programs and whether writing can be taught. It reminded me of the week-long writer’s workshop Laura Rider attends: Show or Tell:

Check Old Colony Library Network for availability of this book:{ckey}

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman (AUDIO)

Audiobook Listeners — Log into the library catalog ASAP and request Anansi Boysby Neil Gaiman (pronounced GAY-mun). It is performed to pitch-perfect perfection by Lenny Henry, an English comedian and actor.

In Anansi Boys, dull Fat Charlie Nancy is engaged to be married and has a boring office job in London. When his estranged father dies, strange things start happening. Fat Charlie’s charismatic brother Spider shows up unexpectedly with his odd, inexplicable powers of suggestion and creation. For Fat Charlie, his brother’s arrival is like an entrance to another world — one that includes creatures out of African folklore and ghosts.

According to the library’s Biography Resource Database, audiobook reader Lenny Henry won the 2003 British Comedy Awards Lifetime Achievement Award, among many others. His male and female voices are all immediately distinguishable from each other and complement Gaiman’s dry wit and writing style. On a side note, he recently appeared as a shrunken head in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Preview the audiobook at HarperCollins here.