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Archive By Author - Alison Reeger Cook


Off the Shelves: ‘Moonrise’ re-imagines a classic romantic mystery

There is always a risk when an author writes a book openly admitting to drawing inspiration from a timeless classic.

September 22, 2013 | Alison Reeger Cook | Columnists


Off the Shelves: Overdue introduction to Stephen King’s world

I'm about to admit a terrible truth, one that will make many bibliophiles shake their heads and ponder what rock I have been living under: I have never read a Stephen King book until now.

August 25, 2013 | Alison Reeger Cook | Columnists


Off the Shelves: 'Sacre Bleu' paints art history in comedic light

Christopher Moore writes in his most recent book: "I simply set out to write a novel about the color blue."

August 11, 2013 | Alison Reeger Cook | Columnists


Off the Shelves: New novel revisits old ideas, but still magical

"Words save our lives, sometimes."

July 28, 2013 | Alison Reeger Cook | Columnists


Books on parade at American Library Association Conference

About a week and a half ago, I was in McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill. I overheard someone passing by say, "(The book industry) is a dying business."

July 14, 2013 | Alison Reeger Cook | Columnists


‘This Girl is Different’ smart, unique teen read

One of the most prevalent themes in modern young adult novels is the teenage rebellion against elder authority figures.

June 30, 2013 | Alison Reeger Cook | Columnists


Off the Shelves: 'Hackers of Oz' revives a classic

Back in 2011, I created a list of the top holiday-themed books I love. One book was "Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol." The author, Tom Mula, has finally (and thankfully) released a new book this year which pays homage to another great literary classic while giving it an inventive spin.

June 16, 2013 | Alison Reeger Cook | Columnists


Rowing saga strives to stir but falls flat

I thought I would have little to identify with in this book, since its premise is based on competitive rowing, an activity I have neither participated in or ever harbored interest to watch. While Ron Irwin's upcoming novel, "Flat Water Tuesday," does spend a good amount of time detailing the rigors of training, mentally preparing and contending in the sport, it is more a story about a man coming to grips with his painful past, his turbulent present and the long-buried memories that inevitably rise back to the surface.

June 02, 2013 | Alison Reeger Cook | Columnists


Off the Shelves: 'Cursed Pirate Girl' rare literary treasure for a graphic novel

I rarely re-read books once I'm finished with them. But every now and then, I come across a published work that not only do I want to revisit, but I feel as if I have to in order to pick up on things I am positive I missed the first read through. One of those books is Volume One of the graphic novel series, "Cursed Pirate Girl." It is written and illustrated by Jeremy Bastian, whose artwork is so intricate and meticulous that unless you sit with a magnifying glass for days on end, you are bound to miss ...

May 19, 2013 | Alison Reeger Cook | Columnists


‘The Program’ provocative but mostly mundane

In Suzanne Young's latest novel, "The Program," an inexplicable epidemic is causing teenagers around the world to commit suicide at a frightening rate. No one can seem to pinpoint what is causing this fatal behavior, but the government has implemented the Program to combat it.

May 05, 2013 | Alison Reeger Cook | Columnists


Actress’ memoir shines light on an ‘unbearable’ burden

Arguably, one of the most coveted professions is being a performer or public figure in show business. Nearly every little girl wants to grow up to be an actress, a dancer, a model or a singer. Many boys aspire to be action stars in movies and on television.

April 21, 2013 | Alison Reeger Cook | Columnists


Off the Shelves: Goodreads buyout, dream or nightmare?

The big news in the literary world this week has been Amazon's acquisition of Goodreads, the world's largest book sharing and recommendations website.

April 07, 2013 | Alison Reeger Cook | Columnists


Off the Shelves: ‘Southern Cross’ tells story with bite, boldness

Bill Cheng's debut novel "Southern Cross the Dog" is a gritty, dark odyssey that explores the lives of three people, and how each is caught between the harsh, tragic living world and the enigmatic, enticing supernatural world.

March 24, 2013 | Alison Reeger Cook | Columnists


Off the Shelves: ‘Exiled Heir’ puts new ‘skin,’ spin on familiar fantasy

Atlanta author Jonathan French says "Books are akin to blades. They take a great deal of heat, pressure and time to produce."

March 10, 2013 | Alison Reeger Cook | Columnists


Off the Shelves: ‘Ladies Scrapbooking Society’ a collage of charm, creativity

In the follow-up to her novel "Friendship Bread," Darien Gee invites readers back to Avalon, Ill., in "The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society."

February 24, 2013 | Alison Reeger Cook | Columnists


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