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Archive By Author - Alison Reeger Cook


Magical memoir unveils unknown illusionist’s life

When was your first time that you witnessed magic?

May 22, 2011 | Alison Reeger Cook | Columnists


‘Please Look After Mom’ is a moving reflection on motherhood

I believe, as I'm sure many do, that one of the most under appreciated role models in our lives is that of the mother.

May 08, 2011 | Alison Reeger Cook | Columnists


Off the Shelves: ‘Friendship Bread’ has a sweet but familiar flavor

Darien Gee's newly released novel, "Friendship Bread," compiles the accounts of the various residents of small town Avalon, Ill., and how they are brought together through an "edible chain letter" called Amish Friendship Bread.

April 24, 2011 | Alison Reeger Cook | Columnists


Off the Shelves: ‘Homelessness’ should be on your bookshelf

Our world is not a perfect place. If it were, we would always help our fellow man in need without a moment's hesitation, without placing stigmas on those lacking the same privileges and luxuries as we have.

April 10, 2011 | Alison Reeger Cook | Columnists


‘Love Virtually’ is a new take on fantasy vs. reality

While the Internet allows us access to information and communication worldwide, it is arguable it has also contaminated our ability to interact with others in person. The Internet is a place where we can choose to remain anonymous, and even create imaginative alter-egos. Thus we can live out secret fantasies, speak openly without negative repercussions and share private friendships, even romances, with people that may or may not be what they claim.

March 27, 2011 | Alison Reeger Cook | Columnists


‘Left Neglected’ neglects appeal and originality

One of the things I love about writing book reviews is I can encourage people to pick up a literary treasure they would have passed over or never heard about. That is why I feel a little disappointed I'm essentially telling readers not to bother with this week's novel. And it is particularly disappointing that it is from an author whose first novel was such a success and so highly praised.

March 13, 2011 | Alison Reeger Cook | Columnists


Take a trip into the surprising ‘Swamplandia!’

Karen Russell's debut novel, "Swamplandia!," is unlike any story you're familiar with, and it may be an odd literary confection that many readers would have to acquire a taste for. However, once you venture into Russell's mystical menagerie of the Florida Everglades, there is an ecosystem of blossoming prose and vibrant imagination. It all weaves together into a mesmerizing gothic portrait of love, death and the loss of innocence.

February 27, 2011 | Alison Reeger Cook | Columnists


Off the Shelves: ‘Lost Gate’ has fun elements, but is less than epic

"The Lost Gate" by science-fiction master Orson Scott Card is a fairly standard fantasy fable. Thirteen-year-old Danny North discovers he has an unusual magical power that has been outlawed by the mage clans for centuries.

January 30, 2011 | Alison Reeger Cook | Columnists


Feast your eyes on the exquisite ‘Edible Stories’

Since this is the beginning of a brand new year, I've taken a little time to think about how glad I am to have survived 2010, and particularly surviving this past holiday season.

January 02, 2011 | Alison Reeger Cook | Columnists


‘Fat Man’ puts new twist on holiday classics

It's interesting to think about the different ways that Christmas has been depicted throughout the decades in movies and television shows. For many of us, holiday movies such as "A Christmas Story," "It's a Wonderful Life," and "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer" are part of our Christmas tradition.

December 20, 2010 | Alison Reeger Cook | Columnists


Enjoy a genuine tale of genius in ‘Perfect Rigor’

What is the nature of genius? Is it something naturally inherent, or something that can be cultivated by environment and tutelage? Does it mean someone has a mind that can go beyond the normal human limitations, or someone who could be classified as having a mental disorder?

December 05, 2010 | Alison Reeger Cook | Life


‘Fireworks’ a lovely, dazzling display of writing

I have, unfortunately, missed a valuable opportunity in this past year - twice. Earlier this summer, a local Atlanta author was doing a book signing for his new novel at the store where I work, and because I hadn't read the book yet, I passed up the chance to meet and talk to this author. This past weekend, I missed it yet again because I was unable to attend the Dahlonega Book Festival where this same author was present. So even though I can't tell the author himself, now at least I have the opportunity to encourage a few ...

November 21, 2010 | Alison Reeger Cook | Life


'Poisoner's Handbook:' Toxic tales from early days of forensic science

It is amazing to think about how much our world has progressed in the last century. Things we take for granted nowadays were novelties or preliminary ideas in the beginning decades of the 1900s, particularly in the realm of science, chemicals and elements that were considered cryptic or inexplicable were more thoroughly experimented on.

November 07, 2010 | Alison Reeger Cook | Columnists


‘Wicked Appetite’ is a devilish treat

Since I began working at the bookstore, I have had a particular author recommended to me over and over again.

October 24, 2010 | Alison Reeger Cook | Columnists


‘Child Thief’ takes us to a nightmarish neverland

To kick off Halloween month, I chose a book that I felt might have the perfect balance of fantasy and macabre; a re-imagining of a classic tale from my childhood, only this isn't the watered-down Disney cartoon.

October 10, 2010 | Alison Reeger Cook | Life


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