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Archive By Author - Alison Reeger Cook


‘Wookiee’ speaks to the inner Jedi in all of us

Recently, my husband and I were watching a documentary about video game players who partake in the online role-playing game, "World of Warcraft." It gives people the chance to take a break from the mundane world to slay monsters, quest for treasure, and explore a majestic fantasy realm (for the fee of about $16 a month).

September 26, 2010 | Alison Reeger Cook | Columnists


Off the Shelves: ‘Tower, Zoo and Tortoise’ a thought-provoking parable

This week's novel, an enjoyable and humorous fiction entitled The Tower, the Zoo and the Tortoise by Julia Stuart, is based on the history of the Tower of London and of the live animal gifts given to the Queen over the decades.

September 12, 2010 | Book review | Columnists


‘Garden Spells’ offers sweet whimsy, magic

This is a book that I have been wishing to read for a while. Sarah Addison Allen, author of popular books including "The Sugar Queen" and, most recently, "The Girl Who Chased the Moon," writes stories focusing on Southern women and their emotional struggles, mixing in whimsical, fairy-tale imagery. In particular, Allen weaves in themes involving the mystical or healing properties of food, tying what the characters eat directly to their emotions and dreams. Since I recently started in on my own gardening experiment to raise healing plants (sadly, even my chamomile, which is supposed to be fairly indestructible, succumbed ...

August 29, 2010 | Alison Reeger Cook | Columnists


Discover a great mystery in ‘Thieves of Darkness’

One of the best feelings I can get after finishing a book is that moment of regret, when you realize the narrative journey you have been taking for a few weeks is now over and the enjoyment that you've been having has to come to an end (at least until you find your next good read).

August 15, 2010 | Book review | Columnists


‘Shop Class’ is an inspiring take on livelihood

This book review came about completely by accident. That is, I never thought I would have picked up the book "Shop Class as Soulcraft" by Matthew B. Crawford, let alone review it. It looked like one of those "guy only" books, a philosophical essay by a mechanic/electrician about the general misconceptions of working in a manual trade, and comparing it to cubicle culture, which nowadays is more widely accepted as the more "legitimate" means of making a living.

August 01, 2010 | Alison Reeger Cook | Columnists


Cook: 'Lemon Cake' blends realism, imagination

An unusual "superpower" is as the center of Aimee Bender's "Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake," in which 9-year-old Rose discovers she can "taste" the true emotions of people through the food that they cook.

July 03, 2010 | Alison Reeger Cook | Columnists


‘The Magicians’ lacks any magic

Since my favorite books mostly fall into the fantasy adventure category, I tend to scrutinize novels of this genre a little more acutely than others.

June 20, 2010 | Alison Reeger Cook | Columnists


'The Walk' has us looking forward to road ahead

Richard Paul Evans' "The Walk" is the first book in what will be a five-part series about a man exploring the open road of America as well as his own inner self.

June 05, 2010 | Alison Reeger Cook | Columnists


Metaphors in ‘Beatrice’ try a bit too hard

You may have heard the expression "there are only 1,001 stories in the world to tell." So how does one take a topic that seems to have been covered on every front and make it unexpected and original?

May 23, 2010 | Alison Reeger Cook | Columnists


Much mirth may be found in ‘Mischief’

I have always had a great respect for teachers. The reason I love reading and writing today was because I had good teachers when I was growing up - educators who exposed me to many different kinds of books and taught me the beauty of language and imagination.

May 09, 2010 | Alison Reeger Cook | Columnists


‘Curious Incident’ tells a warm and heartfelt story

It can be difficult for an author to effectively write from the point of view of a character who has handicaps or ailments the author never had. Even if someone spends time with people who are the inspiration for the character's traits, how can one write about something he or she can never truly experience?

April 25, 2010 | Alison Reeger Cook | Columnists


Off the Shelves: Superhero tale shows not all are invincible

What is it about superheroes that fascinates us?

April 11, 2010 | Alison Reeger Cook | Columnists


‘Mathilda’ a surreal coming-of-age story

"Mathilda Savitch" is the debut novel for playwright and poet Victor Lodato, where he introduces us to a young girl named Mathilda and her coming-of-age struggles.

March 28, 2010 | Alison Reeger Cook | Columnists


Off the Shelves: ‘Cross Gardener’ beautifully crafted but lacks a spark

A few weeks ago, I reviewed a wonderful book, "The Wednesday Letters" by Jason F. Wright. It was a story about the bonds of family, the enduring strength of love and the power of forgiveness.

March 14, 2010 | Alison Reeger Cook | Columnists


‘Shades’ has lots of imagination but lacks heart

It's hard to define what exactly is the genre for Jasper Fforde's latest novel, "Shades of Grey."

February 28, 2010 | Alison Reeger Cook | Columnists


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