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Friday, June 06, 2014

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1250012570

By Megan Liebig, Book Editor

Normally, when approaching teen romance novels, I am very critical and skeptical of them, and am often disappointed by the unrealistic and cliche nature. However, Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell was a novel that exceeded every expectation I hold over novels in this genre, and stole my heart from the first chapter.

The novel focuses on two misfit teenagers growing up in the mid-eighties. Eleanor comes from a difficult living situation with a controlling and abusive stepfather who wants her out of the house at will stop at no cost to harass her. She struggles with body image issues, and acceptance of her weight. Many classmates find her oversized goodwill wardrobe and weight weird, and causes much teasing and cruel treatment from her classmates. Park is a biracial teen living in the primarily white occupied south. He does his best to stay out of everyone’s way, as long as they leave him alone.

Though they conform to the trend of “misfit youth” like many other young adult novels, Eleanor and Park are exceptionally well formed characters with real and serious conflicts.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Big Deal members Kacey Underwood, left, and Alice Costelloe

By Megan Duenas, Courier Entertainment Editor
So maybe you watched Divergent this weekend, and heard the most beautiful sound and your uncertain on whether the music is angels singing or merely just a upcoming and coming band debuting there alluring songs that not only draws in ears wanting to engulf in the beautiful melodies and harmonies but more so to the extent of knowing who is the culprit to this new stir in music, so if your uncertain on what this unblemished, vibrant tune is, I must say it’s the rising band, Big Deal, who consist of no more thanLondoner Alice Costelloe and California-native Kacey Underwood, who I am inclined to say, are a very big deal.The charming Alice Costelloe was able to chat with me, and use that divine charm of hers, to make me even me even more certain that this band is more than just a big deal.

The Courier: What’s one thing – apart from music – that you can’t live without?

Alice: Ice cream... Coffee... sisters . There's a lot of things!

The Courier: What has been the highlight of your career?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Enduring Courage: Ace Pilot Eddie
Rickenbacker and the Dawn of the
Age of Speed

by John F. Ross;

St. Martin's Press, NY;
400 pages, $26.9

By Tish Wells

McClatchy Washington Bureau (MCT)

WASHINGTON — In "Enduring Courage" John F. Ross aims to revive the memory of World War I flying ace Eddie Rickenbacker, who was also an early racecar driver of renown, and the creator of now-defunct Eastern Air Lines.

"I spent a lot of time reading about Eddie Rickenbacker, his buddies, the kids, the flyboys," said Ross at a book gathering, "and the early American air service over northern France flying against the real pros, the Germans, the Flying Circus. You read their journals and their letters home, they're talking these life-and-death things."

Rickenbacker was born in 1890 in Columbus, Ohio, the oldest son of two poor Swiss immigrants. His mother was the strongest influence on Rickenbacker.

"Eddie grew up watching his fiercely self-reliant mother doing whatever it was to survive," says Ross in the book. Rickenbacker was no slouch on his own, selling newspapers as a 5-year-old and keeping goats to sell their milk. After his abusive father died in 1904, he lied about his age and got a job at a glass factory.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

"Russian Roulette: How British
Spies Thwarted Lenin's Plot for
Global Revolution"

by Giles Milton;

Bloomsbury Press, NY (400 pages, $28)

By Tish Wells
McClatchy Washington Bureau (MCT)

If you want some wonderful spy stories, and a lesson in 20th century revolution, try "Russian Roulette" by Giles Milton.

Just under a century ago, Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov — better known today as Lenin — returned to Russia and swept away the old Czarist regime. His first speech to his followers was at a train station on April 16, 1917, and was monitored by three British spies.

Only one of the latter took him seriously.

The British government soon would take Lenin, Leon Trotsky and the other revolutionaries very seriously when they overthrew the regime, instituted communism and attempted to spread it worldwide.