Book List *Starred Review* In a series of brutally introspective missives to her husband, Franklin, from whom she is separated, Eva tries to come to grips with the fact that their 17-year-old son, Kevin, has killed seven students and two adults... Guiltily she recalls how, as a successful writer, she was terrified of having a child. Was it for revenge, then, that from the moment of his birth Kevin was the archetypal difficult child, screaming for hours, refusing to nurse, driving away countless nannies, and intuitively learning to "divide and conquer" his parents? When their daughter, loving and patient Celia, is born, Eva feels vindicated; but as the gap between her view of Kevin as a "Machiavellian miscreant" and Franklin's efforts to explain away their son's aberrant behavior grows wider, they find themselves facing divorce. In crisply crafted sentences that cut to the bone of her feelings about motherhood, career, family, and what it is about American culture that produces child killers, Shriver yanks the reader back and forth between blame and empathy, retribution and forgiveness. Never letting up on the tension, Shriver ensures that, like Eva, the reader grapples with unhealed wounds.
The packaging blurb proclaims Maas to be “a real-life Peggy Olson, right out of Mad Men,” but this memoir and exploration of women’s roles in 1960s advertising proves that Maas was far more than the TV character. A major force in many ad campaigns at numerous agencies, Maas provides here an insider’s view of the social, political, gender, censorship, class, and related issues brought up by the popular series—and much the TV audience doesn’t get to see. Her book offers a highly informative and humorous look at not just the advertising industry but the plight and promise of working mothers of the time. VERDICT Coleen Marlo has won multiple audiobook awards for her narrations and along with the author makes the listener want to hear more stories. Essential for collections of history and media and women’s studies for and marketing courses.—Joyce Kessel, Villa Maria Coll., Buffalo
Other People We Married
A debut collection of quirky, thoughtful, and resonating short stories by Emma Straub.
by Emma Straub
read by Coleen Marlo
DescriptionStraub’s collection of short stories gives listeners a voyeuristic glimpse of the lives of very different people as they make profound choices and discoveries. Whether examining young or old, gay or straight, singles or parents—each work is personal and revealing. Narrator Coleen Marlo delivers the collection impeccably. She sets the appropriate tone for each story and captures the essence of the diverse characters with subtle style. Along with expressing the discomfort of difficult decisions to be made, she enhances the humorous small details sprinkled throughout. Listeners will mostly likely enjoy some of the stories and dislike others in this varied collection. Marlo’s understated narration is effective for these thought-provoking slices of life. AudioFile 2012
National polls show that Americans are increasingly concerned about vaccine safety and the right to make individual, informed choices together with their healthcare practitioners. Vaccine Epidemic focuses on the searing debate surrounding individual and parental vaccination choice.