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Display Name: Steph C.

Steph C.'s Book Lists
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Steph C.'s Comments    
Cover ArtAutobiography of a face
by Grealy, Lucy.
This book is astounding, both in this talented writer’s storytelling skills and also in her amazingly honest, raw, heart-wrenching, insightful, funny and deep life story. I can’t recommend this book enough. An important and yet at times, painful read, with humanity and grace surfacing often throughout these pages. Though I’m an avid library user/reader, I loved this book so much I had to own a copy myself. It’s been lent to many a person I know.   posted Feb 6, 2013 at 8:22PM

Cover ArtWild : from lost to found on the Pacific Crest Trail
by Strayed, Cheryl
I STRONGLY recommend this book. I found this memoir to be a beautifully written, laugh-out-loud/bring-you-to-tears, meditation on the slow insidious process of grieving & healing (beyond just the first year or two of loss). A young (very capable yet unprepared) 26-year old woman trying to find herself while naively barreling through the depths, wondrous beauty and challenges of Mother Nature. Her writing plops you right down on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT): she has you seeing, touching, smelling (and squirming; well maybe not you - I’m not a big fan of creepy-crawly creatures) what she does - you’re right there with her, all the way. Her other two books, "Torch", a novel and "Tiny Beautiful Things" - a compilation of her online ( advice column, "Dear Sugar" are also great reads. This is a very talented and insightful writer (formerly a Minnesotan to boot!) to keep your reading eye on.   posted Aug 29, 2012 at 12:09PM

Cover ArtThe arrival
by Tan, Shaun.
The Arrival, by Shaun Tan is a Graphic Novel - all illustrations, no words and yet, it’s brilliant, profound, moving and accessible to both adults and children. It’s a page-turner and hard to put down. It tells an universal story of arriving to a new place, being the stranger, facing the unknown and making a new exciting life from an old one. This book is a BEAUTIFUL and exquisite piece of art; though I first read a library copy I had to go out and purchase one for myself. I had to own it. I’ve been recommending it to everyone I know. Check it out. And check out this so very talented award-winning artist/author - Shaun Tan.   posted Jan 26, 2012 at 7:43PM

Cover ArtStitches : a memoir--
by David Small
What an amazing piece of work. The illustrations combined with peeking in on part of the author’s childhood is the the ultimate in storytelling. Though David Small is known for writing books for children, this one is for adults. Add this graphic novel to your reading list (I read it in just a few hours). It will definitely pluck at your heartstrings while leaving you in awe by the survival skills of this most talented man.   posted Jan 15, 2010 at 3:21PM

Cover ArtSwimsuit : a novel
by Patterson, James
I strongly do NOT recommend this book. Patterson’s latest few books have really been hit and miss; with this one is beyond the pale. As a former Patterson reader, found this containing too much gratuitous violence against women described (over & over again) in such detail, making it feel almost pornographic. Believe me, I am not a prude and am open to pushing boundaries/the edge, but in my humble opinion Patterson definitely crosses the line in this one. I actually felt guilty as I continued to quickly skimmed the latter part of the book, just so I could see how it ended (which I found to be sorely lacking and disappointing). What gets me the most is, he could have moved the story forward WITHOUT all the detailed violence. I have committed to not reading anymore Patterson’s stuff. It’s just sad; fortunately for us avid readers, I know there are lots of other great books, writing, and strong storytelling out there for us to choose from.   posted Jul 22, 2009 at 1:57AM

Cover ArtThe story of Edgar Sawtelle : a novel
by Wroblewski, David
As many have already commented, this is a long read - but overall worth the effort. Some beautiful prose, amazing imagery and an effective approach about the inner workings of dogs. I also agree that it could have used some editing, not much, but where parts didn’t help move the story forward or just too much meandering in certain places. And most importantly, I unfortunately have mixed feelings about the rather unsatisfying ending and am left with some unanswered questions. And yet still, I have to recommend it with some of these stated reservations.   posted May 1, 2009 at 12:16PM

Cover ArtAn exact replica of a figment of my imagination : a memoir
by Elizabeth McCracken
This "can’t-put-down, read in one sitting" small memoir is a lovely, heart-wrenching, heart-felt exquisitely written Love letter to the writer’s stillborn son. They named him Pudding way before they knew things were to go horribly wrong; his name alone makes me cry. A must-read for anyone wanting to know what true grief feels, looks, smells and tastes like. A beautiful intimate tribute from a wonderfully talented writer; from a courageous mother to her beloved first-born.   posted Jan 24, 2009 at 11:37PM

Cover ArtMan on wire [videorecording]
Absolutely a beautiful and awe-inspiring film; belongs in the top 20 of 2008. An exquisite and moving tribute to truly following one’s passion. Filmed in such a way, it’s entertaining, insightful, touching, scaring and educational all at the same time. Highly recommend.   posted Jan 17, 2009 at 11:57PM

Cover ArtSchulz and Peanuts : a biography
by David Michaelis
I agree with Bill Es comments above; Schulz was a very intriguing and complicated man. As an artist, I found his life story to be quite fascinating. Though the book is massive in length, the author tried to drill down deep to understand Schulz’s guarded and often, unexplored psyche. I found the use of the cartoon strips interspersed with the text, useful and enjoyable. My only negative comment of the book would be, it could have used a little more editing; there were places of repetition that at times, I found annoying and distracting to the storytelling. Otherwise, a great read, especially for fellow Minnesotans.   posted Mar 1, 2008 at 11:48AM

Cover ArtYou’ve been warned
by James Patterson and Howard Roughan
In my opinion, this was a badly written, horrible read. Ughh. After only reading 6-7 chapters, I just starting skimming it to get to the end to find out what the whole concept/ending was. I don’t know what James Patterson was thinking with this one. Partnering with a new writer and trying a new concept, this one fell horrendously flat. I suggest to you dear reader, do not waste your precious time on earth, reading this clunker. You indeed, have been warned! For detailed, in-depth reviews, check out the book on As of this writing, out of 68 reviews, 44 are 1 stars out of 5. Do I need to say more?   posted Sep 25, 2007 at 2:44PM

Cover ArtAccidents of nature
by Harriet McBryde Johnson
This is a book that’s not just for juvenile readers but adults as well. A great vehicle to learn about disability culture, perspective and coming into one’s own identity. An njoyable and well-written piece of fiction which is steeped in the writer’s own experiences.   posted Jul 26, 2006 at 1:32PM

by DiCamillo, Kate
This is an amazing book for both children and maybe especially for adults! The story is lovely, heartwarming, moving, exciting and brilliantly paced. Plus, it’s beautifully illustrated. This was the book that got me (as a 46-year old) to start reading children books again. Highly, highly recommend (5 stars) for any age book lover. Worth owning a copy. Enjoy!!! ---Steph C.   posted Jul 5, 2006 at 2:21PM

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