Connie Bennett

Book Reviewer / KLCC Public Radio Foundation

Connie Bennett is Director of the Eugene Public Library.  She reviews books for KLCC, and serves on the KLCC Public Radio Foundation.

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This is KLCC. I’m Connie Bennett, Director of Eugene Public Library, with a book review of “The Book of Joan” by Lidia Yuknavitch.

This is KLCC.  I’m Connie Bennett, Director of Eugene Public Library, with a book review of "Du Iz Tak?” by Carson Ellis.

I was recently shopping for a gift for a child and ended up gravitating, as one does, to a local bookstore. There I was surprised and enchanted by “Du Iz Tak?” the creation of Portland author/illustrator Carson Ellis, which won honorable mention in this year’s Caldecott Awards.

I’m Connie Bennett, Director of Eugene Public Library, with a book review of “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me” by Sherman Alexie. 

This is KLCC.  I’m Connie Bennett, Director of Eugene Public Library, with a book review of “My Last Continent” by Midge Raymond.

A trip to Antarctica usually starts from Ushuaia, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world.  It’s motto, “fin del mundo, principio de todo" – “end of the world, beginning of everything" – becomes recurringtheme in  Oregon author Midge Raymond’s new novel, “My Last Continent.”

This is KLCC.  I’m Connie Bennett, Director of Eugene Public Library, with a book review of “Avenging the Owl” by Melissa Hart.

This is KLCC.  I’m Connie Bennett, Director of Eugene Public Library, with a book review of “Wildman” by J.C. Geiger.

I’ve never been a teenaged boy.  Never been in a ’93 Buick.  So, it was with a little trepidation that I picked up “Wildman,” Eugene author J.C. Geiger’s debut novel.  Though the book has received quite a bit of buzz in the teen market since its colorful “road-trip” launch last spring, I wasn’t sure how accessible – or interesting – it might be to older readers.

This is KLCC.  I’m Connie Bennett, Director of Eugene Public Library, with a book review of “Marrow Island” by Alexis M. Smith.

In her lyrical and compelling new novel, Portland based author Alexis Smith walks the tightrope of multiple genres without falling into any easily stereotyped style.  Is “Marrow Island” a mystery? Science fiction? A commentary on cults, or Catholic education?  A screed against the petroleum industry?  A love story?  Well, yes… and, no.

This is KLCC.  I’m Connie Bennett, Director of Eugene Public Library, with a book review of "The Joy of Swimming” by Lisa Congdon.

  This is KLCC.  I’m Connie Bennett, Director of Eugene Public Library, with a book review of "On Trails” by Robert Moor.

This is KLCC. I'm Connie Bennett, Director of Eugene Public Library, with a book review of "Thunder Boy Jr." by Sherman Alexie, with illustrations by Yuyi Morales.  

This is KLCC.  I’m Connie Bennett, Director of Eugene Public Library, with a book review of "Animals Strike Curious Poses” by Elena Passerello.

This is KLCC.  I’m Connie Bennett, Director of Eugene Public Library, with a book review of Phil Knight’s "Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the creator of Nike.”

This is KLCC.  I’m Connie Bennett, Director of Eugene Public Library, with a book review of "Froelich's Ladder” by Portland writer, Jamie Duclos-Yourdon.

Begin with a baker's dozen of lively characters, sift in two parts magical realism, a pinch of fantasy, and mix in the historical setting of early days in Oregon Country.  And you might end up with an entertaining tall tale, not unlike Jamie Yourdon's debut novel, "Froelich's Ladder."  

This is KLCC.  I’m Connie Bennett, Director of Eugene Public Library, with a book review of "The Small Backs of Children” by Lidia Yuknavitch.

This is KLCC.  I’m Connie Bennett, Director of Eugene Public Library, with a book review of "The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah.

This is KLCC.  I’m Connie Bennett, Director of Eugene Public Library, with a book review of "T is for Time” by Marie and Roland Smith, with illustrations by Renée Graef.

This is KLCC. I’m Connie Bennett, Director of Eugene Public Library, with a book review of "The Hour of Land” by Terry Tempest Williams.

Last weekend marked the centennial of the National Parks Service in the United States, these places Ken Burns has called “America’s Best Idea.” It’s a perfect time to read the diverse essays in Terry Tempest Williams’ “The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks.”

This is KLCC.  I’m Connie Bennett, Director of Eugene Public Library, with a book review of "The Carry Home” by Gary Ferguson.

This is KLCC.  I’m Connie Bennett, Director of Eugene Public Library, with a book review of "Love Factually” by Duana Welch. 

This is KLCC.  I’m Connie Bennett, Director of Eugene Public Library, with a book review of "Life Without a Recipe” by Diana Abu-Jaber.

A quotation from this book:  “Sometimes I think the older you get, the more memories there are, and the deeper the forest becomes.  A child thinks their life has one smooth shape – always moving straight ahead.  Eventually, though, you start to see how crooked the path is, how the trees move closer, how birds have eaten your trail of crumbs.”

This is KLCC.  I'm Connie Bennett, Director of Eugene Public Library, with a book review of "People Like You" by Margaret Malone.

This is KLCC. I’m Connie Bennett, Director of Eugene Public Library, with a book review of "The Triumph of Seeds” by Thor Hanson.

I love to explore new ideas through non-fiction in the hands of an excellent writer – “Guns, Germs, and Steel” or “The Beak of the Finch” come to mind. So I expected to enjoy Thor Hanson’s award-winning natural history: “The Triumph of Seeds: How Grains, Nuts, Kernels, Pulses, & Pips Conquered the Plant Kingdom and Shaped Human History.” I wasn’t disappointed!

This is KLCC.  I’m Connie Bennett, Director of Eugene Public Library, with a book review of "Undermajordomo Minor” by Portland writer, Patrick DeWitt.

It’s a deceptively sly and witty book, beginning with the title itself:  our protagonist, young Lucien Minor, comes of age through working as an assistant to the Majordomo at the distant Castle Von Aux.  If that evokes dark forests, snowy peaks and curious escapades, you’re right on target. 

This is KLCC.  I’m Connie Bennett, Director of Eugene Public Library, with a book review of "The Rewind Files” by Claire Willett.

This is KLCC.  I'm Connie Bennett, Director of Eugene Public Library, with a book review of "This is Your Life, Harriet Chance!" by Jonathan Evison. 

This is KLCC. I’m Connie Bennett, Director of Eugene Public Library, with a book review of "The Shark Curtain” by Chris Scofield.

“The Shark Curtain” is the first novel by Chris Scofield, who lives in Eugene with her husband and (according to the book jacket) two goldfish. Though it’s not for every audience, I found “The Shark Curtain” an absolutely bewitching book.

I was excited to come across “Jackaby.” Not just because it’s an award winning, best-selling YA novel.

This is KLCC.  I’m Connie Bennett, Director of Eugene Public Library, with a book review of "Wild Within” by Melissa Hart.

mollygloss.com

This is KLCC. I'm Connie Bennett, Director of the Eugene Public Library, with a book review of FALLING FROM HORSES by Molly Gloss.

  

  This is KLCC.  I'm Connie Bennett, Director of Eugene Public Library, with a book review of "Astoria" by Peter Stark.

For anyone living in the KLCC listening area, Peter Stark's historical adventure is a fascinating read.  The full title gives you a hint: "Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson's Lost Pacific Empire, a Story of Wealth, Ambition, and Survival."

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