Book Reviews

Book Reviews by Connie Bennett.


  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."

Station Eleven

“Station Eleven” is the best-selling, award winning, breakout novel by Emily St. John Mandel, who was born and raised on an island off the coast of British Columbia.  I devoured it in a single day a couple of months ago.  I’ve been savoring and rereading it ever since.

The book’s primary storyline follows a troupe of actors, the “Traveling Symphony,” about twenty years in the future, after a viral pandemic has wiped out 99% of the world’s population.   

This is KLCC.  I’m Connie Bennett, Director of Eugene Public Library, with a book review of "I Think You’re Totally Wrong: A Quarrel” by David Shields and Caleb Powell.

When I first heard about “I Think You’re Totally Wrong” I was quite intrigued.  After all, the book jacket promises an “impassioned, funny, probing, fiercely inconclusive, nearly-to-the-death debate about life and art.”  I love nothing more than a debate about life and art.  At the very least, it sounded entertaining.  

May 2015 – KLCC Book Review by Connie Bennett:  "Saint Friend” by Carl Adamshick
This is KLCC.  I’m Connie Bennett, Director of Eugene Public Library, with a book review of "Saint Friend” by Carl Adamshick .
It’s not often that I read a book of poetry, cover to cover.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy poetry.  I’m fascinated with the way a poet can distill a concentration of imagery and evoke layers of meaning into such sparse phrases.  But I usually imbibe on one or two poems at a time.

In “Juliet’s Nurse,” Portland author Lois Leveen, showcases her knowledge both of literature and history in a retelling of the story of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, from the perspective of Juliet’s nurse.  She’s clearly studied every line of dialogue in the play as well as historical Verona, including the plague, the class system, the role of the church, and even medieval bee keeping.

Book Review: iZombie

Mar 13, 2015

I'm Connie Bennett, Director of Eugene Public Library, with a book review of "iZombie" by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred.

This is not a book for everyone.
Oceans of words, swelling waves of paragraphs, long sinuous sentences running on for a page or more like a rare variety of seaweed.
And a compelling story as well.
Author Brian Doyle, best known as the editor of “Portland” magazine and books of essays, has written two novels.  The first, “Mink River,” is invariably described as a “sprawling” novel of Oregon.  And now, “The Plover” – not really a sequel but more a companion piece – about Irish Oregonian Declan O’Donnell, a minor character in “Mink River.”

Random House

I have to tell you: I both loved and hated this book.  But it took me a while to figure out why.

Let me tell you about the buzz surrounding "All the Light We Cannot See."  A finalist for the National Book Award.   On the bestseller list for the past 28 weeks.  At the top of The New York Time’s list of "100 Notable Books of 2014".  Goodreads, the online book community, chose it as this year’s Best Historical Fiction.  And on his Christmas shopping trip last weekend, President Barack Obama made the news when he purchased a copy of his own.

Oregon Reads

It starts with little things.  “Flowers jump from the tracks of Big Foot all over the uplands.”  William Stafford’s poem “Everyone Out Here Knows” was originally published in “Starting with Little Things,” a 1983 teaching guide for poetry writing in the classroom.