Showing posts from October, 2011

Review: Mr. Shivers

In this 2010 Shirley Jackson Award -winning novel, Robert Jackson Bennett takes readers into one of the saddest, grittiest times in modern American history: The Great Depression. People were uprooted from their homes and took flight to (literally) greener pastures.  Except Connelly.  He just wants revenge. This sad, broken man left his home and wife in the east to search the country for the man who killed his young daughter.  He saw the man, whose features were haunting and unique: tall, thin and scarred.  Connelly planned to dog this killer across the country, however long it might take, and do to him what he did to his daughter. The thing is, he isn't the only one looking for Mr. Shivers, named by those whose lives he has ruined.  The scarred man has been all over the country and has touched the lives of many people. Connelly takes up with them to further his goal of revenge. In his modern American Gothic novel, Bennett shares with readers the language and spirit of

Review: The Gift of Fear

You know when your skin prickles and you just know something isn't right?  That is instinct, something most of us ignore if we think it will cause us embarrassment. Gavin de Becker will convince you to react otherwise in his brilliant book, The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals that Protect Us from Violence . For de Becker, instinct is the gathering of data we cannot articulate but simply understand.  If a voice comes from a location a person should not logically be traveling, if the gesture or tone of voice doesn't comfort us as it should, if the offer for help seems too forceful — our minds won't explain it to us, but upon reflection, it all makes sense. Equally important is knowing the difference between what should cause fear and how we invoke it in ourselves.  Being petrified that you're in an empty parking lot is a waste of fear if there is no real threat.  Using your spidey-senses to listen for the unexpected footsteps, however, is a good way to determine a