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We've got a win, but don't stop now

Congratulations to everyone who has the opportunity to get married! Maybe I'm still in the honeymoon phase, but I think marriage is great. 

I was in a rental car between Seattle and Redmond, Oregon, when former State Reporter Mark Miller texted me the news. Of course, things evolved over a few days as a stay was requested and talk of fighting the decision inevitably bubbled up, but I didn't allow that to stop me from feeling very happy for my friends who now have that same right I do. I'm looking forward to the wedding invitations.

Book quirks

Books bring out the weirdness in people, not the subject matter. I’m referring to the actual, physical object that is a book, because everyone has their book quirks.

I have a friend who treats his books like priceless artifacts. Whenever I borrowed a book from him in high school, I was given strict admonitions against breaking the spine or dog-earing pages. That was hard for me because I was borrowing 500-plus page fantasy epics and I always loose my bookmarks.

Booker season: And the winner is...

“The Narrow Road to the Deep North” by Richard Flanagan.

I may not have liked this one but I can see why the Man Booker judges picked it. The prose is gorgeous. A liquid velvet thing. Living and breathing and stunning.

Booker season: 'How to Be Both'

If I had to pick one word to describe “How to Be Both,” Ali Smith’s Man Booker Prize shortlisted novel, I would choose gentle.

I tried not to choose it. I tried to come up with any other way of encapsulating my feelings toward this book. But I kept coming back to gentle.

Booker season: An unconvincing future

I’ll admit it was with great excitement that I settled down to read the Man Booker Prize shortlisted “J” by Howard Jacobson. I’d heard it was a dystopia and I, along with most of America, love dystopian novels.

“A novel to be talked about in the same breath as ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ and ‘Brave New World,’” reads the front flap.

No, I don’t think it will. 

My PFD Came One Day Early On Blackerby Ridge

Every time I looked at the weather forecast, I had to rub my eyes. The rain followed by showers followed by more rain was easy to believe. But what was this sunny weather predicted in the middle of the week? At one point the forecaster was bold enough to call for “abundant sunshine”, which remains one of my favorite weather descriptions. Plans needed to be made.

Booker season: Not this one

I really can’t recommend “The Narrow Road to the Deep North” by Richard Flanagan. The other Man Booker Prize shortlisted books so far had their sad parts, but they always had some redeeming quality that kept you reading. Maybe it was humor, maybe family, maybe a lingering hope for humankind.

“The Narrow Road to the Deep North” is just flat-out depressing. It’s about Australian POWs building the Death Railway in Thailand. It follows their lives before, during and after World War II.

Booker season: There's a chimp in it

I confess this one made my teary-eyed. The Man Booker Prize shortlisted “We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves” by Karen Joy Fowler is simultaneously heartbreaking and humorous.

It’s the tale of two sisters, Fern and Rosemary. They live in a big house in the country with their parents and brother.

One day, Rosemary gets sent to her grandparents. She’s terrified she’s been given away. When her parents finally come to get her, they take her to a new house. She counts the room: a kitchen, a living room, two bathrooms, her parents’ room, her brother’s room, her room.

The story behind this JPD-Palin photograph

By EMILY RUSSO MILLER

Juneau Empire

The Juneau Police Department is having fun with their new Facebook page, posting old pictures of officers in uniform for #throwbackthursday, a video of their Ice Bucket Challenge, as well as informational items such as PSA’s for the upcoming vehicle auction and regular Crime of the Week.

Booker season: It's complicated in Calcutta

“The Lives of Others” by Neel Mukherjee is exactly what I’d expect from a Man Booker Prize shortlistee. It’s deep, it’s complicated and it’s rather exuberant with the commas.

The book follows the internecine  lives of the 17 members of the upper-middle-class Ghosh family and a variety of their servants, acquaintances and comrades between 1966 and 1970. It’s a beautifully crafted book toggling between timelines and characters masterfully.

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