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Randi Spray

Booker season: Not this one

By: Randi Spray | Blog:

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.

Randi Spray

Booker season: There's a chimp in it

By: Randi Spray | Blog:

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.

Emily Russo Miller

The story behind this JPD-Palin photograph

By: Emily Russo Miller | Blog:

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.

Randi Spray

Booker season: It's complicated in Calcutta

By: Randi Spray | Blog:

“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.

Melissa Griffiths

Tight housing in Juneau

By: Melissa Griffiths | Blog:

Housing in Juneau is notoriously expensive, whether renting or buying a single-family home, but paying Juneau's high prices might be worth it when you consider the alternative — dressing as a marmot?

Randi Spray

Booker season: For those who don't want to read

By: Randi Spray | Blog:

A tough choice is before you. You want to have an opinion on the Man Booker Prize nominees  (your own opinion, not mine) but you don’t want to read all six books in the next five weeks. How then do you choose the most worthy?

Below are several tried-and-true methods for picking a favorite:

Randi Spray

Booker season: Dentistry, love and religion

By: Randi Spray | Blog:

It starts out well enough. Right on page  -2 (before the page numbers), the epigraph comes from an ancient tome, the Bible. From the well-respected book of Job, chapter 39, verse 25 — the King James version even.

It reads: “Ha, ha.”

Just so you’re clear on the tone of Joshua Ferris’ Man Booker Prize shortlisted novel, “To Rise Again at a Decent Hour.”

Emily Russo Miller

For military ship, civilian science is the mission

By: Emily Russo Miller | Blog:

The U.S. Coast Guard ice breaker Healy stopped in Juneau on Thursday after four months in the Arctic, and the captain graciously gave the Empire a one-on-one tour of the ship on Friday. Here's what we learned. (And click here to see what we saw.)

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Randi Spray

Like Shark Week for book-lovers

By: Randi Spray | Blog:

Yes, that’s right people — it’s Booker season.

As in the Man Booker Prize for those of you who don’t follow books like you follow Twitter. It’s a literary award. An august and popular one with about $80,000 (£50,000) in the kitty and a funny-looking trophy at stake.

Today the shortlist was released, leading to a feeding-frenzy of book reviews, a great, sharp mouthful of criticism and violent, thrashing praise.

There will be conjecture, there will be melodrama, and in five weeks, there will be a winner.

Randi Spray

Rainy Day Reads: I bought an ereader

By: Randi Spray | Blog:

I was one of those people who said they’d never get an ereader. It was like blasphemy to me. Books were the physical things you held in your hands. You turned the pages, you hefted their weight, you sniffed their used-book/new-book smell.

I’ve always hated reading things on screen. To this day, if a news story or blog post runs too long, I print it out and read it on paper. Reading on screens is just … different. And for me, difficult.

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