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Blog category: Contemporary

"Antarctica on a Plate" by Alexa Thomson

Wanted: Cook for remote camp. Location: Antarctica. Job Description: Cook meals at unspecified times for 7-100 persons. Duration: 4 months. Pay: Appallingly low. Facility: Scattered tents in the middle of nowhere. Entire facility buried sometimes for years when not in use. No Cuisinarts. No KitchenAids–no electricity. Stove sometimes belches fire and could burn down the camp. However, camp more likely to be blown away by storms. Continue reading .

"Murder on the Iditarod Trail" by Sue Henry

Published in 1991, and winner of the Anthony Award and the Macavity Award, both for “Best First Mystery,” Murder on the Iditarod Trail chronicles the adventures of a musher (as Iditarod contestants are known) and a State Trooper as the former tries to elude and the latter tries to catch the person responsible for the deaths of three mushers and the maiming of three more. Continue reading .

"String of Pearls" by Priscilla Buckley

The title of this book is evidently a double entendre–a guess, since pearls are never mentioned in the narrative. However, a string of pearls was and still is a wardrobe staple for the professional woman. A “string of pearls” must also refer to the format of the narrative. It is a collection of vignettes presented in a logical if not always chronological order. As the reader progresses through the stories, he or she realizes that these stories are indeed gems. Continue reading .

"Wide Sargasso Sea" by Jean Rhys

For several years now I have searched for an ebook edition of Wide Sargasso Sea. I cannot find it, and apparently neither can the many people that visit my site looking for it. Sorry! I believe whoever holds the rights to this book must have objections to publishing an ebook version of it. You will … Continue reading .

"Ice Bound" by Jerri Nielsen

Ice Bound is available at What Sara Wheeler did for traveling in Antarctica, Jerri Nielsen’s bestseller does for living in Antarctica. Dr. Nielsen made international news when she discovered that she had breast cancer during a long Antarctic winter at the South Pole. The base is customarily shut down during the nine months of … Continue reading .

"Terra Incognita" by Sara Wheeler

People who are space nuts may not realize that we know more about Mars than we know about some places on our own planet. Antarctica is one of these places. International treaties have dictated that Antarctica, the only place on earth with no native human population, be used for scientific endeavors, and that those endeavors … Continue reading .

Send them to the colonies

The following is an excerpt of a lovely review of Singled Out: How Two Million Women Survived Without Men after the First World War By Virginia Nicholson. THIS is an inspiring book, lovingly researched, well-written and humane. Virginia Nicholson has found one of those subjects which sits unregarded under our noses, and has discovered in … Continue reading .

"The Book of Salt" by Monique Truong

Isolation is a topic that spans lifetimes and generations, an identifiable feeling that crosses cultures and continents. Monique Truong’s The Book of Salt is an effort to capture this feeling and describe it with a story. Truong’s novel follows the tumultuous life of Binh, a Vietnamese man who is ousted from his home country and … Continue reading .

"Persepolis" by Marjane Satrapi

Though many who participate in the study of literature scoff at the literary merit of graphic novels, Marjane Satrapi’s autobiographical Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood, offers a fresh and unique perspective on an historical subject. Chronicling her young life in Iran during the turbulent first years of the Islamic Revolution, Satrapi literally illustrates her … Continue reading .

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