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Book Review

Book Reviews

11/2/2016

‘The Soul of an Octopus’

“The Soul of an Octopus,” by Sy Montgomery, is one of the most interesting books I have read of late. I started learning new things on literally page two. I discovered that book-the-soul-of-an-octopus_lrthe plural pronunciation of octopus is, in fact, octopuses, and not octopi. The book is divided into chapters named for the different octopuses that Montgomery is observing. The striking thing is how different each octopus is from one another. Each has its own unique personality. Most people know that octopuses are smart, but I was still surprised at the ways in which they used trickery and creativity to get food or escape from their enclosures. Random things I learned: octopuses have beaks, they change color based off of mood, and they are capable of recognition. I walked away from “The Soul of an Octopus” with a newfound respect for octopuses. I highly recommend it. ♦

By Sy Montgomery

Atria Books

April 5, 2016

HIV

$16

272 pages

— Review by Hunter Gillum

 

‘Our Souls at Night’

Readers of Kent Haruf’s previous five novels will recognize the fictional eastern Colorado town of Holt in Haruf’s final novel, “Our Souls at Night.” Long-widowed book-our-souls_lrAddie Moore approaches Louis Waters, a widower, asking him to come to her house to sleep in her bed in the hope that they can help each other combat the loneliness that seems to consume her at night.

Skeptically, Louis agrees, and slowly their live begin to synchronize.  They find comfort in each other’s company as they reflect on their lives, discussing their joys and tragedies.

Not everyone in small, insular Holt approves of the relationship; Addie’s son, living across the Rockies in Grand Junction, is dismayed by it.

In Haruf’s unique style, extended conversations are told without quotation marks, written as if the author were speaking aloud. Both heartbreaking and inspiring, this short novel is a quick read that will not soon be forgotten. ♦

By Kent Haruf

Knopf

June 28, 2016

$24

192 pages

— Review by Sally Wisdom

 

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